Monday, December 5, 2022

Quarantine Releases (121)


Happy December! The holiday season is upon us, and it is evident all around. My family has a Christmas tree up and I swear every shift at work I've picked up more presents. To round it out, it's almost my birthday AND I'm about to graduate from college. The holidays also means a slower release schedule, and this is our last heavy week until January.

Young Adult

Curse of Shadows by A.K. Wilder

For fans of epic fantasy with adventure and romance, Curse of Shadows reveals a world of unique magic, breathtaking action, and unforgettable love.

Amassia teeters on the brink of the next Great Dying.

The second sun has returned as our Bone Throwers foresaw--casting the nine realms into war.

My name is Ash, and I fell in the battle for Baiseen. But I’m awake now, slowly putting the pieces back together.

My Heir has lost his throne.

My sailor is gone.

And there is an emptiness inside me I can’t explain.

Amid the chaos, someone must collect the original twelve whistle bones from all corners of the world. Marcus is named to lead the cause, but with his volatile phantom, he’ll need diplomacy as much as his sword. And we are not the only ones to seek the bones.

Yet succeed we must.

Because if we don’t, it will be death to all… 

Places to Purchase:

This Cursed Crown by Alexandra Overy

In the explosive sequel to These Feathered Flames, twin sisters Izaveta and Asya find themselves separated once again, but discovering a way back to each other may be their most perilous challenge yet.

Awakening to find herself trapped in a strange tower, Izaveta knows she must find her way back to the T urensi palace and claim the throne. But even with an unexpected ally's help, she worries she might not be able to get news of her survival to her sister and escape this frozen land.

Back at home, Asya enlists Nikov's help to prove Izaveta is still alive, even as she finds herself forced to navigate the political world she always sought to avoid to save her queendom, her loved ones, and herself.

But as the sisters work independently to reunite, a dangerous force lies in wait, trying to regain power in order to overthrow the monarchy...

Places to Purchase:

The Poison Season by Mara Rutherford

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.

Places to Purchase:

The Shattered City by Lisa Maxwell

Unite the Stones
Free the City
Remake the World

Once, Esta believed that she could change the fate of magic. She traveled to the past and stopped the Magician from destroying a mystical book that held the key to freeing her people from the Brink, an energy barrier that traps all Mageus who cross it.

But the Book was more than she bargained for. So was the Magician she was tasked to steal it from.

Hunted by an ancient evil, Esta and Harte have raced through time and across a continent to track down the powerful artifacts they need to bind the Book’s devastating power. They’ve lost family, betrayed friends, and done what they’d both vowed never to do: fallen in love with the one person who could truly destroy them.

Now, with only one artifact left, their search has brought them back to New York, the city where it all began. But nothing in Manhattan is as they left it. Their friends have scattered, their enemies have grown more powerful, and as the deadly Brink beckons, their time is running out.

If they can’t find a way to end the threat they’ve created, then the very heart of magic will die—and it will take the world down with it.

Places to Purchase:

Yesterworld by Rebecca Phelps

In the sequel to Down World, Marina is lured back through the doors by a mysterious man. 

“Time after time I come back to this cold brick door. Sealed, as it has been for over a year now, as I know it must remain forever. I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself. I know I can never open the door to Yesterday again. I can never have Kieren back. Never talk to Brady about the things we saw under the lake all those months ago. And never tell my brother Robbie how my heart broke every day that he was trapped in the abyss lurking behind those immovable bricks. 

Maybe I come to this room the way some people visit gravestones. The three doors are all I have left of my loved ones now. The rough, hard rectangles and their merciless mortar, staring back at me. Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow.

And me in the waiting room. 

To open any of these doors is to open a pathway to death. I know this. And yet, they call to me.”

Eighteen months have passed since Marina O’Connell first discovered the doors, and her life changed forever. She’s a senior now. And she’s living in a plane of reality with her stepmom and her dad, while Robbie and her mom are in Oregon. She and her best friend Christy are making plans for college. They’re crushing on Mr. Martel, the new history teacher. He’s young enough to inspire them to take the subject seriously, but there’s more to him than good looks. He isn’t who he seems, and when he confronts Marina with the secret they both share, she realizes that she can’t, or won’t, turn away from the doors that have been calling out to her for months.

Places to Purchase:

Lumara by Melissa Landers

The answers lie within.

