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Non-Stop Till Tokyo

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  136 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
A man with a past is her only hope for the future.

Kerry Ekdahl’s mixed heritage and linguistics skills could have made her a corporate star. Instead, she’s a hostess in a high-end Tokyo bar, catering to businessmen who want conversation, translation and flirtation. Easy money, no stress. Life is good—until she’s framed for the murder of a yakuza boss.

Trapped in rural Japan
ebook, 417 pages
Published April 29th 2014 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*2.5 stars*

Um, this is awkward.

Everyone else loves this book, and I totally get why. It is fast-paced, action-packed, and different from your run of the mill romances. To boot, the plot is interesting and the story is well written. However, it just wasn't the book for me.

To be fair, I'm not a romantic suspense reader. In fact, I actively avoid them because I just don't enjoy those types of books. However, as a HUGE fan of K.J. Charles and her other works, I had to try this one.

I really think t
Julio Genao
May 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: tokyophiles
Recommended to Julio by: MostlyDelores
flawed, but compelling.

as a thriller, it's too dependent on expositional dialogue, with a dissatisfying deus ex machina, to boot.

as a romance, it suffers from the demands of the suspense storyline, which was ambitiously involved.

the unfortunate result is a story that is only a little more than a series of intense conversations between various parties who need to have things explained to them.

however, the gaijin author's abiding affection for that titular city and its singular people fairly radia
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-favorites

Well damn…that was brilliant!

I am a big fan of action movies.

Sometimes I finish watching a great action movie, strong plot, amazing effects, killer characters, and I can still feel the adrenaline rush when I leave the theater. And I can still see the afterimages in my head for hours. And I can still ruminate about the story for days. And I can still rave and recommend it to people for months.

Non-Stop Till Tokyo is better, more entertaining, more energetic, and more memorable than any action mo
K.J. Charles
Jan 13, 2014 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
A departure for me: m/f, very heavy on the thriller, contemporary, set in Japan...

This book is dear to me. I loved living in Japan, I loved writing a balls-to-the-wall violent fast-paced thriller, and I had huge fun with Kerry's voice, Chanko's frankly difficult personality, and their utterly disgraceful friends and accomplices.

I'll say now: there's insults and racial slurs (because this book contains bad people and also rude people), serious violence and off-page sexual abuse. Please heed the
Apr 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a damn cool book. I loved the premise, the over the top violence had me covering my eyes and Kerry is definitely one of my favourite heroines this year. I did feel a little short changed on the Chanko sex. Dude was hot and I wanted to read more about that bad. Prurient tastes maybe, but fade to black was a bit stink. Loved the setting however and I wish there were more books like this. Fresh, different and a heroine who doesn't exactly fit the mould.

Oh, and maybe a book about the Korea
Lilia Ford

This is not a genre I usually read or want to read, but I love Charles so I picked this up. No regrets. Basically, it's a solid thriller, with the added plus of a lot of fascinating, very authentic-feeling details about life in Japan. That was definitely what I liked most. The writing was great as expected, but the book felt long and I contemplated giving up at the 50% mark, though I'm glad I persevered. I liked but didn't love the heroine, which made me less invested than I wanted to be. Lu
Mar 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I am lost on how much I want to put this book in everyone's hands, email it to them drop it through carrier pigeon, Guhghhh Do whatever it takes to have more people read and discover the beauty that is Kerry and my beautiful sweet Chanko.

Charles has opened my eyes to sumo wrestles as sex symbols.. Who the eff knew.. I am sooooo limited that I never knew this was a thing.

This book is an action, adventure caper like the best of Ocean's 11 or the Sting but ratched up to 1000.

There are some dark p
Heather C
A non-stop action thriller with a side-dish of romance.

Kerry Ekdahl is like a chameleon. She can change her entire appearance with only a few tweaks to her wardrobe and learn any language within a few weeks. She uses her unique skills working as a bar hostess…interpreting and mingling and flirting with wealthy businessmen…including powerful yakuza members. When Kerry is framed for the murder of a yakuza boss, she flees the city of Tokyo hoping the whole misunderstanding will straighten itself ou
Jul 07, 2014 rated it liked it
DNF - Despite KJ Charles being one of my few auto-buy authors this book lost me at just past 80%

There's an intricate, fast paced Japanese Mafia Yakuza Vs Hostesses plot. Told mostly through dialogue even when self-preservation screams 'loose the phone'. Most of the action is relayed in conversation rather than witnessed or felt and I didn't get much of an impression of where they were, how far the characters had travelled or of how much time had passed. Charles' knowledge and affection for the c
3.5 stars, good mobster book, missing the romance,
I enjoyed this wild and crazy ride across Japan with the dry and sarcastic heroine and her bodyguard. It was interesting and made even more so by the obviously well-understood cultural context of this author. I learnt a lot, but I did not feel a lot. I don't think I will read anymore like this by this author because it was not really an escape and I did not feel that I got to know the characters at all. It was good, it was different but it was a
Jan 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I did not expect that from K.J. Charles, that's for sure! This is an adrenaline-fueled, gloriously action-packed thriller in the best tradition of Hardboiled, and you can be sure I was in heaven reading it!

