Lin Qian once thought the man she wanted would be handsome and formidable, able to “create clouds with one turn of the hand and rain with another turn” in the business world, causing her to look up to him in admiration. There would be nothing he could not accomplish.
But when she finally met the one that fit this, she realized how much she liked his impassiveness, his quietness, his persistence, and his loyalty. She liked him to the point that she was willing to be with him, to stand side by side with him in this callous business world that is full of bloodshed. To be reckless in these years of our life, irrespective of the future.
An encounter, ordinary and dull like flowing water, produced the most dramatic and best years for him and her.
[Ebook] [Eng Translation] [Thời gian tươi đẹp][Audiobook][Drama with Eng Subs]
I’ve heard good things about author, Ding Mo, but her previous crime thriller novels are reputed to be quite detailed and hair-raising. Since most of my reading is done in the late night hours, I have chosen to pass for now on those ones. This is her brand new novel, hot off the (internet) press, just completed in March. It is a well-written novel with not just a sweet romance but also a good plotline.
The story is set in a backdrop of intense corporate battles in the bag/handbag industry. While I have read several stories that use the corporate setting before, the business aspect of those stories were literally like backdrops in a play that were dropped in and out out of convenience but not really getting deeply involved in the plot. However, the corporate maneuvering and strategizing in this novel takes center stage, as Li Zhicheng, a former commander in the army, comes back to his family’s ailing corporation, Aida, which is hovering on the brink of bankruptcy, to try to restore it to its former glory days in a competition-intense industry.
林浅 Lin Qian:
The novel is told 90% from our female lead’s perspective. It’s written in a light, easy-to-read tone with occasional humor thrown in. Unlike the usual boss-subordinate romances in which the girl is usually an average, not very intelligent assistant or low-level worker, Lin Qian is a young but extremely talented, business-smart woman who can stand and hold her own in front of the men, yet is still feminine and pretty. Lin Qian is a well-created female lead, definitely not a Mary Sue type character. While she is smart and prides herself on her abilities and creativity, she is still relatively inexperienced and cannot compare with the shrewdness of the two most important men in her life, Li Zhicheng and her brother, Lin Mochen. However, there is plenty of opportunity in the story for her to showcase her talents, and we watch as she also matures, both in business as well as in her relationship with the man she loves. Ding Mo has also created her character flaw in that she can be emotional, putting her heart on her sleeve, which is a no-no in the business world.
Former commander in the army, this man should not have any business sense at all, given his background. However, his penetrating strategizing leads him to create wonder after wonder and shakes the entire industry. The author actually takes war tactics from Sun Tzu’s Art of War and works them into his business strategy. He is calm, cool, shrewd, and a man of few words. In romance, though, he is persistent, loyal, and although a true manly man (though not in a chauvinistic way), his gentleness and deep respect for Lin Qian are touching. I normally don’t care for the manly man type of male characters, but his reference to Lin Qian as “his woman” and his desire to protect her is all very endearing.
There are several other well fleshed-out characters in this novel, which is one of the strong points about this story. I won’t mention them all, but I have to talk about the one who has completely won me over.
林莫臣Lin Mochen (Jason Lin):
Lin Qian’s older brother. Brilliant businessman and investor on Wall Street, equaled by no one except Li Zhicheng. Even though the two leads are great, I feel like Lin Mochen stole the show for me. The author doesn’t give too much screen time to him. In fact, until the last story arc, most of what we understand about him comes only from short telephone conversations. But, we are given just enough info and exposure to this character to be completely pulled in – his handsome exterior, his hinted painful romantic past, his business success and corresponding superiority to go with it, his unconditional love for his sister that borders on doting on her and makes this cunning businessman so attractive. Aaaaah! Be still, my heart. (BTW, despite being a Wallace Huo fan, I keep imagining Wallace Chung as Mochen.) Lin Qian is so lucky to be protected and loved by these two ridiculously smart and amazing men.
