There are some really intriguing books coming out in June! There is a lot of fantasy on this list and it is sprinkled with a couple of romances and thrillers.
One night in New York City’s Chinatown, a woman is at a work reunion dinner with former colleagues when she excuses herself to buy a pack of cigarettes. On her way back, she runs into a former boyfriend. And then another. And . . . another. Nothing is quite what it seems as the city becomes awash with ghosts of heartbreaks past.
What would normally pass for coincidence becomes something far stranger as the recently engaged Lola must contend not only with the viability of her current relationship but the fact that both her best friend and her former boss, a magazine editor turned mystical guru, might have an unhealthy investment in the outcome. Memories of the past swirl and converge in ways both comic and eerie, as Lola is forced to decide if she will surrender herself to the conspiring of one very contemporary cult.
Hilariously insightful and delightfully suspenseful, Cult Classic is an original: a masterfully crafted tale of love, memory, morality, and mind control, as well as a fresh foray into the philosophy of romance. Is it possible to have a happy ending in an age when the past is ever at your fingertips and sanity is for sale? With her gimlet eye, Sloane Crosley spins a wry literary fantasy that is equal parts page-turner and poignant portrayal of alienation.
Key Words: Adult, Mystery, Magical Realism, Standalone
I have heard that Cult Classic is smart and witty while also being surprisingly emotional. I am not often drawn to books described as hilarious or satirical, but something about this one is calling to me. I get the impression that this book is a commentary on dating in New York, which, even though I live in Northern Ontario, Canada, is fascinating to me.
Two sisters. A shocking racist incident. The summer that will change both of their lives forever.
Despite having had near-identical upbringings, sisters Annalie and Margaret agree on only one thing: that they have nothing in common. Nineteen-year-old Margaret is driven, ambitious, and keenly aware of social justice issues. She couldn’t wait to leave their oppressive small-town home and take flight in New York. Meanwhile sweet, popular, seventeen-year-old Annalie couldn’t think of anything worse – she loves their town, and feels safe coasting along in its confines.
That is, until she arrives home one day to find a gut-punching racial slur painted on their garage door.
Outraged, Margaret flies home, expecting to find her family up in arms. Instead, she’s amazed to hear they want to forget about it. Their mom is worried about what it might stir up, and Annalie just wants to have a ‘normal’ summer – which Margaret is determined to ruin, apparently.
Back under each other’s skins, things between Margaret and Annalie get steadily worse – and not even the distraction of first love (for Annalie), or lost love (for Margaret) can bring them together.
Until finally, a crushing secret threatens to tear them apart forever.
Key Words: Young Adult, Family, Contemporary, Standalone, Debut
Despite not having a sister myself, I always find myself drawn to stories about sisterhood, especially when they are from dual perspectives. This Place is Still Beautiful looks incredible, and I am not just talking about that striking cover. I have seen a lot of early reviewers who have said they felt seen by this book. It also seems to find the balance between light and heavy topics.
In every person’s story, there is something to hide…
The ornate reading room at the Boston Public Library is quiet, until the tranquility is shattered by a woman’s terrified scream. Security guards take charge immediately, instructing everyone inside to stay put until the threat is identified and contained. While they wait for the all-clear, four strangers, who’d happened to sit at the same table, pass the time in conversation and friendships are struck. Each has his or her own reasons for being in the reading room that morning—it just happens that one is a murderer.
Award-winning author Sulari Gentill delivers a sharply thrilling read with The Woman in the Library, an unexpectedly twisty literary adventure that examines the complicated nature of friendship and shows us that words can be the most treacherous weapons of all.
Key Words: Adult, Mystery, Books About Books, Standalone
I have an eARC of Woman in the Library and I really need to get to it! I just haven’t been picking up my Kindle much lately. That said, I am very intrigued by this closed-door mystery that takes place in the reading room of a library!
The First Daughter is for the Throne
The Second Daughter is for the Wolf…
Red and the Wolf have finally contained the threat of the Old Kings but at a steep cost. Red’s beloved sister Neve, the First Daughter is lost in the Shadowlands, an inverted kingdom where the vicious gods of legend have been trapped for centuries and the Old Kings have slowly been gaining control. But Neve has an ally–though it’s one she’d rather never have to speak to again–the rogue king Solmir.
Solmir wants to bring an end to the Shadowlands and he believes helping Neve may be the key to its destruction. But to do that, they will both have to journey across a dangerous landscape in order to find a mysterious Heart Tree, and finally to claim the gods’ dark, twisted powers for themselves.
