Let me briefly recap for you what I thought this story would have--Chinese steampunk. Now let me explain what it does have--erotic romance, Chinese history and vague mentions of steampunk like elements. I suppose really this is the 'romantic' steampunk that seems pretty popular right now--wherein some brass and goggles are thrown about and motorcars powered by steam, which is fine. Except that had nothing to do with Empress Cixi--she used good old dark Chinese magic and almost nothing to do with the fight (other than the weapons).
To be fair I enjoyed this 'quickie' (short story, under 50 pages). Once I got past the beginning--which has Coi tossing us almost the entire backstory of Lady Jane and Jian (Dance, which is never explained so I'm left to assume his last name, Danzen is part of the reason) along with Lady's Jane's over-active libido--I definitely grew more interested. Coi describes the action well and builds the suspense between Jane and Dance. The reversal of Jane being the commitment shy one and Dance being the patient one worked well.
I didn't feel either was really given enough development, much of what we know of them both is told to us and very little is given context. Actually much of the story is like this--such as why Cixi was ousted (just because she was a concubine? how did she get power to begin with to raise the undead army?) or at the end the deus ex machina that literally appears to save the day (or ruin it, almost).
I would love to see Coi write more in this world, with these characters...and maybe some actual steampunk instead of tossing in a few gadgets and that's it.
British Military Ambassador Lady Jane helped free China from the tyrannical rule of the evil Empress Cixi. But now the Empress is fighting back with ancient, unnatural warriors under her command.
As Jane and compelling mercenary Jian Danzen struggle to the Great Wall to stop Cixi, all the excuses Jane has been using to keep the sexy Dance at arm’s length become less convincing. The overwhelming attraction she’s pushed aside for so long since their one night of passion threatens to consume them both.
The danger they face this night might mean Jane never leaves the Wall alive again. If so, she wants it to be a night without regret. But only one night, because even if they survive the Empress and the even greater foe waiting for them, Jane knows there can be no future for two people from such different worlds.