Tattoo

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On the night of Xiao Ke’s thirtieth birthday, he shared a table while drinking. The person he shared the table with was a cool man who fit all of his aesthetic desires. It was practically love at first sight.

He was thirty; he had reached that age where he was no longer the awkward twenty-something youth. He would pursue the one he liked without hesitation, no questions asked.

“I want you to give me a tattoo. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”

Associated Names
One entry per line
Ci Qing
Hình Xăm
สลักรักที่กลางใจ
刺青
Related Series
After Our Divorce, I Still Wore Your Jacket (Shared Universe)
Wildfire (Bu Wen San Jiu) (Shared Universe)
Recommendations
Your Distance (2)
SAYE (2)
After Our Divorce, I Still Wore Your Jacket (2)
Brother (1)
Give Me A Hug (1)
Singlehood Syndrome (1)
Recommendation Lists
  1. Diamonds
  2. Danmei I've read part 1
  3. Read *** or **** Part One
  4. Modern danmei that I binged read
  5. To Read Novels That Are Completely Translated

Latest Release

Date Group Release
03/24/23 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c52 (end)
03/24/23 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c51
03/23/23 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c50
03/23/23 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c49
03/22/23 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c48
03/22/23 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c47
03/21/23 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c46
03/21/23 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c45
03/20/23 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c44
03/20/23 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c43
03/19/23 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c42
03/19/23 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c41
03/18/23 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c40
03/18/23 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c39
03/17/23 Exiled Rebels Scanlations c38
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111 Reviews sorted by


fameyreads
New fameyreads
May 20, 2024
Status: Completed
In summary, it started out great and then okay. The start is interesting enough, it was fun reading about how the MC started pursuing the ML, and how slowly but surely ML started breaking down his walls for MC. HOWEVER, I think you've already read from previous reviews and they have done a more detailed explanation on this. The latter part was just... not good. I don't like how MC dealt with ML's past. He kept saying something about past is past, and he just wants to look forward. But... more>> when ML finally shared with him his past trauma, what did MC do? Ignored him for a month. Because he needed time to internalize it. ??? ML was the victim here. So why did MC go radio silence on him? Imagine finally baring your heart and soul and then the person you thought would understand just ignores you immediately afterwards. That sucks. And don't get me started on the way they handled ML's trauma. Nope! Anyways, it was a happy ending so it was okay?? Hahaha <<less
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Acidelia
Acidelia rated it
December 7, 2019
Status: Completed
This story isn’t solely an observation of Xiao Ke’s pursuit of Zhou Zui, but how both their lives gradually change as a result of meeting each other.

MC is a resolute and patient character. Whilst he doesn’t hesitate to chase after the ML, how he approaches ML’s life is anything but invasive. Throughout his pursuit, MC maintains his own lifestyle, and it’s refreshing to see characters with a life that’s not dependent on the interactions with the other character.

Xiao Ke is a respected teacher whilst Zhou Zui is a tattoo artist.... more>> They come from two different worlds, and yet MC is never prejudiced and always holds the right amount curiosity towards ML’s life.

As I was reading, I often felt like I had to cheer on the MC who was chasing such an emotionally aloof character BUT after reading what ML has been through I understand why he’s built his walls so high. In reality, he fears that he would taint MC’s life if he were to open up his.

I have so much respect for the MC who continued to pursue where others would certainly give up. It’s MC’s patience and dedication which really moves the story and ultimately, the ML. In fact, it’s the ML who ends up opening up more about his past than the MC. The MC who gradually integrates himself into ML’s life, really knows how to chase. <<less
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YellowNoodle
YellowNoodle rated it
December 8, 2019
Status: c37
Everyone, this is a dazzling gem under the sun. You cannot miss this at all.

I adore the maturity and the sensuality of the story. Both the main characters are in their 30's and the bud of love slowly roots into a towering tree while they resolve the tight knots within their hearts at the same time.

It's so wonderful. You get a sense of how it's hard to love someone again when you're older. You have to bare yourself to them for the loyalty and trust. You have to, after many... more>> life experiences, find that youthful version of you in order to persist and attain the one you desire.

The main characters fit so well together.

Our protagonist, Xiao Ke, is a handsome teacher. He's a great listener, understanding, and a very principled person. However, once you get close to this flower god he will occasionally become mischevious and lovable which can hook anyone's heart.

Our male lead, Zhou Ze is silent and mature, oozing stability and masculine charm with his taut muscles covered in a black shirt while his attractive hands hold a burning ciagarette. But behind that calm mask lies a soft heart full of insecurities due to his past and his guilt. It's been engraved deep into his bones but even he couldnt withstand agaisnt our protagonist, Xiao Ke's, hot pursuit.

The story really exemplifys a love I personally desire and I just can't help but feel content over their relationship.

Their love blazes with fire but the flame is stable, warm, and comfortable.

Everything is so lovely and I really implore you all to read this.

