Pages

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Spotlight, Excerpt, & Giveaway: The Right Kind of Reckless by Heather Van Fleet!



Title: The Right Kind of Reckless

Series: Reckless Hearts #2

Author: Heather Van Fleet

Publication date: November 7, 2017

ISBN: 9781492658511

Genre: Contemporary Romance



About the Book:


Maxwell Martinez

I’m in love with a woman I can’t have, and there’s absolutely nothing I can do to stop myself from falling. The problem? Her brother’s my best friend.

I shouldn’t want her this much. Not when it goes against the bro code. Not when I’ve never been able to commit to a woman for longer than a night.

But one look into her eyes and I’m a mess for her. She’s my everything. And I have to walk away with nothing.

Get It Here:


Amazon | B&N | IndieBound | iBooks | Kobo





Excerpt:


Addie and I watched the guys play round after round of Skee-Ball, while Chloe jumped and cheered and stole the occasional ball from each of their rows. No matter what my state in life was, I was happy the three of them had found one another. ͞Here, let’s get our picture drawn.͟ Knocking me out of my woolgathering, Addie guided me toward one of the caricature sketchers who sat just outside the carnival gates. The man had a unibrow the size of Lake Michigan’s shoreline, and his mustache was curled at the end, handlebar style. But his work was amazing. Charcoal sketches with colored eyes, balloon- shaped heads with movie-s tar hair. ͞How much for both of us?͟ Addie asked, fishing through her purse. We sat on the stools, as directed,our shoulders touching. ͞Thirty- five,͟ the guy said, his fake French accent too thick to be believable. I groaned and looked at my friend. ͞Seriously? That’s too much.͟͞Seriously. We have to do this.͟ Addie mocked me. ͞Look at how cute those are.͟ She pointed to a couple with a heart surrounding their heads. Little doves swooped in the air around them, carrying heart balloons in their beaks. Had to hand it to the guy. He was talented. ͞I’ve got this, ladies.͟ I looked up at the sound of Max’s deep voice, finding him searching through his wallet. He pulled out the money, handed it to the artist, then lifted his gaze to meet mine. A soft smile covered his bow-shaped lips, and everything inside me stirred to life at the view. Addie faked a cough, then pressed a hand over her stomach. ͞Oh...oh no. I don’t feel very good, guys.͟I faced her and narrowed my eyes as she stood. Don’t, I mouthed, already knowing her game. Ignoring me, she looked at Max and said, ͞You’ll take my place, won’t you, Max?͟ She batted those brown eyes and twirled a lock of her dark hair. No doubt her way of getting anyone and everyone to say yes to her. ͞Lia here was dying to get her picture drawn.͟Oh, the little liar...Max nodded, immediately taking her empty seat to my right. With an extra hop in her step, Addie walked away, her ponytail swinging back and forth more the closer she got to Collin and Gavin and Chloe. I wanted to pull it out of her head. ͞All right, look this way.͟ I blinked at the sound of the artist’s voice, my body far too aware of Max’s heady scent. God, why did he have to smell so good? Fit so perfectly against me? ͞You’re much too stiff.͟ The artist tsked from behind his easel. ͞Here, wrap your arm around zee pretty lady’s waist, like so.͟

