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My Fair Concubine

(Tang Dynasty #3)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  690 ratings  ·  153 reviews
The Nobleman Who Turned a Tea Girl Into a Princess...

Yan 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
Mass Market Paperback, 280 pages
Published May 22nd 2012 by Harlequin (first published January 1st 2012)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies

My Fair Lady in Tang Dynasty China? Yes, please!

In the field of fiction, Jeannie Lin's novels are unicorns. They are the rarest of mythical creatures: Historical Romances set in Tang Dynasty, China. I have always loved Jeannie Lin's romances, and this is among my favorite of her novels. This book is delightful in every way. We have a truly compelling situation, the "My Fair Lady" scenario isn't made on a whim, there is familial honor and duty at stake. There is a wonderful supporting cast, from
Karlyflower *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)*
Apr 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommended to Karlyflower *The Vampire Ninja, Luminescent Monster & Wendigo Nerd Goddess of Canada (according to The Hulk)* by: Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies

3.5 Stars

Category: 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
Heather *Undercover Goth Queen*
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
Anne Boleyn's Ghost
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
K.J. Charles
Nov 10, 2018 added it
Shelves: m-f, china
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.
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 little more each ...more
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
Mar 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: hf-china, favorites
That's it! Jeannie Lin is on my auto-buy list! I enjoyed every book of hers so far, and am looking forward to reading more novels 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
Anya (~on a semi-hiatus~)
Upped one star just because of LI BAI SHEN. Because fucking fabulousness.
Rating: 3.5
This 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
Aug 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. My Fair Concubine is everything that I've ever wanted in a historical romance - it is beautifully written and rich in cultural details, with a sweeping romance featuring intelligent and well-developed characters. Before My Fair Concubine, I had never enjoyed reading pure romance novels very much - even historical romances were usually "same old, same old," for all my love of history. This book changed my mind about the genre completely; if more romance novels were like this, then I ...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
Mar 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers of Historical Romance
Recommended to Lisa (Harmonybites) by: Khanh
Two things about this novel caught my eye when I saw it on my Goodreads friends list feed. First, it's set during China's Tang Dynasty, around 800 AD. It's a period I have some fondness for, having imprinted as a teen on Van Gulik's Judge Dee mysteries set in that place and era. And to my mind far too few works of historical fiction available here in America are set outside the Anglo-American world, never mind Asia. Second, it was reviewed by a friend of that friend who is very picky. Indeed, ...more
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. ...more
Jan 04, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, kindle, romance, usa
Romances are an occasional guilty pleasure of mine, less frequent than when I started reading them a decade or so ago as I tired of many of the tropes and stereotypes, first in MF and then in MM romances, but sometimes it is just what I am in the mood for and I will give another a try.

This book caught my eye in part for being set in T’ang Dynasty China, which I am fascinated to learn more about. The premise and characters of this book also intrigued me. At the start of the story, my feelings
Kerrelyn Sparks
May 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first book to read by Jeannie Lin, and I really enjoyed it. It was so refreshing to have a new and different setting-- China, Tang Dynasty, 824 AD. I would recommend this if you love experiencing books with an interesting and unique setting and culture.
Loved loved loved this book!

Set in Tang Dynasty, China, this version of My Fair Lady is pure comfort reading. Yan Ling is a tea house serving girl, hard-working with a fiery streak. Fei Long is the perfect composed, elegant gentleman, always in control. When they meet, they seem like the answer to each other's problem (view spoiler)
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Perfect ending is perfect. Full review coming.
Ingrid Hahn
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved everything about it. Slightly longer and more in depth review to come after my Historical Romance Appreciation Video #6 goes live on YouTube the first weekend of August. :)
Video is live! Real review: Beautiful characters, beautiful writing, beautiful story. World completely engulfed me. Promise of the premise very well met. Excellent pacing. Slow burn. Exceptionally wonderful calligraphy motif.
Feb 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical, romance
A good solid read. Deserving of more stars, possibly, if only because of its rare setting and the author's clear knowledge of (obscure to westerners) Chinese literature, calligraphy, wardrobe, geography, even hand gestures made by women. Basically everything that most westerners do not know.

And the setting is done beautifully. The characters. There's nothing objectionable about them either. Yan Lin is a likable woman, spirited but practical, and she knows that this is the best thing that could
Look for this review and more at my blog, Feminist Fairy Tale Reviews.

