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Bitchie's Books

Avid reader, part time gamer. I read and review books for other readers, not for authors. I review mostly M/M books, so if that doesn't float your boat, well, there are other boats in the sea, other reviewers in this great blogosphere!

Currently reading

In The Absence of Light
Adrienne Wilder
My Brother's Lover
Lynn Kelling

Learning How to Lose, in Six Easy Steps. Step Three: Innocence / Step Four: Perspective

Learning How to Lose, in Six Easy Steps. Step Three: Innocence / Step Four: Perspective - Alex Gabriel *I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for a fair review*

I am writing this as more of a review for the whole series, because I truly feel like you can't read any of these as stand alone, and I think that they would have been better served edited down into just one, maybe two books.

This series is set in the Japanese world of J-pop stars, and I truly think the reader would get the most out of this series if they were more familiar with that world. The series is filled with honorifics and societal norms that are quite unfamiliar to someone like me. I kept getting pulled out of the story trying to figure out what something meant, or how things were done. There was also reference to several different bands (at least two, Hiro's group and Ryuu's group), tv series, movies, game shows, and interviews, which I think dragged the story down at times. I found myself skimming the bits that didn't further Hiro and Ryuu's relationship in any way.

I did really enjoy the characters, although Ryuu did have his frustrating moments. Hiro, though, was an absolute, quirky, happy go lucky dream.

The series is told from Ryuu's POV solely, and I would have LOVED to get at least some of Hiro's POV. His thoughts and feelings were a bit of a mystery, and I wanted to know more of what he was thinking throughout the story.

Book two is where the relationship finally starts to come into play. I loved that the sex was a bit awkward at times, and also how much Ryuu struggled with who he was and what he wanted. While I was happy to finally get to the sexy times, that wasn't all book two was about. There were also plenty of moments of the guys just being close, watching movies together, hanging out, acting like goofballs, as well as Ryuu trying to balance his relationship Hiro and his professional life. I really wish that the guys had talked more about their relationship, especially Hiro. We know for sure this is Ryuu's first anything with another guy, and while it seems that way with Hiro, too, I was never sure if he'd been attracted to another guy before. It then ends in a cliffhanger after Ryuu screws up, and then book three is Ryuu coming to terms with what he wants and fighting to get it back, and how dedicated he is to making things work.

All in all, I really enjoyed this series, I just wish it had been a bit easier for me to understand the world that the series was set in.