Yelana, I'm offering you a choice. You can either be executed, or you can be Commander Ambrose's new food taster. His last taster died recently.Yelana replied,
A fool would refuse the job.Ultimately she admitted to being no fool and her adventures into magic intrigue, self-defense, and murder blossomed into a story that moved so quickly that the book ended long before I was ready.
As with many science fiction novels these days, this is the first of a series, but it still manages to deliver a satisfying resolution while still leaving room for the obligatory sequel. Note: This is a romantic SF story, published by an imprint of Harlequin. However, it seems to ignore the normal romance requirement for silly sex scenes. I suspect this is intended to be a YA novel as the sex doesn't go beyond adolescent yearnings and fantasies and a chaste kiss or two.
Poison Study by Maria V Snyder is a great read.