Ryu’s Musings – Accidental Mistress & The Billionaire Boss’s Forbidden Mistress

Posted on April 1st, 2011 by Ryu Sheng |

Given the shortness of the titles in the Harlequin range (average of 120pages each), and the large number of them available, I’ve decided to do 2 titles per post in future.

AM ISBN-13: 9784596951366
Language: English
Direction: Right to Left
Pages: 120
by: Junko Okada (Art), Cathy Williams (Original Story)
Publisher: Harlequin K.K
Type: One-Shot
Genre: Josei, Drama, Romance

Synopsis:

Lisa was having a vacation in sunny Spain when she was involved in a car accident. The owner of the car, Angus Hamilton, takes her to the hospital. Angus turns out to be a man of high society – someone whose path Lisa would never have crossed if it wasn’t for this accident. Even after her wounds are healed, she cannot stop thinking about the man she only met once. Then one day, Lisa receives an invitation from Angus to join him on a cruise ship. She would normally decline, but something makes her accept this surprising invitation….

TBBFM ISBN-13: 9784596951212
Language: English
Direction: Right to Left
Pages: 120
by: Megumi Toda (Art), Milanda Lee (Original Story)
Publisher: Harlequin K.K
Type: One-Shot
Genre: Josei, Drama, Romance

Synopsis:

Blessed with brilliant beauty and abundant wealth; Lena used to be a prince of the fashionable society until an accident took everything away from her, leaving only ugly scar in her leg. Her husband despised the car and dumped her. "I never trust a man…" Since then, a smile has disappeared from her face and she has withdrawn and lived a quiet life. She never expects that her extremely sexy boss is determined to make her his own.

Accidental Mistress:

As with most of Harlequins releases this is a story about a girl from the wrong side of the tracks getting lucky and marrying a dream prince.

You know what your getting when you pick up a Harlequin release, and this is no different, no better, and no worse. This means that the volume suffers from all the usual failings of a Harlequin title, the main one being it happens way to fast.

Since we only have 120pages of story it moves at a break neck pace, almost feeling like it’s to fast. However on my second read through i actually found the speed to be okay.

I’m coming to believe that unlike normal manga in the shojo/josei genre, the Harlequin titles are moving from being character drive, to situation driven. This means there’s less focus on the characters, but more on the situation they find themselves in. In this case I think it was pulled off rather well.

The rags to riches story is nothing new, but it doesn’t have to be new to tell a good story. Junko catches the essence of the original story, and brings it to life in a short manga. However that isn’t all she manages to do, she also brings the characters to life. Lisa isn’t just a character in the story, Junko brings her to life and manages to give her a personality that does shine a little.

Angus is also brought to life rather well, and their differing personalities clash well, helping the story along rather well. Though i have to admit i do find the name Angus to be a bit over used in Harlequin titles, how about some variety guys!!

The art for this volume is typical shojo, light, airy, feels like a sneeze would blow it away. The character designs are pretty decent, and the settings are just as nice, some of them even stunning.

Sadly it does have a single failing, the support characters aren’t established, and have a tendency to feel as though they were just thrown into the mix. This is especially true with Paul and Caroline. I was disappointed with the way they were used in the volume, but as i said earlier, due to the limited page count this was to be expected.

One aspect i will praise Harlequin for is the editing. Since i first started to read them they’ve improved loads, and are now doing a pretty decent job with it. They could do with a bit better formatting, and a better choice of fonts (IMO of course!!) but overall this volume was a huge improvement over the first one of theirs i read.

The Billionaire Boss’s Forbidden Mistress:

I actually really loved this one. The cover and title are a bit misleading and it turned out to be something other than what i was expecting.

Again as with all Harlequin titles this is a short, 120 page story. However i found the pacing to be spot on. That’s not to say it wouldn’t have done well if it was longer, because it would. However i also felt that the story played out well in the short space of time.

Like the previous title, this one is situational rather than character driven, the situation this time is more believable, and does have the added bonus of being a bit comical.

This time around we aren’t getting a rags to riches story, but rather a riches to riches story, since our lead, Leah is pretty well off all ready, but due to events in her past she’s closed off and no longer wants to have relationships.

Jason (thank god it’s not another Angus) is the same. He’s had a sort of, tragic past that has resulted in him not only closing himself off, but also being greatly misunderstood. I liked the way Megumi portrays him in the manga. Both he and Leah have a good strong personality that came off well and helped to bring the story to life.As with the previous volume however the side characters are pretty much dead, which was as always a bit disappointing, but not unexpected.

Megumi does an excellent job of getting the back story quickly, without ruining it. She set the stage, then carries the reader through to the end without ay hiccups.

While we all knew how it was going to end, the journey to get there was well executed.

Unlike the previous volume we don’t get the exotic scenery, so the character have to carry more of the story, and the facial expressions and postures of the leads really did a great job of explaining the story. The art of the story is well done as well, with  great character designs, and use of expressions (or lack of them at times).

The editing was superbly done in this volume, with a great choice of fonts and great placement. Harlequin are coming along in leaps and bounds with their work. Though i now hope for a Omnibus paper release with say four or five titles per volume. I’d love to own some of these!!

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