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The Dragon and the Pearl (Mills & Boon Hardback Historical) [Hardcover]

Jeannie Lin
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 13.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

3 Feb 2012 Mills & Boon Hardback Historical
THE MOST BEAUTIFUL COURTESAN OF THEM ALL...Former Emperor's consort Ling Suyin was renowned for her beauty: the ultimate seductress. Now she lives quietly alone - until the most ruthless warlord in the region comes and steals her away...Li Tao lives life by the sword, and is trapped in the treacherous world of politics. The alluring Ling Suyin is at the centre of the web. He must uncover her mystery without falling under her spell - yet her innocence calls out to him. How cruel if she, of all women, can entrance the man behind the legend...'Beautifully written, deliciously sensual...Exceptional.' Library Journal
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Mills & Boon; Library ed edition (3 Feb 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0263229106
  • ISBN-13: 978-0263229103
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 21.6 cm
  • 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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect Romace set in China 23 Feb 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I read this story by Jeannie Lin after reading Butterfly Swords and once again was impressed with her writing style. I think it is equally as good as Butterfly Swords. (As previous reviewers have stated both could easily stand alone). Loved it - I have already pre-ordered the next in the series and would recommed her books for lovers of historical romance.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  21 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...an exotic setting, mostly character driven and extremely well-written, with an intriguing plot and a perfect pace! 8 Feb 2012
By bookworm2bookworm - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book comes highly recommended by some of my friends and authors that I highly respect, so there was no way in hell I was going to skip on reading it. Besides, I just love all those martial arts movies with sword fights and leaping warriors.

Before I sank my teeth into this story, I thought I should read `Butterfly Swords' first as the hero of `The Dragon and the Pearl' makes his début in it. Just a side note, you really don't have to read it as the author did a magnificent job of having this one stand on its own. I can assure you that you will love this one so much, that you'll want to get your hands on the other as soon as you read the last page. It is exactly what I did when I was done with `Butterfly Swords'. I went and made sure to buy `The Taming of Mei Lin' and I've still to read it.

I honestly don't know where to start in telling you how much I loved this story. Between the unique setting and this authors prose, I was transported to an era that was pure magic.

759 AD. China. Tang Dynasty. Court intrigue and political upheaval is the order of the day, and the military governors (jiedushi) had their own regional armies independent of the Emperor Shen's army and one of those is General Li Tao.

Li Tao is one of the most feared generals in China, and his star rose fifteen years ago when he saved the life of the previous Emperor. He was also betrothed to Emperor Shen's daughter (Butterfly Swords), who spurned him and ran away from him the year before.

We met Ling Suyin in `Butterfly Swords' when she briefly appeared and gave safe haven to the hero and heroine, but even there I had a feeling that there was so much more to her then just a pretty face. She was known as Precious Consort of the August Emperor Li Ming, and after his death she was removed by Emperor Shen to a remote home that was built just for her by her lover. She has resigned herself to a lonely and barren life never knowing when or who might come to end it, literally and figuratively.

When Li Tao shows up at her door, she's not sure if he's there "to bed her or kill her", so while she trembles inside, her training as a courtesan comes in handy and she doesn't even flinch as Li Tao takes her to his home, not telling her the reasons behind his `abduction'.

Li Tao knows only that an anonymous message arrived warning him of the threat to Ling Suyin's life while residing without protection and all alone in her home. He wastes no time in coming to her rescue, but all his military discipline and his `gutter rats' instincts are on alert and showing any emotion to anyone is something he is not good at.

As the author takes us deeper into the past of both, Tao and Suyin, we become aware of their similarities; both did what they had to in order to survive in Luoyang and both share the past with Gao Shiming, a man whose court intrigues run so deep that killing him would mean certain death for both hero and heroine.

As we follow and watch Tao and Suyin slowly come to realization that the sins of the past have finally caught up to both, we can't help but wonder whose method of extricating them from it will work best: Tao's `in for the kill' or Suyin's `cunning negotiation'.

The author clearly did her homework in researching the setting and because of it my imagination soared. The plot gives this story its perfect pace which in turn brought the characters of Tao and Suyin to life. Jeannie Lin's talent in `tale telling' shines through and you'll be enchanted while she takes you on a journey to a place of beauty, danger and intrigue.

