And even when we learn that the person who saved the MC isn't the ML, but someone else, and that's the reason she fell in love w/ him and married him - the ML gets all possessive at the thought of losing her to his friend (the REAL person who saved her).
Which is absolutely disgusting - he hasn't cared for her at all in the 4 yrs they've been married, treats her like sh*t and even humiliates her in front of the press / other rich people, but suddenly he feels the right to 'claim' or something? f**k out of here, sh*tty ML, honestly.
The story starts off w/ the man who the MC loved killing her husband (ML) and her, but the fact is that author just drops us in the middle of the scene w/ no warning and barely any explanation of who is who, what is going on, where this scene is taking place, etc. It makes it extremely hard to connect to the characters, and it's not helped by the fact that..... the writing was really melodramatic and cringeworthy - adding that to the fact that I didn't understand / know anything about any of the characters beyond superficial info, I just couldn't get into it. Like I get it's the beginning and we're not going to know much about the characters from the get go, but it all happened so fast, it felt empty and very unrealistic.
And the shift to the rebirth was so abrupt....I just couldn't. I get the author is avoiding the typical info-dump, but she went too far and it just feels like I'm reading about cookie-cutter characters jumping about lmao. Add to that the typical scumbag and white lotus villainess in the next chapters.....I'm out.
The MC is married to ML and goes back to his real country of birth.... thus the scum husband from the previous life never really gets his comeuppance. Instead, he still becomes the emperor in the end and I feel like the MC never really took her revenge against him. That was so unsatisfying on so many levels and made me really disappointed in the author since it feels like the MC allowed the ML to work it for her.
There's a male gay couple and unlike most CNovels, even modern ones, it isn't treated as something disgusting or abnormal. I won't say it's 100% perfect, but much better than most.
I really hated how since the female antagonist was very sensual and seductive, this was used to berate her and the FL even looked down on her for it, in a holier-than-thou way. Especially since the FL is the "cold, pure beauty" type. Ugh. What's even worse is that she's from the modern times, but she taunts the female antagonist by saying how would the ML ever like a snake-like, seductive, morally loose woman like her. Basically saying women expressing their s*xuality = evil, wrong, etc. Blegh.
And even tho the female antagonist was the usual obsessively in love character, in the end before she's killed by the ML for scheming way too much against the FL she realizes that she was unable to appreciate the one who truly loved her and regrets. It gave her some depth and I thought it really sucked, that aside from being villainized and mocked for daring to be 'sensual', she couldn't have been developed beyond being a scheming binch. I even thought it would've been a great story from her POV if she was reincarnated and chose to do things differently (Actually I liked this character a lot more than the holier-than-thou MC just for this moment LOL.)
I MTL'd up to chapter 17, and take all of this w/ a grain of salt bc things can get distorted w/ MTL, the ML has already choked her twice, has her working as his 'slave' / 'servant', and almost killed her when she mistakenly entered his study when he was there w/ his friend (and idk having an episode or something??) and got her punished by having her whipped instead (due to a jealous maid telling her to go even tho no one is supposed to go to the study during the time the friend is there).
All in all, the ML seems to be the typical cold, misogynistic, psycho CEO, yuck. And while the FL seems to have a cold personality, she endures all of this treatment, so it just makes it even worse.
There's also hints of the ML having had a childhood sweetheart that died who's probably the only person he cares about and as these novels usually go, it's probably the female lead (who's probably forgotten or idk why she isn't telling him and suffering all of this lmao). EDIT: I read a little ahead, and it seems like she wants revenge on him, for leaving her or something when they were children and causing her to be... possibly abused?, which was probably due to reasons out of the ML's control.
But still, I extremely dislike his treatment of her lol, and the fact that she's just enduring it for 'revenge'. Like imagine, if she wasn't his childhood sweetheart after all lol. He would just kill her w/o a care in the world. Ew.