Key Words: Second Book in a Series, Young Adult, Fantasy, Retelling
I read For the Wolf on a whim last year and was pleasantly surprised by it. I went into it expecting a Little Red Riding Hood retelling but it read more like Beauty and the Beast. This made me nervous because very few Beauty and the Beast retellings have worked for me but I appreciated where the romance went in this one. I especially loved the sisterly bond and the atmosphere. I am so excited to read the sequel, For the Throne, which follows the other sister, who is the character that I was more interested in.
The gods wanted blood. She fought for love.
Achilles has fled her home and her vicious Myrmidon clan to live as a woman with the kallai, the transgender priestesses of Great Mother Aphrodite. When Odysseus comes to recruit the “prince” Achilles for a war against the Hittites, she prepares to die rather than fight as a man. However, her divine mother, Athena, intervenes, transforming her body into the woman’s body she always longed for, and promises her everything: glory, power, fame, victory in war, and, most importantly, a child born of her own body. Reunited with her beloved cousin, Patroklos, and his brilliant wife, the sorceress Meryapi, Achilles sets out to war with a vengeance.
But the gods–a dysfunctional family of abusive immortals that have glutted on human sacrifices for centuries–have woven ancient schemes more blood-soaked and nightmarish than Achilles can imagine. At the center of it all is the cruel, immortal Helen, who sees Achilles as a worthy enemy after millennia of ennui and emptiness. In love with her newfound nemesis, Helen sets out to destroy everything and everyone Achilles cherishes, seeking a battle to the death.
An innovative spin on a familiar tale, this is the Trojan War unlike anything ever told, and an Achilles whose vulnerability is revealed by the people she chooses to fight…and chooses to trust.
Key Words: Adult, Fantasy, Retelling, Mythology, LGBT, Standalone
First of all, this cover is perfection! Second of all, I love the tagline. “The gods wanted blood. She fought for love.” So good! I have read a lot of Trojan War retellings at this point and have quite a few on my TBR, but Wrath Goddess Sing sounds like it is doing something original with a story I know so well.
Emily Forrest runs the hottest astrology account on Instagram, @Exalted, but astrology is on the outs, and her finances are dwindling. Emily doesn’t even really believe in astrology, despite her gift for deciphering the moons and signs, until she comes across a birth-chart that could potentially change her mind. Beau Rubidoux’s chart has all the planets in their right places—it is exalted.
She decides that Beau could potentially be the love of her life and begins following him around Los Angeles in hopes of getting close to him and catching his eye.
Meanwhile, in Riverside, CA, Dawn Webster has been dumped once again. At 48, she is forced to return to the diner where she started waiting tables at 18. With no girlfriend, no career, and her only son gone to Hollywood, the once-vivacious Dawn is aimless and alone. Persona non-grata at the local lesbian bar, she guzzles cheap champagne and peruses @Exalted to feel seen. When Dawn spots her son’s estranged father one day during a work break, she decides to track him down and reshape the flailing course of her life.
Told from Emily and Dawn’s alternating points of view, Exalted is a deliciously dark novel that explores desire, the projection of love, and what we’re really searching for when we keep scrolling. Anna Dorn’s signature wit and biting social commentary takes readers across Southern California until Emily and Dawn’s shocking connection is finally revealed.
Key Words: Adult, Contemporary, LGBT, Standalone
I am not going to lie to you, it is the cover of Exalted that drew me in. There is something about this book that makes me think it is going to get a lot of attention, even if no one seems to be talking about it right now. I am always a little bit nervous about books that are a commentary on social media, but I am curious to see how astrology plays into this one.
Prepare to die. His kingdom is near.
Sixteen-year-old trans boy Benji is on the run from the cult that raised him—the fundamentalist sect that unleashed Armageddon and decimated the world’s population. Desperately, he searches for a place where the cult can’t get their hands on him, or more importantly, on the bioweapon they infected him with.
But when cornered by monsters born from the destruction, Benji is rescued by a group of teens from the local Acheson LGBTQ+ Center, affectionately known as the ALC. The ALC’s leader, Nick, is gorgeous, autistic, and a deadly shot, and he knows Benji’s darkest secret: the cult’s bioweapon is mutating him into a monster deadly enough to wipe humanity from the earth once and for all.
Still, Nick offers Benji shelter among his ragtag group of queer teens, as long as Benji can control the monster and use its power to defend the ALC. Eager to belong, Benji accepts Nick’s terms…until he discovers the ALC’s mysterious leader has a hidden agenda, and more than a few secrets of his own.
Key Words: Young Adult, Horror, Dystopia, LGBT, Standalone
Apparently, Hell Followed With Us is being compared to Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer, which I was expecting and has me so intrigued! I have heard that this is very descriptive and gory, which I am in the mood for once in a while.
