• manga,  Uncategorized

    MANGA: Smile

    A BL manga originally published on Penguin Frountier’s Facebook between March 2016 and October 2017, Smile tells to story of Wayne Huntington Jr. a foreigner and orphan living in Japan and Itou Ren.

    Boy, this is heartbreaking!

    Smile is an angsty childhood friends to lovers story of red-headed orphan Wayne and the ever-smiling Ren.

    Wayne lost his parents at a young age and Ren’s family took him in. Ren is quick to jump to the other boy’s defense whenever he was bullied and Wayne consider him his hero. Wayne is also in love with Ren. When he confessed, Ren ran away. But then they patched things up and started dating.

    The romance itself is soft and gentle but this is painful to read because the boys had to deal with homophobia and bullying. What I love about the two is that even if they themselves had falling outs, they always go back to each other. Their love and friendship remained strong.

    This is a beautifully drawn manga. And it’s in full color! The spring landscapes were simply lovely. The two MCs looked really good.

    The story is set in the rainy season and it makes it even more melancholy. There were many scenes in the rain, some happy moments and some showing how one can smile while shattering to pieces.

    This does have a happy ending, in the sense that the boys were both alive and together.

  • book,  Uncategorized

    SERIES REVIEW: Vigilance Books 3 & 4 by Silvia Violet

    Vigilance is an erotic romance spinoff of The Marchesi Family featuring a group of vigilantes headed by a mysterious individual simply known as X. The first book, Giorgio is a bodyguard romance involving X’s son, Lane. The followup, Niall, is an enemies to lovers story with the titular character butting heads with pawnshop owner, Marcus.

    Leo is the third book. Leo is a tattoo artist who found himself falling for his new employee, Ezra. The last book, Xavier, finally shed light on the their leader who thought himself straight until he met the young hacker, Emilio.

    The first three books follow their overarching mission to bring down a human trafficking ring. For the series finale, X had to protect Emilio from another hacker who threatened to expose their identities.

    This is a review of Books 3 and 4, Leo and Xavier.


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    Vigilance: Leo – Silvia Violet

    I used to be CIA. Now I’m a tattoo artist and a vigilante.

    When a new hire at my shop gets too curious about my less-than-legal activities, he needs all the protection I can give him.

    He wants a lot more. More than I should be willing to give. And yet, the longer I keep him close for his own safety… the more I want him in my bed.


    This is the series going slow-burn with Leo trying to resist the cute waiter turned receptionist, Ezra, at his tattoo shop. Then he caught the younger man eavesdropping on a Vigilance meeting. Ezra found himself caught up in their mission and a target of the evil villain, Swain.

    Swain was aggressively making his move, even making threats to X at his own fundraising party. Vigilance had to act and they had to act fast.

    The story wraps up the human trafficking thread. It gave a pretty satisfying resolution and I really liked that the Marchesis were there to assist. However, I don’t really care about the romance since I wasn’t drawn to either Leo or Ezra.

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

    Soundtrack: Tied Down
    Artist: Jaymes Young
    Album: Feel Something


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    Vigilance: Xavier – Silvia Violet

    I thought I was straight.
    I thought protecting my identity mattered more than anything besides family.
    Then Emilio came to me for protection.
    It’s my fault he’s in danger, and no one is going to touch him.
    No one besides me. 


    This is the book I’m most looking forward to. I was super curious about X. My enthusiasm petered out because this book fell into the same pattern as the other stories.

    There’s a threat to a young submissive man and a Vigilance member feels insta-lust and the overwhelming need to protect him. They hole up in a some isolated place, in this case X’s private island, had lots of sex, fall in love within a day or two, then a rushed action/suspense ending. There’s bisexual awakening thrown in the mix for variety but overall, it’s too similar to Giorgio and Lane’s story. Maybe, the author was going for parallels but I couldn’t help wishing that things went differently.

    Rating:
    2.5 Stars – far from hate but not quite a like

    Soundtrack: First Time
    Artist: Josef Salvat
    Album: The Close / The Reveil


    I liked the Vigilance boys better when they’re interacting with each other. That’s when you could see more of their personalities. I enjoyed their banter and their camaraderie. With their love interests, they tend to fall into the same mold, which is why I wasn’t keen about the romance.

    All the books were into BDSM. Even if it’s not my thing, I’m ok with it. However, most of the couples here were a dominant, controlling alpha paired with a very pliant younger, smaller man. The only exception was Niall and Marcus. That’s why they’re my favorite.

    I wasn’t wowed by the series overall. As I mentioned in my review of the first two books, I am aware it would be steamy but I was hoping for a more balanced presentation. It is unfortunate that the action scenes were relegated to the endings and were over almost as soon as they started. I wanted a bit more focus on the mission.

