• manga,  Uncategorized

    MANGA: One Room Angel

    One Room Angel – Harada

    When one door shuts, another opens.


    There are a lot of things that Kouki doesn’t have – no hobbies, no friends, no lover, no stable job, and no will to live. So when a random tussle with some kids gets him stabbed, he thinks maybe this is finally his ticket out of this crappy life. But just as he’s about to pass out he sees a beautiful “angel”… How is Kouki supposed to cope when less than a month later, he’s mysteriously healed, has astronomical bills to pay, and suddenly has the same beautiful angel as his amnesiac roommate?

    This is the kind of manga where you know it would end bittersweetly once the realizations set in to twist the story. I never saw them coming.

    One Room Angel is the story of down-on-his-luck, perpetually penniless, part-timer Kouki who lives in a one room studio apartment. He has a scary face, fabulously messy hair (love his hair!) and a prison record that made it hard for him to land a decent job.

    One day, Kouki was stabbed and as he lay dying, he saw an angel descending from the sky. Later on, he saw the same angel appear in his room. Thinking this is the luckiest he could ever get, he took the angel in and tried his best to make him comfortable.

    The angel turned out to be blunt and bratty but I love that he never failed to point out that Kouki is a good person. Especially during moments when the man was being too hard on himself. Despite his intimidating appearance, Kouki struggled with his self-esteem. He is also dealing with guilt about his past and how his brother was badly injured and ended up as a yakuza because of him.

    Another unconventional character here was Arisa, Kouki’s mother. She is impossibly youthful and very beautiful but has the personality of a delinquent. She runs a bar. She’s tough but she cares. She sometimes sends Kouki money when he’s down to his last penny.

    This is one of the purest, gentlest, slow-burn love story out there. I don’t even think of it as romance. It is really about two disparate individuals who shared small kindnesses, developed a strong connection and saw the good other people overlooked. It also a deeply nuanced story about one man’s eye-opening journey to find things worth living for.

    Yes, this might end in tears but luckily, we are gifted with chapter 8.

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  • book,  Uncategorized

    REVIEW: Loose Ends by Morgan Brice

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    Badlands: Loose Ends – Morgan Brice

    Cold cases, old enemies, ex-lovers, and vengeful spirits are making life dangerous for psychic medium Simon Kincaide and his boyfriend, homicide detective Vic D’Amato.

    The ghosts of Myrtle Beach are restless, trapped by love, secrets, scandals, and spells, keeping Simon busy protecting the living from the unhappy dead. Someone from Vic’s past is out to destroy him and everyone he holds dear, and the high-profile trial of the first case Simon and Vic worked together puts them in the spotlight—and put a target on their backs. As a deadly trap closes around them, can Simon and Vic tie up the loose ends to stop the threat, or will they become the newest ghosts of the Grand Strand? 

    Loose Ends is an urban fantasy MM paranormal romance with spooky supernatural suspense, hot sex, hurt/comfort, feisty friends, found family, ghosts galore, and dark magic. It is part of a series but can be read as a standalone and features an evolving, established romantic relationship with all the feels. Intended for readers 18 years of age and older.


    The Badlands series opened with a strong book 1, Badlands. Book 2, The Rising was a tad too predictable for my liking. Happily, this third book renewed my faith in this highly interesting psychic procedural.

    Loose Ends has exes crawling out of the woodwork. Simon’s former fiance, Jason, showed up with his pouncy ass demanding that Simon return to the bosom of his family and be the trophy fiance again. Vic’s sorta ex and former work partner, Nick, has yet to show his ugly mug but it was clear he was trying to ruin Vic’s life. His social media was hacked, his partner Ross’s car was sabotage.

    I had complained in my review of The Rising that the author’s execution of couple down time didn’t feel natural. They’re not necessarily forced but they don’t flow as smoothly as I would have liked with the story.

    Loose Ends finds Simon and Vic in their happy place. The romantic element was very much improved. The timing and execution of sex scenes felt more organic to the story.

