I bought lots of books this month. One day, I hope to be able to get all those manga adaptations based on Western romance novels. o (◡‿◡✿)

Romance comics

If someone is interested in scanlating one or more stories presented in this post or listed in my Harlequin & Romance comic raws collection, you can submit a request for the raws HERE.

Now, let’s take a peek at my acquisitions.

First, there are 6 non-Harlequin comics—these books can be surprising sometimes.

Romance comics

RcDaring Proposition
By Jennifer Greene & UESUGI Kanako

(Click on the cover to read a sample.)

After bitter experience, Leigh vowed never to marry—but she desperately wanted a child. In this age of medical breakthroughs, she decided on a bold plan-to have a mere acquaintance, Brian Hathaway, father a child for her by scientific means.
But Brian has plans of his own. To provide the child a home and himself a wife, he forces Leigh into marriage. Her pregnancy brings her unequaled joy, but the stranger who is now her husband disturbs her deeply, arousing desires that beg to be assuaged. Though her defenses slowly crumble under Brian’s tender caresses, she’s afraid to open her heart to love again…

RcFairyville
By Emma Holly & FUKAI Youki

(Click on the cover to read a sample.)

Fairyville, Arizona isn’t like other towns, something Zoe Clare, the town’s most popular medium knows all too well. Zoe has no trouble communicating with the dead—or with real live fairies, for that matter! The problem is she can’t seem to get her feelings across to her too sexy, too charismatic manager, Magnus Monroe.
Tired of watching Magnus’s erotic antics with every woman but her, when Zoe’s high school sweetheart blows back to town, she’s more than a little vulnerable to his charms. How Alex broke her heart is a scandal Fairyville won’t forget—though Zoe finds herself willing to forgive. The rules they’re about to break will bring out the jealousy in Magnus . . . and the astounding truth.

This one surprised me because there is YAOI in it—for those who don’t know what this means, it’s man-on-man action, in other words, you have gay sex. Yet, I’m not really surprised if I consider that the story is written by Emma Holly. For me, she writes more with an erotica flair than a romance sensibility. Anyways, she’s better known as an erotica author.

But back to the manga. The gay sex is just as explicit as the het sex. It’s not graphical in the sense that you won’t see penes flapping or close-up vaginas. It’s just boobs and no dick visible, but the kama sutra positions are obvious enough for us to know that 1 plus 1 makes 2, be it 2 boys or 1 boy and 1 girl.

Looking at the raws, I’m not certain as I can’t read Japanese and haven’t read the novel, but there’s a probability the heroine sleeps with another man than Magnus. A review at an online bookstore even hints there’s a threesome at some point in the novel, though I haven’t come across such a scene in the manga version.

I knew Fukai Youki as a BL mangaka first, though I’m not into her works. The thing is that in the case of Fairyville, my fujoshi fangirl dwarfs my traditional romance reader side. I don’t care about Zoe and her love interest. I’m more interested in the gay pair and raging against the author for not delivering a full BL romance instead. The gay couple is so much more lovely and sexy. You can feel their chemistry sparkling from the pages of the manga. Just forget about the girl, I want more yaoi! Urgh, why can’t I get more yaoi?!

RcThe Education of Mrs. Brimley
By Donna MacMeans & MORI Motoko

(Click on the cover to read a sample.)

Emma Brimley made one small fib in her application to the Pettibone School for Young Ladies: she claimed to be a widow. But when she arrives in Yorkshire, she is dismayed to learn that she’s expected to prepare her students for the intimacies of marriage—of which she knows nothing! Her only hope of maintaining her place lies with the alluring Lord Nicholas Chambers, a neighboring artist whose behavior is scarcely consistent with that of a gentleman.
True to his reputation, “Lord Bedchambers” offers Emma a scandalous bargain: he will answer her questions about anatomy and bedroom etiquette, if she will pose for him…in the Grecian fashion. Though keenly aware of the dangers of such a scenario, Emma determines to best this noble roué—never thinking she may be risking her heart as well…

RcBreath of Magic
By Teresa Medeiros & Yohna

(Click on the cover to read a sample.)

