Welcome to Romance Roundtable: a feature where all four editorial POME Crones gather together to discuss a Harlequin romance manga. Today we’re discussing BOUGHT: ONE HUSBAND by Diana Hamilton (Author) and Motoyo Fujiwara (Illustrator) — a tragic tale of love, fake identities, sibling face-cupping, and disappearing half-ponytails.
Carolynn: ok first can we talk about Jethro’s Look
that dumb baby ponytail mullet is Bad
Jenny: i can’t tell when it’s a ponytail and when it’s not
Carolynn: if he can afford all those houses he can afford a goddamned haircut
Rachel: It is a bad look and I hate it
Jenny: who runs an international business conglomerate and still looks like that??
Carolynn: I mean like he’s not exactly mark zuckerberg
Jenny: but he is like “100k is pittance”
Carolynn: at least he looks like a reasonable human being but jethro’s hair would make me cross a street to avoid him
Ashley: Wait there’s gotta be a Lesbian Ken of Jethro
Carolynn: oh absolutely, 100%
Lesbian Ken Jethro is probably 500 times hotter than Harlequin Jethro
Ashley: I have no doubt
Rachel: ok I want to talk about THESE THINGS
why???? are they here???????
Carolynn: there’s a cat living in her baby beehive
Rachel: this is what happen when you try to cut your own bangs, kids
Carolynn: I know, I tried it once
Ashley: that forehead is what my mother would lovingly call “a runway”
Like an airplane runway
What is she the top model of tho
Carolynn: gaudy thrift shop wedding dresses
Ashley: hahaha yeah like wtf is she wearing at those shows???
Carolynn: chiffon tarps with floral appliques
Jenny: THE GLOVE SHIRT
that’s a shirt that is also gloves!
Ashley: lol omg
also her torso???????????
is like a spaghetti??
Carolynn: she’s a mess
Rachel: I think 70% of her is just her hair
Carolynn: also he KISSES HER HAIR
Rachel: YEAH THAT WAS WEIRD
Carolynn: “how can I show her that I’m a gentleman”
Ashley: overall he was very stalkery and gross
like hair kissing is dangerously obsessed
Jenny: ALSO does he STEAL her hair?
like at the end?
Jenny: like how is this still attached to her head??
Ashley: holy shit wtf
Carolynn: oh I think it’s just
usagi-style prehensile hair
Rachel: maybe it’s like those magicians that have handkerchiefs coming out of their sleeves
but with hair
he just keeps pulling and more hair keeps coming out
Carolynn: ok so I have an important discussion point
so the panel where Jethro is in the shower
did Harlequin PHOTOSHOP HIS DICK OUT
I NOTICED THAT
Carolynn: It’s blurry in a very suspicious way!
Jenny: it was just like a blank circle
Ashley: or maybe they just didn’t draw it
and they put a screen tone steam puff to cover it
Carolynn: I’ve picked up romance novels in the supermarket checkout that were like “his throbbing member in her womanly caverns” so tbh I was surprised they left his d a mystery
Rachel: it’s like me in life drawing class in high school
just skip that part
Rachel: yeah there was very little sex stuff happening in this book
it was very disappointing
Carolynn: except that
“they made love every day” for ten days
sure u did
Ashley: it’s like before midnight u guys
Rachel: ok also
THIS IS NOT HOW SIBLINGS ARE
Carolynn: oooh I’m glad you brought this up
Jenny: WHO FACE-CUPS A SIBLING
Carolynn: well u know they’re only h a l f s i b l i n g s
Rachel: GROSS GROSS GROSS
Ashley: the face cup is drawn in such a way that you can imagine her brushing his hand away
which is what i like to imagine happened off panel
Carolynn: yeah like “uhhhh maybe please don’t, my biological brother”
Rachel: our protag should probably trust her instincts on that one
also this panel is a great example of his disappearing tiny ponytail
where did it GO?!!?
