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Strawberries and the Beast - April Moone The title of this book intrigued me as it is aiming at the classic fairy tale. Though the cover is overly sappy. In the beginning this book confused me. It wasn’t easy to access the story. The point of view is changing in between and I couldn’t follow. Also the writing style is strange, and I can’t put my finger on it what exactly disturbs me. Sometime the style was weirdly removed from the story. None of this is massively bad but made it hard to follow the story line.

Through Masaki is straight and Keigo is bisexual, their sexual orientation is not the main reason which keeps them apart. Because the main characteristic of Masaki is asocial behavior. He doesn’t interact with anyone, starts fights and has no friends. Keigo is very persistent and slowly grows on Masaki, they become friends or something like this. They end up in bed together and Masaki isn’t terribly embarrassed by this. One of the actual problems is Keigo’s still-ongoing abusive relationship with his former piano teacher and Masaki’s absolute avoidance of personal commitment. I liked both of them together. They worked. On their own both of them were unhappy and didn’t fit but together they were happy. The tender scenes between them moved me . Sometimes the story was exceedingly dramatic but the overall character development was all right. As an european reader I was confused by the different address possibilities and rules in traditional japanese. Through they were explained beforehand I couldn’t always follow if it was appropriate or not.

Overall this was an entertaining LGBT romance in the exotic setting of Japan.

*** ARC courtesy of NetGalley ***