I sucked in a breath as Max’s hand was guided along my back, ending at my side with his fingers tucked just under the edge of my T- shirt. I swallowed, shifting in my seat and instantly remembering our kiss—the way he’d moved his mouth over mine. Warmth pooled low in my stomach, drifting in between my thighs. His touch was like adrenaline, kick- starting my orgasm-starved body to life. ͞Chin on her shoulder, lips close to her ear...͟ I shuddered as Max followed the artist’s directions to a T, the stubble on his chin igniting a stormy thunder inside me. Max seemed unaffected, his chest rising and falling at an even rate, while mine was suddenly in asthmatic mode. ͞Relax,͟ Max whispered in my ear, his warm breath grazing my neck. ͞I’m not gonna bite ya.͟I shut my eyes and shifted once again, the ache between my thighs becoming unbearable. ͞I didn’t want to do this,͟ I finally murmured, refocusing on the artist. Max laughed softly, his chest vibrating against my back and shoulder. ͞I know you didn’t.͟My eyebrows pushed together in annoyance. ͞Then why did you agree to sit here?͟͞Because Addie wouldn’t give up until I did.͟ He sighed, far too relaxed compared to me. I was jumping, itching, crawling with...something, yet he was unaffected. Which only further emphasized that he didn’t want me the way I did him. ͞Plus, she folds my underwear, remember? Gotta make sure she doesn’t stick ants in them or something.͟͞Yeah, like Addie would ever stoop to your level.͟ I couldn’t help but grin, my nerves easing slightly. He squeezed my ribs. ͞You would.͟I turned to face him, our noses inches apart. ͞Damn right I would.͟A slow nod later, he moved even closer, our bodies in sync...My smile fell away. ͞Maxwell,͟ I whispered, so lost in his dark eyes that I couldn’t concentrate. The apology was there on my tongue like earlier, but the need weighing me down was even heavier. How could I ever be just friends with a guy who was likely to break my heart, no matter what we were to each other? ͞Tell me why you kissed me that night.͟ He looked at my lips, a serious glint in his eyes. Blood rushed to my face at his out-o f- the- blue question. My composure slipped as confusion took its place. Why was he asking me this? ͞Because I...͟ I gulped. ͞I owed you, remember? For bailing me out and for keeping me safe from those guys.͟Something shifted in his eyes. Disappointment? I squeezed my eyes shut at the thought. When I looked back at him, I knew I was imagining things, because flirty, fun Max was back, winking at me. ͞Well then.͟He cleared his throat. ͞That’s good to know.͟

What’s good to know?͟ I frowned.

"That you still owe me."





About the Author:


Contemporary romance author Heather Van Fleet is a stay-at-home-mom turned book boyfriend connoisseur. She’s a wife to her high school sweetheart, a mom to three little girls, and in her spare time you can find her with her head buried in her Kindle, guzzling down copious amounts of coffee. Heather was born and raised in Moline, Illinois, where she lives with her wonderful family.

Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Facebook


Giveaway:


Enter for a chance to win a copy of Reckless Hearts, the first in Heather Van Fleet’s Reckless Hearts series

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 19, 2017

HOLIDAY COUNTDOWN Review: Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook by Theo Stephan & Christina Xenos



Title: Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook: Modern Mediterranean Recipes for Living the Good Life
Authors: Theo Stephan & Christina Xenos
Format: Paperback: 262 pages
Pub. Date: November 7th 2017
Source: Callisto Media Inc


Book Description:



Discover how rich a healthy lifestyle can taste with Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook

When you don’t have a Mediterranean breeze behind you, finding local ingredients for complex recipes can make it difficult to integrate Greek food into your lifestyle. With Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook you can spare yourself the odyssey of traveling just to eat fresh and flavorful food. Featuring easy-to-find ingredients for simple recipes, plus a regional overview of Greek food, Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook leads you on a culinary journey towards an appetizing and healthy lifestyle.

Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook contains:

90 Recipes for popular Greek dishes made with easy-to-find ingredients Greek Kitchen Tips including how to stock your pantry and kitchen with the right ingredients and equipment, plus cooking techniques A Regional Overview explaining Greek food from ancient times to modern day
Recipes in this Greek cookbook include: Kalamata Olive Spread, Greek Potato Salad, Spinach Rice, Vegetable Moussaka, Shrimp Santorini, Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts, Greek Yogurt Brandy Cake, and much more!

Join Greek chefs Theodora Stephan and Christina Xenos as they share their favorite recipes for you to feast on with Mediterranean flare in Opa! The Healthy Greek Cookbook.






Review:


★★★★

Greek food is right up there in my list of favorite cuisines, perhaps only rivaled by Japanese food. Because of that, I'm always open to learning new recipes. I don't have any charming little old grandmothers to inherit Greek recipes from on account of being Polish- I count on cookbooks like this one! Overall, this book has a lot of really tasty things for a lot of different diets.

The book is divided by course type, including the sections: Understanding Greek Cuisine, In the Greek Kitchen, Mezzethes, Salads & Soups, Beans Rice & Pasta, Vegetable Mains, Seafood Mains, Meat Mains, Desserts, and a few finishing sections like a glossary and a menu planner for events and holidays. This is an easy way to find anything you need in the ook.