1000/10

Enjoi and Adieu <<less
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Ritu
Ritu rated it
January 20, 2020
Status: Completed
I have read many BL novels but this is the most mature novel I've ever read. Mature not in s*xual sense but in the sense of maturity. The characters actually act their age, have normal human interactions. They are all mature adults and you really get that feeling of maturity while reading it.

In a lot of BL novels even adults the age of 30 don't feel like their are 30 in them. They are childish, unreliant individuals. Here you actually see the characters as self reliant self confident adults who... more>> know what they want .

Idk how to explain it but this novel is a gem. The characters are lovely and 3d, the character development is beautiful. Watching the MC courting the ML and gradually building up genuine feelings over time is just beautiful. Really surpassed my expectations <<less
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bblank
bblank rated it
June 6, 2022
Status: Completed
I made an account JUST to bash this novel. I am so disappointed.

It really looked promising - mature leads = mature way of handling conflict, no? Ha. Whenever either of them are upset, MC ignores ML and ML refuses to talk to MC, as of they're both children. The reviews all promised me a good read, where did that go?

If you stop reading before the main CP gets together - hey, u might enjoy this after all. If you stick around though, like I did, this goes down hard, fast.

In... more>> the beginning, it's a really good read. MC chases ML around and tries to "woo" ml, using all sorts of tactics. He brings ML flowers and promises all sorts of things - "I'll be together with u for the rest of your life". They maintain a rather ambiguous relationship for a while, and like kids, play tug of war, pushing and pulling each other. ML doesn't want a relationship but won't outright reject MC. MC sees himself as a mature "adult" yet acts like a kid, giving me, the viewer, second hand embarrassment (it only gets worse as you go forward. MC (this grown man!) Starts acting spoiled, like a little kid, ropes ML into his antics)

Spoiler

Now for the later half of the novel. What the f*ck.

I cannot begin to express how f*cked up that was.

Throughout the novel, MC is described as "lovable" "sociable" "good looking" etc. To the point where nobody even recognizes his flaws - including himself, ml, and ml's circle of friends.

(Can I quickly comment - why does the cold and aloof trope ML have more friends than the "sunshine" trope mc? Interesting)

MC let's all this get to his head reaaal quick. When getting together, the main problem was "ML has a traumatizing past - he was in a mentally tiring relationship, verbally abused by his past lover and his ex even went so far as to traumatize him for life by killing himself on top of him while he was asleep". Why is this a conflict? Who knows, novel logic. But the way ml's trauma is handled is outright outrageous. What MC has to say Abt this, when he hears the full story, is NOTHING. Literally MOMENTS ago he promised ML to stay by his side no matter what, and now what??

Honestly this really confused me until a few chapters later, when I found out the reason for this - MC was SALTY BECAUSE ML WOULD ALWAYS REMEMBER HIS EX. No shit??? ML is traumatized the f*ck out of his mind, can't even sleep at night from nightmares, and this is what comes to your mind?

Perhaps beibei described this best, "Our Lord Xiao can't stand to be second best to anyone", literally MC just doesn't want ML to remember his ex. What?? Meanwhile, throughout the entire novel, he maintains a wishy-washy relationship with his OWN ex. "I've already done the best I can to block him, why won't he leave me alone?" Is MC's attitude here. No, you haven't!!! MC went on night walks with this guy, had a drink with him, accepted fruit that he gifted his parents? Hello??

Back to MC's response to ml's trauma. Only after a few chapters do we understand his shallow ass reasons, but then MC goes and "accepts" ML anyways, acting like he has to settle for ml? Like he has to bring his own standards down so he can be with ml? What?

Only LATER is this going to be actually addressed. MC learns that ML can't sleep on the same bed as him and PRETENDS NOT TO KNOW ABT IT (You're both adults - just confront him about it, for f*ck's sake). ML feels horrible about it and tries his best to hide it, but in the end he's too truthful and ends up telling MC anyway. He feels like "he's wronged the MC and his pure intentions" by not sleeping with him.

ML says that he'll go to a therapist about it. MC asks him if he already has. ML confirms that he has tried it, but to no avail. MC just straight up tells him not to try again.

I'm sorry, what? Can u ask ML if HE wants to, rather than make the decision for him? Also, therapists are super helpful. You should tell ur bf to go get PROFESSIONAL HELP! But nooo, MC basically goes "it's okay, don't go to a therapist, I can fix you :D". What...?

And the fact that it even WORKS is astonishing to me. Yet another work that believes love solves all. Trauma doesn't go away just because u love someone, get it through your thick skulls, authors !

What a disappointment. It ends with MC getting a tattoo from ML and basically promising him forever, which, ok.

And then they have the audacity to continue past the ending, and develop a NEW CP. Oh yeah, side stories with the new side CP cuz your main ain't interesting enough.

To make matters worse, to make this work, they make one of the best side charas super OOC and uncool. But in the end, I liked the side pairing more, so what am I even complaining about?

Throw in a random side plot story of the cat dying, beibei getting not together with the rainbow boy that came out of literally nowhere, no context on rainbow boy's cool sister or insinuated abusive mother, what's with that? Way to leave us hanging.

