First off, can I say how much I love the cover of this book It s not only beautiful but it fits the story too That s quite a rare treat in today s crazy publishing world, LOL.This was my second read by Ms Dee and it was another winner I m not familiar with her backlist but I definitely plan to be so I don t know if this is her niche in writing, but I loved how she wasn t afraid of tackling controversial subjects in the two books I ve read So refreshing Captive Bride takes place in San Francisco, 1870 which is an unusual setting in Romancelandia Just so you get a better understanding of that time and place, here s an excerpt of the Author s NoteIn 1867 the Pacific Mail Steamship Company began regularly scheduled runs between Hong Kong and San Francisco Between 1870 and 1883 an average of 12,000 Chinese were arriving in San Francisco each year.In 1870 California passed a law against the importation of Chinese, Japanese and Mongolian women for the purpose of prostitution.The Chinese Exclusion Act, passed by Congress in 1882, was the only U.S law ever to prevent immigration and naturalization on the basis of race Chua Huiann is one of those Chinese women who are taken from their home country to be a prostitute in San Francisco The difference is, she and her parents have been lied to and believe that she s to marry Xie Fuhua, a Chinese businessmen who s made his fortune in America When Huiann is taken to Xie s Pleasure Palace and finds out what he really wants from her, she pretends to be resigned to her fate in order to buy some time She manages to escape before her virginity is sold to the highest bidder and runs to hide inside the first shop that catches her attention.Alan Sommers is a solitary man who s still trying to forget the horrors he suffered during the Civil War When Huiann bursts through the door of his shop and starts talking to him, he doesn t understand a word she says, but the desperation he sees on her face is enough to convince him to give her shelter from whoever is after her.And so it begins Huiann and Alan s relationship is very tentative at first, as one can t understand the other s language and have to communicate through drawings and signs Alan hires Huiann as a housekeeper so she has a safe place to stay and hide from her owner Xie and they soon find themselves irrevocably attracted to each other But what good can come from that Xie s a powerful man, he wants his property back and, on that matter, the law is on his side And even if Xie wasn t a threat in itself, the good citizens of San Francisco wouldn t compliment Alan on marrying Huiann, a woman of inferior race Are Huiann and Alan destined to live in hiding This was one of the most romantic books I ve read Yeah, romance books are supposed to be romantic, I know, but this one was different I don t know how to explain it, I can only say that I was very aware of Huiann and Alan s love for each other during this read Something in Ms Dee s writing struck a chord with me, even though I thought it was too poetic now and then.I did have a problem with the pacing of the story, though The first half was too slow and very descriptive I could see why it had to be that way, considering that Huiann couldn t speak English and had to rely on her other senses to understand the new and sometimes frightening world that surrounded her, but I found myself wishing for a faster pace.Overall, I really liked this book It had great characters yes, I mean not only Huiann and Alan, but the secondary characters too and an engaging story What s not to like Note I received this eARC from Carina Press via NetGalley That had no influence on my review rating. Bonnie Dee is a rising author, whose work is always new and fresh, from a different and new perspective and for me Captive Bride captures this perfectly With a setting unknown and sometimes forgotten in America history and not one of the brightest spots in US history Dee brings it to vivid color with her writing voice, with the ability not to point fingers but give it to the reader in brass facts The journey of Huiann who arrives in america thinking she was to be a bride, but really going to be forced into the sex trade keeping her head, Huiann waits for the moment to run and with luck or fate ends up in the arms of Alan a shop keeper trying to live through the nightmares of war and trying to make a better place for a city with a hovering black cloud over it Dee does this remarkable communication between Alan and Huiann Through drawings and a slow progress of teaching English to her, Alan and Huiann talk to one another, which gave such a great depth and intimacy the characters and the reader It s understandable why these two wonderful characters fall in love with one another It s their soul they fall in love with first before anything, and this just stole my heart Your giving a chance to see into both their heads and the outside world, which is focus on a small part of a larger picture, but this gave the chance for the characters to develop and how it effects them, from making