Precocious Puritan and aspiring witch Arian Whitewood spends her lonely nights dreaming of magic and excitement. She gets more excitement than she bargains for when she crash lands straight out of a witch hunt into the 20th century and the arms of Tristan Lennox, a reclusive billionaire. Arian blows through Tristan’s climate-controlled existence like a breath of magic, only to discover that the spell he weaves around her heart is more compelling than any enchantment.

RcA Devil’s Bargain
By Emma Wildes & NATSUO Kou

(Click on the cover to read a sample.)

Lady Isabelle is a pawn in a game where she doesn’t even know the rules. When she finds herself in the hands of her father’s worst enemy, she might just lose her very soul to a man who offers her a devil’s bargain. With limited choices, she accepts Lord Devon’s proposition. As captor and seducer, he steals everything from her, maybe even her heart.
He’s jaded, lost, and bitter. Devon Austin knows his faults, just as much as he knows his innocence. When he exacts revenge on the daughter of an old adversary, he expects to feel freed of his burdens. Instead he finds himself captive, chained by her beauty and sensuality, caught in his own web of retaliation. When Isabelle insists he accompany her back to England to try and clear his name, he yields to the insanity, knowing if he loses her, he might be doomed to hell…

Holy cow, this one is filthy smutty! It must be the smuttiest of all Harlequin and Romance comics put together! It starts with sex, and goes on with sex, and sex, … and more sex. At some point, I was wondering if there was an actual story. Thank God, they do put some clothes on between extensive rounds to squeeze in a bit of a storyline.

I was thinking looking at the endless sex whether the artist could be a hentai mangaka too. Though it’s not 3D detailed, I was surprised that Natsuo-sensei drew recognizable private parts. Usually, the Harlequin and Romance comics mangakas are at best suggestive, leaving the invisi-dicks and non-existant-vulvas to the reader’s imagination. But in A Devil’s Bargain, I can make out the defined crotches. What’s even more ironic to me is that there is occasionally a minimum of censorship while bodily fluids outline the shapes of genitalias.

Ah, smut really makes the world go round, doesn’t it? (v^_^)v

RcHot Sahara Wind
By Emma Wildes & SANAZAKI Harumo

(Click on the cover to read a sample.)

Dazzled by the dream of exploring a romantic ancient city steeped in centuries of exotic tradition, Lady Sarah Stewart instead finds herself unexpectedly facing death for a crime she never intended to commit. Luckily she has a connection to the royal family that just might save her life…and change it forever.
Prince Ahmed has never gotten over his deep sexual infatuation with the young sister of his English friend, William Stewart. When the beauteous Sarah needs rescued, he offers a noble solution that will both solve her dilemma and slake his undeniable lust. Marrying an Englishwoman is an unorthodox step, but the satisfaction he finds when she is in his bed is well-worth it, for his lovely bride proves as passionate as she is independent and spirited…

What attracts me to those non-Harlequin comics is that they are less standardized. They are not more enjoyable, but they have the potential to bring me something different at times. It’s like when you choose to read a romance novel published by Harlequin, by Avon or by Ellora’s Cave. They all are romances but the flavour tastes different, and depending on your mood, you’d want to vary your dishes from time to time.

Most of these mangas are adaptations of Western romance novels, but some are also based on movies or Western pop culture. A few are even original Japanese creations with a Western setting.

I’ve commented first on Fairyville and A Devil’s Bargain to warn unknowing readers about each manga book unexpected contents. From a less adventuresome viewpoint, I really like The Education of Mrs. Brimley.

Mori-sensei’s art is lovely, and the story looks very nice with just a sprinkle of spice to please me.

Beauty and the baron

HQcBeauty and the Baron
By Deborah Hale & TSUYA Satomi

(Click on the covers to read samples.)