    And it’s nice to see an established couple just generally being happy together without becoming boring. I really liked that they stayed strong and worked as a team against those who wanted to tear them apart. I loved that they avoided major misunderstandings and that they never resort to petty internal conflicts either. They weren’t an insta-favorite but Simon and Vic won me over with how well they made their relationship work.

    It’s not just the exes. There was also Simon’s estranged mother. She’s a cold woman who cares only about herself and prefers Simon’s ex-fiance to her own son. She called to demand Simon return to his old life, then sent Jason to persuade him.

    Simon had no intentions of doing that. He had built a good life in Myrtle Beach. He has Vic and a great support group. His powerful witch friends provide magical back up while his non-magical friends were always there to cheer them on.

    The stand out secondary character here is most definitely Ross. He proved himself a good friend and partner to Vic from the time they started working together. He continues to be awesome, advising Vic on his grand plans of putting a ring on it. I’d love to see more of him around.

    Simon’s psychic abilities had once again unearthed a dead body. The paranormal elements came wonderfully into play with a cold case, more haunted objects and later on, Nick’s nefarious methods of revenge. The series has always excelled in this aspect. In this third installment, the world has been established but it still offered different avenues to explore and more otherworldly happenings to investigate.

    This is the type of case where the perpetrator was known but has yet to be found. The story moved fast with a well-executed plot. It did a great job tying everything together, making clever use of ghostly characters and magic. It certainly lived up to its promise of spooky paranormal suspense with all the romantic feels.

    Although it says Loose Ends can be read as a standalone, I recommend reading the Badlands series in order. Start with Simon and Vic’s meet cute in book 1 and watch them go from strength to strength while solving supernatural cases. They have, since then, put a lot of ghosts to rest. It’s time to move on and take it to the next level.

    P.S.

    Book 1 review, Badlands.
    Book 2 review, The Rising.

    Rating:
    4 Stars – minor quibbles but I loved it to bits

    Soundtrack: Unfinished Business
    Artist: White Lies
    Album: To Lose My Life


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    LOOSE ENDS

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  • song,  Uncategorized

    SOUNDTRACK: Unfinished Business by White Lies

    Soundtrack to Badlands: Loose Ends by Morgan Brice

    According to the band, this song is about “a boyfriend’s ghost trying to communicate with the girlfriend who murdered him and has now taken to self harm.” Perfect for a book about lingering ghostly lovers and vengeful exes haunting happy couples.

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  • quote,  Uncategorized

    Just give me a second darling to clear my head
    Just put down those scissors baby on this single bed

    The sand in the hourglass is running low
    I came through thunder, the cold wind, the rain and the snow
    To find you awake by your windowsill
    A sight for sore eyes and a view to kill

    I broke down in horror at you standing there
    The glow from the moon shone through cracks in your hair
    I shouted with passion, “I love you so much”
    But feeling my skin, it was cold to the touch

    You whispered, “Where are you?”
    I questioned your doubt
    But soon realized you were talking to God now

    You’ve got blood on your hands and I know it’s mine, I just need more time
    So get off your low and let’s dance like we used to
    But there’s a light in the distance waiting for me, I will wait for you
    So get off your low, let’s kiss like we used to

    I looked in the mirror but something was wrong
    I saw you behind but my reflection was gone
    There was smoke in the fireplace as white as the snow
    A voice beckoned gently, now it’s time to go

    A requiem played as you begged for forgiveness
    “Don’t touch me”, I screamed
    “I’ve got unfinished business”

    You’ve got blood on your hands and I know it’s mine, I just need more time
    So get off your low and let’s dance like we used to
    But there’s a light in the distance waiting for me, I will wait for you
    So get off your low, let’s kiss like we used to

    You’ve got blood on your hands and I know it’s mine, I just need more time
    So get off your low and let’s dance like we used to
    But there’s a light in the distance waiting for me, I will wait for you
    So get off your low, let’s kiss like we used to

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