TV Review – Coffee & Vanilla

Coffee & Vanilla – Photo credit: Viki

Here is another short Japanese drama, Coffee & Vanilla, which is based on a very steamy josei manga. The manga targets young women and is more explicit when it comes to sexual and adult themes. To be frank, the manga is very beautiful with wonderfully drawn characters, and yes, it’s full of a lot of smut.

The show itself is about 10 episodes and does have a bit of implied adult themes, more so than your typical Japanese romance and dramas.

The show follows the premise of a shy, reserved college woman named Risa who is so beautiful she is constantly leered at by any male who encounters her. Sometimes men get aggressive bordering on assault.

She is basically almost assaulted in the first episode at her favorite coffee spot by some random dude (stalker) who insists she go out with him. Luckily she is rescued by a gorgeous businessman named Hiroto Fukami who manages to scare off the flies buzzing around her and save her from possibly being raped or dragged off by men who don’t take no for an answer.

The problem with Risa is she is very meek and does not seem to have the backbone or agency to successfully ward off dudes on her own.

Enter Hiroto, who comes to her rescue and in the end, asks her to dinner. It’s okay though, he’s rich and handsome so he poses no threat, right? It helps that he’s played by Dori Sakurado, Japanese heart throb with a smoldering gaze that would make a table swoon.

Risa is predictably smitten, they have dinner and he’s so incredibly sweet and caring he convinces her to stay the night with him (oh, and she also gets drunk at dinner because she cannot hold her liquor).

Dori Sakurado – smoldering Japanese beauty (photo credit: IrozukouSubs)

I mean, as much shit as I’m talking at “I-have-no-agency-Risa”, I would bang him too. Not gonna lie. No alcohol is required.

The story after this is filled with misconceptions, Risa’s unending insecurities, other men who try to swoop in and break them up and just sugary sweet romantic scenes.

At one point Risa gives up on Fukami, only to come back to him easily which just makes you wonder in the end if she could actually live her life without him. He dries her tears, makes grandiose business plans for her, and gives her this comfortable little “cage” to keep her protected from the big scary world.

I didn’t care for the story itself, but I admit I didn’t mind watching 10 episodes of Dori Sakurado, sometimes shirtless. Okay so I’m trash. I did indulge in the whole series and enjoyed the romance and any scene Dori is in, even when he’s being possessive of Risa. I just got annoyed by Risa’s meekness, which I guess if you could get over, this is a show for you. I just prefer strong or quirky female leads (like Makino from Hana Yori Dango).

I kinda feel bad for the actress Haruka Fukuhara, who played this wet rag of a role. I know she’s awesome after her work on Good Morning Call.

Still worth the watch if you have time to kill and love pretty boys.

Risa and Hiroto – Photo credit: IrozukuSubs

You can find Coffee & Vanilla on Viki.

“Promise to Keep” short story

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Credit to Photo by Aiony Haust on Unsplash of the beautiful woman. The gorgeous man was found and paid for from Dreamstime. Graphic design by Stargazer Heather Designs.

Soon I’ll be releasing another short story within an anthology with a group of talented writers. The anthology itself will be a collection of magical stories, and I’m very excited to share this with you. The release is right around the corner; though, I don’t have a definitive date yet.

I will post an update once the ebook is live!

My contribution is a story called Promise to Keep about a modern-day mage, Katrina, and a werewolf police captain Alastair! (I’ve always liked that name.) The story has action, urban fantasy, and two-knuckleheads in love — oh, well, they have feelings for each other, but one of them has a problem keeping them from making that first move…

Here’s a short preview except of the story…


Lightly and carefully, she pulled Alastair out and leaned him against her for support. She looked around, glad that there weren’t any onlookers. It was late enough in the night, yet there was still potential for people to stop by and see them. ‘Try to stand upright and not look so wounded. We don’t want people to get suspicious.’

He made a ragged noise of affirmation and straightened up as best as he could. He steadied his breathing, trying to hold back the pain.

When they got inside the building, one of his night volunteers, Raye, rushed over to them.

‘Oh my God, what happened?’ she exclaimed, immediately helping Katrina prop him up. They steered Alastair into the office with the sofa and laid him down.

He sighed in relief when his back met the soft cushions, but when Katrina started inspecting his wound, he flinched. Pangs of agony throbbed through him.

‘He was attacked. Go get the medical kit and my healing herbs in my desk,’ she said, and Raye turned dutifully.


Stay tuned for updates on the release of this anthology.

In the meantime, I plan on finishing War Fury soon. The recent death of one of my dogs, as well as my full time job’s demands have made it a challenge to keep up. Mod Fury will get its sequel soon.

Cheers!

H.K. Rowe

FREE BOOK: Unbridled (accidentally)

Well, by accident I tried to set up a free promotion for the Spirits Abound anthology for today, and ended up setting up the wrong book. Because obviously I don’t pay attention to things…

Spirits Abound will go up for FREE on Kindle tomorrow, but today, I guess I’m also running another FREE promotion on Unbridled! So the kindle version is free until Sunday. Get a copy if you haven’t yet!

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Unbridled is FREE now!

I’ll be back tomorrow to promote Spirits Abound!

Cheers,

H.K. Rowe

LAST DAY: Get your #Free copy of “Unbridled”

Today is the last day, folks! Unbridled is free for today and then will go back to regular price tomorrow. If you have not gotten a copy yet, please go to Amazon and download my debut novel.

IT’S TOTALLY FREE!

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Summary: Two orphan brothers are taken in by their rich cousins, only to become involved in a dangerous and risque romance with their beautiful daughter. And as each brother falls for her further, dark secrets arise weakening their strong bond.

4 and 5 stars on Amazon!

Enjoy!

H.K. Rowe

REMINDER: “Unbridled” is still #free

This is just a reminder that the ebook for “Unbridled” is still FREE on Amazon! It’s $0 for two more days. 

Thank you to all who has downloaded the book so far! I really appreciate it.

Who doesn’t like free books? Get a copy if you haven’t yet!

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Unbridled is FREE right now!

Cheers!

H.K. Rowe

Something Different

It’s true. My writing schedule is sort of paused right now. I’ve been insanely busy, dealing with some anxiety and trying to find any motivation in these subzero Chicago temperatures. It’s been brutal. I feel the cold so deep in my bones it’s been hard to do anything productive. I’m most useful at my job, it seems, because that’s how I have to be. Otherwise, I’m just energy drained.

Here are some things that passed across my Facebook feed that I felt I needed to share:

7 Romance Publishers that Pay – For those romance writers out there. 7 Publishers looking for submissions.

Chicken Soup for the Soul – $200 for non-fiction poems or prose.

I hope those links help out! For those of you dealing with the snow and cold, stay warm! For those of you in the warmth and sunshine, enjoy it, you lucky bastards!

Cheers,

HK Rowe