book reviews · m/m romance

Book Review: Reiko Morgan’s “Over the Mountain of the Moon” (2010)

over-the-mountain-of-the-moonI was a little hesitant to read another “courtesan” story, but this book’s preview chapters were so immensely compelling that I dove right in! The story remained compelling throughout, moving at a fast pace, with a new danger or difficulty around every corner that’s sure to keep you glued to your seat.

Over the Mountain is probably the most sentimental and romantic book I’ve read in a while. I don’t say that as a negative, but I was a little surprised! The speed of Tetsuya and Jin’s romance was possibly too fast at the beginning, a little incredulous perhaps, but as time went on it became clear just how well suited they were for each other, and how good they were for each other. So perhaps there is such a thing as love at first sight, and this is it!

The setting of the book was just lovely, and Morgan’s descriptive writing is beautiful. There was no excessive, forced, this-is-Japan description; it simply was Japan (probably best to leave your history lessons at the door, though; I don’t think strict historical accuracy was the goal here- and it wasn’t necessary!). The story takes place in winter, with the snow and ice a permanent feature and background throughout the book. It was gorgeous. And as someone who has a serious love of (almost fetish for!) kimonos, all the silk was an absolute delight.

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book reviews · m/m romance

Ava March’s “Convincing Arthur” (2009) & “Convincing Leopold” (2011)


24587277I thoroughly enjoyed both these books! They were fun, steamy, and ultimately sweet. The writing is of a very high standard and the characters are excellent. The pacing is perfect- there’s never a dull moment, and the plot moves along swiftly. The first book has a solid conclusion, but I am sure readers will be eager to get into the sequel as soon as possible, which brings Arthur and Leopold’s story to a very satisfying end. (I have to admit that I assumed the third book in this series, Convincing the Secretary, was also about our boys and I was pretty disappointed that it wasn’t- though it’s still a great book in itself!)

These books may be closer to m/m erotica than m/m romance, but I still think that the relationship between Arthur and Leopold was quite well thought-out and well-developed, with each character facing their own demons and making choices about the kind of lives they want to live. Despite Leopold’s charismatic, outgoing personality, he has a very soft, vulnerable side that I think readers will really respond to. His internal darkness is addressed more explicitly in the second book, and I really appreciated how the author handled it. Arthur is much, much more reserved, and has a lot more to lose by letting himself be with Leopold. It takes courage on his part to follow his heart.

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