Blind date

What’s the point of having a blog if you don’t use it to needlessly complicate your life from time to time? The newest edition of Diamond’s Previews catalog has arrived, and while I plan to do my usual “make me suffer” poll later in the week, I’ve decided to add a new wrinkle to the process.

You see, I feel like I should read more boys’ love titles, but I like to do a certain amount of investigation prior to investing, because sometimes something sounds good and ends up embodying everything that makes me uncomfortable about books in the category. So I’m going to ask for your help, and your vote, in winnowing out the listed title that best matches my taste.

For the record, those tastes include: adult characters with interesting lives outside of their romantic relationships; a sprinkling of issues related to sexual identity; and no forced sex, or at least as little as possible. I also tend to prefer a light touch, though high drama is fine if it’s persuasively done. I don’t think that’s asking for too much, and if none of these candidates pass the test, I make no promises that I’ll suffer through one, but if enough of you make the case for a particular work, keeping my preferences in mind, then I’m on board.

So here are the candidates:

Tonight’s Take-Out Night, written and illustrated by Akira Minazuki: Matsumoto was sent from his company’s planning department to assist in the expansion of a fast food restaurant. Little did he expect to encounter sexual harassment from Iwakiri Kiyoshi, the extremely competent manager of this successful shop. How should he respond? And is it all in jest?

Okay, they have jobs, but sexual harassment is right there in the solicitation, so I’m leery. It ran in Taiyo Tosho’s Hertz.

Entangled Circumstances, written and illustrated by Kikuko Kikuya: Himeko and Shibui not only work for the same company, but had also attended university together. Himeko was wildly popular, and nicknamed “The Prince.” But whatever Shibui may be trying not to recall about their shared past, one thing is certain. Their present and future are tangled together, with the past knotting it quite firmly. Seeing Himeko everyday, Shibui finds his feelings ever more swayed. “Whatever it takes to get you…”

I absolutely love the cover art for this one, though I would vote for a moratorium on any character ever being nicknamed “The Prince” again. It also ran in Hertz.

A Liar in Love, written and illustrated by Kiyo Ueda: After receiving an interesting phone call from his brother, Tatsuki Hiroshi decides to go for a visit. There he encounters Miura, and as the two get to know each other, they begin dating. It is not supposed to be for anything but fun with no strings attached. So when did Tatsuki become a fool for love? What is he to do? As he finds out, affairs of the heart are complicated!

My ears perked up at the use of the word “dating.” This is not a word I usually see in BL solicitations. It’s apparently Hertz month.

I Give to You, written and illustrated by Ebishi Maki: Reeling from betrayal at the hands of his lover who left him in incredible debt, Ryouichi finds himself aimlessly wandering in the midst of a storm. Suddenly finding himself standing at the door of a teahouse. He goes in, and soon finds himself indebted to the owner. Helping out around the shop to pay back the owner’s kindness. Ryouichi finds that he’s looking forward to it, and not just to pay back the debt either. Has Ryouichi found where he belongs?

Again, it’s a gorgeous cover, but that blurb is kind of tortured. I know that doesn’t reflect on the book, but it is a little irksome. This one ran in Taiyo Tosho’s Craft.

This Night’s Everything, written and illustrated by Akira Minazuki: A certain politician has his own private security group. In that group is someone special. That man, Aoi, is someone who is extremely capable at his job, handling even dirty work with ease. But in that heart lies not only cold reason, but passion. Can love survive in such circumstances, and light a path out of the darkness?

Drama, drama, drama. I’m leaning backwards, because it’s getting really intense and all up in my face. We’re back to Hertz to wrap things up.

All right, those are the choices. Advice? Insights? Revealing tea leaves or possibly coffee grounds?