Beauty and the Baron 2COULD SHE DEFEAT HIS DARKNESS AND BRING HIM BACK TO LIFE?
Handsome rakehell turned scarred recluse Lord Lucius Daventry returns from battle intent on forgetting the past. Yet, once home, Lucius is presented with one final mission: marry Angela Lacewood and grant his ailing grandfather’s dying wish. Or at least pretend to marry her. But the young beauty he remembers is now an exquisite woman. A woman strong enough to breach the walls he hides behind and steal his heart.

It’s my first time looking at Tsuya Satomi’s art style. The drawings are cute and a bit old-fashioned, which serves to enhance the historical fairy-tale like atmosphere of this story. Her art fits so well with this setting and plotline, it reminds me of my innocence as a child when magic and fairies used to lul me to sleep.

Beauty and the Baron is no paranormal or fantasy romance. But it’s undoubtedly a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. There are just so many dream-like romantic panels and heart-warming scenes, it feels like the sweetest fairy-tale. ꒰ღ˘‿˘ற꒱❤⃛

Throne of Judar

Olivia Gates’ Throne of Judar trilogy:

  1. The Desert Lord's BabyThe Desert Lord’s Baby
    Illustrated by NAGASAWA Satoru

    (Click on the cover to read a sample.)

    She’d conceived his child and ran
    But there was nowhere Carmen could hide from this prince of Judar. No stone he wouldn’t turn to find her, no wall he couldn’t tear down. Nothing would stop Farooq Aal Masood from claiming the mother of his baby.
    She had betrayed him. And she would pay. In his bed. As his wife…until he tired of her. And though Carmen professed to love him, that it was all a misunderstanding, well…Farooq would never fall for her lies again!

  2. The Desert Lord's BrideThe Desert Lord’s Bride
    Illustrated by HANADA Sakumi

    (Click on the cover to read a sample.)

    The future of Judar rests with Farah Beaumont, a foreigner who wants nothing to do with her heritage.And to secure his country’s peace, prince Shehab Aal Masood must make her his bride—by any means necessary.
    Hiding his identity and sweeping Farah off her feet is a start. But the joyful, seemingly innocent Farah is nothing like he expects. And Shehab’s calculated seduction soon becomes an affair too powerful to control…

  3. HQcThe Desert King
    Illustrated by TANAKA Rin

    (Click on the cover to read a sample.)

    Their farce of a marriage will save his kingdom. And in return for an heir, Kamal Aal Masood will give his new wife Aliyah anything—except the trust and intimacy she desperately wants.When Kamal abruptly ended their blistering affair years ago, he vowed Aliyah would never ensnare him again. Only a fool allowed his actions to be ruled by his heart. And only a woman like Aliyah would dare to challenge a king in a passionate battle of wills…

The first volume had been scanlated. I bought the whole series anyways, mainly because I wanted the third book illustrated by Tanaka-sensei—can’t resist gorgeous art. The hero looks mean, but thank God, the girl is no weakling. There’s a thrilling duel scene that got me very much intrigued. I’m so curious to know how she brings him down to his knees.

Regency Quatuor

I already have the first two stories of Deborah Simmons’ Regency Quator. And I finally bought the remaining books to complete this manga series.

  1. Tempting KateTempting Kate
    Illustrated by OGATA Rin

    (Click on the cover to read a sample.)

    A MEETING AT GUNPOINT
    A fitting start for such a dangerous attraction, thought Grayson Westcott, the Marquis of Wroth. And though he’d always prided himself on his infamous self-control, Kate Courtland’s hoydenish charms had shattered his defenses and set fire to his soul!
    Kate Courtland’s life of privilege amongst polite society was a distant memory, and the hardships of her daily struggle had become all too real. Until the night she wounded the Marquis of Wroth, and unleashed a smoldering passion that would change their lives forever!

  2. Last RogueThe Last Rogue
    Illustrated by MIDORI Yukako

    (Click on the covers to read samples.)

    Raleigh Hadn’t Gambled On Finding A Virgin In His Bed—
    but when he awoke next to Jane Trowbridge, he knew all bets for bachelorhood were off. Now, instead of a love match, he’d gotten a sparring partner.
    Last Rogue 2Jane had never imagined herself anyone’s lawfully wedded wife, and now ironic fate had bound her to a hedonistic viscount who was a Tulip of the Ton. Still, could a man who only pursued pleasure find any pleasure pursuing her? And could she restrain her maidenly blushes long enough to let him…?

