April is another exciting release month!
Edison Rooker isn’t sure what to expect when he enters the office of Antonia Hex, the powerful sorceress who runs a call center for magical emergencies. He doesn’t have much experience with hexes or curses. Heck, he doesn’t even have magic. But he does have a plan—to regain the access to the magical world he lost when his grandmother passed.
Antonia is…intimidating, but she gives him a job and a new name—Rook—both of which he’s happy to accept. Now all Rook has to do is keep his Spell Binder, an illegal magical detection device, hidden from the Magical Consortium. And contend with Sun, the grumpy and annoyingly cute apprentice to Antonia’s rival colleague, Fable. But dealing with competition isn’t so bad; as Sun seems to pop up more and more, and Rook minds less and less.
But when the Consortium gets wind of Rook’s Spell Binder, they come for Antonia. All alone, Rook runs to the only other magical person he knows: Sun. Except Fable has also been attacked, and now Rook and Sun have no choice but to work together to get their mentors back…or face losing their magic forever.
I have put every single one of F.T. Luken’s books on my “most anticipated” lists but have yet to read any of them! That really needs to change because the covers are stunning and the premises always intrigue me. Spell Bound sounds like a quick read and the magic definitely intrigues me. The early reviews are amazing!
A forbidden love between a Mexican heiress and a shrewd British politician makes for a tantalizing Victorian season.
Ana María Luna Valdés has strived to be the perfect daughter, the perfect niece, and the perfect representative of the powerful Luna familia. So, when Ana María is secretly sent to London with her sisters to seek refuge during the French occupation of Mexico, she experiences her first taste of freedom far from the judgmental eyes of her domineering father. If only she could ignore the piercing looks she receives across ballroom floors from the austere Mr. Fox.
Gideon Fox elevated himself from the London gutters by chasing his burning desire for more: more opportunities, more choices. For everyone. Now as a member of Parliament, Gideon’s on the cusp of securing the votes he needs to put forth a measure to abolish the Atlantic slave trade once and for all–a cause that is close to his heart as the grandson of a formerly enslaved woman. The charmingly vexing Ana María is a distraction he must ignore.
But when Ana María finds herself in the crosshairs of a nefarious nobleman with his own political agenda, Gideon knows he must offer his hand as protection…but will this Mexican heiress win his heart as well?
Ana Maria and the Fox is one of my most anticipated romances of the year! I love that each of the sisters is going to get her own book. I love the idea of a romance between a Mexican heiress and a British politician.
S.G. Prince’s new standalone is a breathtaking fantasy about sacrifice, self-discovery, and a girl tasked with saving the very man she aimed to kill.
Selene is the youngest daughter in a gifted line of healers, born to serve as the king’s royal physician. Yet when Selene’s mother Persaphe embroils her in a plot to kill the king, Selene finds herself poisoning the very man she is sworn to protect.
Things seem bleak, but there is another problem—the poison doesn’t work, and the king doesn’t die. Rather, he awakes from his coma paralyzed, aware of the attempt on his life, and furious.
With the palace in a state of upheaval and everyone hunting the king’s poisoner, Persaphe flees, leaving Selene the task of rehabilitating the man she aimed to kill, all while hiding her true role in his demise. What follows is a journey spanning years and continents, as a king and his servant develop into unlikely friends…and more. Yet the closer Selene grows to the king, the more her secret weighs on her, as does her growing fear that Persaphe—having failed to kill him once—might return to try again.
I am always up for a fantasy standalone, so I am excited for To Poison a King! Also, the fact that it is a romance between a healer and the king she tried to kill is everything.
After centuries of sleep, the gods are warring again. But eighteen-year-old Iris Winnow just wants to hold her family together. Her mother is suffering from addiction and her brother is missing from the front lines. Her best bet is to win the columnist promotion at the Oath Gazette.
To combat her worries, Iris writes letters to her brother and slips them beneath her wardrobe door, where they vanish―into the hands of Roman Kitt, her cold and handsome rival at the paper. When he anonymously writes Iris back, the two of them forge a connection that will follow Iris all the way to the front lines of battle: for her brother, the fate of mankind, and love.
