I always think of July as being a slow release month, but that is definitely not the case this year!
Maggie is an unapologetically grumpy forty-eight-year-old hermit. But when her college-aged son makes her a deal—he’ll be more social if she does the same—she can’t refuse. She joins a new online gaming guild led by a friendly healer named Otter. So that nobody gets the wrong idea, she calls herself Bogwitch.
Otter is Aiden, a fifty-year-old optimist using the guild as an emotional outlet from his family drama caring for his aging mother while his brother plays house with Aiden’s ex-fiancée.
Bogwitch and Otter become fast virtual friends, but there’s a catch. Bogwitch thinks Otter is a college student. Otter assumes Bogwitch is an octogenarian.
When they finally meet face-to-face—after a rocky, shocking start—the unlikely pair of sunshine and stormy personalities grow tentatively closer. But Maggie’s previous relationships have left her bitter, and Aiden’s got a complicated past of his own.
Everything’s easier online. Can they make it work in real life?
I love everything about the synopsis for Role Playing. I want to read more romance with older main characters and I think it is so sweet that they meet in an online gaming guild. Also, there is no denying that this cover is the cutest thing ever!
Chandler Cohen has never felt more like the ghost in “ghostwriter” until she attends a signing for a book she wrote—and the author doesn’t even recognize her. The evening turns more promising when she meets a charming man at the bar and immediately connects with him. But when all their sexual tension culminates in a spectacularly awkward hookup, she decides this is one night better off forgotten.
Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. Her next project is ghostwriting a memoir for Finn Walsh, a C-list actor best known for playing a lovable nerd on a cult classic werewolf show who now makes a living appearing at fan conventions across the country. But Chandler knows him better from their one-night stand of hilarious mishaps.
Chandler’s determined to keep their partnership as professional as possible, but when she admits to Finn their night together wasn’t as mind-blowing as he thought it was, he’s distraught. He intrigues her enough that they strike a deal: when they’re not working on his book, Chandler will school Finn in the art of satisfaction. As they grow closer both in and out of the bedroom, they must figure out which is more important, business or pleasure—or if there’s a way for them to have both.
Can you believe I have never read anything by Rachel Lynn Solomon? All of her books sound amazing, so I don’t know what is stopping me. Business or Pleasure sounds like a romp and I am excited about it.
Passionate, idealistic Rose Tregarth may have been invited into her uncle’s remote home in the heart of Wales as an act of kindness to a poor relation, but it doesn’t take her long to realize that her newly-met family members are eccentric, creative, deeply lovable – and in need of all the help they can get. If the crumbling medieval walls of Gogodd Abbey aren’t to collapse around their heads at any moment, someone will have to step up and take charge of the situation. Fortunately for all of them, Rose has never lacked in determination.
Add in more and more mysteriously appearing little dragons and a threatening new neighbor who could easily star as the villain in one of her aunt’s fabulous Gothic novels, and Rose is soon up to her ears in plots and schemes to save all the people and beasts she’s come to love…with the help of a sweet, baffled dragon scholar whom Rose has swept into a fake betrothal – for purely practical purposes, of course.
With her fierce, loyal heart, Rose is more than ready to take care of everyone around her, dragons and humans alike. However, it may take an act of true magic to clear her eyes to the future – and the gentleman – she desires for herself.
The author was kind enough to send me an eARC of Claws and Contrivances and I dropped everything to read it because I had so much fun with Scales and Sensibility. Dare I say that I liked the sequel even more? I think I just connected to Rose on a deeper level and there is fake dating, so that is always a bonus for me.
From bestselling author Darcy Coates comes Dead of Winter, a remote cabin in the snowy wilderness thriller that will teach you to trust no one. There are eight strangers. One killer. Nowhere left to run.
When Christa joins a tour group heading deep into the snowy expanse of the Rocky Mountains, she’s hopeful this will be her chance to put the ghosts of her past to rest. But when a bitterly cold snowstorm sweeps the region, the small group is forced to take shelter in an abandoned hunting cabin. Despite the uncomfortably claustrophobic quarters and rapidly dropping temperature, Christa believes they’ll be safe as they wait out the storm.
