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A well-bred lady and lowly street hustler team up in a historical murder mystery set during China's glittering Tang Dynasty. Part of the best-selling Lotus Palace series.

Impetuous and well-educated, young Lady Bai has always been the forgotten daughter between two favored sons. However, when Wei-wei's older brother is tasked with investigating a high-profile assassination, he turns to his clever younger sister for assistance.

Gao is a street-wise scoundrel with a checkered past and a shady reputation. He knows better than to set his sights on the high-born Lady Bai, but when she asks for his help, he can't refuse.

As the unlikely pair chase down a conspiracy that reaches from the gutters of the capital to the imperial palace, Wei-wei is intent on seeing justice done, while Gao is determined to solve the mystery just for her – even if the attraction between them can never be more than a moment's longing.

340 pages, ebook

First published September 1, 2020

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About the author

Jeannie Lin

51 books922 followers
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 an Asian-set historical, her 2009 Golden Heart Award–winning manuscript, Butterfly Swords, sold to Harlequin Mills & Boon. Her books have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Library Journal with The Dragon and the Pearl listed among Library Journal's Best Romances of 2011.

Titles by Jeannie Lin:
Gunpowder Alchemy (Gunpowder Chronicles #1)
The Jade Temptress (The Lotus Palace #2)
The Lotus Palace
Butterfly Swords
The Dragon and the Pearl
My Fair Concubine
The Sword Dancer

For updates, sign up for her newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/42oZL
Find out more about Jeannie Lin online at http://www.jeannielin.com

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5 stars
158 (36%)
4 stars
184 (42%)
3 stars
78 (17%)
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14 (3%)
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2 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 105 reviews
Profile Image for K.J. Charles.
Author 59 books8,125 followers
September 1, 2020
Oh my goodness I loved this. The Pingkang Li books are among my favourite Jeannie Lins--the historical setting is incredibly well done, the characters are flawed and problematic and come from/live in a brilliantly seedy world of courtesans and crime and everyone scrabbling to make it, the mystery subplots are engaging, the setting is bright and real and vivid, and the romances are stellar.

I have wanted this story painfully since The Liar's Dice which introduces high-born, fiercely intelligent Wei-wei, who likes to sneak out in her brother's clothes at night, and the gangland enforcer and thug Gao. (You don't *have* to read that, or indeed the other books in the series, to read this, but you'd be a fool not to because they're great.)

The Hidden Moon was everything I hoped for--Gao is fantastic, grim and hurt and yearning and a bit scary, Wei-wei is clever, naive, determined for herself but not prepared to let down her family. The romance is fantastic and swoony and full of fabulous pining, the mystery develops really well, and the other characters from the series work really well without unbalancing the book, which is a harder thing to pull off than you might imagine. And the cover is gorgeous, what more do you want?
Profile Image for Alice Poon.
Author 5 books271 followers
February 13, 2022
This novel was an enjoyable breezy read, and I was particularly impressed with the sensitive characterization of Wei Wei and Gao, the two protagonists in the story.

A tale of impossible love between Wei Wei, a learned and headstrong maiden from an aristocratic family, and Gao, an illiterate but kind-at-heart street bum, is skillfully braided with the magistrate's investigation of a couple of mysterious and high-profile murders in Chang'An, the glittering capital of the Tang dynasty. The ups and downs in the development of the love story as well as the twists and turns in the murder investigation will keep you turning the pages.

I have to admit, though, that I seldom read novels in the historical romance genre. Having said that, I was pleasantly surprised by this well-written and well-researched novel and won't hesitate to recommend it to readers of romance and mysteries. I'm giving it 3.8 stars, rounded up.
Profile Image for nick (the infinite limits of love).
2,120 reviews1,348 followers
November 21, 2020

The Hidden Moon came on my radar thanks to Aarya on Twitter. I immediately put a hold on it at the library and what a great decision that was. The Hidden Moon was just as lovely as the stunning cover. I'm so excited to have discovered a new author whose backlist I have the opportunity to read.

