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My Fair Concubine

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The Nobleman Who Turned a Tea Girl Into a PrincessYan Ling tries hard to be servile it's what's expected of a girl of her class Being intelligent and strong minded she f. 35 StarsCategory A book about a culture you are unfamiliar with Duty For the most part in western culture the meaning of the word “duty” has fallen by the wayside It is still circulated in common speech but it no longer means what it once did We may say that something is a duty with a fluttering hand wave without ever having to really worry about the ramifications of not accomplishing that task Honour is spoken of but it is always a little tongue in cheek Again for the most part our culture doesn’t hold our honour and that of our family members and all who associate with us on a tightrope where one misstep will send us plummeting into the shame of disgrace Eastern cultures do even today In China family honour is ANYTHING but a joke Your family and associates ARE judged by your actions And while in some ways that judgement has become lax over the years it is very much still present I have a number of friends male and female alike who were born and raised in China and I have had numerous discussions about this About the different ways you can mark your family name ways that seem a little crazy to my western upbringing The reason I mention this is because this is one of the fundamental differences between western and eastern culture and it plays a very large role in My Fair Concubine ‘You will do well’ His tone was of a command than a comfort ‘We will just have to work harder I have faith in you Yan Ling’ She nodded Her palms grew damp and she wiped them against her robe when he wasn’t looking The only thing that could make her anxious than Fei Long’s disapproval was his trust This IS a love story but it is a love story ensconced in the protection of family honour and duty When our love interests first meet it is in a small tea house where Fei Long’s younger sister Pearl has run off with her lover Fei Long has come to save the family honour by forcing her home where she is promised to another man The Chang family has been bestowed a great honour and duty Pearl is to be elevated to a Princess and wed in Khitan to ensure peace with their neighbours Not an overly romantic notion but one of great HONOUR However when Fei Long crashes into the lovers’ room and Pearl beseeches him to understand that she is IN LOVE he relents allowing the lovers to run off together Enter Yan Lin a tea girl at this very tea house She serves him tea which grows cold as he worries himself over how he will save his family honour now that his sister has gone He makes a rather rude statement about needing a woman to Yan Ling and ends up with a face full of cold tea She is promptly fired and our journey truly begins when Fei Long discovers that if he can make this saucy tea girl into a ‘Lady’ he may just have an answer to both of their predicaments It is not unheard of for a woman to pretend to be of royal blood in order to be wed in such a way in fact his sister was being elevated to ‘Princess’ for this very purpose The Chinese culture is a culture of nuances Statements not made but implied and a noble woman knows all these nuances The way to move in a garment which is several lengths than truly reuired to cover a body while looking both elegant and regal The turn of one’s head the movement of a hand whether your eyes are downcast or half cast; these ALL have meanings This is where I have a little difficulty with My Fair Concubine I find it pretty difficult to believe that Fei Long would truly believe that the learning of all these noble woman customs not to mention reading and writing could be accomplished in a few short months However he IS desperate so I allowed it Yan Ling begins a rigorous regime Poachers in Paradise: The Adventures of the Magic Flying Jharoka tries hard How the Kauravas Were Born to be servile it's what's expected of a girl of her class Being intelligent and strong minded she f. 35 StarsCategory A book about a culture you are unfamiliar with Duty For Between Lives the most part in western culture World Class In India: A Casebook Of Companies In Transformation the meaning of The Prevalence Of Witches the word “duty” has fallen by Making a Mango Whistle the wayside It is still circulated in common speech but it no longer means what it once did We may say Picture Imperfect and Other Byomkesh Bakshi Mysteries that something is a duty with a fluttering hand wave without ever having Naked In The Wind to really worry about Get Smart: Maths Concepts the ramifications of not accomplishing Karl Aaj Aur Kal that Remote Control: Indian Television in the New Millennium task Honour is spoken of but it is always a little Panther's Moon and Other Stories tongue in cheek Again for Unprincess! the most part our culture doesn’t hold our honour and The Quickening that of our family members and all who associate with us on a Women and Partition: A Reader tightrope where one misstep will send us plummeting into Rabindranath Tagore: The Renaissance Man the shame of disgrace Eastern cultures do even Tata Log