I was looking for some fluffy brain candy and was surprised by the depth of this historical romance. Yan Ling, a lowly tea house girl, is chosen by Lord Chang to stand in for his sister (she eloped & ran away) in an arranged marriage. She must become a gracious lady in a very short time! Yan submits to a rigorous crash course, learning to speak & hold herself like a princess. Very Eliza Doolittle. Lord Chang Fei Long personally handles the task of teaching Yan Ling to read and write. He’s a harsh critic, but Yan is a dedicated student.
We all know the Pygmillian, My Fair Lady, Pretty Woman story well. This incarnation is beautiful! Side characters were well done. Lord Chang enlists his longtime friend and actor, Bai Shen, to teach Yan the nuances of being a convincing upper class lady. Since only men were allowed to perform on stage, Bai Shen was a favorite ‘female’ actor. Fun ensues. So much fun! Dow (I can’t find the spelling) is Yan’s personal maid & friend. She’s sarcastic and wonderful!
I listened to this book and the narrator was lovely. Apparently, this is the third book in a series about the Tang Dynasty. It read as a stand alone, no holes. There was some steam toward the end, but it wasn’t drawn out or tasteless. This book does NOT read like a typical Harlequin romance, and yes, I realize that sounds book-snobbish. I’m Grateful to my friend Khan for recommending this to me. If you’re interested (READ IT READ IT), Khan’s review is much more detailed. I very highly recommend My Fair Concubine (READ IT READ IT). I’m searching out all the author’s books.
(I’m having trouble providing a link to Khan’s review. I’ll ask her to post it in comments.)