The shining star of The Hidden Moon was the protagonist, Wei-wei, a smart and perceptive young woman, who has grown up being outshined by her brothers. She has helped both her older and younger brothers in their respective education and jobs, but unfortunately, because of the times, she never had the freedom to be the independent woman that she wanted to be. As a result, she has avoided getting married because she knows that it would be an end to her dreams. The Hidden Moon provided her with the opportunity to showcase all her strengths when she becomes embroiled in the investigation of a high-profile murder. I love characters like Wei-wei who possess a quiet but deep strength to them. With how big her heart was, I had no trouble finding her an endearing character whose happiness I rooted for. As she navigated the conspiracies of the case, I grew even more fond of her as her determination to solve the case and resilience came to the forefront of the book.

A promise of future happiness arrived in Wei-wei's life in the form of Gao, a man who, at first glance, was the complete opposite of her. He was from the wrong sides of the tracks and had the misfortune to work for some shady characters unlike Wei-wei, who grew up in a wealthy and respected family. Gao, though, was an actual giant softie. I didn't realize how much I loved love interests who are soft criminals. I would very much like to read more of these heroes. Anyways, Gao pined and thirsted for Wei-wei afar. The man was so hopelessly in love with Wei-wei and would hang on to her every word. He knew that because of their very different socioeconomic backgrounds that they could never be together, but that didn't stop this stoic man from dreaming about a life with Wei-wei. The romance between the two was wonderfully crafted and paced. The tension, the yearning, and the connection between the pair were unmistakable. The touch of angst in their relationship made for an incredibly dreamy and swoon-worthy romance. Wei-wei and Gao's love story was the soft and pining romance of my dreams.

The secondary cast here was equally compelling, from Wei-wei's investigator brother to the man who her mother wanted her to marry. I loved how nuanced all of the characters were, making them all feel like important players of the story. The backdrop of China in the Tang Dynasty also made The Hidden Moon stand out, in my opinion. It added an extra something special to the already beautiful romance. Jeannie Lin is clearly a very talented writer and she brought the setting and atmosphere to life with her rich prose. The case that Wei-wei and Gao attempt to solve was also brilliantly executed. I appreciated that it was given equal importance as the romance. It was hard not to get invested in the mystery when the author delivered on the conspiracies and political intrigue.

The Hidden Moon was breath-taking and I can't recommend this one enough to those of you who love historical romances. It offered something different than what dominates the historical romance market and it truly was a standout novel for me. I'll definitely be revisiting this book as I go back to the start of the series.

Profile Image for PlotTrysts.
586 reviews180 followers
March 15, 2022
WE LOVED THIS BOOK. Why, you ask? Well, what we've got here is a bluestocking/bad boy pairing - but make it Tang Dynasty, China. Wei-wei is a good girl who tutors her younger brother in the hopes that she won't have to get married to a man she doesn't love. Gao is a criminal element who sometimes works for Wei-wei's older brother by gathering information about the pleasure quarter. ⁠

It's a classic forbidden love kind of situation, considering that Wei-wei's a part of the upper class AND she's engaged to someone else. There's not much to say other than that their relationship really worked for us. Their ultimate HEA feels earned in the best way. ⁠

8-Word Summaries:

Laine: Pick the guy who doesn't decide FOR you.

Meg: Bad boys are great flings AND marriage material.
Profile Image for Jen (mrs-machino).
497 reviews43 followers
April 10, 2022
So glad to read my first Jeannie Lin! Beautiful storytelling and I loved Wei Wei and Gao, although the mystery took center stage from the romance.
Profile Image for Janine Ballard.
492 reviews57 followers
April 13, 2021
4 stars / 4.25 stars

Gao and Wei-wei’s romance, which began in The Liar's Dice (review here), continues in The Hidden Moon. The story here concerns a body that washes up in the river. A street boy, Fu Lin, finds a jade object on the body that he turns over to Gao. Wei-wei, once again braving the Pinkang Li (this time on a half-errand, half-excuse) runs into Gao and identifies the object as an imperial seal. Together they turn the seal over to the magistrate. The theft is covered up, though, and with Wei-wei’s encouragement, Gao decides to investigate the murder on his own, in parallel to the official investigation.

