The Last Concubine - Catt Ford 4.5 stars

This story had a lot of elements that I enjoy reading about. For one, it's set in historical China (there just aren't enough Asian books out there, IMO), there's the whole arranged concubine theme, the deceptive secrets and the fact this Princess kicks ass!

Honestly, I loved this book. It's not perfect, I will admit that. The MCs, Hüi Wei and Lan'xiu, are instantly ensnared with each other. It's essentially love and lust at first sight even with all the chaos surrounding Lan'xiu's arrival. I enjoyed the story because I found the love they develop for each other sweet and intense. What Hüi Wei struggles with in regards to his position and how enemies could take advantage of his feelings for Lan'xiu was sad but interesting.

I've always been a sucker for stories that have a character pretending to be someone else and the fact Lan'xiu is disguised as a princess when he's really supposed to be a prince was intriguing for me. Especially when Lan'xiu actually enjoyed dressing in silks and satins as a woman as opposed to a man's clothing. I also liked the way Lan'xiu's identity was such a closely guarded secret and the way Shu Ning (Lan'xiu's eunuch) was so protective of Lan'xiu even though Lan'xiu was so fierce he was an ass kicking warrior.

As I said, though, this story isn't without its faults. For one, I know Lan'xiu was a princess to the outside world but even he considered himself as a 'she' in his own POV. I found that odd and he's not the only one that did that. Hüi Wei and Shu Ning did that, too, even though they knew the real Lan'xiu. Also, while the beginning was pretty good, the ending tended to have more scenes with head hopping.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. It doesn't have much outside conflict but there are a few suspenseful parts. A bit too much sex at times for my tastes but the characters and their love story were fascinating to me and I had a hard time putting the book down.

And for all those wondering about the harem element to the story Hüi Wei doesn't sleep with any of his other 'wives' from the moment Lan'xiu arrives. So there is no 'cheating'. Hüi Wei only ever has sex with Lan'xiu. And y'all will never know how happy I was for that!