^EBOOK ☞ My Fair Concubine ↞ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free

Rating 3.5This story is My Fair Lady meets Ancient China I really enjoyed it There were times when the story dragged a bit my interest would be elsewhere at times or I just got bored but I m glad I pushed through Yan Ling and Fei Long are great characters, Fei Long s characterization as a steely man of honor was very well done Yan Ling was sweet, and her journey of self improvement tugged at my heartstrings Also, Li Bai Shen is amazing and deserves all the good things.I loved, loved the ending I live for HEAs I had no idea how it was going to end which made it really hard to enjoy that sex scene , but I m glad it was solved that way Everyone was happy and obtained their heart s desire. Marvellous Pygmalion story with a pig headed nobleman miserably locked in a desperate struggle to save the family name and honour, which requires him to send his sister off to be a barbarian princess, which requires 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. Buddy read with Karly on June 3rd 6th I can t recall ever reading a Harlequin 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 Harlequins as far as those things go However, when it comes to romance, this was not my cup of tea.I 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 emotions.One 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 romance.This wasn t a bad book, the hero wasn t an ass, and the heroine wasn t annoying It just wasn t my thing.EDIT 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. 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 passionate.A highly enjoyable and recommended read SBTB April June 2019 Quarterly Challenge A book where money plays a role billionaire, class differences, etc 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 stars.My 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 wasintrigued by, but who wouldn t love the Tang Dynasty version of Henry Higgins.Plot 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 etiquette 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 quite 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 bitand also includedof 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 quick death in romance books everywhere but once again didn t ring true of how right and proper Fei Long had been the entire book.I wish I could sayabout the Tang Dynasty setting I did not feel fully immersed in the culture I really wish that we had gotteninsights 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. 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 littleeach time.And 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 change.My 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 disease.And 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. That s it Jeannie Lin is on my auto buy list I enjoyed every book of hers so far, and am looking forward to readingnovels 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 propriety.It was an amazing read Can t wait to read Dao s story. Upped one star just because of LI BAI SHEN Because fucking fabulousness. 3.5 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 becomelax 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 ConcubineYou will do well His tone wasof 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 heranxious 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 lengthsthan truly required 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 quietly, 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 starThere is a balance inherent in the art of writing, of Sh His voice was quiet, stroking gently over her skin Defined rules about how to write each character Every stroke has its place and positionThank 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 ^EBOOK ⇣ My Fair Concubine ↸ 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 Finds 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 Months Can He Train A Tea Girl To Pass As A Noblewoman Yet It S Hard To Teach Good Etiquette When All Fei Long Wants To Do Is Break It, By Taking This Tea Girl For His Own