REVIEW: Finding Our Love – Amy Tasukada

Finding Our Love - Amy Tasukada - Aphrodite's Castle Host Club

Genre: Contemporary

LGBTQ+ Category: MM Gay

Reviewer: Maryann

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About The Book

A struggling artist. A devoted son. Will they sacrifice everything for forbidden desire?

Kyoto, Japan. Iroha is sick of his boyfriends only dating him to get closer to his famous artistic sister. Shelving his own creative ambitions to run a mafia-funded gallery, he seeks comfort in a fake relationship at an exclusive host club. But when he sets eyes on the outlandishly dressed Kenta, something real stirs in his heart.

Kenta works hard to keep his place as a top-five host at the exclusive Aphrodite’s Castle club. Though it’s put a damper on his love life, the lucrative gig earns him more than enough to support his elderly parents. But when he breaks the rules and falls for the enigmatic Iroha, his income plummets and jeopardizes his family’s welfare.

Heedless of the consequences, Iroha and Kenta plunge into a passionate affair. But the shadow of Iroha’s creative failure threatens to break them apart. And when trouble pulls Kenta back home, the rift between them becomes a chasm.

Can Iroha and Kenta find a common canvas to paint their perfect picture of devotion?

Finding Our Love is the delightful first novel in the Aphrodite’s Castle Host Club MM contemporary romance series. If you like caring men, Japanese culture, and the quest for happiness, you’ll adore Amy Tasukada’s heartwarming tale.

The Review

Amy Tasukada brings us a wonderful, romantic love story in “Finding Our Love”. I highly recommend this for anyone that loves a sweet romance.  She introduces the readers to two new and amazing characters:  Iroha and Kenta.

Iroha has a dream to make something of himself, based on his own merits and without living in his famous sister’s shadow.  He hopes one day his artistic talents will be accepted elsewhere.

With funds provided by mafia boss Mr. Sakai, Iroha is able to keep the ABC Gallery. One of his tedious duties is to keep Mr. Sakai’s nephew, Kawatta, who was recently released from rehab, focused on his art.  Iroha stays busy with the gallery and never makes time for himself, and he’s tired of being used.

Mr. Saki gives Iroha a special birthday present, a membership to Aphrodite’s Castle. Iroha takes a chance and uses the membership.

Iroha picks Kenta as a host and Kenta doesn’t disappoint Iroha.  But Iroha has to wonder, isn’t that the job of being a host?  Iroha is taken with Kenta and invites him to the gallery.

Kenta has much to worry about as he makes the first move with Iroha and goes against the club’s rules. It’s bad enough that Kenta is not earning bonuses at the club. but he also has to be careful if it’s discovered he’s seeing a member. He has to make difficult decisions where Iroha, his job and especially where his family are concerned.

Even with Iroha doubting whether he can trust Kenta, they discover so many things about each other. The most important thing is what they discover about themselves and how it affects people around them.   

Amy Tasukada has always loved Kyoto, Japan and this time she introduces the small village of Oiso.  She creates a beautiful love story with moments of drama, emotions, angst and just a bit of tension.  I get a little worried when the yakuza is mentioned but this is a totally different type of story.

I really liked these two young men, Iroha and Kenta, discovering and finding an understanding to make their connection grow.  

There are also some very interesting secondary characters:  Ichigo, Iroha’s sister;  Chiyoko, friend and teacher, who always brings the children to the gallery; Granny Omi, Mei and Tomoko, who always have advice to share with Kenta;  Subaru Kobayashi, manager at Aphrodite’s Club (introduced in the “Flowers of Flesh and Blood”): and “Nao’s Tea” that gets a small mention.

I’m a follower of Amy Tasukada’s amazing “Yakuza Path” series.  This is my first time reading something different from her.   “Aphrodite’s Castle: Host Club” is very entertaining and the start of a new series.  I’m looking forward to see what Amy Tasukada delivers next.

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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