Title: Blossom of the Samurai (Sword and Silk Trilogy #3)
Author: Sedonia Guillone
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 15th Feb, 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary, Historical
Page Count: 112
Reviewed by: PIU
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
The samurai’s only true master is his heart….
For seven years while training for his life as a samurai, Toho Morimasa has been away from Aoki, the beautiful actor who helped him to heal from the trauma of his parents’ brutal murders. Now, nightmares that Aoki is in trouble plague Toho’s sleep, and he makes the journey back from Edo to Kai, no longer wanting to be away from Aoki’s side. Once there, Toho meets the very real source of his nightmares and vows to honor and protect Aoki. When his beloved Aoki is brutally assaulted, will Aoki survive long enough to understand that the love Toho has for him is the love he too has been craving his whole life but doesn’t feel he deserves?
A Timeless Dreams title: While reaction to same-sex relationships throughout time and across cultures has not always been positive, these stories celebrate M/M love in a manner that may address, minimize, or ignore historical stigma.
‘Blossom of the Samurai’ is the third and last instalment of the ‘Sword and Silk trilogy’.
This is the story of Aoki (Genji’s friend and a kabuki actor) and Toho (the kid from ‘Blind Love’ whom Sho and Hirata adopted)
Toho and Aoki got separated when little Toho leaves with his fathers to Edo. After seven years, Toho restless from a bad dream about Aoki makes the journey back to his ‘big sister’. Toho is a grown man now and his feelings for Aoki, as he meets the man again, transforms from ‘loving like a friend’ to something much more. But Aoki is already seeing a samurai and Toho may not be able to realize his love for Aoki like he had hoped. Read to find out how the couple jump an enormous hurdle together and fall in love!
The love here was very sensual and beautiful. It goes through several stages and finally comes to fruition in a very satisfying HEA. I liked seeing Genji, Sho and Hirata again in this story. Sho plays an important role here as he avenges Hirata as well as Aoki.
I found the pace of the story a little slow but otherwise everything was well done. I liked Aoki and Toho’s character very much. Aoki’s hesitation to love Toho like a man was justified. After the trauma he goes through the care with which Toho tends to Aoki was so sigh-worthy. There is only one intimate scene here which was the culmination of the story and a start of a romance.
My one hang-up about the plot: I did not understand the motives or the actions of the villain. He confesses that his actions were wrong but he still keeps up with it even after he has realized it and is looking for someone to give him an end worthy of a samurai. Totally loco, let me tell you! It was contradictory and basically did not make any sense.
Overall, it was a nice conclusion to the trilogy. I would look forward to more from this author.