You Can Keep The Male Lead


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I was just sleeping, but when I opened my eyes, I’ve become someone else in a white bridal dress.

Erin Spillet.

I became the villainess of a novel.

My bridegroom, the male lead, kept making eye contact with another woman. It was the heroine; his love interest.

What do they think they’re doing when he’s about to get wedded to someone else?

‘What’s so good about this man?’

But then, someone asked me, who was only a supporting character and an uninvited guest in this novel that no one cared about.

“Will you stay here or go outside?”

I, who was dazed and barefooted, was given a new pair of shoes by the prince. He was being kind to me.

“I don’t think I need to stay any longer now that the ceremony is over.”

“That’s a wise judgment.”

He gracefully reached out his hand and I took it.

Heroine, you can keep the male lead.

Associated Names
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남주 그냥 너 가지세요
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Recommendation Lists
  1. ~Fully endorsed fiction~
  2. Cliche villainess, transmigrator, regressor, trans...
  3. I don't want his love, I want his regret
  4. Fav Male Lead
  5. Korean novel

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12/06/22 Novel Endeavors c74
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14 Reviews sorted by

New Bolovis rated it
December 6, 2022
Status: c73
This novel is about a woman who forces a marriage with the one she loves, but it is destined to fail, as he already loves someone else. But wait, she actually had reincarnated on the day of the marriage, and the new soul knows about the plot of the original tale, that this character will end up dying alone and sad. So she decides to at least try to prevent this end.

This is the basic plot here. There are some things to add there, but it will enter some spoilers,... more>> so here we go:


First of all, there are some things just in the beginning that are kind of tropes in those novels. Initially, I did not like it, but after some context was given in a flashback, I accept it more. But first, let me detail more of the basic plot.

The OG MC character was the daughter of a broken count that forced her sweetheart to marry her. She tried to resolve her monetary situation while obtaining her beloved, that was wooed away by some random baron's daughter. This is a usual plot in novels, and considering that this world is inside a novel, we get where it is going. She is a villainess, the main characters in the novel are the woman who takes away the man OG MC loved, her beloved, the duke's son, and the crown prince that is the love rival. In the original novel, she ends up trying to separate the two but fails, more than that she is caught trying to kill the woman, leading to a divorce, and as she could not comply with the terms of the contractual marriage, she lost the money to pay the family debt. So she ends up being sold by the debtors to a brothel and ends up killing herself. So an ultra sad ending for this OG villainess that only loved her sweetheart but lost him to the heroine.

But a little before the marriage, the OG MC was reincarnated by someone. And thus starts this novel. First, as the new soul in this body, this MC knows the content of the original novel and her end. Add to that the fact that she had a love that ended badly, with her fiance marrying 1 month after the separation, and after she attended the marriage she end up OD on sleeping pills and alcohol. So MC knows that trying to win the love of someone here will end badly, and with her back history, it is better to let him go and try to pay the OG body debt and live however she can. Add to that the fact that she did not like the ML attitude in the original novel, she has nothing to lose.

So when she fastly tries to solve her marriage to start trying to resolve her new life, she ends up knowing this novel real ML. The crown prince comes late after the married couple is going out of the church. And he notices that the MC is different, and offers to help her. (The duke's son, OG ML, noticed too, but as he is wooed by the other woman, he kind of gave up). So this is the basic plot, the crown prince falls in love with the new MC persona and the duke's son too starts to show interest in her.