All in all the extra chaps were the best thing in this novel and still were kinda meh.

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Thank you for reading this very long rant about how much I disliked this novel. A complete and utter waste of my time. The way it handled the ml's trauma was downright dismissive. Don't recommend. <<less
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earlydiaries
earlydiaries rated it
March 1, 2022
Status: Completed
i’m seeing so many positive reviews haha. I don’t hate this novel but I was displeased by a part of it that it wrecked my whole read. I rarely leave bad reviews but I think this kind of review is deserved at the moment. :P

romance is so sweet and nice. Pacing is also good. This story is perfect for those who are currently at the period of their life similar to the MC and ml, wanting to just go through life, and teetering on the starting line towards wanting to... more>> settle down. It’s mellow and tries to be as free from drama as much as it can.

the writing is average at best but just fine enough for no one to make a fuss if you ignore how trauma is written here. The characters are a little lacking and MC even goes a little out of character after ML reveals his past, which I want to briefly complain about because I couldn’t stomach how that turned out. Otherwise it’s an okay read.

Spoiler

alright. This author has been obsessed with emphasizing the maturity of this writing when in fact it lacks maturity in one of the most vital topics and themes in this novel: mental health. Sigh. I can’t tell you how much that disappointed and frustrated me to the point of irritation. Author, what happened? MC, what happened?

i feel like mc’s reaction to ml’s past was 1) pretty scummy and 2) super uncharacteristic of him. The person you’re about to date reveals his source of trauma and his dark past and your first reaction is to go silent and go ghost for days? I understand him not wanting to have said anything right after receiving such a big amount of information and very loaded information, even, but he could have at least communicated that he needed time to think. In addition to that, I just find it bizarre that everyone seems to treat this as if it’s the ml’s fault. Really? A victim of emotional abuse and manipulation was at fault for the su*cide his ex threatened him with and used as a reason to act upon? Don’t even mention his friends being the one to say no one will date him because of that, the mere fact that this is treated like a crime ML himself committed made me want to get justice for him. MC has always been reasonable, amicable, and good-tempered. Where did all that go? Why did he react as if ML were a criminal? Why did he react before ML could even explain when the words came from a stranger and not from ml? I thought he wanted to hear everything about ML straight from ML himself first? I feel like the author’s own feelings on this kind of thing caused the mc’s break in character, which is cringe ngl. MC witnessed how that trauma affected ML and he really took his time in thinking like there was something to be pondered when this was his supposed soon-to-be significant other being vulnerable to him. If it weren’t for this, I would have given this novel a higher rating. Come on. We’re not in the 90’s or early 2000’s where this kind of thing was used for drama and excused because of that. It’s not creative and it’s not even a good reason for there to be drama over. If anything, it’s better used to make the feelings and bond between the MC and ML stronger rather than breaking them apart. After reading what happens after that, it gets worse. The MC thinks the ex was badass for leaving a mark like that on ml. What the actual f*ck? THAT’S TRAUMA, a scar, a mental burden he’ll have to live with for the rest of his life just because his ex was sick in the head. Seriously, what’s wrong with you, author? Would a mature person really consider su*cide and manipulation as badass? I want to curse whoever thinks so into the next life. So disappointed. I edited this review after reading more and we have MC making ML “forget” by helping ML sleep better. While that may be a solution, writing it in a way that implies the MC could save the ML because therapy failed sends out such a bad message. Trauma isn’t forgotten just like that so don’t celebrate as if you’ve rid ML of somethings he’s lived with for years already, MC. Am I even surprised the author pulled that kind of thing? I could only continue reading because I wanted to see how other things are handled. Alas, we really have the author writing ml’s trauma as just “still remembering his ex” holy fuuuck. Pissed me off.

also this is more of a personal rant but

Spoiler

can we talk about how MC won’t just block off his damn ex? He was so passive in refusing the guy. I understand he doesn’t care anymore but then on the next moment he’ll suddenly turn soft for him and be like “ah but we were in love for five years.” SHEESH. He was gonna get married and asked you, his lover of five years, if you were willing to share him with someone else. He’s down horrendous. I feel like the longer they were in love, the less he should have tolerated his ex’s shenanigans after that. He already gave him enough face with breaking off peacefully. He didn’t have to comfort him, didn’t have to keep entertaining him whenever they saw each other when they’re already supposed to be less than friends or even acquaintances, didn’t have to take that toast with him. Sigh. He even did that last thing in front of his new love. Who wouldn’t be pissed? He better thank the gods, universe, and his next lives that his new sweetheart is mature and didn’t let it get to him. The person you like can’t even reject his ex’s toast. What else would he not reject? He’s still softhearted. Pick a damn side, MC, and have some more self-respect.

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and unrelated— idk if maybe it’s the translations or if the author really made the mistake (i’m assuming the latter) but I think “morals” had been used in the place of “principles” a few times. Our MC has strong morals and principles. What he keeps solidly and never breaks are his principles, which are in line with his morals. Not dating someone who has a “memorable” ex is a principle, and not morals specifically, although part of it. Considering this being a strong part of mc’s characterization, I believe it as significant and important to mention.