Ashley: i can’t keep track of this man’s hair
Carolynn: I just started to block it out of my mind
Carolynn: I feel like the two moms (mom & nanny) really should have been more concerned about all of this
Ashley: at least nanny told him off tho!
Jenny: THE NANNY WAS THE BEST
Rachel: the true protag of our hearts
Jenny: PREACH PREACH PREACH
Ashley: duh obv the crone is our collective fave characters
Carolynn: wait so is jethro his real name???
Rachel: I…. don’t know?!?!???
Jenny it must be i guess
Carolynn: maybe it’s an ironic evil boy boarding school nickname
jethro is a terrible name
when they bone is she like
“oh yes, jethro”
“let me touch your butt, jethro”
Jenny: also this shit!
Jenny: he should be praised?? for the effort of not raping her?
Ashley: omg yeah
that passage had me reeling
Carolynn: good 4 u, asshole
Ashley: like wow truly you suck
Carolynn: get into your shitty truck & drive away & never come around here again JETHRO
Ashley: i mean it just sucks that he’s so deeply repulsive
this story would have worked great for me if he didn’t suck
Carolynn: I wonder if we’re ever gonna read one of these where the rich half-assed wannabe Darcy is literally lighting a cigar with burning $100 bills
Jenny: and also he’s only into virgins
the virgin thing whyyyyyyy
Rachel: YEAH HER INNOCENCE
Carolynn: SAPPHIRE EYES WITH A HINT OF PURPLE
Ashley: it’s like, at first i was like this is gonna suck because she’s a lesbian and he’s gonna turn her straight or whatever
but then she turns out to just be a shy virgin and it’s like, actually i prefer the queerbaiting
Jenny: i want it on the record that she never out and out denies being into ladies
Ashley: good point jenny
Carolynn: ok so at the end
the thing that made me arguably the most angry
other than schrodinger’s ponytail
was at the end when she’s like
oh I can’t be mad at you; I’m the one who bought a husband!!!!
AT LEAST HE KNEW WHAT HE WAS IN FOR
she was upfront about her shit
Rachel: YEAH IT’S FINE THAT YOU LIED TO ME
IT’S FINE YOU THOUGHT I’D ONLY WANT YOU FOR YOUR $$$$
Carolynn: things jethro can do with his trillion dollars of Business Money:
– get therapy 2 work out his definitely uncomf issues about his sister
Rachel: -stop pretending to be poor because it’s “easier”
Carolynn: -get a haircut get a haircut get a haircut
-and maybe like, subscribe to trunk club idk
Carolynn: I think this girl needs to get her money back
she needs to take this husband back 2 the husband store
Rachel: “can I get a refund??? this one has a weird ponytail and a blank space for genitals”
Carolynn: “no refunds, only exchanges”
Rachel: “do you have….. lady husbands???”
Carolynn: “oh, I see u r a woman of taste and distinction~”
I am gonna leave a bad rating for this husband store on the better business bureau
Rachel: ok so just to put a bow on it
this book was bad
Carolynn: and everybody needed to get a haircut
except the nanny
Rachel: EXCEPT THE NANNY
Carolynn: the only person who came out of this book better than when they started it was the mom tbh
she has beefcake mansion all to herself
Jenny: prime old gregg ref
Jenny: it’s been so long
Ashley: that scene where he’s holding her prehensile hair is a Darkest Timeline version of this moment
Carolynn: unfortunately, he did not turn into a car
Carolynn: so ok: there is one more thing I think we can do to wrap this up: what is your main takeaway from this book
mine is always keep your husband receipts
Rachel: my takeaway is never cut your own dang hair, NO MATTER WHAT
Jenny: don’t trust people who face-cup their siblings?
Ashley: my takeaway is i wish i had one hundred thousand dollars
i would do a lot cooler things with it than purchase jethro cole
Join us for our next Romance Roundtable, where we tackle Closer Encounters: a paranormal Harlequin manga romance thriller that seems like it’ll have a lot of good makeouts.