    This is a ME problem because other people have thoroughly enjoyed the books. They are best read with the mindset that they are primarily BDSM romance with some action on the side. If this is your thing, there’s a good chance you’ll find the books a lot of fun.

    And I have to say, there was something about Vigilance that made me finish the entire thing. I guess I liked the idea of a vigilante group plus the Marchesi cameos are always an incentive. Then there goes Lancelot Theriot and his pet monkey and so here I am, excited for another spinoff series, The Theriot Family.

    P.S.

    Vigilance should be read in order. Find out how grumpy ex-military sniper Giorgio unknowingly hooked up with his very off-limits boss’s son, the sparkly and fabulous Lane, in Book 1. Also, check out Niall and Marcus’ business with the blue speedo in Book 2. Reviews here.

    While you’re at it, meet the notorious bunch who love cannoli as much as they love causing trouble, The Marchesi Family. Series review here.


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

    US: GIORGIO | NIALL | LEO | XAVIER
    UK: GIORGIO | NIALL | LEO | XAVIER

    You can also use my Bookshop affiliate links to buy paperbacks and MP3 CD audiobooks and help support independent bookstores.

    GIORGIO | NIALL | LEO

  • song,  Uncategorized

    SOUNDTRACK: Tied Down by Jaymes Young & First Time by Josef Salvat

    Soundtrack to Vigilance: Leo by Silvia Violet

    Soundtrack to Vigilance: Xavier by Silvia Violet

    Jayme Young’s Tied Down for Leo and Ezra as a nod to their interest in shibari or rope bondage as well as the overall dynamics of their relationship.

    Josef Salvat’s First Time for Xavier’s bisexual awakening with Emilio.

  • quote,  Uncategorized

    These days the lovers trade their places
    Dancing all around each other’s chairs
    I can see the numbness on their faces
    Jealousy fills up their hearts in pairs
    So please could I be selfish with your body?
    ‘Cause I don’t think I could share you with nobody

    Oh when I have you
    I’m gonna brand you with my lips
    And all of the world will know that you’re mine now
    We’ll never lose faith
    ‘Cause we’ll never forget this taste
    My love has the power to keep the tide down

    Ohh, I’ll get you tied down, tied down
    Ohh ill get you tied down, tied down

    Ohh, late at night you’ll hear the screaming echo
    But we all pretend we never heard the cries in the daytime
    Don’t you worry my touch won’t leave you hollow
    I’m never going to let you change your mind

    Oh, when I have you
    I’m gonna brand you with my lips
    And all of the world will know that you’re mine now
    We’ll never lose faith
    ‘Cause we’ll never forget this taste
    My love has the power to keep your tied down

    Ohh, I’ll get you tied down, tied down
    Ohh, I’ll get you tied down, tied down
    Ohh, I’ll get you tied down, tied, ohh
    Ohh, I’ll get you tied down, tied down

    Don’t be afraid to leave your mark
    Give me the scars to remind me
    Just how good you are (how good you are)
    And if your faith turns into to dark
    Pull me closer and know
    That it’s enough to keep you tied down

    Ohh, I’ll get you tied down, tied down
    Ohh, I’ll get you tied down, tied down
    Ohh, I’ll get you tied down, tied down
    Ohh, I’ll get you tied down, tied down

    Tied down
    Ohh

    Snow moon cuts the river
    Into a thousand lights
    Dancing for us
    Dancing for us
    Jasmine on the breeze fills my room
    And perfumes my nights
    Dreaming for us
    Dreaming for us

    So don’t worry ’bout it
    The seasons were on our side
    It was you before all of this
    And now it’s you for a life
    No, don’t worry ’bout it
    The seasons were on our side
    Even the greatest ideas
    Have a life and die

    Summer rain, the sky screams
    With the things we can’t say
    Speaking for us
    Speaking for us
    Leaves hang in the wind
    On their way to decay
    Ending for us
    Ending for us

    So don’t worry ’bout it
    The seasons were on our side
    Even the greatest ideas
    Have a life and die
    No, don’t worry ’bout it
    The seasons were on our side
    It was you before all of this
    Now it’s you for a life

    (For the first time)
    (For the first time)
    (For the first time)
    (For the first time)
    And I feel it come
    Feel it flood my lungs
    Cut me into strips
    I have come undone
    And I feel it come
    Feel it flood my lungs
    Cut me into strips
    I have come undone
    I have come undone
    I have come undone
    I have come undone
    I have come undone
    (For the first time)

    I have come undone