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Ittle 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 ven 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 Dancing on the Ceiling 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 storynsconced 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 The Wee Free Men (Discworld, elevated to a Princess and wed in Khitan tonsure 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 Kidnapped 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 beinglevated 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 All Quiet on the Western Front elegant and regal The turn of one s head the movement of a hand whether youryes 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 História do Rei Transparente end happens with all thelegance 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 Sh His voice was uiet stroking gently over her skin Defined rules about how to write Best Mechanic Ever each character Every stroke has its place and position Thank you for buddy reading this one with me Heatherdollven 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 Upped one star just because of LI BAI SHEN Because fucking fabulousness 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 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 Dinosaur Dinners especially ones like these that subvert the misogynisticlements 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 In His Blood 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 thending which feels very rushed and tacked on and ultimately unsatisfyingI don t think this is a problem Desert Kings (Deathlands, 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 distancedlement 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 An Officer and a Spy 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 bengaged to the lord of another kingdom I know rightWhen he spies Yan Ling he gets an idea after the tea begins to dry She s pretty And Exposed (Annika Bengtzon, 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 toach 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 Ooko 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 withach 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 Naked 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 onndingI 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 Shadow Scale (Seraphina, 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. Months can he train a tea girl to pass as a noblewoman Yet it's hard to teach goodtiuette when all Fei Long wants to do is break it by taking this tea girl for his own.
That s it Jeannie Lin is on my auto buy list I Claim The Crown enjoyedvery 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 Nerds era Changan the colours and smells of the marketplaces teahouses and gardens The charactersspecially 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 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 In the Shadow of the Crown (Queens of England, 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 andnds at page 83 crush my soul a little Bark 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 skipntire 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 On Such a Full Sea 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 hasnlisted 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 Hello, Hippo! Goodbye, Bird! empowered and learns skills thatnrich 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 Cannibal 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 nox 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 Mastered (The Enforcers, end However I will say if you re looking for a superrotic 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 Buddy read with Karly on June 3rd 6thI can t recall Man, Son of Man 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 thos 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 invery 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 Alter Ego 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 hasloped with their neighborThis would be a bad nough 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 levated to the rank of Imperial Princess then sent off to marry the far away Khitan king A wedding of convenience one that would nsure the peace of two nations one that would secure the wealth and honor of the family lineAnd now she is loped to someone Unseen City 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 onelseThe 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 womanEnter 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 Art 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 knowxactly 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 God Is in the Crowd 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 Withnough training her Attracting Songbirds to Your Backyard 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 noasy feat to be a lady as Yan Ling soon learns For The Matriarchs (The Family example despite the fact that she has worked at a tea house for years she doesn t know proper teatiuette 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 Notes for the Everlost earth she didn tven know how to drink tea properly She who had grown up in a teahouse And don t When I Moan (Vassi and Seri 1: Russian Stepbrother Romance) 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 soager to please She is truly grateful to Fei Long for bringing her into this whole situation For the first. The Nobleman Who Turned a Tea Girl Into a PrincessYan Ling tries hard to be servile it's what's xpected of a girl of her class Being intelligent and strong minded she
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 ver 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 Crush It! 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 theyncounter challenges to their lives as the past catches up to them will they Attracting Birds to Your Backyard ever be able to overcome their differences Will Fei Long be able to overcome his sternxterior 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 Deep Listening ever be able to let her goThe Setting AWESOME Oh my god if you vever 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 Bird-by-Bird Gardening 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 thentire 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 The Works of Saint Augustine 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 thend we will see clearly that Yan Ling has strength and bravery within her than we would Unbuttoning the CEO (The Suits Undone ever havexpectedFei Long A truly admirable character He is stern and seriously because he has to be He is never cruel He strives to do My Teacher Is a Robot 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 thelegant 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 Supper Club exceeding all hisxpectations 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 Moanas New Friend (Disney Moana) 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 takingvery 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 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 Professional Capital 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 w 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 Lingnds up saving him The scenes where Fei Long te 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 Seven Dwarfs Find a House (Disney Classic) ever having to really worry about the ramifications of not accomplishing that task Honour is spoken of but it is always a 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 themperor a princess In two.
Jeannie Lin Â 8 review
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