cover image Butterflies, Flowers, Vol. 1

Butterflies, Flowers, Vol. 1

Yuki Yoshihara, . . Viz, $9.99 (108pp) ISBN 978-1-4215-3203-5

Here's a Harlequin premise in manga form: former heiress, bankrupt, joins the working world, where her old servant is now her boss, making for one life during the day, and a very different one at night, where he pampers her. Although part of the Shojo Beat line, like Nana , this series is for the older reader, due to both premise and occasional profanity. The art fits both genres: it's got the stern-but-attractive older boss and the lovely-but-insecure young woman in panels dominated by emotion and decorated with flowers. The boss-servant tells her how to behave, how to do her secretarial job, even how to speak; he also knows her measurements intimately. Longing looks, over-the-top tension (a knife-wielding crazy takes her hostage), and passionate verbal exchanges make for a thrilling roller-coaster love story. The powerful, perfect man who becomes a lady's slave for love is a staple of the text romance; here, the servant part is simply more literal. His protection is overwhelming and much too traditional—some readers may not understand why she puts up with such controlling verbal abuse —but the moments of kindness he shows are seductive. (Dec.)