The Dragon and the Pearl by Jeannie Lin

The Dragon and the Pearl by Jeannie LinThe Dragon and the Pearl (Tang Dynasty #2) by Jeannie Lin
Published: Harlequin Historical (2011), Paperback, 288pg
Source: Library
Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance

Former Emperor's consort Ling Suyin is renowned for her beauty; the ultimate seductress. Now she lives quietly alone—until the most ruthless warlord in the region comes and steals her away.... Li Tao lives life by the sword, and is trapped in the treacherous, lethal world of politics. The alluring Ling Suyin is at the center of the web. He must uncover her mystery without falling under her spell—yet her innocence calls out to him. How cruel if she, of all women, can entrance the man behind the legend....

I adore historical fiction romances and I’ve been wanting to get away from Regency England (which is usually just all white people, anyway). The Dragon and the Pearl is set in the Tang Dynasty in China (618–907 AD) and it stars a bad boy general and an ex-courtesan. Usually I am not into concubines OR bad boys, but the ones in this book are more than just stereotypical trope-ish characters. They are so complex (yet relatable) and FASCINATING.

They’re also completely unable to say anything to each other without either a) nearly dying, b) being kidnapped, c) surrounding the truth with lies or d) hiding behind a shell of implacability. It’s frustrating, their romance. They’re such tough cookies and they have to keep proving that to each other over and over again. Makes for a very slow-going relationship, despite all the sex they have. But when they finally break through and touch each other’s hearts! omg, it’s so good.

I loved the many historical details woven throughout the story, too. The clothing, the food, the political intrigue! It’s great! The dialogue feels modern, but not in a jarring way, and the Chinese words sprinkled throughout don’t immediately have their translations afterwards, so it feels very natural, too.

The Dragon and the Pearl is a very enjoyable historical romance! I definitely recommend it if you are also looking for something different from the uber-popular Regency and/or if you like romances with clam-like heroes and heroines.

Read: December 30-31, 2014

Jeannie Lin recently came out with Gunpowder Alchemy, a steampunk fantasy story set in that’s been getting a lot of buzz lately. I’ve definitely got it on my wishlist!

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