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could have been really good but after how trauma was handled here and made into a poorly done hurt/comfort plot device, I only finished it because I wanted to see how it ended. Did it leave an overall good impression on me? Originally, but that was ruined. Would I read it again to give it a second chance? God no, that’s like how the MC doesn’t just ignore his ex and firmly block him out because he’s still soft to him. Sheesh. When you’re done, you’re done.

i won’t outright discourage people from reading this. You should be the judge of your own reading experience. But, as someone who had to see all of that? If you can handle being pissed off by how wrong an author writes about a sensitive topic that affects so many people, pick up the novel. Otherwise, you’re better off reading something that doesn’t brush off trauma as “baggage from a past relationship” and handles trauma wayyy better in writing rather than one that practically equates trauma from an abusive ex as not being able to move on from an ex because he’s “memorable.” <<less
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Juicybo0
Juicybo0 rated it
April 16, 2020
Status: Completed
I gave this novel a low rating mainly because it just ain’t my cup of tea. The translation was up to standard though! The seme is an indecisive tsundere... his personality for the most part was a huge turn off.... The uke from the beginning to the very end was shameless in his hot pursuit for the seme.... very cringe.... the things he did and said very clique. I’m actually surprised this novel has been so well received on nu... it’s actually not that popular in the Chinese bl community... more>> lol. for those who enjoyed this book I guess a moe point would be that the seme seemed like the uke and the uke acted like the seme, except when they had s*x lol. The pace was slow and I had to skim through the middle cuz it was that dull... <<less
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ezis
ezis rated it
April 18, 2020
Status: Completed
Not much to add - I really enjoyed this novel. The MC and the ML are both seasoned characters, not silly in the slightest - rather, personalities with depth and a realistic appreciation for what it means to get together with someone when you are no longer a teenager. People are reluctant to burn, everyone has baggage.. Not only were the main characters pleasantly fleshed out, there was also a lot of context, I enjoyed reading about two very different scenes in Chinese society. The characters were also ingrained in... more>> their own social circles, which is also, of course, realistic. When you are a little older and meet someone, you both naturally have many people you know and have known for a time.

All in all - this is a slow burn romance, which is just pleasantly paced and there are plenty of fun secondary and tertiary characters, which, I believe, makes this story stand out in quality. Kudos to the author!

edit: a good recommendation if you liked this is "In the middle of somewhere" by Roan Parrish. I seriously recommend that... for those looking for mature characters. <<less
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BillionJellyfish
BillionJellyfish rated it
March 27, 2020
Status: Completed
This is a beautifully written short story of a romance between a professor and a tattoo artist.

For once:

  • the couple is mature in age (30s) and in mind
  • the way the MC courts the ML is super sweet and realistic
  • the characters have their own background story
  • both the MC and ML have a life of their own outside of romance (the romantic relationship doesn't dominate the entire story, the author also displays the balance between work, friends, and personal life)
Overall: I am truly impressed with this slice of life story. Not only... more>> is the story realistic in terms of relationships, but also doesn't use overly cliché themes like a weak bottom/shou, a super wealthy gong/top, coincidental encounters every chapter, among many others. The MC and ML are mature people that knows what they want and how to communicate thoughts and feelings. A perk of dating someone in their 30s is that they are usually thoughtful and steady, which is exactly how the author portray the characters. I absolutely adore mature couples, so this novel is definitely my cup of tea. <<less
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damnmei
damnmei rated it
November 4, 2023
Status: Completed
I'm disappointed with this novel, can't lie. Feels like I read a different novel than all these rave reviews. Without any spoilers, I just didn't like MC after a certain point in the novel and feel like the ML deserved better. The emotions in this novel also felt very half hearted, and the traumatic situations described in the past were handled in a way that I personally found quite disappointing. For a novel that deals with such heavy topics, my heart didn't hurt at all, much less did I shed... more>> even a single tear.

The romance was pretty surface level feeling, which I somewhat expected, but I really did want to feel the crush that Xiao Ke had for Zhou Zui more! I never really felt invested in their relationship, and Xiao Ke just felt like he was playing around with the idea of liking someone more than actually liking that person. The author kept emphasizing how much he liked staying in the ambiguous period, which made me wonder just how much he actually liked the other man.

I had such high hopes for this novel given the rating, but honestly, I just didn't feel it lived up to the hype. I also got bored in the last ten or so chapters, and it was a bit of a struggle for me to finish. Especially since by that point, I was just done with the main couple's drama. For a slightly not spoiler-free reason why I was upset with this novel (without going into too many details) :

Spoiler

The reaction that Xiao Ke had to Zhou Zui revealing his past was just so strange for his character. Throughout the rest of the novel prior to this scene, he had been so understanding and supportive, and then suddenly he just leaves without a word, cutting off all contact and giving no words of comfort to Zhou Zui's pain, or even thanking him for being so vulnerable. I can understand not knowing what to say and needing time to process, but to ghost someone after they reveal something horrific that they have experienced is just unacceptable. He literally didn't say a single word to explain why he needed space. That is not how you treat someone you supposedly love. The selfishness truly astounds me. After that point, I just could not feel the same way about their relationship, and I was both disappointed in Xiao Ke and sad for Zhou Zui, who deserved so much better.

