Hour of the Lotus by Patricia Correll

HouroftheLotusLGTitle: Hour of the Lotus

Author: Patricia Correll

Genre: Japanese Historical, Folklore

Length: Short (75pgs)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (29th May 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥3 Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: General Sho Iwata is devastated when the man he secretly loves, Prince Narita, is struck with a mysterious illness. To make matters worse, the servants assigned to sit up with the prince at night have been falling asleep, leaving him unattended. 

Iwata’s current lover, Hiroshi, is well aware of the general’s unrequited passion. But that isn’t his biggest problem. His sister is Narita’s favorite consort, but Hiroshi believes she has been replaced by an imposter. When he convinces Iwata to investigate, they discover the true cause of the prince’s illness. Iwata will fight to save the man he loves, and Hiroshi will fight for his sister, but if they want to save the prince and find justice, they first have to battle an ancient spirit and survive.

A Bittersweet Dreams title: It’s an unfortunate truth: love doesn’t always conquer all. Regardless of its strength, sometimes fate intervenes, tragedy strikes, or forces conspire against it. These stories of romance do not offer a traditional happy ending, but the strong and enduring love will still touch your heart and maybe move you to tears.                                                                           

Purchase Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3816

Review: General Sho Iwata is concerned with how ill his beloved Prince Narita is. When Iwata’s lover, Captain Hiroshi Sagawara, comes to him saying that his sister Lady Kumomo, the prince’s favorite consort, is an imposter Iwata believes him because of his conviction. Together they investigate and discover the real nature of the prince’s illness. Now, Iwata and Hiroshi have to fight to save the ones they love.

This is a good bittersweet story that delves into Japanese folklore and the setting of ancient Japan and mighty warriors. Iwata is fiercely loyal to his prince, the man he has followed since he was fifteen. Not being able to help his prince while he is afflicted by a mysterious illness is tearing him apart. When his lover, Hiroshi, discovers that his sister is an imposter, it isn’t long before they discover the illness is of mystical means. Hiroshi would do anything for Iwata, but when he discovers his sister’s fate, Hiroshi needs vengeance. When their first attack fails, Hiroshi knows what he has to do. But, all it would take would be three little words from Iwata to sway his course.

This is a great little folklore story that focuses on the mystery of the prince’s illness, the imposter and just gently brushes over Iwata’s and Hiroshi’s relationship. While I found the folklore angle interesting and it was enjoyable, the relationship angle was lacking. I was expecting more from what the blurb described and while the story could be construed the way the blurb describes it, I was only able to see it through squinted eyes and a cocked head wondering exactly where Iwata’s love for his prince was… I only saw loyalty and devotion. Both Iwata and Hiroshi are great warrior characters, stone faced and devoted to duty, but there are times when their closeness is clear. The scene where Iwata awkwardly comforts Hiroshi during his grief which shows chinks in both their armor. The end scene was good and leaves you with mixed feelings; Iwata giving up his chance of happiness so Hiroshi can exact vengeance for his sister’s spirit.

I recommend this if you love Japanese folklore, bittersweet love, longing for three little words and an interesting storyline.