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The Jade Temptress

(The Pingkang Li Mysteries #2)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  538 ratings  ·  109 reviews
Welcome to the infamous Pingkang Li—home 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 finger—except Constable Wu Kaifeng, the one man she can't resist, the only man to have placed her in chains.

Wu Kaifeng's outwardl
Paperback, 384 pages
Published February 18th 2014 by Harlequin HQN (first published December 20th 2013)
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Average rating 3.99  · 
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Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
Welcome to the world of the Pingkang Li.

Meet Mingyu, the most celebrated courtesan of the Lotus Palace.

Welcome to a world of refinement, of beauty. Music and tea. It is a place where the most powerful men in the Tang Dynasty come to relax in the company of stunning, sophisticated women. Lose yourself in the music of the qin. Prepare yourself for flirtation and lust. Power and politics. Jealousy and murder.
There was a body seated in the chair dressed in a brocade robe. The head was missing and
K.J. Charles
I one clicked this having read The Lotus Palace, because both the manipulative courtesan Mingyu and the remote, scary constable Wu were such powerful characters. This book absolutely lives up to their promise. Lin writes excellent damaged people, and these two are both emotionally scarred by loss, rejection and the unkindness of others. Mingyu's life as a celebrated courtesan is particularly well drawn--the game whereby men give her adoration and respect while also buying her like meat is really ...more
Jun 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Jade Temptress is a very interesting read for me. Set in the imperial China, it is a historical romance featuring a courtesan and a lowly constable. We have all read our shares of courtesan-themed HRs. Most of them lose me because the heroines usually belong to the subgroups: the man-hating ones, the frigid ones, the shamed ones and the "if you love me you would have married me" ones. Needless to say, all very off-putting for me.

Jeannie Lin created Sun Mingyu (h, Mingyu = bright jade, trans
Isa Lavinia
Feb 21, 2014 rated it really liked it

I was really looking forward to this book as a light, romantic read - the other books I've read of this author, The Lady's Scandalous Night and The Dragon and the Pearl , while not particularly light, focused a lot on the romance.

The Jade Temptress, make no mistake, is a historical romance, but the emphasis (and, to me, the strongest point) was on the historical.
I was looking forward to this one for another reason: the heroine was a courtesan, not a blushing virgin. I don't mind that plo
Some days, I have this pipe dream of fiction set in historical China written by Chinese people, where their Chinese characters can be as unapologetically Chinese as they want to be without pandering to a white gaze. Some days, I dream about a representation of China that is beautiful, but is not used to fetishise and aestheticise in some picture of imagined Orientalist glory. A critical take on historical China that is not condemnatory, where culture and history are worlds to inhabit, not setpie ...more
Jeannie Lin is officially one of my favorite authors and I am so glad that I have the rest of her backlist to devour. Now off to read the final novella in this series.
3.5 stars

Once again Jeannie Lin writes a setting that is extremely enjoyable, and characters that are interesting and different.

We are introduced to most of the characters in the previews book "the Lotus Palace" and pairing Wu with Mingyu did not come as a surprise.

General Deng, one of the most important people in the empire, is found dead by Mingyu, who goes to Wu, the constable, for help even though it is known by everyone that she despises him.
Or does she?
Wu is a hard man with secrets and a m
Eva Rose
At first I wasn't sure about this book but as I read on I became enthralled. Wu Kaifeng and Lady Mingyu are sooo much more interesting than Yue-Ying and Bai Huang. I was captured by the prose and the ability the authoress has for transporting me into a different cultural setting in an effortless way. It helps that the author intimately knows what she is talking about and I just enjoyed every moment of the book. It never lost its shine like the first one and I truly felt for the main couple. Lin ...more
I still enjoyed this but I found it less engaging than the first book in the series. In the first book I felt like the mystery and romance had equal footing in the pace of the story whereas here the romance took more of a center stage role. I also didn't quite feel as connected to the protagonist Mingyu as I did to her sister from the first book. I did like Constable Wu Kaifeng but I feel like both Mingyu and Kaifeng were written as characters that live with a lot of personal walls surrounding t ...more
When I realized who would be the main characters in this one, I was all the more so eager to read it. This is the second book in the intriguing The Pingkang Li series set in the Tang Dynasty of China and featuring a combination of murder mystery and romance with the pleasure ward of the capitol city as the backdrop. Mingyu is the enigmatic older sister to the heroine of the previous book and Wu Kaifeng was the intimidating police constable who played his part in solving the murder. They were at ...more
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my favorite of her books I’ve read so far, which is saying a lot. Loved everything about this from beginning to end. Plus the mystery had some plot twists! Sorry, I feel incapable of writing longer reviews lately, but this was so good.
4 1/2 stars

Note: I received this eARC from Harlequin via NetGalley. That had no influence on my review/rating.
Cindy V
Apr 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I've enjoyed both the Pingkang Li series tremendously. Wish they could have adapted this into a wuxia series! ...more
Aug 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Almost a 5 stars !

What's not to like? A great historical context, a story about a constable investigating the murder of a high official linked to the greatly sought after courtesan Mingyu...
The romance was top notch, Mingyu was a nicely developped main character, other relationships and characters were also explored, and the plot was not lacking by any means? i want more!
Jan 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Jeannie Lin is always my go-to author when I feel like immersing myself in a historical setting - her Tang Dynasty China is wonderfully vivid and simply sparkling with rich detail, capturing both the beauty and cultural sophistication in Chang'an and its seedy underbelly. The world of the Pingkang Li, the pleasure quarter of Chang'an, immediately captured my imagination when I read the first in the series and knowing that Yueying's older sister Mingyu and the intimidating Constable Wu Kaifeng wi ...more
Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seriously book 3 will feature Wei Wei right?

