Although I’ve read a bit of manga on the Kindle app for my iPad, I haven’t actually read any manga on my newest toy – a Kindle Paperwhite. When I discovered that there were actually several Harlequin manga for sale for .99 cents on amazon, I wasted no time in purchasing them. I was particularly interested in these two titles, because I’d previously read another title adapted by Kazuko Fujita, Sale or Return Bride. I tend to assume that the art for these Harlequin adaptations is going to be fairly rushed, but either Fujita’s art is among the best that I’ve seen in a Harlequin manga. Her character designs are attractive, and she manages to convey a great deal of nuance in their facial expressions, with the end result that she ends up elevating the stories in these volumes. Backgrounds are sparse, and if you read Fujita’s manga one after the other you will notice that she only draws one basic hero, but she does draw him very well.
Buying Harlequin manga on the Kindle is a bit confusing because there are multiple editions for each title, but I’m linking to the editions that I bought and read here.
Angus’s Lost Lady by Kazuko Fujita and Marie Ferraella
Angus’s Lost Lady is the story of a PI and single father named Angus who is surprised to see a woman with with a lost shoe and amnesia on his doorstep. The only clue to her identity is the fact that she’s clutching his business card, but she hasn’t met him before. She has a head injury as a result from being grazed by a bullet. Since this is a romance manga Angus promptly moves the lost woman into his apartment, introducing her to his daughter Vikki and trying to jog her memory by giving her a phonebook to read. The woman decides to adopt the name Rebecca. Rebecca and Angus investigate her accident and missing memories, and along the way struggle with their attraction for each other. The old “woman in danger with amnesia” is not a novel plot device, but Fujita does a good job portraying the chemistry between Angus and Rebecca, and Rebecca isn’t as simpering and weak as many Harlequin amnesia ladies usually are.
The Seduction Bid by Kazuko Fujita and Amanda Browning
Perhaps it is due to my own anger management issues, but I generally enjoy it when women in romance manga yell a lot. In this case, the heroine of The Seduction Bid barges into an office and starts to chew out an incredibly handsome man who she thinks is an unscrupulous reporter for a local tabloid. Carrie is determined to defend one of her friends from scandal. While she is momentarily distracted by the stormy grey eyes of the man she is yelling at, she ends up storming out of the office ranting about “garbage journalism”. The man with the mysterious grey eyes decides that he wants to be yelled at forever and vows to marry her. Later, as Carrie is hanging out at the house belonging to the parents of her late husband she is introduced to the object of her rant and he turns out to be Lance, cousin of the gutter journalist. Lance then proceeds to relentlessly pursue the reluctant Carrie, and his charm gradually begins to wear down her well developed defense mechanisms.
The attractive art makes these volumes a pleasure to read, and the stories are basically what you’d expect from Harlequin. Reading these on the Kindle was fine – the size of the manga to fit the Kindle screen is about what you’d see in a Japanese tankobon, and since the backgrounds of the manga weren’t particularly detailed, the smaller reading size for the manga didn’t make much of a difference. At only a dollar a pop, buying these is a no-brainer for anyone who enjoys Harlequin manga.