I really like how Midori-sensei has adapted The Last Rogue. I love Deborah Simmons’ novels. Her style reminds me of Julie Garwood’s former historical romance books. Amanda Quick aka Jayne Ann Krentz has also a bit of a similar flair: a mix of humour and drama with loveable and a bit eccentric characters.

The Regency Quatuor is one of my favourite series by Deborah Simmons. I’ve loved the 4 novels, each for different reasons. The Last Rogue may get my preference by a hair’s breadth because the heroine, Jane, suffers from the ugly duckling syndrome. And Raleigh’s sweet tenderness brings tears to my eyes and warmth to my fluttering heart. Looking at Midori-sensei’s manga version, it’s like the novel is animated and this reminds me how much I love this story.

The only thing I miss from the manga adaptations of the whole series is the sensuality of Deborah Simmons’ hot scenes that the drawings fail to convey. The 4 novels steamy parts are just sweetly sensual at best in the mangas.

Still, I think that the manga version of The Last Rogue is worth every penny!

Heart of the Hawk

Heart of the HawkHeart of the Hawk
By Elizabeth Mayne & HAYASAKA Amii

(Click on the covers to read samples.)

Abducted!
Heart of the Hawk 2Torn from her life of privilege and held in a ravaged Saxon keep, Thea Bellamy soon realized her true nature. And found love in the arms of her captor, Roderick, a man her reason cried out she should hate, but her heart could never deny!
Hawk, they called him, for Roderick, Duke of Emory, soared in battle. And though the warrior had fallen to his enemy, he was determined that his people would survive. Even if the price paid be Thea, the woman who had become part of his very soul.

When I read for the first time The Color of Desire which has a contemporary setting, I thought Hayasaka-sensei’s art style looked rather old and weird. But later, when I discovered the French version of Heart of the Hawk, I thought on the contrary that the art fitted well the medieval era and made perfectly sense.

Plus I appreciate very much the proportions of the bodies in this manga. The men are muscled and tall, but not overly for the Middle Ages. The noble ladies look lean and delicate, and despite being smaller than the male characters, they don’t appear small. The story is interesting, full of passion, with a tough lady and a disgraced warrior. I think I should buy the original novel as some points in the French translation are somehow confusing.

Scandalous Situation

A Scandalous SituationA Scandalous Situation
By Patricia Frances Rowell & FUJITA Kazuko

(Click on the covers to read samples.)

Her past was a dark country
And Iantha Kethley was trapped at its borders, never quite able to escape the one defining moment of her life. Until the day she held Robert Armstrong at gunpoint—and he offered her a future she’d never dared imagine!
Scandalous Situation 2Rob Armstrong, Lord Duncan, swore he’d not be mere protector of Iantha Kethley, but true partner as well, for this sweetly vulnerable woman had a spine of surprising steel—a necessary attribute to face the danger that stalked her still. Her need drew him to her; her courage held him by her side—where he’d willingly remain, bound by honor, passion…and love!

This story is a tad too serious for my liking as it starts with a gang rape, though it’s not graphical and you won’t see anything more explicit about it than that single panel from the sample of the headshot of the bruised girl and her naked shoulders. From this, you can easily draw your own conclusions on what happened to her.

That’s my fair warning for those who’d rather stay away from any story featuring a rape victim as the heroine and how she got to overcome her trauma thanks to a caring hero. Don’t get it wrong, the heroine is a resilient lady and the book is not all about the drama. There’s also some nice action and mystery tossed into all that.

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The Park avenue scandals mini-series:

  1. High-society Secret PregnancyHigh-society Secret Pregnancy
    By Maureen Child & CHIHARA Esu

    (Click on the cover to read a sample.)

