My second book by Jeannie Lin, and I was not disappointed.
Lin's writing brings the place and time of the book to life, as we read there is not a dull moment, no urge to flip through the pages, no eye rolling, just pure pleasure.
In this book Lin takes us to the pleasure district, the Pingkang Li, where courtesans entertain scholars and bureaucrats, under a strict set of rules. And where a courtesan is murdered and a set of events triggers as one maidservant and a noble man start investigating the mystery behind the murder, much is revealed in the process most importantly their secrets and true feelings.
Both the main characters had flaws, and I liked that the hero had a weakness that was plaguing him and that he wasn't stubborn when the heroine was trying to help him. She also had a past that was haunting her, and stopping her from letting go and be happy.
The relationship between these two builds up quite nicely and you get to know them and understand them as their secrets unfolds, even though the barrier between them stays till the end.
The mystery element in the book was well written, I admit I didn't figure out anything and just found out as I read, but it was a good way to wrap the romance.
A few strong secondary characters that one ends up liking, epically Wei Wei, whom I wish to read more about.
Obviously I totally enjoyed reading this one, and will seek more titles to read by Jeannie Lin.This review is for a free copy courtesy of Harlequin via NetGalley
Most of the characters visualization was influenced heavily by my characters from the PS3 Dynasty Warriors game, as I was playing at the same time, well the game IS set in China and my female warrior had a red tattoo on her cheek. Although my male warrior had blue hair!