Welcome to the infamous Pingkang lihome of the celebrated Lotus Palace courtesans, and a place of beauty and treachery
Charming and seductive, Mingyu is the most sought-after hostess in the pleasure quarter. She has all men wrapped around her fingerexcept Constable Wu Kaifeng, the one man she can't resist, the only man to have placed her in chains.
Wu Kaifeng's outwardly intimidating demeanor hides a reluctant, fierce attraction to beautiful Mingyu. But the passionate temptation she presents threatens to destroy them both when a powerful official is murdered and they find themselves on a deadly trail. Amid the chaos, a forbidden affair could change Mingyu's fate forever, for following her heart is bound to have consequences.
Lin returns to Tang Dynasty China (setting of The Lotus Palace) for a tale strong in emotional subtlety but weak in suspense and mystery. Renowned courtesan Mingyu may shine like her namesake "bright jade" in the pleasure quarters of the Pingkang li, but when she discovers the gruesomely beheaded body of one of her high-ranking patrons, Constable Wu Kaifeng is immediately suspicious of the icy, self-possessed woman. As the ploddingly slow investigation brings the pair together, Kaifeng can't help but be entranced by Mingyu. Even though Kaifeng once tortured Mingyu in an attempt to get information out of her, she's still intrigued by his determined search for the truth. The courtship between the high-class courtesan and the street cop is well drawn and nuanced, but the murder mystery's abrupt solution undercuts the otherwise satisfying ending.