Anne Weale · ARC · Harlequin · Harlequin Manga · Kinuko Nakayama · NetGalley

Never Go Back: Harlequin Manga by Anne Weale

I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from NetGalley and Harlequin/SB Creative as the publisher in exchange for an honest review📚

Book title : Never Go Back

Author : Anne Weale ; Illustrator : Kinuko Nakayama

Release Date : 6 December 2018

Olivia met Ludwig when she was a teenager and had a bad memory about him. Ah, that fierce Ludwig kicked her away from her grandfather’s house. Years have passed and Olivia became a lady. I adore her transformation from cute girls to an elegant one. It happened that Ludwig needed somebody to restore the mansion he inherited from Olivia’s grandfather. Ah, things get spicy after Olivia visited the mansion and made acquittance with the people there.

The story is a good story tho even I often got the feeling that there were some parts of the novel that were missing when it turned into manga-style. The illustration were great and I do love how the characters are portrayed. The ending was just too quick! Adding more illustrations will be very helpful tho.

Anaïs Nin · Erotic Literature · erotica · Fiction · French Writer · Romance

A Spy in the House of Love by Anaïs Nin

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“You haven’t loved yet,” he said. “You’ve only been trying to love; beginning to love. Trust alone is not love, illusion is not love, desire alone is not love. All these were paths leading you out of yourself, it is true, and so you thought they led to another, but you never reached the other. You were only on the way.” 

Meet Sabina! A woman who keeps going on those sexual escapades that men have always known. The novel begins with her calling the strangers’ number randomly. One of them turns out to be a lie detector in the middle of the night from a bar seeking confession in the voice of a stranger. This lie detector is the same lie detector that proceeds to follow Sabina in her activities throughout the novel. 

Concerning Sabina, her life gets more complicated with the adultery she commits  with four men while she tries hard to maintain her relationship with Alan, her husband. Poor Alan, he always lives in a belief that he is always able to keep Sabina happy.

“Alan always believed he was giving Sabina pleasure when he took her to the theatre…her face was always illuminated with suspense and curiosity. But inevitably, she would grow restive and tumultuous, chaotic, and disturbed; she would even weep quietly in the dark and disappear in between acts, so as not to expose a ravaged face.”

Little that Alan knows is that Sabina may feel the guilts for those things she has done to Alan- or at least that is what I feel. Yet whenever she wants to quit her action, the bad memories of her father who goes for one woman to another always haunts her. This is what probably draws her to seek more love and attention from men. And I personally believes that she realises that what she is doing is wrong but she does not even know how to quit as she starts to lose herself.

“She had lost herself somewhere along the frontier between her inventions, her stories, her fantasies and her true self. The boundaries had become effaced, the tracks lost, she had walked into pure chaos, and not a chaos which carried her like the galloping of romantic riders in operas and legends, but which suddenly revealed the stage props: a papier-mâché horse.” 

And it is the lie detector that suspects that in Sabina and says;

“…you wouldn’t have called me if you were innocent. Guilt is one burden human being can’t bear alone. As soon as a crime is committed, there is a telephone call, or confession to strangers.”

Well, reading Nin’s title on A Spy in the House of Love may be misleading for several people? What spy? why the house of love? And I do not even think that one may find the real reasons why in which points, one is later called “a spy.” It probably refers to the lie detector which spies all those sexual encounter that Sabina goes through in her house of love. It prolly refers to something else. No matter what it is, this novel comes out as a great work in erotic literature arena as it is not only portraying one’s feminism in celebrating her sexuality but also one’s psyche. 

ARC · Fiction · NetGalley · Sharon Kendrick · Tomomi Yamashita

The Ruthless Greek Return : Harlequin Manga by Sharon Kendrick

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📚I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from NetGalley and Harlequin/SB Creative as the publisher in exchange for an honest review📚

Book title :  The Ruthless Greek Return

Author : Sharon Kendrick; Illustrator : Tomomi Yamashita

Release Date :9 December 2018

Jessica is a former tennis player who was secretly and romantically involved with her bodyguard Loukas. With the dominant father and her fame, she was then separated from Loukas leaving a huge misunderstanding. Jessica later could no longer continue her carrier after a bad accident. In that lamentable situation, she found out that the father used the money from her winning in an unwise way.

Years have passed and Jessica worked in an office to support her spoiled little sister Hannah and herself. It was a surprise for her knowing that she was asked to work for Loukas who became a diamond businessman now.  They later would have to go to Venice for a work. That is where all their old but “new” relationship begins. 

The story evokes my emotion. I almost wanted to choke Loukas’ neck till death when he mistreated Jessica. I also wanted to shoot him when I read the elevator incident in which he slapped Jessica. I knew that he was doing it out of anger and disappointment of their old love. Yet still, a real man will never hit a woman right. The illustration came as an interesting part. It amazed me knowing that the illustrator could portray the story well and turned it into a cute manga-style. 

