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(MY FAIR CONCUBINE) BY LIN, JEANNIE[ AUTHOR ]Paperback 06-2012 [Unknown Binding]

5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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  • Unknown Binding
  • ISBN-10: 0263892506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0263892505
  • ASIN: B0092JNRQE
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

More About the Author

USA TODAY bestselling author Jeannie Lin grew up fascinated with stories of Western epic fantasy and Eastern martial arts adventures. When her best friend introduced her to romance novels in middle school, the stage was set. Jeannie started writing her first book while working as a high school science teacher in South Central Los Angeles.

Jeannie is known for writing groundbreaking historical romances set in Tang Dynasty China with Asian heroes and heroines starting with her Golden Heart award-winning debut, Butterfly Swords. Her Asian historicals have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Library Journal and The Dragon and the Pearl was listed among Library Journal's Best Romances of 2011.

She currently writes two historical romance series for Harlequin Historical and HQN featuring Chinese warriors and scholars, courtesans and swordswomen. Beginning in 2014, she will be starting a steampunk series set during the Opium Wars.

Titles by Jeannie Lin:
The Jade Temptress (The Lotus Palace #2)
The Lotus Palace
Butterfly Swords
The Dragon and the Pearl
My Fair Concubine
The Sword Dancer

For updates, sign up for her newsletter at: http://conta.cc/1b2M4NP
Find out more about Jeannie Lin online at http://www.jeannielin.com

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Short review:

My Fair Concubine was a wonderful and very memorable story. I loved this vibrant and exotic China where Jeannie Lin took me, it was full of colours and interesting customs. The writing was unique and conveyed the atmosphere of ancient China perfectly and the characters were also wonderful. I believe I have discovered a new favourite author and I wholeheartedly recommend My Fair Concubine for any historical romance lover!

Detailed review:

I've been always fascinated by China and its rich and colourful culture and history so when I heard of My Fair Concubine a historical My Fair Lady (one of my favourite stories!) retelling set in ancient China I desperately wanted to read it. At first I had a few concerns and unfounded fears about reading a historical romance set in faraway China (so unusual and completely unprecedented in the novels I have read where the historical romances tended to be set in Regency England or Scotland), but My Fair Concubine was an enchanting story no historical romance lover should feel any reservation to read.

Both the hero and heroine of My Fair Concubine are memorable characters. Yan Ling is a feisty and vivacious young woman who still aligns to the female idea of the time: she is respectful and humble and does her best to learn and make Fei Long proud. And Fei Long, oh Fei Long... *dreamy sighs* he is an extraordinary hero. He is all that is honourable, selfless and responsible. He denies his own wishes and needs for his duty and his sacrifices and the way he carried the family's burdens all alone made my heart ache for him. He was a wonderfully intense and good man.

The romance between Fei Long and Yan Ling started out slowly.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  31 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended from Bookworm1858! 25 May 2012
By bookworm1858 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have read two previous works by Lin and having enjoyed them, I remained on the lookout for more work. The premise for this one instantly piqued my interest: "My Fair Lady" reworked to historical China? Yes, please! I have a soft spot* for "My Fair Lady" that is only marred by my intense loathing of Rex Harrison (read about him-he's a jerk!) But this book would have no Harrison, just using the Pygmalion story. I could not wait to pick it up!

And I found this to be even better than I was expecting! That would be mostly because of the characters. The main characters are very concerned with honor and with doing the right thing even when it conflicts with their own personal wants. The tension of them wanting each other but thinking it's the wrong thing kept me glued to the pages.

The book actually opens with hero Fei Long barging in on his sister, who I originally thought had been stolen and sold into prostitution. Nothing quite so dire-instead she ran away with her lover to avoid her fate of being sent out of the country as a princess bride in order to make an alliance for China. The siblings had been close so Fei Long does allow her to leave despite the dishonor it will bring on their family, which weighs heavily upon him in the aftermath of their father's demise and crippling debts. To ponder his quandary, Fei Long orders tea and sits there for hours.

Yan Ling has no family and has been very fortunate to be given a servant position in the local teahouse. Without that job, she has nothing. So when she tosses tea at Fei Long after an arrogant comment, she is in big trouble. She begs him to help her and he realizes that she might prove useful in taking the place of his sister as a bride. First though she must undergo thorough training in manners, speaking, writing, posture, etc. and all in only a few short months. But as the two spend time together, sparks start to fly, complicating their already complicated position.

I really don't think I can say enough about how much I enjoyed the slow burn of their romance. Neither particularly likes the other at first and they continually butt heads. It's just that the more time they spend together, the more they fall but the more impossible it all seems. Fei Long must maintain his family's honor including getting them out of the crippling debt his father led them into. He has servants who have served them for generations and he is also responsible for them. Meanwhile Yan Ling recognizes his situation and wants to uphold her promise of going while really all she wants to do is stay. For the most part, they don't touch and they stay away but nothing can dull the passion they feel.

Overall: I just adored this book-it was SO good, combining romance, history, amazing descriptions of food, some action, and some suspense all with strong characters and excellent writing. Highly recommended!

Cover: Um, he's kind of hot! I'm trying not to stare at him right now but I kind of want to; I am definitely putting myself in Yan Ling's shoes right now.

*edited from "sport" to "spot" on 10JUN12
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Fair Lady in the Tang Dynasty 23 May 2012
By Rosemary - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I just finished read 'My Fair Concubine' by Jeannie Lin. I loved this book! I enjoyed seeing the romance between Yan Ling, the tea girl, and Fei Long, the nobleman, grow and deepen into true love despite his original plan to turn her into a Princess and send her away to be married. The storyline reminded me of Pygmalion. The characters were compelling and I wanted to keep reading so that I could find out if they found their HEA. An added bonus was learning about China and the Tang Dynasty. I highly recommend this book if you enjoy a beautiful love story.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MY FAIR CONCUBINE REVIEW 22 May 2012
By Marybelle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
MY FAIR CONCUBINE is such a joyous read. Even though this book is #3 in the Tang Dynasty series it stands alone as an excellent read.

