Monday, August 25, 2014

Yakuza Courage

Author: H.J. Brues
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 9781627988667
Genre: {M/M}, Suspense, Series
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymph Reviewer: Critter Nymph

Brendan O’Farrihy thought his life would be the SEAL’s but when that falls through, he finds himself doing a job he doesn’t like and living a life totally different from what he wanted.  While on a case, Brendan meets and falls in love with Kinosuke.  Unfortunately, the younger man is one of the subjects of his case, which causes more than a few problems.

Yakuza Courage is the second story in The Way of the Yakuza series by author H.J. Brues.  Readers will need to have read the first book, Yakuza Pride before starting this one as the history developed in the first book is even more important now.  While Brendan and Kinosuke are the main characters of this story and their romance does on occasion come into play, the book is really story centered and there is a lot going on.

The fact that there is so much going on in this story, for me at least, makes it difficult to review.  I suppose the best way would be to break it down a little and the first part will center on the romance between Brendan and Kinosuke.   When these two actually meet in person, there is some connection between them, yet it takes some time for the men to act on those feelings.  The passion between them is really intense and once they come together, they heat up the pages.  I would have liked to have seen more attention paid to these two, but what there is works well in the scope of the story.

Next there is Ken and the Yakuza men he has made his family.  As the readers would expect, all of them are having problems adjusting to the huge changes in their lives.  Of course, given the culture the men come from, talking about their feelings is not something they do.  This leads to many misunderstandings.  Of all of them it was Kotaro I felt the most for.  Not only does he have to adjust to a new environment but he is also a teen-ager going through all the problems they face when being the new kid in school.  I must say I was a little worried at one point that things with Kotaro were going to end badly.

Next there is Brendan and the men from his SEAL team.  The unit’s last mission together did not go well and Brendan ends up taking the fall.  All the men end up suffering, some more than others.  The author does a good job making this part of the story come across realistically; in fact, this is something that could have been part of our evening news some time during the last few years. 

It is when the author brings these two groups together that the story really takes off.  It is only natural when Kinosuke finds out about being part of Brendan’s mission, that he feels betrayed.  While Kinosuke has the right to act the way he did, I liked that Brendan was not ready to give up on the two of them being together.  I also liked that Brendan, once he realizes that maybe the case he was sent to do was a lie, works towards helping the Yakuza.

There is a lot of action and a lot of twists and turns going on in Yakuza Courage that makes this book one that you really need to pay attention to.  If you are looking for a story with some meat to it then you really must pick this one up.  I am curious to see what the author hopes to bring to this series next.  I also hope we will be seeing more of Brendan’s SEAL team. 

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