With help from Wu Kaifeng, Chang’an’s former head constable and hero of The Jade Temptress, Gao figures out where the dead man was thrown into the water and he brings that information to Magistrate Li. He suggests a means of trapping the mercenaries. One of them is captured but kills himself in custody.

Wei-wei’s brother Huang is also looking into the mystery. He’s unhappy when he learns of Wei-wei’s involvement but so long as she follows the rules and stays at home he welcomes her help.

The romance between Wei-wei and Gao faces an even greater obstacle; Wei-wei’s family expects her to enter an arranged marriage soon. She has postponed this duty as long as she could because she doesn’t think it likely that the man she marries will approve of her scholarly bent or permit her the freedom that she craves. Just as importantly, she is growing to care more and more for Gao. But does she really have a choice?

Though unlike The Liar’s Dice, this novel is told not in Wei-wei’s first person POV but in alternating third person viewpoints, I still had difficulty engaging with Wei-wei at first. As I said in my thoughts on The Liar’s Dice, she’s a bit spoiled compared to others around her, including Gao. But she grew on me, and I think her fear of being forced into an unhappy marriage was part of that.

I liked Gao a lot. Despite his shady background and profession, he has a good heart and a soft spot for Wei-wei—a soft spot that grows into a steady, open love. He’s not only drawn to her sexually and emotionally, but also has a genuine interest in her life, her dreams, her thoughts and her desires. Despite his pragmatism he falls deeper and deeper, even knowing that she will always be out of his reach. Though he tells himself that he can never have her, he can’t pull himself away from his need for her. This aspect of the book is romantic with a capital R.

The mystery here is much more absorbing than the one in The Liar’s Dice, with higher stakes (the fate the empire hung in the balance) and greater complexity. I loved some of the twists and turns, such as Fu Lin’s role in the story, and it was great to see more of Huang, Yue-Ying, Mingyu and Kaifeng again. They are used effectively and none of their appearances feel like prequel baiting.

I guessed who had committed the crime well in advance of when it was revealed, though I was off about some of the details that pertained to that. I wish I’d loved Wei-wei to the degree I loved the other characters in the series, but I did come to like her more and more. I could not guess how the class difference between Wei-wei and Gao would be bridged strongly enough for Wei-wei’s parents to permit their marriage before it happened, but when it did, not only was it convincing but it also fit the story and the characters beautifully.
Profile Image for Agla.
541 reviews20 followers
May 5, 2021
This was great. It is a historical M/F that is set in China in 849 A.D so the setting was very foreign to me but there was a strong sense of place so it worked well. It can definitely be read as a standalone. There is a mystery that was easy to follow and engaging. The main couple was impossible because of a social class conflict that was done well. Wei-Wei's situation really felt claustrophobic but she was cunning and smart enough to make do and fight for what she wanted. Gao was a complex character too. They were both very active in their lives, nothing happened by chance which I really loved. They cooperated, supported and listened to one another. My niggles are very small, there was some unnecessary angst do to meddling people whose input was undesirable. We could have done without that because there was so much going on already and we would then have had more time with the 2 MCs talking which was the highlight of the book. I would really recommend this one if you're in the mood for something slightly different (they use lanterns, fight with swords and daggers, who does not like that ;) )
Profile Image for Laz the Sailor.
1,478 reviews75 followers
August 12, 2022
When authors write a series like this, they become constrained by the world they've built, and the trick is to vary the character combinations. First we had the "ugly duckling" accidentally captivating the party-boy prince, both of whom are much stronger than either presents. Second, we had the beautiful courtesan who walks away from her finery to be with the odd man with a strong will. And here we have the Lady from a prominent family who falls for the gutter snipe with principals.

For me, this may be the best of the series so far. Partly because the previous characters play a strong part, but also because the Lady takes chances.