I could not read MY FAIR CONCUBINE fast enough, which was a problem, because I wanted to savour every word. There is nothing to fault. The characters are beautifully written, the period in history fascinating & the story moves along effortlessly.

I can't believe I have never read any books by Jeannie Lin before. She is now on my auto-buy list.

MY FAIR CONCUBINE is a must read.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love and unusual historical set in China 29 July 2012
By Fiona - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is my first Jeannie Lin historical and a great introduction to a very different era and culture. The setting of the Tang Dynasty in 800AD is beautifully rendered in a simple and unobtrusive manner. The heroine Yan Ling is the lowest of the low, a foundling working in a tea-house where Fei Long is seeking his runaway sister. When he realises Pearl's flight is to some extent his fault, having ignored her early pleas for help, Fei Long lets her go with her lover.

A combination of his absorption in his problem and Yan Ling's fiery temper results in the tea-house girl being cut loose and a man in need of a Princess to save his family honour is not too proud to pick up a stray servant to train her to take his sister's place as a treaty bride with a far off kingdom.

Of course in a romance it never works out quite so easily. Yan Ling is so much more than a mere servant and as he gets to know her, Fei Long finds that what she is inside becomes more important to him than what she can do for his family honour.

Yan Ling is intrigued from the start by this rather cool, controlled former soldier. As he teaches her the skills she needs, her feelings start to go astray. She finds herself not as practical as Fei Long insists.

Ms Lin introduces an interesting cast of characters, in particular the servant girl Dao, and the theatrical artist, Bai Shen who takes on training Yan Ling in the art of womanhood. A nice touch of irony from a male actor.

The romance between Yan Ling and Fei Long fairly sizzles even though we don't see any intimacy through most of the book. Yan Ling is the perfect foil for the buttoned up Fei Long, encouraging him to look beyond the rules and regulations and see Honour and Duty as tied up with the Heart rather than appearance and social acceptance.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and even though the solution to the problem was fairly clear only halfway through the story, the culmination of the story was very satisfying. Ms Lin has a nice strain of humour that runs through the book and the ending leaves you with a smile from the humour as well as the romance.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "BUT, Let a Woman in Your Life, and Your Serenity Is Through!" 4 Jun 2012
By fredtownward - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
For those yet to try the Tang Dynasty historical romances of Jeannie Lin, this is arguably the best introduction for a couple of reasons. First, unlike most of the others: The Taming of Mei Lin, Butterfly Swords, The Dragon and the Pearl, and The Lady's Scandalous Night, it is a standalone story, not part of an ongoing series (although a short ebook sequel An Illicit Temptation tying up a last dangling plot thread has since come out). Second, as the title suggests, the basic premise greatly resembles that of My Fair Lady.

However, I hasten to add that this is NOT some Chinese set, knockoff version of My Fair Lady; rather, it adapts the basic premise: upper class man teaches lower class woman how to be a lady, to important historical events in Tang Dynasty China: "heqin" or Peace Marriages. Though not invented by Tang Dynasty rulers (similar diplomatic marriages were carried out by other Chinese dynasties and by European and other monarchies) the practice was used more during the Tang Dynasty than in any other era. Though a substantial body of writing about and by heqin brides exists in China, where these diplomatic brides have achieved a certain legendary status, most Americans who know anything about the practice arguably got it from Mulan II, Disney's surprisingly great (because most Disney straight to video tape or DVD sequels are absolutely terrible) sequel to Mulan.

Fei Long has a problem; make that a whole bunch of problems: his father's sudden death making him head of the household, his sister's disappearance on the verge of being sent to far off Khitan as a heqin bride, and a mountain of debt concealed from him by his father. When he finally catches up with his sister Pearl and her lover in a room above a teahouse, he finds that he cannot kill them. Instead he gives them all the money he has on him and tells them to go, knowing he will never see his sister again. After they leave, Fei Long spends the rest of the day sitting at a table in the teahouse brooding and pondering what to do. He needs a replacement for Pearl, someone to send to Khitan in Pearl's place, or his family will be disgraced as well as bankrupt. While musing aloud about his predicament, "I need a woman. Any woman would do. Perhaps even you.", the foundling teahouse waitress, Yan Ling, overhears, misinterprets his remarks, and dumps a pot of tea over him, which promptly gets her fired and thrown out of the teahouse. Desperately turning for help to her still damp victim, Yan Ling pleads for help while TRYING to appear apologetic,... and Fei Long starts getting that crazy idea again: teach this lower class flower girl, uh, that is teach this lower class teahouse girl, how to be a princess: how to walk like a princess, talk like a princess, read and write like a princess, dress like princess, and how to think like a princess, enough to fool the Khitans, in just a few short weeks, without anyone in the government finding out, including the nasty investigator with the ambitious streak,... (Piece of cake!)

without going crazy,... (Piece of cake?)

and without falling in love with her or letting her fall in love with him.... (Piece of....)

Jeannie Lin's specialty is piling on the obstacles to a Happily Ever After ending, and then when things are looking their bleakest, making it downright impossible,...

you will think.

As the Immovable Object stubbornly tries to educate the Irresistible Force, chaos and hilarity and an archery contest worthy of The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood ensue, and you will likely find yourself remembering songs from My Fair Lady,...

especially the ones with lots of shouting.

Note: For full disclosure I received this book from the author in return for agreeing to review it.
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