Sunday, May 4, 2014

SUSAN - BOOK REVIEW: "Non-Stop Till Tokyo" by KJ Charles

A man with a past is her only hope for the future.

Kerry Ekdahl’s mixed heritage and linguistics skills could have made her a corporate star. Instead, she’s a hostess in a high-end Tokyo bar, catering to businessmen who want conversation, translation and flirtation. Easy money, no stress. Life is good—until she’s framed for the murder of a yakuza boss.

Trapped in rural Japan with the gangsters closing in, Kerry doesn’t stand a chance. Then help arrives in the menacing form of Chanko, a Samoan-American ex-sumo wrestler with a bad attitude, a lot of secrets, and a mission she doesn’t understand.

Kerry doesn’t get involved with dangerous men. Then again, she’s never had one on her side before. And the big, taciturn fighter seems determined to save her life, even if they rub each other the wrong way.

Then her friends are threatened, and Kerry has no choice but to return to Tokyo and face the yakuza. Where she learns, too late, that the muscle man who’s got her back could be poised to stab it.

Well damn…that was brilliant!

I am a big fan of action movies. 

Sometimes I finish watching a great action movie, strong plot, amazing effects, killer characters, and I can still feel the adrenaline rush when I leave the theater.  And I can still see the afterimages in my head for hours. And I can still ruminate about the story for days.  And I can still rave and recommend it to people for months. 

"Non-Stop Till Tokyo" is better, more entertaining, more energetic, and more memorable than any action movie I’ve ever seen.  AND I LOVED IT!  My heart was pumping and I felt IN IT during each and every scene!  I could NOT get enough.  I was hooked.

Kerry, our heroine, is special but nothing special.  And I love that about her. She’s not perfect, but far from imperfect.  She’s COOL AS FUCK without meaning to be.  And I swear to god, despite her bad luck, I want to BE her. 

When you have THIS STRONG a character, the others tend to fall into the shadows.  But KJ Charles works some SERIOUS magic (as she’s known to do in all her books) and creates such INTERESTING, no, FASCINATING side characters that it feels equally their book, not just Kerry’s.  I will not soon forget Taka, Noriko, Yoshi, Sonja, Minachan, the yakuza, Kelly that bitch, and most special in my heart…*sigh*…Chanko. 

Ok, so I’m perplexed how I could even find myself attracted to a former sumo wrestler on a diet, trying to get his life together, but still a man with a violent past.  A man that every person in the story describes as “fat”.  A man that grunts and has temper issues.  Not your typical leading man.  But a man IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO FALL FOR!  GAH!  I want a Chanko…pleeeeease!

The story is VIOLENT and shit, the action, the intrigue, the suspense…is TOP NOTCH.  Some may struggle with the bloodshed and unapologetic brutality…especially to women.  But, it was all IN YOUR FACE and REAL and NECESSARY and I can’t imagine the book toned down at all. 

I can see that some may find all the Japanese words, descriptors, settings to be a bit confusing.  I did.  But, I just couldn’t let it take away from my enjoyment.  Because the author lends so much authenticity to it and again, is unapologetic in how she presents everything…I don’t get an opinion…I’m just along for the ride.

And it was a glorious, action-packed, heart-thumping, HAWT, can’t-wait-for-what-happens-next, I-give-a-fuck-about-these-characters RIDE!

IN A NUTSHELL:  I’m pumped!  Read it!

1 comment:

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