The Lotus Palace

The Lotus Palace

by Jeannie Lin
4.4 72

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The Lotus Palace by Jeannie Lin

It is a time of celebration in the Pingkang li, where imperial scholars and bureaucrats mingle with beautiful courtesans. At the center is the Lotus Palace, home of the most exquisite courtesans in China…

Maidservant Yue-ying is not one of those beauties. Street-smart and practical, she's content to live in the shadow of her infamous mistress—until she meets the aristocratic playboy Bai Huang.

Bai Huang lives in a privileged world Yue-ying can barely imagine, let alone share, but as they are thrown together in an attempt to solve a deadly mystery, they both start to dream of a different life. Yet Bai Huang's position means that all she could ever be to him is his concubine— will she sacrifice her pride to follow her heart?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780373777730
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 08/27/2013
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.20(d)

About the 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. Her first two books have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Library Journal and The Dragon and the Pearl was listed among Library Journal's Best Romances of 2011.

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The Lotus Palace 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 72 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Escape from the rush and stress of the present. This story set in Tang Dynasty China, 847 AD, is as delightful as tea prepared by the heroine.  Yue-ying is a maidservant to one of the most beautiful women in the Pleasure Quarter. She observes the scholars, bureaucrats, and merchants that come for drink, conversation, and music at The Lotus Palace. She believes no one notices her, a shy girl with a red birthmark on her face. Bai Huang, a man of good family, does notice the servant while pretending infatuation with her mistress. Bai is not all that he seems, and when a courtesan in a nearby house is murdered he turns serious about solving the mystery.  Bai Huang convinces Yue-ying to assist him. She’s reluctant at first, until the mystery deepens and her own mistress is put at risk. Lots of twists and turns to develop the main characters before the murderers are brought to justice.
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
The Lotus Palace by Jeannie Lin is fantastic. It had just the right blend of intrigue, history, and romance. But it was the multidimensional characters and their arcs that really make it all come together. On top of all that was an intense, dark, poignant, and incisive social commentary. How Jeannie Lin packs such a visceral punch into such a small space (category romance) I do not know, but pack it in she does. The story opens with Yue-ying, the servant of one of the most sought after courtesans in the Pingkang Li. Yue-ying might be a servant, but she is also so much more. As the story unfolds she is a sister, a lover, a sleuth, a defender, and few other roles as well. She is an amazing person and her backstory only adds to the person she is. As her arc progresses, it is easy to see what Bai Huang sees in her. She has a quiet courage, a quiet strength, and exudes a calmness that soothes those around her. Bai Huang, on the other hand, appears to be all flash and bang, empty and shallow. But underneath that surface is a man who is so much more. His life lessons have been different from Yue-ying’s as they come from wildly different backgrounds. Yet they complement each other perfectly. United in their search for a killer or killers and despite Yue-ying’s protests, they grow together into a single cohesive unit. This gradual coming together is done so well and so completely that it becomes almost impossible to separate the two. Each character arc becomes utterly entwined with the other as they challenge each other to become better people, to fight for what they have together and to find a way to make right the wrongs they uncover. The supporting cast is outstanding, and several have their own character arcs as well. This adds tremendously to the overall depth of the story because it feels that much more real. It also highlights the importance of family and society. Mingyu, Yue-ying’s mistress, and Wei-Wei, Bai Huang’s sister, are wonderful in their own right. Each have their own strengths and journeys that fit into the overall storyline and themes. This is not a lighthearted story. Not only is life difficult for both of them but the societal issues they face are grave indeed. When the social commentary really kicks in, it is done so without any preachiness, just a simple outlining of facts. Time and place, culture and history, were also like characters adding to the overall ambiance of the story and giving it some of it conflicts as well as some of its resolutions. This was the complete package, a must-read, a keeper. RATING: 5 Heat Rating: Mild REVIEWED BY: Monique Neaves Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More
MoRWAReviewsSTL More than 1 year ago