After a slower, albeit not boring start that sets the scene on the terrible state of Aida Corporation and introduction to our two main leads, the story jumps right into business strategizing. We are given hints to Li Zhicheng’s brilliance, but because the story is mainly told from Lin Qian’s perspective, it is suspenseful as we wonder how in the world is he going to turn the tides around. The author has thought through the plot and the readers are like observers of a brilliant chess game as we watch as pieces get positioned. We can’t guess how the game is going to ultimately play out but it will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Romance wise, it is a boy-meets-girl, fall-in-love, stay-in-love type of story. Their romance blossoms very beautifully with its fair share of two people learning about each other and being in a relationship. There is no angst in this aspect, which I’m appreciative of. 🙂 They are sweet together. This is a love story, so there is plenty of that, and it will make you smile. (Note: Bed scenes are rather detailed, although not tasteless).
So summary: nice romance, good characters, great plot!
Thanks hoju for the synopsis & detailed review. I’ve also read good reviews on Ding Mo’s books but didn’t try any bcos I also read my novels at night & don’t like to eat shabu shabu like pm, lol. You’ve recommended & posted a few books but none of them are my cup of tea but everyone knows I like boss & staff novel so I just jumped straight in & I am at chapter 3 now.
So far so good, the setting as well as the author’s writing skill. The guy is a bit 2 cool for my liking so I hope the girl will melt him, lol. Huh, got abt 80 chapters & abt 400k words. Eeeeee, I am a bit scared by these. Can’t the China authors edit a bit of their work to make it maybe 60 chapters which I feel is the perfect length for a novel. Anyway, I’ll soldier on & I can feel Xinn & Pm wanting to overtake me from behind, lol.
A word of warning to those who can only read Viet. Your translated book is not ready yet. Only 32 chapters have been translated so be patient & wait. Bongsd, I gonna beat you for once, lol !!!! It pays to be able to understand Chinese even though I can’t read, haha…..
Thanks Hoju for your review and the character descriptions ^^
Peanuts, you’re so heartless. Prepare yourself mentally to translate the 50 missing chapters for me! Hahaha and I’m gonna dream abt XX not you reading this book, little fox! Good night. 😛
Peanuts, are you reading by google translate?
Yeah, this one is 2.5 times longer than a Gu Man novel. Ding Mo said, though, that the last story arc may not make it to the hard published copy. Her plans had actually been to end it after the second story arc, when LZC (mini-SPOILER) proposes to Lin Qian. The third story arc is about international companies entering into China’s market, competing with national brands, acquisitions and hostile takeovers of companies, and Chinese pride. It could contain too much “sensitive” material and never get published. Actually, suspense-wise, I found the last story arc less interesting, but I like it because in some ways, it evens out the ground between Lin Qian and Li Zhicheng, and makes her his equal in their relationship. It was a good way to mature their relationship. (More to say after you’ve read it… Don’t want to put in spoilers.) Plus, big brother Lin Mochen takes on a bigger role here and has my favorite scene of him. <3
LZC is not my favorite male lead. He's too impassive for my taste, too, but h is likable, especially later. Yes, he melts quite a bit when he is trying to court Lin Qian and even more when they become a couple. It is actually a nice contrast between his cold, business only personality in the office and then when he is with her. Helps him gain brownie points in the readers' eyes.
Why do I get the feel that this is a mix between Ding Mo’s other book “When a Snail Loves” and Tong Hua’s “Secret Lost in Time” with all the Wall Street geniuses and both male leads ending with “Cheng”?
Definately interested and hope to check out this book soon. Thank you for the write-up!
Yes, google translate, my beloved robot lol. Yet, I also don’t understand those wordings from The Art of War written by LZC on paper. I guess one needs to have studied Chinese to understand it. But it is ok bcos I watch enought HK drama to know the corporate tactics, haha…
I’ve huff & puff my way to more than a qtr of the novel. OMG, 1 chapter is really long. At times, it feels a bit boring as the author is too descriptive with the corporate stuff. Yet, there are always enough happenings & surprises to keep you going.
I think LZC can be considerend a ‘mensao’ male bcos he is really bland & quiet, a man of few words. Yet, it creates an air of mystery in the little things that he did or said. I won’t say I like this kind of male lead but he is something diff after I’ve read so many belly black males, lol. As for the girl, nothing special except more intelligent but still lovely & cute.
