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Author Archive for Jaime Samms

Review: Tender Master

Tender Master
Tender Master on Kindle

Author: Yamila Abraham
Artist: Ero Pinku
Publisher: Yaoi Prose
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: June 2012

Synopsis: “Caleb knew he was from a special race born to serve the Crystalline gods. Monks trained him as a priest until he reached adulthood, and then he went to Crystalline palace to serve his masters—as a sex slave. Caleb’s world is shattered. His beloved gods are lascivious pigs. He can’t accept that the righteous faith he built his whole life around is a farce. Caleb flees the gods’ harem to try to be a missionary for them. He hopes putting some distance between him and his new duties will somehow bring back the ideals he had growing up. Unfortunately for Caleb the Crystalline gods aren’t the only ones who desire his kind. General Caine, a high-ranking demon for the Crystalline gods’ worst enemy, is looking for a mate just like Caleb. When his ship is destroyed he’s marooned on an icy world with his new demon suitor.”

Well, this was a really fast read, which is something I look for in this type of book, but for once I sort of felt cheated. Tender Master went by in a blur and read more like the outline for what could be a really great story.

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Review: Cold Fever

Cold Fever

Author: Narise Konohara
Manga-ka: Nanao Saikawa
Publisher: June Manga
Rating: Mature (18+)
Release Date: February 2011

Synopsis: “Tohru lost his most of his memory in an accident. He can’t remember anything that happened from the past six years. Struggles, but with time, he slowly recovers his memory. He feels as if he is a different person now, and he hates “the other guy” – the “himself” from six years ago… And thinking, Fujishima was his friend, felt like he was being watched over like a guardian angel but in the end he’s betrayed. Miserable and emotionally drained, Tohru is trying not to relive in the shadow of his past. He is trying to move on with his new life… but harder he tries, he finds himself being pulled in by Fujishima.”

I wanted to make sure this book had real impact. I wanted to portray a couple who were in love but not happy.” – This is a quote from the author in her afterward, and there is no doubt she has accomplished her goal with Cold Fever. This was a very hard book to read.

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Review: Only The Ring Finger Knows (Vol. 02)

Reviewer: Jaime Samms
Only The Ring Finger Knows (Vol. 02)

Manga-ka: Satoru Kannagi (Author), Hotaru Odagiri (Artist)
Publisher: June
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: July 2006

Synopsis: “After all the studying he did for his exams, sacrificing time with his boyfriend Yuichi, Wataru gets a measly C-average on his summer prep test. Yuichi’s college classmate Asaka offers to tutor him, and he eagerly accepts. Wataru finds Asaka’s cool beauty and attitude strikingly similar to that of Yuichi’s, and subconsciously becomes vulnerable to his advances. For the first time in their relationship, Yuichi becomes enraged. Will they be able to overcome this new obstacle?”

When I started out reading this second volume of Only the Ring Finger Knows, I expected more tension between Asaka and Yuichi. Throughout the story, I kept expecting Asaka to step up and try to win Wataru’s affections. It seemed so obvious this is where the author was headed with this story. Instead, she spends a great deal of the book endearing Asaka not only to Wataru, but to her readers as well.

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Review: Only the Ring Finger Knows (Vol. 01)

Reviewer: Jaime Samms
Only the Ring Finger Knows (Vol. 01)

Author: Satoru Kannagi
Manga-ka: Hotaru Odagiri
Publisher: June
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: March 2006

Synopsis: “It’s the ultimate expression of love to wear matching rings with your significant other, showing the world that you are a couple. High school student, Wataru Fujii, also wears one even though he is single. When he accidentally switches rings with a popular and handsome senior, Yuichi Kazuki, they discover that their rings pair up! Since that moment, Kazuki – who is known for being kind to all – becomes strangely harsh to Wataru. They alternate between hot and cold, as in between clashes they begin to sort their feelings for one another. Are Wataru and Kazuki the worst of enemies or are they actually soulmates?”

This is most assuredly your typical boys’ love high school romance, with the harsh seme protecting his feelings by trying hard to hide them and the confused uke denying he even has them. What isn’t typical about Only the Ring Finger Knows is the way in which Kazuki secretly falls for Wataru and all out stalks him long before they ever even meet.

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Review: Loud Snow


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Author: Tina Anderson
Artist: Amelie Belcher
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: July 2010

Synopsis: “Romantic ice-age hilarity ensues as young whaler Anituk’s miserable life with doting parents and an oversexed wife-hunting brother is rudely interrupted by the arrival of Abalu, a tall handsome stranger who delights in encroaching upon Anituk’s angst.”

For all the light heartedness of penguin tossing and wife hunting, there is a strong undercurrent of loneliness in this story. The main character just doesn’t feel he ‘fits’ in his world. He comes from such a limited background, so small a circle of influence, it’s no wonder he doesn’t get how he fits in when he’s got only his loving parents and his lusty, wife-hunting brother to measure himself by. Even when he meets Abalu, he still feels on the outside of something important. It isn’t until the snow strands them on their own does Anituk finally understand what he’s feeling and what he wants to do about it.