today In China family honour is ANYTHING but a joke Your family and associates ARE judged by your actions And while in some ways Partition: The Long Shadow that judgement has become lax over Tatalog: Eight Modern Stories from a Timeless Institution the years it is very much still present I have a number of friends male and female alike who were born and raised in China and I have had numerous discussions about Getting Granny's Glasses this About Kanshiram: Leader of the Dalits the different ways you can mark your family name ways The Longevity Diet: Discover the New Science Behind Stem Cell Activation and Regeneration to Slow Aging, Fight Disease, and Optimize Weight that seem a little crazy The Soldier's Curse to my western upbringing The reason I mention The Ice at the End of the World: An Epic Journey Into Greenland's Buried Past and Our Perilous Future this is because Beyond the Border: An Indian in Pakistan this is one of Ambrosia for Afters the fundamental differences between western and eastern culture and it plays a very large role in My Fair Concubine ‘You will do well’ His Warrior tone was of a command Uncles, Aunts and Elephants: A Ruskin Bond Treasury than a comfort ‘We will just have Love in the Tsunami to work harder I have faith in you Yan Ling’ She nodded Her palms grew damp and she wiped The Nude them against her robe when he wasn’t looking The only Diary of a Soccer Star thing Gind: The Magical Adventures of a Vanara that could make her anxious Mirror City than Fei Long’s disapproval was his Penguin Dictionary of Alternative Medicine trust This IS a love story but it is a love story ensconced in Moti Mahal Cookbook,The: On The Buttter Chicken Trail the protection of family honour and duty When our love interests first meet it is in a small Wild Child and Other Stories tea house where Fei Long’s younger sister Pearl has run off with her lover Fei Long has come Another Time, Another Place to save Pitch It! the family honour by forcing her home where she is promised Hindutva Hate Mail to another man The Chang family has been bestowed a great honour and duty Pearl is A Life Lived Later: Poems to be elevated Mango-Coloured Fish to a Princess and wed in Khitan Prithviraj Chauhan: The Emperor of Hearts to ensure peace with Red Lipstick: The Men in My Life their neighbours Not an overly romantic notion but one of great HONOUR However when Fei Long crashes into Ayodhya Kand Part 1 the lovers’ room and Pearl beseeches him Rites of Passage to understand Leadership @ Infosys that she is IN LOVE he relents allowing The Emergency: A Personal History the lovers Sahir and Jaadu to run off Amitabh: The Making of a Superstar together Enter Yan Lin a Rediscovering Dharavi: Stories From Asia's Largest Slum tea girl at The Sky of Afghanistan this very The Night of Kaamini tea house She serves him Clearing a Space: Reflections on India, Literature and Culture tea which grows cold as he worries himself over how he will save his family honour now Why Loiter?: Women and Risk on Mumbai Streets that his sister has gone He makes a rather rude statement about needing a woman Ambushed to Yan Ling and ends up with a face full of cold Dateline Islamabad tea She is promptly fired and our journey Sorry, Best Friend! truly begins when Fei Long discovers Fear and Forgiveness: The Aftermath of Massacre that if he can make The Concert this saucy It's a Mom!: What You Should Know About the Early Years of Motherhood tea girl into a ‘Lady’ he may just have an answer Satyr of the Subway to both of The Distorted Mirror: Stories, Travelogues, Sketches their predicaments It is not unheard of for a woman Yuva India: Consumption and Lifestyle Choices of a Young India to pretend Daughters: A Story of Five Generations to be of royal blood in order Making The Minister Smile to be wed in such a way in fact his sister was being elevated Dalit Millionaires 15 Inspiring Stories to ‘Princess’ for The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy this very purpose The Chinese culture is a culture of nuances Statements not made but implied and a noble woman knows all Finger Pointing to the Moon: Discourses on the Adhyatma Upanishad these nuances The way Dalit Millionaires: 15 Inspiring Stories to move in a garment which is several lengths NINE - Curse of the Kalingan than Chutnefying English: The Phenomenon of Hinglish truly reuired Let's Play: Puffin Book of Sports Storie to cover a body while looking both elegant and regal The Legal Confidential: Adventures of an Indian Lawyer turn of one’s head Bihar Is in the Eye of the Beholder the movement of a hand whether your eyes are downcast or half cast; Fade Into Red these ALL have meanings This is where I have a little difficulty with My Fair Concubine I find it pretty difficult Gifted : Inspiring Stories of People with Disabilities to believe A Bottle Of Dew that Fei Long would The Ledge Between the Streams truly believe The Lamp is Lit: Leaves from a Journal that Ferry Crossing: Short Stories From Goa the learning of all Coach these noble woman customs not Out of the Box: Watching the Game We Love to mention reading and writing could be accomplished in a few short months However he IS desperate so I allowed it Yan Ling begins a rigorous regime

