• manga,  Uncategorized

    MANGA: Odu-Kun No Vita Sexualis

    Odu-Kun no Vita Sexualis – Kashio

    30 year-old Odu is feeling left out. His friends are slowly marrying off and with his tiny salary as a video store clerk, he can’t afford to go on trips with them when they can all hang out. Oh, and just to top it all off, his popular friend Araragi just found out Odu’s most embarrassing secret… Odu’s still a virgin at 30, but maybe it’s not so bad after all, because Araragi’s never been with a girl either?

    Odu-kun’s Sex Life is a collection of three friends-to-lovers stories. It has a nice cover but the artwork inside is a toned down version of the character design. I’m a bit bothered when that happens because I prefer the art to be consistent

    Oda-Kun no Vita Sexualis: The title story is about Oda, a naive 30-year old virgin who’s spectacularly oblivious to his friend, Araragi’s interest in him. Araragi oh so slowly took his time seducing his friend. This has a nicely done friends to lovers transition. Although the effect was diminished by the narration that explained too much of what was going on.

    Himitsu no Aru Futari: The Secret of a Certain Two is a cute 2-chapter story of an otaku who discovered his popular, outgoing crush was also secretly an otaku himself. The two geeked out over their favorite manga. This story employed the old eyeglasses trick, where Narita was overlooked when he had his on. He completely transformed into an unrecognizable bishounen when he took it off. The story didn’t go all the way to boyfriends territory. It was more like Narita read the BL manga Minami liked and his imagination ran amok. He was forever seeing his friend in certain erotic positions. It ended with an almost kiss leaving us hanging.

    17 Seventeen: A chapter about a boy wondering what the kisses from his childhood friend meant. Their idyllic friends with benefits situation hit a rocky patch when Yukisaki didn’t go on their school field trip causing Shino to wonder about their status. I was surprised this turned angsty. There was a teary eyed-confession and a parting. For one chapter, it packed more punch than the other two stories. I wish this was a full-length volume.

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  • book,  Uncategorized

    AUDIO REVIEW: Natural Twenty by Charlie Novak

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    Roll For Love: Natural Twenty – Charlie Novak

    Plants are easier than people—that’s Leo’s rule of thumb. After all, nobody really wants a man who looks like he belongs in a biker gang but would rather spend his time buried in books and flowers. It’s just easier to be single. Until he meets the owner of the new book shop.

    Jacob Morris knows two things: he’s really attracted to the man who runs the local flower shop, and he doesn’t date. Not when he’s still healing from a bad breakup, has a new business to run, game nights to organise, workshops to host, and a website to build.

    When friendship blooms into something more, Leo and Jay must decide whether to roll the dice and take a chance on love or keep forging ahead on their quests alone. Will their roll yield a one or a perfect, natural twenty?

    Natural Twenty is an 80,000-word contemporary MM romance featuring Dungeons & Dragons, secret flower language bouquets, a spoilt Staffy (or two), and a best friend who is basically a gothic prince. It is book one in the Roll for Love series and can be read as a standalone.


    When I picked this up, I had no idea what “natural twenty” meant. I learned later this refers to the roll of the twenty-sided dice in Dungeons and Dragons. If I understood it correctly, getting a natural twenty means maximum success.

    Natural Twenty is the first book of the geek-tastic series, Roll for Love. This is an insta-attraction, slow-burn, friends-to-lovers story of Leo, florist and Jay, bookseller. It’s packed full of all things geeky, from scifi and fantasy books, Dungeons and Dragons, cosplayers, steampunk conventions, superhero shows and pop culture references.

    Leo looks like a lion but is actually a kitten. His intimidating, taciturn exterior puts off a lot of people. They failed to notice underneath it all, there was a sweet, gentle giant who gives his heart too easily. His sole companion in life is his dog, Angie.

    Jay is an adorkable transplant from London, who left his old life after his ex cheated on him. He came to live with his friend, Edward, to mend his broken heart. Starting fresh, he bravely opened his own bookstore in Yorkshire. On his opening day, he received a welcome bouquet from Leo, who had decided to check out the new establishment in the neighborhood.