ARC · Fiction · Harlequin · Harlequin Manga · Keiko Yamada · Lynne Graham · NetGalley

The Secret She Carried: Harlequin Manga by Lynne Graham

📚I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from NetGalley and Harlequin/SB Creative as the publisher in exchange for an honest review📚

Book title : The Secret She Carried

Author : Lynne Graham; Illustrator : Keiko Yamada

Release Date : 1 November 2018

When a new buyer comes to the hotel where Erin works, she was surprise that he turns out to be Christophe Donakis, the millionaire whom he happens to be her ex lover. Christ certainly comes for a mission: revenge! He accuses her for stealing some money from the previous company. As the drama continues, he demands our heroine to stay with him over the weekend. His agenda is for her to please his male ego in the pleasure department. Unfortunately, our heroine later remembers her children at home. Long story shortened, the hero comes to our heroine’s house and find out about the twin she has and realises that when he dumps her years ago, she’s pregnant. They later try to work some things out. The end of the story is surely cliche but a happy ending one.

I really love it when the author and the illustrator provide the readers with some kinds of flashback. It gives the readers an understanding on how our hero and heroine meet, how they build their sweet romance during their youth over swimming race, and how they’re attracted to one and another. The story in manga style is definitely a bliss one should read!

Andrea Edwards · ARC · Fiction · Harlequin · Harlequin Manga · Motoyo Fujiwara · NetGalley

The Magic of Christmas: Harlequin Manga by Andrea Edwards

📚I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from NetGalley and Harlequin/SB Creative as the publisher in exchange for an honest review📚

Book title : The Magic of Christmas

Author : Andrea Edwards; Illustrator : Motoyo Fujiwara

Release Date : 10 December 2018

Merry Roberts is a waitress in a bistro while studying performing arts at school. While doing her waitress job, she meets Peter McAllister who later purposes her to become his temporary girlfriend. His reason is so clichè. He needs someone to bring home and to be introduced to her mum and son, Sean. Another agenda is to please the son who has lost the mother. It turns that Merry gets along very well with Peter’s family. She is really a mother figure also for Sean. However, she keeps a dark secret from her past which I am not going to spoil here.

This manga style is great tho. The illustration is beautiful and gives a life to the story itself. I love the story as well. It is sweet even some scenes break my heart esp ones portraying Sean and his longing to a mother figure and family. Defo a HQ-adopted-manga that one should read to sweet their life.


La Vita Nuova, Dante Alighieri and a Birthday Celebration

“In that book which is my memory,
On the first page of the chapter that is the day when I first met you, Appear the words, ‘Here begins a new life’.”
― Dante Alighieri, Vita Nuova

Dear self, how many chapters have we gone so far? How many hardship have we gone through? I know it’s hard but hang on a little while! Things will be all right! Worry no more; sigh no more…You’re great and you’re fine!

“You’re now thirty two. Making your own money, having a good job, you travel. What about settling down with somebody and a family?” so people say. Yes self, I know that every day is an effort to be better at this: living a life.

I’m sorry! I’m so sorry for you to feel that way. I often wonder why do you keep your struggles out in the open? Why do you wear your heart on your sleeve? I am sorry that you sometimes have to smile when you want to cry. I am sorry when you have to remain strong while you want to drop things off. I am sorry for all those times you have to spend on your own. What is to be gained in making a fool out of yourself? These are questions you and I have been asking for so long and for which we both don’t necessarily have the answers.

I know, self that you have promised yourself some sort of transformation. A metamorphosis of some kind: growing into a person that you need and not everyone wants. It is not easy to be a super woman. Mind them not, self; go to your road less travelled. It’s always new people to meet, new places to go, new things to write and new memories to make. Trying it like you go trying a dress, this being human, which you must be tired of by now. But when you do, please remember Rumi. You welcome whatever comes in life and entertain them all

Ah self, remember Kafka’s remark “I cannot make you understand. I cannot make anyone understand what is happening inside me. I cannot even explain it to myself.”

Dear self, stand still and smile…for your old soul is stronger than the thunder. Raise your glass as you are about celebrating a new chapter of your life. Worry not! For we always have Florence and Dante Alighieri

🎂Happy birthday, old soul. Happy birthday, old fool!🎂

ARC · Christine Merill · Harlequin · Harlequin Manga · NetGalley · Riho Sachimi

Lafy Folbroke’s Delicious Deception: Harlequin Manga by Christine Merill

📚I received an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) from NetGalley and Harlequin/SB Creative as the publisher in exchange for an honest review📚

Book title : Lady Folbroke’s Delicious Deception

Author : Christine Merill ; Illustrator : Riho Sachimi

Release Date : 1 November 2018

Lord Adrian of Folbroke and Lady Emily for Folbroke are teenage sweethearts and later become husband and wife. Soon after the wedding, the husband leaves for London and never comes back. Alas, they  have been living separately for three years. Little that Lady Folbroke knows, her husband is suffering from losing his eye sight because of the war. When Emily finds out about her husband’s condition, she decides to play a little bit of game by pretending to be a seductress. She later seduces Adrian, the attraction sparks and Adrian falls for her. Yet what will she face when Adrian finally finds out the truth? What happens next? Ah, those are just a little bit of the “climaxes” of this manga-version.

I personally love the story tho. I do not know why but I fall in love with it. Emily is so understanding and despite of him-being a jackass, Adrian is super cute. The manga is also great-illustrated and making the story more attracting.