Amber McCloud’s dream is to become cheer captain at the end of the year, but it’s an extra-tall order to be joyful and spirited when the quarterback of your team has been killed in a car accident. For both the team and the squad, watching Robbie get replaced by newcomer Jack Walsh is brutal. And when it turns out Jack is actually short for Jaclyn, all hell breaks loose.
The players refuse to be led by a girl, the cheerleaders are mad about the changes to their traditions, and the fact that Robbie’s been not only replaced but outshined by a QB who wears a sports bra has more than a few Atherton Alligators in a rage. Amber tries for some semblance of unity, but it quickly becomes clear that she’s only got a future on the squad and with her friends if she helps them take Jack down.
Just one problem: Amber and Jack are falling for each other, and if Amber can’t stand up for Jack and figure out how to get everyone to fall in line, her dream may come at the cost of her heart.
Key Words: Young Adult, Romance, LGBT, Standalone
Something I have recently discovered about myself is that I love a good sports romance! Home Field Advantage (which is a great title, btw!) is a sapphic romance between a quarterback and a cheerleader. I have also been told that it is dual perspective, which I appreciate in my romances!
England, 1882. In Victorian London, two children with mysterious powers are hunted by a figure of darkness —a man made of smoke.
Sixteen-year-old Charlie Ovid, despite a lifetime of brutality, doesn’t have a scar on him. His body heals itself, whether he wants it to or not. Marlowe, a foundling from a railway freight car, shines with a strange bluish light. He can melt or mend flesh. When two grizzled detectives are recruited to escort them north to safety, they are forced to confront the nature of difference, and belonging, and the shadowy edges of the monstrous.
What follows is a journey from the gaslit streets of London, to an eerie estate outside Edinburgh, where other children with gifts—the Talents—have been gathered. Here, the world of the dead and the world of the living threaten to collide. And as secrets within the Institute unfurl, Marlowe, Charlie and the rest of the Talents will discover the truth about their abilities, and the nature of the force that is stalking them: that the worst monsters sometimes come bearing the sweetest gifts.
With lush prose, mesmerizing world-building, and a gripping plot, Ordinary Monsters presents a catastophic vision of the Victorian world—and of the gifted, broken children who must save it.
Key Words: First Book in a Series, Adult, Fantasy, Historical, Debut
I am currently listening to an ALC of Ordinary Monster.
Nora’s life is about to get a rewrite…
Nora Hamilton knows the formula for love better than anyone. As a romance channel screenwriter, it’s her job. But when her too-good-to work husband leaves her and their two kids, Nora turns her marriage’s collapse into cash and writes the best script of her life. No one is more surprised than her when it’s picked up for the big screen and set to film on location at her 100-year-old-home. When former Sexiest Man Alive, Leo Vance, is cast as her ne’er do well husband Nora’s life will never be the same.
The morning after shooting wraps and the crew leaves, Nora finds Leo on her porch with a half-empty bottle of tequila and a proposition. He’ll pay a thousand dollars a day to stay for a week. The extra seven grand would give Nora breathing room, but it’s the need in his eyes that makes her say yes. Seven days: it’s the blink of an eye or an eternity depending on how you look at it. Enough time to fall in love. Enough time to break your heart.
Filled with warmth, wit, and wisdom, Nora Goes Off Scriptis the best kind of love story–the real kind where love is complicated by work, kids, and the emotional baggage that comes with life. For Nora and Leo, this kind of love is bigger than the big screen.
Key Words: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Standalone
Nora Goes Off Script sounds like a fun romance! I love that Nora writes scripts for what sounds very much like The Hallmark Channel and that she decides to write a script based on her own life. It is a romance between her and the lead actor, which is a trope I love. I don’t know why, but I adore romances where one of the characters is famous.
By day Eustaquia “Kiki” de Sonza and Ana Lezama de Urinza are proper young seventeeth century ladies. But when night falls, they trade in their silks and lace for swords and muskets, venturing out into the vibrant, bustling, crime-ridden streets of Potosí, in the Spanish Empire’s Viceroyalty of Peru. They pass their time fighting, gambling, and falling desperately in love with one another.
Then, on the night Kiki’s engagement to the Viceroy’s son is announced, her older brother―heir to her family’s fortune―is murdered. The girls immediately embark on a whirlwind investigation that takes them from the lowliest brothels of Potosí to the highest echelons of the Spanish aristocracy.
