Author: Shawn Bailey
Genre: Gay MM/ Contemporary
Length: Novel (183 pages)
Publisher: Silver Publishing (November 3, 2012)
Heat Level: Explicit
Heart rating: ♥♥♥3Hearts
Blurb: Police detective Kaname Mori goes to the rescue of Hideki Shimizu after seeing him being brutally beaten by a gang of thugs. After taking the young man back to his home to administer medical assistance, Kaname learns that Hideki is not only a host at a local club, but also the son of a Japanese ambassador. After releasing Hideki to his family, Kaname returns to his normal life. But two months later, he receives a call from the ambassador that Hideki has disappeared and he wants to hire Kaname to find him.
Straight-laced Kaname goes undercover into the notorious red-light district of Tokyo and enters Haruka, a club swimming in gorgeous male hosts willing to spend time with him for the cost of a bottle of champagne. Will Kaname find Hideki or will he get swept up into the world of desire and sin?
Review: At first glance, Crimson Butterfly has all the predispositions for being one of those books that will be talked about and that just stand out. The culture combined with cops and rent boys and you pretty much have an m/m reader’s wet dream. In most cases anyway.
Kaname is a cop who one night, when off duty, stumbles on a young man being beaten. He helps him out and takes him home. Eventually, finding out that Hideki’s father is an ambassador and that Hideki himself is a host in a gay club. While they part ways in that occasion, later on they meet in similar circumstances, where Kaname is again coming to the rescue and Hideki starts showing his first signs of what I can’t call anything different than bratty behavior.
While I did like the setting and thought the book has potential, the characters kept putting me off, and I couldn’t get into the story as much as I would have liked.
I found Hideki to be a spoiled brat who flipped from serious to childish way too often. His behavior, as well as life choices, rubbed me the wrong way. But, his relationship with Kaname during the first half of the book seemed so indecisive I was convinced Kaname would go for Hideki’s friend, Kei. Kaname, on the other hand, seemed like an alright character at first, but I couldn’t connect with his personality at all. In this one scene, somewhere at the middle of the book, where he proclaims he’s not gay I kept expecting him to start laughing at the joke because seriously, from the first pages, his thoughts and descriptions of men certainly didn’t scream straight. In addition, the plot jumped too much for my taste without anything specific standing out or being well worked through.
I do like my books to be a bit more solid and a lot more conclusive. I guess I just prefer it to the point and straightforward instead of too many unnecessary flips. So, while I did like the writing and thought the book interesting, overall I expected a lot more.