by Marnie Henricksson
193 pages (hardcover)
Actually useful. I am supremely picky, enough to modify most of the Southeast Asian recipes beyond recognition, but that's just me. I especially appreciated the ingredient explanations (e.g. onions vs. shallots vs. garlic vs. scallions) and the genuine home-cook approach to Asian cuisine.
by Joey W. Hill
Depicts a powerful romantic chemistry, but the ending left me unsatisfied. It does not illustrate how I perceive a switch relationship--Marguerite should be able to Master Tyler just as he Masters her, a uniquely equal give-and-take in a world ruled by unequal power... but when a (female) switch is paired with a (male) Dominant-only, and is portrayed as happy with this, it strikes my intuition the wrong way. Fundamentally, I am unconvinced that Marguerite can be a Mistress if she allows Tyler to utterly Dominate her.
Other than that quirk, it's a lovely romance story and recommended with the usual Joey Hill caveats. I do prefer her Vampire Queen series to this one, for the plotty intrigue and fantasy aspects.
Kings and Assassins
by Lane Robins
353 pages (trade paperback)
The sequel to Maledicte--more bloody, enigmatic, and divine gods. This one focuses on Janus rather than Miranda, although other characters get POV time as well. I'm not sure how I feel about Lane Robins's work. I liked this novel enough to earn it a spot on my limited bookshelf space, yet I don't remember very much a few months later, and memorability can be telling.
by Michelle Rowen
? pages (trade paperback)
Plot: girl discovers she is
Change of Heart
by Jodi Picoult
447 pages (hardcover)
I'm not sure how to characterize this by genre--mainstream? It's not really "literary," but my tagging system doesn't distinguish. Oh well.
I had this on my TBR list but not very high-priority; a friend gave me a hardcover for my birthday, so I started reading on a whim (as usual) and got sucked in. Picoult is good at compelling reader attention, even if her work is of questionable literary merit. If you're interested in having heartstrings tugged about religion, the death penalty, and female self-esteem--this is the book for you!