She couldn’t be more wrong.
Deep in the night, their tour guide goes missing…only to be discovered the following morning, his severed head impaled on a tree outside the cabin. Terrified, and completely isolated by the storm, Christa finds herself trapped with eight total strangers. One of them kills for sport…and they’re far from finished. As the storm grows more dangerous and the number of survivors dwindles one by one, Christa must decide who she can trust before this frozen mountain becomes her tomb.
As I am writing this, I am listening to a book by Darcy Coates and really enjoying it, so I am excited that she has something new coming out in July. Dead of Winter sounds like an isolated murder mystery/horror, which is something I could potentially be into.
Iris Collins is the messy one in her family. The “chaos bunny.” Her sisters are all wildly successful, while she can’t balance her budget for a single month. It’s no wonder she’s in debt to her roommates. When she unexpectedly inherits a house from her great aunt, her plan to turn it into a B&B fails—as most of her plans do. She winds up renting rooms like a Victorian spinster, collecting other lost souls…and not all of them are “human.”
Eli Reese grew up as the nerdy outcast in school, but he got rich designing apps. Now he’s successful by any standards. But he’s never had the same luck in finding a real community or people who understand him. Over the years, he’s never forgotten his first crush, so when he spots her at a café, he takes it as a sign. Except then he gets sucked into the Iris-verse and somehow ends up renting one of her B&B rooms. As the days pass, Eli grows enchanted by the misfit boarders staying in the house…and even more so by Iris. Could Eli have finally found a person and a place to call “home”?
The Only Purple House in Town sounds like it is going to be found family between supernatural creatures with a sprinkle of romance and I am here for that! I am hoping this gives me the same feelings that The Secret Society of Irregular Witches did.
An ambitious wedding planner must work with her grumpy florist ex, whose heart she broke, on the most high-profile wedding of her career, in this spicy and emotional romance from popular fanfic author Julie Soto.
He loves me; he loves me not…
Ama Torres loves being a wedding planner. But with a mother who has been married more times than you can count on your fingers, Ama has decided that marriage is not the route for her. But weddings? Weddings are amazing. As a small business owner, she knows how to match her clients with the perfect vendor to give them the wedding of their dreams. Well, almost perfect…
Elliot hates being a florist, most of the time. When his father left him the flower shop, he considered it a burden, but he’s stuck with it. Just like how he’s stuck with the way he proposed to Ama, his main collaborator and girlfriend (or was she?) two years ago. But flowers have grown on him, just like Ama did. And flowers can’t run off and never speak to him again, like Ama did.
When Ama is hired to plan a celebrity wedding that will bring her business national exposure, there’s a catch: Elliot is already contracted to design the flowers. Things are not helped by the two brides, who see the obvious chemistry between Ama and Elliot and are determined to set them up, not knowing their complicated history. Add in a meddling ex-boss, and a reality TV film crew documenting every step of the wedding prep, and Ama and Elliot’s hearts are not only in jeopardy again, but this time, their livelihoods are too.
I have an ALC of Forget Me Not, so I am hoping to listen to that and share my thoughts with you before release day! There is something about romances that center around a wedding that just works for me.
An imaginative and sprawling epic fantasy reimagining of the Mongol Empire’s invasion of Persia, following the lives and treacherous journeys of four key figures in the heart of war.
Due to the efforts of the great Genghis Khan, the Mongol Empire covers a vast portion of the known world. In the shadow of his grandfather, Hulagu Khan, ruler of the Ilkhanate, is determined to create a single empire that covers the entire world. His method? Violence.
His youngest son, Temujin Khan, struggles to find his place in his father’s bloody rule. After another failure, Temujin is given one last chance to prove himself to Hulagu, who is sure there is a great warrior buried deep inside. But there’s something else rippling under the surface… something far more powerful and dangerous than they could ever imagine…
Reduced to the position of one of Hulagu’s many wives, the famed Blue Princess Kokochin is the last of her tribe. Alone and forgotten in a foreign land, Kokochin is unwilling to spend her days seeking out trivial pursuits. Seeking purpose, she finds herself wandering down a path that grants her more power than a wife of the Khan may be allowed.