Key Words: Young Adult, Historical, Romance, LGBT, Standalone
Valiant Ladies is a friends-to-lovers romance between two sword-fighting girls trying to solve a murder mystery. Tell me no more! It is inspired by real seventeenth-century Latinx teenagers known as the Valiant Ladies of Potosí, which is fantastic!
Maybelline Chen isn’t the Chinese Taiwanese American daughter her mother expects her to be. May prefers hoodies over dresses and wants to become a writer. When asked, her mom can’t come up with one specific reason for why she’s proud of her only daughter. May’s beloved brother, Danny, on the other hand, has just been admitted to Princeton. But Danny secretly struggles with depression, and when he dies by suicide, May’s world is shattered.
In the aftermath, racist accusations are hurled against May’s parents for putting too much “pressure” on him. May’s father tells her to keep her head down. Instead, May challenges these ugly stereotypes through her writing. Yet the consequences of speaking out run much deeper than anyone could foresee. Who gets to tell our stories, and who gets silenced? It’s up to May to take back the narrative.
Key Words: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mental Health, Standalone
The Silence That Binds Us deals with suicide, so it is important to be aware of that before you consider adding it to your TBR. I have read many rave reviews that say how well this topic is handled and that it is an authentic look at grief, which I appreciate.
Lou never believed in superstitions or magic–until her teenage aunt Neela is kidnapped to the goblin market.
The market is a place Lou has only read about–twisted streets, offerings of sweet fruits and incredible jewels. Everything–from the food and wares, to the goblins themselves–is a haunting temptation for any human who manages to find their way in.
Determined to save Neela, Lou learns songs and spells and tricks that will help her navigate this dangerous world and slip past a goblin’s defenses–but she only has three days to find Neela before the market disappears and her aunt becomes one of them forever.
If she isn’t careful, the market might just end up claiming her too.
Key Words: Young Adult, Horror, Fantasy, Retelling, Gothic, LGBT, Standalone
I was lucky enough to receive an ALC of Not Good for Maidens, so I have already read this book. If you have been following my blog, you might already know how much I loved this. I didn’t know that I needed a Goblin Market retelling in my life! This was so atmospheric and creepy while also having memorable characters and relationships you could get invested in. I hope that it gets the attention I think it deserves!
Allison Brody is thirty-two and newly arrived on the East Coast after just managing to flee her movie producer boyfriend. She has some money, saved up from years of writing and waitressing, and so she spends it, buying a small house on the beach. But then a Category 3 hurricane makes landfall and scatters her home up and down the shore, leaving Allison adrift.
Should she go home from the bar with the strange cameraman and stay in his guest room? Is that a glass vase he smashed on her skull? Can she wipe the blood from her eyes, get in her car, and drive to her mother’s? Does she really love the brain surgeon who saved her, or is she just using him for his swimming pool? And is it possible to ever truly heal without seeking some measure of revenge?
A gripping, provocative novel that walks a knife’s edge between comedy and horror, Hurricane Girl is the work of a singular talent, a novelist unafraid to explore the intersection of love, sex, violence, and freedom–while celebrating the true joy that can be found in a great swim and a good turkey sandwich.
Key Words: Adult, Contemporary, Literary Fiction, Standalone
I have no idea what to expect from Hurricane Girl, but I have heard that it is a one-sitting read, which I am always on the hunt for. It is said to be weird, witty, and a wild ride.
A talented Hollywood starlet and a reclusive A-lister enter into a fake relationship . . . and discover that their feelings might be more than a PR stunt in this sexy debut for fans of Beach Read and The Unhoneymooners.
Grey Brooks is on a mission to keep her career afloat now that the end of her long-running teen soap has her (unsuccessfully) pounding the pavement again. With a life-changing role on the line, she’s finally desperate enough to agree to her publicist’s scheme . . . faking a love affair with a disgraced Hollywood heartthrob who needs the publicity, but for very different reasons.
Ethan Atkins just wants to be left alone. Between his high-profile divorce, his struggles with drinking, and his grief over the death of his longtime creative partner and best friend, he’s slowly let himself fade into the background. But if he ever wants to produce the last movie he and his partner wrote together, Ethan needs to clean up his reputation and step back into the spotlight. A gossip-inducing affair with a gorgeous actress might be just the ticket, even if it’s the last thing he wants to do.
Though their juicy public relationship is less than perfect behind the scenes, it doesn’t take long before Grey and Ethan’s sizzling chemistry starts to feel like more than just an act. But after decades in a ruthless industry that requires bulletproof emotional armor to survive, are they too used to faking it to open themselves up to the real thing?
Key Words: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Standalone, Debut
Like I said earlier, I love romances where one or more of the characters are celebrities, so How to Fake It in Hollywood sounds like the perfect book for me! It also has fake dating, which is a bonus!
