Love Control 1

September 15, 2010

Ai Hasukawa – June – 2008 – 2 volumes

I read the second volume of this series a year or so ago, and I liked it well enough to pick up the first. It’s the type of BL that I enjoy: a relationship between two professional men with no non-con in sight.

Unfortunately, it also sticks very strictly to the most basic yaoi plot, and I wound up enjoying it far less than I thought I might. Okumura is an entrepreneur and something of a playboy who hires Yamashiro to remodel his Italian restaurant. He teases Yamashiro, who resists at first, then decides to tease right back. Okumura is obviously the forward one, where Yamashiro is a prickly tsundere. There is resistance, Yamashiro asks him not to mix work and pleasure, then they get together, only to have doubts again. Nothing you haven’t seen before.

One interesting thing about it is that, despite the fact Okumura is more forward, the two seem to share the same level in the relationship. Yamashiro isn’t shy and submissive, and doesn’t allow himself to be pushed around by Okumura. It’s something you rarely see in light reading like this, and it’s a shame it wasn’t developed further.

The bed scenes are few and relatively chaste. They do sleep together, and there’s no secret about what’s going on, but they don’t last as long, nor are they anywhere near as graphic, as the usual yaoi story. Mostly you’re reading for the romance. The characters are interesting… but unfortunately they aren’t really developed that well, and they lack chemistry. It’s not bad, just a little bland.

There’s a creepy, creepy older/younger story in the back to make up for all the normalcy in the regular volume. Not creepy in any particularly graphic way (not even close), but creepy in that those two are even a couple. Yikes.

Maybe my tastes in BL have matured since I read the other volume of this series. It is the type of story I like… but there are so many other things out there to read. I wouldn’t mind seeing a later series from the same author, though, in hopes she sticks with the same themes and just develops characters a little better.

2 Responses to “Love Control 1”

  1. lore Says:

    I guess I can name, with some struggle, up to 10 English BL books with adult males with normal jobs in a romantic plot with no non-con and the men just being men. Maybe 10.

    I honestly feel like I can’t get enough of this kind of story: adults in a realistic setting who don’t abuse each other in any way. It doesn’t feel typical *enough* to me, at least, not in what’s been published for the English-speaking market.

    We’re in the middle of a popular-book non-con glut right now (Tyrant 1, Viewfinder 1, Maiden Rose 1, Yokan 1, Under Grand Hotel period). I’d welcome some more boring stories about men loving each other without teens and violence in sight.

    This is not to disagree that Love Control is a standard story, just to add that this is one reader that could use more of the standard. Thanks for your review and the musing it caused me!

    love, lore

  2. Connie Says:

    True, there are not near enough series with consent. It’s one of those things I’ve gotten used to sitting uncomfortably through, but I still cringe every time, and I always have to double-check myself when I pick up a new book. I was only disappointed that all my favorite elements were wasted on relatively bland plot and characters here. I just kept getting more bummed as I read.

    A year or two ago was really the time for the type of series I liked. Future Lovers, est em’s stuff, and several of the Netcomics books were all quite good, and a lot of those came out around the same time.


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