    The two struck a friendship but couldn’t deny the attraction between them. Friendship was slowly turning into an enjoyable, comfortable relationship when angst, internal conflict and struggling business got the better of Jay. He decided to put a temporary halt on things because he couldn’t handle all the pressure.

    This should actually be a more straightforward book. I couldn’t help but feel it should have been a lot shorter, perhaps a novella. Things could have been resolved a lot quicker.

    It showed Leo and Jay going about their day to day. This is fine, even enjoyable sometimes but there was too much internal dialogue. Mostly, I struggled with keeping my attention focused on the story. I felt the dreaded saggy middle. Happily, Joel Leslie’s fabulously on-point narration kept me going.

    And while I liked reading about the how-tos of running a small business, especially a bookstore, going through some business minutiae did feel a bit tedious at some points. Ditto with the Dungeons and Dragons part. Having never played the game, I couldn’t fully appreciate all the references.

    On the upside, the book had a lot of wonderful side-characters. Chief of whom is Edward, cosplayer and gothic prince, who basically stole the show. All the time I was reading, I kept thinking how much fun his book would be.

    My favorite part here was floriography, the language of flowers. Each chapter is marked with a flower and their meanings. I have zero interest in flowers but the way Leo put together his bouquets for Jay, carefully picking each flower and leaving pieces of his heart in each blossom, that was absolutely beautiful! Especially coming from a guy who struggles with words. It was such a deeply romantic and meaningful gesture. It made me appreciate flowers a little better.

    Things started picking up when Jay’s bookstore became viral. From then on, the story moved faster and I was able to enjoy it more. Despite my complaints about the draggy bits of the book, I still love the way Leo and Jay were brought together, first as friends, then as lovers and then later when they were reunited. It was a sweet, fluffy journey made more charming with some floral magic.

    All in all, Natural Twenty might not have rolled out maximum success but it’s still a good roll. Read if you love adorkable elven bards who sing Spice Girls offkey, gothic princes who drink in tea sets that match their wardrobe and most especially, gentle giants who speak in flowers.

    P.S.

    Thank you to Gay Romance Reviews and Audible UK for giving me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

    Rating:
    3 Stars – not exactly setting my world on fire but I liked it

    Soundtrack: Bloom
    Artist: RKCB
    Album:


    If you like my content, please consider using my Amazon affiliate links below to get your copy of Natural Twenty books. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying Amazon purchases at no additional cost to you.

    KINDLE
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  • quote,  Uncategorized

    Laying on my back wanna think of that magic hour
    I meet you in the wildflowers, undercover
    See it on my face ’cause your nectar tastes so sour
    I greet you like a higher power, my summer lover

    Grow you from the roots, I rain on you, rain on you, rain on you
    Take another sip of my perfume, taking two, taking two
    Dreaming up the skies you wanna touch, don’t you rush, don’t you rush
    ‘Cause I’m the one reaching up, now, I’m the one reaching

    I come to wake you up
    And pollinate your love
    I’ll never leave you to be
    Forgotten in the sun
    I come to wake you up
    And pollinate your love
    I’ll never leave you to be
    Forgotten in the sun

    Digging in your bed when you’re on the edge of something new
    I just wanna watch you bloom in every color
    Shining up the walls in the glow, it’s all you consume
    Honey, let me garden you in every wonder

    Dreaming up the skies we wanna touch, don’t you rush, don’t you rush
    ‘Cause you’re the one reaching up, now, you’re the one reaching

    I come to wake you up
    And pollinate your love
    I’ll never leave you to be
    Forgotten in the sun
    I come to wake you up
    And pollinate your love
    I’ll never leave you to be
    Forgotten in the sun

    If I’m gonna be your summer love, then
    Promise me I’ll never be forgotten
    Even when the skies begin to darken
    You give me light
    If I’m gonna be your summer love, then
    Promise me I’ll never be forgotten
    Even when the skies begin to darken
    You give me light

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