I was expecting a novel just as good as some of the other novels I've read with mature romances, but this just didn't hit the spot for me. I feel like the author spent too much time emphasizing how mature Xiao Ke was being 30 and all, but didn't actually give him the emotional maturity to deal with hard emotional conversations, at least in a consistent way. At the point where Zhou Zui opened up about his traumatic past, they both were clearly ready to start a real relationship and both liked each other, so there really is no excuse. Even though Zhou Zui had been evasive before and took a while to open up, the fact that he even revealed his trauma says enough about his sincerity. I was just so frustrated with Xiao Ke for his reaction, because it made all his words and affection before so half hearted. What exactly does he need to process about this situation?? It just makes no sense that he would up and leave with no explanation.

I don't understand where the author was trying to go with this. Just such a weird decision on their part. And then he comes back, with no apology for his behavior, just asking to make things official like nothing ever happened. Had he apologized maybe I'd be less pissed off, but alas, he probably thinks nothing's wrong with his behavior. Author why?? Having someone walk away like that would have literally given me trauma about ever opening up again in the future.

Also why were Zhou Zui's friends pressuring him to reach out first? Xiao Ke literally ghosted him after he basically bared his soul. If I were Zhou Zui's friend, I would be on the "f*ck that guy" train so fast. And then his friends continuously saying that Xiao Ke was the more innocent one between the two when it comes to Zhou Zui's trauma? Excuse me but how is Zhou Zui not entirely innocent as well? If anything, he's the one who's been suffering! What suffering does Xiao Ke have to go through? And furthermore putting his "lover" through a whole month of no contact with no explanation no less? It would be over for me at that point.

Xiao Ke definitely deserved time to process, but he went about it the wrong way, and I just can't forgive the author for this decision. Shitty friends, shitty lover. Xiao Ke even says that before he wouldn't have accepted someone with such a traumatic past. Ridiculous. This isn't even going into how Xiao Ke basically pretended afterwards that the trauma didn't exist and avoided hard conversations such as Zhou Zui not feeling comfortable sleeping in the same bed. Are you really going to say you're mature? What the hell kind of maturity is this??

The more I think about the last half of the novel the more annoyed I get. Xiao Ke turned into this selfish, immature, controlling character almost out of nowhere, but looking back I guess he's always been self absorbed and image obsessed. I feel similarly about this story as the novel Very Happy- maybe it's just because mental health awareness in China is still lacking so the novels that go into deep trauma just piss me off with their handling of it. Also for someone who doesn't want their lover to be thinking about their ex, Xiao Ke does a lot of interacting and thinking about his ex in this novel. Hypocritical ass behavior in my opinion. Maybe it's because people are complex and can have loved others in the past and still choose to be with you? Just a thought Xiao Ke, maybe grow up in your thinking a little.

Later too when they discuss therapy and Zhou Zui admits it didn't work, Xiao Ke tells him not to go and that he will be Zhou Zui's therapy. Which I personally find repulsive, sorry. You're going to tell me that you, as someone who avoids conversations, judges your lover for his past trauma, ignores said trauma, and has literally ghosted him, are going to help heal him? Give me a break. The lack of self awareness. When things end up blowing up, I wasn't even surprised. But what did piss me off, was Xiao Ke getting angry at Zhou Zui and Zhou Zui blaming himself! What the hell? He's just not comfortable sleeping next to you and needs some space, what exactly is so horrendous about this situation? You know his trauma!! Stop ignoring it!! Obviously you can't handle being his therapist and that's okay! Stop pretending you can be then.

[collapse]

Honestly this story had a lot of potential, if not for questionable choices in the plot progression and character design. I also found the writing to be a weird mix of showing and telling at the same time, like a character would feel something in their body and then the author would just explain exactly what emotion that feeling correlated to. Let us readers make our own assumptions and draw our own conclusions! You don't have to tell us everything, it just takes away from the experience! Also what person is able to label their feelings clearly immediately like that- when my heart races my first thought isn't labeling the emotion that caused it but rather observing that my body is reacting strangely? Maybe I'm the weird one here.

Side note but I'm also disappointed by their first time because
Spoiler

author definitely baited me into thinking they could be a reversible couple. Will say that I love how they communicated, and how they were both open to both positions though!

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LadyMacbeth
LadyMacbeth rated it
April 29, 2021
Status: c42
I started reading it after seeing the high rating and reading all the good reviews. How come no one mentioned that the story has almost zero plot and the characters are absolutely bland ?? There's one thing being realistic characters and another being cringe dull ones.... the MC and the ML both fall in the second category. Don't waste your time reading this.
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numba1nobody
numba1nobody rated it
May 14, 2020
Status: Completed
I JUST WANNA CLEAR UP SOMETHING!!!THIS NOVEL IS NOT ONE OF THOSE DAILY LIVES OF HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT IN LOVE!!! AND PEOPLE DON'T SAY THAT THE MC IS TOO PATHETIC OF HOW HE WOOED THE ML!!!!QUIT PLAYING SMARTASS!!!THEY ARE f*ckING 30+ YEARS OLD FOR GOD'S SAKE DONT EXPECT CRAZY HIGH SCHOOLERS HERE!!!!!

