Why I Shouldn’t Have a Credit Card

I’ve never really been interested in manga. The heroine’s big, blue over-emotional eyes and ridiculously long, flowing tresses never sit well with me, especially since I was a young Asian female looking for people who looked like me in my comics (short, brown, stout, black hair, commanded by angry Asian mother to take a shower). I always thought, “Oh, come on… no one looks like that. Not even white people.” But then again, I used to read my mother’s old HPs and think, “Oh, come on, no one acts or talks like this. Not even white people.” Which is why it made sense for Harlequin to take their old HPs and turn them into manga comics. There are plenty of big, blue over-emotional eyes and ridiculously long, flowing tresses to be found there. Oh! And I love the idea of some forbidding, brooding, glowering tycoon or sheikh looking like Tuxedo Mask. That is hot. Inspired by Jan’s review of a Harlequin Ginger Blossom, I decided to hot-foot it to eharlequin.com and buy a few of my own. In fact, I bought the entire backlist. THANKS A LOT, JAN! It actually works out because they’re quick and easy reads and I’ll be able to review them much more quickly. Oh, man, I can’t wait till they get here!

By the way, in light of my new obsession, I rewatched Black Hawk Down, where Eric plays a kickass Delta Force guy. Does anyone have any book recs that feature a Navy Seal-type or… you know… Delta Force-type hero? I’m even tempted to dig out my old Suzanne Brockmanns and Harlequin American Romances.


Last 5 posts by bam


Bam has been reading romance novels since she was 9 years old. She especially enjoyed the Sweet Valley High series, particularly the romance-centric ones. Her first real romance novel was "Perfect Partners" by Jayne Ann Krentz. She's obsessed with old-school Harlequin Romance novels and reads four or five a week.

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15 Responses

  1. Bonnie Dee says:

    Isn’t there an old Chuck Norris movie called “Delta Force”. EW, Chuck Norris, Fah!
    How about Charlie Sheen in “Navy Seals”. Ew!

    No wait, I got it. How about my favorite hot boy, Colin Farrell in Tigerland (marine). That’s a winner!

  2. Jan says:

    I’m sorry I’m sorry! :) Manga and romance novels really are a match made in heaven. I hope some of our romance readers try a few. It’s pure fairy tale, even when they try to throw in serious things like toxic waste. It’s more like toxic waste used as a plot point to identify villains and bring the hero to his senses, then it’s all sunny and happy again.

    I have to tell you though, I read two more of the books since I wrote that review. One was just terrible, and I’ll be post that review next week, but the other was even cuter than Prince needs a Princess. I won’t tell you which is which for now, because you may have a different opinion, but not all their manga is created equal.

  3. Jan says:

    Oh, and book recommendations… Well speaking of series romances, Fiona Brand is a New Zealand author who had some SIMs with the SAS brand of that kind of hero. Cullen’s Bride, Heart of Midnight, Blade’s Lady, Marrying McCabe. I don’t read many series romances but I liked these.

  4. bam says:

    Jan, my sister used to read Manga by the boxes, but now she’ll deny them to the death. I was kind of hoping I’d be able to subscribe to Ginger Blossom, but Harlequin doesn’t offer a subscription for it. Weird.

    Bonnie, I don’t like Colin Farrell. He’s… dirty. And he’s such a wee little man. I did enjoy Tigerland, though. Funny, but Tim and I were just talking about Delta Force and how kickass Chuck Norris is.

  5. bam says:

    cool, Jan, thanks for the rec! I’ll see if my local library has ’em.

  6. Jan says:

    I get the feeling sometimes that Harlequin thinks of their manga as the bastard stepchild that gets hidden when company comes over. They’re not pushing them they way I’d expect them too. They might start though, when Tokyopop starts releasing its Meg Cabot adaptations. Those will take off. I can’t wait for them.

