REVIEW: Sleeing With Money by Barbara Katagiri

Tatsuro, a good-looking yakuza who turns every head, is looking for a benefactor to take on his debts. Seizing that opportunity is Sagami, president of a large bank. However, even with all the wealth and power he could imagine, Sagami only wants Tatsuro!

Warnings: Dubcon, Bondage, Mild Violence

Category: M/M

Sleeping With Money is a light novel about a minor yakuza boss in debt to a loan shark, which is a premise that I certainly appreciate. Tatsuro is in trouble if he can’t get the money he needs to pay off his higher ups, so he takes out a loan with an old highschool rival who is intent on having him pay him off with his body! This is one of the most fun light novels I’ve read, and quite the page turner. Blackmail and monetary domination is, after all, always a fun fantasy kink.

WRITING
The writing is good! It’s a very fast paced cheesy action story, both in terms of the smut content but also in terms of the gang rivalries and crime world plot going on around the smut. Although the twists in the story are very silly and predictable at times, it was still a fun ride and I really enjoyed all the excitement of it all. It was like watching an action movie that just happened to have a lot of gay sex involved. Ultimately silly and unrealistic, but still entertaining and fun. Like a roller coaster ride.

I also really enjoyed the illustrations; it’s accompanied by very classic BL style artwork that keeps things steamy and expressive.

EMOTIONAL ENGAGEMENT
I was very invested in these characters. Jumping between Tatsuro and Sagami’s POVs really helped to draw out the slow build of their relationship. Tatsuro was a problem child who grew up impoverished and turned to a life of crime, but despite it all has a soft side, and Sagami grew up rich and privileged and has had a crush on Tatsuro ever since their kendo rivalry in highschool. Both of them are charming, and even the stories side characters are interesting and fun. There wasn’t a single character that I didn’t quite enjoy, and the author did an excellent job of making you care about each one of them, even the antagonists.

WORLDBUILDING
I was glad to see a good amount of building around the crime organizations in the story. While I’m sure it’s not an accurate depiction of life within the yakuza, it was exciting as a reader to be immersed in the fantasy of it. The political climate between the mobs and the businesses that associate with them was all well put together, if a little hammy, and I have a soft spot for organized crime stories.

STEAMINESS
This had some of the most fun smut out of any of the light novels I’ve read. It remained quite kinky the entire way through, starting with dubcon and moving more towards some sweeter, more consensual D/s as Tatsuro discovers that he really enjoys being tied up. I liked the taboo nature of it, as Tatsuro keeps trying to convince himself that he’s only sleeping with Sagami to pay off his debt rather than because he wants to. There’s bondage, there’s power and class imbalance, there’s a slowly building romance, it’s emotional and steamy.

This is a very fun light novel that is well worth the read if you enjoy crime stories and dubcon smut. It’s cheesy, but in a very very good way, and I very much enjoyed it.

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