Links – unspeakable connection

My rating: ❤❤❤❤❤

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Relationships are always complex, they never go smoothly, but so does life. As the title suggests, this manga’s story revolves around eight men all linked aka connected with each other through circumstances, profession, and personal relationships. Links talks about these men trying to live their lives and hoping to find happiness and maybe love.

Art ╰(✿´⌣`✿)╯♡

One word…beautiful. I have just started following Kizu Natsuki sensei’s work and the enamoring art style and distinct features of the characters; especially their eyes take you in the story. It’s the art that talks and the story is an extended version of the art (if you know what I mean). Also ikemen gorgeous Seme and lovely (girlish-like) looking Uke. But the background design and the variation created for all characters in the story including supporting characters just amazed me. Not every mangaka can create such variety and remain connected to the story.

Characters (◍•ᴗ•◍)❤

Have you ever waited to listen to your favorite radio show/TV series with baited breath just to hear or watch your fave RJ or TV actor speak or perform? maeno-tomoakiThe first couple featuring in the story is of Sekiya Masahito (Maeno Tomoaki), and Shibata Ryou (Taishi Murata) and their link establish when the young radio jockey with a 45693smooth voice (* >ω<) meets a 30 yr old shop manager with a koe/voice fetish. Sekia gets irritated by this overly enthusiastic, extremely friendly, bothersome ossan and his persistent requests of friendship. Shibata san is too dense to understand that Sekia kun does not want to get along. How will Shibata san manage to get the unsociable Sekia’s attention?

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2021937165The second couple‘s relationship is of two people having a link through professional/personal connections. Tsubame Yahiko (Hatano Wataru) is Sado Takaaki‘s secretary (a Yakuza boss), and his bodyguard, and he is head over heals for Niitsu Akiha (Nojima Hirofumi), Sado’s senpai, and his dead brother’s ex-lover. No one can replace the memories of the past, and if someone is not ready to move on, it’s even harder for the ones who love them. That is the reality of Yahiko and Akiha. Will he ever understand that his happiness time has finally arrived; that sometimes it is better to let go of the past and accept to give love another chance?

003

32_hanae41311Our third couple did not even start as a couple (๑˃̵ᴗ˂̵)و they were just two people who got linked through a cat. Yup, Ogikawa Yuusei (Hanae Natsuki) is a salesman who tried to rescue a cat from rain but collapsed because he was drunk. In came the knight in shining armor, Kameda Aoi (Furukawa Makoto), a metal engraver who was just passing by. He sees the drenched, sorry looking fellow, and his cat picks them up and brings them to his home. Their friendship is a quirky one, but is there scope for developing a relationship?

004

46189Our final – fourth couple looks like two people always on bad 46442terms, seen mostly arguing or fighting with each other. How are they linked…Nakajou Shinobu (Saito Soma) is a Yakuza’s son, although he does not do any Yakuza work and he is Sado Takaaki‘s (Shingaki Tarusuke) partner who is a Yakuza boss and has been working under Shinobu’s father. They share a connection with a tragedy that happened ten years ago, which brought them together and started a relationship with no expectations, but somehow they are still together. Will one of them break the fragile thread that binds them or will they hold on to it, and to each other desperately?

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Enjoyment (⋈◍>◡<◍)。✧♡

As you can see the characters truly unique, but here is the enjoyment element – Links BLCD. Yes, you will feel the effect of the manga triple fold with the drama cd. There is no question that the whole voice cast has done an excellent job. We have an awesomely cool regular fave BL (Boys Love) seiyuuMeano Tomoaki, Shingaki Tarusuke, Hatano Wataru, and Nojima Hirofumi in lead roles. But the newcomers in BL, Taishi Murata, and Saito Soma are fantastic enacting their roles too. Taishi san is super hilarious portraying the awkward, Happy go lucky Shibata; while Saito kun blew me over when I heard him playing Shinobu, entirely different avatar from his anime roles.

35987Another noticeable seiyuu is Furukawa Makoto. Forget One Punch Man anime please and behold his BL seiyuu version. Although he portrays a quiet character of Kameda Aoi, the acting is too funny and so is his chemistry with Ogikawa’s seiyuu Hanae Natsuki who is sounding surprisingly mature in his BL voice acting work. Tamaru Atsushi did a good job as a supporting seiyuu enacting the dead brother’s role whose presence has remained throughout the series.