"Understanding Greek Cuisine" is a section that's a nice little 101 section on Greece and their food. It covers some basic culture information and history, information about the various regions and islands of Greece, common flavor schemes, and some of the natural health benefits. It's a good pocket of information to have if you've never had to cook Greek food before. It's written in a charming tone filled with stories from the two authors, so it's full of a lot of facts, but it's easy to get through.

The "In the Greek Kitchen" gives a nice little run down of common ingredients (and what they are), equipment used, and brief definitions of different cooking techniques. This section makes it clear that this book is approachable to even the beginner cook.

And then of course, are the recipes themselves. I found them to be incredibly well written. Each recipe gives the name of the dish in Greek, as well as in English, which I think is a nice touch. There's a little paragraph that tells a little about the recipe or a little anecdote about why it's included. Some were sweet, some were funny, and some were just plain interesting. In addition, each recipe has vital diet information; it's labeled as being vegetarian, nut-free, gluten-free, etc. This is super nice for people with diet restrictions, because you know just by looking at it if you can have it. There's also caloric/nutrition information, storage tips, and good advice on how you can substitute ingredients throughout.

The steps are numbered and short and sweet, making them easy to follow.

I also appreciated that the recipes might call for something a bit harder to find, like say kefalotiri cheese. Instead of just assuming that everyone has access to that, it suggests other, more common cheeses that will work, like Romano cheese in this instance. As someone who doesn't have a wide variety of grocer options, it's appreciated.

When a more complicated technique is used (like for wrapping grape leaves), there's little step by step drawn illustrations to help you out.

What disappointed me about this book is the lack of photos. There are some, yes, and the ones that are included look delicious. However, I've never made 90% of these dishes before. It'd be nice to have a reference to see if what I'm doing actually looks like what it's supposed to. I'm way more of a visual person than a literary one, so in that regard I think this book is lacking.

Anyway, back to the positives. There are so many amazing sounding dishes in this cookbook that it's hard to pare it down to just a few to highlight here, but I'll try my best. Some of the dishes I most look forward to include: Savory Baklava Rolls, Octopus with Figs and Peaches, Feta Crab Cakes, and Olive Oil Ice Cream with Feta, Cinnamon, and Basil.

All in all, I'm really happy with this book. If you've got food allergies, or are vegan or vegetarian, there are quite a few recipes in here for you, and more than are pretty easily adaptable. It's approachable with realistic ingredients, and full of plenty of recipes for those looking to lighten up their diet or simply try more Greek recipes.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Review: The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill



Title: The Tea Dragon Society
Author: Katie O'Neill
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: October 18th 2017
Source: Oni Press


Book Description:



From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.






Review:


★★★★★

This is the best graphic novel that I've read in 2017. I absolutely loved it.

For me, the most important part is of course the artwork. The aesthetic is adorable. It's a lot of kawaii, pastel type illustrations. It catches the eye and is well done. The tea dragons- there are different types of tea dragons, to match different types of tea of course- are the absolute cutest. They are reminiscent of Pokemon almost. I want stuffed animal versions of them, to be completely honest with you.

In addition to the artwork being visually appealing, the drawings are well paired with the text, so when blended together, it goes nicely.

Which brings us to the text, naturally. It's a heartwarming, feel good sort of book. I was very much more upset than I expected when I ran out of story and pages. The tone is very sweet, and very cozy. It feels almost like a bed time story, it's playful but has a focused plot, and has characters that you want to know more about as the night wears on.

So many different types of characters are represented in this book, without making a fuss. It's simply "these folks are all together" and that's sort of beautiful in a way. There's LGBT representation, disability representation, different skin tones and even different species all harmonious in the same place.

This is a great book for those who love either dragon or teas, as well as kawaii style artwork. And of course, children who enkIt's a quick read but it has lovely characters and a charming plot.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Review: Dark Goddess Craft by Stephanie Woodfield



Title: Dark Goddess Craft: A Journey Through the Heart of Transformation
Author: Stephanie Woodfield
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: November 8th 2017
Source: Llewellyn Publications


Book Description:



Discover how to use the many faces of the dark goddess to navigate the process of deep and rewarding change. This practical guide looks at the misconceptions surrounding dark deities and encourages you to draw on the power of the dark goddesses to work through aspects of yourself or your life that you wish to change.

