Thursday, March 21, 2013

Blood Red Butterfly by Josh Lanyon

Publisher: Just Joshin’
Date published: February 16, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-937909-36-9
Genre: Male/male romance; Yaoi
Book format: E-book
Obtained via: Self-purchase
Reviewed by:Keldon

Authentic Lanyon, Yaoi style
When Josh Lanyon decided to tackle the world of manga and Yaoi, he came up with Blood Red Butterfly, a tale unlike anything he'd written to date. In addition to the intrigue and romance I’ve come to expect from a Lanyon offering, the Japanese heritage of the paired protagonists lends an unmistakable Yaoi flavor to the story.
By day, Detective Ryo Miller deals with homicide; at night, he frequents clubs in West Hollywood. For months he’s admired a man who looks like a real-life femme—a man known as the Ice Princess. After three rejections, Ryo moved on to a new club and more amenable prospects. Yaoi artist Kai Tashiro has a complex relationship with everyone around him, from his family to his art to his romantic entanglements, and things are about to get more snarled than ever.

When an elderly woman is brutally murdered, Ryo knows that the killer must be the man she helped put in prison: newly paroled Mickey Torres. Ryo never expected the Ice Princess to walk in and provide Torres’s alibi. Ryo is cynical about Kai’s story—and overwhelmed by attraction. On his part, Kai is suspicious about Ryo’s motives—is the detective interested in him, or in breaking Torres’s alibi?

As Ryo and Kai do an uneasy dance, Ryo makes a serendipitous discovery about the murder, landing Kai square in the crosshairs. The climax (not that one!) had me holding my breath as Ryo and Kai battle the bad guys. The story ends with an unexpected turn.
The cover art is exquisite—a full set of illustrations was the only thing this book lacked.
In the beginning, the layers of Japanese culture and Yaoi romance make this tale a departure from the typical Josh Lanyon, but the crime plot came together in fine Lanyon tradition, with a couple of nice little twists and a satisfying conclusion. Josh has successfully negotiated the journey into the world of boy love. An authentic offering that will please fans of both Lanyon and Yaoi.

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