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Book Review of The Russian Concubine

The Russian Concubine
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After savoring THE JEWEL OF ST. PETERSBURG a couple of weeks ago, I just had to get my hands on this sequel! I wasn't disappointed, but I must say that I didn't enjoy THE RUSSIAN CONCUBINE quite as much. The setting was no less tumultuous, due to the revolutionary times, but for me Junchow, China just wasn't quite as intoxicating as St. Petersburg, Russia; and young Lydia Ivanova wasn't nearly as enchanting as her mother Valentina had been at the same age.

However, I did still get caught up in the lives of Lydia and Chang, and their intense love story! And despite their being a few Harlequin-over-the-top spots, I truly felt their deep love and devotion for one another.

Though many of her actions and motivations were understandable, I didn't like what the loss of Jens did to Valentina. In Junchow, she is merely a shadow of the woman we came to know and love in St. Petersburg.

Lydia was quite annoying at times, but she was also a typical hot-headed, know-it-all teenager in love.

Theo the schoolmaster was the other lead character, and although he was quite complex, he wasn't necessarily all that likable. I don't mind leaving him and his life behind in Junchow.

I continue to praise Kate Furnivall's wonderful ability to bring the reader right into the time and place. The characters pop out of the pages and take on three dimensions in her action-packed writing style. And I do look forward to reading the final book in the trilogy, THE GIRL FROM JUNCHOW!

(And I agree with other reviewers about the title, THE RUSSIAN CONCUBINE doesn't seem to make any sense at all.)