In 2014, on the side of a Los Angeles freeway, a One Direction fan erected a shrine in the spot where, a few hours earlier, Harry Styles had vomited. “It’s interesting for sure,” Styles said later, adding, “a little niche, maybe.” But what seemed niche to Styles was actually a signpost for an unfathomably large, hyper-connected alternate universe: stan culture.
In Everything I Need I Get from You, Kaitlyn Tiffany, a staff writer at The Atlantic and a superfan herself, guides us through the online world of fans, stans, and boybands. Along the way we meet girls who damage their lungs from screaming too loud, fans rallying together to manipulate chart numbers using complex digital subversion, and an underworld of inside jokes and shared memories surrounding band members’ allergies, internet typos, and hairstyles. In the process, Tiffany makes a convincing, and often moving, argument that fangirls, in their ingenuity and collaboration, created the social internet we know today. “Before most people were using the internet for anything,” Tiffany writes, “fans were using it for everything.”
With humor, empathy, and an insider’s eye, Everything I Need I Get from You reclaims internet history for young women, establishing fandom not as the territory of hysterical girls but as an incubator for digital innovation, art, and community. From alarming, fandom-splitting conspiracy theories about secret love and fake children, to the interplays between high and low culture and capitalism, Tiffany’s book is a riotous chronicle of the movement that changed the internet forever.
Key Words: Nonfiction
The cover for Everything I Need I Get From You is so terrible but also so perfect and I need it on my shelves! I am intrigued by the angle that Kaitlyn Tiffany takes in this nonfiction book that explores the power of young women and fandom when it comes to digital innovation.
Can these opposites turn up the heat… without burning down the house?
House-flipping sensation and YouTube star Maggie Nichols can’t wait to dig into her next challenge. Arriving in tiny Kinship, Idaho, with only a cot and a coffeemaker, Maggie is prepared to restore a crumbling Victorian mansion in four months or less. She has her to-do lists, her blueprints, and her team. What she doesn’t have is time for sexy, laid-back landscaper Silas Wright.
The man takes flirtation to a whole new level. And he does it shirtless…sometimes pants-less. He and his service school-dropout dog are impressively persistent. But she’s not interested in putting down roots. Not when fans tune in to watch her travel the country turning dilapidated houses into dream homes. A short-term fling on the other hand could fit nicely into her calendar. After all, Maggie remembers what fun is like. Vaguely.
As their summer gets downright steamy, Silas manages to demolish the emotional walls she’s spent years building, sending Maggie into a panic. He’s the wrench in her carefully constructed plans. With the end of the project looming, she has a decision to make. But how can she stay when her entire career is built on moving on?
Key Words: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Standalone
I have never read anything by Lucy Score, but I have been curious about her romances. And the cover for Maggie Moves On is just too adorable! I love that the main character is a YouTuber and that the dog seems to play a big role in the story. Looks like a great summer read!
Leo feels like she should remember what happened that night. But all she knows is that she left the party and got into a car with Nina and Nina’s boyfriend, East.
East, who once promised Nina he’d watch out for her younger sister. East, who has been trying to keep that promise every day since. But East won’t give Leo the one thing she wants—the one thing she needs. He won’t tell her anything about the accident. He won’t talk about that night at all.
As the days tumble one into the next, Leo’s story comes together while her world falls apart. The only constant is the one person who can help her bear the enormous weight of her love for Nina—and East might be carrying too heavy a load of his own.
Key Words: Young Adult, Contemporary, Standalone
A Year to the Day is not the kind of book that I am typically drawn to, but Robin Benway’s novel Far From the Tree is one of my favourite books of all time! So, at this point, I am open to anything that she writes. I have heard that the story is told in reverse, which might be interesting.
Some things are better left forgotten . . .
A woman wakes up beside a mountain highway, alone and confused, unable to remember who she is. She fights to regain her identity, only to learn that her parents disappeared—shortly after her mother won $47 million in a lottery.
As her memories painfully resurface and the police uncover details of her parents’ mysterious disappearance, Cleo Li finds herself under increasing suspicion. Even with the unwavering support of her brother, she can’t quite reconcile her fears with reality or keep her harrowing nightmares at bay. As Cleo delves deeper into the truth, she cannot escape the nagging sense that maybe the person she should be afraid of is herself.
With jolting revelations and taut ambiguity, In the Dark We Forget vividly examines the complexities of family—and the lies we tell ourselves in order to survive.
Key Words: Adult, Thriller, Standalone. Debut
I have an ARC of In the Dark We Forget and I am excited to get to it! I love supporting Canadian authors, and I am more drawn to thrillers in the summer. I have mixed feelings about unreliable narrators, so we will see how it goes!
