Artist: Yoshiko Hanatsu
Rating: Young Adults 16+
Release Date: March 2011
How could I resist a title like that? This is my first Harlequin manga, and I have to say I enjoyed the combination of shojo-tastic art and romance novel plot line
Ryder McCall and Ashley Bennet have a one-night stand in a motel room. “Don’t leave me!” she pleads, and Ryder spends the rest of the manga trying to make that happen, no thanks to Ashley herself. After a series of events that involve Ashley running away and Ryder tracking her down to a diner in the middle of nowhere (from the label on her pill bottle, no less. Is that legal?), he finally gets her to agree to become a live-in accountant for his family business. Oh yes, and she’s pregnant. With twins. Yeah, my suspension of disbelief took a vacation for this one…
This manga is short and faced paced, so if you want your romance in a rush, then this is a good choice. I thought both Ashley and Ryder were likable, if not lovable. Ashley spends far too much time mopping around and letting others decide things for her. The one thing she decides entirely on her own, running away from home, happens before the manga starts. After that, it’s just letting Ryder bully her into a situation that, thankfully, makes her happy.
As for Ryder--- let’s just say it’s a good thing Ashley is just as much in love with Ryder as he is with her. The man is downright persistent. He goes from “Are you pregnant?” to “We have to get married!” in the space of 5 pages. When Ashley tells him no, he finds another way to get her into his house: offer her a job. This leads to a living situation where Ryder seemingly takes every opportunity to remind her that he loves her and wants to marry her. No pressure at all in that. But perhaps this kind of overflowing love is just what Ashley needs. Ryder’s pep brings her out of her shell, and she starts to love his family and her new life, including the children she’s expecting. What little drama does show up (in the form of another suitor) doesn’t carry much weight; by the time he comes around, it’s clear that Ashley is definitely Ryder’s girl.
It’s cute, it’s short--- if you’re looking for something with a happy ending and not much drama, this is a good pick. I honestly wasn’t expecting much from a comic-adaption of a category romance, but I was pleasantly surprised. This story would be right at home in any shojo lover’s bookshelf.
Digital review copy provided by publisher.