I am not sure what to feel for the supporting males bcos at times I feel they are wasting my time, lol. But they are also interesting enough for me to want to know more about them especially the boss of their number 1 rival. The writer is so cunning to hint that he used to date the female lead but is now married to another woman who is the heiress of another bag coy.
I agree. I don’t adore the male and female leads, but I like them. Overall, it’s the story that is the most interesting, although there are parts in the romance that I find touching. May translate one of those parts… or my favorite scene of big brother Lin Mochen.
Anyways, this is the war strategy after the first story arc, when Lin Qian realizes Li Zhicheng is a lot smarter than she first believed. Going back into the “battle” and seeing how LZC followed out this plan was neat.
“To invite him into the cooking vessel.” Otherwise known as, “give him a taste of his own medicine.” Basically, to use the same strategy that a person devised back against him.
“To murder with a borrowed knife.” To use another person to get rid of an adversary or to use someone else’s hands to do the dirty work.
“Declaring in the east but then striking in the west.” To divert the attention away from where the real attack is being made.
“To erect a wooden stake at the city gate.”
The story behind this: In the ancient Qin state, Shang Yang (an important statesman) ordered someone to erect a wooden stake at the south city gate with the word that, anyone who moved the stake from the south gate to the north gate would be given the reward of 10 gold pieces. The people did not believe that such a simple task could bring such a great reward and no one responded. Shang Yang increased the reward to 50 gold pieces. Finally, someone hesitantly went and moved the stake to the north gate. Shang Yang immediately gave out the reward as promised. The common people all praised the government for keeping their word. This saying now carries the meaning of using a very conspicuous way to get people’s attention, then build one’s reputation and then prove that one will always keep their word.
“To wait at ease for the fatigued.” To hold one’s position at ease while the enemy exhausts themselves in the attack, or to lie in wait for the fatigued enemy to arrive.
Is this Ding Mo’s latest book? I went thru my list and it wasn’t there, so I assumed it must be her latest since I’ve not been updating myself with this author’s work.
I’ve just starting reading it, thanks to Hoju’s detailed review, sounds like a must read esp since I so loved When A Snail Loves. Although I must agree with my shifu that 400k words are a tad too lengthy.
After I found out Xinn is reading this, I spent all my energy to beat her, lol. I can see the finishing line now, haha…At last, my Lin gege has gone back to China. DM said she may write a book on him. Pls write a book on him bcos he is the most interesting character in the whole book. Without him, I would have abandoned this book ages ago. Initially, I was thinking how dare that hoju relegated my beloved WC into supporting role? She must have wanted to keep the best role for her WH:P After I’ve gone thru 80% of the novel, I totally agree with her. Hoju, I am sorry for doubting you & I’ll trust you with my life in the future, lol.
I don’t like LZC even though he is the lead. I don’t admire his personality or body but I do admire his intelligence. He is not evil or bad or anything but he is worse. He is boring, yawn yawn:P His answers are always ‘Ah’ & my responses are also always ‘Urgh’. I feel that he is the most boring boss I’ve ever read, just like a robot. His interactions with LQ are slightly better but I can’t feel any cuteness or love. In fact, I think he is a lecherous boss, eeee:P I’ve to confess I skipped a bit of their romance.
The only thing that kept me going with this novel is the corporate battles. I can see Ding Mo really put in a lot of effort into writing them. They are quite realistic & very interesting, a refreshing change from books that just gloss over it. She mentioned that female readers may not like it bcos of the lack of romance & more on the corporate stuff. But I beg to differ bcos in this days & ages, I prefer to read abt an exciting business story than a boring love story. I am always kept at the edge of my seat with all the corporate tactics. Ding Mo is also rather creative with her advertisements:)
Hey Shifu, I don’t want to say this but if I had been homebased, I would hv beaten you flat out. Unfortunately, I was travelling again and I only managed to read four chapters while on transit…sob..sob….(yup…shifu, I just felt your two whacks on my head…haha..). But I’ve just got back and it shall be all system go again as far as reading is concerned.
