17th Aug 2008
It’s nice to see that Juné has finally gotten a clue and released a novel that has been translated well. For once, this was an easy read. I didn’t have the stilted language where it was painfully obvious that it was a translation. If it wasn’t for the stylistic BL characterization and themes, one might think that this was released by one of the publishing houses specializing in boy smut. But, hey, for the most part, I like the BL conventions. Which is a good thing seeing as they’re out in full force in this release.
Katsuya has always had a crush on his friends older brother, Shio. Even though Katsuya only spent one summer in Shio’s presence, the memory of him causes Katsuya to go off to Tokyo to apply at the company that Shio helped found. When the company was hiring Katsuya, they promised him that they would provide him with lodging. Truth be told, they promised more than they could deliver and Katsuya was reduced to living in a cheap hotel.
Once he complains to the president of the company, he is given a solution. He finds himself as the unwelcome roommate of none other than Shio, who wants absolutely nothing to do with him.
Katsuya manages to worm his way under Shio’s skin by virtue of his cooking and things progress nicely until a complication in the form of Shiro’s step-brother shows up. The step-brother feels that he has a prior claim to Shio’s affections and is not going to let some interloper take his place.
For all that, this one is well written, but they lost me when they introduced the step-brother. I was going along just fine, reveling in the descriptions of some of the food Katsuya was making and enjoying how Shio was defrosting under the warmth of Shio’s sunny disposition. Then the step-brother came in and threw a wrench into the works.
It just didn’t fit. It seemed to be added just to give some incest titillation and Katsuya an excuse to angst. Also, we never even found out why Shio was such a cold, unfeeling prick at the start of the story. If the author had to hit a certain word count to get this book published, I would have much rather had Shio’s back story than the step-brother.
Oh, well. I’m just happy that this release was translated so well. It’s nice to finish off one of these novels and not have a splitting headache!