Jenn Reese is somebody I “knew” about from reading Tim Pratt’s blog lo these many years.
Her first novel, Jade Tiger looked like a winner to me: female protagonist, Chinese influences, romance with a geek archeologist, etc.
And I enjoyed very much the romance between Shan, a martial artist from the mysterious Jade Circle, who is looking for Jade figurines of animals, and Ian, an archeologist.
That part was really worth reading the whole book, especially this one scene where they decide Ian has to leave the room after one kiss. (Its what they do before the one kiss that’s interesting)
But, I found the repeated martial arts scene a tad dragging. The realness of the fight scenes was terrific at first, but then, yep, it dragged.
And it felt like the main conflict of the book was between Shan and a former mentor, rather than Shan and the bad guys. I think one of the main bad guys (a half chinese guy who is trying to gather all the jade animals for his own purposes) could have been developed more, and as both he and Shan are half-chinese, that could have been played up a little more.
Still, while the book is awkward at parts, it was still enjoyable.