I have read the most amazing, sensual historical fiction romance and I have to share it with you. Here is a brief part of my review from Goodreads.com,
For Bai Huang the most handsome, wealthiest guy in Pingkangli, he never thought it would be difficult to court the servant girl with the interesting face but the path to her love may be a path to his own bright future…if they don’t get killed first.
I love stories from medieval China- and good love stories at that! This one had me swooning because Bai Huang is seriously Bae. Not only is he handsome but he has the right words and right touches to convince even the ultra cautious, Yue-ying, to give him a chance.
The glittering part of the story is Huang’s patience with Yue-ying. She is a servant in one of the courtesan houses, born with an interesting red birthmark on the side of her face and although reserved, she is smart and strong. Being sold into prostitution from an early age has made her cold (Read more)
Even though the book is fiction, there are three things I took from this amazing story and it is a life changer for this writer.
I never heard of a Duanwu Festival until I read this book. In the story, the lovebirds attend one. A Duanwu Festival is a Dragon Boat Festival(much like a race car event but with boats) occurring during the summer solstice in China and it typically begins on the 5th day of the 5th lunar month. Where did this originate? The story may surprise you and it sure did shock me. It involves a poet and minister who committed suicide and people raced in their boats to…well, you can read the rest on Wikipedia.
THEY ARE MORE THAN A GEISHA
The author of the book, in her intro, makes a point that the women courtesans are more than prostitutes. Apparently, these women were elegant, well mannered and “fiery” women. In the book, Yue-ying’s body was used for pleasure but she, like the other girls aspired to be more than “sex pots” or alluring. They were smart and Yue-ying was resourceful. Kind of paints a different picture for you now, doesn’t it?
POETRY WAS HELD IN HIGH REGARD
Let’s be clear here.
Poetry is not dead but perhaps it may have been in a coma. In The Lotus Palace, the poets and scholars were held in high regard although the main character, Mr. Sexy Bai Huang used poetry to flirt with every courtesan he met. Still, there were actual poets who were ministers who maintained high offices. Wang Wan, Zhang Jiuling, Yan Shu, and Qu Yuan just to name a few.
They held other titles as well like statesman and Calligrapher but still, a poet? I like those odds- Unfortunately the poet that the Duanwu Festival is supposedly based on had a terrible fate.
Looks like I learned a lot!
On top of all that, I learn that some ancient Chinese stories can be seriously hot. Goodness! I kept fanning myself when Bai Huang entered the scene.
I will be reading more by Jeannie Lin.
Stay tuned for more reviews like this! Happy reading!
~The Write Web