Organized into three sections--the descent, challenge, and rebirth--Dark Goddess Craft guides you into your own darkness and helps you emerge renewed. Stephanie Woodfield presents the goddesses you will meet along your path of transformation and explains each one's role in helping you. This book will light your way through the shadows and show you how to become the best version of yourself.






Review:


★★★★★

This book is fascinating from cover to cover. It's interesting and soothing, enlightening and thought provoking. This is a Llewellyn Publication that I would happily place on my spirituality/pagan shelf, and it is a book that I will almost certainly read again.

The book is divided into four sections, not counting the expansive bibliography and index at the end of the book. These sections are: Who is the Dark Goddess?, The Descent, Challenge, and Rebirth.

Part one of this book covers a sort of background information chapter. There's information about the concept of what it means to be "dark" and how goddesses are looked at both in the past and the present. There's a lot of clearing up of misconceptions that arise when the phrase "dark goddess" is heard, such as the lack of evil intentions or the devil, things like that. In short, it's like a nice little intro course. Dark Goddesses 101. It's what you need to know about the subject, and the deities, before you continue onward down the path of this book. If you're pretty well versed in the subject, it serves as a nice refresher course.

Part two, The Descent, covers goddesses that are associated with the afterlife. Or more specifically, as you might have gathered from the title (of both the book and the chapter), goddesses that are associated with the underworld.

Part three, Challenge, covers more of the goddesses. But this time around, it is the ones that are associated with overcoming obstacles and getting ahead in life.

The final part, Rebirth, covers more goddesses still. Though in this part, they are the ones who are most commonly associated with the ideas of both transformation and independence.

This book contains so much information and celebration. There are rituals and prayers, there are devotionals. There are stories/myths for each and every goddess that is mentioned throughout the course of the book. I was very pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of goddesses that are in here. Generally speaking, most books I pick up deal mainly with the Roman and Greek pantheons. Especially when it comes to the underworld. I was expecting a ton of Persephone with maybe a bit of Hecate thrown in (sigh, my poor underrated Hecate). But these are global representations. Admittedly, I hadn't even heard of some of them before.

The cited works section alone is worth a look at, it's clear that the author did her research and feels strongly about the topic.

This is part history book, part religious book, part motivational book, and wholly full of engagement and interest. If you are of this spiritual/religious/pagan path, and especially if you walk the nocturnal path, this is a book I think that you'll enjoy.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

HOLIDAY COUNTDOWN Review: Sally's Cookie Addiction by Sally McKenney



Title: Sally's Cookie Addiction: Irresistible Cookies, Cookie Bars, Shortbread, and More from the Creator of Sally's Baking Addiction
Author: Sally McKenney
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: September 19th 2017
Source: Race Point Publishing


Book Description:



Bake exquisite cookies, bars, and doughs perfectly every time with Sally's Cookie Addiction. A world of baking wonder awaits you and all the lucky people you’ll share them with.

Are you ready to sink your teeth into Brown Butter Toffee Chocolate Chip Cookies? How about Peanut Butter Nutella Swirl Cookies or Pumpkin Spice Sugar Cookies? Featuring a mouthwatering selection of cookies, cookie bars, cookie dough dips, slice-and-bakes, no-bakes, and more, Sally's Cookie Addiction features dozens of exciting flavors, including chocolate, butterscotch, peanut butter, sugar, coconut, lemon, s’more, and oatmeal, oh my!

The best part? Sally's Cookie Addiction, Sally will tell you how to make each and every cookie in the book ahead of time. So, if you want to start preparing for the holidays, or if you just like keeping cookie dough in your freezer for those critical cookie emergencies!

Complete with tips on how to bake the perfect cookie and gorgeous photography, Sally's Cookie Addiction is the only cookie book you need on your shelf. Get ready for your kitchen to be the most popular room in the house while the smells of Warm Chocolate Chunk Skillet Cookies, Lemon Crème Sandwich Cookies, and Soft-Baked Sugar Cookie Bars emanate from the oven!






Review:


★★★★

I love baking. And, I especially love baking cookies. They're my ace in the hole, my first go-to. I'm constantly on the lookout for new recipes to add into my repertoire. Plus, the holidays are coming up, when my need to bake goes into overdrive. All in all, this is a solid book that's chock full of cookies.

