Caged Slave

Yuiko Takamura – June – 2008 – 1 volume
this is a novel

Another BL novel, and as I’ve said before, I’m a big fan of these, so this is in no way impartial. The title of this one makes it sound much scarier than it is, and is unfortunately one of a litany of June titles that have words like “caged” and “slave” in the title. I read this on eManga.com (so cheap there!), and liked it so much I decided to get a paperback copy. But I accidentally bought Gentle Cage instead. I read that and loved it anyway, but that’s neither here nor there.

I won’t lie, this one was one of my favorites of the June novels I’ve read. The premise is fairly simple, too. A man named Tsukasa finds himself on the down-and-out after his boss and lover dumps him in order to immediately snap up an offer to marry the daughter of the company’s owner. Boozing it up in a bar and feeling down on himself, Tsukasa is soon picked up by one of the most beautiful men he’s ever seen, and predictably, the two spend a passion-filled night together. Not willing to give his name, the lover parts ways with Tsukasa with a promise that they can meet in the hotel room the next week if Tsukasa would like to continue the tryst. And so the pair continue to meet and have wild sex on Fridays for months, neither knowing the other’s name, until one day Tsukasa goes into work and meets his new boss, Takeshima, his mystery lover. And you know where it goes from there. Scared to know whether Takeshima will continue the game now that their identities are known to one another, Tsukasa can’t go back to their mystery hotel room. Takeshima settles for wild sex at random moments in the office.

There really are no surprises in this book, with a slight twinge of drama between the two serving as the final climax. The relationship between Takeshima and Tsukasa is incredibly passionate, though, which is what makes this such a great read. The sense of the forbidden, with the secret identities at the beginning of the book and the office trysts later on, are what makes it fun, and it gets its sense of the forbidden without crossing the non-con line, which is always, always a plus. Also, both the characters are likable and sympathetic, even Takeshima. That Takeshima is easy to like is a bit of a shock, because his role should, by all accounts, make him the type of remote asshole that only super-dominant semes can be. He’s stoic, and we don’t get the insight into his character that we get in Tsukasa’s (the story is told from Tsukasa’s point of view), but Takeshima never does anything against Tsukasa, which is a pretty big deal in an otherwise run-of-the-mill story like this. Another plus is that I like workplace romances, and relationships between two older, steady men like this. Not that there aren’t plenty of both of those out there already, but it makes me happy that there’s so much available now. I remember when these types of titles used to be hard to find.

Basically, if the premise appeals to you, you will love this. It’s another quick and easy read, and even digitally, I read it in one sitting. It’s not the most thrilling read on the planet, and it doesn’t break any new ground. But it scratches the itch, so to speak, which is really all you need in a book like this.


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