Kaivon, the Persian rebel who despises the Mongols for the massacre of his people, thirsts for revenge. However, he knows alone he cannot destroy the empire. When given the opportunity to train under the tutelage of Hulagu, Kaivon must put aside his feelings and risk his life for a chance to destroy the empire that aims to conquer the world.
Family and war collide in this thrilling and bloody reimagining of the Mongol Empire’s invasion of Persia.
I have learned that I am a huge fan of historical fantasy and The Judas Blossom sounds unlike anything else I have ever read. I love the idea of reading a reimagining of the Mongol Empire’s invasion of Persia that follows Genghis Khan’s sons.
Against all odds, sexy American rapper, Danielle “Duchess” Nelson and brilliant reclusive royal Prince Jameson have fallen in love! They’ve decided to take their relationship public and find a way to make their two worlds coexist. On their terms.
Unfortunately, falling in love was the easy part.
Jameson and Dani’s love story has made them the most popular royals since Prince John, but that popularity comes with a price. Dani looks forward to signing the deal with a major cosmetics company that will make her skin care line, Mela-Skin, a force in the industry, and finally grant her the control over her life she’s craved since childhood. But the company wants to take advantage of their fame and involve Jameson in Mela-Skin’s marketing campaign. Dani is outraged! Her company has nothing to do with Jameson.
After stepping up for the royal family, Jameson yearns to retreat back into academia. But he’s fired when his university raises concerns about his newfound notoriety. And suddenly the queen, initially against the relationship, backtracks, seeking their cooperation when the family is embroiled in yet another scandal. This isn’t the quiet life Jameson was hoping for.
Dani and Jameson truly love each other. But under the scrutiny of the international spotlight, when the doubts, compromises, and secrets begin to take their toll, will their love be enough?
The Duchess Effect is the sequel to American Royalty, which wasn’t my famous romance but I really did appreciate Dani as a character and am open to read more from her. I also love that this is the story that takes place after the happily ever after!
A year into her dream job at a cutthroat Silicon Valley start-up, Cassie finds herself trapped in a corporate nightmare. Between the long hours, toxic bosses, and unethical projects, she also struggles to reconcile the glittering promise of a city where obscene wealth lives alongside abject poverty and suffering. Ivy League grads complain about the snack selection from a conference room with a view of unhoused people bathing in the bay. Start-up burnouts leap into the paths of commuter trains, and men literally set themselves on fire in the streets.
Though isolated, Cassie is never alone. From her earliest memory, a miniature black hole has been her constant companion. It feeds on her depression and anxiety, growing or shrinking in relation to her distress. The black hole watches, but it also waits. Its relentless pull draws Cassie ever closer as the world around her unravels.
When she ends up unexpectedly pregnant at the same time her CEO’s demands cross into illegal territory, Cassie must decide whether the tempting fruits of Silicon Valley are really worth it. Sharp but vulnerable, unsettling yet darkly comic, Ripeportrays one millennial woman’s journey through our late-capitalist hellscape and offers a brilliantly incisive look at the absurdities of modern life.
What is it about the cover of Ripe that is so unsettling? This is literary fiction with a touch of SciFi, which is a very specific niche that I tend to enjoy.
A stormsinger and pirate hunter join forces against a deathless pirate lord in this swashbuckling Jacobean adventure on the high-seas.
Launching the Winter Sea series, full of magic, betrayal, redemption and fearsome women, for readers of Adrienne Young, R. J. Barker and Naomi Novik.
Mary Firth is a Stormsinger: a woman whose voice can still hurricanes and shatter armadas. Faced with servitude to pirate lord Silvanus Lirr, Mary offers her skills to his arch-rival in exchange for protection – and, more importantly, his help sending Lirr to a watery grave. But her new ally has a vendetta of his own, and Mary’s dreams are dark and full of ghistings, spectral creatures who inhabit the ancient forests of her homeland and the figureheads of ships.
