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Everything East of the Sumida River

EverythingEastoftheSumidaRiverTitle:  Everything East of the Sumida River

Author:  Kaneyoshi Shikaku and Heiko Shihenkei

Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press

Length:  344 pages

Rating:  A List

Up All Night Satisfaction

Up All Night Satisfaction

Blurb:  Japanese businessman Takamatsu Masamune takes great pride in the empire he built from nothing. His shady past and connections to the underworld prove he has no problems getting his hands dirty, but his fondness for beautiful things gets him into trouble.

Captivating Naoya Tashimo performs as a traditional dancer in sordid underground clubs. While he loves to dance, other men viewing him as an erotic object has left him numb. Caught in a summer storm, Naoya seeks shelter inside a local import shop where company owner Takamatsu and his PA, Koji, are attending to some business. Immediately smitten, Takamatsu woos Naoya and wants to give him the world.

When they learn each other’s secrets, it tests the tenuous trust they’ve built. Takamatsu wants to own Naoya for himself. Having dealt with greedy, possessive men, Naoya turns his back on all that Takamatsu offers. In exchange to truly have what he wants, can Takamatsu give up everything he built?

Review:  I really enjoyed this book, great characters, intriguing story with good scenery descriptions along with some Japanese history. I loved getting to know Naoyo Tashimo known to his friends as Denka, Takamatsu Masamune and his PA Koji is a fun character.

Denka raised as a girl by his controlling mother, who sells him to the highest bidder at club houses in Tokyo where he dresses, dances and behaves as a female Geisha. Denka is elegant with the beauty of a butterfly, he is dutiful, respectful and dignified although in parts he is fragile and lost, when his youthfulness surfaces and he becomes vibrant, seductive and playful. Denka is lonely wanting to be loved, respected and most of all free.

Takamatsu is a well travelled wealthy businessman who owns half of Tokyo. He exudes confidence, a strong character with certainty and an evil sense of humour. On meeting Denka he falls in love revealing a side of himself he thought he had buried forever, it doesn’t match his ruthless nature and his big businessman style. Takamatsu finds it hard to balance his hard heart with his feelings for Denka, fearing his defences would break, losing everything he had worked for gaining nothing but a fall from grace seared with pain.

There are times when Takamatsu is callous and harsh with Denka, then he’ll lower his defences showing tenderness and love. Takamatsu endearingly calls Denka his kitten, he loves to toy with the boy’s emotions, teasing him, causing arousal getting his kitten high then walking away, leaving a pouting, frustrated, confused kitten to tear up the bed sheets.

If you condensed all the kittenish sweetness and naughtyness of the boy into a flavour, this would be it. Heavenly vanilla whipped with caramel and laced with tart crushed raspberries – Takamatsu smiled (Takamatsu eating ice-cream).

Takamatsu promises Denka the freedom he desires, Denka fears this will never happen and that he’ll be pushed aside when something more promising comes along, but for now he’ll play the part his mother was paid for him to do.

Denka:  “I am a geisha, for goodness sakes. Semi-professional male geisha, female impersonator whore. You can’t possibly want me.”

Great read, loved it, read it again straight away!

Reviewed by Teddy

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