Starting With a Kiss, Volume 3 by Youka Nitta

Starting with a Kiss 3 concludes the series, providing quite a punch in several very interesting plot twists and reveals. Although the ending is somewhat open, hinting at quite a few changes for Mutsumi and Toru in the future, all the machinations throughout the last chapters that lead to that ending make for a very satisfying read.


Story: With tantalizing clues that Mutsumi’s paternity may be far more complicated than realized, Toru begins to make his own plans as well. Both realize they cannot (and perhaps do not want to) be the head of the Suki organization. But at the same time, Asato’s desire to trump Toru is becoming problematic to the point of injurious to Toru. Mutsumi, with the help of Domouto, sets an intricate plan in place to create a feature for the two; but can he and Toru truly outsmart the entire Suki organization?

The plot is intricately woven in this third volume – I couldn’t help but be surprised with where author Nitta took the story. Yes, it is as salacious as the previous volumes but it is also backed up by quite a story. Reading this volume took much longer than most in this genre just because there was so much going on in the background. Fortunately, at the same time, there weren’t any deus ex machina in order to create a happy ending. Nor did Nitta allow the story to get bogged down by the politics.

Starting With a Kiss was a solid read and perfectly paced at three volumes. There’s enough of an open ending to leave one wondering but at the same time entirely satisfied with how the story got to that point. Any more would have dragged the story unnecessarily and any less would have been frustrating. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

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