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Inds it a constant battle Proud Fei Long is unimpressed by her spirit until he realizes she's the answer to his problems He has to deliver the emperor a princess In two. Buddy read with Karly on June 3rd 6thI can't recall ever reading a Harleuin before but from what I gather they don't have much depth or characterization to speak of From reading another review it seems this was one of the better Harleuins as far as those things go However when it comes to romance this was not my cup of teaI CANNOT like a romance if it doesn't sweep me away and this one didn't I felt the writing was too stilted and even awkward at times I didn't get a good picture of the character's emotionsOne of the reasons for this was that some of Fei Long and Yan Ling's early interactions didn't actually happen on the page The interactions were talked about but we don't get to see the interactions themselves which would have been crucial for building the relationship especially so early on in the novel One example was Fei Long and Yan Ling having discussed a poem We didn't see this happening but Fei Long talks about the incident with Bai Shen This would have been fine if we had seen BOTH interactions and not just one I feel that leaving certain scenes like this out failed to establish a foundation for the romanceThis wasn't a bad book the hero wasn't an ass and the heroine wasn't annoying It just wasn't my thingEDIT I forgot to mention the three sex scenes crammed into less than 15 pages after which there wasn't even 20 pages of story left This obviously didn't work for me The House of Rajani the answer The Water's Edge to his problems He has The Road Home to deliver The Road Home the emperor a princess In The New High Protein Healthy Fast Food Diet two. Buddy read with Karly on June 3rd 6thI can't recall ever reading a Harleuin before but from what I gather Everyday Sports Injuries they don't have much depth or characterization The Baby Doctor to speak of From reading another review it seems Zafarnama this was one of Ghalib: The Man, The Times the better Harleuins as far as All You Who Sleep Tonight: Poems those Bombay Stories things go However when it comes कुछ अटके, कुछ भटके to romance Pickpocket this was not my cup of Testemunha Mortal teaI CANNOT like a romance if it doesn't sweep me away and Conspiracy in Death this one didn't I felt The Immortal Throne the writing was Just Because I Made Love to You Doesn't Mean I Love You too stilted and even awkward at Arion and the Dolphin times I didn't get a good picture of Arion & The Dolphin: A Libretto the character's emotionsOne of Vanishing Acts: New and Selected Poems, 1985-2005 the reasons for For the Love of India: The Life and Times of Jamsetji Tata this was Goa: A Daughter's Story that some of Fei Long and Yan Ling's early interactions didn't actually happen on The Tea Gardens the page The interactions were City Improbable: Writings on Delhi talked about but we don't get Unbound: Indian Women @ Work to see Beyond The Last Blue Mountain: A Life Of J. R. D. Tata the interactions India Through the Lens: Photography 1840-1911 themselves which would have been crucial for building Vishwamitra the relationship especially so early on in On Wings of Butterflies the novel One example was Fei Long and Yan Ling having discussed a poem We didn't see ফেলুদা সমগ্র ২ this happening but Fei Long Style Your Perfect Wedding talks about Half a Rupee Stories the incident with Bai Shen This would have been fine if we had seen BOTH interactions and not just one I feel Playing Hardball that leaving certain scenes like Havens Knight this out failed Haven's Knight to establish a foundation for The Darkest Evening of the Year the romanceThis wasn't a bad book Flying by Night: Book 1 of the Coven of the Jeweled Dragon the hero wasn't an ass and The Spy Who Loved Me the heroine wasn't annoying It just wasn't my Errar é Divino thingEDIT I forgot Harry Clarke With Bonus Performance: Lillian to mention Emerging India: Economics, Politics and Reforms the Nine Questions For A Princess three sex scenes crammed into less Living the Secular Life: New Answers to Old Questions than 15 pages after which One Part Woman there wasn't even 20 pages of story left This obviously didn't work for me