When two young rival journalists find love through a magical connection, they must face the depths of hell, in a war among gods, to seal their fate forever. Shadow and Bone meets Lore in this epic enemies-to-lovers fantasy novel filled with hope and heartbreak, and the unparalleled power of love.
Rebecca Ross is another author whose books I always want to read but have never actually picked up! Divine Rivals is the start of a new series and it is a love story that tackles grief while also being an epic fantasy.
A series opener inspired by Arthurian legend and fueled by love, revenge, and pure adrenaline!
Tamsin Lark didn’t ask to be a Hollower. As a mortal with no magical talent, she was never meant to break into ancient crypts, or compete with sorceresses and Cunningfolk for the treasures inside. But after her thieving foster father disappeared without so much as a goodbye, it was the only way to keep herself—and her brother, Cabell—alive.
Ten years later, rumors are swirling that her guardian vanished with a powerful ring from Arthurian legend. A run-in with her rival Emrys ignites Tamsin’s hope that the ring could free Cabell from a curse that threatens both of them. But they aren’t the only ones who covet the ring.
As word spreads, greedy Hollowers start circling, and many would kill to have it for themselves. While Emrys is the last person Tamsin would choose to partner with, she needs all the help she can get to edge out her competitors in the race for the ring. Together, they dive headfirst into a vipers’ nest of dark magic, exposing a deadly secret with the power to awaken ghosts of the past and shatter her last hope of saving her brother. . . .
I tend to enjoy Arthurian retellings, so I think I will love Silver in the Bone. I am worried it might be more of a quest story than I typically like, but I think I am more open to it considering it is an Arthurian retelling.
A teen girl seeking retribution against her backstabbing former best friend finds her plans slightly derailed once she catches the eye of a familiar, handsome marquess. Bestselling author Amalie Howard delivers a delightful, anti-historical Regency-era romp that’s Bridgerton meets The Count of Monte Cristo!
Lady Ela Dalvi knows the exact moment her life was forever changed—when her best friend, Poppy, betrayed her without qualm over a boy, the son of a duke. She was sent away in disgrace, her reputation ruined.
Nearly three years later, eighteen-year-old Ela is consumed with bitterness and a desire for . . . revenge. Her enemy is quickly joining the crème de la crème of high society while she withers away in the English countryside.
With an audacious plan to get even, Ela disguises herself as a mysterious heiress and infiltrates London’s elite. But when Ela reunites with the only boy she’s ever loved, she begins to question whether vengeance is still her greatest desire.
In this complicated game of real-life chess, Ela must choose her next move: Finally bring down the queen or capture the king’s heart?
Queen Bee sounds like my kind of regency romance! I love that our main character finds love while seeking revenge against a friend who betrayed her.
Ness Brown’s The Scourge Between Stars is a tense, claustrophobic sci-fi/horror blend set aboard a doomed generation ship harboring something terrible within its walls.
As acting captain of the starship Calypso, Jacklyn Albright is responsible for keeping the last of humanity alive as they limp back to Earth from their forebears’ failed colony on a distant planet.
Faced with constant threats of starvation and destruction in the treacherous minefield of interstellar space, Jacklyn’s crew has reached their breaking point. As unrest begins to spread throughout the ship’s Wards, a new threat emerges, picking off crew members in grim, bloody fashion.
Jacklyn and her team must hunt down the ship’s unknown intruder if they have any hope of making it back to their solar system alive.
I am participating in a readathon in April (more on that later) but it requires me to read SciFi, so The Scourge Between Stars will be perfect for that. I discovered that I love SciFi horror, so I cannot wait to get my hands on this one.
Sly, surprising, and razor-sharp, Natural Beauty follows a young musician into an elite, beauty-obsessed world where perfection comes at a staggering cost.
Our narrator produces a sound from the piano no one else at the Conservatory can. She employs a technique she learned from her parents—also talented musicians—who fled China in the wake of the Cultural Revolution. But when an accident leaves her parents debilitated, she abandons her future for a job at a high-end beauty and wellness store in New York City.