    Manhattan millionaire Max Rolland didn’t do relationships…until his one-night stand turned up pregnant. Blue-blooded Julia Prentice may have been a lamb by day, but she’d been a lion in the bedroom. And when the expectant socialite showed up on his doorstep, Max knew the baby couldn’t be his. But he offered marriage anyway.
    For one year. He’d get his heir and a sexy bedmate. But before the prenup ink was dry, Max was wondering if he’d want more from Julia than just a business deal…

  2. Front Page EngagementFront Page Engagement
    By Laura Wright & OGOSHI Natsue

    (Click on the cover to read a sample.)

    PARK AVENUE Apartment: 12C
    TENANT: Carrie Gray, the proverbial girl-next-door
    SCANDAL: Will she marry for money?
    Millionaire media mogul Trent Tanford had one week to find a wife…or lose his empire. But none of his current Manhattan flings met his father’s stringent standards. Then Trent noticed the innocent house sitter next door.
    In tortoiseshell glasses and loose T-shirts, Carrie Gray surely had no skeletons in her closet. But how would she feel about…marital duties, so vital to a virile man like Trent? Trent had the money and the charm to convince her, but he’d never spoken a word to Carrie… How was he going to ask, “Will you marry me?”

  3. Prince of MidtownPrince of Midtown
    By Jennifer Lewis & ISHIKAWA Mami

    (Click on the cover to read a sample.)

    721 PARK AVENUE: Apt. 12B
    TENANT: Sebastian Stone, Prince of Caspia
    SCANDAL: Seducing a commoner!
    Crown Prince, billionaire businessman and globetrotting bachelor Sebastian Stone needs assistant Tessa Banks to hold his life together. From his Manhattan office she organizes his public and private life with ease. So when Tessa gives notice, Sebastian resorts to what he does best: seduction. Ermine and jewels in his sun-drenched palace…sensual pleasures beyond her wildest fantasies. But when the two weeks’ notice is up, the prince discovers his plan has backfired. He’s fallen for a woman he can never marry…

  4. Marriage, Manhattan StyleMarriage, Manhattan Style
    By Barbara Dunlop & OGATA Hiromi

    (Click on the cover to read a sample.)

    721 PARK AVENUE: Penthouse A
    TENANTS: Reed and Elizabeth Wellington
    SCANDAL: Married for life?
    A sexy billionaire husband, a Park Avenue penthouse, money to burn. Elizabeth Wellington had it all, right?
    But Reed was married to his corporation and she spent evenings alone—with her ovulation charts. Her husband still set her body on fire, but Reed was keeping secrets, ones serious enough to rock their life together. Then fate brought them an unexpected bundle of joy. They finally had the baby they’d always wanted… but had it arrived soon enough?

  5. Pregnant on the Upper East Side?Pregnant on the Upper East Side?
    By Emilie Rose & RYOU Atsumi

    (Click on the cover to read a sample.)

    721 Park Avenue Apartment: 9B
    TENANT: Amanda Crawford, party planner but no party girl
    SCANDAL: Single, in debt and…late!
    Millionaire legal eagle Alex Harper had been in hot pursuit of Amanda for months—but she shot him down at every turn. Till he hit her where she lived, hiring her to plan a bigwig bash. But working with Alex was like playing with fire, and Amanda allowed herself one night to let loose. But with a heartbreaker like Alex, once wasn’t enough. Her body craved him again—even as she wondered if that one night of passion would come back to haunt her in nine months…

  6. HQcThe Billionaire in Penthouse B
    By Anna Depalo & HASHIMOTO Takako

    (Click on the cover to read a sample.)

    721 PARK AVENUE: Penthouse B
    TENANT: Gage Lattimer, dark and dangerous?
    SCANDAL: He’ll never tell…
    A rich, powerful loner, Gage fit the description of the man who may have information about the mysterious demise of Jacinda Endicott’s sister. Which was why Jacinda had abandoned her old life and taken a job at Gage’s penthouse as his live-in maid. By day, she snooped for clues about her employer; by night, she fought her fatal attraction to the sexy, secretive billionaire. Her heart told her Gage was innocent; her head warned her otherwise. Which would she listen to?