Jeannie Lin ó 4 Free download

Months can he train a tea girl to pass as a noblewoman Yet it's hard to teach good etiuette when all Fei Long wants to do is break it by taking this tea girl for his own. Upped one star just because of LI BAI SHEN Because fucking fabulousness Loving Lilly train a The Complete Idiot's Guide to Quinoa Cookbook tea girl Christmas Eve on Sesame Street to pass as a noblewoman Yet it's hard An Atheist Defends Religion to Asian Bites: A feast of flavors from Turkey to India to Japan teach good etiuette when all Fei Long wants An Atheist Defends Religion to do is break it by The Flintstones Stone Age Nursery Rhymes taking Herotica 4: A New Collection of Erotic Writing by Women this El Diablero tea girl for his own. Upped one star just because of LI BAI SHEN Because fucking fabulousness


10 thoughts on “My Fair Concubine

  1. says:

    My Fair Lady in Tang Dynasty China? Yes pleaseIn the field of fiction Jeannie Lin's novels are unicorns They are the rarest of mythical creatures Historical Romances set in Tang Dynasty China I have always loved Jeannie Lin's romances and this is among my favorite of her novels This book is delightful in every way We have a truly compelling situation the My Fair Lady scenario isn't made on a whim there is familial honor and duty at stake There is a wonderful supporting cast from the spirited maidservant Dao to the irrepressible Bai Shen OHMIGOD I LOVE HIM and a love story that builds gradually There is no insta love hereThis is truly a fantastic bookThe Summary Yan Ling turned to wipe down her already cleaned table once when the stranger spoke‘I need a woman’ he mumbled ‘Any woman would do’ Fei Long does need a woman but not in the way you would imagineFei Long is a Tang Dynasty nobleman and he is a noble man in every sense of the word He is kind he is a benevolent master an obedient son but an absent one His father has died and he has returned home to find it in chaos Debt collectors are pounding at the door and to make matters worse his little sister Pearl is nowhere to be seen She has eloped with their neighborThis would be a bad enough situation on its own but what makes it considerably worse is that his sister is not free to marry Pearl was supposed to have been elevated to the rank of Imperial Princess then sent off to marry the far away Khitan king A wedding of convenience one that would ensure the peace of two nations one that would secure the wealth and honor of the family lineAnd now she is eloped to someone else Fei Long catches up with the lovers but does not have the heart to force his beloved sister into an unwanted marriage He lets them go His sister had turned to Han because she’d had no one elseThe tension drained out of Fei Long stealing away his rage His throat pulled tight as he forced out the next word ‘Go’The two of them stared at him in disbelief‘Go’ he repeated roughly Well fuck now Fei Long is truly screwed He doesn't have a sister to deliver to Khitan but at least his sister is happyNow do you see why Fei Long needs a woman?Enter Yan LingA 19 year old teahouse maid down on her luck hungry day in and out When the drunk Fei Long mutters I need a woman to her what else is she to think? She throws a pot of tea at him She regrets it immediately One impulsive action got her fired and onto the streets She begs Fei Long for help it was HIS fault that she got fired after all Fei Long looks at herand has other ideas ‘I have a proposal for you’‘I know exactly what sort of proposal you mean’ She shook an accusing finger at him ‘I don’t care how rich you are I was right to pour that tea on you’Her step uickened ‘Leave me alone I may not be learned or wear expensive clothes like you but I’m a respectable girl I won’t dodo that’‘That wasn’t what I meant’ Yan Ling is passably pretty She's got fire in her a fire that his timid demure sister lacks With enough training her edges sharpened down Yan Ling could pass as his sister And let's face it a life as a royal princess in Khitan is better than a life on the street any day A ripple of pleasure ran through her lazy and warm with promise She would never need to worry about being cold or hungry again Her back wouldn’t ache from serving customers from the first light of day to deep in the night The training is difficult and tedious It is no easy feat to be a lady as Yan Ling soon learns For example despite the fact that she has worked at a tea house for years she doesn't know proper tea etiuette ‘And when you took the cup from me you did it with one hand’Had she?‘Two hands’ he went on ‘With a slight bow of your head as you accept the cup’Heaven and earth she didn’t even know how to drink tea properly She who had grown up in a teahouse And don't even mention the dresses Jesus Christ How the fuck does one move properly in those things? The cloth pooled around her feet as she tried to move forwards wrapping about her ankles until he was certain she would topple Fortunately she didn’t She kicked at the train much like—heaven help him—one would kick a stray dog He raised a hand over his mouth‘Are you laughing at me?’ Yan Ling is smart persistent She is so innocent so eager to please She is truly grateful to Fei Long for bringing her into this whole situation For the first time in her life she has friends she has company she feels needed The last weeks in the Chang household had been the happiest time she’d ever known She wore the fanciest silks and ate delicious meals from painted plates and bowlsMore precious than that she had companionship True companionship that came from the time that was her own Fei Long has the fantastic Bai Shen to help her to be a lady Bai Shen may be a man but he is an accomplished actor and he's snaps fingers fa bu lous than you will ever be ‘There are a thousand looks A hundred gestures I’ve studied them all’ He circled his hand with a flourish ‘The secret is to create the illusion You don’t need it all Emphasise certain characteristics and the audience will believe’ And she'd better succeed in all of this girly shit There's feminine honor on the line She can't be outdone by a man ‘And don’t forget you have one grand advantage’ he said‘What is that?’He shrugged ‘You actually are a woman’ TeeheeFei Long is not absent He has been tutoring her watching her seeing her grow in confidence day by day He has his doubts he has his fears There is so much responsibility on his shoulders but Fei Long is not alone ‘You don’t need to thank me for anything’ he said gently ‘I should be thanking you’‘Because we’re in this together’ she said uncertainlyHe nodded breathing deep ‘Together’ As the days go by as they encounter challenges to their lives as the past catches up to them will they ever be able to overcome their differences? Will Fei Long be able to overcome his stern exterior will his need to do what's right destroy the spark of life within the woman he loves? Fei Long could hear Yan Ling’s laughter just over his shoulder while he sat in isolation unable to share in itHe was the only one not in disguise that night yet he was the one hiding When the time comes to deliver Yan Ling to the Khitan will he ever be able to let her go?The Setting AWESOME Oh my god if you've ever watched a Chinese drama you will love this book We see the city of Changan vibrant with color Wealth was in the red banners cascading from the balconies of the wine houses and restaurants of Changan The rainbow bolts of silk in the marketplace Even the fruit piled in the stalls sparkled like jewels rosy peaches and startling pink dragonfruit with green tipped scales There is an ample amount of detail and the Chinese fangirl within me loved all of it From the Chinese theatres to the street stalls to the mansion itself and its furnishings There is no shortage of the life and color and beauty of Ancient China within these pagesYan Ling I absolutely adore her character and how she grows Bai Shen tells her to be a phoenix in the book and I can see her transformation From spirited irreverent teahouse maid to a demure lady who could pass as a princess we see every step of her transformationYan Ling starts off being completely in awe of Fei Long and who can blame her? She is no doormat but she wants to please him she wants to do right by him because he has rescued her from the streets Yan Ling has so much faith in Fei Long she completely trusts him ‘Promise me you’ll stay beside me the entire time’‘I promise’His gaze held on to her and she knew then that Fei Long wouldn’t let anything happen She would do this for him So he could be proud and think well of her Yan Ling grows but she never becomes weak She becomes a lady but she is never cowed Her feelings for Fei Long grows bit by bit but she knows it is hopeless because of where it will all lead ‘Ah of course’ Her throat tightened around the words ‘The grand scheme above all else’ Whatever romantic aspirations Yan Ling has is completely solidified by reality Yan Ling is not a silly girl she knows her dream is just a dream He felt nothing None of the unwanted fire within her Silly girl why would he? In the end we will see clearly that Yan Ling has strength and bravery within her than we would ever have expectedFei Long A truly admirable character He is stern and seriously because he has to be He is never cruel He strives to do everything correctly in life He is such an honorable man So honorable that he could never allow himself to take advantage of his situation to compromise a girl whose life he holds in his hands ‘I think of you Yan Ling than I should’ A wave of longing struck him ‘When I see your face at night I don’t see the tea girl or the elegant lady I only see you’‘If I acted on these feelings if Iif I took what I wanted it would be an abuse of authority You’re under my care That was what I meant when I spoke of our positions I won’t treat you like that’ His mouth twisted ‘As if you’re here for my pleasure’ He sees Yan Ling transform day by day to be better for him He feels guilty for making her lose her inner spark When she walked into a room he could no longer see any remnants of the tea girl he’d first met Occasionally he would see her doubled over in laughter with Dao or Bai Shen and the sight always sent an inexplicable ache through him She never laughed that way in his presenceYan Ling was exceeding all his expectations—and he hated it BAI SHEN WHY IS HIS NAME CAPITALIZED? BECAUSE HE'S FUCKING AWESOME THAT'S WHY Oh sure the other characters in the book are awesome but you don't know fabulous until you've met Bai ShenHe is not gay He is an actor in Ancient China which means that he has to play female characters And damn does he do it well When trouble comes when a girl doesn't know how to act feminine who's Fei Long gonna call? If Yan Ling was to become a princess or at least pretend to be one they would need to transform her He needed someone who was a master at deception Meet Bai Shen The gentleman was already seated on the couch His robe was adorned with a brilliant border of maroon brocade and his topknot was affixed with a straight silver pin He had narrow handsome features with dark eyebrows that accented his face in two bold lines And what's he gonna do? He tapped his chest twice ‘Bai Shen is one of the premier actors of the Nine Dragon theatre troupe and that dear miss is not a pretty face you’re making I can see why Fei Long needs my help’ OH YEAHHe's not only gorgeous he's not only a fabulous acrobatic actor Bai Shen is also well versed in the matters of the heart ‘Be careful Fei Long’ Bai Shen said sombrely‘I’m being very careful I’m taking every precaution when dealing with Tong’With a sigh Bai Shen turned around to continue surveying the perimeter ‘You fool’ he muttered ‘That’s not what I was talking about at all’ READ THIS BOOK