Boarding school student Talia Morris has no idea her boyfriend, Nathaniel, is a Mystic, let alone second in line to the throne of a secretive, aspirational magical community―one no mortal has ever been allowed to step inside. Until now. Nathanial’s cousin is about to be married in the biggest wedding the magical world has ever seen, and Nathaniel is allowed to bring a date. Talia is the lucky recipient of the golden ticket every Mystic wannabe in the world would kill for―only she doesn’t want it. Talia thinks Mystic worship is lame and stupid and unnecessarily aggrandizes people for being born a certain way. When she finds out Nathaniel is “one of them,” she almost jumps ship. But Nathaniel loves her, and she loves him. So when he begs her to give his family and their community a shot, she reluctantly agrees.

Enter the most fantastical world any mortal has ever seen, and the coolest magical wedding ever. After a few days of bonding with Nathaniel’s family on the island, of seeing how beautiful their magic is and how peaceful their community, Talia’s about to be won over―until the entire wedding party suddenly falls into an unexplainable coma and the community goes on lockdown. Talia, the outsider, is pegged as the culprit and has to do everything in her meager non-power to prove her innocence. As she embarks on a journey to find the truth, Talia soon discovers reality is not all it seems, and her past may put her in more danger than she ever imagined.

In this captivating YA fantasy, Talia must solve a multigenerational mystery and break a curse, all the while being torn between making her family proud and regaining the trust of the boy she loves.

Places to Purchase:

No Accident by Laura Bates

No matter how you try to hide it, the truth will always come out . . .

When a small plane crash ends with a group of seven teens washed up on a deserted island, their first thought is survival. With supplies dwindling and the fear of being stranded forever becoming more of a reality, they quickly discover that being the most popular kid in high school doesn't help when you're fighting to stay alive.

And when strange and terrifying accidents start to occur all around them, the group realizes that they are being targeted by someone who was on the plane, and that the island isn't their only danger. A terrible secret from a party the night before the flight has followed them ashore—and it's clear that someone is looking for justice. Now survival depends on facing the truth about that party: who was hurt that night, and who let it happen?

Places to Purchase:

Romance

A Dash of Salt and Pepper by Kosoko Jackson

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.

Places to Purchase:

Well Traveled by Jen DeLuca

The Renaissance Faire is on the move, and Lulu and Dex are along for the ride, in the next utterly charming rom-com from Jen DeLuca.

A high-powered attorney from a success-oriented family, Louisa "Lulu" Malone lives to work, and everything seems to be going right, until the day she realizes it’s all wrong. Lulu’s cousin Mitch introduced her to the world of Renaissance Faires, and when she spies one at a time just when she needs an escape, she leaps into the welcoming environment of turkey legs, taverns, and tarot readers. The only drawback? Dex MacLean: a guitarist with a killer smile, the Casanova of the Faire… and her traveling companion for the summer.

Dex has never had to work for much in his life, and why should he? Touring with his brothers as The Dueling Kilts is going great, and he always finds a woman at every Faire. But when Lulu proves indifferent to his many plaid charms and a shake-up threatens the fate of the band, Dex must confront something he never has before: his future.

Forced to spend days and nights together on the road, Lulu’s interest in the kilted bad boy grows as he shows her a side of himself no one else has seen. The stresses of her old lifestyle fade away as she learns to trust her intuition and follow her heart instead of her head. But when her time on the road is over, will Lulu go with her gut, or are she and Dex destined for separate paths?

Places to Purchase:

Save for a handful more books in the next couple books, this is rounding out our releases for 2022! As we finish up, I want to know, what were some of your favorite books of the year?

Monday, November 28, 2022

Quarantine Releases (120)


I hope everyone had a good holiday! We are rounding out November with about a dozen new books, a few of which I'm VERY excited about! This week is also the final week of the semester, so I've got papers to write and exams to take. Not sure how much (non-academic) reading will get done, but I will be adding books to my stack nonetheless!

Young Adult

Never Ever Getting Back Together by Sophie Gonzales

When their now famous ex-boyfriend asks them to participate in a teen reality show, two eighteen year old girls—one bent on revenge, the other open to rekindling romance—get tangled up in an unexpected twist when they fall for each other instead in Never Ever Getting Back Together by nationally and internationally-bestselling and Indie Next Pick author Sophie Gonzales.

