New maid Keiko Kinoshita enters the Ashida household under the guise of helping out, but she’s actually a spy for the vice president of Soichiro’s company. As Sumi struggles to keep her past a secret, will Keiko’s insidious schemes destroy the couple?
The fourth volume of Rinko Ueda’s Stepping on Roses introduces a new maid who’s mission is to dig up dirt, not sweep it under the rug. Keiko Kinoshita keeps a close eye on the unsuspecting and overtly innocent Sumi. Sumi struggles with hiding her habits that would throw up red flags to Keiko about her commoner past. As Sumi tries to keep herself in check within her own home Soichiro seems to suspect that his companies vice president is up to something but doesn’t take much proactive measures against any invasion into his personal life at home.
Stepping on Roses has all the stereotypes that sugary sweet shojo needs but Rinko Ueda has a wonderfully simplistic way of presenting it. By the fourth volume as a reader I was hoping to see the relationship between Sumi and Soichiro blossom more but the buds are still tight, in the sense that they are not opening up to each other’s true feelings just yet. Stepping on Roses is very reminiscent of Harlequin manga series and as being such I try not to hold it against the same pedestals that other Rinko Ueda’s series are set upon.
The only hang up I’ve had with this series thus far is that the era it is set in just doesn’t quite feel right, or that the story line isn’t fitting with the setting that the author is trying to use. Otherwise it makes for a light and refreshingly quick summer read. The ending of the fourth volume of Stepping on Roses doesn’t leave much of a pull for anticipation as to what unfolds in the next volume, I thought as a reader if the end was a tad bit more dramatic it may have been more enticing to snag the next volume. But when taking the story lightly the flaws I may have as a picky reader slowly fade and the joy of reading something mindless takes over.