December 2021 Book Releases

How is it already December!? I cannot believe that this is my last “most anticipated” post for the year. I have had so much fun putting these together every month and will be continuing to do them in 2022. My 2022 Goodreads shelf is already over 100 books… but that is a topic for another day!

December is not typically a huge month for releases, but there are quite a few that I am excited about and wanted to share.

December 7th

An epic story of love, war, and redemption set against the backdrop of the Korean independence movement, following the intertwined fates of a young girl sold to a courtesan school and the penniless son of a hunter.

In 1917, deep in the snowy mountains of occupied Korea, an impoverished local hunter on the brink of starvation saves a young Japanese officer from an attacking tiger. In an instant, their fates are connected—and from this encounter unfolds a saga that spans half a century.

In the aftermath, a young girl named Jade is sold by her family to Miss Silver’s courtesan school, an act of desperation that will cement her place in the lowest social status. When she befriends an orphan boy named JungHo, who scrapes together a living begging on the streets of Seoul, they form a deep friendship. As they come of age, JungHo is swept up in the revolutionary fight for independence, and Jade becomes a sought-after performer with a new romantic prospect of noble birth. Soon Jade must decide whether she will risk everything for the one who would do the same for her.

I love sweeping historical fiction, but I don’t believe that I have ever read a book like this set in Korea. I have a feeling that Beasts of a Little Land will be beautiful and heartbreaking and something that will stay with me.

A prison inmate on furlough learns a terrible secret about his sister’s mysterious death—and descends back into the criminal underworld to uncover the truth.

Serving a ten-year sentence in a Nevada prison for armed robbery, Ethan Lockhart hopes that he can one day become a productive, law-abiding member of society. But society has other plans for Ethan. When he’s given a forty-eight-hour furlough to attend his sister Abby’s funeral, he learns that her body was never found—just enough blood to declare her dead instead of missing—and he begins to suspect that there’s more to her death than was reported. Ethan decides to use his forty-eight-hour window to find out what happened. But to get to the bottom of the mystery, he’ll have to return to his unsavory past.

Ethan teams up with his sister’s best friend Whitney in a search for the truth. United in their shared grief, their chemistry—both emotional and physical—also begins to heat up. But romance goes on hold as the suspects mount. Ethan’s old boss, Shark, a mid-level loan shark now heads a criminal empire. As Ethan and Whitney uncover more clues, they become convinced that Shark is responsible for the murder, but they have no proof.

If Ethan is going to solve his sister’s murder in forty-eight hours, he will have to become the criminal he swore he’d never be again.

The premise of 48 Hours to Kill caught my attention right away. I have come to the realization that I love revenge thrillers and the early reviews for this one have been incredible!

Renu Amin always seemed perfect: doting husband, beautiful house, healthy sons. But as the one-year anniversary of her husband’s death approaches, Renu is binge-watching soap operas and simmering with old resentments. She can’t stop wondering if, thirty-five years ago, she chose the wrong life. In Los Angeles, her son, Akash, has everything he ever wanted, but as he tries to kickstart his songwriting career and commit to his boyfriend, he is haunted by the painful memories he fled a decade ago. When his mother tells him she is selling the family home, Akash returns to Illinois, hoping to finally say goodbye and move on.

Together, Renu and Akash pack up the house, retreating further into the secrets that stand between them. Renu sends an innocent Facebook message to the man she almost married, sparking an emotional affair that calls into question everything she thought she knew about herself. Akash slips back into bad habits as he confronts his darkest secrets―including what really happened between him and the first boy who broke his heart. When their pasts catch up to them, Renu and Akash must decide between the lives they left behind and the ones they’ve since created, between making each other happy and setting themselves free.

Tell Me How to Be sounds like a simple yet beautiful story. I love the idea of a mother and son coming together to pack up the family home and thinking back on their lives and their regrets and their secrets.

Nochebuena. One party. Nine Happily Ever Afters.

It’s Christmas Eve in New York City, when anything is possible. For these couples, it’s the season to find true love. From second-chances, big leaps, missed connections, and reconnections, this charming collection celebrates the spirit of the holidays and delivers nine perfect HEAs.

