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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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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