My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was my first Harlequin romance. I was bored and I wanted something dramatic…and I ended up picking this up. I was surprised when I saw the manga cover and read western names, but when I started reading it, I guess I ended up getting sucked into it. I have to admit, this is a very good, if but a VERY dramatic series. It makes me want to read the original novel. Oh, and I love this manga artist’s drawings, I think the art is very attractive and beautiful.
Bronte is running away from a failed wedding ceremony in the rain when she finds a cabin for shelter, occupied by a blood-soaked man with Gold eyes, who claims he just killed a man. His name is Mars West, and on impulse he kisses her, just as the police come to drag him away.
Five years later Bronte comes to New York to see Mars, who spent three years in prison for the murder it turns out he didn’t commit. Then things get strange…
This is a soap opera of the highest order, with machinations and manipulations that only the very rich could get away with…
Based on Ann Major‘s novel, “Secret Child”.
This premise doesn’t say much. It’s important that it’s noted that Mars West’s wife Chantal plays as big a role as Bronte and Mars. Especially since she has gone missing for five years, and the reason why the police were after Mars in the first place.
I guess my favourite part in the entire series is when Bronte finally gets rid of Chantal as the model “Mischief Jones” since both Bronte and Chantal look exactly the same (due to a plot development in the first volume which I won’t say). When that happens, everything unravels for Chantal, but brightens a bit for Bronte, who becomes the official new “Mischief Jones” model.
Bronte annoyed me at first, not when she meets Mars, but when she first has her plastic surgery. But as I read her character, I really got more and more the need to follow her character and to agree that what she was doing was right. Her interactions with Mars though are both sweet and spicy. Especially at the start when he doesn’t believe that she is the real Bronte and not his wife Chantal.
Chantal is pretty twisted throughout most of the series and I don’t like her one bit, not for what she does to Bronte (despite saving her) and not for what she does to Mars (even though Mars hates and has used her worse). But her ending is not so bad, I just felt that Bronte, with throwing herself at everyone to save them felt a little bit repetitive, especially by the time it came to the final confrontation between Chantal, Mars and Bronte.
Mars. Stubborn, smexy and rich, is the ultimate Harlequin romance love interest. And he’s just as complex and dramatic as all others, with his own reasons for doing things the way he does and choosing things to happen they happen. Unfortunately it’s only when it’s too late does he realise that between his two great loves, there was really only one main choice. I guess this is what I hate about romances, the conflict when it is clear which decision was the one that should have been made. But I guess without that conflict there would have been no story. Sigh. Well, it worked out for the best.
The supporting cast, all of them were likeable and hate-able, even Mars’s brother. His decision to divorce was surprising. But not quite when it’s clear why.
The US I think?
I’ve come to really like the artwork by this mangaka. I think it’s very pretty.
Writing, just the same as any well written manga. Though towards the end, I think Bronte forgives too many people and plays the role of saint too much, thinking words will save the day…it kind of got annoying.
I think this manga is definitely worth reading. For a Harlequin manga it’s not all completely stupid, and relatively enjoyable, if a bit dramatic (this might just be an understatement). I’m not sure what the original story is like, but this is pretty good as a read for those after a bit of drama. Makes me want to read the original story!