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My Fair Concubine (Harlequin Historical) Mass Market Paperback – 22 May 2012

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin (22 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373296940
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373296941
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2 x 16.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,502,543 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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:
Find out more about Jeannie Lin online at

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stella (Ex Libris) on 15 Jun. 2012
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 (beta) 33 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Highly recommended from Bookworm1858! 25 May 2012
By bookworm1858 - Published on
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
My Fair Lady in the Tang Dynasty 23 May 2012
By Rosemary - Published on
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
By Marybelle - Published on
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
Love and unusual historical set in China 29 July 2012
By Fiona - Published on
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
Jeannie Lin's best book so far 18 July 2012
By Techie - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When Chang Fei Long tracks down his sister, Pearl, who is assigned to be a treaty bride that should marry a lord from a neighboring kingdom. He finds out she ran away with her lover, and realizing that she wasn't kidnapped, but found refuge in someone who helped her to escape, Fei Long doesn't kill her partner. Instead, he let them both run away.

Afterward, Fei Long is devastated, knowing that the salvation of his entire household, and the honor of his family depend of this arranged marriage. He sits down on a tea house to ponder the situation and concludes that what he needs is a woman to take the place of his sister.

Meanwhile, Yan Ling, an orphaned servant, serves Fei Long tea in the very moment he mutters his need for a woman, even someone as humble as her. Yan Ling misinterprets his intentions, and throws a pot of tea at him. Because of this, Yan Ling finds herself on the streets homeless, and while trying to convince Fei Long of talking to her masters to accept her back in the tea house, he instead proposes the deal of coming home with him, and training to act as a princess in order to take the place of his sister, marrying the lord from a neighboring kingdom, in behalf of the imperial court.

During the arduous process of transmuting from servant girl to princess, Yan Ling would make new friends, visit places she'd never dreamed of before, and of course, fall in love with Fei Long, who is conflicted between his family's honor and Yan Ling.

I've read all of Jeannie Lin's historical romance books; I loved the first one in this trilogy, and enjoyed the deep emotions of the second one. Compared to the previous books, My Fair Concubine is perfect, from the development of the characters to the breathtaking ending. Never before had Jeannie Lin captured the spirit of the Tang Dynasty better. I read on the author's website that the setting is based on an alternative history she created inspired by the Tang Dynasty's true history. However, while reading My Fair Concubine, the world the characters inhabit feels authentic as well as the culture and the social system of the times.

All the secondary characters are well developed, and my two favorites are Bai Shen, Fei Long`s theatrical friend and later Yan Ling's teacher. And Dao, who serves in Fei Long's household and becomes Yan Ling's best friend.

There aren't sex scenes until the very end, and the romance is rather sweet, but the sensual tension is intense. One interesting detail I noticed, specially during the last part of the book, is that there is a lot of romance in it, built with little tender moments, that ironically are so unusual in romance books nowadays.

I loved the way Fei Long admits his feeling for Yan Ling without saying I love you.
And absolutely love the ending, which I guessed halfway the book, but still loved it.
I also enjoyed the beautiful way the author described the used of the Chinese calligraphy in the story. While reading My Fair Concubine I laughed until I cried, and there were moments I got really misty-eyed too.

My Fair Concubine might have been inspired by My Fair Lady, which was based on an adaptation of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. However, in my opinion, it has little similarities with those stories. My Fair Concubine is a complete satisfying story, while the original play and the movie are kind of ambiguous about the happy ending part. Besides, there is no true romance in My Fair Lady or Pygmalion.

I think that Jeannie Lin created an original work, where the characters are all unique. I highly recommend this book if you love historical romances with diverse characters and settings.
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