Harlequin Manga: Acting on Impulse and Vengeful Seduction

Acting on Impulse by Natsue Ogoshi and Vicki Lewis Thompson
Available on emanga.com

I always enjoy Harlequin manga when they exhibit a strong sense of humor. Acting on Impulse is plenty funny as it details the adventures of a naive farmgirl who moves to New York City, determined to live a “metropolitan” lifestyle. Unfortunately Trudy’s expectations of New York are entirely drawn from popular entertainment, which results in occasional hilarity. Trudy’s landed a job as a lowly office worker at a PR firm. She’s friends with a couple in the city who decide that her arrival is a perfect opportunity to fix her up with confirmed bachelor Linc. They ask Linc to be Trudy’s tour guide and look out for her as she gets adjusted to life in the big city. When Trudy meets Linc she pronounces him almost as handsome as her favorite actor and asks him to intone the lines “Admit you want me. I’ll give you ecstasy like you’ve never had before.” They promptly enter into a relationship where they are dating but proclaiming that they aren’t dating, because she wants to experience the freedom of the city and he is afraid of commitment. Trudy’s excess of enthusiasm and bizarre expectations of city life give her more personality than I’ve come to expect from a Harlequin heroine. The art is a little rushed at times, but the characters are attractive and the funny dialog goes a long way to make Acting on Impulse fun to read.

Vengeful Seduction by Cathy Williams and Yukako Midori
Available on emanga.com

Vengeful Seduction is the story of a woman forced to betray her true love when an evil man blackmails her into marriage, only to be dramatically confronted by her past when her drunk husband kills himself and her father in a car accident. Shortly after dealing with her father and horrible husband’s deaths, Isobel is confronted with her ex-boyfriend Lorenzo. Now a successful businessman, he appears again in her life to buy and turn around her family’s failing business. He intends to get Isobel back too, but she’s determined not to be treated like a possession again. As Isobel and Lorenzo are forced to spend more time together, details about her evil husband and her father’s potentially shady business dealings emerge. This harlequin manga had a general feeling of doom and sadness, without the touches of humor that I tend to enjoy. If I’m reading something silly I’d rather have something to laugh about, as opposed to a story that while somewhat goofy takes itself too seriously. So, I am not a fan of Vengeful Seduction, but Acting on Impulse was fun enough to make up for it.

Online access provided by the publisher.

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