Meg Williams. Maggie Littleton. Melody Wilde. Different names for the same person, depending on the town, depending on the job. She’s a con artist who erases herself to become whoever you need her to be—a college student. A life coach. A real estate agent. Nothing about her is real. She slides alongside you and tells you exactly what you need to hear, and by the time she’s done, you’ve likely lost everything.
Kat Roberts has been waiting ten years for the woman who upended her life to return. And now that she has, Kat is determined to be the one to expose her. But as the two women grow closer, Kat’s long-held assumptions begin to crumble, leaving Kat to wonder who Meg’s true target is.
The Lies I Tell is a twisted domestic thriller that dives deep into the psyches and motivations of two women and their unwavering quest to seek justice for the past and rewrite the future.
Key Words: Adult, Thriller, Standalone
I love thrillers that follow con women and the fact that The Lies I Tell is also a revenge story is a plus! I can totally see myself reading this book by the pool and loving every second of it.
A gruesome curse. A city in upheaval. A monster with unquenchable appetites.
Marlinchen and her two sisters live with their wizard father in a city shifting from magic to industry. As Oblya’s last true witches, she and her sisters are little more than a tourist trap as they treat their clients with archaic remedies and beguile them with nostalgic charm. Marlinchen spends her days divining secrets in exchange for rubles and trying to placate her tyrannical, xenophobic father, who keeps his daughters sequestered from the outside world. But at night, Marlinchen and her sisters sneak out to enjoy the city’s amenities and revel in its thrills, particularly the recently established ballet theater, where Marlinchen meets a dancer who quickly captures her heart.
As Marlinchen’s late-night trysts grow more fervent and frequent, so does the threat of her father’s rage and magic. And while Oblya flourishes with culture and bustles with enterprise, a monster lurks in its midst, borne of intolerance and resentment and suffused with old-world power. Caught between history and progress and blood and desire, Marlinchen must draw upon her own magic to keep her city safe and find her place within it.
Key Words: Adult, Fantasy, Horror, Retelling, Standalone
I have been curious about The Wolf and the Woodsman, but I think Juniper & Thorn will be the first book from Ava Reid that I will read! It is Gothic horror and there is magic. It is also a reimagining of the Brother’s Grimm The Juniper Tree fairytale, which I know nothing about but will look into!
A reality star and a cupcake-baking football player pretend to be a couple in order to save his bakery in this sweet and sexy romance from Jamie Wesley, Fake It Till You Bake It.
Jada Townsend-Matthews is the most reviled woman in America after turning down a proposal on a reality dating show. When she comes home to lick her wounds, Jada finds herself working at San Diego’s newest cupcake bakery, Sugar Blitz, alongside the uptight owner and professional football player Donovan Dell.
When a reporter mistakenly believes Jada and Donovan are an item, they realize they can use the misunderstanding to their advantage to help the struggling bakery and rehabilitate Jada’s image. Faking a relationship should be simple, but sometimes love is the most unexpected ingredient.
Fake it Till You Bake It is a sweet confection of a novel, the perfect story to curl up with and enjoy with a cupcake on the side.
I received an eARC of Fake It Till You Bake It months ago and tried to hold off and read it closer to the release date, but I couldn’t stop myself! There was so much about this that I loved- faking dating, celebrity main characters, and amazing food descriptions! These two characters start off on the wrong foot but they have instant chemistry. I cannot recommend this book enough and I am so excited to soon have a copy for my romance shelves.
Key Words: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Devon King has a plan. An actual with bullet points and everything plan for his life. When he’s called out at work for never participating in any of the office activities he feels compelled to take part in the upcoming office bake off competition to prove he’s a team player, as making partner at his architectural design firm is top on his list of career goals. Only problem, he doesn’t know anything about baking. Failure is not an option so when his first choice for help is unavailable, desperate times lead him to ask Reba Johnson, assistant pastry chef to his brother’s girlfriend.
Reba’s been having fun texting the super serious Devon ridiculous cat pictures, for an entire month, but she’s surprised when he asks for her help with a potential baking crisis, since their conversations have been one sided until now. When her friends make a bet that even she can’t get the stoic Devon to fall for her charms, Reba sets out to prove them wrong and get Devon to have some fun.
As the competition draws closer, their sessions get hotter with a one night stand turning into two nights then three…Reba doesn’t fit into Devon’s carefully crafted life and as he tries to focus on winning the company contest, he discovers that sweet treats aren’t the only thing baking in the kitchen, and all his perfect plans are crumbling.