The book is divided into chapters that are mostly flavor or ingredient based including: introduction/tips, Family Favorites, All About Oats, Happy Holidays, Shortbread and Slice and Bakes Galore, The Sprinkle Chapter, Nuts About Nuts, Serious Chocolate Cravings, and Find Your Flavor.

Ultimately, this is a bit of a clunky, unorganized way to sort cookie recipes. "Find Your Flavor", "Happy Holidays" and "Family Favorites" are all pretty vague, wide categories. The rest of them make sense, but those listed are a bit disjointed from the rest.

The tone also gets a little condescending at times. There's a big push about how substitutions are usually why people's cookies don't turn out, and recipes are there for a reason. Pretty opposing to most cookbooks, which encourage creativity and adapting. There's also the use of the phrase "it's a no no". This is a cookbook that isn't specifically geared towards kids- really? No no?

After these discouraging bits, the book goes along a lot more smoothly.

There's a lot of helpful hints as you go. There's advice on how to make your cookies softer, and how to decorate better, and things like that. It's much appreciated and helpful for sure, especially for beginner or seasonal bakers.

There are a lot of recipes in this book, and also a LOT of photos. I love when a cookbook has a photo of every recipe, and this book does just that.

The recipes are written in an approachable style, with simple language and short, easy to follow steps.

There's a really wide variety of cookies here, from the super sweet, to the spicy, to even cookies that your dog will enjoy.

Some of the cookies that sound the best to me include Autumn Spice Oatmeal Cookies, Chai Tea Spice Shortbread, and Cherry Almond Coconut Macaroons.

This is a great book for cookie lovers and for the holidays. Once you get past a few speed bumps, it's easy to follow and full of new recipes to try.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Review: Meet Your Matcha by Joanna Farrow




Title: Meet Your Matcha
Author: Joanna Farrow
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: September 19th 2017
Source: Nourish


Book Description:



Matcha teas and lattes have become a staple of every coffee shop and health food store. A beloved ingredient in Japan for generations, it is a powdered green tea that is rich in nutrients and antioxidants, and gives a slow-release caffeine boost through the day. Praised by everyone from Ella Woodward to the Hemsleys, one glass of matcha is the equivalent of 10 glasses of green tea in terms of nutritional value and antioxidant content. But there is so much more you can do with this miracle ingredient.

Packed with over 50 recipes for smoothies, soups, main meals and more, Meet Your Matcha will allow you to unlock the potential of this brilliant green ingredient. From a Matcha Sushi Salad and Matcha Chicken and Ginger Dumplings to Breakfast Smoothie Bowls or a Dark Chocolate and Matcha Layer Cake, these delicious dishes will let you make the most of your matcha.






Review:


★★★

Matcha is one of my favorite ingredients, though it is not something that is in my usual repertoire of handy dandy everyday ingredients. But, I was excited to give this cookbook ago because it has so many recipes. Overall, it delivered.

The book is divided into course types, including: smoothies and breakfast, main meals, sides and salads, desserts and cakes, sweet treats, and teas, juices, and cocktails. This makes it pretty easy to navigate.

I was happy that there were so many types of recipes. So many matcha books are either strictly tea, or they only include desserts. I appreciate that this one has main courses and salads and cocktails included in it. I wouldn't think to add matcha to a main dish, but here we are, and I'm definitely wanting to try it.

The steps are easy to follow. They're short, blunt, and to the point. They're also numbered. In my opinion, this makes it a great book for a beginner to get started in cooking with tea. The author gives a lot of suggestions for dairy free and meat free options, so if you have allergies, or are vegan/vegetarian, there's still items in this book that you can enjoy too.

Some of the ingredients could be a little vague, like "soft cheese", with no suggestions. I appreciate the rope you're giving me to explore, but even a personal recommendation tip would have been appreciated. It's also a bit hard to read all the ingredients because it's very busy. Listed it has cups, ounces, and grams all listed in one row. Also, there were times ingredients were listed twice with different verbiage, like caster/granulated sugar or groundnut/peanut. Counting on a conversion chart or a glossary list would have cleaned it up better.