That’s what I like about DM too. So much research, effort and understanding of the specific area put into each of her book. But if only she shortens her books a little, would hv been much better for illiterate people like me. Nevertheless, I am already so liking this book albeit all the not so exciting comments on the lead male. Oh btw, I am actually reading it from 91baby site and there couple of chapters at the beginning that are not on the site posted here. But whatever it is….no time to waste….back to the book now.
LOL. LZC is not a very exciting male lead, but I don’t find him outright a snooze like Peanuts does… I do agree that he is rather, ahem, lecherous for a large part. However, he gained brownie points with me in one scene that I found really well written. After the second story arc, when LQ once again found out that she had underestimated LZC’s intelligence, she locked herself in the study and practiced calligraphy to try to sort through her jumbled emotions and turmoil at being in the dark again. LZC came in after a while, held her hand and wrote out the characters with her. I’m not doing an apt job at describing this scene, but his respect for her, giving her space, knowing when to go in and help her sort out her emotions was beautifully written, and you could sense how much love and understanding they had for each other. Peanuts, did you skip this scene?
But yes yes yes, the plot is the number 1 reason for me for not being able to put this story down. And big brother Lin Mochen! *sniff* I’m so sad that you didn’t trust me, Peanuts, but Lin Gege won you over himself. Hehe. Doesn’t WC make the perfect LMC?
I’ve gone past one third of the book (if only I have more free time to read…sigh..). And upto this point, i have one question, why are you people not loving LZC as I do. Once again upto this point and out of the three DM’s books I’ve read (Snail, Close Your Eyes and Best Years), I think this is the best. While the corporate battles aren’t really realistic but kudos to DM for the effort.
I love LZC’s mensao qualities, he may not talk a lot but he sure thinks a lot. All of DM’s men are geniuses. He is really so MAN especially given his military background. Squeal…..squeal…..arrrrggg……And so far, all DM’s females are not empty headed either. And hahaha….I’ve not reached the wolf parts of him yet….really, great book so far….high five to Hoju posting.
Hey Pm, you reading this??
The corporate battle is realistic but you only have eyes for LZC:( I know you’ll love LZC bcos he may look like he is in his 20s but he behaves like a 40 plus uncle, the type you like:P I am quoting what Lin Qian said. You are also crazy abt boss lol. All of us don’t need to like the one you like. It is best this way so you can have him all to yourself:P
Btw Xinn, you can never beat me !!! Who am I? Your shifu leh so eat my dust lah, hahaha…..
Xinn, curious, what don’t you think is realistic about the corporate battles?
Xinn…..I got buzzed by peanuts…hehe…sorry…haven’t started this book…I just finished the tang ling Tao book….some snow title…..I’m keeping this book for later…hehe….
I just figured that everything although preplanned by LZC from the beginning, just happened to fall too nicely into place. In other words, too perfect. Simply can’t fathom it happening in real life. Imagine my surprise when I found out that even the gift of a chess manual all the way to the contract procurement was just to trap Chen Zheng was planned by LZC. I guess it’s more of business strategies here rather than corporate battles which in my mind involves mergers and acquisitions, takeovers….Of course I am Shan Shan reincarnated…LOL… didn’t know that handbags warfare can be so complex and intriguing.
Although wt a genius mind, how does a totally inexperienced person take on the industrial giants. Just like Close Your Eyes, the Jian Yao has no experience or learned skills in criminal psychology whatsoever, yet she could undertake the task of being the BaiJingYan’s right hand so effectively. Quite unbelievable.
Furthermore although the ex CEO of Ai Da screwed up big time, what was Gu Yan Zhi doing all the while. How did he allow things to deteriorate to such a state?
But once again DM does a wonderful job in making me sacrifice my sleep just to read the book. Trying so hard to squeeze more time, I’ve just done upto chapter 47.
What a run, finished the race, totally exhausted. I thought I almost lost it towards the end (esp with chapter 79 having almost 11k words, definitely the longest chapter of any Chinese books I’ve read so far….it went on and on, I thought it would never end)!!