Kerry Ekdahl is an odd girl. Half Chinese, half Swedish, she lives in Tokyo and works as a hostess, because she is bored and wants easy money. She is a talented, clever polyglot, but she doesn't know what to do with her life, and her only family are her friends - Noriko, Yoshi, Taka and a
3.5 stars

Non-Stop Till Tokyo was just that: non-stop. Non-stop action and non-stop fun. I enjoyed the heck out of it, especially after I Googled Samoan/Maori/Polynesian men and realized that GOOD LORD can they be yummy as hell. Just Google "hot Polynesian men", I'll wait right here...

Mmhmm, exactly.

It was extremely refreshing to read a book featuring not your usual all White cast of characters, especially one that was written so well. Don't get me wrong, there were some things that I didn't lov
Feb 02, 2015 marked it as did-not-finish
*** DNF at 23% ***

I am such an Asia fan. Like Charles I've lived there—not in Tokyo like her, but in Macao, China, which is totally different, but still Asia. So I kinda desperately wanted to read this book. And I tell you, you can feel on every page that Charles knows what she's speaking of. That's absolutely fabulous.

So, me and M/F books... Here's the thing, the females drive me fucking crazy. There are all kinds of reasons for it, and this time I encountered the TOO-STUPID-TO-LIVE HEROINE. Ar
Feb 02, 2015 rated it liked it
I've loved many of K.J. Charles's books, but for this one, I'm teetering between 2 and 3 stars. During the first half of the book, I was seriously frustrated (as could be seen from my updates) - I can't handle stupid MCs and Kerry did some incredibly idiotic things. My companion in BR, Mel, even abandoned the book for this reason, so I had to continue alone, with her enjoying my misery.
I'm actually glad I read on, because the second half of the book was more enjoyable. There was a lot of action,
Apr 24, 2016 rated it liked it

A solid four for the non-stop action, authentic setting, characterizations.
A three for the romance, which took a backseat. A romance between an ex-sumo wrestler and a Tokyo bar hostess is a frickin' brilliant idea. And I enjoyed what KJ Charles gave us, but it's a bit thin for a standalone.

4 stars read for me.

Well, I read this book in one sitting. I guess this will be a normal thing for KJ Charles because it never took me more than a day to read any of her books.;)
Ok, on a more serious note, this is a quick read because Non-Stop Till Tokyo is a non-stop action. Fast paced plot managed to held suspense and keep me interested to the very end.Our heroine, Kerry, is in a big trouble and on the run from yakuza due to mistaken identity setup. Her only ally sends her help in a form of Ch
Jeannie Zelos
Jan 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Non-Stop 'Till Tokyo, KJ Charles
Genre: Romance
Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews
I love KJ Charles Magpie series, read all of them so far and they are in my keepers files, so I was keen to see how she would do with this very different romance. They are gentle historical, fantasy, M/M romances and this one is a contemporary suspense type romance. Two very different styles and yet I could get the same feeling of reality, characters I enjoyed and felt were genuine, and the setting once again fe
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2014
I got a sneak look at this book as a get-well-soon gift the other week, and I'm so glad I did.

Non-Stop Till Tokyo is a serious genre-shift for KJ Charles, currently best known for her paranormal Victorian m/m. Even with nary a whiff of gaslight or magic, it's nonetheless a delicious read; a sleek, tense, contemporary narrative that shows Charles' strength and versatility as an author.

Oh, and the plot is based on a (deadly serious) pun. Have I mentioned I love puns?

On a related note: Charles hand
Dec 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
To me, a long-time Japanese learner who has visited Tokyo just this summer, this book was like a favourite cake made by my mother. So satisfying, and I just couldn't get enough of it!