“She strung their moments together one by one like jewels on a necklace.” The Lotus Palace. Jeannie Lin has scored again with The Lotus Palace, a lush, layered tale of murder, intrigue and love in 9th century China.  History and romance fans will cheer for this tale of a maid and a noble who struggle for a future together in spite of challenges posed by duty and society. Yu-ying is maidservant to one the most celebrated courtesans in the land, content to remain in the shadow of her mistress, but keenly observant of everything. Their home is the Lotus Palace, the premier pleasure house in the Pingkang li district. Bai Huang is the son of a wealthy government official, out to show his father he has changed his profligate ways, yet weary of the pretense he must employ to do so. Included in the pretense is dancing attendance on the lovely courtesans around whom information—and secrets—swirl. In the midst of all the lavishness, Huang cannot help but notice the shy Yu-ying. The intelligent maid refuses to be impressed by his extravagance or his charm. When Yu-ying happens upon the discovery of a man’s body on a boat, little does she know she will be pulled into a murder investigation that will reveal her past and threaten her future. And when a courtesan is killed shortly after the body’s discovery, Bai Huang insists upon investigating. Only he knows that the lady had sought his help to leave the district just days before her death.  Developments force Yu-ying and Huang to join forces, and in the days that follow, they discover their attraction cannot be ignored. But although she’s drawn to the handsome Huang, Yu-ying knows that their different stations means she can never be his wife. All she can expect to become is his concubine. And that’s not what she wants for her future. The search for a murderer leads the two along a trail as intricate and ambiguous as the poems written on the walls of the Lotus Palace. Because, they discover, in the Pingkang li pleasure district, few people are what they seem.  Fortunately, the young lovers also discover that the path of love can lead to the right destination, after all. Ms Lin has given us a wonderful romance bursting with colors and fragrances and sounds of an intriguing time in Chinese history. She excels at world building. Her work should be recommended reading for beginning historical authors to show how setting and detail can be woven unobtrusively into the fabric of a story, so when readers turn the last page, they feel they’ve inhabited that realm.  Her writing is as rich and textured as the stories she tells. Like the quote above, she strings words together like jewels on a necklace and lays them across the pages in this gem of a book.
Mirabelle8 More than 1 year ago
Exotic adventure! I have just read this book THE LOTUS PALACE by Jeannie Lin. What a delightful journey, it has been to discover the fascinating world of courtesans. The Lotus Palace was the home of the most exquisite courtesans in China. It's the story of Yue-ying a young maidservant and personal attendant of Mingyu, an elite courtesan and of Bai Huang aristocratic playboy! I loved Ms. Lin's characters and the role they played in this murder mystery plot filled with intrigues. I love how the author developped the friendship that was transformed with time into a beautiful love between Yue-ying and Bai Huang. This world that the story was set in, was filled with secrets and it kept me interested until the end. You will want to know who is the murderer! Ms. Lin is a talented storyteller, she very well described in so many ways, the many roles that women held in the Chinese society through out times. It was also interesting to discover the traditions and the culture of China! I highly recommend THE LOTUS PALACE, Ms. Lin's first book in The Lotus Palace series. I will definitely be reading more books by this author.
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
Yue-ying is a maid servant to Mingyu, a famous courtesan at the Lotus Palace. The beauty and opulence of the Pingkang Li serve as a cover for political intrigue, secrets and danger. Yue-ying may be street smart and practical but she is invisible to others. Bai Huang, an aristocratic playboy, is a frequent visitor to the Lotus Palace. Why is he playing the hard-living fool? Who is he really courting? The murder of a laborer brings Wu Kaifeng, the head constable, to investigate. Suddenly Mingyu disappears. How was she involved? Jeannie Lin has written a beautiful and lyrical story. Her descriptions make the Lotus Palace and her inhabitants come alive. I was captivated by her characters. Their problems and emotions are so real that they pull you into their world. The surprises keep coming in this engrossing story of love and honor. Jeannie's attention to details shows how thoroughly she has researched her topic and how much she loves the Tang Dynasty. This book is a keeper. The author gifted me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
cjyar More than 1 year ago