If someone ever rated this novel lower than 4 then that person might be really blind and is high.

Really great novel I hate myself for rating 4 star... welp If we are talking about plot it's really amazing.

Okay so... more>> before everything else this novel isn't that much of a real yaoi like really, but in translation it says slight NSFW but actually it's just mentioning they did f*ck each other and kiss and like that but not really too explicit like mentioning stuff how they f*ck each other like moaning stuff and it went it blablabla...... (they are over 30+ years old so I was expecting hardcore yaoi so I decided to read this... disappointment)

1. They Didn't said I Love You to Each Other!!Not even once!!!Both Didn't!!!

2. They Didn't said I Love You to Each Other!!Not even once!!!Both Didn't!!!

3. They Didn't said I Love You to Each Other!!Not even once!!!Both Didn't!!!

Important Things should be said thrice!

just wanna point out some stuff–

First of all, you know, I just kinda don't felt great about how the position (bottom or top) isn't fixed at first and like MC topped ML (once) and then after that it is the ML that always top him.

Also, when the ML and MC having conflict about the ML's past, and that they didn't talked to each other, the fact that ML didn't took the initiative this time was sure disappointing and that it showed a lot of bad stuff:

1. ML Doesn't believe on himself and the MC and he kept overthinking about how it ruined their relationship. (he thought but nah MC made ML realize who is the boss!bam!)

2. He doesn't trust the MC's feeling for him (quite the realization I mean like we are getting an progress here)

Another point is that about the ML's problem. This time the ML at first tried to trust him, it worked maybe? Well there we go, ML distressed again and created another "theme" which is a conflict, where he was afraid about it affecting MC doesn't want to share everything with the MC, and if you don't want to, how are you guys gonna progress? I mean like c'mon you guys just got together again and now you're (ML) stirring up trouble again...

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One great point I really love is that the ML worrisome of MC's feeling for him that the MC might change and he doesn't wanted the MC regret and carry on the burden of the past himself.

It's like he is giving him some way, and that the ML wanted to see for himself if the MC really shows that kind of affectionate for ML god love this one, it's extremely realistic!!!This factor might seem like a bad one but actually it's not and that we can see everything progress and so on. Just wow!

Anyways it's really 5 star but the ML's action really ruined everything in some point.

You guys might not agree (I'm sure) at me but I'm just stating this and see what you guys think.

Highly recommended!!!! <<less
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YoriMei
YoriMei rated it
April 4, 2020
Status: c49
It's a pretty relaxed and mellow story, all the characters feel believable albeit a little glorified at times. There's no fiction 500 CEOs, hospital/researcher geniuses, or vile ex-lovers. Instead, MC and ML are both down to earth with pretty regular jobs. Since both are in their 30's there's no huge drama or misunderstanding, no love triangles. Even MC's ex-boyfriend isn't some white lotus b*tch, just a man who made a mistake and chose the wrong choice and he and MC are very amicable. ML has a tragic (?) backstory/traumatic experience... more>> in the past but still believable.

I don't think there's a lot of cons in the story, sometimes MC's a little too much of a "golden boy" but it's easily overlooked. The only thing you could say is that maybe the story ended a little too quickly for my tastes (I would have preferred maybe 1 or 2 more chapters before the end) but overall it's a pretty good story that is refreshingly low on drama. <<less
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Kirill
Kirill rated it
January 9, 2020
Status: c24
This is definitely a story I would love to read & recommend to others again and again.

Their relationship feels very real & sweet, since this story didn't have those BS plot that immediately turns one of them into obsessive lover as soon as they laid their eyes on each other.

I appreciate it so much that MC & ML have a proper courtship phase, where they're actually knowing each other. They were both very mature about it.

MC is also a very lovable character for me. He's mature, clever, confident & understanding.... more>> He can also be a bit mischievous at times, which adds more charm to him. &Amp; god bless that the author didn't made him into one of those insanely girly characters.

One of the most lovable things about him is he knows when to give space & time to ML whenever ML needs it. He understands that there are things that ML couldn't very easily said to him, so he knows when he shouldn't push ML too far, & patiently wait until ML says it to him (MC) voluntarily.

ML is mature, quiet & caring.

Although only bits & pieces has been revealed, ML seems to have guilt or some bad experience in the past, which made him build walls around him. He looks aloof outside, but his actions shows that he's sweet & caring.

So overall, this a heartwarming story with a hint of sexiness. Characters are mature & lovable, more importantly, have a healthy, non abusive relationship. Definitely a story that shouldn't be ignored. <<less
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P2wo
P2wo rated it
April 24, 2021
Status: Completed
"Memories will fade, photos will fade, but tattoos are forever."

