My Fair Concubine by Jeannie Lin

My Fair Concubine (Tang Dynasty, #3)My Fair Concubine by Jeannie Lin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

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.)

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Stolen Magic by Mary Jo Putney

Stolen MagicStolen Magic by Mary Jo Putney
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

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So bad. I’m giving two-stars because it’s possible the narrator is partially to blame. The way he did the female voices really made them sound like ninnies. I listened for 30 chapters and just couldn’t press on for 5 more to finish.

Our hero is transformed into a unicorn by a rival mage and escapes. Bad guy uses Meg, a simpleton with virgin blood, to bait & recapture him. So blah blah blah, they escape & she’s freed from a spell that made her ugly & dumb. A drop of her blood changes him back to a regular ole naked man, but he goes all unicorn when he loses his temper.

So, hero is super attracted to Meg in unicorn form. They make out a bit in human form, he transforms to uni, and is embarrassed by his obvious arousal in horse form. That was a bit icky. Also, the narrator’s tone just made things feel pervy, like maybe this is actually unicorn porn.

More blah blah blah boring plot & details about magic. I do not care -at all – whether or not the two mains end up hooking up. Then, I glanced at my TBR pile and realized that life is too short for books I don’t care about. I feel cheated, because unicorns should be awesome.

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The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen

The Truth about ForeverThe Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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Loved it. I think the narrator really made the story come alive. Macy’s character development was wonderful, taking chances and making friends. In fact, her friends were one of my favorite parts of the story. Delia was just an amazing, disorganized, mess of love.

The romance was fantastic! It was sort of a un-romance. Neither party was really available, so it was a super fun friendship that lets us get to know them and their secrets. I really developed quite a crush on Wes, good book-boyfriend material. Kristy, Monica, & Bert just grew on me, bunch of loyal misfits. Good back story about several families healing from grief, each person in their own way. It wasn’t angst ridden or depressing, I just don’t enjoy those downer type books.

I’m giving it 4.5 stars, rounded up for GR. I was a teensy bit let down at the end. I just wanted a little more after all that waiting & wanting. There was A LOT of taking the lord’s name in vain, a few F-bombs, nothing sexually explicit.

Recommended. YA contemporary romance, well done. Do it audio style if you can!

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