Samuel Rosser is a disgraced naval officer serving aboard The Hart, an infamous privateer commissioned to bring Lirr to justice. He will stop at nothing to capture Lirr, restore his good name and reclaim the only thing that stands between himself and madness: a talisman stolen by Mary.
Finally, driven into the eternal ice at the limits of their world, Mary and Samuel must choose their loyalties and battle forces older and more powerful than the pirates who would make them slaves.
Come sail the Winter Sea, for action-packed, high-stakes adventures, rich characterisation and epic plots full of intrigue and betrayal.
I am determined to find a pirate book that I love and maybe Dark Water Daughter will be it. Every review I have read has mentioned that it has Pirates of the Caribbean vibes!
A diverse, exciting debut space opera about a young tea expert who is taken as a political prisoner and recruited to spy on government officials—a role that may empower her to win back her nation’s independence—perfect for fans of N.K. Jemisin and Nnedi Okorafor.
The dust may have just settled in the failed war of conquest between the Holy Vaalbaran Empire and the Ominirish Republic, but the last Emperor’s surrender means little to a lowly scribe like Enitan. All she wants is to quit her day job and expand her fledgling tea business. But when her lover is assassinated and her sibling is abducted by Imperial soldiers, Enitan abandons her idyllic plans and weaves her tea tray up through the heart of the Vaalbaran capital. There, she will learn just how far she is willing to go to exact vengeance, free her sibling, and perhaps even secure her homeland’s freedom.
I love that the main character in The Splinter in the Sky is a tea expert who gets wrapped up in a revenge plot. It also seems to be a standalone, which I appreciate!
Nestled at the head of a supercontinent, framed by sky and sea, lies Luriat, the city of bright doors. The doors are everywhere in the city, squatting in walls where they don’t belong, painted in vivid warning. They watch over a city of art and avarice, of plagues and pogroms, and silently refuse to open. No one knows what lies beyond them, but everyone has their own theory and their own relationship to the doors. Researchers perform tests and take samples, while supplicants offer fruit and flowers and hold prayer circles. Many fear the doors as the source of hauntings from unspeakable realms. To a rare unchosen few, though, the doors are both a calling and a bane. Fetter is one of those few.
When Fetter was born, his mother tore his shadow from him. She raised him as a weapon to kill his sainted father and destroy the religion rising up in his sacred footsteps. Now Fetter is unchosen, lapsed in his devotion to both his parents. He casts no shadow, is untethered by gravity, and sees devils and antigods everywhere he goes. With no path to follow, Fetter would like to be anything but himself. Does his answer wait on the other side of one of Luriat’s bright doors?
The entire premise of The Saint of Bright Doors is intriguing to me! I need to know what is behind these doors and how they open!
Julia Vee and Ken Bebelle’s Ebony Gate is a female John Wick story with dragon magic set in contemporary San Francisco’s Chinatown.
Emiko Soong belongs to one of the eight premier magical families of the world. But Emiko never needed any magic. Because she is the Blade of the Soong Clan. Or was. Until she’s drenched in blood in the middle of a market in China, surrounded by bodies and the scent of blood and human waste as a lethal perfume.
The Butcher of Beijing now lives a quiet life in San Francisco, importing antiques. But when a shinigami, a god of death itself, calls in a family blood debt, Emiko must recover the Ebony Gate that holds back the hungry ghosts of the Yomi underworld. Or forfeit her soul as the anchor.
What’s a retired assassin to do but save the City By The Bay from an army of the dead?
What is it about retired assassins coming back for one more job that is so appealing? I have been hearing good things about Ebony Gate already, particularly when it comes to world-building.
St. Vincent’s Orphanage for Boys.
Turn of the century, in a remote valley in Pennsylvania.
