Harlequin Violet: Blind Date

December 26, 2006

I said I was going to save the last volume until I marathoned a particularly girly shoujo series, and six volumes of Hanakimi fits the bill quite nicely.  The difference in storytelling between Hanakimi and this is quite… noticable.

I don’t know, all these Harlequin books are pretty trashy, but this one seemed even more so.  I love it though, and I got into this one a lot more since there was less tragedy and more foreshadowing of Reality TV.   Also, more smut.  Now, these are aimed at an older, more mature audience, and I know a lot of women who read Harlequin novels purely for the smut, but we never got anything more than a few rather modest panels in the entire three volume run of this series.  Boo.

Anyway, yes.  Blind date scenario that a girl wins with a movie star on a television show.  She didn’t want the date, she wanted the stereo.  He didn’t want the date either.  Is it true love?

Is it a Harlequin romance?

I truly wish that more would come out in the violet line.  They were admittedly shallow, but I am desperate for non-high school love stories.  These scratch that itch in the easiest and most immediately satisfying way possible.

These aren’t… these aren’t good. I’m sorry for those who were entertaining hopes about their quality. These are trashy woman fiction. I really like them though, because they are so delightfully American, it’s like a breath of fresh air in my manga. One would think that I would just buy a Harlequin Romance if this were my cup of tea… it isn’t, but it’s awesome to be able to read something like this after finishing Marmalade Boy and your typical shoujo love triangles. I’m saving the third one I have for after I marathon the newest 3-4 volumes of HanaKimi.

These tend to be less love triangle-y (though this one’s got just a taste of it) and more about jealousy, passion, and obsession. This one’s about a dancer who gets injured and has to live at the house of her old boyfriend/fiancee who she still entertains feelings for, but is rather cold and callous to her. He tends to rub things in by parading an empty-headed fiancee around, which seems to make everyone mad. Said woman is a world-famous ballerina, and the man seems to be more jealous of her talent and how it takes her away from him than anything else.

I don’t know what else to say about it really. It’s pretty shallow, somehow moreso than “Response,” but I liked it all the same. Easy on the eyes and mind, a one-shot I don’t have to think about, and a different flavor of drama are all I required of this, and that’s about all I got. Definitely for the more mature shoujo fan, but I don’t know how many other people are going to get into these.

I don’t know. I work at a bookstore where we fucking scorn the Harlequin books. Secretly, the girl I work with and I know we’ll be reading them in a few years, because relationship entanglements et al are things neither of us can resist. Knowing buying this comic was one step away from buying a Harlequin paperback, I gritted my teeth and took the plunge at the manliest comic book store in Chicago.

And the result was… eh. It’s okay. The plot’s very American… there’s a lot of backstabbing and only a few characters, which is fine by me. I liked the Greek protagonist whose name I can’t remember, the millionaire who kidnaps the heroine.

Come to think of it, this was awesome. I’ll probably keep buying the Violet line. Not too sure about the Pink though, I am a more “mature reader.”