  2. says:

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || || PinterestThis was so so so close to being a three star read for me I am such a sucker for Pygmalion retellings especially ones like these that subvert the misogynistic elements of the original story Set during the Tang dynasty which would be around Early Medieval period in Europe the Tang Dynasty series are a set of Harleuin Historicals with interrelated characters navigating custom danger and loveOn the surface each of these books sounds like something I should love But the first book in the series was a DNF for me because it was so slow This book MY FAIR CONCUBINE is much better until it gets to the second act where it suddenly slows down until the ending which feels very rushed and tacked on and ultimately unsatisfyingI don't think this is a problem exclusive to Jeannie Lin I have read other Harleuin Historical imprint novels and all of them feel very much like Reader's Digest versions of romance novels Everything feels very sanitized and safe and there's a slow distanced element to the writing that seems to be a unifying theme among all these books I really don't like it but it seems to be the style that this publishing imprint prefers and cultivates sadlyDespite that I read MY FAIR CONCUBINE hoping for the best Because of the premise And that cover That GORGEOUS cover Yan Ling is a very likable protagonist She works in a tea house selling tea One day she gets angry at an entitled rude customer and throws tea on him This is Fei Long who is bemoaning the fact that his sister Pearl has run off with some rando in the name of love and never mind that she was supposed to be engaged to the lord of another kingdom I know right?When he spies Yan Ling he gets an idea after the tea begins to dry She's pretty And even though she has a temper he could train her to master all the customs a princess should and prepare her for the ceremony It's only two months but hey that's plenty of time to teach someone how to walk read and speak like a princess right? RIGHT? I mean Meghan Markle did itcricketsSo Yan Ling undergoes princess lessons but Fei Long slowly begins to fall for her and pretty soon it's almost time for the marriage but both of them are super attracted to each other There's also a hilarious actor named Bai Shen and a servant named Dao who are helping out Yan Ling with her princessing and are also the comic relief duo of this book and to be fair they do serve that purpose well Bai Shen deserves an entire book of his own to be honest He cracked me upAs I said there's nothing really wrong with this story It just moves really slowly The beginning is great The characters just didn't have much chemistry with each other I honestly felt like Fei Long and Yan Ling had of a brothersister best friend dynamic than as love interests and when they finally have sex with each other it felt weird Especially since as my friend pointed out in her review all the sex scenes come at you one after the other before that hastily tacked on endingI'd love to see of Jeannie Lin's work maybe self published? I wasn't a fan of Courtney Milan's traditionally published works as an example but once she went solo and started taking the risks she wanted to as an indie author I felt like she really began to shine I feel like Jeannie Lin has some really fantastic ideas and I'd love to see what she can do when she can do literally anything she wants2 to 25 stars


  3. says:

    35 StarsCategory A book about a culture you are unfamiliar with Duty For the most part in western culture the meaning of the word “duty” has fallen by the wayside It is still circulated in common speech but it no longer means what it once did We may say that something is a duty with a fluttering hand wave without ever having to really worry about the ramifications of not accomplishing that task Honour is spoken of but it is always a little tongue in cheek Again for the most part our culture doesn’t hold our honour and that of our family members and all who associate with us on a tightrope where one misstep will send us plummeting into the shame of disgrace Eastern cultures do even today In China family honour is ANYTHING but a joke Your family and associates ARE judged by your actions And while in some ways that judgement has become lax over the years it is very much still present I have a number of friends male and female alike who were born and raised in China and I have had numerous discussions about this About the different ways you can mark your family name ways that seem a little crazy to my western upbringing The reason I mention this is because this is one of the fundamental differences between western and eastern culture and it plays a very large role in My Fair Concubine ‘You will do well’ His tone was of a command than a comfort ‘We will just have to work harder I have faith in you Yan Ling’ She nodded Her palms grew damp and she wiped them against her robe when he wasn’t looking The only thing that could make her anxious than Fei Long’s disapproval was his trust This IS a love story but it is a love story ensconced in the protection of family honour and duty When our love interests first meet it is in a small tea house where Fei Long’s younger sister Pearl has run off with her lover Fei Long has come to save the family honour by forcing her home where she is promised to another man The Chang family has been bestowed a great honour and duty Pearl is to be elevated to a Princess and wed in Khitan to ensure peace with their neighbours Not an overly romantic notion but one of great HONOUR However when Fei Long crashes into the lovers’ room and Pearl beseeches him to understand that she is IN LOVE he relents allowing the lovers to run off together Enter Yan Lin a tea girl at this very tea house She serves him tea which grows cold as he worries himself over how he will save his family honour now that his sister has gone He makes a rather rude statement about needing a woman to Yan Ling and ends up with a face full of cold tea She is promptly fired and our journey truly begins when Fei Long discovers that if he can make this saucy tea girl into a ‘Lady’ he may just have an answer to both of their predicaments It is not unheard of for a woman to pretend to be of royal blood in order to be wed in such a way in fact his sister was being elevated to ‘Princess’ for this very purpose The Chinese culture is a culture of nuances Statements not made but implied and a noble woman knows all these nuances The way to move in a garment which is several lengths than truly reuired to cover a body while looking both elegant and regal The turn of one’s head the movement of a hand whether your eyes are downcast or half cast; these ALL have meanings This is where I have a little difficulty with My Fair Concubine I find it pretty difficult to believe that Fei Long would truly believe that the learning of all these noble woman customs not to mention reading and writing could be accomplished in a few short months However he IS desperate so I allowed it Yan Ling begins a rigorous regime of learning how to transform from a lowly tea girl to a noble woman and princess She has several teachers along the way one of them being the actor Li Bai Shen renowned for his portrayal of women in the local theatre group I love Bai Shen probably for the most part because he is so damned inappropriate This is a love story that moves uietly like the shift of an arm in layers of silk it whispers along under the surface growing slowly until those small movements are all you are watching for It is a love story told in nuances a glance here a brush against skin there It is all so subtle and understated And then the end happens with all the elegance of an untrained child bashing the keys of a piano It lacked a certain grace and style which I had come to love throughout the rest of the novel and for that alone I am deducting half a star 'There is a balance inherent in the art of writing of Shū' His voice was uiet stroking gently over her skin 'Defined rules about how to write each character Every stroke has its place and position' Thank you for buddy reading this one with me Heatherdoll even though you liked it a great deal less than I did ♥Now it is my turn to beseech you my lovies Does anyone know who that staggeringly handsome gentleman on the cover is??