Holistik is known for its remarkable products and procedures—from remoras that suck out cheap Botox to eyelash extensions made of spider silk—and her new job affords her entry into a world of privilege and a long-awaited sense of belonging. She becomes transfixed by Helen, the niece of Holistik’s charismatic owner, and the two strike up a friendship that hazily veers into more. All the while, our narrator is plied with products that slim her thighs, smooth her skin, and lighten her hair. But beneath these creams and tinctures lies something sinister.
A piercing, darkly funny debut, Natural Beauty explores questions of consumerism, self-worth, race, and identity—and leaves readers with a shocking and unsettling truth.
Natural Beauty sounds like the kind of weird literary fiction that appeals to me. I think this is going to be an interesting commentary on consumerism and identity.
A comedy writer thinks she’s sworn off love, until a dreamily handsome pop star flips the script on all her assumptions. Romantic Comedy is a hilarious, observant and deeply tender novel from New York Times–bestselling author Curtis Sittenfeld.
Sally Milz is a sketch writer for “The Night Owls,” the late-night live comedy show that airs each Saturday. With a couple of heartbreaks under her belt, she’s long abandoned the search for love, settling instead for the occasional hook-up, career success, and a close relationship with her stepfather to round out a satisfying life.
But when Sally’s friend and fellow writer Danny Horst begins dating Annabel, a glamorous actor who guest-hosted the show, he joins the not-so-exclusive group of talented but average-looking and even dorky men at the show—and in society at large—who’ve gotten romantically involved with incredibly beautiful and accomplished women. Sally channels her annoyance into a sketch called the “Danny Horst Rule,” poking fun at this phenomenon while underscoring how unlikely it is that the reverse would ever happen for a woman.
Enter Noah Brewster, a pop music sensation with a reputation for dating models, who signed on as both host and musical guest for this week’s show. Dazzled by his charms, Sally hits it off with Noah instantly, and as they collaborate on one sketch after another, she begins to wonder whether there might actually be sparks flying. But this isn’t a romantic comedy; it’s real life. And in real life, someone like him would never date someone like her…right?
With her keen observations and trademark ability to bring complex women to life on the page, Sittenfeld explores the neurosis-inducing and heart-fluttering wonder of love, while slyly dissecting the social rituals of romance and gender relations in the modern age.
I have heard good things about Curtis Sittenfeld, so I am excited to try Romantic Comedy. Sounds like a romance that takes place on the set of a show that sounds a lot like Saturday Night Live, which is a fun idea.
In post–World War I England, a young woman inherits a mysterious library and must untangle its powerful secrets…
With the stroke of a pen, twenty-three-year-old Ivy Radcliffe becomes Lady Hayworth, owner of a sprawling estate on the Yorkshire moors. Ivy has never heard of Blackwood Abbey, or of the ancient bloodline from which she’s descended. With nothing to keep her in London since losing her brother in the Great War, she warily makes her way to her new home.
The abbey is foreboding, the servants reserved and suspicious. But there is a treasure waiting behind locked doors: a magnificent library. Despite cryptic warnings from the staff, Ivy feels irresistibly drawn to its dusty shelves, where familiar works mingle with strange, esoteric texts. And she senses something else in the library too, a presence that seems to have a will of its own.
Rumors swirl in the village about the abbey’s previous owners, about ghosts and curses, and an enigmatic manuscript at the center of it all. And as events grow more sinister, it will be up to Ivy to uncover the library’s mysteries in order to reclaim her own story—before it vanishes forever.
Lush, atmospheric and transporting, The Last Heir to Blackwood Library is a skillful reflection on memory and female agency, and a love letter to books from a writer at the height of her power.
The Last Heir to Blackwood Library has a lot of my buzzwords. I love Gothic mysteries and libraries, so I have high hopes for this one!
Ester’s family was torn apart when a manticore killed her mother and baby brother, leaving her with nothing but her father’s painful silence and a single, overwhelming need to kill the monsters that took her family.
