Dana reviews The Temple of Heaven (Made in China Book 2) by Z. Allora (Published by Dreamspinner Press, July 10, 2018, 308 pages) A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
To read my review of The Great Wall click here.
Why I read this book: I love Z. Allora’s writing. She creates such diverse characters like zombies, characters from other planets, subs and doms, and rock stars. Not to mention her characters that all tend to represent a different color of the rainbow. This book, I have wanted to read in particular because Jordon is a crossover character from The Dark Angels series, which I loved. He finally gets his happy ever after and I couldn’t wait to read it.
Made In China: Book Two
Music is Tian Di’s life and his love, and he’s made plenty of sacrifices. His career is finally taking off with his band, Made in China, and he’ll continue to put music first… until he meets Jordon. Then insta-lust becomes insta-love and a commitment to the future—no matter how difficult it might be.
Jordon lives in a bubble constructed by his overprotective older brothers, who are so controlling that they’ve kept him from dating. A talented artist, Jordon managed to keep his success with a Japanese manga publisher a secret from his family, but now he fears discovery. It’s easier to let his brothers handle everything, but Jordon has reached his limit. He’s ready to draw some boundaries so he can be his own man and face all the challenges that come with that.
Their families and careers aren’t the only obstacles. Jordon must accept his identity as a gay man who doesn’t top or bottom. Fortunately, Tian Di—and his special talents—helps Jordon open up to his sexuality in an erotic adventure that spans Japan and China, and with love, luck, hard work, and open minds, will end in a happily ever after.
When I first met Jordon in The Dark Angels series, he was going through some tough times. Even when things got dark, he was light and optimistic, and really funny. He might have flickered a little bit a few times, but there was a joy about him that really made me want to read his story. He was young, though, so there was a wait. And fast forward a few years, it’s finally here. *Happy dances!*
One of the things I like best is that we really know Jordon. His oldest brother Dusty is the drummer for the band The Dark Angels and he had his story in that series. His second oldest brother Zack has his own story in the Entwined Dreams series. So we are familiar with Jordon’s family and what his place in it is. His older brothers have always looked out for him and can be a little overprotective. For a time, Jordon was in need of that, but now things are different. He has a career his brothers don’t know about, and he wants his independence. He is trying to break free and he wants to do it with the lead singer of the band he introduced his brothers to.
Tian Di is the lead singer of a rock band in China. With his other band mates, he shares the secret of being gay in a country where it is considered an abomination. Music has always been his mate, and when The Dark Angels asked them to be their opening act, it should have been a dream come true, but he was missing something. Enter The Dark Angel’s drummer’s younger brother.
It’s instant chemistry for them both, with feelings developing quicker than what seems realistic, but I argue that it’s not as insta-love as it seems. Jordon has been watching Tian Di perform on Youku, a Chinese version of YouTube. And Tian Di has been reading and loving the yaoi novels written under Jordon’s pen name. They have each seen each other’s hearts expressed through their art before meeting each other. Their relationship felt right for me from the beginning.
It was a bit harder for some of the characters to accept, though. Tian Di’s bandmates are concerned about the risks their relationship might have for the band. (It’s great to see all the Made in China crew again and I can’t wait to read Indigo and Li’s story because they definitely need some help. Jin and Styx still seem sweet and happy.) Jordon’s brothers are having trouble with him wanting to take care of himself, so seeing him in a relationship is even more difficult. Oh they do come around, and I love them so. Angel, Robin, and Dusty’s boyfriend Justin are there to root on the romance and it helps. (Can I say I’m even more excited to see all of The Dark Angels members again as well as their SO’s?) Tian Di’s parents are not real accepting of him being gay, so they are also a little bit of an obstacle.
There is definitely something about Jordon and Tian Di, though. They are determined to be together and be there for each other. Their love wins people over. Their relationship is different than most of Z. Allora’s other couples. For the first time I heard the expression, “sexual side.” Jordon has no interest in being a top or bottom so I guess the expression makes a lot of sense. He’s a side. Though I wish that love itself was the reason that Tian Di was okay with it, it appears that he isn’t interested in anal sex either, so it really is a match made in heaven. There is a lot of travel in this book, and the author showed us the world she has seen herself through the characters’ journeys. I loved learning more about China and Japan.
The story for me ended early. It’s a pretty lengthy book and I feel really good about Jordon and Tian Di as a couple, but I feel like I need more about their future, because I feel a little up in the air on how they plan on making it work. I know they will, but the curious cat in me needs to know how. This is the second book in the series, though, so I do realize that there will be more even if they are more of a background couple in the future book(s). After Li and Indigo get their story or stories, I hope that there will be a recap of sorts to see how all the couples handle being together and whether they come out or remain in hiding because of the country they live in. This is definitely a series that I need to read more of. I recommend reading it in order and for everyone to check out the author’s other books as well.
9/10 pots of gold equivalent to 90% recommended or 4.5 of 5 stars
Z. Allora believes in happily-ever-afters for everyone. Z. met her own true love through the personals and has traveled to over thirty-three countries with him. She’s lived in Singapore, Israel, and China. Now back home in the USA, she’s an active member of PFLAG and a strong supporter of those on the rainbow in her community. Z. wants to promote understanding and acceptance through her actions and words. Writing rainbow and yaoified romance allows her words to open hearts and change minds.
Facebook: Z Allora Allora