With that out of the way, some of these recipes sound absolutely delicious. Some of the ones I'm most excited to try include Thai Prawn Cakes with Matchilli Sauce, Halloumi and Wild Rice Matcha-Spiked Pilaf, and Blueberry Matcheesecake.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

HOLIDAY COUNTDOWN Review: The Artful Baker by Cenk Sonmezsoy



Title: The Artful Baker: Extraordinary Desserts From an Obsessive Home Baker
Author: Cenk Sonmezsoy
Format: egalley
Pub. Date: October 17th 2017
Source: Harry N. Abrams


Book Description:



A collection of more than 100 extraordinary desserts—all with photos and meticulous instructions—by Cenk Sönmezsoy, creator of the internationally acclaimed blog Cafe Fernando.

Written, styled, photographed, and designed by Cenk Sönmezsoy, The Artful Baker shares the inspiring story of a passionate home baker, beginning with his years after graduate school in San Francisco and showcasing the fruits of a baking obsession he cultivated after returning home to Istanbul. Sönmezsoy’s stories and uniquely styled images, together with his original creations and fresh take on traditional recipes, offer a thoughtful and emotional window into the life of this luminary artist.

The Artful Baker is comprised of almost entirely new content, with a few updated versions of readers’ favorites from his blog, such as Brownie Wears Lace, his signature brownies topped with blond chocolate ganache and bittersweet chocolate lace (originally commissioned by Dolce & Gabbana and awarded “Best Original Baking and Desserts Recipe” by Saveur magazine); Raspberry Jewel Pluot Galette, a recipe inspired by Chez Panisse’s 40th year anniversary celebrations; and Devil Wears Chocolate, his magnificent devil’s food cake that graces the cover of the book.

Each chapter highlights a variety of indulgences, from cookies to cakes and tarts to ice creams, including recipes like Pistachio and Matcha Sablés; Tahini and Leblebi (double-roasted chickpeas) Swirl Brownies; Sakura Madeleines; Sourdough Simit, the beloved ring-shaped Turkish bread beaded with sesame seeds; Isabella Grape and Kefir Ice Cream; Pomegranate Jam; and Blanche, a berry tart named after the Golden Girl Blanche Devereaux.

Every recipe in The Artful Baker has gone through a meticulous development phase, tested by an army of home bakers having varying levels of skill, equipment, and access to ingredients, and revised to ensure that they will work flawlessly in any kitchen. Measurements of ingredients are provided in both volume and weight (grams). Where a volume measurement isn’t useful, weight measurements are provided in both ounces and grams.






Review:


★★★★★

This is one of the most beautiful cookbooks that I have read in 2017. The photographs are stunning, the recipes are delicious, and it really is like looking through an art book.

The book is divided into types of dish, including: Cookies, Brownies, Cakes Muffins Cheesecakes and Meringues, Tarts Galettes Pie Quiche Cobbler and Crumble, Bread and Pastries, Ice Cream Frozen Yogurt and Sorbets, Confections and Drinks, Jams and Jellies, Base Recipes, and Ingredients, Equipment and Conversions.

There's a lot of personal stories and name dropping in this book, making it clear that the author has a level of not just passion, but pride in what they do. You learn why they included the recipes and ingredients they did, and what makes them the best.

In addition to the recipes, there's also a TON of extra tips and techniques in this book. There are step by step photos of how to deal with vanilla beans, there's a whole section on perfecting macarons, there's a guide to tempering chocolate. It's clear the author wants to help you succeed with their recipes! There's also a lot of storage advice, which is appreciated.

As I mentioned, the photos are beautiful. A lot of the things look too beautiful to eat (I mean, not that that'd really stop me, but you know what I mean). There's an abundance of photos too, at least one per recipe though there's often more.

One of the downsides is that some of the ingredients are relatively hard to find, like sakura flavored white tea leaves. You'd need to plan well in advance for some of these recipes, they don't all lend themselves to spur of the moment baking.

Some of the recipes that sound the best to me include Sour Cherry and White Chocolate Macarons, Sakura Madeleines, and Isabella Grape and Kefir Ice Cream.

This book is fantastic, and any home bakers looking to up their game or to more finely hone their baking techniques would find something to benefit from in this book.

I received a copy in exchange for my honest review.