Page 45 Review by Stephen
Three separate stories in which:
A 30-something detective is prepared to put himself out or in fact just put out in pursuit of a smuggler, bringing a brand new meaning to the term entrapment
A shy mechanic falls for an emotionally reserved car salesman and, as you can imagine from that summary, this short sure takes the longest to tell as they both dither hither and yon
Kugo, a college student so sure of himself yet completely oblivious to the bleeding obvious, spots a reticent lad called Usui bashfully eyeing up from afar Kugos best buddy Nakaya from whom Kugo is inseparable
This one is brilliant, absolutely brilliant, for cock-sure Kugo takes pity on Usui and decides to help him out, befriending him so that Usui can finally make a move on Nakaya whom Kugo who would fail even the most cursory examination in self-awareness considers as dumb as they come. Our Mr. Know-It-All is nothing if not direct.
Hey. Youve got a crush on Nakaya, dont you? If you want, I can help you out.
what are y-you talking about?
You dont even try to hide the way you look at him. I thought even Nakaya wouldve noticed by now. But hes incredibly dense. Im always with him, so I couldnt help but twig to it.
is right. Have you spotted the flaw in Kugos detective skills yet? Its no wonder their eyes meet. Usui gratefully accepts Kugos interest but doesnt seem keen on making a move on Nakaya at all.
Just being able to talk with you about Nakaya is enough for me.
I like Kugo. He may be much, much dimmer than Nakaya but at least hes no egotist: he doesnt presume the world revolves around him even, so he doesnt presume Usuis world revolves around him even though it does. Plus hes altruistic enough to let a lad into his friendship with Nakaya rather than getting all territorial or indeed homophobic about it.
In fact, heres a thing about yaoi: it exists in some snowglobe utopia in which homophobia doesnt seem to exist at any level of society or within any age bracket. Im not objecting to that; quite the reverse. These are, after all, fantasies to fuel others daydreams and wet dreams. Not everything has to be some gruellingly accurate socio-political commentary on the sad state of affairs in which we appear to be going globally backwards after so much hard-fought progress (see Africa, Russia, India, parts of America and of course UKIP).
Publish enough books in which love between the same sexes is taken as the for-granted norm with no one giving a toss and maybe the bigots will blink themselves out of existence.
I have a dream etc.