friends to facing danger when those whom wants Huiann back come a calling I did think Dee ending to this book was a tad far fetched for me, and way to tidy compare to the rest of the story, still the rest of the story was amazing and this just gave the die hard HEA reader, their ending Dee just amazes me time and again and Captive Bride makes me in awe of this author s talent and makes me look forward to of her works in the future 4.5 starsHuiann comes to America believing she is to marry Xie, a rich Chinese businessman However, she soon finds out that Xie plans to use her as a high class prostitute rather than his wife Huiann manages to escape and hides inside a shop which is run by Alan Sommers, a war veteran and aspiring politician Alan takes the young woman under his care and asks her to become his housekeeper Not left with any options Huiann accepts Huiann and Alan have to use sign language to communicate, since neither of them speaks the other s language Soon Huiann realizes that she can trust Alan to care for her and protect her, while Alan comes to admire her strength and optimism At the same time their attraction becomes stronger every day but Alan is too much of a gentleman to take advantage of his housekeeper until finally their feelings overwhelm them both But Xie seems not to have forgotten Huiann so they can t be happy while his threat is hovering over them Besides, Alan can t publicly acknowledge his relationship with Huiann because that would be the end of his political career, so what future is there for them anyway I really, really loved this book I m still not sure why I m reluctant to rate it with 5 stars and I think I might have to change my rating in the future The story is a wonderful blend of love, passion and suspense The first part where Huiann and Alan learn to live together, was so heartwarming and tender, it took my breath away The descriptions of how Alan kept looking forward to go to his previously empty rooms after closing the shop and meet Huiann at the end of the day, made my heart melt And later when their relationship evolved, the love scenes were hot and passionate, but still I could feel the love between them it was not just sex for the sake of it I also liked the way the threat of Xie hovering over their heads was woven in the story it didn t take the focus away from the romance except near the end but added some suspense and angst that made the love story even poignant Even the stories of the secondary characters were interesting and had something to add to the overall feeling of the book But the story never wavered away from Huiann and Alan, both people I came to care deeply about Huiann was a very strong woman, determined not to whine but to fight back despite the difficult situation she found herself in and I couldn t help but admire her for it Alan on the other hand was so tender and caring and kind, you couldn t help but adore him as Huiann did If I were to make a complaint or two, it would be about the overly poetical descriptions of many of the love scenes for example her sex was repeatedly described as her lotus and a scene at the end that had to do with other prostitutes which seemed pretty unrealistic and leading to questions rather than a closure Still, my complaints are minute compared to my overall feelings for the book Readers looking for a historical romance set outside the usual premises of Victorian England and the ton, should definitely check this out. I started off liking this book and the characters, but that quickly fell away once I got past the halfway point The one thing I liked about the book in the beginning was that I was glad the author didn t feel the need for shock value She could ve made Huiann s week long captivity brutal, even without rape, but she didn t However, in the second half of the book, view spoiler when she s taken captive again, the author felt the need to include whipping, humiliation, sexual assault and near rape Ugh Why And don t even get me started on the ick factor of her jumping into bed with Alan immediately after this ordeal hide spoiler Good story Huiann is a young Chinese woman whose parents strike a deal with a rich American merchant They think Huiann is going to America to be the man s wife but upon reaching San Fran, Huiann discovers she s to be a whore.She escapes straight into the arms of Alan, a white man with a small store and big political aspirations I liked this part I liked how Alan and Huiann find ways to communicate with each other and tell each other stories even though they speak different languages There was something very touching about all of this Well, the inevitable happens They fall in love and get that stirring in their loins And here is my complaint The sex is OTT with passages such as, He traced his finger down the crack between her cheeks, skating lightly over her anus, which clenched spasmodically Once , he reached between her legs, fingered her engorged vulva Engorged vulva EWWWWW That does NOT get me excited.Anyways, back to the story Alan is falling in love with