Voices of Love

Voices of Love is the first release from Luv Luv Press, an imprint of Aurora Publishing promising “passionate manga for women”. And that’s what they deliver.

Voices of Love cover
Voices of Love
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This volume contains five love stories that don’t shy away from nudity and sex scenes. (That explains the Mature 18+ rating.) When I first read them, I thought, “This is just what I’ve been looking for: yaoi, only girl/boy.” Then I realized just what that said about how my brain has been warped by manga expectations. These stories are yaoi-like in that the boys are slender and attractive, but they’re more like Harlequin romance novels in their wish fulfillment of finding rescuing love.

In the title story, a young teacher has a teen-boy neighbor who keeps her up at night with his loud music and noisy love-making. It turns out that he’s a student at her school, and things proceed from there. I found the art attractive and easy to read. The pages are full, not sparse, not too crowded. The expressions are often exaggerated to convey emotion quickly. But where this differs from some other manga is that there’s more motivation to the characters than just getting together. They have hopes and dreams beyond the physical.

In fact, sometimes they settle. In the second story, a young woman runs into someone she went to school with. He was her first, an act important to her but that meant nothing to him. Like many women, she trades sex to get the attention she wants from him, consoling herself that at least it’s meaningful to her, even if he’s using her. Of course, he learns better. (That’s an important theme in most romances, that men need to learn to value love as important.)

The fantasy guys — hot schoolboy neighbor, crush finally realizing it’s true love, the nice-guy rescuer — are true to life. Their plausibility makes them more powerful to the reader. At the core, they’re all the same guy — the guy who’s pushy enough to overcome resistance and demonstrate how much he wants you (without being the wrong kind of pushy, the abusive kind). The guy who knows what you want before you’re even aware of it yourself. The considerate, giving lover who thinks you’re beautiful no matter what.

The last two stories take a male perspective, with quiet guys rescuing broken girls who need to learn the true meaning of love. They’re all forgettable reads, but they serve their immediate purpose, to reward their female audience with some entertaining fantasy love stories. I appreciated the variety in character motivation and situation, keeping things interesting. Since the publisher emphasizes one-shot volumes, it’s easy for women to pick up these titles for quick enjoyment without ongoing commitment.

(A complimentary copy for this review was provided by the publisher.)

10 Comments

  1. [...] Then there’s new, female-targeted Aurora. They’ve put out, along with a couple of shojo titles, the josei Walkin’ Butterfly. But even more exciting is their Luv Luv Press line, explicit manga for women. The first book in that line is Voices of Love. [...]

  2. [...] Johanna Draper Carlson on Kanae Hazuki’s one-woman romance anthology, Voices of Love. (Above: sequence from the [...]

  3. [...] Johanna Draper Carlson reviews Aurora’s new Teen Love manga, Voices of Love and Ed Sizemore checks out the breast-fest vol. 1 of Ral Grad at Comics Worth Reading. Here’s [...]

  4. [...] Real Love is the second release from Luv Luv Press. Like their first book, Voices of Love, this volume contains sexy love stories aimed at an adult female audience. (It’s rated [...]

  5. [...] even more explicit material, or as they put it, “hot and sexy… passionate manga”. Voices of Love, a stand-alone collection of short stories, initiated the line in January. Whether finding out that [...]

  6. [...] pages at the publisher’s website. I have previously reviewed the Luv Luv books Real Love and Voices of Love. [...]

  7. [...] first Luv Luv Press title, Voices of Love, was intriguing to me, just because it was very unusual in the U.S. to see manga romance stories [...]

  8. [...] in book 4 keeps getting put off and now has no definite publication date. The Luv Luv line of sexy comics for adult women, meanwhile, delivered plenty of sex wrapped in plenty of cliches and [...]

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  10. [...] love, and LuvLuv, putting out “passionate manga for women”. Their first title is Voices of Love, a collection of short stories with plenty of sex included. Future volumes follow a similar [...]

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