It’s been two years since Maya's ex-boyfriend cheated on her, and she still can’t escape him: his sister married the crown prince of a minor European country and he captured hearts as her charming younger brother. If the world only knew the real Jordy, the manipulative liar who broke Maya’s heart.

Skye Kaplan was always cautious with her heart until Jordy said all the right things and earned her trust. Now his face is all over the media and Skye is still wondering why he stopped calling.

When Maya and Skye are invited to star on the reality dating show Second-Chance Romance, they’re whisked away to a beautiful mansion—along with four more of Jordy’s exes— to compete for his affections while the whole world watches. Skye wonders if she and Jordy can recapture the spark she knows they had, but Maya has other plans: exposing Jordy and getting revenge. As they navigate the competition, Skye and Maya discover that their real happily ever after is nothing they could have scripted.

Places to Purchase:

House of Yesterday by Deeba Zargarpur

Taking inspiration from the author's own Afghan-Uzbek heritage, this contemporary YA debut is a breathtaking journey into the grief that lingers through generations of immigrant families, and what it means to confront the ghosts of your past.

Struggling to deal with the pain of her parents’ impending divorce, fifteen-year-old Sara is facing a world of unknowns and uncertainties. Unfortunately, the one person she could always lean on when things got hard, her beloved Bibi Jan, has become a mere echo of the grandmother she once was. And so Sara retreats into the family business, hoping a summer working on her mom’s latest home renovation project will provide a distraction from her fracturing world.

But the house holds more than plaster and stone. It holds secrets that have her clinging desperately to the memories of her old life. Secrets that only her Bibi Jan could have untangled. Secrets Sara is powerless to ignore as the dark truths of her family’s history rise in ghostly apparitions -- and with it, the realization that as much as she wants to hold onto her old life, nothing will ever be the same.

Told in lush, sweeping prose, this story of secrets, summer, and family sacrifice will chill you to the bone as the house that wraps Sara in warmth of her past becomes the one thing she cannot escape…

Places to Purchase:

A Wilderness of Stars by Shea Ernshaw

In this magical romance from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Long Live the Pumpkin Queen, an illness cursing the land forces a teen girl astronomer to venture across the wilderness in search of the stars’ message that will, hopefully, save them all.

When all is lost, look to the stars. 

Vega has lived in the valley her whole life—forbidden by her mother to leave the safety of its borders because of the unknown threats waiting for her in the wilds beyond. But when Vega sees an omen in the sky—one she cannot ignore—she is forced to leave the protective boundaries of the valley. Yet the outside world is much more terrifying than Vega could have ever imagined. People are gravely sick—they lose their eyesight and their hearing, just before they lose their lives.

But Vega has a secret: she is the Last Astronomer—a title carried from generation to generation—and she is the only one who understands the knowledge of the stars. Knowledge that could hold the key to a cure. So when locals spot the tattoo on Vega’s neck in the shape of a constellation—the mark of an astronomer—chaos erupts. Fearing for her life, Vega is rescued by a girl named Cricket who leads her to Noah, a boy marked by his own mysterious tattoos.

On the run from the men hunting her, Vega sets out across the plains with Cricket and Noah, in search of a fabled cure kept secret by the astronomers. But as the line between friends and protectors begins to blur, Vega must decide whether to safeguard the sacred knowledge of the astronomers…or if she will risk everything to try to save them all.

Places to Purchase:

We Deserve Monuments by Jas Hammonds

Family secrets, a swoon-worthy romance, and a slow-burn mystery collide in We Deserve Monuments, a YA debut from Jas Hammonds that explores how racial violence can ripple down through generations. 

What’s more important: Knowing the truth or keeping the peace?

Seventeen-year-old Avery Anderson is convinced her senior year is ruined when she's uprooted from her life in DC and forced into the hostile home of her terminally ill grandmother, Mama Letty. The tension between Avery’s mom and Mama Letty makes for a frosty arrival and unearths past drama they refuse to talk about. Every time Avery tries to look deeper, she’s turned away, leaving her desperate to learn the secrets that split her family in two.

While tempers flare in her avoidant family, Avery finds friendship in unexpected places: in Simone Cole, her captivating next-door neighbor, and Jade Oliver, daughter of the town’s most prominent family—whose mother’s murder remains unsolved.

