The Hidden Moon by Jeannie Lin

Thursday, November 19, 2020

by Jeannie Lin
Series: The Pingkang Li Mysteries #3
Genres: Historical, Romance, Adult
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: September 1st 2020
Source: ARC received for review
Star Quotient: ★★★★1/2
Kiss Factor: ✷✷✷✷1/2

The Hidden Moon came on my radar thanks to Aarya on Twitter. I immediately put a hold on it at the library and what a great decision that was. The Hidden Moon was just as lovely as the stunning cover. I'm so excited to have discovered a new author whose backlist I have the opportunity to read.

The shining star of The Hidden Moon was the protagonist, Wei-wei, a smart and perceptive young woman, who has grown up being outshined by her brothers. She has helped both her older and younger brothers in their respective education and jobs, but unfortunately, because of the times, she never had the freedom to be the independent woman that she wanted to be. As a result, she has avoided getting married because she knows that it would be an end to her dreams. The Hidden Moon provided her with the opportunity to showcase all her strengths when she becomes embroiled in the investigation of a high-profile murder. I love characters like Wei-wei who possess a quiet but deep strength to them. With how big her heart was, I had no trouble finding her an endearing character whose happiness I rooted for. As she navigated the conspiracies of the case, I grew even more fond of her as her determination to solve the case and resilience came to the forefront of the book.

A promise of future happiness arrived in Wei-wei's life in the form of Gao, a man who, at first glance, was the complete opposite of her. He was from the wrong sides of the tracks and had the misfortune to work for some shady characters unlike Wei-wei, who grew up in a wealthy and respected family. Gao, though, was an actual giant softie. I didn't realize how much I loved love interests who are soft criminals. I would very much like to read more of these heroes. Anyways, Gao pined and thirsted for Wei-wei afar. The man was so hopelessly in love with Wei-wei and would hang on to her every word. He knew that because of their very different socioeconomic backgrounds that they could never be together, but that didn't stop this stoic man from dreaming about a life with Wei-wei. The romance between the two was wonderfully crafted and paced. The tension, the yearning, and the connection between the pair were unmistakable. The touch of angst in their relationship made for an incredibly dreamy and swoon-worthy romance. Wei-wei and Gao's love story was the soft and pining romance of my dreams.

The secondary cast here was equally compelling, from Wei-wei's investigator brother to the man who her mother wanted her to marry. I loved how nuanced all of the characters were, making them all feel like important players of the story. The backdrop of China in the Tang Dynasty also made The Hidden Moon stand out, in my opinion. It added an extra something special to the already beautiful romance. Jeannie Lin is clearly a very talented writer and she brought the setting and atmosphere to life with her rich prose. The case that Wei-wei and Gao attempt to solve was also brilliantly executed. I appreciated that it was given equal importance as the romance. It was hard not to get invested in the mystery when the author delivered on the conspiracies and political intrigue.

The Hidden Moon was breath-taking and I can't recommend this one enough to those of you who love historical romances. It offered something different than what dominates the historical romance market and it truly was a standout novel for me. I'll definitely be revisiting this book as I go back to the start of the series.

Hi, friends!

This review is part of a feature where I read books recommended to me by Twitter friends. The recommendation for The Hidden Moon came from Aarya, who has excellent tastes in romance and has yet to lead me astray. Many thanks to Aarya for putting this book on my radar.

Let's chat!

What are some non-traditional historical romances you have read? Do you enjoy historical mysteries?
Let me know in the comments below!

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