a Chinese woman, but is fully aware that his voters white are going to have an issue if he takes a Chinese wife Huiann is falling in love as well, but her pimp is out there looking for her and she is in a bit of a debate about going back to China Here she was a wage earner with the ability to earn money for herself and live life on her own terms, as much as a woman could That s assuming the pimp doesn t get to her firstFavorite quote I m pretending to be alive.talking to people, eating food, sh tting it out again, going to bed at night, then starting all over again the next day But it all means nothing to me I m hollow How many of us have had those same thoughts There are times when I think that I might be a bit too generous with five star reviews, but then there are other times when five stars doesn t seem nearly enough to express just how much a particular work moved me I know that AAR uses desert isle keepers and as I m in the Pacific Northwest, I think I ll call it a monsoon must Bonnie Dee earned every point of this five star review with an emotional tale of forbidden longing and loneliness It s 1870 and Huiann has come to San Fransisco from China marry a wealthy businessman only to learn that she s been deceived her wealthy businessman is, in fact, a brothel owner and intends to sell Huiann to the highest bidder Huiann manages to get free and runs away, right into Alan s general store Alan owns a General Store in San Fransisco because it was the last stop on the train west, and after the Civil War, he just kept heading west in an effort to outrun his inner demons He immediately does the right thing when Huiann appears and hides her and I loved this about him There was no second guessing, no are you sure you re really in trouble, no convincing needed he grasped that she was in trouble, believed her, and hid her Alan is attracted to her from the beginning, but he fights very hard against this, because he knows what she s escaped from, and he s well aware that there s no future for them But he keeps her on as his housekeeper, and what follows is one the most unlikely and beautiful friendship to love stories Early on, there is a scene where they have a conversation each one speaking in his her native tongue, completely unable to understand each other s words, yet revealing deep, painful secrets precisely because there is no chance of censor And, actually, they understand each other perfectly Dee manages to convey emotion with a single glance or bowl of soup than many authors wring out of multi page love scenes When Alan and Huiann finally give into their passion, it is a beautiful union these are some of the most loving, emotional love scenes I have read Which is strange really, because love scenes should be filled with love, but oftentimes they serve a different purpose to the story But, here it is all about unspoken love Dee captures 1870 San Fransisco remarkably well, but what I loved were all the day to day living details I could easily picture the general store and the attached quarters that become Huiann s whole world for most of the novel So often historical fiction gloss over unpleasant details, but Dee understands that the smell of the streets, the crowdedness of the courtyard which is anything but picturesque, the crumbly walls, and impossibility of doing laundry in a tiny space, all add immeasurably to the impact of this tale I loved too that she didn t feel the need to give us a history lesson on San Fransisco each detail included was relevant So many late 1800s books set in SF feel the need to mention the opium trade even if it has no relevance to the plot It s not relevant here, so Dee focuses on what is small time city politics, the Chinese sex trade industry which all things considered plays a very, very small role , general store operations, dress making, and food The realism continues with the character arcs The language barrier persists throughout the book, which made everything feel authentic I have read many inter cultural love stories where about 1 4 of the way through the book, suddenly one of the parties seems to locate a star trek transponder or decoder ring, and the parties are conversing as if they ve always spoken each other s language That s not the case here, and by keeping Huiann s acquisition of language gradual, Dee has to deliver through gestures and inner thoughts With such a hurdle, it would be easy to let the pacing suffer, but this was a fast read, with the backdrop of the risk to Huiann if she is discovered keeping the tension high Dee moves us through several months seamlessly, which also felt authentic these are two very shy, very lonely, very scarred individuals, and even though the attraction is there, they aren t going to act on it overnight She also managed to make them feel very true to their time period Alan totally felt like an 1870 s man, not a 2011 Alpha Male deluxe archetype inserted into a historical Huiann doesn t suddenly become westernized, but she s also not a stereotypical Chinese woman of the time period Her belief