Overall ♥♥♥♥♥

All four stories have something in common, they touch your heart, and all four couples will become your fave. I loved Sekiya and Shibata…they are just too cute to ignore, but it’s Shinobu and Sado whose constant banter, yet extreme feelings for each other stole my heart. My recommended must read manga, a must listen BLCD and a keeper. I hope Natsuki Kizu sensei brings us a sequel to this series ♡✧。 (⋈◍>◡<◍)。✧♡.

 

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The Highlander…(where is the romance)

The Highlander (Highland, #5)The Highlander by Ruth Ryan Langan

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Maybe, it is a romance written during the early 90’s that I have rated it 3, or I got spoiled by the medieval romance stories written by Julie Garwood (she is the true medieval romance queen), Monica McCarty, Karen Marie Moning, Maya Banks and the likes. When I pick a romance novel, I like to get immersed in the story from page 1 (or at least after chapter 1). There should be a real connection among the characters, which makes me look forward to how the book will end. Otherwise, my impatient self wants to flip through the pages to get a feel of how the story is progressing t(ツ)_/¯ I know, bad habit, I shouldn’t, but I flipped through the pages again… >.< Can’t help it when almost after finishing 70% of the book I was craving for a solid dose of romance ໒( ᓀ ‸ ᓂ )७

Do not get me wrong; the story carries all the best of medieval romance parts in it –

  • rivalry of two clans/countries
  • protagonists belonging to rival countries
  • hostility among the leads
  • betrayal & kidnapping

This books started at a good pace, but there are many instances in the story where you feel that the author could have come up with a more original idea of bringing the two leads together. Sigh!!! This book was my first by author Ruth Ryan Langan. I love to find surprises and blow me over moments in Medieval romance, especially if it is a book from a new author. I do not know how her other books sound, and this review of mine is solely based on the impression I got from reading The Highlander.

536a6e0a40847cd0df930d8d95d1c398Lady Leonora Waltham, beloved daughter of the English vas722a73b60e14700727664a33ca4f9faesal and English King’s confidant, meets Scottish Laird and Robert the Bruce’s representative Dillon Campbell for the first time in a peace talk meeting. She has always heard rumors about the savagery and cruelty of the highlanders. Yet, duty for her king and love for her father forces her to complete the task of making sure the highlanders feel at ease on hostile grounds. What she never expected was getting extremely attracted to the leader of the highlanders, Dillon. Warring nations (you guessed it right…England & Scotland), coming together for peace talks, obviously there will be villainous plots to sabotage it. Facing the capture of his brother’s and worse his own death forced Dillon to kidnap Leonora. Leonora who had no idea what kind of political game was in play, becomes the captive of a highland savage who later on becomes her savior.

c158006f77ed5b751c0e69d016636c32The lead couple Leonora and Dillon were likable, and there were definite hints of strong sexual attraction/chemistry from the start. The heat index was high from the moment H&H laid their eyes on each other, but somehow the sizzle factor fizzled out as the story progressed. The thing about antagonism is, it just irritates the hell out of you if it keeps on going in more than 50% of the story. I understand that staying true to the historical times is important, but that does not mean that H&H should be at each others throat ¯\_ಠ_ಠ_/¯ every time they are together. Half the time, I wondered what is wrong with the couple. I mean really, do you have to be so difficult. Put two stubborn, thick headed people together, and voila…the arguments never cease.

Now the bits and pieces of likable parts…the supporting cast. Dillon’s clan was adorable, especially Robin, the slow-speaking giant guard placed for Leonora’s protection. Then there was the staff chef Mrs. McCallum, lady’s maid Gwyneth, and Dillon’s little sister Flame. The moments of romance came in bits too, lasted for a short while then poof…gone. I was hoping that the main leads were able to develop some sentiments for each other. But while Dillon shows some signs of accepting his attraction, Leonora behaves in her prideful manner and never reveals anything, except when she is in the company of others ヽ(ー_ー )ノ That’s why on the romance part the actual development happens after almost 70% of the story is over. I wasn’t expecting a lot of tupping, but I was hoping for some progress; instead it was an abrupt development and only happens when Leonora tries to escape from her captor. Phew!!!

Mutual feelings between the H&H looked rushed to me (finally some tupping action thank you!). I mean dire circumstances brought them together again so that they will accept their feelings for each other. Even the confession looked sudden to me (maybe when death is around the corner, you wanna confess argggggghhh!).

Romance stories should have romance… the arguments, fights…plotting…kidnapping… just left too much to desire. I will ponder on whether to read the rest of the series -.-

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