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Familiar Diversions

I'm a librarian who loves anime, manga, and reading a wide variety of genres.

Currently reading

Who?
Algis Budrys
Alliance In Blood
Ariel Tachna
Progress: 86/210 pages
To Say Nothing of the Dog: Or How We Found the Bishop's Bird Stump at Last
Connie Willis, Recorded Books LLC, Steven Crossley
The Invisible Orientation: An Introduction to Asexuality
Julie Sondra Decker
The Mystic Marriage
Heather Rose Jones
Progress: 302/426 pages
Ichi-F: A Worker's Graphic Memoir of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant
Kazuto Tatsuta
Progress: 448/553 pages
Fluency
Jennifer Foehner Wells
Progress: 58/367 pages

Midnight Secretary (vol. 1) story & art by Tomu Ohmi

Midnight Secretary, Vol. 1 - Tomu Ohmi

Yes, in real life, boss/employee romances are a bad thing, but I love them in fiction. I've wanted to try Midnight Secretary ever since I learned that it was a boss/employee romance with supernatural elements. I picked up the first volume and read it after a particularly horrible day at work. The verdict? It was lots of fun, and now I want to read more.

I loved Kaya. She hated how baby-faced she looked and yearned to be taken seriously, so she purposefully dressed to make herself look like her personal vision of an efficient secretary. That meant severe outfits, a severe hairstyle, and glasses, even though her eyesight was fine. When her boss insulted her looks and gave her a huge amount of work in order to try to scare her off, she gave him a super-professional smile, privately cursed his playboy behavior, and then did her best to prove that she was the best secretary ever.

It took me a bit longer to warm up to Kaya's boss. His instant dismissal of Kaya because she wasn't hot-looking didn't earn him any points, and I hated that he threatened Kaya's mother's job if she didn't keep his secrets. I think it helped that Kaya easily (too easily?) adjusted to being a vampire's secretary and combated Kyohei's arrogance with a pleasant, professional mask and quietly perfect work.

Kyohei was one of those arrogant playboy types who's secretly adorable. I enjoyed his private amusement over Kaya's efforts to learn his vampiric secrets, and I thought his reaction to Kaya trying to protect him at a Christmas party was great. When he learned that her glasses were fake and that she wore them as a kind of secretarial uniform, instead of forcing her to stop wearing them so she'd better fit his definition of hot, he supported her.

There is a bit of low-level jealousy in this volume – Kyohei seemed to dislike, but be resigned to, Kaya's attraction to his brother, and he forced Kaya to cancel what he thought was a date with another man by deciding that the two of them needed go to a party that he had previously decided to skip. This was all done in a way that worked for me, although the bit where Kaya was forced to cancel her date pushed my comfort zone a little.

I can't wait to see where this series goes. I've read manga adaptations of Harlequin romance novels, and those are usually crap. Although Midnight Secretary isn't one of those, it has the feel of a Harlequin romance novel adaptation done well, if that makes any sense. There's the prim, professional secretary who's maybe a little too devoted to her boss. There's the playboy boss with the tendency to brood when his secretary causes him to feel actual emotions. There's the perfect, golden-boy brother who provides the opportunity for a slight love triangle, plus a bit of mystery – I really want to find out more about Kyohei's relationship with his family and why he's the only one who's a vampire.

Oh, I almost forgot. One bit of warning: the series is a little racy. There are a few instances of bared breasts, and Kyohei's bite practically counts as sex.

Extras:

Very little. A few sidebars and a one-page comic-style afterword from the author.

 

(Original review, with read-alikes and watch-alikes, posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)