As the three girls grow closer—Avery and Simone’s friendship blossoming into romance—the sharp-edged opinions of their small southern town begin to hint at something insidious underneath. The racist history of Bardell, Georgia is rooted in Avery’s family in ways she can’t even imagine. With Mama Letty's health dwindling every day, Avery must decide if digging for the truth is worth toppling the delicate relationships she's built in Bardell—or if some things are better left buried.

Places to Purchase:

Belittled Women by Amanda Sellet

Sharp and subversive, this delightfully messy YA rom-com offers a sly wink to the classic Little Women, as teenage Jo Porter rebels against living in the shadow of her literary namesake.

Lit's about to hit the fan. Jo Porter has had enough Little Women to last a lifetime. As if being named after the sappiest family in literature wasn't sufficiently humiliating, Jo's mom, ahem Marmee, leveled up her Alcott obsession by turning their rambling old house into a sad-sack tourist attraction.

Now Jo, along with her siblings, Meg and Bethamy (yes, that's two March sisters in one), spends all summer acting out sentimental moments at Little Women Live!, where she can feel her soul slowly dying.

So when a famed photojournalist arrives to document the show, Jo seizes on the glimpse of another life: artsy, worldly, and fast-paced. It doesn't hurt that the reporter's teenage son is also eager to get up close and personal with Jo--to the annoyance of her best friend, aka the boy next door (who is definitely not called Laurie). All Jo wants is for someone to see the person behind the prickliness and pinafores.

But when she gets a little too real about her frustration with the family biz, Jo will have to make peace with kitsch and kin before their livelihood suffers a fate worse than Beth.

Places to Purchase:

Saint by Adrienne Young

New York Times bestselling author Adrienne Young returns to the world of The Narrows with Saint, a captivating prequel to Fable and Namesake.

As a boy, Elias learned the hard way what happens when you don’t heed the old tales.

Nine years after his lack of superstition got his father killed, he’s grown into a young man of piety, with a deep reverence for the hallowed sea and her fickle favor. As stories of the fisherman’s son who has managed to escape the most deadly of storms spreads from port to port, his devotion to the myths and creeds has given him the reputation of the luckiest bastard to sail the Narrows.

Now, he’s mere days away from getting everything his father ever dreamed for him: a ship of his own, a crew, and a license that names him as one of the first Narrows-born traders. But when a young dredger from the Unnamed Sea with more than one secret crosses his path, Elias’ faith will be tested like never before. The greater the pull he feels toward her, the farther he drifts from the things he’s spent the last three years working for.

He is dangerously close to repeating his mistakes and he’s seen first hand how vicious the jealous sea can be. If he’s going to survive her retribution, he will have to decide which he wants more, the love of the girl who could change their shifting world, or the sacred beliefs that earned him the name that he’s known for―Saint.

Places to Purchase:

A Thousand Heartbeats by Kiera Cass

#1 New York Times bestselling author of The Selection series Kiera Cass is back with her most epic novel yet—a sweeping enemies-to-lovers standalone romance.

“Love has a sound. It sounds like a thousand heartbeats happening at the same time.”

Princess Annika has lived a life of comfort—but no amount of luxuries can change the fact that her life isn’t her own to control. The king, once her loving father, has gone cold, and Annika will soon be forced into a loveless marriage for political gain.

Miles away, small comforts are few and far between for Lennox. He has devoted his life to the Dahrainian army, hoping to one day help them reclaim the throne that was stolen from them. For Lennox, the idea of love is merely a distraction—nothing will stand in the way of fighting for his people.

But when love, against all odds, finds them both, they are bound by its call. They can’t possibly be together—but the irresistible thrum of a thousand heartbeats won’t let them stay apart. 

Kiera Cass brings her signature sparkling romance to this beautiful story of star-crossed lovers and long-held secrets.

Places to Purchase:

Come Out, Come Out, Whatever You Are by Kathryn Foxfield

The bestselling author of Good Girls Die First is back with a new page-turning thriller for fans of Holly Jackson and Karen McManus.

Welcome to the reality game show that'll scare you to death! Have you got what it takes to last the night?

On the reality show It's Behind You!, five contestants competing for prize money must survive the night in the dark and dangerous Umber Gorge caves, rumored to be haunted by the Puckered Maiden, a ghost who eats the hearts of her victims. But is it the malevolent spirit they should fear, or each other?