Here, under the watchful eyes of several priests, thirty boys work, learn, and worship. Peter Barlow, orphaned as a child by a gruesome murder, has made a new life here. As he approaches adulthood, he has friends, a future… a family.
Then, late one stormy night, a group of men arrive at their door, one of whom is badly wounded, occult symbols carved into his flesh. His death releases an ancient evil that spreads like sickness, infecting St. Vincent’s and the children within. Soon, boys begin acting differently, forming groups. Taking sides.
Others turn up dead.
Now Peter and those dear to him must choose sides of their own, each of them knowing their lives — and perhaps their eternal souls — are at risk.
Boys in the Valley is both horror and historical fiction and is apparently coming of age while also being a possession/survival story. Obviously, O am intrigued!
Two high school enemies must reunite for a road trip inspired by their grandparents’ broken engagement in this electric debut romance.
Noelle Shepherd is unemployed, living with her parents, and grieving the loss of her beloved grandmother when she discovers decades-old photos of Gram and a smitten man, tucked alongside a love letter. She creates a TikTok to search for the mystery man, which goes viral, and she’s shocked when his grandson responds—a man who happens to be her high school nemesis, Theo Spencer.
Noelle refuses to let Theo’s annoying accomplishments in adulthood—or his sexy smirk—stand in the way of meeting his grandfather and unlocking the secrets he knew about her gram as a young woman. When she learns that their plans to elope were thwarted, Noelle decides to take the honeymoon road trip they planned but never got to carry out. There’s a catch, though: Paul, Theo’s grandfather, asks to come with her, and he insists that Theo join them.
It’ll be a miracle if they make it through the trip without Noelle throwing Theo out of the moving car—or the bed they end up sharing. As the miles tick by, the tension simmers hotter between them…until she discovers that Theo’s hiding a secret that could cause their tenuous relationship to end before it can restart.
I am not typically a fan of road trip stories, but I have seen so many people reading ARCs of You, With a View and loving it, so I want to give it a shot. It does look like a perfect summer romance!
Ten years ago, the kingdom of Jasad burned. Its magic outlawed; its royal family murdered down to the last child. At least, that’s what Sylvia wants people to believe.
The lost Heir of Jasad, Sylvia never wants to be found. She can’t think about how Nizahl’s armies laid waste to her kingdom and continue to hunt its people—not if she wants to stay alive. But when Arin, the Nizahl Heir, tracks a group of Jasadi rebels to her village, staying one step ahead of death gets trickier.
In a moment of anger Sylvia’s magic is exposed, capturing Arin’s attention. Now, to save her life, Sylvia will have to make a deal with her greatest enemy. If she helps him lure the rebels, she’ll escape persecution.
A deadly game begins. Sylvia can’t let Arin discover her identity even as hatred shifts into something more. Soon, Sylvia will have to choose between the life she wants and the one she left behind. The scorched kingdom is rising, and it needs a queen.
In this Egyptian-inspired debut fantasy, a fugitive queen strikes a deadly bargain with her greatest enemy and finds herself embroiled in a complex game that could resurrect her scorched kingdom or leave it in ashes forever.
A lot of people seem to be talking about The Jasad Heir already and with a premise like that, I don’t blame them!
A searing and earnest horror debut about the demons the queer community faces in America, the price of keeping secrets, and finding the courage to burn it all down.
They’ll scare you straight to hell.
Welcome to Neverton, Montana: home to a God-fearing community with a heart of gold.
Nestled high up in the mountains is Camp Damascus, the self-proclaimed “most effective” gay conversion camp in the country. Here, a life free from sin awaits. But the secret behind that success is anything but holy.
Camp Damascus is a horror that takes place at a conversion camp and I have seen some incredible reviews from people who can relate to some of the themes that Chuck Tingle takes on.
Sally Diamond cannot understand why what she did was so strange. She was only doing what her father told her to do, to put him out with the rubbish when he died.
Now Sally is the centre of attention, not only from the hungry media and worried police, but also a sinister voice from a past she has no memory of. As she begins to discover the horrors of her childhood, recluse Sally steps into the world for the first time, making new friends, finding independence, and learning that people don’t always mean what they say.
