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Friday, February 25, 2011

The Red Thread of Forever Love by Nicole Kimberling

The Red Thread of Forever Love by Nicole Kimberling
Publisher: Loose Id
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (100 pgs)
Other: M/M, anal sex
Rating: 5 cherries
Reviewed by Cactus

Folklore researcher and PhD candidate Hank Caldwell has a problem. He’s come to Japan to get information for his book on supernatural creatures called yokai. Along the way he discovers that yokai are not only real, but one of them is determined to make Hank his forever lover.

Translator Daisuke Tachibana knows all about the shadowy figure in a business suit who keeps accosting Mr. Caldwell. He knows the creature must be stopped, but how? Their upcoming research trip to a remote, hot springs resort will be exactly the opening the yokai is looking for. Now if only Tachibana could stop thinking about Mr. Caldwell’s naked, freckled body submerged in steaming water long enough to formulate a plan to keep the amorous creature at bay.

The path to true love is never easy, but some helpful “Fingers” may do the trick. Canadian Hank Caldwell is in Japan to do folklore research. Hank’s writing a book about the customs and myths of Japan and is hoping to find more information about a spirit called yokai. Unfortunately Hank gets his very own yokai nicknamed Fingers. Fingers is all to happy to help Hank in any way he needs, after all Hank is Fingers’ soul mate! The energetic spirit might just drive Hank into the arms of his translator and guide Daisuke Tachibana.

The Red Thread of Forever Love is a thoroughly delightful novella. The romance between Hank and Daisuke takes place over a few days but it feels much longer. You really get the sense that these two are friends, companions, lovers, and will absolutely live happily ever after. The final resolution is very romantic and lovely, lending a satisfying ending to a story I didn’t want to end.

The characters are nicely developed and you get a real sense of their personalities, hopes, dreams, desires, and fears. Fingers is easily the best character, emerging as a romantic, lovelorn spirit who simply wants to be with someone. His bits of dialogue are truly some of the most hilarious I’ve read. The writing is very, very good and the dialogue is filled with quips, banter, and witty conversations that make the story fly by so fast you won’t put this down. The story is filled with charm, romance, humor, and a great eye catching setting.

The story takes place in Japan and offers a wealth of detail about the culture. From the misconceptions about Canadians to the holiday traditions, there is so much more to this story than just a romance. While the romance is lovely, the interesting background and culture really steal the show. From the quick mystery to karaoke to fortune telling and the yokai history, this novella manages to pack everything in while never overwhelming the reader or moving too fast. Instead this is simply delightful and entertaining to read from beginning to end. If anything I wanted more, but that always happens with a great book and isn’t a bad thing at all.

I can easily recommend this story to anyone looking for something different. Although set in Japan, this is still a contemporary romance with charm, humor, wit, courage, fears, hopes, and dreams. Although I expected this to be good, I was surprised at just how good this novella turned out to be and hope everyone else loves it just as much.

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