China

B-
My Beautiful Enemy

So, here’s where I make my confession that this is my first book by Ms. Thomas. It’s a literary crime that it took me this long to pick up one of her spellbinding stories, but I’m paying my penance by devouring her back catalogue, I promise. Regarding this work, while I really liked a lot of p ...

C
The Liar's Dice

I don’t think The Liar’s Dice enhances Gambled Away. The slow pace, the setting, and ambiguous ending struck a discordant note with me and for me, it is the least successful novella in the anthology. A murder and the ensuing search for the killer drives the plot and unfortunately, Ms. Lin sacrif ...

B-
A Dance With Danger

I've really enjoyed previous Jeannie Lin books, but A Dance With Danger felt to me like a Tang Dynasty version of wallpaper regencies. Don’t get me wrong; I’d still take it over most other categories, and even over some longer, more detailed works. But on the whole, the book was not what I’d h ...

C+
My Beautiful Enemy

I have to state upfront, that I’m a Sherry Thomas fangirl of immense proportions. I’ve loved each and every one of her books (including her recent YA titles) and take delight in her skillful storytelling, her wonderful prose, the complexity of her characterisations, the angst and ultimately, the ...

A-
My Beautiful Enemy

When one reads a lot and in a specific genre, after a while, there is seems to be a sameness about books that makes one almost indistinguishable from another. So when I picked up Sherry Thomas’ My Beautiful Enemy, I immediately knew this book was out of the ordinary. Think Crouching Tiger, Hidden ...

D
The Undertaking of Lily Chen

Let’s brainstorm reasons you could forgive a hero who spends most of the book planning to murder the heroine. 1) The hero is a time traveler and knows the heroine will murder someone else. 2) There is a hostage. 3) The heroine is Hitler in drag. In The Undertaking of Lily Chen, the hero is suppose ...

B+
The Jade Temptress

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Jeannie Lin’s historical novels set during the Tang Dynasty in China. This is often considered a golden era of Chinese culture and that is beautifully captured in these novels, from the intricacies of the scholar system to the delicacies of the tea ritual. In this latest ...

B+
The Lotus Palace

I've enjoyed Jeannie Lin's China-set historicals so far and I was thrilled when I heard she would be writing single title as well. I went into The Lotus Palace expecting some element of suspense in the plot, but otherwise I had no idea what I would be getting into. As it turns out, it was quite a tr ...

A
The Sword Dancer

The best historical romances are those that draw you into another world and make you see, smell and touch what is going on, sharing the emotions and the mindset of characters who are thousands of miles and hundreds of years removed from your own experience. This is what happened to me when I read (i ...

B
My Fair Concubine

My Fair Concubine - as the title might suggest - is a Tang Dynasty take on My Fair Lady. The heroine is a tea shop girl, and the hero talks her into impersonating his sister - who is supposed to be a peace bride, a gift to a warrior in a distant province, but has run away with her lover. I found it ...