REVIEW: Flowers of Flesh and Blood – Amy Tasukada

Flowers of Flesh and Blood - Amy Tasukada

Title: Flowers of Flesh and Blood

Series: The Yakuza Path Book 5

Author: Amy Tasukada

Genre: Organized Crime, Thriller, Romance

LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay

Publisher: Macarons & Tea Publishing

Pages: 366

Reviewer: Maryann

Get It On Amazon

About The Book

A killer. A traitor. A deadly war that could take their love and their lives…
Ruling the Kyoto yakuza makes Nao Murata a perpetual target, especially with the Koreans encroaching into their territory. An attempt on his life at his mafia headquarters crosses a line. Setting up his beloved ally Aki as the would-be assassin crosses another. Nao knows the only way to save his friend’s life is to sever their growing bond and force Aki to fake his own death…

But Aki Hisona refuses to stay dead. Determined to expose Nao’s would-be killer and save the man he loves, Aki goes deep undercover in the Korean underworld. But when he’s asked to prove his loyalty, he risks becoming caught in a web of his own lies…

With Aki gone and the Kyoto mafia in grave danger, Nao fears his trust in others could be fatal.

Will Nao and Aki find the traitor in time, or will Nao’s rule end in bloody chaos?

The Yakuza Path: Flowers of Flesh and Blood is the powerful fifth installment of The Yakuza Path thriller series. If you like gritty Japanese crime, richly-nuanced characters, and slow-burning gay romance, then you’ll love Amy Tasukada’s high-octane novel.

The Review

For readers who are not familiar with “The Yakuza Path” series, I’ll give fair warning, this is about the Japanese mafia and the Korean underground at war and there is intense violence.  For me, I appreciate the way Amy Tasukada writes her scenes, for without the seriousness of the violence the full force of what develops between the two rivals and their fight for territory could not be told properly.

Nao Murata is the interim Godfather to the Matsukawa syndicate.  After his past as an expert yakuza and the loss of lovers he changed his way of life.  He was content as a tea shop owner and doubts himself in the role of Godfather.  His loss of two lovers has left him feeling undeserving for another.   His  love of the tradition of Kyoto is the main reason he reluctantly agreed to be Godfather.

Aki Hisona is part Korean and escaped the tragedy that happened to his family.  He joined the Matsukawa syndicate with hopes of being yakuza.  His loyalty and keeping a secret for Nao worked in his favor and he became the assistant to Nao.  He’s learned from Nao to become an expert tea maker and he’s very apt at origami.  Along the way, he witnessed many things and lost his heart to Nao.  

Amy Tasukada adds another fierce, powerful, spectacular, edgy and shocking thriller to “The Yakuza Path” series.  It’s not without: love, lust and heart stopping emotional moments that blend in with the makeup of Japan’s culture and crime.

There is still a beautiful love story that surrounds the challenges, disrespect and traitors that Nao and Aki have to face.  A traitor in their midst will drive Nao to do the unforgivable and Aki will be left making heartbreaking and dangerous decisions.  As Nao and Aki work through dilemma’s the author takes us through feelings that both men have for each other that leads them both into dangerous territory.

I’m only mentioning a few secondary characters but there are many that bring something special to this novel.  Haru a long time friend to Aki comes back and adds reminiscing and excitement to the novel.   Brothers Hayato and Subaru who protect at all costs are quite interesting.  There’s also the adorable Nobu who brings the humor.  Then there are all the possible suspects, that fall in the category of traitor.   And Taejin of the Korean underworld, is evil and vicious.

“The Yakuza Path” has come to be my number one series.  The series consists of the following: “Blood Stained Tea”, “Better Than Suicide”, “One Thousand Cranes” and “The Deafening Silence”.  I recommend this series highly and be read in order to get the full understanding of the Japanese culture, syndicates and Nao Murata’s and Aki Hisonas roles in this outstanding series.  It took over a year for “Flowers of Flesh and Blood” but it was worth the wait!   I’m excited for the next installment “Wrapped in Screams” and hope it comes out soon. 

The Reviewer

Hi, I’m Maryann, I started life in New York, moved to New Hampshire and in 1965 uprooted again to Sacramento, California.  Once I retired I moved to West Palm Beach, Florida in 2011 and just moved back to Sacramento in March of 2018.  My son, his wife and step-daughter flew out to Florida and we road tripped back so they got to see sights they have never seen.  New Orleans and the Grand Canyon were the highlights. Now I am back on the west coast again to stay! From a young age Ialways liked to read.

I remember going to the library and reading the “Doctor Dolittle” books by Hugh Lofting. Much later on became a big fan of the classics, Edgar Alan Poe, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker and as time went by Agatha Christie, Ray Bradbury and Stephen Kingand many other authors.

My first M/M shifter book I read was written by Jan Irving the “Uncommon Cowboys” series from 2012.  She was the first author I ever contacted and sent an email to letting her know how much I liked this series.  Sometime along the way I read “Zero to the Bone”by Jane Seville, I think just about everyone has read this book! 

As it stands right now I’m really into mysteries, grit, gore and “triggers” don’t bother me. But if a blurb piques my interest I will read the book.

My kindle collection eclectic and over three thousand books and my Audible collection is slowly growing.  I have both the kindle and audible apps on my ipod, ipads, and MAC. So there is never an excuse not to be listening or reading.

I joined Goodreads around 2012 and started posting reviews.  One day a wonderful lady, Lisa Horan of The Novel Approach, sent me an email to see if I wanted to join her review group.  Joining her site was such an eye opener.  I got introduce to so many new authors that write for the LGBTQ genre. Needless to say, it was heart breaking when it ended.

But I found a really great site, QRI and it’s right here in Sacramento. Last year at QSAC I actually got to meet Scott Coatsworth, Amy Lane and Jeff Adams.

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