Ester’s path leads her to the King’s Royal Mews, where the giant rocs of legend are flown to hunt manticores by their brave and dedicated ruhkers. Paired with a fledgling roc named Zahra, Ester finds purpose and acclaim by devoting herself to a calling that demands absolute sacrifice and a creature that will never return her love. The terrifying partnership between woman and roc leads Ester not only on the empire’s most dangerous manticore hunt, but on a journey of perseverance and acceptance.
I think many of us are excited about Untethered Sky! I have heard that this is less of a revenge fantasy than the synopsis might lead you to believe and that it is more about the companionship between Ester and her fledgling roc named Zahra. Sounds perfect!
While we live, the enemy shall fear us.
All her life Kyr has trained for the day she can avenge the murder of planet Earth. Raised in the bowels of Gaea Station alongside the last scraps of humanity, she readies herself to face the Wisdom, the all-powerful, reality-shaping weapon that gave the Majoda their victory over humanity.
They are what’s left. They are what must survive. Kyr is one of the best warriors of her generation, the sword of a dead planet. But when Command assigns her brother to certain death and relegates her to the nursery to bear sons until she dies trying, she knows she must take humanity’s revenge into her own hands.
Alongside her brother’s brilliant but seditious friend and a lonely, captive alien, she escapes from everything she’s ever known into a universe far more complicated than she was taught and far more wondrous than she could have imagined.
A thrillingly told queer space opera about the wreckage of war, the family you find, and who you must become when every choice is stripped from you, Some Desperate Glory is award-winning author Emily Tesh’s highly anticipated debut novel.
I am thrilled that we are getting a full length novel from Emily Tesh. I love Silver in the Woods so much that I would read anything she writes. Some Desperate Glory sounds like my kind of SciFi, so I will be reading this the second it comes out!
A novel of terrible first impressions, hilarious second chances, and the joy in finding your perfect match.
Dr. Briana Ortiz’s life is seriously flatlining. Her divorce is just about finalized, her brother’s running out of time to find a kidney donor, and that promotion she wants? Oh, that’s probably going to the new man-doctor who’s already registering eighty-friggin’-seven on Briana’s “pain in my ass” scale. But just when all systems are set to hate, Dr. Jacob Maddox completely flips the game . . . by sending Briana a letter.
And it’s a really good letter. Like the kind that proves that Jacob isn’t actually Satan. Worse, he might be this fantastically funny and subversively likeable guy who’s terrible at first impressions. Because suddenly he and Bri are exchanging letters, sharing lunch dates in her “sob closet,” and discussing the merits of freakishly tiny horses. But when Jacob decides to give Briana the best gift imaginable—a kidney for her brother—she wonders just how she can resist this quietly sexy new doctor . . . especially when he calls in a favor she can’t refuse.
Abby Jimenez wrote Part of Your World, which is my favourite romance, so you know I had to preorder Yours Truly. Early reviews are saying it is even better than Part of Your World, which is hard for me to wrap my head around. It follows Briana, who was a character in Part of Your World and I am thrilled that she is getting her own story.
When I was a little girl, my Ma used to read me stories every night. Some were epic adventures with high stakes and exciting twists while others were of princesses trapped in towers guarded by fierce dragons. The pitiful princess would be stuck inside all day pining for her prince charming to come and rescue her. I always hated those stories. I couldn’t imagine why the lazy thing didn’t just get up and leave. Ironic since I was now stuck in that same situation. Turns out, when a dragon holds you hostage, he doesn’t just let you get up and leave.
When I thought I saw hope on the horizon, that hope was smashed to bits by – you guessed it – another damn dragon.
I have fallen in love with the Mead Mishaps series, so I have a countdown on my phone for the release of the third book, That Time I Drugged a Dragon. I have discovered that I like my fantasy romance to be quirky and ridiculous, so these are perfect!
Tansy Adams’ greatest love is her family’s bookstore, passed down from her late father. But when it comes to actual romance… Tansy can’t get past the first chapter. Tired of her stepfamily’s questions about her love life, Tansy invents Gemma, a fake girlfriend inspired by the stunning cover model on a bestselling book. They’ll never actually meet, so what’s the harm in a little fib? Yet when real-life Gemma crosses Tansy’s path, her white lie nearly implodes.