“The Lotus Palace” is a very moving novel that takes readers into a world that most know little about, all the while making you care enormously about the characters. Yue-ying is an unusual heroine in that she has a beauty most do not recognize (due to what she believes is a disfiguring facial birthmark) and a practical attitude toward her past, her station in life, and how little she can expect. Lord Bai Huang is a privileged aristocrat with familial and personal advantages putting him in a world that has no place for a woman like Yue-ying. The beauty and joy of this intricately written novel is discovering how these two get to know each other, contribute to solving the mystery of two murders, and shatter all expectations while fighting for their future happiness. Tang Dynasty China comes alive with detail and meticulous description. Secondary characters are also finely drawn and contribute to both plot and setting, helping to make up the world in which Yue-ying and Bai Huang struggle to find their place together. While the mystery keeps you guessing and moves the plot along, the characters truly shine and are what make this book special for me. Everything comes together in creating an exceptional historical romance novel that you will remember long after turning the last page. I personally cannot wait for what author Jeannie Lin plans next!
Meg-ABookishAffair More than 1 year ago
"The Lotus Palace" is the beginning of a new series by Jeannie Lin. This historical romance takes us to Pingkang Li and into the mysterious world of the courtesans. I loved this historical romance for it's great love story and the good historical detail. By this time I've realized that if I pick up a Jeannie Lin book, there are a couple things that I can count on. One is a swoon-worthy love story. Two is a great setting that leaves a lot of room for some quality armchair traveling. Lucky for me, both of these elements were also present in this book. Okay, so the romance in this book was really good. I loved the story between Yue-Ying and Lord Bai. This is a classic story of two lovers who come from completely different worlds but find love together. Lin gives a fresh take on this story by creating characters that you really want to be together. I don't want to give too much away about Yue-Ying's background as it's part of the story but I was really pulling for her throughout the entire book! I loved the setting of the book too. I don't get to read about Asia nearly enough. Ancient China is so fascinating to me. Even though this is a romance, there is a ton of good historical detail. The Lotus Palace truly comes to life! Now according to Goodreads, the next book isn't coming out until 2014. Count on me waiting with bated breath!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was fascinated by her descriptions of the time and place. Found myself engrossed in the characters and rooting for them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is so lightweight that a 6th grader could have written it. I did not realize it was a Harlequin novel when I got it. I think I got it free but if I had paid for it, I would have tried to return it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can i be the med cat
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
This was my first historical romance in Chinese culture. I'd read some fantasy based on old myths, but never anything set in "real life." The culture of the pleasure houses is very vibrant. If the woman is considered a great beauty, she can live a life of ease - hosting grand parties and holding discussions with intellectuals and poets. If the woman is flawed she becomes nothing more than a piece of flesh to buy and sell. Mingyu is a great beauty, but her maidservant Yue-ying is flawed. They are both shocked with the oldest son of a wealthy family, Bai Huang, begins to show an interest in Yue-ying. (I did have a problem with the names at first just because they were very unfamiliar.)  During this time there are two horrible murders in the city, one of which is another courtesan, and Huang finds himself drawn into the investigation for a wide variety of reasons, dragging Yue-ying along with him. This part of the story didn't flow as smoothly as the rest of the story for me. It dragged quite often and slowed down the progress of the book overall. I wish there had been either much more or less about it instead of it hovering uncertainly in the background for much of it. It seemed to just be the excuse to get the two characters to have a conversation instead of a major driving force (which I think it was meant to be).  There is a HEA, but it seemed to be a little forced - but I won't be saying much more on that. The romance was well written and I love how much of the culture was brought into the story. From the clothing and hair accessories, to the family formalities it really brought the story to life.  *This book was received in exchange for an honest review* 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
He pounces on her, pinning her.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"I know many, my love." He piped, nuging to thin the tension, "We will become Lotusclan, a young generation of new warriors."
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Woodsever More than 1 year ago
Although it had a different plot twist, I had guessed the secret before it was uncovered, but not for lack of a good plot! Read in a day as the writing style keeps your interest! Amazinglifestyle women have been forced to live all over our world and through the ages to present! I will be reading more of this author'swork in the future.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She padded in.
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