My problem is the following: I really, really hate this kind of plot. Why? It is hard to say it simply, but let me try to explain. The OG MC was really in love with the OG ML. She was the only person who only looked at him. The OG ML had low self-esteem because of the crown prince, who is perfect and loved by all. Add to that the fact that he is destined to be the person who is always protecting and the most loyal subject of the imperial family because of an old promise his household has with the imperials. So he always hated this fact but at least had someone who loved him unconditionally. But, a woman got his heart. The heroine. And he starts to hate the attention of the other woman and finds her bothersome. So he accepts the marriage after the villainess (OG MC) blackmails him saying that he could not marry the heroine until he becomes the duke, so he should marry her then, after one year, he divorces her and pay the last of the debt. But now that a new MC, that does not only look at him is marrying him, he also gets suddenly interested in her. And I hate this. Considering that this is obvious and human, I should not hate it. After all, there is that idea of only knowing what you lost after losing it (or something like that), so it makes sense that he starts to want her after losing it. But f*ck him anyway. As*hole does not begin to describe how he treats the MC. And as the same MC says, he has no balls to fight for his love. So he is not someone who deserves her love and attention. Even in the original novel, he used the OG MC to pretend that he is doing what his father wants but treated her as dirt. But now that he lost it he wants it back, but still maintains the relationship with the heroine. So he is beyond hatable. However, there are some reasons for all this.

But first, the second point that I did not like. The crown prince suddenly starts to be interested in the MC. So, originally the prince knew both, MC and the duke's heir. And he knew that MC was the only person who gave zero f*cks to the prince, only having eyes for her beloved. Part of him found that s*upid, how someone could love another person so unconditionally and thought it was endearing too, even if dull. So when he sees that she changed, he starts to get even more interested in her. So his interest originally is akin to curiosity, and now that he can have something he would never have before, he tries to get close to her. This too is something that makes sense, as someone desires more whatever it is that he can not have. But it is still kind of s*upid to me as a reason why he starts to go for her. And the fact that she is wooed by this so fast is dull too but makes sense as she is potentially alone in this new world, so she must try and grab the first hope she sees.

The prince's motivation is less shitty than the husband, but I disliked both. Until some flashback was shown. Originally, the husband did like the OG MC's attention, after all, was the only person that liked him for who he was, and wanted his good for no reason other than his well-being. And as his father was distant and hard on him, always reminding him that he was destined to be the most loyal subject of the crown, the MC's love was his saving grace. But there was something that entered his way. He was caught in a plot by the black mage second prince, that was trying to take away the most loyal subject of the crown prince, and for that, he helped the heroine, that is actually a black mage too. She forced the man to love her with a love potion that he drank without knowing. And she ended up slipping inside the hero's heart that way. The hero knew something was wrong, but keep it going, as that was the way for him to have the title, using the black mages plot, and would still maintain his old beloved close, hell, he even helped her father get more broke. Doing so he would force her to go for the only person she could, he. So in part, he was not a happy lad, considering that added to that is the fact that he was a bastard and hated the obligation forced upon him, I would give him the leeway to try to be himself and follow his path. But the innuendo of him knowing that he is being used by a black mage (it is still not clear whether he knows the other prince is in the plot or not, but anyway) and that he still wanted to have the MC's attention, just added to the hate that one has for this character. And that is nice.

I would say that it is frustrating seeing how the heroine, turned a bad witch in the real story, doing all that and no one stopping her. Add to that the fact that she is a pawn of the bad prince, that is trying all he can to diminish the crown prince's power, that is using her to f*ck the most loyal family. And the fact that the crown prince knows that, and leaves the heroine free to destroy it all, brings some very real dangers to the MC. I got pissed off again after finding it fine the character's development. (Consider that not only the MC was almost r*ped and murdered because of a brainwashed black magic that was put in the butler one time. And he still did nothing relevant really to save her, and after that, he discovered she have magic powers, capable of purifying black magic after she is almost killed after rolling down a steep and was almost eaten by a black tentacle monster stuff.) Part of me finds it fine, but it is not excusable of an attitude for him to have and leads me to hope that in the end she pays all her debt and goes out with the young knight, that was legit nice to her and helped her, and shunned the duke's son like a boss. Part of me hopes that she learns that the prince initially put his plot in front of her wellbeing (no amount of new clothes or sh*t f*cks would make me forgive him) and kiss him goodbye and go be happy in another town or country to leave him the f*ck alone.