From seven acclaimed and bestselling Latina authors—Zoey Castile, Alexis Daria, Adriana Herrera, Diana Muñoz Stewart, Priscilla Oliveras, Sabrina Sol, and Mia Sosa—comes a holiday romance collection like never before.

Of all of the books coming out in December, Amor Actually is probably the one I am most excited about! Look at that cover and the incredible authors who have contributed to the collection. I will be reading this the day it comes out!

Eighteen-year-olds Ruben Montez and Zach Knight are two members of the boy-band Saturday, one of the biggest acts in America. Along with their bandmates, Angel Phan and Jon Braxton, the four are teen heartbreakers in front of the cameras and best friends backstage. But privately, cracks are starting to form: their once-easy rapport is straining under the pressures of fame, and Ruben confides in Zach that he’s feeling smothered by management’s pressure to stay in the closet.

On a whirlwind tour through Europe, with both an unrelenting schedule and minimal supervision, Ruben and Zach come to rely on each other more and more, and their already close friendship evolves into a romance. But when they decide they’re ready to tell their fans and live freely, Zach and Ruben start to truly realize that they will never have the support of their management. How can they hold tight to each other when the whole world seems to want to come between them?

Is this inspired by One Direction!? I am so curious!

Elise Beaumont is cursed. With every touch, she experiences exactly how her loved ones will die. And after her brother’s death—a death she predicted but was unable to prevent—Elise is desperate to get rid of her terrible gift, no matter the cost.

Claire Montgomery also has a unique relationship with death, mostly because she’s already dead. Technically, anyway. Claire is a vampire, and she’s been assigned by the Veil to help Elise master her rare Death Oracle powers.

At first, Elise is reluctant to work with a vampire, but when she predicts a teacher’s imminent murder, she’s determined to stop the violent death, even if it means sacrificing her own future to secure Claire’s help.

The trouble is, Claire and Elise aren’t the only paranormals in town—a killer is stalking the streets, and Claire can’t seem to shake the pull she feels toward Elise, a romance that could upend the Veil’s mission. But as Elise and Claire grow closer, Elise begins to wonder—can she really trust someone tasked with securing her loyalty? Someone who could so easily kill her? Someone who might hold the key to unraveling her brother’s mysterious death?

The Coldest Touch is not the kind of book I am normally drawn to this time of year, but I would love to pick it up soon! A sapphic vampire story!

Travis Wren has an unusual talent for locating missing people. Hired by families as a last resort, he requires only a single object to find the person who has vanished. When he takes on the case of Maggie St. James—a well-known author of dark, macabre children’s books—he’s led to a place many believed to be only a legend.

Called Pastoral, this reclusive community was founded in the 1970s by like-minded people searching for a simpler way of life. By all accounts, the commune shouldn’t exist anymore and soon after Travis stumbles upon it…he disappears. Just like Maggie St. James.

Years later, Theo, a lifelong member of Pastoral, discovers Travis’s abandoned truck beyond the border of the community. No one is allowed in or out, not when there’s a risk of bringing a disease—rot—into Pastoral. Unraveling the mystery of what happened reveals secrets that Theo, his wife, Calla, and her sister, Bee, keep from one another. Secrets that prove their perfect, isolated world isn’t as safe as they believed—and that darkness takes many forms.

Hauntingly beautiful, hypnotic, and bewitching, A History of Wild Places is a story about fairy tales, our fear of the dark, and losing yourself within the wilderness of your mind.

I have not read anything by Shea Ernshaw, but I have been meaning to for years! This ink plot cover is perfection, and I am getting major haunting vibes from this A History of Wild Places. I cannot wait to dive into it!

December 14th

Rex “TW” McMurtry’s perpetual single-hood wouldn’t bother him so much if all his ex-girlfriends didn’t keep marrying the very next person they dated, especially when so many of those grooms are his closest friends. He may be a pro-football defensive end for the Chicago Squalls, but the press only wants to talk about how he’s always a groomsman and never a groom. Rex is sick of being the guy before the husband, and he’s most definitely sick of being the best man at all their weddings.