But when messages start arriving from a stranger who knows far more about her past than she knows herself, Sally’s life will be thrown into chaos once again . . .
I have seen Strange Sally Diamond being compared to Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, which is a book I loved when I read it. That said, I have been warned that this one is much darker.
To exonerate her best friend, one woman must mastermind a jewelry heist during the wedding of the season in this hilarious romantic-comedy caper from the author of The Dating Plan.
Simi Chopra is on a bad-luck streak. She’s lost yet another job, her student loan debt won’t stop growing, her basement apartment is a certifiable flood zone, and now her best friend has been accused of stealing a multimillion-dollar diamond necklace. To put it lightly, she’s desperate for a break—that’s right when Jack waltzes out of the bushes and into her life.
Jack is just as charming as he is mysterious. When he offers to help her find the missing necklace and steal it back, Simi jumps at the chance to clear her friend’s name and collect the substantial reward. But every good heist needs a crew. All she needs to do is transform a ragtag group of strangers into an elite heist crew, infiltrate a high-society wedding and steal the necklace from a dangerous criminal before the happy couple say “I do.” Meanwhile the bride is keeping secrets, a detective with a slow-burn smile keeps showing up at her door, and the ultimate robbery might not be the wedding con, but the way Jack is stealing her heart.
I am noticing a rise in these action-packed romantic comedies and I am here for it! To Have and to Heist just looks like a good time and the perfect beach read.
Yume Kitasei’s The Deep Sky is an enthralling sci fi thriller debut about a mission into deep space that begins with a lethal explosion that leaves the survivors questioning the loyalty of the crew.
They left Earth to save humanity. They’ll have to save themselves first.
It is the eve of Earth’s environmental collapse. A single ship carries humanity’s last hope: eighty elite graduates of a competitive program, who will give birth to a generation of children in deep space. But halfway to a distant but livable planet, a lethal bomb kills three of the crew and knocks The Phoenix off course. Asuka, the only surviving witness, is an immediate suspect.
Asuka already felt like an impostor before the explosion. She was the last picked for the mission, she struggled during training back on Earth, and she was chosen to represent Japan, a country she only partly knows as a half-Japanese girl raised in America. But estranged from her mother back home, The Phoenix is all she has left.
With the crew turning on each other, Asuka is determined to find the culprit before they all lose faith in the mission—or worse, the bomber strikes again.
Now I am not into thrillers these days, but give me all of the SciFi thrillers! The Deep Sky sounds like something I will love, especially since a lot of the SciFi thrillers I have read take place on Earth and this one is set in space, so it is something different.
You can check out of Room 9, but you can never leave.
The Haunting of Hill House meets Nina LaCour in this paranormal mystery YA about the ghosts we carry with us.
Something is building, simmering just out of reach.
The room is watching. But Mira and Layla don’t know this yet. When the two best friends are stranded on their spring break college tour road trip, they find themselves at the Wildwood Motel, located in the middle of nowhere, Indiana. Mira can’t shake the feeling that there is something wrong and rotten about their room. Inside, she’s haunted by nightmares of her dead brother. When she wakes up, he’s still there.
Layla doesn’t see him. Or notice anything suspicious about Room 9. The place may be a little run down, but it has a certain charm she can’t wait to capture on camera. If Layla is being honest, she’s too preoccupied with confusing feelings for Mira to see much else. But when they learn eight people died in that same room, they realize there must be a connection between the deaths and the unexplainable things that keep happening inside it. They just have to find the connection before Mira becomes the ninth.
A Guide to the Dark is a YA horror with a sapphic love story and it sounds like the perfect summer read. The idea of a haunted motel room sounds so creepy to me!
#1 New York Times bestselling YA author Chloe Gong’s adult epic fantasy debut, inspired by Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra , is a fiery collision of power plays, spilled blood, and romance amidst a set of deadly games.
