Rating: 3.25 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Cupid Academy does Valentine’s Day in a big way. In this all boy’s school, the boys celebrate Valentine’s Day with each club hosting a booth to raise money for the events. Student Council hosts a kissing booth, the cooking club makes candy, and this year, the kendo club wants to do a “pictures with Cupid” booth. The only problem is the young man they want to play Cupid, Kylian Abadie, wants nothing to do with it. Alas, with the dean’s amusement and endorsement … it doesn’t look like Kylian will have a choice. Still, now that he’s caught the eye of the tall, dark, and handsome student body president, River, maybe playing Cupid won’t be so bad?
As part of the Cupid’s Academy series, this story follows college students as they fall into each other both literally and figuratively in the predictable meet-cute, go on dates, and talk about their plans for the future. Kylian, a French student attending Cupid Academy — an international college located in Hokkaido, Japan — wants to open a confectionery shop where he can make candy and pastries. River, an American, has no set plans for his life other than that he has no desire to join his father in the political world of Washington, D.C. The two young men are instantly, and very physically attracted to one another and slip off campus to a small rented house where Kylian loses his virginity to River, and River loses his heart.
On the surface, this is a mild and pleasant love story, but I couldn’t help but notice some things that affected my reading of the book: The first, this book is set in Japan, but almost every character is … well, not Japanese. The author treats the culture with respect and knowledge, but it just seemed strange to me. And then there’s the writing. The author has given her characters a very formal way of speaking, and writes with a style I’m not a giant fan of. The use of words like females and males (and mating) just doesn’t work for me, personally. I also found the sex scenes to be very .. awkward, both in the way that the author intended — for both characters it’s (supposedly) their first time with a man and Kylian’s first time ever — and just in the way the scene was written. These are very personal issues and other readers may not share my experience.
Overall this book has some charming ideas, solid characters, and a picture book happy ever after. It just wasn’t for me; I just didn’t vibe with the writing, though I will say that if you’re a fan at all of Asian dramas, especially school romances, you’ll probably find quite a few moments entertaining. If you do give this story a try, I hope you enjoy it!