Manga Review: A Wife of Convenience by Yoshiko Hanatsu & Kim Lawrence

May Contain Spoilers

Despite some initial confusion with the story, as well as a few questions about word choices used in the translation, A Wife of Convenience was a pretty entertaining read.  At first I hated the cover, but Rosie’s slightly overwhelmed expression perfectly reflects her state of mind during the first part of the story.  This has a couple tropes I enjoy despite myself.  There’s twin sisters swapping places, the hero’s family is filled to the brim with selfish losers who try to meddle in their lives, and a marriage of convenience to keep the family business out of the hands of said selfish losers.

Rosie is wheedled by her out-going, thrill seeking sister to trade places with her.  Liz, in an attempt to get her boyfriend to propose to her, accepted an invitation to marry a complete stranger she met at a party.  She had hoped to get her boyfriend jealous, and it looks like it succeeded. Personally, I thought she was a self-absorbed, high-maintenance headache, but whatever floats your boat.  Rosie agrees to take her place temporarily. This brought up the questionable word choice.  Since Rosie wasn’t actually bearing Liz’s blame (even though her sister was kind of throwing her under the bus), she wasn’t really a scapegoat, but she was referred to as one several times.  That and the confusing ramp up of the story almost had me stop reading it, but I persevered.  Things got better quickly

Rosie’s deception is quickly discovered, because she is nothing like her sister.  After Morgan discovers the ruse, Rosie agrees to marry him anyway.  Morgan doesn’t care who he marries, just as long as he fulfills the requirements of his grandfather’s will.  If he could have gotten away with marrying a goat, I think he would have done so.  He assures Rosie that he will never fall in love with her, either, and that their divorce papers are already drawn up, and she will be a wealthy woman once they parted and went their separate ways.

They head off to Morgan’s private ISLAND, yes, the former IT guru has his very own freaking ISLAND!  I’d have married him, too!  They spend time getting to know each other, frolicking in the sun, enjoying marital bliss, but then reality intrudes and they must rejoin society.  They have to deal with typical couple baggage, like jealousy, meddling family, and Morgan’s sense of guilt.  He is feeling responsible for the death of his wife, and he has vowed to never fall in love again because of it.  Yes, he was married, and don’t think for a second that his family didn’t throw that in Rosie’s face every chance they had.

While Morgan could be a jerk, he was only occasionally unbearable.  When he discovers his wife’s hobby, one that her mother scorned, he actually encourages her to pursue her creativity, and even finds an outlet for her talent.  Behavior like that made him a likable guy.  I liked Rosie, as well.  And while I thought the backgrounds were a bit busy, the artwork is attractive and expressive.

Grade: B-

You can purchase it here

Review copy provided by publisher

About the book:

“Be my scapegoat!” is what Rosie’s twin sister said to her, begging her to act out a marriage with a man in order to make her boyfriend jealous. The fake fiancé was Morgan Urquart, a stunning, handsome man, who had a need to wed within six months to gain management rights to his company. with the understanding that this is merely a marriage based on contract, Rosie feels relieved, but at the same time starts to feel sweet, heartrending sorrow. Rosie tries to hide her discomposure while trying hard to act as her twin sister, but Morgan detects that she is a scapegoat…!?