This is a manga adaption of a Harlequin Presents romance by the same name, GIRL ON A DIAMOND PEDESTAL. The author is Maisey Yates. From what I understand, these romance manga started in Japan as a way to attract young audiences but then they started releasing them over here, in English. Thank God for that. If you love romance and you also love manga, this is the biggest game changer since the cake pop.
GIRL ON A DIAMOND PEDESTAL is about a young piano prodigy named Noelle. An utterly sheltered child, Noelle lived and breathed the piano because it was the only way to get her mother's approval (and she also really enjoyed the attention). When she got older, and was no longer cherubic and cute, her sales fell and her angry mother stormed out of her life - with all of her earnings - leaving her in a mountain of debt.
One day, when she's selling her home to reduce the debt, a man approaches her, introducing himself as Ethan Grey. He needs to be married in order to seize control of his family fortune and asks her if she would like his help getting her revenge on her mother? They become engaged for a marriage of convenience - and vengeance. But Ethan isn't exactly who he claims to be, and his motives may run far deeper than Noelle can ever guess.
Nothing like a good fake marriage story to make my ears prick up. Throw revenge into the mix, and I'll be there with a front-row seat and an armload of cake pops. I haven't read the original Harlequin this was based off, but the adaption is good and the art is GORGEOUS. Seriously, it's some of the best work I've seen in these manga adaptions. The style is very flowery and detailed, and also old-fashioned. It reminded me a lot, actually, of Hana Yori Dango (MY FAVORITE).
The hero is cold and aloof, but he isn't an alpha-hole like the one in the last HQ I read. You get the sense that he's a broken man trying to find meaning and purpose. The romance between the H and the h is actually quite sweet as they end up indulging in childish-like whims and finding the affection and approval in one another that they both missed out on from their families.
Thanks to Netgalley/the publisher for the review copy!
3.5 to 4 out of 5 stars