Don’t Go Baking My Heart is the companion novel to Sweethand, which is a foodie romance I adored. Look how summery this cover is! And the title is so punny. Some readers whose reading tastes align with mine have said this is even better than the first, which is exciting!
Key Words: Second Book in a Series, Adult, Contemporary, Romance
A spectacular novel of family, friendship, and finding your way in life…and in love.
Angie Appiah is the epitome of the Perfect Immigrant Daughter. She’s got it all: medical school credentials, a handsome lawyer boyfriend, and ride or die friends. But what happens when everything falls apart? Her boyfriend dumps her, she bombs the most important exam of her medical career, and her closest confidante and roommate pulls away, telling Angie she’s more wrapped up in herself than in her friends.
Angie is crushed. She’s always faced her problems by working “twice as hard to get half as far and until now, that’s done well for her. When did life get so complicated? Suddenly, she begins to question everything: her career choice, her friendships, even why she’s attracted to men who don’t love her as much as she loves them. And just when things couldn’t get more confusing, enter Ricky, brilliant, thoughtful, sexy, but who has wasteman practically tattooed across his forehead. For someone who’s always been in control, Angie realizes that there’s one thing she can’t plan on: matters of her heart.
Key Words: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Standalone
It seems there is a new trend of romances set in the medical world and I am ready to embrace it! On Rotation sounds like it is going to be steamy and that Angie is going to be a relatable character for many readers.
In this medieval YA fantasy thriller, an orphan with a secret, magical sight gets caught between a mysterious genius and the serial killer he’s hunting.
Rising above the city of Collis is the holy Sanctum. And watching over its spires is Catrin, an orphan girl with unique skills—for she alone can spot the building’s flaws in construction before they turn deadly.
But when Catrin witnesses a murderer escaping the scene of his crime, she’s pulled into the web of a dangerous man who will definitely strike again. Assigned to capture the culprit is the mysterious, brilliant, and enigmatic Simon, whose insights into the mind of a killer are frighteningly accurate.
As the grisly crimes continue, Catrin finds herself caught between murderer and detective while hiding her own secret—a supernatural sight granted by the moon, destined to make her an outcast, and the only thing that might save her and those she loves from becoming the next victims…
Key Words: Young Adult, Fantasy, Thriller, Standalone
I have really been drawn to fantasy thrillers since reading The Change, so Blood and Moonlight sounds like the perfect book for me. I have a feeling the writing will be beautiful and atmospheric. And that cover!
Three weddings. Three funerals. Alessa’s gift from the gods is supposed to magnify a partner’s magic, not kill every suitor she touches.
Now, with only weeks left until a hungry swarm of demons devours everything on her island home, Alessa is running out of time to find a partner and stop the invasion. When a powerful priest convinces the faithful that killing Alessa is the island’s only hope, her own soldiers try to assassinate her.
Desperate to survive, Alessa hires Dante, a cynical outcast marked as a killer, to become her personal bodyguard. But as rebellion explodes outside the gates, Dante’s dark secrets may be the biggest betrayal. He holds the key to her survival and her heart, but is he the one person who can help her master her gift or destroy her once and for all?
Key Words: First Book in a Series, Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Debut
I actually have an ALC of This Vicious Grace, and I hope to listen to it soon. This is one of my most anticipated books of the year! I know that the trope of having a touch that kills is nothing new, but I am curious to see what Emily Thiede does with it. I have heard that the romance element is swoonworthy!
Best friends Rora and Claudia have never felt more like their lives are spiraling out of control. And when they meet Major and Amir–two boys from one of the secret cities of the spheres, ruled by the magic of the astrological signs–they discover they’re not alone. There is a disruption in the harmony between the spheres, and its chaos is spreading.
To find the source of the disharmony, Rora and Claudia will embark on a whirlwind journey of secrets, romance, and powerful truths–about themselves, each other, and two long-ago explorers named Dante and Beatrice, who were among the first to chart this course toward the stars.
Key Words: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Standalone
First of all, I love that The Song That Moves the Sun is a standalone fantasy- I am always on the hunt for them! This is the second book on this list that focuses on astrology (and I know of a couple more coming out alter in the year!), so this seems to be a new trend!
It seems like any other day: You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out. But today when you open your front door, waiting for you is a small wooden box. This box holds your fate inside: the answer to the exact number of years you will live.
From suburban doorsteps to desert tents, every person on every continent receives the same box. In an instant, the world is thrust into a collective frenzy. Where did these boxes come from? What do they mean? Is there truth to what they promise? As society comes together and pulls apart, everyone faces the same shocking choice: Do they wish to know how long they’ll live? And, if so, what will they do with that knowledge?
