Author/Artist: Lily Hoshino
Publisher: Deux Press
Rating: M – 18 and up
Genre: Yaoi, Drama, Romance, Anthology
*** Review originally appeared at The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society at http://liheliso.org/. Check it out! ***
Kakiuchi is the hottest guy in class and has devised a game where there is a bag of chocolates (some spiked with an aphrodisiac), a group of girls, and the possibility of sleeping with Kakiuchi. The rules are whichever girl picks the spiked chocolate gets to sleep with Kakiuchi. One day Ogasawara, a guy, is invited to join in on the fun but they amend the rule that if Ogasawara chooses the spiked chocolate he can choose whichever girl he wants to (at least that’s playing the Mix Chocolate game.) When it turns out that Ogasawara picks the chocolate, he allows Kakiuchi to help him out. Is this the beginning of love?
Chocolate Surprise is a collection of sexy stories created by Lily Hoshino. Whatever you enjoy chances are Hoshino-sensei has covered here in Chocolate Surprise. I enjoyed most of the stories. There was one that I wasn't too fond of, A Condition for Love, but the rest were rather enjoyable. The reason why I didn't like A Condition for Love is because one guy confessed, the other guy said he'd only go out with someone experienced and offered to help the poor guy out with no intention of really continuing the relationship. Of course it gets the happily ever after moment, but it's not really a story line I enjoy. The rest of the stories are much more enjoyable, at least in my opinion.
One thing I found somewhat exciting is in My Only King, published by Juné, continues the story between Ogasawara and Kakiuchi. It seems that Kakiuchi may have had a thing for Ogasawara long before either of them knew it.
Hoshino-sensei is a mangaka that has the tendency to grow on you. When I first started reading yaoi I wanted my men to look like men (I still feel that way but I've expanded my horizons a bit). In the case of sensei's few titles on the market had very girly ukes on the front. I immediately judged her work without reading it and ended up eating my words (mmm…they're tasty too). Yes, I will admit that her ukes can be a little bit on the feminine side but she is a very talented artist. When I finally read through my first title of hers (Love Quest published by Yen Press) I immediately fell in love with her apple-cheeked, dewy-lipped boys.
If you haven't checked out any of Hoshino-sensei's titles I think that Chocolate Surprise is a great starter book. It is on the graphic side of things so if you have issue with detailed art in intimate moments, be aware. The stories are short but are fulfilling, unlike so many one-shot collections out there. And not all of them are smutty either. A couple of the adorable stories that I love aren't graphic at all. They're just sweet!
Deux Press has knocked another one out of the park with this release. Not only is it a great collection of stories but they've done a great job. The translation seems smooth and I didn't catch any editorial errors. They also did a bang up job on the cleanup. This is definitely one of their greatest achievements!
***Review Copy provided by Deux Press***
***Reposted with permission from The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society***