  4. says:

    Buddy read with Karly on June 3rd 6thI can't recall ever reading a Harleuin before but from what I gather they don't have much depth or characterization to speak of From reading another review it seems this was one of the better Harleuins as far as those things go However when it comes to romance this was not my cup of teaI CANNOT like a romance if it doesn't sweep me away and this one didn't I felt the writing was too stilted and even awkward at times I didn't get a good picture of the character's emotionsOne of the reasons for this was that some of Fei Long and Yan Ling's early interactions didn't actually happen on the page The interactions were talked about but we don't get to see the interactions themselves which would have been crucial for building the relationship especially so early on in the novel One example was Fei Long and Yan Ling having discussed a poem We didn't see this happening but Fei Long talks about the incident with Bai Shen This would have been fine if we had seen BOTH interactions and not just one I feel that leaving certain scenes like this out failed to establish a foundation for the romanceThis wasn't a bad book the hero wasn't an ass and the heroine wasn't annoying It just wasn't my thingEDIT I forgot to mention the three sex scenes crammed into less than 15 pages after which there wasn't even 20 pages of story left This obviously didn't work for me


  5. says:

    Marvellous Pygmalion story with a pig headed nobleman miserably locked in a desperate struggle to save the family name and honour which reuires him to send his sister off to be a barbarian princess which reuires turning a tea girl into a lady because the sister has run away It all unfolds delightfully with loads of period feel and a really well delineated culture and background


  6. says:

    An utterly delightful My Fair Lady retelling featuring a grumpy nobleman which is the only type of nobleman worth reading as far as I'm concerned and a spirited tea house servant The story is filled with humor and a dash of intrigue and longing Perfect picture longing To save his family's honor Fei Long must transform Yan Ling into a lady capable of filling his wayward sister's place as the intended bride of a foreign warlord Instead Yan Ling ends up saving him The scenes where Fei Long teaches Yan Ling to write? Seriously sexy Although the steam is mainly limited to the last 15% of the book their coming together is tenderly passionateA highly enjoyable and recommended read SBTB April June 2019 uarterly Challenge A book where money plays a role billionaire class differences etc


  7. says:

