So, we got a criminal male lead, a helpless MC who might fall for him, unlikable judgemental idiots as side characters, and a plot that twists all its issues around and presents itself as a romcom. It's fine if you enjoy the novel, but you gotta be blind not to see it for what it really is. One reason I can think of for myself to keep reading is to see whether there'll be some justice served eventually. To all the characters blindly supporting a rapist kidnapper, to the ML who needs jail time, to the MC who needs to get her life back and find a decent lover.
Oh, right. Forgot to mention the ML is super gorgeous, rich, and influential. So I guess that makes everything alright then, heh.
The romance is the exciting part and it tends to get rather hot. The author is not too shy, let me tell you.
I've only read around 800 chapters in, so my opinion is based on that.
As far as I've read, they don't do the deed, so it's not up to a R18 rating. And the descriptions are somewhat vague, but give you a good idea of what is going on, heh. I'd go with R16.
So, it's worth it if you're reading this for the love story between the leads and you enjoy the push and pull game. Oh, and there's good quality drama too. It sure kept me entertained for a good while.
Now the annoying part. Without giving out spoilers, it's all the misunderstandings that get dragged on and on and on. That is still acceptable though, it can be entertaining on its own. People with more patience than me would be able to get over it.
My main gripe is how often the author changes her (well, I'm 99% certain it's a female author) mind and throws in twists out of thin air just to change the direction of the plot. I wouldn't say it's done to a ridiculous level, I've seen worse. It still annoyed me. To give one example:
The emperor bestows marriage on ML and MC. Out of nowhere later on, some character reveals that ML already had a fiance that disappeared somewhere that he also forgot about. Also later on, the emperor changes his mind and now thinks the MC is not suitable for ML and wants to break the marriage. And so on and so forth. It gets annoying. All the reasons the author comes up with to smooth it over seem too thin. There are plenty other examples to a lesser degree than this. Most often it's characters' reactions, motives and changeable IQ to suit the plot progression.
Also, personal opinion here, I don't like the main leads. The MC is my type in the sense that she's smart and can take care of herself.
But she disregards innocent lives. Same for the ML, though he's a lot worse than her.
He had 7 previous wives that he ordered to be killed on the same night they got married. What did they do, except for threatening his 'purity'. Gosh, I hated him the moment I reached that part in the novel.
It's like only the two of them matter in the world, and the rest can go die a dog's death. You better be their personal friend in this world, because you don't need to be their enemy to die. As long as you find yourself it the wrong place at the wrong time.
Putting aside the typical cold, overbearing, jealous and doting ML, the MC has a strong flavor of Mary Sue. It's like the author couldn't decide what to make her good at. She's a genius doctor, but she's also a killer and an expert in poisons, but she's also a CEO at a company (maybe the assassin's guild?) and also got a doctorate at MIT in Math when she was 17. Make of this as you will, I only find it rather chaotic.
She can also assemble an erhu and play decently well, one of her many talents I assume.
All things combined, it's a 3 star for me. And I'm generous because I like romance and grade those higher when the main couple is loving and the ML is not abusive. Despite the annoying twists, I would've given this a 4 if I found the main characters decent as well. As it is now, I only feel like I'm reading about the crazy love story of two insane murderers. Not to be too negative about it, it has its merit. And it is entertainment. I would recommend this read when you're in the mood for a hot romance, lots of twists and turns, face slapping, retarded villains with selective amnesia, misunderstandings that spice things up, and you don't feel like looking into things too deeply. It is somewhat addictive, too.
It's a 1v1. It's part of the reveal at the end of the novel, so no further spoilers, go read. Just be assured that it's not a harem situation exactly, though it certainly gives that feeling while reading. It's a bit of both, I guess. Personally, I was happy with it.
In the first arc, the MC becomes a fashion designer as the original host wished. She made her studio in one month, opened with clothes ready in two, was immensely popular and everything sold out. She even already has clients lined up for her. Very soon after, she got invited (her family's connected) to a runway and practically designed and produced the clothes in a non-specified time, but it couldn't have been more than a week or two? And within half a year, though I think it's shorter in the novel, her brand is internationally recognized (because of that one runway show in the fashion capital) and she's a famous fashion designer.