At any rate, Mingyu who seemed so much the cold, aloof jade and Constable Wu, inscrutable and intimidating made for a fine pair. Unlike Huang and Yue-ying, Mingyu and the constable understand how all actions create consequences no matter how small. Even as he is inconsiderate of his words, Wu understands their effect, just as Mingyu can read how best to influence those around her by look.

The mystery of this book, much like its predecessor THE LOTUS PA
Mar 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romaaance
4.5 stars

Oh, that last section, and that epilogue. Happiness, indeed.

Mingyu and Wu were fully fleshed-out characters, and their motivations, self-doubts and inner conflicts, and joys were all realized. As with the other Jeannie Lin books (this is only my second, though - but certainly not my last), the historical atmosphere was excellent, and the writing, quietly moving.

It's a mystery too, by the way. I find myself sometimes struggling with this sort of romancy-mystery-mashup genre; here, the m
Harlequin Books
"Once again Lin showcases her talents for crafting a taut and original mystery set in the exotic world of the Pingkang Li. What she does so brilliantly is expose the dark, deceitful world beneath the sophisticated facade of the glamorous era in which the pleasure palace is a central fixture. Lin's crisp, clear prose and her seemingly aloof and austere characters are perfect detectives for this type of mystery, which is one her fans will relish." RT Book Reviews, rated 4 1/2 stars

Lotus Palace, bo
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-favs
'The Jade Temptress' is the second book in Lin's romantic Pingkang Li Mysteries series. I enjoyed revisiting the Tang Dynasty pleasure district from 'The Lotust Palace' and many of the characters from that first book. Beautiful writing, fascinating historical detail, and a well created fictional work full of danger, romance, and mystery. ...more
Rating: 3.5/5

I found the murder mystery in The Jade Temptress more interesting than in its prequel but overall the book just didn't have the same impact on me.
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Definitely commanded my attention during a flight. My favorite part of this series is the very evocative portrayal of the claustrophobic lives lived by these courtesans.
The Jade Temptress is the second book in The Pingkang Li Mysteries, and tells the story of Mingyu, the most celebrated courtesan at The Lotus Palace. Even though this book can be read as a standalone, to experience the wide range of emotions the unfolding story exposes the reader to, I would recommend reading the series in order.

Wu Kaifeng, known as Constable Wu is a man of serious demeanor, having never shown an interest in her, unlike men of the caliber that Mingyu usually spends her time with
The Reading Panda
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I LOVED THIS BOOK! I started The Jade Temptress directly after finishing The Lotus Palace because I needed to know more about Mingyu. Her devotion to her sister was so sweet to read, and I just loved her in The Lotus Palace. I loved her even more in this book.

This book is very special for two reasons. First, we get an inside look at criminology in 848 AD China. China is renowned for the knowledge and inventions that came from its culture. China has contributed so much to the world, and this boo
Justine B.
Nov 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I first read The Lotus Palace but while I found the historical context and setting interesting the story didn’t really moved me. My initial deception with Jeannie Lin’s The Pingkang Li Mysteries series was remediated with The Jade Temptress.

First, I found the interaction between elite courtesan Mingyu and Constable Wu Kaifeng to be more compelling. What I didn’t realize at first is that a constable is a lowly servant. For Wu Kaifeng to be a constable meant that a relationship with an elite cour
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Mingyu is one of the most revered courtesans in the Chinese capital of Chang An, during the Tang dynasty. She is famed for her beauty, elegance as well as hosting skills. She is embroiled into a gruesome murder and tossed into a scene of political intrigue, when she is summoned to the house of her patron, the high-ranking General Deng, and finds him beheaded. She approaches her arch-nemesis, Constable Kaifeng, for help (they had presumably started off on a bad note in Book 1 of the series) to cl ...more
Beautiful prose. Tormented romance. Well-crafted characters. Political intrigue. Murder mystery. Classicism and societal struggles.

Kaifeng had watched her walk away from him not so long ago. Not because he’d wanted to, but because he didn’t have the language to ask her to stay.

“I will have to leave the city,” she murmured. “Here, I’m nothing more than somebody’s property. Either Madame Sun or some wealthy patron’s. If not Xi Lun, then someone else just like him.”
“Then why do you sound
Feb 27, 2018 rated it liked it

OUR HERO is a serious man who takes no shit from his job and he's determined to solve crimes and give it the justice it deserves. When another dead body comes into play, the list of suspects are numerous but it puts the beautiful Mingyu in his path again. This time, fate
rachel selene
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
”you sit in gardens and dream of forests.”

i have mixed feelings about this one. i jumped right into it after finishing the first book in the series, the lotus palace, which was so rich and evocative that i couldn’t wait for more. jeannie is, as always, an excellent writer with a gift for imagery and sensory descriptions — the writing in this installment is stellar. i liked mingyu, clever and determined and fierce beneath the delicate flower facade, but i never really warmed to kaifeng, even afte
Aug 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was struggling with where to start with this review and I realized, overall I enjoyed this book but individually neither major component really did it for me.

It's a mystery-romance, about 50/50 each one like the previous book in the series. The romance this time is constable Wu Kaifeng and courtesan Mingyu, and while I liked the endgame there (possibly greatly influenced by the novella Liar's Dice that is set just a few months later), most of their dalliances for most of the book felt abrupt.
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USA TODAY Bestselling author Jeannie Lin grew up fascinated with stories of Western epic fantasy and Eastern martial arts adventures. When her best friend introduced her to romance novels in middle school, the stage was set. Jeannie started writing her first romance while working as a high school science teacher in South Central Los Angeles. After four years of trying to break into publishing with ...more

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The Pingkang Li Mysteries (3 books)
  • The Lotus Palace (The Pingkang Li Mysteries, #1)
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