I like the book but I enjoyed the first half more over the rest of the book. I would have preferred Lin Qian to be a ‘small woman’ (小女人), not overly ambitious to be protected by her man. Thank goodness she seemed to have turned around right at the end. Out of the three DM’s books, my first love remains to be Snail and in my mind the pairing of Ji Bai and Xu Xu is unbeatable. But as an individual male lead, I would pick Li Zhi Cheng. The development of the romance itself was sweet, one actually gets to feel it maturing overtime.
But I wonder why DM chose the handbag industry? Wonder how much DM wants readers to relate the book to real life situation? It remains a known fact that foreign luxury goods made available in China is priced way above the rest of the world. Then again, these products are thriving and in great demand in China. Would be kinda impossible to actually throw them out of the country unless the government comes out with some hard handed policies. When DM cited two real brands namely, SK-II and Pepsi in the book, I was rather taken aback. Kinda rare that writers used actual brand names.
I would say what Lin Mo Chen does as an investment banker would have provided a much better background and wider scope for a book on corporate manoeuvring and battles to expand on. Until the last one third of the book when DG came in with the takeover bids of the three handbag cos (and even that was just a mild dose), generally the book is all about a hodgepodge of marketing and advertising gimmicks plus a genuinely well and perfectly planned and executed business schemes based on warfare strategies. I maybe wrong but DM did say it’s her first time writing a book on the corporate scenes, very commendable job anyhow.
But LOL…I am certainly not splitting hairs with DM, she kept me entertained for so many nights. I had so many things I want to say while reading but now I am quite speechless, must be the mental exhaustion due to lack of sleep. The next book will be starting in August(?). Wonder if it will be on Li Mo Chen (keeping my fingers crossed, his story with Mu Han Xia deserved to be told and us readers deserved to know what happened….haha…). And more epilogues were supposed to come out(?), one from Li Zhi Cheng’s perspective of his romance and another on their life after marriage…..
And thanks to Hoju once again for the post.
@XinnXinn I think in this interview DM explains why she chose the handbag industry. She also revealed some details abt her other novels (When a snail loves, City of Mercy, When he comes close your eyes..). It starts at 7:00.
Xinn, do you read ancient novels? Li Zhicheng completely reminded me of the male lead and emperor in 江山为聘 — man of few words, extremely intelligent, sees the entire pictures, loves “his woman” unconditionally, manly man. You might like him.
In fact, now that I think about it, you could draw lots of parallels between the two stories: strategizing and maneuvering to gain power, explicit intimate scenes, smart and ambitious female lead but can’t compare to the male lead, female lead suspected of betrayal at the end but male lead trusts her completely, etc. It’s been a while, but I remember the story is well-written… just long (longer than Our Best Years).
Hoju, unfortunately I hv not graduated to ancient novels yet. As it is, still struggling with modern ones. My staple diet mainly consists of silly billy books with very little angst, and yes, manly men, silly girls…LOL…my shifu will vouch for that.
And thanks Bongsd for the info, will try to catch that. DM’s thoughts behind the books should be very interesting.
I started listening to this novel via Google Translate, because I just had to check out this Lin Mochen character, who everyone thinks is so hot and suited for my dear Wallace Chung. 😀 So far, I’m up to chapter 7. I am having some difficulty understanding the business strategies and maneuverings in the story, but I love the beginning how the female lead was stranded hiking through Tibet and was rescued by a passing contingent of troops led by the male lead. Lin Mochen has appeared briefly so far in the first few chapters but there is not much elaboration on him, so I am still waiting to be wowed by him. 😀 The male lead is certainly a man of few words and a bit of a loner, I see. Nothing wrong with that but I wonder how he is going to woo the female lead if all he does is grunt and respond to her in single syllables. I like the female lead so far. She is not ditzy (though ditzy is pretty cute and funny in the form of Xue Shan Shan in peanuts and lidge’s translation) and seems pretty capable. I’m excited to read more!
Haha….the lead is man of few words but with lots of action…
Hang in there, if the terminology is too tough for you to understand, I’m sure Hoju will be more than pleased to help out.
Huh? Action? You mean there will be some gun fighting scenes coming up in which he saves the beautiful maiden? 🙂
LOL, Mel you are so slow:P Just look at all the books posted by Xinn & you’ll understand what kind of actions she meant:P If you still don’t get it, think of the actions most of you are looking fwd to in Heavy Sweetness, cough cough, lol.