Bartender Abigail McNerny is the gal-pal, the wing-woman, the she-BFF. She’s dated. Once. And once was more than enough. Privy to all the sad stories of her customers, ‘contentment over commitment’ is her motto, and Abby is convinced no one on earth could ever entice her into a romantic relationship . . . except that one guy she’s loved since preschool.

The guy who just walked into her bar.

The guy who doesn’t recognize her.

The guy who is drunk and needs a ride home.

The guy who has a proposition she should definitely refuse.

I have never read anything by Penny Reid, but I know her Winston Brothers series is extremely popular. Honestly, it was the cover for Homecoming King that caught my eye more than anything!

He’s cosplaying as her boyfriend but their feelings for each other are real in this romantic comedy from Seressia Glass.

Sometimes Kenya Davenport believes she was switched at the hospital–how else could a lover of anime, gaming, and cosplay come from STEM parents? Still, Kenya dreams of being able to turn her creative hobby into a career. She finally has a chance to make it big when she joins the reality show competition Cosplay or No Way.

There’s just one catch: the challenge for the final round is all about iconic pairs, and the judges want the contestants’ significant others to participate. Unfortunately, Kenya is as single as can be at the moment. Luckily her best friend, Cameron Lassiter, agrees to be her fake boyfriend for the show.
Roleplaying a couple in love will force them to explore what they’re hiding under the mask of friendship. Can Kenya and Cam fake it until she makes it, or will she be real about her feelings, knowing it could cost her the best friend she’s ever had?

Fake dating!

December 28th

As a child in Spain, Puri always knew her passion for chocolate was inherited from her father. But it’s not until his death that she learns of something else she’s inherited—a cocoa estate in Vinces, Ecuador, a town nicknamed “París Chiquito.” Eager to claim her birthright and filled with hope for a new life after the devastation of World War I, she and her husband Cristóbal set out across the Atlantic Ocean. But it soon becomes clear someone is angered by Puri’s claim to the estate…

When a mercenary sent to murder her aboard the ship accidentally kills Cristóbal instead, Puri dons her husband’s clothes and assumes his identity, hoping to stay safe while she searches for the truth of her father’s legacy in Ecuador. Though freed from the rules that women are expected to follow, Puri confronts other challenges at the estate—newfound siblings, hidden affairs, and her father’s dark secrets. Then there are the dangers awakened by her attraction to an enigmatic man as she tries to learn the identity of an enemy who is still at large, threatening the future she is determined to claim…

I don’t pick up historical fiction as often these days, but The Spanish Daughter caught my attention. I am intrigued by the chocolate empire and the family secrets.

It’s Karnawał season in the snow-cloaked Kingdom of Lechija, and from now until midnight when the church bells ring an end to Devil’s Tuesday time will be marked with wintry balls and glittery disguises, cavalcades of nightly torch-lit “kuligi” sleigh-parties.

Unbeknownst to the oblivious merrymakers, two monsters join the fun, descending upon the royal city of Warszów in the guise of two innocent girls. Newfound friends and polar opposites, Zosia and Marynka seem destined to have a friendship that’s stronger even than magic. But that’s put to the test when they realize they both have their sights set on Lechija’s pure-hearted prince. A pure heart contains immeasurable power and Marynka plans to bring the prince’s back to her grandmother in order to prove herself. While Zosia is determined to take his heart and its power for her own.

When neither will sacrifice their ambitions for the other, the festivities spiral into a wild contest with both girls vying to keep the hapless prince out of the other’s wicked grasp. But this isn’t some remote forest village, where a hint of stray magic might go unnoticed, Warszów is the icy capital of a kingdom that enjoys watching monsters burn, and if Zosia and Marynka’s innocent disguises continue to slip, their escalating rivalry might cost them not just the love they might have for each other, but both their lives.

I appreciate that The Midnight Girls is a standalone and that it is a sapphic enemies-to-lovers story. I have also heard that the monsters in here are epic!

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13 thoughts on “December 2021 Book Releases

  1. I’ve read other Penny Reid books and have really enjoyed them. What a great list of books coming out in December

  2. I somehow always forget about December books (because I have so many from the year to finish!) but these looks great. I agree, the cover for Homecoming King is extremely eye-catching, and it sounds hilarious too. Very much 27 Dresses vibes!

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