I typically don’t do a release post for December, but there are a few books coming out that I wanted to put on your radar.
Sometimes two cooks in the kitchen are better than one in this swoony romantic comedy from the author of I’m So (Not) Over You.
Xavier Reynolds is doing less than stellar. He just got dumped, was passed over for a prestigious fellowship, and to top it all off he’s right back home in Harper’s Cove, Maine (population: 9,000). The last thing he wants to do is to work as a prep chef in the kitchen of the hip new restaurant in town, The Wharf. Especially since the hot, single-father chef who owns it can’t delegate to save his life.
Logan O’Hare doesn’t understand Xavier or why every word out of his mouth is dipped in sarcasm. Unfortunately, he has no choice but to hire him–he needs more help in the kitchen and his tween daughter, Anne, can only mince so many onions. It might be a recipe for disaster, but Logan doesn’t have many options besides Xavier.
Stuck between a stove and a hot place, Logan and Xavier discover an unexpected connection. But when the heat between them threatens to top the Scoville scale, they’ll have to decide if they can make their relationship work or if life has seasoned them too differently.
I am currently reading an eARC of A Dash of Salt and Pepper and I am having a blast with it! I would recommend reading a sample of this before picking it up because Xavier’s POV is kind of a lot but I adore him. He makes a lot of pop culture references and is a little bit miserable and very sarcastic, but I connect with him. I also love the trope of someone having to move back to the small town they ran away from and finding love there. AS cheesy as that is, it works for me! Plus, you know I love a foodie romance.
My Dark Vanessa meets The Queen’s Gambit in this new novel of suspense about the bonds of family, the limits of talent, the risks of ambition, and the rewards of revenge.
When former piano prodigy Saskia Kreis returns home to Milwaukee after her mother’s unexpected death, she expects to inherit the family estate, the Elf House. But with the discovery that her mother’s will bequeathed the Elf House to a man that Saskia shares a complicated history with, she is forced to reexamine her own past–and the romantic relationship that changed the course of her life–for answers. Can she find a way to claim her heritage while keeping her secrets buried, or will the fallout from digging too deep destroy her?
Set against a post #MeToo landscape, The Ingenue delves into mother-daughter relationships, the expectations of talent, the stories we tell ourselves, and what happens when the things that once made you special are taken from you. Moving between Saskia’s childhood and the present day, this dark, contemporary fairy tale pulses with desire, longing, and uncertainty, as it builds to its spectacular, shocking climax.
I read Rachel Kapelke-Dale’s debut, The Ballerinas, earlier this year and really enjoyed it. That is a book that gets mixed opinions but I think that is largely due to bad marketing. I think there is potential for me to enjoy The Ingenue even more now that I know what to expect from this author.
Outsiders are always given a choice: the Forest or the lake. Either way, they’re never heard from again.
Leelo has spent her entire life on Endla, coexisting with the bloodthirsty Forest and respecting the poisonous lake that protects her island from outsiders who seek to destroy it. But as much as Leelo cares for her community, she struggles to accept that her younger brother will be exiled by his next birthday, unless he gains the magic of enchanted song so vital to Endla.
When Leelo sees a young outsider on the verge of drowning in the lake, she knows exactly what she’s supposed to do. But in a moment that will change everything, Leelo betrays her family, her best friend, and Endla by making an unthinkable choice.
Discovery could lead to devastating consequences for both Leelo and the outsider, Jaren, but as they grow closer, Leelo realizes that not all danger comes from beyond the lake—and they can only survive if Leelo is willing to question the very fabric of her society, her people, and herself.
I cannot get over how gorgeous all of Mara Rutherford’s books are! I have yet to read anything by her but I always put her books on my TBR. The Poison Season really appeals to me because I love the idea of a bloodthirsty forest and a poisonous lake, and I have a feeling this book is going to be super atmospheric.
“I handle the bodies.”
Whether it’s working at his cousin’s funeral home or tossing around the local riffraff at his favorite bar, Nathan Waymaker is a man who knows how to handle the bodies. A former marine and sheriff’s deputy, Nathan has built a reputation in his small Southern town as a man who can help when all other avenues have been exhausted. When a beloved local minister is found dead, his parishioners ask Nathan to make sure the death isn’t swept under the rug.
What starts out as an easy payday soon descends into a maze of mayhem filled with wannabe gangsters, vicious crime lords, porn stars, crooked police officers, and a particularly treacherous preacher and his mysterious wife. Nathan must use all his varied skills and some of his wit to navigate the murky waters of small town corruption even as dark secrets of his own threaten to come to the surface.
My Darkest Prayer is actually S.A. Cosby’s debut and it is being rereleased after the success of Razorblade Tears. I have a feeling that Nathan is going to be a memorable character!
Sparkly and charming Natalie Fincher has it all—a handsome new husband, a fixer-upper cottage of her dreams, and the opportunity to tour with the musical she’s spent years writing. But when her husband suddenly dies, all her hopes and dreams instantly disappear.