Despite the constraints of the era, true love finds a way. I'll keep reading.
Profile Image for ✨ Meg reads and dim sum ✨.
270 reviews4 followers
April 27, 2021
AAHHHH SOOOO GOOOD!! Get you a mans who learns how to read just so he can have more to talk to you about 😤😤

Not only was the character development and love story impeccable, the weaving in of the mystery made this a super fun and enjoyable read!!
Profile Image for Grisette.
230 reviews22 followers
September 15, 2022

3.7 stars

Ever since The Lotus Palace, I was drawn into the Pingkang Li's sweetly intoxicating atmosphere by the skilled pen of JL. The character of Wei-wei was cute and wise already and her further introduction in The Liar's Dice: A Lotus Palace Mystery opened avenues for her own romance. I have had this book on my TBR list for a long time and was hesitant to start it lest it was the last of this series. With the Red Blossom in Snow now on my TBR as well, it was high time I proceeded with this book.

Wei-wei and Gao's romance was very, very sweet and pure. Though they fell in love deeply fast (over the space of two weeks?), they tiptoed very slowly around each other as they were both resigned that their class differences would forever separate them. I loved how Gao was written. For a so street roughened rogue, his feelings for Wei-wei were very heartfelt, pure and angsty. He proved to be a real gentleman with Wei-wei despite his rough looks and reputation. I loved that he was not ashamed of his status in front of her, and humbly realist to his condition. Yet, in his small ways, he tried hard to impress her e.g. by trying to learn reading. He had her well-being and happiness foremost in his mind even at the cost of his own. Wei-wei was a very charming h. Learned, smart and beautiful, she also felt stifled by the 'silence' and 'unsaid words' culture of her family, making her reckless and relentless to enjoy the few moments of freedom with Gao, even if she was unwittingly heading straight into danger. Just like she was there to inspire Gao to higher and sweeter dreams, he was there to protect, support and give her wider spaces to shine in. They may come across as a very sedate couple as there was no undue melodrama, but for my part, I loved how they were genuinely in love with each other against all odds.

The development of their slow-burning romance was interlinked with a big conspiracy investigation targeting the Emperor. That part of the plot was exciting to follow, even if the developments were slow and it impeded on focusing uniquely on the romance. The investigation was the means to get Wei-wei and Gao closer: Wei-wei was intrigued by the events and wanted real justice to be brought, while Gao wanted the excuse to be in her company. At the end, Gao proved that even a rogue like him had a great sense of what is right in him. However, although the conduct of the whole investigation was great, I am still not clear on the whys of the conspiracy and some related events. JL stays silent on several shadowy areas. For instance:

# Was Zheng's big plan all along to create tension between the Emperor and General Lin and have the latter executed for the two murders? If yes, how does it match with the prologue where my impression was that an important message had to be communicated to the Emperor? Was the message that Zheng was overzealous? If so, how would this have been uncovered by the messenger?

# Was only the cousin's murder planned to lay suspicion on the General via the seal? And the other murder because of a message? How are the murders connected in a timeline? Or was one of the murder a mistake, or enforced in panic?

# What was the significance of the seal? Had Zheng already been usurping the Emperor's power before?

# What was the meaning behing the threat in the courtesan's chamber, the murders of Ma and Fu, and the attempts on Gao and Li? Were they simple retaliation from the assassins, or did they serve Zheng's scheme? If the latter, it seems doubtful as officially culprits for both murders had been caught and the cases deemed closed satisfactorily.

# Why was the curfew enforced? What was its aim?

# How was the Emperor convinced by Zheng's culpability? What was the evidence? Who convinced him, Huang or his father?

All in all, although the romance was slow-paced (yet occuring over a handful of days! JL's evocative prose does this marvelously ❤) and was pretty much 'honourable' (except for the last chapters, but even then more on the romantic than the sexy side - not complaining though 🥰), I loved Wei-wei and Gao's love story. Pragmatic but real, deep and emotional. I wished that the epilogue, though sweet and fitting, had been lengthier, showing the couple interaction with the family and settling in their new life. However, I see that there is a novella, Death of a Sorcerer: A Lotus Palace Mystery that will provide more insights into their married life. So happy times ahead 😊🤩!