Now, I realize the author wanted to get that part quickly over with and have the MC set up as a successful and famous woman, to have everyone praise her and badmouth her ex for dropping her and picking a common woman. But I was kinda taken out by how easily and quickly this went by.
Another point is how everyone has goodwill toward her, to a point that I'm not sure why it's getting mentioned. Let alone how the ML's parents like her immediately, there was a scene where she and the ML are having a group dinner, and some of the foreign models at that dinner like the ML so much, they confess to him, then he hints he likes MC, and the model who confessed says "MC's so good, I feel it's fine that I lost to her", something along those lines. And I'm like, 'Insecure much, Miss Author?' The scene was so weird and naive. It's just something that reminded me of the Mary Sue fanfics I'd read when I was a teen. I guess since I'm older, this kind of thing really jumps out at me and pokes me in the eyes. Maybe it's just my own problem.
In both arcs, the women who end up with the original host's crushes are nice and there's nothing wrong with them. No green tea b*tches, no fake white lotuses. They were weak and kinda s*upid, but not evil or scheming against the MC. So I thought, 'Hm, no women bashing for a change.' But since we need to compare our MC to them, and her married life to theirs, there was a bit in the final chapters of both arcs I've read, where it's mentioned that the other woman and the crush have a sickly (due to premature birth) or mentally deficient child, and then they get divorced for one reason or another. As a contrast, the MC and ML are happily married with healthy child/children. And I couldn't really comprehend the need to write it this way. It was obviously to set up a contrast, which, fine. But why compare even the babies? Kinda irked me. This is in the first two arcs, and I don't know whether this trend continues later on.
Now this is entirely up to personal taste. I got bored because there was no thrill at all. The MC dumps or puts the crush in the past and goes to the ML who pampers her to the heavens (she took her time in arc 1, but in arc 2, they were already a pair). The plot following is all about their daily life, their smut scenes and getting married, with some bumping into the ex-crush and his boo along the way. The MC had nothing to do - no reversals, no revenge, lol. That's why the upstaging in the final chapters seemed so out of place to me. But also, I just get bored when there's nothing for the MC to fight for and achieve. It's basically just their love life, which other readers might actually find preferable.
Another point that bugged me personally, but may not be that big of an issue to others, is that MC inhabits these bodies, but the ML's originally loved the original hosts. I would've preferred that MC finds her own ML who loves her for her, and not her in the role of the woman he already loved. But then it wouldn't be true to the novel's premise of dumping the male lead and getting with the second male lead.
The MC in his original life was taken advantage of right after he lost his closest relative, and that spiraled into him losing direction in life and losing opportunities. He wasn't a loser though, so he picked himself up and found a job and constantly improved himself. But he never quite felt like he had fulfilled his potential. In his second chance at life, his mind is already mature and his choices come from hindsight, so he quickly betters his situation. The MC is smart and collected, not bent on revenge. He wants to help his friends as well. Altogether a very likable character.
The ML is interesting and quirky. He gives the impression of the typical cold and expressionless guy, but his inner world is a complete riot. So it's fun when he's in the scene. The relationship is pretty wholesome as well, certainly no complaints there.
The story is concentrated around the MC building up his business empire along the ML. The romantic subplot is also well-developed. It kinda slows down near the end of the novel and you're served abundant dog food (lots of displays of love), but I enjoyed it and needed it to relieve my stress.
Also, the MC doesn't always stay in the dog body, but I'm not gonna spoil this further. Go read it :9
the author loves open endings. I get her point, but it's not my thing. But at least there's room for a sequel.
I was also surprised with the ML the author chose. The romance altogether didn't manage to tickle my romantic bone. It also seemed like a last-minute decision on the author's side to make this a 1v1. It's my personal preference to have the arcs' ML be the same and final ML, so this is really just a matter of taste. Readers who aren't bothered by this and are more concerned with how the MC achieves her tasks will be fine. There is still some romance within the arcs, however. At least in the first arc, the MC had a harem going. I suspect that stays true for the rest of the arcs.