• manga,  Uncategorized

    MANGA: My Dear Agent

    My Dear Agent – Ebino Bisque

    Riichi, who is known as the frigid cold man, is an expert bodyguard who leads the security team in charge of a conglomerate’s son. One day, he got appointed to mentor Tachibana, a skilled guy whose background information is unknown, and that very same day Tachibana said he used up all his paycheck and doesn’t have a place to stay. Ended up mentoring Tachibana both at work and private time, started the days of Riichi being at a loss over how to deal with him. Moreover, Tachibana seems to like him from their first meeting and tries to flirt with him day and night…?!

    Unpredictable Newbie x Cool Beautiful Senpai, an epic love story between an odd pair!

    My Dear Agent is a refreshing take on the bodyguard romance trope, where instead of the bodyguard falling in love with his ward, he falls in love with his superior.

    Tachibana, a tall, muscular guy with a mysterious background, was paired with the chief bodyguard, Riichi. Because of the former’s lack of financial sense, Riichi was forced to house his subordinate while Tachibana tried to get back on his feet. Tachibana proceeds to get close and constantly asks Riichi for a date, which is always turned down until one day when it isn’t.

    The cool, beautiful senpai is a hardcore workaholic and a blushy virginal uke in private. Riichi has been guarding Nobu, the CEO’s son, since childhood. The bodyguard has a formal, almost stiff manner and appears quite naive about everyday things non-billionaire people usually do, like dating. He secretly had to google these things while he was inevitably pulled into Tachibana’s orbit.

    Meanwhile, Tachibana is one of those people who can makes friends with just about anyone. It’s a mystery why he can be irreverent to Nobu, the company president, and other higher ups and not get fired. To me, he smacks of unreliability. Tachibana appeared out of nowhere, so I knew he would disappear at some point in the story.

    I had mix feelings about the manga. On one hand, I love Riichi. He’s a pure-hearted guy who dedicates his life to a purpose. I also love the childhood connection angle, where Riichi was called an angel. I thought that was very apt and sweet.

    But I don’t like Tachibana. He’s irresponsible and assumed too much. The part he ghosted Riichi didn’t make sense, just a poor “for your own good” excuse. However, Tachibana has some of the biggest twists in the story, so he’s not that bad.

    Also, the storytelling didn’t flow smoothly, and the dialogue felt clunky. I didn’t feel a genuine spark until I got to the childhood connection, where I could concede that Tachibana did have a purpose. He just has a chaotic way of going about it.

    The most interesting part for me is Riichi’s relationship with Nobu. Riichi’s family devotes themselves to serving Nobu’s family since the Edo period. It’s a throwback to feudal Japan, and it fascinates me that it still exists in modern times.

    Overall, YMMV because this manga has a lot of good points, and other readers might see Tachibana differently.

    If you like my content, please consider supporting me on Ko-fi or PayPal. Your donations will help keep this website going. Thank you so much!

  • book,  Uncategorized

    REVIEW: Wayward by Mary Calmes

    Wayward – Mary Calmes

    Maksim Lenkov is certain he’s not a good man. His father isn’t, and since Maks is his second in command, then certainly, he’s just as evil. The list of sins is long, and there’s no getting around that. What’s messing him up is that despite all that, in the midst of life and death, his only friend tells him he’s been a blessing; law enforcement is treating him like he prevented more bloodshed than he caused, and everyone is concerned with doing right by him. Why? And how is Maks supposed to figure out who he is, when everything he thought he knew is suddenly turned upside down? It only gets weirder once he begins his new life in witness protection. Because if he’s a guardian angel of women and children, dogs, and one eccentric heiress, can he really be a bad man? Added into the mix is a handsome, loyal deputy chief of police, who lives next door and thinks Maks hangs the moon. Is it possible that living in hell never actually made him into the devil? Perhaps it was only a wayward life, and now it’s time to chart a new course.

    I’m on a mob boss falls in love with cop streak, it seems. Last week’s read was the dark and possessive Take Me Apart, and the week before that was the fluffy rom-com Pretty Policeman. This week’s read combines the two. 

    Wayward by Mary Calmes gives us something we don’t often see. A reformed mob boss living a new life with a cop. The story is divided into two parts that are polar opposites of each other.

