Ermygerd, I actually bothered to update! Admittedly, I have been procrastinated about updating because I simply time to post a full update, but I have been hoarding updates at the same time, so it's not like I spent long periods of time on this...anyways, moving on...
I have read Steel Rose by Ryan, which I believe is a Taiwan manhwa. It is completed both in Taiwanese and English with 7 volumes I believe and It follows Le Ting as she struggles to find her passion in life after she retires from elite sporting competition.
The story is about Le Ting, the Olympic Kickboxing (Tai Kwon Do) gold medalist. After the Olympics, she finds that she no longer has the passion to continue professionally as she felt forced to compete by her grandfather. She adruptly decides to retire from professional sport and runs away to her friend in America. In the meanwhile, Louis, an eligable bachelor sought after by many women sees footage of Le Ting and decides that he would like to persue her romantically.
Once in New York Le Ting struggles to settle in because of the language barrier and her dire financial situation. It isn't until an encounter with Louis that leaves him hospitalized that Le Ting is provided with an opportunity to gain some financial stability...through modelling. Although reluctant due to her belief that she is not capable of being a model and her general hatred towards Louis, she eventually excepts the job.
Le Ting's friend (I don't remember her name) along with her (the friend's boyfriend) are the photographers for the shoot, and Le Ting's friend takes a picture between Louis and Le Ting that ends up being used as the campaign/advertising poster. This pisses off Le Ting, who then finds out that 'old man' (what she calls her friend's boyfriend because he is 30) and Louis are brothers (step brothers I think it was).After this one incident with modelling, Le Ting decides that it isn't for her, and she decides to enrol into a university as she never had the chance to study like normal kids.
In the meanwhile, Louis tries to gain favour with Le Ting, but fails. Le Ting encounters an Indian woman reknowned for being able to forsee the future tells Le Ting that she will ultimately decide Louis' fate. Le Ting presumes that this means that being with her means certain untimely death for Louis, but the woman reassures Le Ting that it is not too late (that is, her hatred/stubborness will kill him and her love will save him). This is the first time where Le Ting no longer knows her feelings.
In the meanwhile, Le Ting's photohrapher friend finds out she is pregnant. This upsets Le Ting because she doesn't like the 'old man' and that she said this would happen. She runs away and Louis follows her, and tells her that her friend wanted to tell Le Ting, but couldn't because she knew this is how she would react. Louis continues saying that her friend really cares for Le Ting, but it's hard when Le Ting can get angry and upset and stubborn, shutting herself off to the world.
At a later time, when getting Rings for their friends' shotgun wedding, Le Ting and Louis argue whether to go the long way or short way back. Louis argues that the long way is better as it is safer, but Le Ting is stubborn and suggests saving time the short way. In the end, Le ting wins and they go the short way, which results in the pair being approached by a group of theives. After a brief scuffle, Le Ting is knocked out and Louis is shot.
Louis begins to recover when his half brother Cloud visits him in the hospital (being french, I think it is meant to be 'Claude' but it translated as 'Cloud') attempts to violate him (sexually) before Le Ting interupts them and gets cloud to leave. After a long recovery, Louis finally returns to full health and is told that his father (real father) is ill and that he should return home to France. For some reason, Le Ting decides that she must go with him out of guilt/responsibility for almost killing him.
In France, after an alcohol filled evening, Louis and Le Ting almost have sex, but Louis stops as he knows Le Ting does not want this. After a while, Louis finally meets his father along with Cloud and it is revealed that Cloud is hung up on 'Charlotte', a girl (cross-dressed Louis) that Cloud met some years ago and has had an obsession with since. Cloud finally admits his obsession.
In the meanwhile, Louis' father and mother decide to marry, as Louis was an illigiemate child between the two. At the wedding, Cloud brings a man as his date that looks like Charlotte/Louis. Le Ting decides that she wishes to return to Taiwan to have another crack at kickboxing glory at the Olympics. She decides to return alone in order to sort out her feelings for Louis, as she no longer knows what she feels for him.
After recommencing her training, Le Ting discovers that she truly does love Louis. They decide to start a relationship on the provision that Le Ting can still continue kickboxing rather than get married and have children, which was what was expected of her. Le Ting is successful in gaining a second gold medal, this time for herself rather than her grandfather/country. With this, everyone is happy, the end.
So, although I always love a strong heroine that doesn't cry every three pages, there is a limit, I mean, I found that Le Ting was overly stubborn -.-. Although I do like the match of the overly stubborn and slightly masculine Le Ting and and feminine-looking and playboy Louis. I also liked the mature themes in the series, such as mugging and attempted murder and attempted rape and such.
Anyways, that's about it for now, until next time :)