Harlequin | June 2013 | 288 pgs
Set in AD 848 during the Tang Dynasty, this historical tale is about adventures and a whirlwind romance between a thief-catcher and a sword dancer and how they are caught in a web of injustice and revenge.
Li Feng is used to living an isolated life with a dangerous edge to it. When she was four, her parents were wrongfully sentenced to a crime they didn't commit. Li Feng is later raised by a Wudang master, Wen Shifu, who taught her sword fighting. She later became a sword dancer, after she has left Wen Shifu to join a dance troupe as they travel from village to village. Li Feng always carries a jade pendant wherever she goes, for it is something her mother had passed to her before fleeing from whoever who wants her life.
Zheng Hao Han is the most feared thief-catcher among all who is known for his relentless and his determination to capture all bandits and outlaws in the name of justice and order. Born in a middle-class family, Han's father was once a magistrate and had wished his eldest son would follow his footsteps but alas, Han isn't interested in becoming an official. He feels he could still pursue justice in his own way without following the tainted views of some officials who would do anything for power and greed. And when he heard of a shipment of jade and gold has been stolen and the magistrate had issued an arrear warrant that singled out a band of travelling performances as the culprits, Han and a few other thief-catchers are all waiting for the chance to pounce should there be any suspicious movement. In the midst of chaos, Li Feng caught Han's attention and their cat and mouse chase begins.
I totally enjoyed reading this historical romance - the plot, the actions, the characterisations of Li Feng and Han as well as their exchanges, the struggles they faced between a "thief" and a thief-catcher, and finally their attractions towards each other. Li Feng is a butt-kicking heroine who has a strong sense of determination and Han is full of righteousness and sees most things as black and white. Therefore, when he meets the spirited and vengeful Li Feng, he is tossed with the question between setting things right and upholding justice after finding himself in love with her. Should he betray Li Feng for the sake of justice or follow his heart and join her in the rebellion? Just as I thought their love was impossible, I thought the ending was very satisfying and the issues they faced was beautifully resolved, too (Hey, it's a Harlequin romance but still the resolution was clever in my opinion.)
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