Blood Stained Tea - Amy Tasukada
M/M Thriller with romantic elements
Nao hides from his violent past in the Japanese mob by opening a teahouse in Japan's cultural center, Kyoto. His past comes flooding back when he discovers a gravely injured man with a tattooed chest, a bloody knife, and a Korean business card.
Saehyun would've died if not for Nao's help. He knows nothing of his savior's connection with the local mafia, but Saehyun has his own secrets. He commands the Korean mafia, the mortal enemy of Nao’s former syndicate.
As Nao and Saehyun grow closer, so does the strength of the Korean mob. A shocking murder pulls Nao back into a past he'd all but abandoned. War is looming, and Nao must choose between protecting Saehyun or avenging the honor of his old mafia family..
The Yakuza Path: Blood Stained Teais the first book in a series of Japanese mafia thrillers. If you like complex characters, blood-soaked violence, and twists you won't see coming, then you'll love Amy Tasukada's gritty crime masterpiece.
Review: 4 Stars
Nao Murata runs a teahouse in the historical district of Kyoto and leads a simple, peaceful existence. But that wasn't always the case.
Finding an injured man in the canal during one of his walks, Nao takes him home and patches him up. But that simple act of compassion has repercussions and Nao is drawn back into the life of violence he thought he'd left behind forever.
For Saehyun Park, that injured man, is one of the leaders of the Korean Mafia, Double Moon gang, the arch-rivals of Nao's old Yakuza clan. The two feel an instant attraction, but neither man is honest as to who he truly is. And soon there is an all out turf war between the Kyoto Yakuza and the Double Moon who want to take over Kyoto.
Does Nao follow his heart, or his honour? And neither choice is an easy one. They are both stuck between a rock and a hard place.
We just recently came back from a holiday to Japan and I found the Japanese aspects very interesting, about the history and meanings of various festivals. And it was interesting to read about a place that you've been too and we spend some time in Kyoto.
This was a gritty, page-turning thriller that kept me up till two in the morning to finish it. You may have noticed I classified this as a thriller with romantic elements, rather than a romance. For while there is a love story here, it is a tragic one reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet, and what happens at the end cements it firmly in thriller category rather than romance category.
The love scenes aren't very explicit, but a lot of the violence is. Not that I was expecting a tale about Yakuza to be light and fluffy, but I could have done with a few more lighter parts to contrast with the darker aspects.
It's well written and while it may not be a light read, it is a compelling one and a fascinating insight into what might make people do such things.
Amy Tasukada lives in a catless home in North Texas. (She enjoys cats but can’t quite make that kind of commitment yet.) As an only child her day dreams kept her entertained, and at age ten she started to put them to paper. Since then her love of writing hasn’t cease. When she’s not chasing after stray cats, she can be found drinking hot tea and filming Japanese street fashion hauls on her Youtube channel.