P.S. The cover is so beautiful!
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Sophia.
Author 5 books334 followers
September 5, 2020
What jubilee and excitement I felt when I learned of The Hidden Moon's release! I have been wanting this story since meeting Wei Wei and Gao in The Liar's Dice novella. Set in the historical Tang Dynasty of China, author Jeannie Lin masterfully weaves an enchanting forbidden romance and a clever mystery that make one reluctantly set down her book for mundane matters.

The Hidden Moon is the fourth entry in the Lotus Palace Mysteries (sometimes referred to as the Pingkang Li Mysteries). The Hidden Moon does work best if it follows The Liar's Dice novella and all the main side characters were introduced in the previous books so I think a reader would get more out of them if they are read in order.

A jade chop with the Emperor's etching on it turns up at the same time an aristocrat and his entourage are found assassinated. Not long after, another body turns up at the river. Life in the capital city in some of its wards can get dicey, but this is something else. Gao is not one who draws attention to himself, but if it means spending any time with the lovely, untouchable Lady Bai Wei Ling, he will put his street skills and cunning mind to tracking the assassins and those who sent them right along with her. He aches for their fortunes to be different- to not be nearly destitute and rough and for her not to be an aristocrat's daughter with a clever mind and high education. He tells himself to leave be and to move on, but his heart yearns and their intertwined fate leads them on a dangerous investigation.

Wei Wei finds each encounter with Gao stimulating and exciting. Her caged existence behind the walls of her family's mansion and stifling expectations that she marry well when she wishes to remain free and not forced into a certain mold of dutiful wife and mother. Slipping out disguised as her younger brother in the night when the Pleasure District is lively and seeing so much is nearly as exciting as tracking a killer and the conspirator behind it all. She knows his vicious reputation and is warned away from him, but it only with Gao that she can be herself and he respects all aspects and not just the part approved by her class. She knows her duty to family, but her heart cries out for something- someone- else.

The Hidden Moon paints an exotic world of the past and it feels authentic from setting to characters. It is obvious the author does her homework down to rituals and customs or clothing, for that matter. I was rather taken with the full-sleeved silk robes that have a hidden pocket up the sleeve.

But, where the heart of the story is are the complex and engaging characters. Family and friendship define these stories behind the romances. Even if this means sometimes an unlikely association like Wei Wei and Gao or her brother, Huang, and his low born wife or her extended family who were a former constable and courtesan. This group are loyal and rely on each other for help when called upon. But, it's not just the main group, even the bit parts offer some colorful bit of description or personality.

This romance is not a case of do they feel, but the knowledge that it doesn't matter because it can't be. There is even the arranged suitor who is a good man and an honorable one. I loved this pair together and ached for them to find a way because they were equals in all the ways that really count. The sensual attraction was always there and built in the background of other aspects of the story in just such a way that it felt natural when it surged forward.

The suspense element had a few twists and was full of political intrigue and exploded with excitement on the streets of the city. I liked the build of tension and felt some breathless moments. Once they had the answers and even a big fight moment, this side of the story was wrapped up off set.

I got the impression this was the last book, but I do wish there could be a story for Song Li and a certain someone, pretty please. I'm not ready to leave this series behind, but then I say that about all the author's series. Those who love historical romance in an Asian setting should snatch this series up and get lost in the Tang Dynasty.

My thanks to the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Geena K.
147 reviews9 followers
January 2, 2023

There's crack between the pages!!

ughhh the dynamic between Wei Ling and Gao.... since this is the third book in a series, there's implied history between the two but even without knowing it I was like wow!!! I loved wei wei... and Gao was just a funny guy overall... like he wasn't even trying to be but I was like wow a natural born comedian... their dynamic was fun even though it was the street urchin?ruffian?/rich daughter but I thought it was well done

The mystery once again... the red herrings... the murder... chef's kiss... even though sometimes I had trouble keeping track but that's a me problem
Profile Image for Katie (Romance Novel Quotes).
120 reviews11 followers
February 11, 2023
I loved this book and felt completely swept away by it. It’s my first Jeannie Lin, and reading it on the heels of my first Laura Kinsale actually makes me anxious about the fact that the world is full of so many gorgeous books and gifted authors and I can never read them all.