Recently I have felt that the more I read Chinese BL novels, the more I have to lower my standard or else I can't even go through the first few chapters. I was about to move on from C-novels but I accidentally came across "Tattoo" novel. And thank the lord I did. It is truly amazing.

STORY

The story is all about the beauty of having a crush and slowly falling in love. It's about getting to know each other and falling even... more>> deeper.

The story is morally uplifting. Many BL novels really seem to lack morals. The romance portrayed is mainly tinged with s*x, obsession, possessiveness and jealousy, right? When you really think about it, you can tell that it's not love, it's suffocating and toxic. But 'Tattoo' is like a revolution in Chinese BL novels. The story is humble, warm and realistic. The characters are very mature. The story shows love in its purest form. It deals with friendship and familial love at its finest. Of course not everyone gets to have all of this in reality. But the thing is that MC is a respectable person because he respects others. So the people he draws towards him are all good people.

And its so heart warming to see ML come out of his shell bit by bit. I am so happy, I am squealing! MC hugs ML for the first time and smiles like an idiot for a week. How cute is that? Hahaha

It is really funny that I have to even mention this because in most of the western novels, I really don't need to say this. The thing is MC and ML have friends! Real friends! They are not the usual single-minded 'You are enough for me', 'I don't need friends', 'Don't make friends or else I will get jealous' crap depicted in many C-novels. As I have already said, this kind of thing happens so much in most asian novels that one has to lower their standard to a bare minimum to enjoy most of the story.

CHARACTERS

Xiao Ke, the MC, is so freaking chill. He is the kind of person you would feel good to hangout with. He always respects people's boundaries. He is friendly, confident, funny and smart. He is mature and has a high EQ. He is seriously a dream man. He is a role model. The way he lives is so fulfilling. He is really inspiring.

Zhou Zhi, the ML, is a tattoo artist. But he is an artist in general. He spends most of his time giving tattoos to people, well it's his job. Apart from that, he is usually seen coming up with new tattoo ideas, and making sketches and paintings. He has this cool artist vibe going on. He is aloof but not cold. In reality, he is very shy. He rarely talks but he and MC fit together very well. MC is very accommodating as well. Even if ML is not in the tattoo shop, he still goes there to hangout whenever he is free. He makes all the employees there his friends. Then he starts to make Zhou Zhi's friends his friends.

"Getting acquainted with Zhou Zui's friends was another way of getting closer to the other's life." -Xiao Ke

He is freaking smart, isn't he? This is how it works IRL most of the times anyways.

He knows ML is slow to warm up and hard to woo so he takes his time and lets ML get used to him first. Damn! Finally a BL where MC has a brain!!!

Other characters are also very fun. They're very realistic. The dialogues are like something taken out from day to day life but not boring at all.

DOWNSIDE

There are two things that I still couldn't digest and it is seriously bugging me.

  1. Although the relationship portrayed is highly healthy, there is one idea that the author should have taken care of. In the novel, none of the men are feminized just because they are bottom. That's a good thing. But the segregation of homos*xual couples as tops and bottoms is already toxic enough. And in this novel, MC says that he wants to be the top. ML agrees. But later MC bottoms. And his reasoning? ML is manlier than him so it's wrong for such a manly person to be a bottom. Like dude! What the hell? Everyone has some feminine and masculine characteristics. And who says more feminine people can't top? Since the author has already portrayed such a healthy relationship, she (?) should have taken a step further and cut the masculine top and feminine bottom crap. She just turned this crap into more masculine top and less masculine bottom.

    May be I am just asking too much. I guess the world will slowly change. This book and the story it tells is already 100x better than most of the C-BLs anyways. So, hats off to the author!
  2. Also, the story touches some extremely delicate matters like
    Spoiler

    trauma, nightmares and other psychological problems of ML

    [collapse]
    and I don't think the author handled it well. MC decides to not take a professional help but solve ML's mental problem/disorder all by himself. Honestly, it's a s*upid decision. You should never take a mental problem as something that can be solved with the Power of Love. Cuz it doesn't!
<<less
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btsdynamiteAUG21
btsdynamiteAUG21 rated it
September 22, 2020
Status: Completed
For a short story, the vibe and flow of this story is so pure and sweet. Some parts were sad yet they were all solved through proper communication that's why its purely romantic.

It shows great scenes and context of a real relationship and its struggles. Even if it's trauma or a wasted long term relationship, the past is a past. Where in truth, it's easy to say than to put in mind and heart. I was so touched how the characters used this in their lives and even more refreshing,... more>> considering it's match in a tattoo - A bind till death. You are the one who wil decide whether its a prison chain or a photoalbum. He story of two people changing their own rules to satisfy the other. What a great story. I am very satisfied with the chains of events (some were tearjerking but it was worth it) and of the ending. 💜💯

The MC carefree and outgoing but also feel inner grievances to himself.
Spoiler

Lin An may thought that XiaoKe is too carefree after their breakup but it's not. I mean XiaoKe's the one who chased you and lead the relationship for many years and you just thought of marrying a woman to placate your family's wishes. Mf even said that he would divorce after 1yr... Bruh I salute XiaoKe's resolute "NO" to him and broke off the relationship. 💯✌️

[collapse]

ML is like a giant monster teddy bear. More like a tsundere hhahaha. So cute.