system doesn t change just because she loves Alan it expands to incorporate him and vice versa This was just beautifully handled If you love Susan Wiggs s early historicals set in this time period, you will adore this book as she captures a similar tone and feel If you love unusual love stories of any genre, you are in for a treat with this lovely tale This is one of those books that I want to chase down my friends and MAKE them read it because I want people to talk about it with. My review contains spoilers and they re mostly my thoughts as I went with the bookLet me tell you the first and foremost, I loved Alan I simply adored him and I m going to gush about it throughout my review He was so sweet from the beginning, I knew I m gonna like him very much but boy as the story progressed, I fell in love Huiann, you might have to scooch over dear p And, Bonnie Dee s stories do have something so earthy and special about them, from Bone Deep to A Hearing Heart and now Captive Bride, another winner for me The whole premise was very interesting and a Chinese heroine, a first for me I loved the description of the post Civil War era San Francisco and its China Town BD does have a gift for narrating history without making you bored and runny eyed I absolutely loved the way Huiann and Alan s relationship was described, which blossomed into love without even communicating properly It proved that words don t always have to be the means of communication for two people who are meant for each other.Huiann came to SF with a dream to be a bride to a businessman, only to find herself into a web of deceit and lies by a dangerous mafia boss of the China Town Her parents sent her so far away from home because they didn t have enough money to marry her off When the messenger from this wealthy businessman arrived with the proposal, it was godsend to them Huiann is young, petite and very beautiful She s their youngest daughter They didn t care for anything else and signed the contract on spot She journied to this foreign land with the man and a woman send by her prospective husband to accompany her On the ship, while touring it she finds out many women, slaves it seems, kept in such inhuman conditions that she decides she d ask her husband to help them Upon her arrival, Huiann is taken to a house She didn t like it s decoration on the first glimpse It was bad and vulgar She kept planning how to do this and that and change the house when she s taken to a room and the woman, Madam Teng, asks her to strip, wear only a robe and follow her Huiann felt the first apprehension but obeyed nonetheless And soon, from Xie Fuhua, her prospective husband himself, she finds out she d been lied to and paid for, to become a famous courtesan Huiann is in shock and in denial first but she realizes she can t do a thing to escape, unless she plans carefully Xie threatens her that an escape would certainly mean something horrible for her So, she s kept locked away but only for the prospective customers, who wanted to have a look at her She had to strip down, feeling humiliated and disgusted It s like some cattle they re measuring the market for It was so disgusting and some men were too, I kept shaking my head reading their tasted Just perverts Then Madam Teng teaches her the ways of whoring herself properly Huiann has no other option but to listen to her Soon, one distasteful white guy becomes the higher bidder for her virginity and she was being ready to be taken away to the man s house as his bride On the way, Huiann is given a chance and she takes it She runs for her life and hides into Alan s shop.Alan is a war veteran but he didn t fight, mostly spent his time in a prison where he was taken to just after the war started He feels guilty for it As far as I understood, he has mild PTSD nightmares from his stay in that prison, in an utterly inhuman condition no doubt, some of which comes out later in narrative I felt for Alan from the get go After he was released, he just couldn t pick up his life so he left his home town and moved to SF, without any ambition in mind It s been 5 yrs and he s now a successful salesman and owner of a grocery store He s also ambitious about his budding political career The China Town is nearby and he knows some vendors, from whom he buys his supplies One day he s out there shopping and decides to take a walk to the port On a ship, he sees this beautiful Chinese woman and instantly felt something Even after coming back, he kept on thinking about her like why she is here, if she was here to marry etc I so understood his yearning since he s a lonely man His clerk Jeremy is his only constant companion as they work in the store throughout the day Then a few days later, when that woman rushed into his shop, it seems like running for her life, Alan decides on the spot to help and shelter her.I liked the way it all started and Alan and Huiann s attempt at communication They didn t understand a thing they said to each other It was done very well IMO, their bits and pieces of conversations which started