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review 2020-02-02 17:16
Harlequin Violet: Blind Date (manga) based on the original novel by Emma Darcy, art by Mihoko Hirose, translated by Ikoi Hiroe
Harlequin Violet: Blind Date - Mihoko Hirose,Emma Darcy

Peggy Dean is excited to learn that she's a finalist on the Ross Elliot Show's special episode "Blind Date" contest. The first prize is a date with popular singer John Gale, but Peggy isn't interested in that. As a Media Communications major, she's primarily interested in seeing the set of the show. She's also hoping to win a stereo, the consolation prize given to the two finalists who aren't picked to go on a date with John. She attempts to sabotage her chances of winning by giving off-putting answers to John's questions, but instead she accidentally captures his interest.

The Harlequin Ginger Blossoms line fascinates me. As far as I know, they were all adaptations of 1980's Harlequin novels - Emma Darcy's Blind Date was originally published in 1986, while the Japanese manga adaptation was published in 2003, and the English translation of the manga was published in 2006. Wouldn't it have been a better idea to focus on newer romance novels? Was it a rights thing? The color-coding is also interesting. Harlequin Pink titles were printed in pink ink and aimed at younger readers - no on-page sex. Harlequin Violet titles were printed in violet ink and aimed at older audiences (ages 16 and up, according to my copy). They did have on-page sex, but, at least in the case of Blind Date, the nudity was of the Barbie doll variety (no nipples) and the sex scenes were sensual but not graphic.

I haven't read the novel on which this manga is based, so I can't comment on how accurate of an adaptation it is, although I do think it's interesting that, according to descriptions I've read, John's name in the original book was actually Adam Gale. I wonder why his name was changed while Peggy's remained the same?

The artwork is the best part of Blind Date. The character designs are attractive, everything is easy to follow and uncluttered, characters' facial expressions are well done (I laughed at Peggy's "deer in the headlights" stunned expression upon seeing all of John's gorgeous friends at the musical), and it's just generally a lovely looking volume.

The story...well. The first half is pretty solid. Peggy tries to sabotage herself and fails, and John admits that he chose her because he figured she didn't actually want to be chosen and therefore didn't have an ulterior motives. They eventually had a nice dinner, and he managed to convince her to let him buy her a stereo as an apology, since that's what she'd really wanted.

The problems started when they ended up in bed together. John realized that Peggy was a virgin and went from "oh no, what I have I done?" to "you were just using me so that you could sell your story about your first time with John Gale to the media" in two seconds flat. Both Peggy and I were stunned and wondering what the heck happened.

John eventually realized that he was an idiot and apologized, but that didn't stop him from acting like an idiot the next time they ended up in bed together. When Peggy got up first thing in the morning to go to class, John acted like she was completely rejecting him. Dude, she's a college student - you don't get to tell her which classes she can afford to miss and which she can't. I disliked that it was Peggy who apologized first this time, and not John. Peggy hadn't done anything wrong.

For some reason, Peggy continued to stay with John and even agreed to move in with him. All kinds of warning bells went off in my head when he told her not to worry about work ("I'll lend you money until you graduate"). Considering his behavior up to that point, I fully expected him to either remind her that he was lending her money and therefore deserved all her time any time she wanted to do anything on her own, or get mad at some point and accuse her of using him for his money.

I could see what the ending was going for, but it was missing a few key pieces...like an actual demonstration on John's part that he really understood why Peggy had left. A big bouquet of flowers and an "I love you" didn't cut it.

All in all, this was nice looking and decent for what it was, but there's definitely better romance manga out there.


(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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text 2020-02-02 05:15
Reading progress update: I've read 100 out of 200 pages.
Harlequin Violet: Blind Date - Mihoko Hirose,Emma Darcy

This was kind of sweet up until they had sex, the guy found out that she's a virgin, and he went from "oh no, what have I done" to "you tricked me and are obviously going to blab to the papers about having sex with me" in two seconds flat. Even the heroine is all "WTF just happened?"

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text 2020-02-02 03:43
Reading progress update: I've read 10 out of 200 pages.
Harlequin Violet: Blind Date - Mihoko Hirose,Emma Darcy

The heroine's name is definitely Peggy, but the back of the book calls her Catherine. Oops.


I haven't read the book this manga is based on, although I looked at the original description and a few reviews. Not much info - from the sounds of things, it had a fairly strong start but stumbled pretty quickly. Well, even if the story ends up sucking, at least the artwork seems to be decent, if a bit dated looking.

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review 2015-03-19 00:00
Emma + Elsie Meet Fitzwilliam Darcy
Emma + Elsie Meet Fitzwilliam Darcy - Ma... Emma + Elsie Meet Fitzwilliam Darcy - Maddy Raven,Monica Leonelle Oh dear. What did I just read?
This novel comes in at about 120 pages and it has so many characters. I couldn't keep track of them all. I just couldn't.

I was confused right from the beginning because the first chapter had a lot of characters. They weren't introduced and unfortunately I never felt like I got to know them at all.

As far as the storyline goes, I can't help but laugh. This book ends with two of the main characters having sex and while I'm not against explicit language in my books, this just felt vague. It made me question the whole premise of this book.

Now, I've never read [b:Pride and Prejudice|1885|Pride and Prejudice|Jane Austen|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1320399351s/1885.jpg|3060926] and [b:Emma|6969|Emma|Jane Austen|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1373627931s/6969.jpg|3360164], but I'm familiar with the storyline in P&P. It wasn't hard to see this was a retelling; I mean, the title alone kind of gives that away. A lot of the names are from those two novels as well. It was a bit too obvious imo.

The writing style was fine, it was a quick and easy read, however, I think that the gossiping was too forced; no-one talks like that in the 21st century!

Overall this story just wasn't for me.
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review 2014-12-31 17:10
Love the one you're with
Don't Ask Me Now (Harlequin Presents, No 984) - Emma Darcy

This is a bonafide love triangle book. Not all that common in Harlequin Presentslandia. Usually the hero is undeniably one man and there's no question that another could claim the heroine's affections. It was kind of a cool twist, actually. The real hero is one that you might not expect at first. Darcy seems to have read plenty of HPs where the heroine moves from the dangerously sexy, irresistible man who broke her heart to a safe, nice man. But something was missing. And her heart seemed to call her back to the 'bad boy' and away from 'safe.' She turns that on its head with this book.

Disclaimer: What I'm going to say in this review isn't quite a spoiler, but it might be!

I'm glad. I couldn't stand Cathy's ex. He was a jerk and user. He was so smug and arrogant and had no respect for boundaries. He was touching the heroine sexually in public, knowing it would cause her discomfort. That's not cool. I was so glad that she came to her senses and realized that sometimes a compulsive attraction to someone isn't always the same thing as true, sustainable love. She realizes it almost too late. I was glad that this point she realizes that Thomas isn't just the safe guy who helped her get back on her feet, but he's a man that is truly worthy of her love.

The descriptions of Cathy's relationship with Anthony are pretty detailed and it's kind of twisted for an older Harlequin Presents. I suppose it's par for the course with an Emma Darcy book. They seemed to be more daring for the time.

This was pretty good, but I don't much care for love triangles, to be honest. And the fact that there was a slight question who the heroine was going to end up with makes it not quite my taste. Others may appreciate it more than I did. I can't deny it's well written though.

Overall rating: 3.5/5.0 stars.

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