by Sedonia Guillone, contemporary (2007)
Total-e-bound, £2.99, ISBN 978-1-906328-36-8
I believe that Tongue-Thai'd is related to Sedonia Guillone's previous book, Beautiful Samurai, White Tiger, which was published by Torquere Press. I have not read that book so I cannot be sure if I get things right about the story in my synopsis as there are many references in this story to events that I can only presume to take place in the previous book.
Half-Thai and half-Japanese Ryu Miyazaki is a White Tiger, which means he has learned some amazing erotic arts from some temple which I understand advocates hot sex along with plenty of spiritual enlightenment teachings as the way to live. At the beginning of Tongue-Thai'd, he is feeling blue because the man he loves - who also happens to be his White Tiger mentor - has fallen in love with one of the characters from the previous book. Of course, Ryu and this fellow, Kiku, had slept together in the past but that was because they were having a teacher and student relationship and... oh, I'm sure you know what I'm trying to say here.
So, lovelorn Ryu heads off to Phuket - hence the title of this story - to avoid the attention of some Japanese yakuza who wants Ryu to be his personal sex slave. This is something that happened in a previous book so I can only speculate here. In Phuket, Nat Phoenix is one of the agents charged to protect Ryu during his stay, which leads to the usual breach of his professional work ethics when he finds himself succumbing to Ryu's sex guru expertise.
I have no idea what to say about the whole subplot about yakuzas because the storyline seems to be a continuation of whatever that happened in the previous book and as a result I am still fuzzy about some aspects of the story.
As for the characters, Ryu comes off at first like a stereotypical prissy yaoi princess with more drama than sense when he refuses to cut his hair or change his very distinctive image despite the fact that he's supposed to be in hiding. He fortunately turns out to be a little more sensible than that, but I am puzzled by how little concern he seems to place on his predicament. He is more worked up over his past relationships, which makes him come off as more self-absorbed than anything else.
I don't completely buy the romance in this story because Ryu and to a lesser extent Nat spend more time having all kinds of angst over their past instead of focusing on each other. What they have feels more a therapy session that also happens to include plenty of sex. The two characters exchange some really sweet words of love by the last few pages of the story that I am nearly convinced that they are so adorable together, but on the whole the characters jump into bed too soon and spend too much time wallowing in angst for me to believe that they know each other well enough to fall in love.
This is the first story by Sedonia Guillone that I have read and I believe that I can get used to the author's style. This story is very readable and the characters are likable. Ryu does not irritate me with dramatic outbursts of stupidity like most yaoi princesses tend to do. In fact, I like Ryu, which is not something I could say for many other yaoi princesses out there. Nat is a pretty decent character as well. Despite not being completely sure about the events that led to Ryu running off to Phuket, I find myself getting swept up into the story. I do feel very bewildered at how Ryu can be so concerned about getting Nat to love him when his own life may be on the line, but I suppose that Ryu won't be a yaoi princess if he isn't amazingly self-absorbed in that manner.
Therefore, this is a most readable story, all things considered, although I'd strongly recommend folks new to the series to read all previous books in the series first before tackling this one.
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