Two and a half years later, Natalie is still lost. She works, sleeps (well, as much as the sexually frustrated village foxes will allow), and sees friends just often enough to allay their worries, but her life is empty. And she can only bring herself to play music at a London train station’s public piano where she can be anonymous. She’s lost motivation, faith in love, in happiness…in everything.
But when someone begins to mysteriously leave the sheet music for her husband’s favorite songs at the station’s piano, Natalie begins to feel a sense of hope and excitement for the first time. As she investigates just who could be doing this, Natalie finds herself on an unexpected journey toward newfound love for herself, for life, and maybe, for a special someone.
I have heard good things about Eight Perfect Hours and have been wanting to read that, so I am excited to see another book from Lia Louis. The Key to My Heart sounds like it is going to be heartbreaking and touching.
A thief. An artist. A acrobat. An actress. While Josefa, Emilie, Hinnah, and Violet seemingly don’t have anything in common, they’re united in one goal: stealing the Rubaiyat, a jewel-encrusted book aboard the RMS Titanic that just might be the golden ticket to solving their problems.
But careless mistakes, old grudges, and new romance threaten to jeopardize everything they’ve worked for and put them in incredible danger when tragedy strikes. While the odds of pulling off the heist are slim, the odds of survival are even slimmer . . .
It feels as though I have been waiting for A Million to One forever! This is a sapphic romance while also being a heist novel that is set on The Titanic. That is all I need to know!
In the Nihonbashi district of Tokyo an unusual statue of a Japanese mythic beast – a kirin – stands guard over the district from the classic Nihonbashi bridge. In the evening, a man who appears to be very drunk staggers onto the bridge and collapses right under the statue of the winged beast. The patrolman who sees this scene unfold, goes to rouse the man, only to discover that the man was not passed out, he was dead; that he was not drunk, he was stabbed in the chest. However, where he died was not where the crime was committed – the key to solving the crime is to find out where he was attacked and why he made such a super human effort to carry himself to the Nihonbashi Bridge. That same night, a young man named Yashima is injured in a car accident while attempting to flee from the police. Found on him is the wallet of the murdered man.
Tokyo Police Detective Kyoichiro Kaga is assigned to the team investigating the murder – and must bring his skills to bear to uncover what actually happened that night on the Nihonbashi bridge. What, if any, connection is there between the murdered man and Yashima, the young man caught with his wallet? Kaga’s investigation takes him down dark roads and into the unknown past to uncover what really happened and why.
I was sent an ARC of Death in Tokyo and I am really excited about it! I don’t think I have ever read any Japanese crime fiction, but I have a feeling I will enjoy it. This is part of a series, but I have a feeling it can be read as a stand-alone.
1922. Brigid Heron is a powerful witch and healer in the seemingly lost, but charming small town of Evermore on a forgotten isle in Ireland. However, there is one thing that she longs for above all else: a child of her own. She is even willing to be seduced by the mysterious Luc Knightly, head of the Knightly coven, whose pull is potent and impossible to resist. When their child is born and falls ill, Brigid will risk anything to save her daughter–even tap into the forbidden magic of the Lough of Brionglóid. But when the wild magic takes her daughter from her, Brigid is swept away as well.
2022. Evermore is under siege. The witches of Knight have been using their chaos magic to widen the rift between the island and the Otherworld. Creatures from folklore prey on the villagers, consuming their very humanity.
Brigid awakens in this world with no memory of how she traveled into the future, but she learns that she helped unleash this curse on Evermore. To seal the lough and stop the witches of Knight, she must work with her magical descendants, Ophelia and Finola. But the knowledge she seeks lies with Luc Knightly himself—mysterious, handsome, and powerful. To save Evermore, Brigid may have to lose everything once again.
I was sent an arc of The Lost Witch and was thrilled because I have been in a witchy mood this year. I love stories that are told in two timelines, but I have been told that the beginning is slow but it is worth it in the end.
Ailsa Connery has waited three long years to finally escape her enslavement at Stirling Castle and reunite with her clan. But her carefully laid plans are completely destroyed by the arrival of the infamous Highland warrior known as Dubh Mahoun, the Black Devil…who has plans of his own.
Kallum MacNeill’s fearsome reputation has long allowed him to keep hidden his secret double life of freeing enslaved captives across the land. It’s only when he kidnaps a servant lass—quite by accident—that he finds himself facing a wee predicament. He must accompany the lass home or risk her exposing his true identity. It’d be easy enough…if the feisty hellion didn’t fight him at every turn.
As they make their way to the Highlands, the perils the two must face are surpassed only by their constant sparring. Soon, their heated sniping sparks heat of a totally different kind. The kind that ignites a hunger that could consume them both. Yet the difficult journey is no match for the dangerous secrets they’re about to uncover.
I have never read a Highlander romance but Never Cross a Highlander makes me want to try one! I feel like this would be the perfect book to read in that time between Christmas and New Year’s.
I thought I would highlight three sequels that come out in December! These are all series I have not read but am interested in, so I wanted to put them on your radar. This Cursed Crown is the sequel to These Feathered Flames, A Hard Day for a Hangover is part of the Sunshine Vicram series, and A Fire Endless is the sequel to A River Enchanted.