If you’re somebody who’s been reading romance fiction for a while, then you’ll know that this is a genre that covers a wealth of different time periods and settings.
Whether you’re in the mood for daring knights with oaths of chivalry, or a dashing young Duke from regency England, there’s a book out there for you.
In this article, we’re going to be taking a closer look at romance novels set in China. Below, we’ve compiled a list of what we believe to be some of the very best Chinese romance novels.
The novel’s that we’ve selected all take place in different time periods, and are all highly individual. Whether you’re looking for a historical or modern romance novel, there’s something here to cater to your desires.
To find out more, simply keep reading below, as we take a closer look.
For our first pick, we’re going to be taking a look at this heartbreakingly poignant book by Dustin Thao. This book follows the journey of a young girl called Julie.
Julie dreams of only two things in life, and that’s to visit China and spend a summer there, and get married to her longtime boyfriend Sam.
The two of them are inseparable, and they have dreams of spending the rest of their lives together, that is until Sam tragically dies, before Julie has a chance to say goodbye.
Julie is devastated, and is left reeling by these sudden turns of events.
Unable to face up to what’s happened, she throws out all of Sam’s things, and decides that she’s going to eradicate all memories of him.
But, prompted by a message from Sam in her yearbook, she decides that she’s going to call his voicemail just one last time.
Julie has the shock of her life, as Sam actually picks up the phone, and she discovers that she’s actually able to speak to him.
Their calls become increasingly difficult however, as she struggles to keep their secret communication private. If she tells another soul, she risks truly losing Sam forever.
If you’re looking for a book that’s full of excitement and intrigue, then we’ve got the perfect one for you. The Secret Mandarin spans across two different countries, China and Victorian London.
In this book, we follow the journey of Mary, and her brother in law, Robert Fortune. Robert invites Mary to China with him, saying that he’s going to steal tea leaves for the East India Company.
Mary, caught up in the excitement of it all, decides that she will accompany him. But, as they arrive, and certain events unfold, Mary gradually realizes that this was in fact, a deception.
The real reason why Robert is there is to gather intelligence for British forces, as a result of the opium war that’s taking place.
Their situation becomes increasingly tense, and Mary grieves for the baby she’s left behind in London, as well as her way of life in the UK.
She feels completely lost, that is, until she decides to embrace the Chinese way of life. This gives Mary a newfound sense of power and control over her life, and gives her the courage to persevere despite the difficulties she faces.
Robert, who is ruthless in his pursuit of intelligence, begins to fall for Mary, and sees her for the brave woman she is.
Their romance is a slow burner, and happens very gradually throughout the course of the novel. The great thing about this story is that it focuses on their character development as individuals, as well as lovers.
If you’re somebody who likes a little bit of magic and fantasy in your romance novels, then we’d recommend that you take a closer look at this one by Lisa See.
In this novel, we see a play intermingled with reality, as our young protagonist called Peony.
Each year, her father stages a play called The Peony Pavilion, in which the young woman at the center of the story starves herself for love.
Peony, being incredibly moved and transfixed by this play, decides that she’s going to emulate the plotline, and starve herself for the man she’s destined to marry.
Unfortunately, Peony dies before she has the opportunity to meet him, and spends most of the novel as a ghostly lady.
Can their love transcend the barrier between life and death, and can Peony learn from her mistakes, and truly be selfless in the face of love as her beloved meets another woman?
This story is highly unusual, and isn’t like any romance novel that we’ve read before. So, if you truly want to be taken on a journey with lots of twists and turns, we’d recommend that you delve into this one.
This book is also fantastic if you really want to immerse yourself in Chinese culture and history, as it’s filled with captivating scenes and tidbits of information.
If you’re looking for a Chinese romance novel set during the 1940’s, then we’ve got the perfect one for you. This one, called The Last Rose Of Shanghai, follows the journey of a young woman called Aiyi, who is an heiress, and the owner of an incredibly popular club where all the fashionable people go to.
One fateful evening, she meets a man called Ernest, who is in fact, a Jewish refugee. Aiyi discovers that he’s an incredibly talented piano player, and she decides that she’s going to hire him to play at her jazz evenings.
Aiyi’s unconventional hire causes a scandal, as it’s viewed in the community as a break in tradition. But, this only drives more traffic into her club, and people become enthralled at seeing Earnest play.
What started out as a shared love of jazz music turns into something far deeper for the pair. But, with the budding war, their relationship is threatened to be driven apart.
They must make incredibly difficult decisions in order to ensure their survival, and these promise to change their lives forever.
This is an incredibly thrilling novel, and if you’re a fan of books that are set against the backdrop of the war, and real historical fiction, you’re going to love this one.
If you’re a lover of high fantasy, then we’ve got the perfect book for you. This novel follows the journey of Xingyin, who just so happens to have grown up on the moon.
Living there for so many years, she’s become accustomed to, and even comfortable in solitude.
What she doesn’t know is that the reason she’s situated there is for her own protection, as the great Emperor wants her dead.
One day, however, Xingyin is discovered and must flee to the Celestial Kingdom. Here, she adopts a disguise, and meets the Emperor’s son, the one man that she simply cannot fall in love with.
The young prince teaches her everything she needs to know about fighting and archery, and a budding romance blooms between these two characters.
We love the role reversal in this novel between the two protagonists, as Xingyin is portrayed as the fierce warrior, whilst the prince is incredibly gentle and compassionate.
Their grand love story is set against the backdrop of several different perilous quests, and unquestionable danger, all of which serves to bring these two even closer.
If you’re a great lover of Chinese mythology, then you’re going to absolutely adore this book, as it’s laden with cultural references which are peppered throughout the book.
This book is highly transportative, and is guaranteed to sweep you off your feet into another world.
To sum up, there are a whole host of amazing romance books set in China. Whether you’re looking for a modern day romance, a work of historical fiction, or a high fantasy novel, there’s guaranteed to be something out there for you.
If you’re just delving into Chinese romance, then we’d recommend that you get started with the list above, as each of these novels offer something unique and different to the genre as a whole.
We hope that we’ve provided you with the inspiration you need to get reading