After living in China for a decade, American Joanna Crane attempts to join the Boxers in their rebellion against the emperor. While searching for rebels she's attacked and rescued by a Shaolin monk.

The monk swears he will protect her and return her to her father. But Zou Tun is no mere monk; he brings her to the home of the Tigress Shi Po, where they study the religion of the Tigress and begin to find enlightenment and possible immortality through love.

Joanna falls in love with Zou Tun and will do anything to stay with him. When Imperial guards arrive, they run for their lives and seek safety from the Emperor. Zou Tun worries that he will not be able to save Joanna or himself from death, but Joanna has faith in her love for Zou Tun and their future.

This is steeped in Chinese history, and the lore explains how reaching heaven ties in with sexuality. This is a highly sensual, titillating read, though the characters are not as strong as one would have hoped for from the talented Lee. VERY SENSUAL (Jun., 350 pp., $6.99)
Reviewed by: 
Jill Brager