Gemma van Dalen is a wild child, the outcast of her wealthy family, and now the latest heir to Van Dalen Publishing. But the title comes with one tiny condition: she must be married in order to inherit. When Gemma discovers a beautiful stranger has been pretending to date her for months, she decides to take the charade one step further—and announces their engagement.
Gemma needs a wife to meet the terms of her grandfather’s will and Tansy needs money to save her struggling bookstore. A marriage could be mutually beneficial, if they can fool everyone into thinking it’s a love match. Unexpected sparks fly as Tansy and Gemma play the role of affectionate fiancées, and suddenly the line between convenient arrangement and real feelings begins to blur. But the scheming Van Dalen family won’t give up the company without a fight, and Gemma and Tansy’s newfound happiness might get caught in the fallout…
The Fiancee Farce has one of the coolest covers ever! I love how it looks like a magazine. The setup of this one is so much fun and I am always up for a marriage of convenience romance!
A young Native girl’s hunt for answers about the women mysteriously disappearing from her tribe’s reservation lead her to delve into the myths and stories of her people, all while being haunted herself, in this atmospheric and stunningly poignant debut.
Anna Horn is always looking over her shoulder. For the bullies who torment her, for the entitled visitors at the reservation’s casino…and for the nameless, disembodied entity that stalks her every step–an ancient tribal myth come-to-life, one that’s intent on devouring her whole.
With strange and sinister happenings occurring around the casino, Anna starts to suspect that not all the horrors on the reservation are old. As girls begin to go missing and the tribe scrambles to find answers, Anna struggles with her place on the rez, desperately searching for the key she’s sure lies in the legends of her tribe’s past.
When Anna’s own little sister also disappears, she’ll do anything to bring Grace home. But the demons plaguing the reservation–both ancient and new–are strong, and sometimes, it’s the stories that never get told that are the most important.
Part gripping thriller and part mythological horror, author Nick Medina spins an incisive and timely novel of life as an outcast, the cost of forgetting tradition, and the courage it takes to become who you were always meant to be.
Sisters of the Lost Nation has been getting some incredible reviews already and it sounds like it is going to be a powerful read. I am intrigued by the fact that is it described as both a thriller and a horror and that it is inspired by mythology.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon, a page-turning story of shipwreck, survival, and savagery, culminating in a court martial that reveals a shocking truth. The powerful narrative reveals the deeper meaning of the events on The Wager, showing that it was not only the captain and crew who ended up on trial, but the very idea of empire.
On January 28, 1742, a ramshackle vessel of patched-together wood and cloth washed up on the coast of Brazil. Inside were thirty emaciated men, barely alive, and they had an extraordinary tale to tell. They were survivors of His Majesty’s Ship the Wager, a British vessel that had left England in 1740 on a secret mission during an imperial war with Spain. While the Wager had been chasing a Spanish treasure-filled galleon known as “the prize of all the oceans,” it had wrecked on a desolate island off the coast of Patagonia. The men, after being marooned for months and facing starvation, built the flimsy craft and sailed for more than a hundred days, traversing nearly 3,000 miles of storm-wracked seas. They were greeted as heroes.
But then … six months later, another, even more decrepit craft landed on the coast of Chile. This boat contained just three castaways, and they told a very different story. The thirty sailors who landed in Brazil were not heroes – they were mutineers. The first group responded with countercharges of their own, of a tyrannical and murderous senior officer and his henchmen. It became clear that while stranded on the island the crew had fallen into anarchy, with warring factions fighting for dominion over the barren wilderness. As accusations of treachery and murder flew, the Admiralty convened a court martial to determine who was telling the truth. The stakes were life-and-death–for whomever the court found guilty could hang.
The Wager is a grand tale of human behavior at the extremes told by one of our greatest nonfiction writers. Grann’s recreation of the hidden world on a British warship rivals the work of Patrick O’Brian, his portrayal of the castaways’ desperate straits stands up to the classics of survival writing such as The Endurance, and his account of the court martial has the savvy of a Scott Turow thriller. As always with Grann’s work, the incredible twists of the narrative hold the reader spellbound.