There are some problems. It is frustrating that she doesn't get out of this sh*t marriage fast, but this is part of the fun. Regardless of the problems I raised in the spoilers, I still like this novel. Part of me does not like where this goes and some reasoning, but it was enjoyable seeing her give both heroine and hero sh*t for their horrible shitty behavior. I would like it more if she give them even more crap, but it is nice nonetheless. <<less
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May 8, 2021
Status: c4 ->c90 dropppe
+1 to dawna_aiko's review,

just wanna add that MC has memories of her past life

... more>>

Before transmigrating, she attended the wedding of her ex-boyfriend, who broke with her a month ago.

After the wedding, she got drunk and took a prescribed dose of sleeping pills before going to bed, without the intention of harming herself.

She woke up to find herself transmigrated.


(chapter 6 equals to chapter 3.2)



MC is still married with the jerk (tragic OgMl).

ML has little to 0 trust in MC, keeps every dangerous thing a secret from MC (just to make MC put herself in danger due to her curiosity and ignorance) and all the ''trusted'' servants picked by MC are people planted by ML to keep her monitored without her knowledge.

MC, in her wedding, falls and ridicules herself because her shoes have been tampered by Ml.


ML is born and raised as a pìece of sh*t and OgML is a decent man who got turned into a scumbag due to being drugged, r*ped and cursed with black magic by OgFl.

The emperor forced the empress to marry him while she had a boyfriend and this made her hate him, ML (empress son) has learned the lesson from his parents, and instead of forcing the woman he loves to marry him, he decided to make her life more miserable. In the original story he treated the woman he loved like sh*t on purpose and wasted himself.

ML knew that OgFL used black magic and didn't stop her, he just f*cked her and enjoyed the show (with his powers he could have solved everything because he is overpowered).

In the actual story MC has changed souls and despises OgMl, giving a chance to ML to pursue her (body).
Both OgML and ML fell in love with MC (body) atleast a year before she married OgMl.

OgML loves MC because she is the only one who always pays him attention when everyone ignores him.

ML ¨loves¨ MC because she is the only one who ignores him when everyone pays him attention.

IMO, ML is f*cking toxic. <<less
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January 9, 2022
Status: c30
MC is a complete brainlet

She constantly whines about her "husband" not treating her like a proper wife and goes on and on about how shes totally not jealous of his girlfriend

Yet she keeps trying to get back at them for no reason

... more>> The original owner of the body got the marriage through blackmailing the duke into a one year marriage and 2 BILLION gold

I just find it hilarious when shes salty over every little thing he does and getting pissed he ONLY gives her a 1000 gold coins a month to spend

Not to mention she goes on and on about him being a cheater when their marriage is just a blackmail contract and he was with his girlfriend before she blackmailed him

And then she keeps being salty about it when flirting constantly with the crown prince

The comments on every chapter weirded me out too since they all condemn the duke for not giving her complete financial control over his domain and keeping his girlfriend <<less
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dawna_aiko rated it
May 6, 2021
Status: c6
So there's no review here yet, imma do a quick one to let y'all know what is gist of the book

... more>>

MC has no recollection of what happened before she woke up and came into her current body, Erin. I find this very interesting because it's the first time for me when the MC does not have any recollection of her previous life whatsoever. When she falls during the wedding, she only manages to remember that she is now in a character's body in a book, the body is not hers so she doesn't feel attached and nothing else. Hopefully we will get to see her get back more of her memories



MC does feel hurt and sorrow when the OG ML ditches her for his true love (which is a s*upidly d*ck move of him if you ask me, I mean, you just got married to another girl and you are still in the damn wedding reception. Why the hell did you think it was a good idea to go after the one you truly love???) So I'm assuming the OG owner's heart/feelings are still present, and that there may be a possibility that 2 souls are in one body, which is why our MC can't remember much.


So far, about the ML,

I'm assuming it's the Prince, Enoch (?) and I hope the two get together in the end. The Prince is so much more kinder, gentle and smart unlike the s*upid OG ML (all for true love huh?). Also because both MC and ML are supporting characters in the book and their personality kind of fits well together.


