Blog Tour [Review]: Hanami (#1) and Hazakura (#2) by V.C. Buckley (plus a $10 Giveaway!)

Hanami by VC Buckley Review Tour

Today we’re featuring Hanami and Hazakura (the sequel!) by author V.C. Buckley! This is a series in a genre that I don’t usually review, but lately I’ve been trying to be more open to contemporary fiction (you know, young adult, new adult, etc.) so I jumped at the chance to join this blog tour. I’m also pretty psyched because the author is from Manila! Gotta support my fellow Filipina, you know. :)

Read more about the books below and check out my review. Then enter the blog tour giveaway for a chance to win a $10 gift card to Amazon or B&N. Yay!

Hanami by VC BuckleyHanami by V.C. Buckley

“I am no princess… I am Yakuza,”

SAKURA SHINTANI is the heir to the Dragon Clan—Japan’s most notorious crime dynasty. But can she keep this fact a secret from the annoying brats of Oniyuri Academy?

She must try to master her demons while trying not to hurt anyone. But having the face of an angel puts her on everyone’s radar… including the arrogant heir to Asia’s most powerful tycoon, KENJIN KIYOHARA. He senses the danger, but Sakura is too interesting to be left alone.

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An easy read, interesting characters, fun and exciting story

Holy cow, I finished this book in less than a day! The prose is descriptive and flows easily, the characters intriguing and the story exciting, so this book was such an easy read.

I like the main character, Sakura. She’s definitely a strong heroine, but also imperfect and has a vulnerability that is reasonable and even relatable. Her love interest, Jin, is also interesting in his own way, but it’s Sakura who really captures your attention. I like how their love story evolves throughout the book.

The plot twists are great. I just think that the reveals or resolutions to some of the crucial points in the story are too easy or simplified. Like some are a little bit glossed over, then sort of explained later on. Maybe I just wanted more intrigue and action. They are some pretty interesting twists though and I truly enjoyed them.

Lastly, I love all the Asian elements in this – the setting, the culture and traditions, the sport (kendo), the food. Made me hungry, tbh. Haha.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this one and couldn’t wait to get to the next book (review below!).

Hazakura VC BuckleyHazakura (Hanami #2) by V.C. Buckley

Can love last for a mafia princess?

find out in this riveting sequel to HANAMI…

KENJIN KIYOHARA, the son of Asia’s most powerful tycoon has finally won the heart of SAKURA SHINTANI, the heir to Japan’s most notorious crime dynasty. But their new love is threatened as Sakura’s trigger-happy oppositions see Kenjin as her ultimate weakness, making her rethink the decision to be with him. But Kenjin is determined to stay by her side, even if it might cost him his life.

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Another easy read, with interesting plot twists, still a fun and exciting story

This was as easy to read as the first book. The writing is also descriptive and flows easily. The characters are even more (or have grown more) interesting than in the first book. However, though the story is still as exciting as the first one, for some reason, it felt slower. I’m not sure why, maybe it was just my mood while reading it.

Anyway, Sakura is still a badass. And Jin is well, still Jin. He’s a little unreasonably (in my opinion) jealous in this one though so I didn’t like him as much, but he redeems himself so it’s fine.

The plot twists are also great, but, like in the first book, I think the reveals and resolutions are way too easy and convenient. There’s a tad bit more action though, so that was fun.

Overall, I still enjoyed reading this one and I’m still interested to read more about Sakura’s story.

Note: I received review copies of these books as part of my participation in the tour. All opinions and views expressed here are my own.

About the Author

VC Buckley authorV.C. Buckley was born in an isolated government facility and shipped off to an Island in Southeast Asia where she grew up braving tropical thunderstorms and warding off evil villains. At sixteen she was discovered by an agent and jetted off all over the world. Her stories come from gritty moments of her childhood to the glitz of her travels. She now lives in Manila with her husband, two kids and an herb garden that has hijacked her balcony.

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Read an Excerpt from Hanami

Jin rolled his eyes, settling his gaze back on the girl. He wasn’t surprised with their reaction.

The new girl was hot, but so what? It took more than a pretty face to get his attention. He wasn’t that easy to impress, and he was certain she’d be throwing herself at him anyway. Just like everybody else. He was sure this girl wasn’t any different from the love-crazed hyenas that stalked him.

Jin pushed back his shoulders, seeing her start towards him with her eyes still trailing on the ground.

Already? Jin thought, suppressing a laugh. He crossed his arms, waiting for her to get closer, and sure enough she stopped right in front of him. She was even prettier up close. Asian but with a hint of Caucasian mixed in.

“What?” he asked, smirking. He already knew what she might say: whether he was Kenjin Kiyohara, the sole heir to Kiyohara Industries? The questions were all the same. He thought she would have at least waited until class was over like the rest of them.

“Move your feet. You’re blocking my way,” the girl said in a sharp tone. She shifted her gaze up at him like a threatening knife. Her topaz-colored eyes darkened, sending icy tremors down his back. He felt as if he’d been hit by a curse as his mind turned blank.

When she finally looked away, Jin was able to regain his senses. He tucked his legs out of her way, and she passed, leaving goosebumps in her wake. His eyes followed her, waiting to see if she’d look back, but she never did. Jin’s hands were trembling. His thoughts became jumbled while he struggled not to look anymore.

What was that? What just happened? This was a first for him. He couldn’t contain himself. His presence had no impact whatsoever. Instead she looked like she wanted to kill him!

Jin took a deep breath, replaying the moment in his head. Who was this girl? She sure got his attention, all right—and it left him in pieces. He fought the urge to look back again.

This girl…Jin thought. There was something about her. He couldn’t shake off the feeling. She seemed dangerous.


V.C. Buckley will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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