“I wish I could say yes.” Gao rolled away from her, leaving her bereft and cold in his absence. They lay side by side once more. The only sound she could hear was his breathing and the pounding of her heart. “I never thought you could possibly be mine, Wei-wei,” he said, his voice heavy. “I just wanted to ask.”

Profile Image for Elizabeth S..
70 reviews27 followers
September 2, 2020
So happy that I could return to the world of this series. I've read and re-read the other two books multiple times and I imagine this one will be the same. It's a sweet romance with fascinating characters and I loved it. Also, the dedication at the end got me a little verklempt.
Profile Image for Veronica.
1,324 reviews17 followers
September 10, 2022
An absolute banger of a book. If you enjoy a "Lady and the Tramp" storyline (or, in historical romance parlance, bluestocking/scoundrel), this is a perfect delight. The mystery is a really interesting mix of murder investigation and palace drama, and I think threads the needle of serving enough justice to be satisfying to the reader without violating the practical reality of political expedience. And I loved the romance between Gao and Wei-Wei! I am *hard* to sell on a couple falling in love over the course of a few weeks but I really bought it here. I'm so glad that Jeannie Lin continued this series.
2,090 reviews41 followers
September 2, 2020
Wei-Wei feels trapped. As a daughter she can only honor her family by making an advantageous marriage even though she is well educated. Her focus has always been to help her brothers find a good position in the Imperial government, but our heroine has a rebellious streak and often sneaks out to explore the city. On her adventures she often sees Gao, a street hustler. He's a dangerous man who uses his wiles to survive. These two form an unlikely friendship. Wei-Wei is from a wealthy and prosperous family. GAO works hard to survive and be invisible. A murder that threatens the emperor makes these two allies. Wei-Wei is determined to aid her brother who is involved in a secret investigating. Gao want to protect her as the perpetrator seeks to get rid of anyone who knows what happened. Their continued closeness leads to love. I was heartbroken that they could never be together. Wei-Wei is being forced to marry. Would the love between Wei-Wei and Gao triumph? I hoped so. I cared because their love was real. The Hidden Moon is a wonderful book. The setting is perfect. It's beautiful but deadly. Jeannie Lin's story is filled with treachery and a conspiracy, an unrelenting enemy and a passionate romance. I love this continuation of The Lotus Palace Mystery series.
I received a copy of this book which I voluntarily read and reviewed. My comments are my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Sharon.
Author 38 books376 followers
August 25, 2021
This is the second tale of Wei-Wei and Gao that I've read; the first was The Liar's Dice.

The book starts off with two seemingly unrelated murders ... and the theft of a carved jade "chop" stone. Gao, who is illiterate, doesn't know what the chop means, so he shows it to Wei-Wei. She recognizes it as an imperial seal. Pretty soon, the two friends are embroiled in intrigue that reaches the highest levels of government.

In the mean while, Wei-Wei's mother is working on arranging a marriage for her with one of the local magistrates ... at about the same time she realizes that she's in love with Gao. So, complications galore.

I don't know that I'd call this book a fair play puzzle; some of the reveals didn't match up with clues sprinkled throughout the book. None of this, however, detracted from my enjoyment of a well-researched, beautifully written historical novel set in China.

Highly recommended.
2,100 reviews106 followers
September 2, 2020
The Hidden Moon by Jeannie Lin is the third in the Pingkang Li Mysteries series, set in Tang Dynasty China. While Liar's Dice is a terrific prequel to this story, it isn't required to fully appreciate and enjoy The Hidden Moon on its own.