Ayway, it's looking amazing now, I'm looking forward to more. This book has amazing potential. Will edit when more comes out. <<less
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shugu8rena rated it
February 16, 2022
Status: c23
What I noticed and didn't like about her is that she's constantly curious of Rupert's reaction (at the wedding, ball etc). She should just ignore him since she's not the original and stop commenting about his relationship or whatnot coz she knows she got married via blackmail. Can't really sympathize with her either, I just get annoyed whenever she's humiliated by Rupert coz she's stays mum. She doesn't have good comebacks..

Also, she's not like the other transmigrated girls who prepare countermeasures in regards to safety when they know they're being... more>> targeted.. If not for the CP she would have died countless times yet she never thought to be prepared at least, I mean do something, anything. There's magic there but she can't even think to buy some protection (if available).. My gosh. <<less
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Brasdf rated it
October 14, 2021
Status: c21
Pretty fun, but not unique. Good for fans of the genre, which I am. There might be a complex plot hiding in the future, but probably not.

The translation by Novel Endeavors is pretty good and better than most fan translations.

Extra details for those who are interested:

... more>> Our female lead doesn't remeber much about her previous life and of the novel she transmigrated into, but that is trope most of the time anyway. You learn about her past life about as much as you learn in other similar stories.

Potentially, the world she transmigrated into might not actually be the same as the novel. The names of things are the same, but the actual occurances and personality of the charcters is different from the novel she remembers. Plus, the novel she read didn't reveal much about the woman she replaced since she was a minor charcter.

The MC is independent minded and full of poise as befiting a Duchess. She is nice to those she likes, but doesn't take crap from anyone. She is very likable in short.

The ML is... bla bla, you know. He is fine. I mean, he is perfect and not very intersting, for now at least. The good news is he isn't a douche and he seems to genuinely like the MC. <<less
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AkaneApples rated it
September 8, 2022
Status: c60
Good and plenty enjoyable thus far, more like a 4.5 but rounding up for the stars.

Although you might find this MC too weak for your taste, she's a realistic character in a world of op magic, swords, and monsters. She doesn't get op cheat powers, she barely remembers the key parts of the story, and her knowledge of the story plays almost zero part in her struggle to survive because everyone's true nature is completely different from the characters she knew, i.e.

dark magical girl ogFL, brainwashed love s*ave ogML, and extremely black-bellied perfect gentleman ML

Her biggest gold finger was the help done by the ML, who seemed to be interested in the original villainess but fell fast and hard for MC, who is at times fearless & determined, at times innocently admiring, at times emotionally fragile in her brushes with death, & overall just a normal human being with a heart responding normally to the abnormal situations she's been thrust into.

About the 'sins' of the ogMC - even though she made threats, the only reason ogML could be blackmailed was because he didn't want to choose between his affair with a political enemy's daughter and his endless glory and wealth as the ducal heir. His indecisive yet entitled attitude, wanting his cake and eating it too, really made me lose sympathy for him as a character despite him having his own tragic backstory and blah blah blah. MC on the other hand, decisively chooses to divorce after a year even if she has nothing after paying off her huge debts, and she sticks to her decision even after ogML starts treating her better. She's a woman with a stronger will than ogML or ogFL.

Some spoilers about ML make him sound really bad but I'm withholding judgement until I can read it myself (to ch 90). So far,

he seems like a yandere lite version where he'll take full advantage of MC's ignorance and need to rescue her first & earn her affection. He's the perfect doting lover and always shows up at the right moments to be helpful, but it's because of his extensive monitoring (borderline stalking) of her. He won't restrict her freedom or kill anyone if he can't get her love, but potentially, he'll scheme in the dark to make her turn to him for help again and again. Not a good person by any means, morally grey and could be considered toxic and manipulative depending on how things play out


Overall, it's a story that draws you in well, with a basic premise & steady pacing that keeps revealing more twists. This kind of novel is my comfort food reading, not too stressful for my blood pressure but I'm happy to read more.
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October 1, 2021
Status: Completed
nice novel ! If you like smart FL and no-childish ML in a magical world - you can enjoy reading it. The plot is already seen but well built.

