While the more erotic end of romance fiction is rare in my extensive pantry, it certainly isn’t non-existent! Today, as part of the Local Author Assault, it’s time to serve up Hungry for You, a contemporary erotic LGBT fantasy romance (that’s a lot of words!) done in the yaoi style of Japanese gay romance. Will Hungry crystallize the visual style of the manga and anime it is inspired from into a written form or will it fall short?
Before we cut the romance cake, let us recount the vows of the Starving Reviewer:
- I attempt to rate every book from the perspective of a fan of the genre
- I attempt to make every review as spoiler-free as possible
Hungry fulfills what I believe to be the most critical ingredient of romance, erotic or not, and that is, well, a real romance. The truth is that just because there is a romantic relationship during a meal, it doesn’t have to a good one. There is a great attention to detail here in terms of romantic chemistry and, in general, the bonds of friendship. Hungry examines a variety of romantic entanglements and relationships over the courses of the meal, both good and bad, and it handles them all with surprising delicacy and feeling.
Another part of the meal that Hungry is the core plot itself. Again, a misstep I see from time to time in the romance and erotica genres is a tendency to forgo an actual plot to focus entirely on the romance (or sex, as the case may be). There is an ongoing plot and a bit of world-building going on, setting the table well and helping to properly pace out the erotic and romantic scenes. There is even a bit of well-done action to spice the entire dish up.
Though this meal is certainly a meal for adults, with no sugar-coating of the various sex scenes that take place, it never puts these scenes in for mere shock value or titillation. Each erotic scene has a place in the overall plot and story as well, making them matter all the more.
There’s really not much more I can say without breaking the taboo of SPOILERS, so let’s wrap this up. Hungry for You tops the list of erotic romantic meals, with dashes of action, fantasy, and real plot to make it flavorful! If you have any interest in the yaoi manga genre, LGBT erotic romance, or urban fantasy with an erotic side, this is an essential meal to add to your menu. However, above all, it is very much a gay erotic romance, with all that entails, and if that doesn’t interest you, you should leave this one in the pantry.
FINAL VERDICT: ***** (Topping the list of erotic romantic meals, with dashes of action, fantasy, and real plot to make it flavorful!)