out as monologues from both sides Huiann talking about whatever comes to her mind, Alan to his Then, it was through pictures and pantomimes sort of Soon Huiann took over Alan s household as his housekeeper Alan asked Jeremy to keep quite about it She did cooking, cleaning and all the other chores She slept in one of the rooms in the small apartment over the store Soon she meets Dora, a woman living close by with a drunkard who beat her daily after a few glasses of drink Huiann felt a kinship with her and they become friends Huiann also starts sewing, something she loves to do At first, she sews curtains for the apartment, surprising and pleasing Alan Then, from some of the catalogs that illustrate the recent womens fashion from Alan s store, she decides to copy them and help Alan with his income But in between, there was no denying the budding attraction, something that was becoming painful for Alan to keep in check He just didn t want to be lonely any and it wasn t just sex that he wanted, as he soon realizes But what can he do He can t make a mistress out of his own housekeeper, a woman he d sworn to protect He can t make her live out the same fate she was brought here to live in the first place But it was difficult since Alan knew the attraction was mutual.And Huiann was attracted to him Although at first, Alan s alien American features, great height and bright blue eyes seemed unappealing to Huiann, soon she found him attractive The she saw him, the appealing he became He was also kind and generous she never thought she d ever find someone like him after the game fate played with her life Alan was meanwhile teaching her to speak English, with a little help from Jeremy and Dora, while Huiann would tell him, in broken sentences about her life and some Chinese customs and games Alan brought her gifts, with the help of one of the Chinese vendors he regularly purchased items from named Dong Li Huiann was beyond pleased by his gestures, even though some of the gifts were inappropriate for an unmarried girl But of course, Alan didn t know about it In the meantime, we met some of the SF s elites that were interested in Alan s ambitions and his position as an eligible bachelor One of them, the Dodges would invite him to their house, mostly because of their daughter Cynthia Alan had no interest in her but he knew he had to keep his connections to further his goals to become a successful politician He also knew that the words of a Chinese woman living in his house can destroy everything for him By now, from Huiann s gesture and a few broken words, he knew what happened to her and that it was the mafia boss Fuhua who was responsible The police steer clear of the China Town, so no help would come from them Alan knew if Fuhua takes Huiann somehow, no one would help him out.Every night when Alan would go to bed, Huiann, knowing it was wrong would think of him Would he come into her room Would he ask for Because she certainly wanted to give him what he wanted, something which was apparent from his looks and the way he studied her when he thought she wasn t looking I loved this little information and seeing things from Huiann s POV She was small and soft on the outside but inside, quite courageous and passionate She knew she d allow Alan anything he wants and it s not entirely because of gratitude There was something between them none of them can deny Then one night, when he got up again something he does often, Huiann guessed he cannot sleep or something she was actually jealous when Alan would go out in the middle of the night thinking he might be visiting a woman, oh I loved it , Huiann thought he d go out But sounds from the kitchen took her downstairs I just adored this scene, the raw intensity and yearning coming from Alan and Huiann reciprocating The exhaustion apparent in his slumped shoulders made her heart twist He looked so tired she wanted to rub his back and stroke his hair, as a mother would for a child This was natural compassion, she decided, and walked toward him to give him what comfort she could.He finally heard her and lifted his head from his arms Locks of sandy hair fell over his forehead and he looked up at her with deep indigo eyes Even in the dim light, she could see pain etched across his features What horrors stalked his dreams What could she do to help him sleep peacefully For a long moment they gazed at one another and then Huiann rested her hand on his shoulder At the same time, Alan leaned into her body They came together like two halves of an eggshell carefully broken He slid a hand around her waist and pulled her closer His face pressed against her breast His arms wrapped around her.She held him, cradling his head, rubbing his back His body was so warm in her embrace Her heart beat steadily and her stomach flipped in slow, lazy somersaults The moment she d sensed coming for so long was here What would happen next For a long time, they remained locked in perfect union, contented, safe, no longer alone As she caressed his hair, soft as she d imagined, he tilted