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The Lotus Palace by Jeannie Lin
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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
This is another one of Jeannie Lin's well written and thoroughly researched stories that will bring a faraway time and land to all those that love and appreciate romance, mystery and history.

The blurb is sufficient in summarizing the story, but what it doesn't do is show you, in your mind's eye, the beauty not just of the characters, but of the places and surroundings they inhabit. When I read one of Ms. Lin's books, I'm transported into a world of magic only she can show me. She makes me yearn to be there, to feel, touch and see everything that her characters are feeling.

I'm afraid to start reading one of her books because I know I'll be lost to the world around me and everything I'm supposed to be doing.

You'll love the plot, the mystery, and the romance. Oh, and let me not forget the dialogue! I just loved the interaction between Yue-ying and Bai Huang!

I would highly recommend this book to all those that would like to read something different, something that's rich with prose and something that will enlighten the soul. The romance of this book is so...so...romantic, for the lack of a better word.

The only thing that I didn't like much, were the multiple plots. Now, some of you just might like that [it does offer a lot of action and movement to the story] so that may make you happy.

In any case, this is one book you should have no trouble liking whatsoever!

Melanie for b2b

*Book provided by the publisher through NetGalley. ( )
  bookworm2bookworm | Mar 30, 2017 |
I received this book through Goodreads.
---

Never judge a book by it's cover or publisher!

I admit when I first read the back cover, I thought OK a bit of mystery but lots of cheesy romantic moments. Not even a few chapters in and I completely changed my tune.

This story is very well written, where there is a genuine mystery to be solved, with bits of romance throughout. Efforts were clearly made to establish the mystery and to solve them, unlike other books where it's briefly mentioned and closed.

I rather enjoy Yue-Ying and Huang's bantering and interaction through it all. What started out as an experiment turned into something much more. I have to hand it to Yue-Ying, she has a lot of potential, not only is she street wise, loyal but also fiercely protective. Huang is also an interesting character, we see glimpses of a genuine and serious gentleman beneath his playboy fa̤ade, it was interesting to read about his background that lead to the change in him within 3 years. Definitely some good character developments on both of them.

I like how Huang fought for what he wanted (with the help of Wei-Wei and Lady Bai), as oppose to giving up. Plus it's good to see conflicts between the family as to the future position of Yue-Ying. After all having a picture perfect Cinderella moment is a bit too clich̩.

Two things that kind of bothers me. One is the unravelling of Huilan's real killer was a bit anti-climatic... I just can't my thumb on what part of it bothers me. The other thing is about Taizhu, he basically got a pardon for killing the smuggler in self defense, but it seemed like it's due to his position, if it was Mingyu she definitely would have been sentenced to death . ( )
  Dream24 | Jan 6, 2016 |
I picked this book up solely because it was not based on a ranch, in Regency England, or somewhere in the Scottish Highlands. No, it's based in the Tang Dynasty, around 850 A.D. Lin does a fine job of creating real characters and setting them in a rich world. I wish she had given more details about life during this time, as it would have added more to the story. Aside from that, my only complaint is how neatly the love story over came what felt like a larger obstacle. But Lin's way of handling that included a mild gender comment and didn't detracts from the overall story. Worth reading this one, and I plan to read any others of her's I can get. ( )
  empress8411 | Dec 28, 2015 |
I think this was the first of Jeannie Lin's books not to show up in the books section at my local Walmart – had I seen it, I'd certainly have bought it, because I've liked or loved everything of hers that I've read so far. Instead, I ended up checking it out through my library.

This book is set in Tang Dynasty China but, as far as I know, has nothing to do with any of Lin's Tang Dynasty Harlequin Historicals. Yue-ying is the maidservant of a courtesan named Mingyu. Bai Huang, the privileged son of a noble family, appears to be interested in Mingyu but really only has eyes for Yue-ying. Unfortunately for him, Yue-ying is determined not to forget their respective positions. Whatever romantic notions Huang might have, any relationship between the two of them is almost certain to end in heartbreak.

Bai Huang has a reputation for being carefree and foolish. What no one realizes is that he's his father's spy. When a courtesan asks for Huang's help only to be murdered a short time later, Huang and Yue-ying team up in an effort to find her killer.