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Review: Cold Light

Reviewer: Jaime Samms
Cold Light

Author/Manga-ka: Narise Konohara
Publisher: June
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: August 2010

Synopsis: “Fujishima’s wound he suffered from protecting Tooru has healed and he’s finally been released from the hospital. Their life together starts again once more. Tooru wants them to live together as lovers, but Fujishima refuses, saying “I have no intentions of loving you.” Is Fujishima afraid of Tooru remembering something in particular if he regains his memories? The bonds of the past are finally becoming clearer…”

Konohara has taken a lot of chances in this second book of the Cold Sleep series. She might easily have stepped over a line with her character, Fujishima. This book is written entirely from his point of view, detailing his past and how he knows Tohru. There are not many pleasant memories in this poor man’s past, let me tell you. He is deprived of a father’s love, smothered in reprehensible and down right abusive ways by his overbearing and frightening mother, and reviled by Tohru for things he did that he shouldn’t have.

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Review: Cold Sleep

Reviewer: Jaime Samms
Cold Sleep

Author/Artist: Narise Konohara
Publisher: June
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: August 2006

Synopsis: “After losing his memory in a car accident, Tohru Takahisa is taken in by Fujishima, an older man who claims to be his friend. But the taciturn Fujishima refuses to reveal anything about Tohru’s past! Despite the gulf between them, a strange and awkward tenderness grows, even as they are held apart by the tragic events of Tohru’s forgotten past! Dramatic, heart-wrenching romance and tragedy combine in a gripping story where the past and present are intricately entwined.”

Cold Sleep is a different sort of yaoi novel. It delves a deeper into the psyche of the characters and, though we still have just the typical one point of view, the lead isn’t your run-of-the mill yaoi character. He’s a blank slate, sure, but still a thinking feeling man who isn’t afraid to go after the answers he needs.

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Review: Can’t Win With You! (Vol. 03) – eManga Edition

Reviewer: Jaime Samms

Author: Satosumi Takaguchi
Manga-ka: Yukine Honami
Publisher: eManga
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: March 2008

Synopsis: “Shuuiku Academy’s students are leaving for summer vacation, but Yuuhi-kun is stuck in the dorm. It doesn’t matter that home lies on the same backwoods country property as the school campus – his house is being remodeled, so Yuuhi’s got nowhere else to go! Likewise, Sango-san will be staying behind to keep an eye on things, leaving the two of them all alone with nothing but time on their hands. Will being away from prying eyes lead Sango to temptation?”

This volume threw me for a loop. I completely did not get the whole dream sequence until the very end of that section, so while I was reading it, while it was kind of entertaining, it was also just a bit…odd. Once I realized it was a dream, it made more sense though.

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Review: Can’t Win With You (Vol. 02) – eManga Edition

Reviewer: Jaime Samms

Author: Satosumi Takaguchi
Manga-ka: Yukine Honami
Publisher: eManga
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: November 2007

Synopsis: “When class president Sango Tsutsui and the other student administrators end up sequestered away at a director’s meeting, Yuuhi-kun is left back at the school, alone and defenseless. Will Yuuhi’s naive, country ways make him fair game for the Ezaki trio? Or will Tsutsui-san return in the nick of time to save him? Could it be that absence truly makes the heart grow fonder – are Yuuhi and Sango ready to take their strange relationship to (gasp!)… the next level?!”

Now this was an interesting instalment. I liked this second volume of Can’t Win With You for the most part, because Hayate and Kanya are by far my favourite couple in this series so far and there was a lot of development in their story. This strikes me as slightly odd, since the story is about (or is supposed to be about) Yuuhi, and, by extension, Sango. It makes me wonder a little just exactly which story the author wanted to tell.

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Review: Can’t Win With You! (Vol. 01) – eManga Edition

Reviewer: Jaime Samms

Author: Satosumi Takaguchi
Manga-ka: Yukine Honami
Publisher: eManga
Rating: Older Teen (16+)
Release Date: August 2007

Synopsis: “Yuuhi-kun planned to build a soccer field on the piece of mountain land that was his inheritance, but when his brother’s elite Shuuiku Academy needed a new campus, Yuuhi was forced to reconsider. Now he finds himself both the landlord, and a student at the school! Needless to say, the other students are none too happy about being shipped out to the boonies, so Yuuhi – AKA “chicken-head” – has become the object of their collective ire. But there’s something about the country bumpkin that has many students eyeing Yuuhi in a different way…a way that makes him very uncomfortable. Seems there’s a lot more than “book-learnin’” going on at this school, and Yuuhi’s about to get a whole ‘nuther kind of education!”

I used to think I was not a fan of the school boy stories, however, I keep reading them, so I guess I must see something in them after all. This one uses the typical excuse of a school full of hormonal boys to explain why they are constantly all over each other.

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