his face to look up at her His eyes glittered in the lamplight He wanted and Huiann realized she did too.Nothing happened that day but a heartwarming kiss And, then kisses in the coming days One day, Alan asks her to share his bed, only share and nothing else Though he d love to make love to her but even without it, he d make do but he can t sleep alone for another night It turned into soon enough Alan kept his promise to Huiann though, that he won t ask to have sex but they kiss and touch Huiann, on the other hand, just wanted to give him something so much, so she used a bit of Madam Teng s instructions When the last peak died away, Alan opened his eyes Huiann was watching his face He was embarrassed until he saw the glitter of tears in her eyes.He touched her cheek I m sorry I shouldn t have His sticky spunk was all over her hand and his belly and he felt like a fool He reached to grab the undershirt he d tossed aside and wiped both of them clean I m sorry No No, Alan She touched her fingers to his mouth Gou It is good You face is beau ti ful She pronounced each syllable with exquisite care.He kissed the fingers pressed to his lips No, you re beautiful A damn miracle Huiann has already decided to give herself to Alan so she, with Dora s help, visits a doctor to buy some medicine for precaution On the way, she saw a man following them and ran back home Alan was furious as he was searching for her when he found out she wasn t anywhere in the house Then he takes care of her blistered feet, so sweet of him Then Huiann promises him about the night When she goes to his room after preparing herself, seeing Alan through her eyes was just so sexy, my stomach fluttered too Her protector and savior was shirtless and barefoot, dressed only in a pair of drawers He stood beside the bed with his back to her, turning down the covers She studied the rippling muscles of his shoulders and arms as he performed the mundane task His back was a beautiful, pale canvas on which she could imagine painting letters and designs She admired the bands of muscle and the shadows beneath his shoulder blades His drawers sagged low, revealing narrow hips and the intriguing curve of his rear Her sex tightened at the glimpse of his buttocks.His face was in profile and his nose no longer seemed too big or his features too coarse as she d once thought, so long ago it seemed Instead, they appeared assertively masculine except for the thick sweep of eyelashes and the generous fullness of his lips.Alan noticed her and turned The blanket fell from his fingers as he gazed at her with the eyes of a hungry dragon His lips parted and the exhalation of his breath floated to her across the quiet room Then he walked toward her.Soon, they make love Alan can t seem to get enough of her, yet feels guilty of this situation He wants to marry her but knows he can t, due to the social prejudice as well as his political ambitions I didn t, for once, felt that he was fooling around I knew he was serious because Alan is the kind of man you trust, respect, adore and love Huiann knew that too Meanwhile, Jeremy, Alan s clerk, a starry eyed boy who falls in love with every pretty lady, seems to attract Cynthia Dodge s attention Oh Jeremy was a goner from the moment he saw her but Alan was a bit worried that the girl maybe was going to use him and then trample over his heart Still, he helps Jeremy further his goal.Alan was attacked on his way to the bank and warned by Fuhua s men He got worried for Huiann and decides he s going to send her to a remote place he s just bought, a big farm and let her continue her sewing there with some helpers she s been asking for So far, it s been only her and Dora Alan knew he should ve taken in the fact that her whereabouts might spread out sooner or later Huiann isn t happy about it but she s just too nice to say anything else Alan understands that and at night, asks her nicely to move into the farm She accepts The man Dora was living with, one night beat her quite horribly so she takes shelter in Alan s house When the skunk threatens Alan that he must get rid of Huiann, I knew he d be upto no good The next day, Alan tells Dora that she can go with Huiann and live in the farm, helping her as she already did But Dora reminds Alan, however unintentionally, about how very close Huiann s current situation is to what she s been originally destined for when she came here Alan again feels guilty and I understood It was such a mess, mixed marriages could ruin peoples lives back then but there was no doubt that Alan really wanted Huiann to be with him always That same night, Alan had a ball to attend, courtesy Mrs Dodge and ironically, he couldn t dodge this party as he so wanted to because of his career goals Jeremy had some plans for Cynthia Alan kept quiet about it though he wasn t sure if the boy was doing the right thing Dora and Huiann dress in some of their own creations and dance with Alan Alan felt bad for hiding Huiann out but dancing with her was pure heaven to him Then he still didn t know what s