As the production crew ramps up the frights, tensions rise and the secrets of the cast member start coming to light. Each of these teenagers has hidden motives for taking part in the show. But could one of them be murder?

Places to Purchase:

Morrighan: The Beginnings of the Remnant Universe by Mary E. Pearson (illustrated and expanded edition)

A richly illustrated and romantic origin story of Mary E. Pearson's Remnant universe, the world of the BookTok sensations Dance of Thieves and Vow of Thieves and the New York Times-bestselling Remnant Chronicles.

Before borders were drawn, before treaties were signed, before wars were waged anew, before the great kingdoms of the Remnant were even born and the world of old was only a hazy slate of memory told in story and legend, a girl and her family fought to survive.

And that girl’s name was Morrighan.

Discover the origin story of the Remnant universe, penned by the New York Times–bestselling master storyteller Mary E. Pearson, in this lush collector’s edition prequel with lavish illustrations, a romance for the ages, and a magic that stirs the heart.

Places to Purchase:

Five Survive by Holly Jackson

From the author of the New York Times and multimillion-copy bestselling A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series comes a new blockbuster thriller about a road trip that turns deadly. Eight hours. Six friends. Five survive.

Red Kenny is on a road trip for spring break with five friends: Her best friend - the older brother - his perfect girlfriend - a secret crush - a classmate - and a killer. 

When their RV breaks down in the middle of nowhere with no cell service, they soon realize this is no accident. They have been trapped by someone out there in the dark, someone who clearly wants one of them dead.

With eight hours until dawn, the six friends must escape, or figure out which of them is the target. But is there a liar among them? Buried secrets will be forced to light and tensions inside the RV will reach deadly levels. Not all of them will survive the night. . . . 

Places to Purchase:

In the City of Time by Gwendolyn Clare

From the author of the highly acclaimed Ink, Iron, and Glass series, this YA duology sends three science prodigies on a time-traveling adventure to save the Earth—if they don’t accidentally destroy it first—in Gwendolyn Clare's In the City of Time.

In 1891, Willa Marconi's life falls apart when her mentor at the University of Bologna unexpectedly dies. She loses her laboratory access and her stipend, but she refuses to let anyone take her research away. While testing her prototype radio equipment, she detects a mysterious signal and pursues its origin.

In 2034, a cataclysmic event has rendered the Earth uninhabitable, and humankind survives by living inside of artificial worlds. Riley would do anything for Jaideep, who lost his parents in the collapse of the Bay Area pocket universe—and anything includes building a time machine so they can travel back to the 19th century, prevent the destabilization of the planet, and rewrite history.

But the experiment goes wrong, accidentally pulling Willa forward in time and stranding the three of them in a strange, seemingly abandoned city. Now they’ve got a glitchy time machine, a scary android time cop hot on their trail, and some tangled temporal mechanics to unravel. Can they save the Earth when the Continuity Agency is dead-set on preserving the current timeline?

Places to Purchase:

Romance

Alone With You in the Ether by Olivie Blake

From Olivie Blake, the New York Times bestselling author of The Atlas Six, comes an intimate and contemporary study of time, space, and the nature of love. Alone with You in the Ether explores what it means to be unwell, and how to face the fractures of yourself and still love as if you're not broken.

CHICAGO, SOMETIME—
Two people meet in the Art Institute by chance. Prior to their encounter, he is a doctoral student who manages his destructive thoughts with compulsive calculations about time travel; she is a bipolar counterfeit artist, undergoing court-ordered psychotherapy. By the end of the story, these things will still be true. But this is not a story about endings.

For Regan, people are predictable and tedious, including and perhaps especially herself. She copes with the dreariness of existence by living impulsively, imagining a new, alternate timeline being created in the wake of every rash decision.

To Aldo, the world feels disturbingly chaotic. He gets through his days by erecting a wall of routine: a backbeat of rules and formulas that keep him going. Without them, the entire framework of his existence would collapse. 

For Regan and Aldo, life has been a matter of resigning themselves to the blueprints of inevitability—until the two meet. Could six conversations with a stranger be the variable that shakes up the entire simulation?

Places to Purchase:

Lady Meets Earl by Christy Carlyle

USA Today bestselling author Christy Carlyle sweeps readers away on an all-new romantic holiday to the wilds of Scotland where a young woman discovers her vacation home is unexpectedly owned by a strange, devastatingly handsome earl.