Every year, thousands in the kingdom of Talin will flock to its capital twin cities, San-Er, where the palace hosts a set of games. For those confident enough in their ability to jump between bodies, competitors across San-Er fight to the death to win unimaginable riches.
Princess Calla Tuoleimi lurks in hiding. Five years ago, a massacre killed her parents and left the palace of Er empty…and she was the one who did it. Before King Kasa’s forces in San can catch her, she plans to finish the job and bring down the monarchy. Her reclusive uncle always greets the victor of the games, so if she wins, she gets her opportunity at last to kill him.
Enter Anton Makusa, an exiled aristocrat. His childhood love has lain in a coma since they were both ousted from the palace, and he’s deep in debt trying to keep her alive. Thankfully, he’s one of the best jumpers in the kingdom, flitting from body to body at will. His last chance at saving her is entering the games and winning.
Calla finds both an unexpected alliance with Anton and help from King Kasa’s adopted son, August, who wants to mend Talin’s ills. But the three of them have very different goals, even as Calla and Anton’s partnership spirals into something all-consuming. Before the games close, Calla must decide what she’s playing for—her lover or her kingdom.
I have never read anything by Chloe Gong but I keep meaning to! I am intrigued by the fact that Mortal Longings is an Antony and Cleopatra retelling.
The lives of two women—one desperate only to save her missing sister, the other a witch destined to become queen of Norway—intertwine in this spellbinding, powerful novel of Viking Age history and myth from the acclaimed author of The Witch’s Heart.
Oddny and Gunnhild meet as children in tenth century Norway, and they could not be more different: Oddny hopes for a quiet life, while Gunnhild burns for power and longs to escape her cruel mother. But after a visiting wisewoman makes an ominous prophecy that involves Oddny, her sister Signy, and Gunnhild, the three girls take a blood oath to help one another always.
When Oddny’s farm is destroyed and Signy is kidnapped by Viking raiders, Oddny is set adrift from the life she imagined—but she’s determined to save her sister no matter the cost, even as she finds herself irresistibly drawn to one of the raiders who participated in the attack. And in the far north, Gunnhild, who fled her home years ago to learn the ways of a witch, is surprised to find her destiny seems to be linked with that of the formidable King Eirik, heir apparent to the ruler of all Norway.
But the bonds—both enchanted and emotional—that hold the two women together are strong, and when they find their way back to each other, these bonds will be tested in ways they never could have foreseen in this deeply moving novel of magic, history, and sworn sisterhood.
The Witch’s Heart by this same author has been recommended to me many times and I hope to read it soon, but The Weaver and the Witch Queen is definitely calling to me!
In a manor by the sea, one sister is still cursed.
Despite dreams of adventures far beyond the Salann shores, seventeen-year-old Verity Thaumas has remained at her family’s estate, Highmoor, with her older sister Camille, while their sisters have scattered across Arcannia.
When their sister Mercy sends word that the Duchess of Bloem—wife of a celebrated botanist—is interested in having Verity paint a portrait of her son, Alexander, Verity jumps at the chance, but Camille won’t allow it. Forced to reveal the secret she’s kept for years, Camille tells Verity the truth one day: Verity is still seeing ghosts, she just doesn’t know it.
Stunned, Verity flees Highmoor that night and—with nowhere else to turn—makes her way to Bloem. At first, she is captivated by the lush, luxurious landscape and is quickly drawn to charming, witty, and impossibly handsome Alexander Laurent. And soon, to her surprise, a romance . . . blossoms.
But it’s not long before Verity is plagued with nightmares, and the darker side of Bloem begins to show through its sickly-sweet façade. . . .
I had no idea that House of Salt and Sorrow was getting a sequel! The first book reads well as a standalone but I am not complaining about the fact that we get to return to these characters in House of Roots and Ruin.
A Black teen desperate to regain her Ivy League acceptance enters an elite competition only to discover the stakes aren’t just high, they’re deadly, in this searing thriller that’s Ace of Spades meets Squid Game with a sprinkling of The Bachelor.
