Review: The Dragon and the Pearl by Jeannie Lin

Posted June 3, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 20 Comments

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Review: The Dragon and the Pearl by Jeannie Lin
The Dragon and the Pearl

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Series: Tang Dynasty #2
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Harlequin Historicals
Released on January 1, 2011
Pages: 281
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
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The Delight

It’s Pacific Asian Heritage Month so what better way to celebrate than to grab up a historical set during China’s Tang Dynasty during an exciting time of shifting alliances and loyalties, intrigue and excitement.  The romance is as tumultuous as the time period between two most unlikely people- a warlord and a former Imperial consort.


The Dragon and the Pearl is book two in the Tang Dynasty series and acts as a direct follow up to the events in book one when the main pair were introduced as side characters.  In fact, Tao was the villain.  So, yes, read book one first.

As I just stated, the hero of this story was the perceived villain.  He’s a ruthless warlord who controls his territory with brute strength and cunning and people are whispering at court into the new emperor’s ears that General Tao is disloyal.  Tao is making moves and preparing, but in his mind war with a rival warlord and maybe the emperor himself is inevitable.  But, what is the significance of the recently dead emperor’s breathtakingly beautiful consort?  He thwarts assassination attempts on her life and takes her into his keeping as either a viper to his bosom or the key that could take down his enemy if he can pry her secrets from her.

Suyin has been exploited and used all her life from the pleasure houses catering to the wealth and powerful and into the cut-throat world of the imperial court.  She had finally earned her reward living isolated on a lonely estate at peace until something she knows makes her a danger to one man and a weapon to be wielded by another.  This time, she will not be used.  She will take what she wants.  Does she want this ruthless, ungentlemanly warlord who is set on self-destruction because he only knows one way to get what he wants?  Perhaps what she has learned about subtle methods at court can serve them both well if he will only trust her when she has never been known to be particularly trustworthy.

I have read nearly everything this author has published.  This one and a few short stories were all I had left to read.  I knew after reading Butterfly Swords last year that I really wanted this story.  Both characters appeared in that story and they were vastly more interesting to me than the main characters- not that the main characters were not enjoyable.  I am a sucker for political intrigue and a pair of strong, clever and driven characters who have a little larceny in them.

Though both Tao and Suyin have risen from their original gutter rat status as children to be accepted at the height of power, they don’t forget the ruthless survival instincts that have kept them alive until now.  Their first encounters are memorable as they both try to hold the power position and twist the other to their advantage.  The romance was slow burn and had to advance out of their suspicion and dislike even while other events are also in motion.  She is a courtesan and trained in a top pleasure palace so the dynamics are different for their coming together.

The end of the book ratcheted up the suspense and excitement so that I was riveted and barely breathing a few times.  I loved how this story built to that moment and didn’t disappoint with either the romance or suspense.

The historical setting is not neglected, but it doesn’t take over and bog down the story.  It felt authentic even down to how the characters spoke and acted.  I’ve read all the novels in this series and each is beautiful and takes the reader to that distant era and place.  I will miss that.

So, this Asian historical full of colorful characters, intrigue, and excitement was fabulous.  I can heartily recommend this author to historical romance lovers who want to leave the ballroom and explore the historical world.

Challenges Met

Mt. TBR #47
Romance-opoly #28 Courtesan


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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Debbie Haupt
2 years ago

I think I’ve read her before Sophia Rose in fact I’ll have to check when I leave but I think she’s a local author. Great review she writes really well

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

Yes! She is a local author for you- lucky lady. Her books are such gems.

2 years ago

Oh, this sounds good. I’ve only read Asian-set stories in historic steampunk. I’ll need to give this a try.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Jen

Probably her steampunks. I love those too. If you can, start with Butterfly Swords first, Jen.

Crystal @ Lost in Storyland

I haven’t read this author before, but I’ve heard great things about this series. The Dragon and the Pearl sounds like one I’d enjoy. I’ll be sure this check this one out!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

It is a great historical romance series. Love that it gets exciting. Start with Butterfly Swords if you go for it, Crystal!

2 years ago

Thesetting of this one looks really interesting!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

Yes, its really neat how she can make you see it as if you were there.

Melissa (Books and Things)

I haven’t read much with this kind of historical setting so that makes me curious. I have been wanting to try one of her romances and so I’ll look out for the first book.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

I was all over the place with this series b/c I tripped over it with book three and only came back for book one later. But, this one definitely works better after book one. It’s neat to find romance set in historical China. 🙂

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

I’ve enjoyed this author, but confess I’ve been neglectful in keeping up with her releasees. I need to fix that.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

Isn’t she great?
Oh, I know the feeling. Keeping up with all the authors and the new releases is impossible. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
2 years ago

That sounds really good. I haven’t read one like this and this is a new author for me.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

Yes, it a bit of something special in the historical romance genre and I enjoyed that.

Lover Of Romance
2 years ago

Lovely review darling. So happy to see that you were riveted by this one. I plan on reading this series this year and I can’t wait for it. I love seeing an author balance out the story with the historical setting.

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

After reading their intro in the earlier book, I was eager to keep going with them as the main characters. Hope you like them when you get the chance, Renee.

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

I love that the historical setting and characters felt authentic and the ending packed such a great punch with all of the action and suspense! Wonderful Review Sophia!

Sophia Rose
2 years ago

I’m a little sad that I’ve finished all the longer stories in the series b/c there is so much good stuff in them. 🙂

Carole rae
2 years ago

I love these books! Oooo Tao. 🙂 He was so fun

Sophia Rose
2 years ago
Reply to  Carole rae

Same here. I’m sad that I only have the short stories left to read. Maybe I’ll go back and start all over again after that. 🙂