This was the first book in Lin's Pingkang Li Mysteries series. The series title and the tone of the relationship between Huang and Yue-ying left me feeling uncertain about whether this would be a historical romantic suspense or a mystery with romantic elements. I honestly could not see how Huang and Yue-ying could have a traditional HEA. Their respective social statuses, among other things, meant that Huang couldn't marry Yue-ying. One character mentioned that he couldn't make her his mistress without ruining his chances of ever becoming married. All that seemed to leave was either a tragic love story ending of some sort, or Yue-ying becoming Huang's mistress after he got married. Neither of those options sounded very appealing.

Lin did manage to carve out a happy ending for the two of them, but it didn't work for me. Two characters who I don't think even had speaking roles magically slid into just the right places and reacted in just the right ways, and suddenly all the obstacles between Huang and Yue-ying were gone. On the one hand, I'm glad the book ended the way it did, because I wanted Yue-ying to be happy. On the other hand, it felt way too convenient.

As usual, I enjoyed Lin's characters. Yue-ying, in particular, was wonderful. She was observant, practical, and loyal. Whereas Huang spent a huge portion of their relationship not thinking very deeply about the future and the realities of their differing social statuses, Yue-ying wasn't nearly so naive. I really felt for her. Even the sex was difficult for her. Her only prior experiences with sex had been when she was a prostitute, and none of those times had been her choice. It was hard for her to get to a point where she could actually enjoy being with Huang. Huang misunderstood at first, thinking that maybe he just hadn't been good enough. I was glad when he finally realized that he needed to ease up a bit.

I liked Huang's sister, Wei-wei, and I eventually came to like Mingyu. Constable Wu intrigued me – he reminded me a lot of Inspector Lunge in Naoki Urasawa's Monster. I wanted to wholeheartedly like Bai Huang. Most of his carefree behavior was an act. Although he didn't outwardly show it, he desperately wanted to pass the imperial exams and finally stop disappointing his father. At the same time, he struggled with a gambling addiction. I loved his conversations with Yue-ying. It was just that I was a little bothered by where the romance seemed to be going, and by his arguments, once he realized that his father wasn't going to let him marry Yue-ying, that becoming his mistress should be an acceptable alternative. I have to say, I really struggled with the balance between realism and romance in this book, and my own feelings about it all.

I can't say too much about the mystery without spoiling things. It did keep me interested, although I liked the book more for the interactions between Bai Huang and Yue-ying than for the mystery.

I enjoyed this, but my issues with the romance kept me from liking it as much as some of the others by Lin that I've read. I'm looking forward to the next book, which stars Mingyu and Constable Wu.

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.) ( )
  Familiar_Diversions | Jul 11, 2015 |
Súper recomendado! Lo empece de tarde y no me fui a dormir hasta que no lo terminé (creo que en esas horas mi hijo me estuvo llamando o llorando ... o algo ... pero no estoy segura ... ) .

Para los que quieren leer un romance historico de calidad con un misterio aceptable (nada del aburrido : chica tiene acosadorchicabusca chico que la proteja , que es mas o menos la fórmula que siempre me encuentro en los romances con suspenso) , sin estereotipos y con muchos diálogos hermosos .
( )
  LaMala | Jun 7, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0373777736, Mass Market Paperback)

It is a time of celebration in the Pingkang Li, where imperial scholars and bureaucrats mingle with beautiful courtesans. At the center is the Lotus Palace, home of the most exquisite courtesans in China... 
Maidservant Yue-ying is not one of those beauties. Street-smart and practical, she's content to live in the shadow of her infamous mistress-until she meets the aristocratic playboy Bai Huang. 

Bai Huang lives in a privileged world Yue-ying can barely imagine, yet alone share, but as they are thrown together in an attempt to solve a deadly mystery, they both start to dream of a different life. Yet Bai Huang's position means that all she could ever be to him is his concubine-will she sacrifice her pride to follow her heart?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:43 -0400)

Bai Huang lives in a privileged world Yue-ying can barely imagine, yet alone share, but as they are thrown together in an attempt to solve a deadly mystery, they both start to dream of a different life. Yet Bai Huang's position means that all she could ever be to him is his concubine, will she sacrifice her pride to follow her heart?… (more)

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