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March 17th, 2010

Have you in mind those stories where the heroine, not matter what happens, manages always to come out “unarmed” from trouble? The hero always arrives at the right time to save her. Well, in Little Japan, the heroes are not so lucky, in the end the cavalry arrives also for them, only a little later.

First of all I’d like to spend some words on what also the publisher considered an element to warn the reader, the age playing. One of the main characters, Gabriel, not only is a gay in the closet, but he is also a man who likes him lover really young. Now don’t get me wrong, the younger man in this novel I believe is 21 years old, so, Gabriel likes men who “look” young, and after all, this is not a big crime. I believe that Gabriel was traumatized when he was still a teenager, he first fell in love for a boy his same age, but that love abruptly ended, leaving Gabriel with an unfulfilled dream; later one Gabriel tried to kill that dream with anonymous sex, with older men that were at the exact opposite of his dream lover, and instead of kill the dream, I believe that Gabriel helped his mind to forever imprint the image of his lost unrequited love. Now Gabriel is forever searching for that young boy, but it’s an impossible search.

Kuri is a half American half Japanese young man working as host boys in an Osaka private club. His partner Daichi and him are also high paid male escorts, and they are the sort who like their job. As Kuri tells to Gabriel, maybe he started this job out of necessity, but now he is like a nymphomaniac, he needs sex like he needs food. Kuri is really in love with Daichi, and Daichi back to him, and they enjoy sex between them; what they do out of their relationship is work, and they are able to split the two things. The important thing is that they are willing partner in the sex trade; the only time one of them feels like he is betraying his lover, Daichi, is when he is forced to have sex. And so we arrive probably to the second point that needs warning for the reader: there is quite a lot of non consensual sex, meaning that one of the partner is not willing, and even if there is no actual violence, it’s the same a some sort of violence.

If you are wondering how Gabriel fit between Kuri and Daichi, well, he doesn’t; this is not a ménages a trois, when Kuri realizes that what he is feeling for Gabriel is something more of what he usually feels for his other customers, he decides to break with Gabriel, since that would be, indeed, a betrayal to Daichi. Kuri, Daichi, Gabriel, and all the other boys in this novel, know how to split sex from love, and as always, sex with love is better, sweeter and long lasting.

Where Gabriel is a complex character, who is also aware of his own trouble and for this reason, he is also self-accusing himself of the worst sins, Kuri and Daichi, albeit cute and almost sweet in their mutual love, come out a bit like naïve, and in this case naïveté has nothing to do with “innocence”; they are like little pet, easy to please, and, more or less happy if letting alone to play together; alone they need the presence of an adult to watch over them, but together they can provide for each other.


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Cover Art by Shuangwen

Ride 'Em Cowboys Collection by J.P. Bowie

Ride ‘Em Cowboy by J.P. Bowie

Just today I was saying with a friend that I’d love to read here and there a western romance. A contemporary one. It’s a genre that reminds me of when I was young, and the Long Tall Texans were the dream lovers of many of use. Living in a ranch always seemed like a perfect life, and most of the time they didn’t have any trouble, if not the “natural” one, like falling from a horse and being injured. In Ride ‘Em Cowboy there is also an “old fashioned” feeling, despite being it a full contemporary tale: the foreman of the ranch falls in love for the young son of his boss… well, in the past it was the young daughter, but the story doesn’t change much.

Royce is just back home from College and already he doesn’t like Parker, the young foreman of his father. But this is like the story of the fox and the grapes, he dislikes what he can’t have. Royce is not out with his father… or so he believes him, since, from what I understood, it’s not that Royce is hiding so well being gay, first and most important hint of all, loving and knowing by heart the songs of different Broadway musicals. And when he has the chance to be alone with Parker, and he finds out that also the handsome foreman is gay, well, nothing reins him, neither the fear to be discovered by his father.

It’s almost funny to read how Royce is all over Parker, so funny that, if the other man’s interest wasn’t mutual, there would be space for a sexual harassment case: when Parker is injured on his back from an horse fall, and Royce goes to take him home, he detours for a roadside motel, and practically ravages the man that is barely able to walk! If you are wondering, yes, Parker was willing, and he even encouraged Royce, but I don’t think that, even if he wanted, he would be able to refuse Royce. Royce is not selfish, he is really a good guy, but I have the feeling that no one has really say no to him, or at least not for something he really wanted.

Someone could question that Royce and Parker are rushing too much things, words of love are really easy on their lips, but after all, they are young. They really believe that love is the most important things, and the life has not yet taught him to be shy with their feelings. Despite being romantic almost at an unbelievable point, but a good romance is never too much, I like that, in the end, reality has its role in the story, and even if we have a good happily ever after, it’s a more realistic one. Royce and Parker are good together, and they have good chances of a bright future, but after all they don’t know each other so much, and it’s better to be careful than being badly hurt.


Amazon Kindle: Ride 'Em Cowboy

Amazon: Ride 'em Cowboys
Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Total-E-Bound Publishing (March 17, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0857150626
ISBN-13: 978-0857150622

Reading List:

Aki’s Love Song
Publisher: Ai Press
Genre: Manlove, Contemporary, GLBT
Release date: March 2010
Buy at 1 Romance Ebooks

Since high school, Tamotsu has watched his best friend Aki grow from a rebellious but musically talented teenager to one of the most popular music artists in Japan. Though he’s been secretly in love with Aki for years, enduring the endless string of admirers Aki takes for lovers, Tamotsu suffers silently because he knows deep down that he is really the one person in the world Aki turns to for true friendship and solace.

But when Aki unveils an unknown and haunting love song he’s composed in secret during a concert, Tamotsu feaers that Aki has finally found someone he can have a lasting relationship with. Only such a deep, abiding passion could inspire a song that beautiful.

Is Aki really saying good bye to him in the only way he can, through his music? Or is Aki telling Tamotsu something else?

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