A historical romance set in China during the Tang Dynasty? Sure, why not. This is a spin on 'My Fair Lady' where a nobleman must find a replacement for his sister who was betrothed to be married. There are consequences if no one shows up. The story opens up with Fei Long attempting to "rescue" his sister (she doesn't want to be) and deciding he must find a woman (no, not for THAT reason). He stumbles upon a local teahouse girl Yan Ling who is conveniently thrown out of her job and has nowhere else to go. She'll do.
And we're off. If you know the basic premise of MFL then you have a gist of how this story goes. Of course Yan Ling and Fei Long don't like each other. Of course poor Yan Ling is a fish out of water and must navigate dealing with Fei Long and trying to be come a noble lady for this marriage. Will Yan Ling succeed? Will the marriage happen? What about how each of our main characters are noticing each other, despite the rather strange circumstances of how they met? Stay tuned!
Aaaand...not so much. Initially I found the book really interesting. I had never read anything by Lin before and originally wasn't going to bother with this (it's only available by eBook now and I lucked out by finding a relatively good paperback copy and getting it basically for free via gift card). But I was intrigued by the premise and since I like historical fiction I thought this might be worth a go.
But the story just kinda drags. I suppose the MFL storyline is just too familiar to me so there wasn't much tension as to whether they'd get together in the end. I was intrigued with how this type of story could work in this time and setting but while that part was interesting I didn't really feel much one way or the other about whether these two got together.
However, I did appreciate the historical fiction aspect. I also liked how the romance was gradual (looks and thoughts and building up to it) and it wasn't an insta-lust with hormones raging and a porn without plot sort of story (I'm not sure if I've read much Harlequin or if this is my first one so I didn't know what to expect). But in retrospect I could see how the seeds were planted for a happy ending and managing the arranged marriage plot point with a rather convenient out.
So...it wasn't terrible. If I had a commute or a plane ride where I had to sit and reading was one of the few options of "escape) I probably would have liked this more. As it was I just found it was too easy to be distracted and to put the book down as it wasn't exactly a turn pager (but not dreadful either). It was a change of pace book for me but I don't think I'll be seeking out any of her other books even if I've got a gift card. I'd consider this a library borrow and you're in the mood for a historical romance.