The second couple is so funny they are even both their own first times 😭🥰

Spoiler

My favorite part was that ML printed his own name's meaning to MC's ankle. What a profound yet longing ending. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

[collapse]
<<less
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Shybreeze
Shybreeze rated it
March 14, 2020
Status: Completed
Wow. Wow. Wow.

Good things need to be said three times. Just like tattoo. Seriously. This is so good. Where've you been ?

This is good. I tell you. This is a poem. Or a guide. It shall be named :

101 ways to pursue an ice block

101 ways to break your crush walls

101 ways to be awesome

Let me tell you about how amazing MC is..

... more>>
Spoiler

Xiao Ke is amazing in his own way. He just need to be himself, then people will start liking him for his own self. How beautiful. Like, I learned a lot by how he cope with problems. He is not perfect per se.. But he just have this charisma that mature people with experience have. His forbearance, observation, and judgment is top notch. But, he still can be angry, can be sad, can cry, etc. He is not perfect. But imperfection is a part of his poignance. If that even makes sense.

[collapse]

And let me tell you how cool our ML is..

Spoiler

Zhou zui is a block of ice and cinnamon roll at the same time. He knows he has baggage, that's why even though he likes MC, he is not overly cold, nor is he overly warm. He just care. Oh, how do I even explain.. You will know if you read it..

[collapse]

This is a very satisfying read. I hate angst and thankfully this doesn't have much angst. And

Spoiler

It's HE. They got together. Yay

[collapse]

I may come again to re-read. Just to see Teacher Xiao. And his undying pursuit of our cinnamon roll. <<less
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amruta
amruta rated it
March 13, 2020
Status: Completed
Wow. So yaoi can be written like this.

This story is like a breath of fresh air. I felt pity for Xiao Ke's ex. The matter with Lin An (the ex) was handled so well. No unnecessary blackening. The characters are much more real compared to all the "perfect" protagonists out there. A mature story which retains its sweetness. The translator has done a great job.

Don't miss this.
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Aurinne
Aurinne rated it
March 4, 2020
Status: c48
This is only the second time I've given five stars for anything I've reviewed*.

This is a story with depth (but not depressing), intelligence, complex and full-of-life characters, a beautifully-crafted plot, thoughtfulness, positivity and realism. I love the characters (I completely fell in love with the main couple) and their personalities have a beautiful complexity and balance - there're no cliches here and no stereotypes. I also appreciated the restraint the author showed - although the characters have complexity, the story itself was not over-burdened with drama, side-stories and side-issues, but... more>> instead kept itself to a simple focus: how two men with previous failed relationships manage to come together and build something genuine and lasting.

And the translation was good!

If, like me, you've become increasingly fed up with the same old BL cliches, the same old powerful/overbearing/possessive gong + weaker/youthful shou relationship dynamic, the same old cheap writing and predictible and inane story tropes, then this will cleanse your mind. (Even if you enjoy those, I still recommend it! But especially for those looking for something different.)

This story left me with such a gentle, loving feeling; I was really moved.

* (At the time of writing the review!)

Edit: 3 years later I'm reading the reviews and am really shocked at the hate this is receiving from some people! But I guess when you see so many rave reviews your disappointment becomes greater when you find you don't agree, and you're more likely to want to state things strongly so that people notice your alternative perspective. I've reread and find I still love this story, but perhaps I've always approached this as a contrast to the very superficial, trope-filled Danmei C novels that are often popular, rather than expecting high literature (it's not, don't expect that, but the writing is a cut above a lot of the translated danmei around).

The criticisms about the top/bottom and handling of trauma are fair criticisms and, again, I think I was able to move past that because I've read so much worse than this and so in comparison this this better than most that I've read... so it really may come down to your expectations and personal irks once again. <<less
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dee_ism
dee_ism rated it
April 28, 2020
Status: --
Rating 5.0/5.0

Older man is truly the best!

We have both mature leads here, which mean no unnecessary drama, they communicate, they compromise, they have equal footing in the relationship. A very beautiful story indeed.

Our MC is a sunshine. Our ML is breeze. A very compatible pair.

The only regret I have is I was hesitant to read it at first, I thought it will be such a dark story. But turns out, it's full of fluff and sugar. Love it to each bit.
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pinkumilkuu
pinkumilkuu rated it
April 19, 2020
Status: Completed
This deserves its high rating. I wouldn't really consider this as slowburn since it only has 49chaps but it has that kind of feel. The story was really nice and it's always always a great plus if the side charas are NOT forgettable even though some barely showed up. This is a love story through and through, not much sht about other conflicts just to prolong the story. The ML has some issues AND IT WAS ADDRESSED BEAUTIFULLY. Lastly, they're reversible ?
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