Being a Hashimoto Takako fan, I wanted the book she illustrated. And boy, this one looks totally like my kind of fun. Since it’s the last story of a series, I bought the whole set.

I’m intrigued by Barbara Dunlop’s story, as I’m interested in plotlines with the couple already married together out of love for some time and we get to see what happens to their love after those years of routine. I’m also curious about Laura Wright’s story. Ogoshi Natsue is not bad at illustrating comedic scenes and her adapation of Front Page Engagement looks amusing with a handful of racy characters.

The Bridegroom's Bargain

The Bridegroom’s BargainThe Bridegroom’s Bargain
By Sylvia Andrew & MOMOSE Natsu

(Click on the covers to read samples.)

“Till death us do part.”
The Bridegroom’s Bargain 2A solemn wedding vow, and one Lord Deverell’s young bride most ardently wishes to bring about — sooner rather than later Only minutes after the wedding ceremony Alexandra is brandishing a pistol, accusing her husband of ruining her family.
So Deverell makes one more vow — that he’s completely innocent and will prove it. If she isn’t totally convinced, then he’ll take the consequences. He sets about winning Alexandra’s trust — using “every” means at his disposal…

I decided in the end to get this manga.

The hero is really cute and patient. I think I wouldn’t have been as indulgent with the heroine as him. Either he’s too chivalrous for his own good, or he’s hopelessly in love. I wanted her to open her eyes quickly and admit her feelings.

Pity Momose-sensei didn’t draw anything graphical, but what a tease! Her few suggestive scenes prove that Deverell can work that mouth of his delightfully well.

(*///∇///*)

Harlequin comics

A Reckless SeductionA Reckless Seduction
By Jayne Bauling & SHINOZAKI Kakuko

(Click on the cover to read a sample.)

Opposites attract! The only thing Richard Donvale and Challis Fox could agree on was that they were just too different ever to be compatible. A 32-year-old, rich, sophisticated diamond mine owner, Richard considered himself to be the complete opposite of the wild, unconventional 22-year-old radio host. So why was he so strongly attracted to her? Determined not to succumb to pleasure, Richard tried to stay away from Challis, but soon the temptation to indulge in a reckless seduction was too irresistible to deny…

The Darkest PrisonTHE LORDS OF THE UNDERWORLD 4.5
The Darkest Prison
By Gena Showalter & Earithen

(Click on the cover to read a sample.)

Once, Atlas, the Titan god of Strength, was the Greek goddess Nike’s slave. Now, he is her master. And soon these sworn enemies destined to destroy one another will be forced to risk everything for a chance at love…

Promoted: Secretary To Bride!Promoted: Secretary To Bride!
By Jennie Adams & MORI Motoko

(Click on the cover to read a sample.)

Mousy Molly Taylor has always been half in love with her boss!
What was I thinking? As if a new dress and a pair of borrowed hopes-and-dreams shoes were going to get me noticed by my scrummy boss! After all, he has barely looked at me in the last three years…
But last night, after Jarrod drove me home from that posh work party, things seemed different, and for one crazy moment I felt sure he was going to kiss me! Oh, well, it will be back to business on Monday.
But Molly’s boss has other things on his agenda!

Mistletoe Over ManhattanMistletoe Over Manhattan
By Barbara Daly & OGOSHI Natsue

(Click on the cover to read a sample.)

Rule #1: Stick to plain black in cold weather
Chicago lawyer Mallory Trent has always followed her mother’s rules for being practical. But that won’t attract attorney Carter Compton, the gorgeous package she’d love to unwrap this Christmas!
Rule #2: When you travel, don’t leave any dirty laundry behind
When they’re sent to Manhattan for a case, Mallory wishes she’d left all her sensible clothes behind. While Carter discusses legal briefs, she fantasizes about “debriefing” him—out of his boxers! So she calls ImageMakers, which promises “a new you.”
Rule #3: Never lose control
Sporting a sexy red suit and a new attitude, Mallory corners the surprised lawyer under the mistletoe. His hard evidence proves that losing control may not be sensible, but when was sensible ever exciting?