I had read it a while ago. With MTL you miss details : it's great to find a good translation with regular updates.
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August 27, 2021
Status: c12
Interesting. I can't tell if the course of the original novel she wound up in changed due to a single incident, butterfly effect:

... more>>

Erin, our MC's, shoe heel breaks as she began to walk up the aisle, causing her to fall in front of everyone. She took the shoes off and carried them through the rest of the wedding and reception. This did not happen in the original timeline. Perhaps because the original Erin was a noble and was able to hide it. As a result, she exposes the OG ML's girlfriend to the guests, and gains attention and pity from other characters who originally would have been on the side on the OG FL. The attention and pity eventually grow into true help and affection.


or if they're going with the book being an unreliable narrator:


It very quickly becomes apparent that Chloe, the OG FL, and Rupert, the OG ML, are far more involved and scummier to Erin, our MC, than ever detailed in the book, which celebrates them as the main characters and a True Love TM pairing. We are starting to see some ugly underbelly hints that make me suspicious the original Erin didn't actually kidnap and do horrible things to Chloe, but maybe they set her up so she could be divorced early and booted from the house without paying out the alimony.


But in any case, whichever way this goes, I am intrigued. <<less
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Raestloz rated it
August 25, 2022
Status: c61
I'm not entirely sure. I'm hooked, this novel is exciting but the characters behaviors are a bit... well

  1. "Villainess" understands her position and unlike other villainesses neither shies away from conflict nor actively attempts to resolve "death flags". She's basically acting under the assumption that her husband will at the very least pretend to be one, and basically disappointed that he doesn't even bother. This isn't out of love, but because aristocratic society has its rules that you need to follow to ensure good reputation for both parties.
  2. The duke is an idiot who both admit the villainess is the only one who looked out for him and yet would rather have someone else instead. I understand the author writes him this way to allow him to properly fall for the FL but that's just dumb
  3. The Prince obviously wants her and uses all sorts of underhanded tactics to sway her. It's nice. Yes he's not an angel at heart, but what sort of a hero just waits for the stars to align so he can accidentally meet his love? He's proactive, even if underhanded
  4. Everybody knows if the "heroine" sticks around she's up to no good
Plenty of interactions so far is the prince appearing out of nowhere to save the damsel in distress, but as the chapters go on political intrigue starts appearing,... more>> and it actually ramps up to be good <<less
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October 15, 2022
Status: c43
Wow I'm getting annoyed. Girl make up your mind. The prince is already giving u a way out, frickin take it ffs.

It's fine in the earlier chapters cuz FL really doesn't have any means to support herself, she broke asf. But the prince is already here u know how he feels and he knows u feel the same, quit being a drama queen OMGoooooooood.

Leave ur husband and the witch and free urself from their shinanegans. The whole society already knows ur husband and the witch have something so y bother... more>> with them. Y bother thinking about them even when u say u don't care. Y go back when the prince offered u a way out of this toxic house. Ooooohhhhjh it's so frickin awful. Just move out damnit.

But still imma read I wanna see what happens 😭😭😭 <<less
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TheEmpress rated it
August 1, 2022
Status: c58
Love it so far❤

I cant wait for the divorce, that annoying b*stard of "husband" is getting on my nerves, how shameless can one person be???

FL, pls, hurry up!
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stephhiny rated it
July 16, 2022
Status: c56
I love love loveee this novel, really.

So far, honestly I'm quite immersed in the story. Can't stop thinking about it and keep wanting to read it, even when I don't have enough time for the day irl. Yeah, I'm obsessed with this novel :) I love it. I love the story. I love the characters.

Totally recommend it if u like the plot as u can read from the synopsis; and the title which completely explained what this novel is truly about. Well, regardless how obvious what the story is about,... more>> I just still love the story. I think it was well written and well translated too. Grateful for the author and the translator team. Looking forward to the chapters ahead!~ Hopefully they won't drop this :D <<less
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imloserbaebae rated it
September 22, 2021
Status: c17
Ah I love it. The "I really don't give a f*ck about you cheating" attitude is so fun. I'm plenty of stories it sounds a bit forced. But here it comes off natural. Thanks for translating it❤
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