The Measure charts the dawn of this new world through an unforgettable cast of characters whose decisions and fates interweave with one another: best friends whose dreams are forever entwined; pen pals finding refuge in the unknown; a couple who thought they didn’t have to rush; a doctor who cannot save himself; and a politician whose box becomes the powder keg that ultimately changes everything.
Enchanting and deeply uplifting, The Measure is a sweeping, ambitious, invigorating story about family, friendship, hope, and destiny that encourages us to live life to the fullest.
Key Words: Adult, Science Fiction, Contemporary, Standalone, Debut
I am so intrigued by the premise of The Measure! I can’t imagine receiving a box in the mail that will tell me how many years I have left to live. What would I do? What would it mean for society? I love books that explores questions like that!
Sexy, driven rapper Danielle “Duchess” Nelson is on the verge of signing a deal that’ll make her one of the richest women in hip hop. More importantly, it’ll grant her control over her life, something she’s craved for years. But an incident with a rising pop star has gone viral, unfairly putting her deal in jeopardy. Concerned about her image, she’s instructed to work on generating some positive publicity… or else.
A brilliant professor and reclusive royal, Prince Jameson prefers life out of the spotlight, only leaving his ivory tower to attend weddings or funerals. But with the Queen’s children involved in one scandal after another, and Parliament questioning the viability of the monarchy, the Queen is desperate. In a quest for good press, she puts Jameson in charge of a tribute concert in her late husband’s honor. Out of his depth, and resentful of being called to service, he takes the advice of a student. After all, what’s more appropriate for a royal concert than a performer named “Duchess”?
Too late, Jameson discovers the American rapper is popular, sexy, raunchy and not what the Queen wanted, although he’s having an entirely different reaction. Dani knows this is the good exposure she needs to cement her deal and it doesn’t hurt that the royal running things is fine as hell. Thrown together, they give in to the explosive attraction flaring between them. But as the glare of the limelight intensifies and outside forces try to interfere, will the Prince and Duchess be a fairy tale romance for the ages or a disaster of palatial proportions?
Key Words: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Standalone
I have an eARC of American Royalty, and, hopefully, I have started reading it by the time that this post goes up! It is a romance that is loosely inspired by Harry and Meghan. I haven’t rad a lot of royal romances, but I love that trope in movies!
Amy Chambers: restaurant owner, micromanager, control freak.
Amy will do anything to revive her ailing restaurant, including hiring a former reality-show finalist with good connections and a lot to prove. But her hopes that Sophie’s skills and celebrity status would bring her restaurant back from the brink of failure are beginning to wane…
Sophie Brunet: grump in the kitchen/sunshine in the streets, took thirty years to figure out she was queer.
Sophie just wants to cook. She doesn’t want to constantly post on social media for her dead-in-the-water reality TV career, she doesn’t want to deal with Amy’s take-charge personality and she doesn’t want to think about what her attraction to her boss might mean…
Then, an opportunity: a new foodie TV show might provide the exposure they need. An uneasy truce is fine for starters, but making their dreams come true means making some personal and painful sacrifices and soon, there’s more than just the restaurant at stake.
An ARC of The Romance Recipe is on its way to me, and I am so excited about it! You know I love a good foodie romance!
Key Words: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, LGBT, Standalone
Florence Day is the ghostwriter for one of the most prolific romance authors in the industry, and she has a problem—after a terrible breakup, she no longer believes in love. It’s as good as dead.
When her new editor, a too-handsome mountain of a man, won’t give her an extension on her book deadline, Florence prepares to kiss her career goodbye. But then she gets a phone call she never wanted to receive, and she must return home for the first time in a decade to help her family bury her beloved father.
For ten years, she’s run from the town that never understood her, and even though she misses the sound of a warm Southern night and her eccentric, loving family and their funeral parlor, she can’t bring herself to stay. Even with her father gone, it feels like nothing in this town has changed. And she hates it.
Until she finds a ghost standing at the funeral parlor’s front door, just as broad and infuriatingly handsome as ever, and he’s just as confused about why he’s there as she is.
Romance is most certainly dead . . . but so is her new editor, and his unfinished business will have her second-guessing everything she’s ever known about love stories.
Key Words: Adult, Contemporary, Fantasy, Romance, Standalone
It seems as though a lot of YA authors are dipping their toes into the adult world, and I am always intrigued by that! I have never read any of Ashley Poston’s YA romances, but The Dead Romantics sounds like something I will love. On the surface, it seems like it is going to be your typical small-town romance but then you throw in the word “ghosts” and my interest is piqued!