    I love manga. When I got sick of cliched plots in English romances, I decided to venture into manga, and admittedly found a lot of the same cliches LOL, but I found a lot of new and original stories too. They’re a breath of fresh air for someone who’s read a few too many Regency romances and depressing science fiction novels. :)

    If you like a little more realism in your manga romances, you may want to try NANA, or Tramps like Us, or Paradise Kiss. They’re all closer to chick-lit, but are very hot among female readers, including this one.

  7. shuzluva says:

    My friend, you are killing me. Like I don’t have enough on my TBR pile as it is? I’m totally into Manga, especially since I was the biggest Elfquest fangirl back in the day. While it’s not Manga, I know it was strongly influenced by Japanese cartoon styles. If you ask me how I know that, I’ll have to kill you. Now that Wendy Pini has kind of taken a backseat in the artwork and storytelling, I’m not so into it. However, the first eight books? FANTASTIC!

    I don’t like Colin Farrell. He’s… dirty.

    Sorry Bonnie. Gotta agree with Bam here. Every time I see that guy all I want to do is throw him in a shower with a loofa and some lye.

  8. bam says:

    Yeah. Colin Farrell is dirty… but not in a good way. And he’s skanky.

    Jan, I bought the first three volumes of Tramps Like Us. It reminds me of Bonnie Dee’s Finding Home because it’s about a professional older woman taking home a 17 y/o homeless boy to… treat as a “pet”?

    Huh. Anyway, it looks pretty cool.

  9. April says:

    I think Tara Janzen has some pretty good Delta Force type guys.

  10. AngelaDionne says:

    I recently read all of Tara Janzen’s Cool series, loved that so much I moved on to Cindy Gerard’s Bodyguard series and then STILL had a taste for some Delta Force/Navy Seal/Army Ranger lovin’, so I read the whole Brockmann Troubleshooter series. That finally satisfied my hunger.

  11. Sweet says:

    Bam I totally agree with you about Collin Farrell, he is dirty and skanky looking. How can anybody find that hot.

  12. Helen M says:

    commanded by angry Asian mother to take a shower
    Heh, Asian mothers ftw!

    Anyhoo, I love romance, I love comic books, and I love manga, so I was verra verra excited when the Ginger Blossom line came out last year. I bought the first four that were released and was decidedly underwhelmed. My main problem was with how dated they felt to read – for cripes sake, the Penny Jordan one I read was originally published in Japan when I was two! And…something may have been lost in the translation back into English or something, because, seriously, there is subtext more affecting (either in the ‘awwww, so romantic!’ way or the ‘hott!’ way) in my old Marvel and DC comics than the majority of the text in the Harlequin manga I read.


  13. Kaitlin says:


    The Cindy Gerard Bodyguard series is really good. They’re all ex-Spec Force and such. Yummy! :)

  14. thirstygirl says:

    Tramps Like Us is *fantastic* and I would Strongly Recommend that you watch Kimi Wa Petto, which is the tv adaptation of it starring Matsumoto Jun as Momo.

    Several weeks ago you had mentioned that you were reading YA books as a bit of an antidote to the whole para/threesome/everyone in a bed books that you had been reading. At the time I meant to say that I had recently become addicted to various Korean and Japanese manga and television series for pretty much the same reason. If you are waiting 7 episodes for them to kiss, when they finally do, it’s super-awesome. My brain hasn’t been this PG for years.

  15. dl says:

    Also endorse Tara Jantzen/Glenna McReynolds (her Prince of Time is one of my favs), I also recently re-read Brockmann. What about Amy Fetzer? SF fans should pick up the new Rob Thurman…I’m saving it as a bribe to myself to finish the taxes. There is another SEAL thought bouncing around my brain, but it’s escaping me just now.

    I’ve tried to read my kids Manga, but really can’t get into it. My daughter tries to hide her animae/Manga interests from her peers…I’m encouraging her to come out of the closet. I’m sure some of her peers have the same interests & will not ridicule her. Currently reading Fruits Basket.

    There is website with dozens of funny Chuck Norris one liners, ie…guns don’t kill people, Chuck Norris kills people.