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Book Cover for It's Not Love (Novel)
It's Not Love (Novel)
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Publisher: DMG
eISBN: 9781613134504
Language: English
Release: 04/17/2013
Age Rating: Mature (18+)

"Let’s play a game. Who can make me fall in love?"

Kenji Oshiro, Yoshiaki Zaizen, and Akimi Shiratori are three young, successful professional men who have been close friends since college. But secrets will be revealed and emotions laid bare as their carefree friendship is disrupted by a mysterious young man named Kakeru, who proposes a dangerous game!

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  When is a game not a game?
by Epistasthai  02/05/2014
“Who can make me fall in love?” says Kakeru to three very different men. Men, who despite these differences, are the best of friends. Now that Kakeru has tossed down the gauntlet, will these three be able to remain friends? What will Kakeru’s game cost them? And just who the heck *is* Kakeru, anyway?

I enjoyed this novel, partly because the premise was so refreshing – not the usual two guys trying to win the heart of the same person, or watching two couples interact from the moment they meet until they finally get together. Those plotlines have been done, and on occasion done well, but this time the four main characters weren’t just an easy divide into two couples. They are three good friends, playing a game that none of them want to play with a fourth person they don’t know. And then waiting to see which one of them Kakeru would choose. It was also interesting trying to figure out who Kakeru is (don’t worry – you’ll find out).

The story takes place during Christmas, so for those who keep a list of good Christmas reads, this a good Christmas romance.

The four main characters are well-developed, and they are different enough that they don’t blend into each other. Three of them have been best friends for some time. Yet the friendship between these three is entirely plausible. None of them want to play the game with Kakeru, but for various reasons they all end up participating. It’d be interesting to read more about these four. There were a few strings left undone, but overall, most things got resolved by the end.

There’s a few smexy scenes between various characters. However, if you’re looking for hot novel smex along the lines of Siira Gou’s other work, “Secret Moon”, you’ll be disappointed. Still, this was a fun read and I enjoyed it.

Some novels introduce lots of characters at once, and I’m the kinda reader who gets confused when this happens. This novel introduces three main characters at once, and then tosses in the fourth main character right after. So I had to make a list (see below). But it didn’t take me long to figure out who was who.

Kenji OSHIRO (megane-san, plastic surgeon)
Akimi SHIRATORI (shortest but still 5’9”, baby-face, lawyer)
Yoshiaki ZAIZEN (host-like, prefers Armani, car dealer)
KAKERU (long layered hair, perfectly symmetrical features)

I’m giving this a 4 out of 5 rating for several reasons. I enjoyed reading (and re-reading) this. I’d like to read more from Siira Gou, and of course, any art by Ikue Ishida is fine by me.

Disclosure: I’d like to thank DMG for the loan of a reviewer copy.
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