I wasn't a big fan of the romance (but fortunately it was very brief). Would have liked a little more He Shen. To be honest, I would have preferred MC falling for He Shen because they see to have more in common, but I suppose he's just a side character and a male friend. Really satisfying because she does what she set out to do and doesn't fall for any of the shitty guys.
5/5 Same author as another one of my favorites (title keeps changing so I won't list it here). The only problem with this novel is... more>> that Min Qin and his boyfriend overpowered everyone else other than the main pair. Their relationship was very nuanced and excellently written, but Min Qin's personality takes up too much space. The author didn't spend enough time tying Min Qin to the main theme, although from a distance, I can vaguely see the outline of how he fits into this theme. And other subplots that were connected to this main theme were not strong enough. This led to the ending feeling extremely fragmentary, and maybe even a little unsatisfactory. The other characters are all too distant from the MC, and not fully fleshed out, so when the big reveal happens, there isn't much emotional payoff. Overall very good though, but I only want to see extras re Min Qin and MC's doctor friend. Re MC and ML, I don't care much for ML, but MC is a really good character, pretty unique. He's kind of mean at times, and doesn't care very much about other people. What he says to ML's omega father (Min Qin) is overly harsh, and even hypocritical. I dislike how he doesn't see how similar they are. As for his interactions with other people, they're actually all very surface-level. In this sense, quite similar to the MC of the other translated novel the author wrote, that I mentioned.
First half was really good, showing the ML's feelings and how difficult it was for him to maintain his relationship with his bf.
Second half (after ML and MC got together) was complete tr*sh... Author completely phoned it in. It was just the regular nationalism, sexism, preachy nonsense about family, and chapter after chapter of unrealistic descriptions about how OP MC and ML were. Lots of brain-dead faceslapping.
And the romance was also extremely dumb, basically middle-school tier. Disappointing considering how good the first half was before they got together.
Also, it's kind of depressing how ML's relationship with first bf didn't work out because of that BF's immaturity... But then he turns around and dates some 20-yo guy who turns out to be equally immature, except more self-sacrificing and willing to follow him around like a dog.
I felt like the author did a terrible job of actually giving MC a personality. Once he started dating ML, he became extremely uninteresting, because it felt like he had no real desires of his own, and he was just a prop in the plot.
4/5 Compared to other Jin Gang Quan novels, not up to par. The main character doesn't seem mature enough even though he's actually 2 years... more>> older than the ML and in his late thirties. I also feel like the whole thing about his pen*s was just unnecessary / a plot device to get them together quickly. And like some readers commented, it feels a bit sexist in various places. Not in a male chauvinist way but more like... I wonder if the author strongly dislikes women. Probably my main gripe is that I'm just not convinced this is a romance between two men in their late thirties who were rivals. Close but not quite there.
4/5 Good! Although it wasn't some kind of masterpiece, and the romance wasn't that great (14 yo with 20 yo, and both simply acted like... more>> adults), the story itself and the cases were interesting.