Li Tao is perfect as silent type hero to Suyin's poised and meddling heroine. The sensuality and sexual tension between the two is palpable, exciting, and just a perfect balance of romance and sensuality.

If you're looking for a romance with an exotic setting, mostly character driven and extremely well-written, with an intriguing plot and a perfect pace, then this book is just the `ticket'.

Melanie

* I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss: thrilling, sensual, emotional historical romance! 20 Oct 2011
By Elisa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Wow! What a great follow-up to Butterfly Swords. Jeannie Lin's voice is so unique and ravishing--and has only been growing in depth and power. Very spare, but gorgeous and heart-breakingly emotional without melodrama. I love the characters, the situation, the evocation of a complex culture, the tense plot, and the palpable feeling of watching two people fall truly in love. The minor characters are fabulous, too, and there are many fascinating secrets revealed along the way.....

Lin is really capturing the best elements of the warrior tales/movies she says she loved as a child. If you've enjoyed movies like CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, you'll love this book! Very, very satisfying.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Growing Pain Between His Eyes 21 Sep 2011
By fredtownward - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lady Ling Suyin is a retired imperial consort, in fact the Precious Consort, famed in song and legend as the most beautiful woman in the empire,... as well as the conniving she-demon who seduced an emperor away from his duty. Having shared the bed of a god, it is not suitable for any mere mortal man to have her so she is destined to while away her remaining days alone in the mansion the August Emperor built for her far from the imperial capital....

Of course how many days that might be is open to question. Imperial concubines tend not to have long retirements. If enemies from her court days don't finish her, her secrets will, and now the most feared and unpredictable of the warlords, the old emperor's former "enforcer" himself, is coming for her.

Iron discipline and cold calculation have made that warlord, Li Tao, the success he is today, yet here he is acting upon whim. A deliberately vague anonymous warning has sent him racing far from his regional stronghold to offer his "protection" to what should have been a forgotten castoff, yet he'd intercepted assassins approaching her home, assassins who'd made sure to die before they could be questioned.

Someone wanted her dead, someone else wanted her alive, and now he's been lured into the middle of it.

When Jeannie Lin announced that the hero of the sequel to Butterfly Swords would be the villain of that previous novel, I, no doubt like most readers, was utterly flabbergasted. How could Ms. Lin POSSIBLY redeem this cruel, unrelenting man? Well, it has been an interesting process.

To begin with Li Tao turns out to be a much more complicated man than he first appears, perhaps more complicated than he even knows (or is willing to admit). He claims that "Loyalty means nothing to me" and claims to be "loyal to no one", and with the exception of the dead former emperor, this is largely true when it comes to alleged superiors or peers, but he can be quite loyal to those who follow or depend upon him... so long as they remain strictly loyal to him. He who proudly refuses to proclaim his loyalty to the current emperor will not tolerate disloyalty himself. He despises honor and sentiment as unpredictable at best, utterly false at worst; he openly states that he is not an honorable man; yet the fact that he strictly adheres to his own peculiar code of honor is obvious to everyone but himself. He claims to possess no sense of duty, but duty (as he sees it) clearly matters more to him than almost anything else. Finally, a man who defies everyone will not tolerate defiance.

That such a bundle of contradictions would be troubled by bringing the infamous Precious Consort into his home surprises no one but himself. She was trained from the day her parents sold her in how to manipulate and control men for her benefit... and her very survival. Of course her infuriating captor would be the only man who can see right through the poise of the professional courtesan down to the frightened girl underneath; the irony is that he likes what he sees!

My review title comes from the symptoms of tension Warlord Tao experiences as he attempts to deal with his collapsing position. Utterly lacking in the skills of court intrigue, he finds himself losing influence to and risking annihilation by rivals with far inferior military skills. Suyin offers tantalizing possibilities for the relief of his tension while at the same time materially adding to it with her own scheming for survival. He negotiates one night with her in hopes of getting her out of his system, then a month, but it doesn't seem to be working. Fact is, he could truly have used someone with diplomatic skills like her, if only he'd have been willing to listen to her, if only she could have come up with something. But it's too late now. His past secrets and her past secrets have doomed them both,...

or so it would seem. This reader experienced a growing pain between the eyes himself as he tried to figure out how the author was going to extricate her heroes from the ever growing obstacles to a HEA she piled upon them,... then things really got hopeless. She'd about convinced me there couldn't be one, but she's fooled me before, so the question was, which way was she fooling me now?... Yeesh, time for another aspirin!

