Harlequin Manga Quick Takes – To Marry a Stranger and To Woo a Wife

To Marry a Stranger by Renee Roszel and Takako Hashimoto

I decided to read this title mainly because the hero of the story has an eye patch. Eye patches are a feature of romantic heroes that seem to be sorely neglected recently, although I think for some reason they were more prevalent in the 80s. Helen wants to know who her destined man is, so she decides to visit the conveniently located Love Mansion, a haunted house that is located near the bed and breakfast she’s opening with her sisters. She runs into the current habitat of the Love Mansion, Damien Lord. He happens to be horribly scarred due to accidents he suffered as a reporter in Afghanistan, but he’s taken up residence in the country to recuperate. Damien is cranky and Helen decides to tame him by feeding him plenty of home-cooked meals. To Marry a Stranger follows the typical Harlequin formula of a woman’s beauty and domestic talents winning over a tortured yet handsome man. It is enlivened by Hashimoto’s art which is relaxed, with a feminine cartoony style. I do believe that more romance heroes need eye patches.

To Woo A Wife by Carol Mortimer and Yoko Hanabusa

This was an entertaining title, simply because Hanabusa’s art has an old fashioned look to it. The characters have long noses and limpid eyes that wouldn’t look out of place in a 1980s manga. When you combine the old school art with a socially maladjusted hero given to making random women hating comments hilarity ensues. Jarrett Hunter is a millionaire bachelor who is trying to buy a hotel from a “Black Widow,” a woman who conveniently married a very elderly rich man who died a couple years into the marriage. Jarrett has managed to avoid the snares of women, because he’s been severely messed up by his mother running out on his father. So when he meets Addie, he assumes that she is a very high-priced hooker, because he thinks she’s visiting a hotel alone. Unfortunately Addie is the widow he’s been sent to woo for the purposes of acquiring her real estate. He has golden eyes! She has violet eyes! Will their bickering lead to love? Will he be charmed by her relationship with her young daughter? Will he relentlessly pursue her? Does he have two unmarried brothers so the author will be able to write a trilogy? The answers to all these questions is of course a resounding yes. Even though there were a few rough spots in the adaptation for this manga, I found it entertaining simply because of Jarrett’s horrible social ineptness, which would have probably caused him to get beaten up if he wasn’t a handsome billionaire.

Access to electronic copies provided by the publisher

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Comments

  1. Your reviews have amused me so much that I am almost tempted to read these. 🙂

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  1. […] to a very faithful adaptation and some nice art from Hanabusa (who also adapted the Harlequin title To Woo A Wife) this ended up being quite enjoyable to read, but not as great as watching Roman Holiday all over […]

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