Lady Bai is a well-bred, well-educated woman who's reaching spinsterhood, which she is quite eager to embrace. As a middle child sandwiched between two cherished sons, she's quite aware that her role will never be as the star or even as the understudy but as the behind-the-scenes jill of all trades. With an agile mind and fierce intellect, she's long supported both her brothers in their studies, and now her elder brother in his investigative work, and knows that while their successes are at least in part hers, she will never receive public recognition. She longs for the freedom to act independently, knowing that marriage will likely cut off even the brief moments of autonomy she's managed to carve out for herself. And as the days pass, her mother is more and more eager to finalize her engagement to a local official to ensure she makes a good match.

An acquaintance of Lady Bai's elder brother, Gao is from the wrong side of the tracks, so to speak. He's kept himself alive and well by his wits and strength, but knows he's not appropriate company for the intriguing Wei-wei. But when their paths cross again and again as they work to solve a high-profile assassination, neither can resist the other's allure.

While seemingly entirely ill-suited, Gao and Wei-wei actually share more than just attraction. Both are quite familiar with what it means to be overlooked and undervalued. Their stolen moments of conversation give them both the sweet satisfaction of being seen and being understood. Jeannie Lin captures so well their thoughts and emotions, revealing a steadily growing connection that is layered and heartfelt.

Beautifully written and completely captivating, The Hidden Moon will keep you turning its pages as its characters linger in your mind long after you set the book down. It's absolutely one for the keeper shelf.
Profile Image for Helen.
434 reviews14 followers
December 30, 2020
Like the previous books in this very enjoyable series, this is a cross-class romance weaved with a mystery set in Tang Dynasty (9th century) China.
Wei-Wei was crying out for her own book and I loved how complex and realistic her situation felt. She’s very clever and feels constrained and bound by society and filial duty. This, combined with her recklessness and naivety, leads to her getting into all manner of trouble. The street thug, Gao, was a good foil for her, and I liked his redemption arc, but he didn’t jump off the page the way that previous heroes in this series have.
Jeannie Lin has a wonderful way of creating romances where the HEA seems impossible due to insurmountable societal pressures, until the final chapter where it’s not only possible, but swoonily romantic.
Profile Image for ReadWithE.
1,889 reviews24 followers
January 24, 2023
This was well-written but just didn’t grab me like I wanted it to alas
Profile Image for BaronessNat.
9 reviews
January 19, 2023
One of my favorite things about Wei-wei is how she navigates in her familial space and operates under the radar in order to remain unmarried. That she is undoubtedly smarter than her brother, more organized and meticulous is stated quite often. She seems to have a keen grasp of people, and I wished in some parts of the plot that Gao and she reached out to their familial allies for help.

The pacing in the middle was a bit plodding and I wished the romantic climax was drawn out more instead of resolved quickly. Overall, this couple are one of my faves and I love that I will get to seem them again in the next story in this series.
Profile Image for Issy.
38 reviews2 followers
March 7, 2022
3 out of 5 from me. It's an easy read and enjoyable but weak murder mystery plot.
63 reviews
August 3, 2021
I was thoroughly entertained while also learning about a period and culture I know little about. Although there wasn't much about the culture, per se, but the period and location was something alien to me. The mystery and political intrigue was also very engaging, along with the romantic trope (which I have to admit, I am quite new to).
Profile Image for Angel Graham.
Author 1 book30 followers
September 7, 2020
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

As usual, when it's a Jeannie Lin book, I know it'll be good. I still don't normally read historical, but there's something different about Jeannie's Asian Historicals.

This book continues the story of Wei-Wei and Gao. Bit of a mystery with a hint of romance. Even if you haven't read the other books before this, you should have no problem figuring it out. Yes, it's more complete with the others, but can be read as a stand alone.

Sorry this isn't longer. Been a long, long week.

I put Sept. 1 as read dates as I can't remember exactly when I read this.
Profile Image for Ellen Parker.
Author 8 books13 followers
November 29, 2020
Step back to 9th century China.
Murder. Mystery. Forbidden love. Ms. Lin combines all of these and more in the most recent Lotus Palace Mystery. Follow Wei-wei as she sees places and meets people far different from her rich, aristocratic family.

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