We’re introducing a new feature today on the Harlequin Blog: the Saturday Excerpt! Stop by each week to read a tantalizing teasers of new releases and discover your next great read. Warning: these excerpts WILL get you hooked and eager to read more…
Our debut Saturday Excerpt is from The Jade Temptress by Jeannie Lin, available in ebook now from Harlequin HQN. This unique historical romance is set in Tang Dynasty China in 848 AD. RT Book Reviews gave it a 4 1/2 star review and said “Once again Lin showcases her talents for crafting a taut and original mystery set in the exotic world of the Pingkang Li.”
Intrigued? Here’s the book description to tell you more about this fabulous book, and keep reading for the excerpt!
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 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.…
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Mingyu laid her head back and let the evening breeze flow over her cheeks as the carriage rolled forward. The air was cool and calming in the final hour before dusk. Drums beat in rhythm throughout the quarter to signal the closing of the official city markets. It was time for merchants to close shop, for city dwellers to make their final purchases and return home.
The silence afterward was a resting period before the drinking houses set out their lanterns and the banquets began. For now, the streets were dim and vacant and Mingyu could watch the pattern of the trees against the buildings.
Summer was gone and autumn was here. The celebration banquet season was over and now began the time when graduates of the imperial exams vied for official assignments. The parties at this time were more intimate affairs where introductions and connections could be made.