I feel kinda haughty saying this, since K.J. Charles has way more experience with Japan itself than me, but I hadn't noticed any inconsistences with setting and cultural aspects. And Japanese language - oh my god, she was so on point about its quirks and difficulties! Like the complexities of verbs of giving and rec
Erin Books
Nov 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book got weirdly mixed reviews on Amazon and I was curious why, as this author is usually fantastic. And now that I've read it, I can kind of see why- it's a fantastic, fast-paced, well written action story that also has a romance in it. If you bought it looking for a romance, you might be surprised. (I won't say disappointed, because I don't agree with those Amazon reviewers- this book is too fun.) This book is begging to be made into a movie! Can you imagine? And the romance was great; I ...more
Dani Myrick
Jul 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, thriller
3.5 stars, rounded up to 4 because KJ Charles is awesome.

I have a certain expectation from KJ Charles' work--possibly because she is an editor herself--for a high-quality read, no matter the genre. In this, she did not disappoint. My inner editor never once screamed me out of the story. (view spoiler)

So, Non-stop Till Tokyo is listed under Samhain's romance and romantic suspense categories, but I t
After finishing this, I wanted to sort it into a collection on my kindle, but none of my usual collections fit. How do I even place this in a genre? It's not romance, although there is love involved. It reads more like an action movie with the yakuza, only the main character has such an insane talent for languages that finding the right actress would probably be hard. I know the main character herself sort of dismisses her own knack for picking up languages, but I am wildly impressed (and quite ...more
Fabulous pacing. What the world needs in all its fiction is great pacing and KJ Charles did a fantastic job. I loved this story. I found Kerry to be a bright, engaging, charismatic and multi-dimensional heroine. The ensemble of hostesses, office workers, dodgy small time crooks, ex sumo wrestlers and real, big time mob gangsters worked like a well oiled machine. Kerry's friends were priceless and well-done. Bad guys were beyond scary for me. Kerry's courage was logic defying -- as was Chanko. Li ...more
Lane Swift
Apr 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Having read several of KJ Charles period novels I was curious to see how the voice of her modern female protagonist would compare. From the off, I loved Kerry. She felt immediately real and the setting, modern-day Japan, was as vividly drawn as Charles portrays Victorian England.
The action starts on the first page, and finishes on the last. Several times I found myself actually holding my breath and wondering how much more drama I could take, let alone Kerry and her crew.
This was a roller-coas
Jun 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've read lots of stories where the man of action helps the beautiful girl of dubious morality who finds herself in trouble. What's interesting about this one is that this one is told from the perspective of the girl. It's an action thriller with a nonstop plot and sharp fast writing. The writing style and general mood of this reminded me a lot of Andrew Vachss, and that is a compliment in every way.

Kim W
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2014
I wish more female MCs were like Kerry. She was totally believable. She didn't have any superpowers but she could take care of herself using the assets she had. She relied on help from men but she wasn't helpless without them.
This was an exciting book and I raced through it to see what would happen. The ending was satisfying and believable which was good because as I read the book, I didn't know how she was ever going to get out of her mess.
Charley Descoteaux
Dec 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
Almost too much fun! I wouldn't turn away the sequel the ending hinted at either. :D
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it
I'm not sure what was missing from this book that would have made me Love it. Technically, it had everything that I require, including, as always with a K. J. Charles book, excellent writing. Lots of action, interesting characters with interesting backstories. A hero who makes no excuses for his many flaws. I just didn't connect with them. I didn't understand who exactly Taka was in connection with Kerry. I didn't buy Chanko's instant protective streak when it came to Kerry, let alone their love ...more
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: heroine-addict
What a fun action/suspense/romance! The heroine was strong and spunky, and other than a rough and rocky start (too much inner monologuing rather than fast paced action), this grabbed and kept my attention.

I also got a kick out of this being set in Japan. All the Japanese I learned from all that shoujo I devoured a few years ago (and let's be honest here, yaoi) came in handy. This was like shoujo all grown up. But not Josei, because come on, that es is boring.

Other than the beginning, my only oth
Feb 16, 2016 rated it really liked it
So good. I know Ms. Charles from her m/m romances, the bulk of her oeuvre, which I recently binge-read. Because she is so good.
This one is a flat-out thriller but completely anchored in the reality of being an expat in Japan. Which fascinates me so she had me at go.
Do not miss if you love her other stuff, or you love Japan, or you love a good romantic thriller.
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I'm a writer of romance, mostly m/m, often historical or fantasy or both.

I'm also a freelance editor, and I blog about writing and editing at

I live in London, UK, with husband, two kids, and a cat of absolute night.

Follow me on Twitter @kj_charles or friend me on Facebook at
More about K.J. Charles

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