These are not my normal genre–and I think they should be called “mystery romances,” all the books have “steam”– but I love Chinese history, and these are set in the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD.) The Tang period is long before foot binding, so that is in no way part of these books. It was interesting see into the Tang justice system, the culture, and see the power struggles of the time period. I’m really drawn to characterization in fiction, and the characters, particularly in the The Jade Temptress (the book I started with, and my favorite), really jumped off the page. The first book was written for a traditional publisher, and it is good, but it is more in the style of a traditional romance–the girl gets her lord. The next books were self-published, and the heroes were not lords, and the endings did not have the heroines being ensconsed in mansions, but they had more freedom.
If you’re looking for something a little different, I recommend them.