IMHO it isn't absolutely necessary to have read the previous parts of this series: The Taming of Mei Lin and Butterfly Swords in order to understand what is going on in this book, but it would probably help, especially the latter. Besides, they are a lot of fun! The somewhat parallel The Lady's Scandalous Night on the other hand should be read afterward.

Note: I received this ARC from NetGalley in return for agreeing to review it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of the best historical novels set in China, and I can't wait for Lin's next book. Definitely a keeper! 21 Sep 2011
By Bookaholics Reviewer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Dragon and the Pearl by Jeannie Lin
Historical Romance - Sept. 20th, 2011
5 stars

Li Tao is a military governor of the crumbling Tang dynasty. With the Emperor's permission, he is allowed to raise an army to guard his own province and serve the Emperor in times of war...except that Li Tao seems to be hatching a plot against Emperor Shen. When he receives a warning that the beautiful ex-Imperial concubine Ling Shuyin is in danger, he kidnaps her from her own residence. He believes that she must possess some secret that is dangerous to her and beneficial to him.

After navigating the treacherous imperial court for fifteen years, Shuyin only wants a peaceful life. Taken from her own home, she wonders what Li Tao has in plan for her and if she can warn the Emperor of Li Tao's dangerous ideas. But neither of them takes into account their dangerous attraction for each other...

This book started out with ominous atmosphere. Li Tao is at once mysterious and intimidating. You don't really know if he's a good guy or a bad one plotting against the empire and using his power to start a civil war. Shuyin is also an enigma; though beautiful and accomplished, she is a complex character, smart and wily enough to be able to survive the politics of the previous regime while maintaining her position as then ex-Emperor's favorite concubine.

This is a very character-centric book. On the whole, there's not a lot of action. Most of the time, it's just about the two of them trying to figure out each other's motives. They debate and argue a lot, each word hiding a double meaning. For some people, it might be slow but for me, I absolute relished each "fight." The tension between the two of them escalates with each conversation, you can feel their palpable attraction to each other. When they finally get together, the book reaches a whole new level of steaminess! Jeannie Lin is skilled writer who easily manages to keep the plot flowing smoothly throughout the novel. The relationship between these two people grows beautifully and organically. I really felt that they fell in love. My only complaint is that the ending is a bit anti-climatic and bit too tidy and neat with Lao Sou, but still that's a minor quibble in such a satisfying read.

Solid and well-written, Jeannie Lin has produced a wonderful gem. This is one of the best historical novels set in China, and I can't wait for Lin's next book. Definitely a keeper!

Reviewed by Pauline from Bookaholics Romance Club
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Predictable Love Story in an Awesome Locale 18 Sep 2011
By Meg @ A Bookish Affair - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This past weekend, I was looking for a little bit of a lighter read (my husband and I took a road trip to the beach to celebrate our first anniversary) and this book certainly fit the bill!!! This is the second book about Li Tao (the first was called The Butterfly Swords). I didn't read The Butterfly Swords but I don't think you have to read it in order to enjoy The Dragon and the Pearl. This book is definitely a great stand alone book.

Suyin is alone in the world. After she falls out of favor with the monarchy, she lives on her own. Tao is a ruthless war lord looking to stake a claim in any way that he can. He takes Suyin away from her home because he thinks that she will make a good bargaining chip for him to get what he wants. Suyin is a former courtesan who is rumored to be able to make men fall in love with her with just a single look. Li Tao hardly believes that and is sure that he will be above her charm. Eh, it's a little predictable but I still loved the book and as I said, it fit the bill for a good light read.

I really liked this book. The setting is off the beaten path (China during the Tang Dynasty) and I thought that Lin did a really great job with creating the world for the reader.

Bottom line: If you're looking for a love story in an awesome locale, this is the book for you.
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