|▪||RELEASED BY:||DIGITAL MANGA PUBLISHING|
|▪||AUTHOR / ART:||KAE MARUYA|
|▪||FORMAT:||JAPANESE / B&W|
|▪||REVIEWED BY:||HOLLY ELLINGWOOD|
Lover’s Pledge is a trio of romantic tales filled with heart felt drama and sweetness. It begins with the story of Haruna, a young man who is down on his luck financially and wakes up after a drinking binge with no memory of the night before – and a handsome man in his bed! Akihiko is dark, tall, handsome and extremely rich. An elite businessman, he knows how to get what he wants. He tells Haruna that the other night was a contract. Haruna has promised to be his for one month in exchange for a sizeable sum of money. Mortified, the honest young man doesn’t know what to do but to go along. But he could never expect the feelings that bloom under the romantic nights and days shared with the enigmatic Akihiko. It is a gentle seduction as he is courted with surprising chasteness by Akihiko. Soon wariness gives way to trust and trust to love in a story all about happy endings.
The road to love is never without obstacles though. Even while they have confessed their love to each other, Haruna is still unsure of how to proceed with their relationship. Through a series of misunderstandings, hurt feelings threaten their new relationship. But don’t expect Akihiko to give up so easily!
The second story is a heartwarming tale about two childhood friends and a magical kiss. When Gao was a young child, the sweet Mutsuki would cheer him up with a “special charm”. This simple kiss became a standard way of cheering each other up. But now as young men in high school, things have changed. Upon realizing his deeper feelings for the now handsome and rebellious Gao, the brainy Mutsuki has rejected any more charm sessions with his old friend. But when a fellow member of the student council confesses his love to Mutsuki, it may be the impetus for Gao to finally show Mutsuki that kisses really do hold a magic of their own when they’re given by the one you love.
The final story is the most dramatic out of the trio. A boy orphaned at a young age is growing up and falling for his “older brother”. But these two are unrelated by blood yet bound by obligations and hidden emotions. As they try to cope with their feelings, turmoil follows and understanding proves evasive unless they finally find the courage to be honest with each other.
Each of the stories is romantic and has a sweet quality that is enjoyable. The art style is striking at times and quite appealing overall. There are some explicit sequences but nothing too graphic. With the added romance from the story itself, the lovely lines used in the imagery gives an enhanced beauty and quality to the atmosphere of each tale.
Lover’s Pledge is the perfect yaoi for fans of happy endings.