waiting for him later that night When Alan, surviving the boring party, comes back he finds his shop on fire and no Huiann on sight Dora informs him that some men did this and abducted Huiann Later on, it was revealed that the skunk has been talking to Fuhua s men for a few drinks Alan s on his way to China Town, looking for her He goes to the roadside shacks, where prostitutes serviced men, living like strays themselves One of them recognized Huiann s name and I knew that moment who she was Lord, BD captured the whole sex slavery thing so well, I hated reading it but praised her efforts at the same time It was so so horrifying, so utterly unimaginable the way those women were brought back from China and used No doubt, Fuhua was the boss around here and his cronies took care of the business on his behalf I m saddened to think that even today so many women fall pray to the same kind of men and fate, something I wouldn t even wish upon my enemy Back to the story, Alan decides to take Jeremy s help In his apartment, Alan sees Cynthia and later it was known they got married the other night From then on it s an action packed rescue adventure into the brothel Fuhua already beat Huiann to submission the beating was done by his agent who brought Huiann back from China I wanted to kill them both myself, felt so angry seeing the way they treated her.Must say that when I read Bone Deep and A Hearing Heart, I thought those books should be made into movies As I read on Captive Bride, I had the same thought whirling around my mind I, for one, would love to see it In the end, the two of course came together Though at first Huiann didn t want to become any trouble for Alan, they professed their love soon After some days, they help saving some of those women in the shacks, as laws were being passed to rectify the situation and police investigating further into the happenings of Chaina Town Alan s political career was over but he didn t mind a bit Jeremy bought his shop, as he moved into the farm with Huiann with plans to make a family there Huiann requests those women to earn their keep by helping in the sewing I loved loved loved the ending sigh They marry and oh, one hot love scene on the beach Can t you tell I adore the notion of making love on a beach giggles A perfect 5 star for this book PS This book was full of Chinese proverbs as Huiann remembers them to cope with her situations There were also a few American ones, from Alan too I really found them inspiring and a praiseworthy effort by the author.This is the picture of the Chinese fertility goddess Kwan Yin, a statue of whom Alan gave to Huiann as a gift I could ve find some statue pics but this one is just so beautiful, couldn t help posting San Francisco, Huiann Arrives In America Expecting To Be Wed To A Wealthy Businessman She No Sooner Disembarks From The Ship Than She Realizes Xie Is Not Looking For A Bride Huiann Is Worth To Him As A High End Prostitute Though Her Fate Is Better Than That Of Other Chinese Women Forced Into The Sex Trade, She Has No Intention Of Waiting For Xie To Sell Her Virginity To The Highest Bidder At The First Opportunity, She Escapes And Disappears Into The CityWhen A Beautiful Woman Takes Refuge In His Store, Alan S Life Changes Forever He S Spent The Last Five Years Trying To Forget The Horrors Of War, And Had Almost Given Up Hope Of Finding Love He Hires Huiann As His Housekeeper, And Though They Can Only Communicate Through Signs And Sketches, They Quickly Form A Bond That Transcends The Need For WordsBut Xie Is Determined To Recover His Property, And Love May Not Be Enough To Protect Huiann From His Vengeance, Words Enjoyable book that takes place in San Francisco in 1870 It seemed to be well researched and the information was basically imparted as part of the story of this Chinese girl who was imported to be a prostitute unbeknownst to her When she finds out she runs away and is taken in by a white American man who hires her as a housekeeper and then falls in love with her The story develops over several months and you see the two of them learn about each other and fall in love The plot was fairly tight and the writing as always from Bonnie Dee was well done and flowing POV from both the hero and the heroine I am greatly enjoying Ms Dee s romances set in very different times and places than the norm in romance fiction. Published on Over A Cuppa TeaDate published 26th Jan 2011Review link Bride by Bonnie Dee is a very sexy and romantic read I like this very much, but I have trouble grasping the plot at the beginning of this story I was not quite sure what the author is trying to write, but it began to be clear to me after reading it for a while.There s room for improvement though the romantic scenes are spectacular I was hoping for perhaps a faster pace I m not quite sure The author was highly descriptive on the settings clothes, environment and whatnot, but I was hoping for character s development.This book is enjoyable nevertheless If I were to rate this book, I would give it a 3 stars out of 5 stars.