The Miracle WifeThe Miracle Wife
By Day Leclaire & MAKI Akemi

(Click on the cover to read a sample.)

KIDS & KISSES
Wanted—one mother!
Five-year-old River Sierra wants a mother—a mother just like the beautiful fairy in her storybook. So when J.J. Randell turns up on her daddy’s doorstep it seems her wish has come true.
Only River’s daddy is less convinced. Raven Sierra has turned his back on love. Now he’s torn between his tortured past and his little girl’s dreams….
J.J. realizes the situation is hopeless. But River is convinced that her miracle mommy can do anything—even persuade her difficult daddy to take another chance on love!

Undercover ManUndercover Man
By Merline Lovelace & SAKURAYA Hibiki

(Click on the cover to read a sample.)

On the surface, David Jensen was great husband material – morally upright, square jawed and very careful. A suitable man. But Paige Lawrence didn’t want suitable; she wanted adventure – and she didn’t think she’d get it from David. She had to tell him – but first she had to find him…
Which wasn’t as easy as it seemed. Because the man Paige thought she knew had turned into someone else altogether – with a secret life. And as for adventure – well, Paige learned to be careful what she wished for…

The Twelve Month Marriage DealThe Twelve Month Marriage Deal
By Margaret Mayo & SHIRAI Sachiko

(Click on the cover to read a sample.)

Forced bride…
Called home unexpectedly, Elena not only finds her sister has fled her own wedding, but that she must take her place as the bride if the family business is to be saved from ruin!
Willing on her wedding night!
Arrogant billionaire Vidal Marquez is shocked – the ugly duckling has become a swan! Elena is furious about the marriage, so he makes a deal: twelve months in his bed as his wife, and then she can simply walk away…
But Vidal’s bed is not a place any woman chooses to leave!

Valenti's One-month MistressValenti’s One-month Mistress
By Sabrina Philips & SHIOMIYA Yuki

(Click on the cover to read a sample.)

Faye Matteson cannot believe the nerve of Dante Valenti! The arrogant Italian expects her to become his mistress in exchange for his help with her failing business.
In her inexperienced youth, Faye gave her heart to Dante—but he took her virginity and left her devastated. She’d sworn, “never again!”
But no one should ever underestimate the power of Dante Valenti’s sensuality. If he wants her, he “will” have her…

Gotta say among these 8 books, I’m most curious to see Undercover Man translated. Spy theme Harlequins aren’t published on a regular basis, and I never thought I’d see one adapted into a manga. It’s not really the type of secret agent stories à la James Bond, but we get joyous action and fun entertainment à la James Cameron’s True Lies.

Virgin Slave, Barbarian King

HQcVirgin Slave, Barbarian King
By Louise Allen & HASHIMOTO Takako

(Click on the covers to read samples.)

HQcJulia Livia Rufa is horrified when barbarians invade Rome and steal everything in sight. But she doesn’t expect to be among the taken. As Wulfric’s woman, she’s ordered to keep house for the uncivilized marauders. Soon, though, Julia realizes that she’s more free as a slave than she ever was as a sheltered Roman virgin.
It would be all too easy to succumb to Wulfric’s quiet strength, and Julia wants him more than she’s ever wanted anything. But Wulfric could one day be king, and Julia is a Roman slave. What future can there be for two people from such different worlds?

Classical times aren’t my stuff. But it’s illustrated by Hashimoto-sensei, so I wanted the books anyways. I already bought them when the English translated version was released—well, just the first volume as of now. I can’t wait to see the second volume translated. Julia and Wulfric make a delightful couple. And it’s great that Hashimoto-sensei is the one drawing it because she has a gift for drawing comedic scenes. You can’t help but feel amused at the characters’ antics. Just looking at their funny faces, you already want to laugh before even reading the text.

The second volume of Virgin Slave, Barbarian King is just as much fun as the first part. One of my favourite moment is the catfight. A heroine into a catfight is always entertaining. And the ending of the story got me grinning at the tongue-in-cheek lentghs Wulfric went to… \(^ω^\)