Ahhhhhh!!!! I see now! Haha. I must not be far enough into the novel. So far, he has been very taciturn toward her.
What about Li Mochen? Does he get a love interest?
No love interest for Lin Mochen within the novel. However, there are several hints dropped that he has had a very painful experience in his romantic history, and at the very end, a name of a girl is given to us. All Lin Mochen fans are hoping that Ding Mo’s next novel will be about Lin Mochen and his past romance, or at least an epilogue would be nice.
<3 Lin Mochen
Sob…sob….I see that my reputation has been tarnished.
By ‘lots of actions’, I honestly and sincerely meant mainly corporate strategies, although there are also some ‘other’ types of actions served to us as dessert..lol..
LOL! Besides wall-climbing, the only “action” I can remember LZC doing is… ahem… ahem…
Ha, you girls make the male lead sound like some lecher. So far, he seems like a decent guy.
Xinn Xinn, I have only heard about your preference for older men, so I think your reputation is still intact. 😀 Nothing wrong with older men. I love them too – more mature mentally, usually more secure financially, and have already had their wild adventures and know that they now want to settle down with just one woman.
This is my first go at using google translate to read an E book after reading all the comments on how it helps…… How do I access this E book to read cos when I click on it led me to to this site 91 baby.mama.cn and when I tried to register it said that new users registration are prohibited.
Give this link a try. http://ohping.4me.tw/thread-14338-1-1.html
By quick glance, I believe it has the whole story, but post back if it’s missing anything.
I’ll also go change the link up above.
With the online crackdown that happened last year, most of the novels on our former favourite sites, 19lou and 91babymama have been deleted or locked, hence the broken links on SSB. 🙁 There are some small sites out there that have a large library of books, but most of them are riddled with ads or explicit photos. It’s hard to find a decent ebook link nowadays.
Thanks for the reply, the link given states that the bookshop is closed.
I really, really like City of Mercy (am a sucker for triads stories and intelligent female leads) with CBY. MS and DH……it is a pity tho that DH couldnt find the love of his life………just like all of you I wish that DH would end up with another girl just like ya all wishing the same for LMC.
Can you give me the link to this book and the book you recommended Jiang Shan Wei Pin as Im interested to check out this same characters but in an ancient settings….makes for variety.
Thanks for the recommendations and keep them coming!
I managed to make myself finish the first book last week and am now ploughing through the second book. The finish line seems so far away and I’m thinking of giving up on this story.
IMHO, this is Ding Mo’s dullest novel. Lol. I’m trying not to give up though since I bought the book from 当当.
Fans of Lin Mo Chen, his story (莫负寒夏) is out!
This novel is getting a drama adaption and what’s awesome is that Hu Ge is considering it! ^.^ Hoping they pick a suitable female lead if Hu Ge signs on.
I must mention, the audio book by ximalaya fm is really well made. There are only 2 voice actors. The male actors has an absolutely enchanting voice.
Personally, I liked Lin Mo Chen’s story (莫负寒夏) more because there were up and downs in plot. Meaning not everything went smoothly relationship and business wise. The fact that LMC fell into a trap that was plan by his competitor demonstrates that even our genus can be outsmarted, he is flawed. Whereas in OUR Glamorous Time, every strategy falls through; everything(98%) happens according to to LiZhengCheng’s plans. He is portrayed to be this perfect leader who is completely unflawed; god like. On the other hand, I like the character set up for Lin Qian. She knows what she wants, and she is too not strong or frail just the right amount to be realistic. Most of all, LQ is not 100% sunshine because she vows revenge to those that offended her.
I just want to ask whether reading this novel via google translate or ebook that you’ve link upside is bearable ? I mean is the translation atleast 60% accurate or generally possible to understand the meaning? Sorry just want to ask because i can’t find the complete english translation of this novel and cannot bear anymore to wait. Just want to ask so that i don’t get the wrong understanding of the novel. 🙂 btw thank you for the link and summary given . I enjoyed it 🙂