I have been reading historical romance for almost ten years and, while I still adore books set in Regency/Victorian England, I am always excited to see a unique setting/time period. I think that is one reason that I continue to enjoy Jeannie Lin's work. Her Tang Dynasty series takes place in Imperial China and she makes it come alive even for those of us who are ignorant about the finer historical details. It also doesn't hurt
Nov 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who love historical romances in exotic settings.
Jeannie Lin is one of those authors that writes romances that speaks to your heart. Her writing is flawlessly beautiful and China as the setting provides for that exoticism that is unbeatable. My Fair Concubine is the third book in the Tang Dynasty series and explores the story of Chang Fei Long, a nobleman and Yan Ling, a baby abandoned at a tea house where she had grown up, knowing no life except one of servitude.

Fei Long wants to save his family’s honor and is at a loss as to how to go about
Jun 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My Fair Concubine, which spirited me away to a lovely adventure in the Tang Dynasty, is actually the first Harlequin novel I've ever read. Jeannie Lin sweeps readers off their feet on a tour through ninth-century China: from an ordinary teahouse in a remote province to the splendid residences, markets, and entertainment establishments of the imperial capital Chang'an. We meet the stubborn teahouse girl Yan Ling and the proud nobleman Fei Long, whose lives become inextricably entangled as they ...more
Jun 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Another elegant read from Ms. Lin! I really liked the premise--sort of a My Fair Lady/Pygmalion theme, and Ms. Lin uses that inspiration to create a lovely Tang dynasty story about a nobleman who sees the potential princess in a tea-shop girl.

Yan Ling has been a servant at a tea shop her entire life--she struggles daily to tamp down her spirit and smarts as they only get her into trouble with the tea-shop owner and the customers. When her path crosses with Fei Long's it is that very spirit that
Lynn Spencer
Jun 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that makes me get frustrated at having to attend to things like work, sleep, eating, etc.. when really I just want to read. I loved the Tang Dynasty setting of this story, and the homage to My Fair Lady as Fei Long sets about transforming a tea shop girl into a princess fit for diplomatic marriage is clever.

However, Lin's writing goes beyond clever. The plotline might make one think this book will be lighter in tone, but there's some real emotional meat to the story.
Grade: A

I swooned. And then I got weepy. And then I swooned again.

He’d trained her in calligraphy to teach her patience and discipline while using the same techniques to try to control his own emotions. He’d buried them deep and only allowed them to show in one place.

In the forms, she could see the gathered memories of their days together. She could see the hundred different ways he thought of her. The flowing curves of wistfulness, the tight control of denial. It was all there. Anger, hope,
Jaymee Goh
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fast-paced read with an engaging cast of characters! Fei Long's difficulties in resolving his father's debts made for great tension alongside his angst in love. Yan Ling's friendships with other women were really sweet! As always, Jeannie Lin vividly brings the Tang Dynasty to life with little details and mixing the political with the personal.
Oct 30, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: japan-asia, romance
A pretty cute romance! A little My Fair Lady, a little Anastasia. It read like an Asian drama, but with a happier ending than most historicals I've watched. :D No major surprises, but the world building was lovely! The ending felt a wee bit too rushed though, but no other complaints!
Denise's Book Nook Review
3.75 stars for originality and an Asian historical romance. Characters were unique and relatable. Just slow moving and the romance aspect could have been more fleshed out
Jun 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I love reading historical romance and this one caught my eye with its beautiful cover and its unique setting. Most historicals that I've read are American, Canadian or European in backdrop. I loved finding this one that's set in China.

The other thing that made it sound just adorable is that it is based on the musical My Fair Lady (minus the music). I loved that story and found the idea of combining it with the ancient Chinese culture quite intriguing.

The story begins when Fei Long of the noble
P. Kirby
Apr 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance, historical
3.5 stars. Rounded up because it's a historical that doesn't involve petticoats, the ton, and Mr. Darcy clones.

Fei Long is a nobleman in a bit of a bind. In Tang Dynasty China, it is common practice for emperors to marry their daughters off to foreign potentates to keep the peace. Because what says, "Let's be pals," like the gift of a woman? Except, most emperors don't want to send their actual daughters to distant lands, so instead they send stand-in princesses, the daughters of lesser
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USA TODAY Bestselling author Jeannie Lin grew up fascinated with stories of Western epic fantasy and Eastern martial arts adventures. When her best friend introduced her to romance novels in middle school, the stage was set. Jeannie started writing her first romance while working as a high school science teacher in South Central Los Angeles. After four years of trying to break into publishing with ...more

Other books in the series

Tang Dynasty (5 books)
  • Butterfly Swords (Tang Dynasty, #1)
  • The Dragon and the Pearl (Tang Dynasty, #2)
  • The Sword Dancer (Lovers and Rebels, #1; Tang Dynasty, #4)
  • A Dance with Danger (Lovers and Rebels, #2; Tang Dynasty, #5)
“Thank the heavens for tea. How did people ever come together without it?” 3 likes
“Saving face was only important for protecting the people he cared for. What use was honor, when he would live for ever in regret?” 0 likes
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