    It started with the sordid life of much-feared bratva second in command, Maksim Lenkov. As the younger son, he was tasked to inherit the criminal side of their family and has to live in the shadows. Meanwhile his older brother, the golden boy, Pasha, lives in the limelight as the billionaire heir handling real estate and other above board businesses.

    This part was the most compelling for me. Here we have Maks, a reluctant bratva boss, secretly working in the shadows behind the shadows to make life better for his men and their families. He is adamant that the Lenkovs do not traffic humans, do not sell drugs, or handle prostitution. A stance that came biting him in the ass.

    It’s a story of betrayal of epic proportions that suckerpunched Maks with cars and bullets. I was as shocked as Maks when it happened! It was a miracle he survived. Then he turned around and dropped his own bomb on them.

    The second part is a redemption fairytale of sorts. Maks, now with a different last name, is driving to the small town of Rune to his new home. He stumbles upon two injured dogs that he took to the vet. There, he learns that the dogs are own by woman whose abusive husband wouldn’t let her daughter keep them.

    Said abusive husband and his buddies came to the clinic intending to rough them up, but Maks jumped in to save them. He was hailed a hero. And this became the running theme, Maks ending up saving someone and everyone adores him, much to his bewilderment. People tend to be scared of him before.

    In keeping with the fairytale vibe, Maks’s new home is in a crumbling Victorian estate of a famed eccentric heiress, Ada Farley, who promptly took a liking to Maks and hired him as the caretaker.

    Right off the bat, Ada practically signed away all her money to Maks just because she feels good about him and trusts him as the caretaker who would rebuild her estate. The banker handling her account, also took an immediate liking to Maks and keenly gave him access. All these, knowing the man just arrived in town and knowing jack shit about him.

    I am on the fence with the book. I feel it should be two different stories, while at the same time, I loved that we see the before and after of a reformed criminal’s life, where the Maks grabbed his second chance and ran with it. Reading about a ruthless bratva boss with a moral compass appeals to the anti-hero fan in me, but seeing that former mob boss thriving as a regular law-abiding citizen is an endearing story that doesn’t get told often.

    While some aspects of the bratva thread were stretching it a bit, some parts of the the redemption fairytale were simply ridiculous. The second part was written like an OTT rom-com, and it fell flat to me.

    The romance also felt like an afterthought. Maks and Deputy Chief Gale Malloy met nearly halfway through the story already. This would have been okay. Gale is a sweet guy but totally forgettable. And the romantic development, or lack thereof, was forced through a couple days. It would have developed more naturally had it been given more chapters or a sequel to grow.

    One aspect I like explored more is Maks using his bratva-acquired abilities to help the police. There was a scene where Maks was able to find a missing child because the bratva had to deal with a lot of kidnappings in past, so he knew what to look for. It would be interesting to read about him help solve crimes.

    Overall, Wayward is a mixed bag. It is a gritty story of family and betrayal, and a tale of redemption and second chances. While the ridiculous antics and lack-luster romance took away some stars, I loved Maks living in the shadows and walking the straight and narrow. He made the two worlds worth the journey!

    3.5 Stars – that place between like and love

    Soundtrack: Wayward Love
    Artist: Jeremy Enigk
    Album: World Waits

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

    WAYWARDKindle | Audiobook

    If you like my content, please consider supporting me on Ko-fi or PayPal. Your donations will help keep this website going. Thank you so much!

  • song,  Uncategorized

    SOUNDTRACK: Wayward Love by Jeremy Enigk

    Soundtrack to Wayward by Mary Calmes

    Wayward Love by Jeremy Enigk for a book about man who had to die to live the life he deserves.

    Bury me you someday what do you feel our enemies would say

    Knuckle of ties and bows that break
    Renewal of life my heart that takes

    We would live we would love

  • quote,  Uncategorized

    The leap of faith the hand that’s safe
    The dream of doorsthe missing link
    The waters run my peace of mind

    Bury me you someday what do you feel our enemies would say

    Knuckle of ties and bows that break
    Renewal of life my heart that takes

    Bury me you someday what do you think our enemies would say

    Shooting star looking to find
    Waters run my peace of mind

    We would live we would love