    Romance novels and I have a complex relationship As a feminist I can barely stand the jealousy possessiveness and all around stifling control of the ultra masculine heroes Nor can I stand the virginal accepting compliance of the ultra feminine heroines Almost everything about the plot will irritate me the near rapes the inevitable interjection of the hero's former lover and the total and utter miscommunication that begins at page 3 and ends at page 83 crush my soul a little each timeAnd yet as a reader I adore them They are light and fluffy when I need something to be light and fluffy I can read as much or as little as I like Often I'll skip entire chapters or paragraphs and feel no guilt because that's how I like to read these books and I don't think that will changeMy usual romance novel is a category I have coined The Sexually Objectified Scotsmen series books that always feature bare chested highlanders on the cover luminous nipples and all I tend to read only historical fiction I say historical because the books while accurate with their dates of battles and Gaelic never mention body hair and their heroes who seem to have bedded every woman in the country have never once suffered from any venereal diseaseAnd so here you see my history of romance novels has been alarmingly white heteronormative and same y Enter My Fair Concubine by Jeannie Lin as recommended by my friend Anya Thanks girl Fei Long Chang is desperate to preserve his family's honour and has enlisted a lost tea girl to do it But first he needs to turn her into a princess in order to do so Enter Li Bai Shen a camp gay actor with a proclivity for sass and snark that at times feels a little forced but I love him regardless Yan Ling the peasant girl learns to read and write under Fei Long Chang's patient tutelage and I actually really appreciated this part of the novel I loved that Yan Ling is empowered and learns skills that enrich her world so much I love that Fei Long Chang is a gentleman he is masculine without being aggressive he is articulate and unreadable without being cryptic he is authoritative without being totalitarian The most enjoyable part of this book for me was discovering that the many painful tropes of romance weren't a given there were no near rapes marital or otherwise no ex lover to concoct a jealousy so foul I nearly put the book down and no frightened virgin who had no idea what was in store for her because her partner didn't care to tell her Instead there are calligraphy lessons that are rife with tension and a hero who struggles with honour over what his heart wants It's lovely it's sweet the start is slow but it's worth it in the end However I will say if you're looking for a super erotic romance novel this is not the one for you unless pale gasps of wrists are your thing I'm just hoping that all of Lin's characters aren't the same which tends to be a regular feature of romance in general But I adored this Thank you Jeannie Lin for showing me that reading a romance novel doesn't mean I have to set my feminist self aside


  8. says:

    Upped one star just because of LI BAI SHEN Because fucking fabulousness


  9. says:

    This was a buddy read that I had with Melissa's Book Musings You can find her final review of the book here Suffice it to say that we both gave it three starsMy Fair Concubine was a riff off of My Fair Lady and honestly this should have just been called My Fair Tea House Girl since there was no concubine in this book besides for a couple minutes appearance and she's not the main focus of this book Ahem Excuse the rant I am going to echo Melissa's Book Musings here with the fact that I found the heroine Yan Ling just okay I would also add in a seriously bored by her too The hero Chang Fei Long I was intrigued by but who wouldn't love the Tang Dynasty version of Henry HigginsPlot is that because Fei Long has decided to not force his sister to come back and be wedded as per Imperial decree he needs someone to take her place So he of course sets his sights on the tea house girl who threw tea on him just go with it I mean you suspend your belief when you read romance but in this case I really had to suspend my belief The whole plan make Yan Ling over in order to pass for someone who was brought up learning proper etiuette along with writing and the proper way in which to walk and talk was hare brained as hell I was just wondering how they were going to pull it off So instead of some madcap scenes we get a lot and I do mean a lot of Ms Lin describing all of Yan Ling's lessons I felt like I was slowly being beaten to death with a palm frond I was just bored throughout anytime the book which was about 80 percent of it going into how Yan was learning how to write calligraphy or to spell and read certain words I really did love the character of Li Bai Shen an old friend of Fei Long's who is an actor who portrays women uite often in plays who is tapped to get Yan Ling to walk and move like a woman I wish we had focused on him a bit and also included of his training because those were the only parts that I found intriguing Other characters we don't get to see developed much Yan Ling's current personal maid Dao and others such as Fei Long's servants Frankly I can't believe no servants anywhere would not have been gossiping about what he was trying to pull off under the Emperor's nose I thought the flow could have been improved if we hadn't focused so much on the training aspect And I can't lie the constant stealing of glances by Yan Ling when she decides out of nowhere she has fallen for Fei Long or when Fei Long who has been right and proper the whole time decides screw it he';s going to run away with Yan Ling rang false The actual sex scenes took me completely out of the book they were done well except for the whole the first time was the best time ever nonsense which I wish would die a uick death in romance books everywhere but once again didn't ring true of how right and proper Fei Long had been the entire bookI wish I could say about the Tang Dynasty setting I did not feel fully immersed in the culture I really wish that we had gotten insights into other homes tea houses how the courts were set up etc The ending I rolled my eyes at The simplest solution ever in order for the hero and heroine to have their happily ever after


  10. says:

    That's it Jeannie Lin is on my auto buy list I enjoyed every book of hers so far and am looking forward to reading novels from the Tang dynasty Her books are such a breath of fresh air amidst all the rogues and ladies of the Regency Ms Lin's lush writing takes us through Tang era Changan; the colours and smells of the marketplaces teahouses and gardens The characters especially the supporting cast of Li Bai Shen and Dao are witty and charming The romance itself is a slow burn the intense feelings the longing all held back against a curtain of proprietyIt was an amazing read Can't wait to read Dao's story