Blood Stained Tea (The Yakuza Path #1)

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Title: Blood Stained Tea (The Yakuza Path #1)
Author: Amy Tasukada
Publisher: Macarons & Tea Publishing
Release Date: November 28th 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary, MM Romance, Mafia, Enemies-to-lovers
Page Count: 319
Reviewed by: Lenaribka
Heat Level: 1 flames out of 5
Rating: 2 stars out of 5

A bloody past haunts him. A devastating present calls him back…

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 Tea is 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.

Well…it was a frustrating read for me. I liked the premise more than I liked the book.

This book was not awful. Even if the story-line and the characters lacked of logic and depth, it was easy to come through. Like a comic cartoon. That is one of a few positive things about this book for me. What I also found interesting is the cultural aspect and the setting.

Blood Stained Tea takes place in Kyoto, Japan. It was refreshing and new for me, and I googled. I always enjoy books that teach me something new, and here it was Kyoto’s festivals, Japanese tea ceremony and traditions.

It COULD have been a beautiful

enemies-to-lovers romance story, rich in plot and a cultural background and with much passion. COULD HAVE…but it wasn’t.
Unfortunately the author failed on all fronts, IMO.

A story summary:

After the Korean mafia has established itself in Osaka forcing the Japanese mafia there into a bloody territory war Kyoto is its next target for expansion. Nao, a son of a Godfather of the Yakuza Japanese mafia, withdrew from the family business 4 years ago, for private reasons, and runs since then his own small tea-house. He lives a very solitary and simple life, when one rainy night he finds a badly wounded young man on the street. As he takes him home to take care of, he doesn’t know that this attractive Korean young man is an important member of the Korean mob…

How the story goes on, is easy to guess: they fell in love, and…well…their origins make everything only complicated. But don’t rush to stamp this book as a gay Romeo and Juliet story. IT IS NOT. But you can find it yourself.

My issues:

I’m not going to read the next book in the series. I can imagine how it ends: Nao will get a new kitty.

I think I’m not going to read more by the author.

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Galley copy of Blood Stained Tea (The Yakuza Path #1) provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.


A passionate reader from Germany. I learned to read at the age of 4 and never stopped since then, though my books from that time were very different from what they are now. English is my third language, and I'm sorry for all grammar mistakes I made in my reviews. But I assure you, that my reading English is much better than my writing English. I'm a seeker for the books that differ from mainstream, that provoke the reader or have very often very opposite ratings.