The Wager might seem like a random inclusion on this list, but I have this thing for nonfiction about shipwrecks. I have quite the collection at this point, but I have yet to read any of them. I don’t know what I am waiting for, but I will definitely be adding The Wager to that stack because I am so intrigued and the author also wrote Killers of the Flower Moon, which is a book I enjoyed.
Four best friends, one music festival, and a cooler filled with human organs: this summer is about to get gory.
Jennifer’s Body fans will clamor for this new sapphic horror standalone from New York Times bestselling author Kayla Cottingham.
Three years ago, the melting of arctic permafrost released a pathogen of unknown origin into the atmosphere, causing a small percentage of people to undergo a transformation that became known as the Hollowing. Those impacted slowly became intolerant to normal food and were only able to gain sustenance by consuming the flesh of other human beings. Those who went without flesh quickly became feral, turning on their friends and family. However, scientists were able to create a synthetic version of human meat that would satisfy the hunger of those impacted by the Hollowing. As a result, humanity slowly began to return to normal, albeit with lasting fear and distrust for the people they’d pejoratively dubbed ghouls.
Zoey, Celeste, Valeria, and Jasmine are all ghouls living in Southern California. As a last hurrah before their graduation they decided to attend a musical festival in the desert. They have a cooler filled with hard seltzers and SynFlesh and are ready to party.
But on the first night of the festival Val goes feral, and ends up killing and eating a boy. As other festival guests start disappearing around them the girls soon discover someone is drugging ghouls and making them feral. And if they can’t figure out how to stop it, and soon, no one at the festival is safe.
I have this thing about books compared to Jennifer’s Body– I will always be tempted by them! I love YA that follows teen girls who are vampires or zombies, especially if it is super campy. That is what I am hoping to get from This Delicious Death!
A vibrant and emotional novel from debut author Dan Clay about a boy who turns toward love, self-acceptance, and drag performance when the unthinkable happens, perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Julie Murphy.
If only Mark Davis hadn’t put on a dress for the talent show. It was a joke—other guys did it too—but when his boyfriend saw Mark in that dress, everything changed.
And now, fresh on the heels of high school heartbreak, Mark has given up on love. Maybe some people are just too much for this world—too weird, too wild, too feminine, too everything. Thankfully, his older brother Eric always knows what to say to keep Mark from spinning into self-loathing. “Be yourself! Your full sequin-y self.”
But Mark starts to notice signs that his perfect older brother has problems of his own.
When tragedy capsizes the Davis family, the source of Mark’s strength suddenly becomes the source of his greatest pain, and the path back to happiness seems impossible. Searing for a way out, Mark slips into a dress to just, briefly, become someone else, live a different life.
His escape, however, becomes an unexpected outlet for his grief—a path to authentic connection, and a provocation to finally see other people as fully as he wants to be seen.
Beautifully written, heart-wrenching, and ultimately uplifting, Dan Clay’s Becoming a Queen is a stunning story about love, loss, and the ineffable power of a purple princess dress.
I am in love with the cover for Becoming Queen! This sounds like an empowering story about embracing who you are and what you love while also being incredibly heartbreaking!
A couple who broke up months ago make a pact to pretend to still be together for their annual weeklong vacation with their best friends in this glittering and wise new novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Emily Henry.
Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college—they go together like salt and pepper, honey and tea, lobster and rolls. Except, now—for reasons they’re still not discussing—they don’t.
They broke up six months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends.
Which is how they find themselves sharing the largest bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade. Their annual respite from the world, where for one vibrant, blue week they leave behind their daily lives; have copious amounts of cheese, wine, and seafood; and soak up the salty coastal air with the people who understand them most.
Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale and this is the last week they’ll all have together in this place. They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid-back charmer who never lets the cracks show. It’s a flawless plan (if you look at it from a great distance and through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses). After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week…in front of those who know you best?
I read Book Lovers last year and I didn’t love it, so I go back and forth on whether I will read Happy Place, but I know a lot of people adore Emily Henry, so it wouldn’t feel right not to include it on this list!
What is a book coming out in April that you cannot wait to read?