You must work twice as hard to get half as much.
Adina Walker has known this the entire time she’s been on scholarship at the prestigious Edgewater Academy—a school for the rich (and mostly white) upper class of New England. It’s why she works so hard to be perfect and above reproach, no matter what she must force beneath the surface. Even one slip can cost you everything.
And it does. One fight, one moment of lost control, leaves Adina blacklisted from her top choice Ivy League college and any other. Her only chance to regain the future she’s sacrificed everything for is The Finish, a high-stakes contest sponsored by Edgewater’s founding family in which twelve young, ambitious women with exceptional promise are selected to compete in three mysterious events: the Ride, the Raid, and the Royale. The winner will be granted entry into the fold of the Remington family, whose wealth and power can open any door.
But when she arrives at the Finish, Adina quickly gets the feeling that something isn’t quite right with both the Remingtons and her competition, and soon it becomes clear that this larger-than-life prize can only come at an even greater cost. Because the Finish’s stakes aren’t just make or break…they’re life and death.
Adina knows the deck is stacked against her—it always has been—so maybe the only way to survive their vicious games is for her to change the rules.
I am currently reading an eARC of Their Vicious Games and I am having such a good time with it. This is Ace of Spades meets Squid Games and is definitely a page-turner.
Gideon the Ninth meets the Game of Thrones White Walkers in this dark young adult fantasy about a disgraced ghost-fighting warrior who must journey into a haunted wasteland to rescue a kidnapped prince.
Ready your blade. Defeat the undead.
In the Dominions, the dead linger, violent and unpredictable, unless a bonesmith severs the ghost from its earthly remains. For bonesmith Wren, becoming a valkyr—a ghost-fighting warrior—is a chance to solidify her place in the noble House of Bone and impress her frequently absent father. But when sabotage causes Wren to fail her qualifying trial, she is banished to the Border Wall, the last line of defense against a wasteland called the Breach where the vicious dead roam unchecked.
Determined to reclaim her family’s respect, Wren gets her chance when a House of Gold prince is kidnapped and taken beyond the Wall. To prove she has what it takes to be a valkyr, Wren vows to cross the Breach and rescue the prince. But to do so, she’s forced into an uneasy alliance with one of the kidnappers—a fierce ironsmith called Julian from the exiled House of Iron, the very people who caused the Breach in the first place…and the House of Bone’s sworn enemy.
As they travel, Wren and Julian spend as much time fighting each other as they do the undead, but when they discover there’s more behind the kidnapping than either of them knew, they’ll need to work together to combat the real danger: a dark alliance that is brewing between the living and the undead.
I own the first two books in the Crown of Feathers series by the same author and I know I am going to love that series, but I am excited about Bonesmith. It definitely seems to be on the darker side!
In a lush world inspired by the history and folklore of South America, a sweeping epic fantasy of colonialism, ancient magic, and two young women’s quest for belonging unfolds.
Reina is desperate.
Stuck living on the edges of society, her only salvation lies in an invitation from a grandmother she’s never known. But the journey is dangerous, and prayer can’t always avert disaster.
Attacked by creatures that stalk the region, Reina is on the verge of death until her grandmother, a dark sorceress, intervenes. Now dependent on the Doña’s magic for her life, Reina will do anything to earn—and keep—her favor. Even the bidding of an ancient god who whispers to her at night.
Eva Kesare is unwanted.
Illegitimate and of mixed heritage, Eva is her family’s shame. She tries her best to be perfect and to hide her oddities. But Eva is hiding a secret: magic calls to her.
Eva knows she should fight the temptation. Magic is the sign of the dark god, and using it is punishable by death. Yet, it’s hard to deny power when it has always been denied to you. Eva is walking a dangerous path, one that gets stranger every day. And, in the end, she’ll become something she never imagined.
I think a lot of us have been eagerly awaiting the release of The Sun and the Void. I am trying to read more diverse epic fantasy and this sounds like a good one. Plus, that cover!
What July release are you most excited to read?