After a lifetime of living for her friends, family, even strangers, Lady Lucy Westmont knows something must change or she'll lose herself forever. An invitation to visit her free-spirited and scandalous aunt in the wild Scottish countryside is the perfect opportunity to discover how to live the life she wants.

James Pembroke just learned that not only is he the new Earl of Rossbury, he's also inherited his late uncle's debts and a manor house deep in Scotland. Already owing money to an unsavory man because of a business deal that went awry, he has no choice but to travel to Scotland to sell the manor. On his way, he finds himself sharing a train car with a rather pretty but wild young woman.

When Lucy manages to make it to her aunt's home, she discovers her aunt is missing and the incredibly rude man who shared her train car is claiming that he owns the house instead. Nevertheless, Lucy is determined to have a true holiday, even if she is accompanied by the man who has upended her plans--and her heart.

Places to Purchase:

The Reluctant Countess by Eloisa James

New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James returns to the Would-Be Wallflowers series with an enemies-to-lovers romance between a proper earl and an entirely improper lady—whom he can’t stop thinking about.

Giles Renwick, Earl of Lilford, has never made a fool of himself over a woman—until he meets Lady Yasmin Régnier. Yasmin is ineligible for his attentions in every way: not as a wife, certainly not as a mistress (she is a lady!), nor even as a friend, since they vehemently dislike each other.  Her gowns are too low, and her skirts are dampened to cling to admittedly lovely thighs. She loves to gossip—and giggle. 

She isn’t dignified, or polite, or even truly British, given that her father’s French ancestry clearly predominated. Not to mention the fact that her mother had been one of Napoleon’s mistresses, a fact she makes no effort to hide.

So what—in heaven’s name—possesses him to propose?

And what will he do if she says yes?

Places to Purchase:

Look at these amazing books! My preorder of Never Ever Getting Back Together came and I can't wait to dive in! I find a bunch of these books intriguing, and I expect Olivie Blake's new book to do well.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Quarantine Releases (119)


If you're in the US, Happy Thanksgiving! There are some absolutely amazing books coming out this week, just in time for a long holiday weekend. If you need to hide from your family, these will do the trick. And if you're going to be very busy (like me) then good luck squeezing time in to read!

Young Adult

A Consuming Fire by Laura E. Weymouth

Uprooted meets The Grace Year in this dark young adult fantasy of love and vengeance following a girl who vows to kill a god after her sister is unjustly slain by his hand.

Weatherell girls aren’t supposed to die. 

Once every eighteen years, the isolated forest village of Weatherell is asked to send one girl to the god of the mountain to give a sacrifice before returning home. Twins Anya and Ilva Astraea are raised with this destiny in mind, and when their time comes, spirited Ilva volunteers to go. Her devoted sister Anya is left at home to pray for Ilva’s safe return. But Anya’s prayers are denied.

With her sister dead, Anya volunteers to make a journey of her own to visit the god of the mountain. But unlike her sister, sacrifice is the furthest thing from Anya’s mind. Anya has no intention of giving anything more to the god, or of letting any other girl do so ever again. Anya Astraea has not set out to placate a god. She’s set out to kill one.

Places to Purchase:

At Midnight edited by Dahlia Adler

A dazzling collection of original and retold fairy tales from fifteen acclaimed and bestselling YA writers

Fairy tales have been spun for thousands of years and remain among our most treasured stories. Weaving fresh tales with unexpected reimaginings, At Midnight brings together a diverse group of celebrated YA writers to breathe new life into a storied tradition. You’ll discover . . .

Dahlia Adler reimagining "Rumpelstiltskin,"
Tracy Deonn, “The Nightingale,”
H. E. Edgmon, “Snow White,”
Hafsah Faizal, “Little Red Riding Hood,”
Stacey Lee, “The Little Matchstick Girl,”
Roselle Lim, "Hansel and Gretel,"
Darcie Little Badger, "Puss in Boots,"
Malinda Lo, “Frau Trude,”
Alex London, "Cinderella."
Anna-Marie McLemore, “The Nutcracker,"
Rebecca Podos, “The Robber Bridegroom,” 
Rory Power, “Sleeping Beauty,”
Meredith Russo, “The Little Mermaid,”
Gita Trelease, “Fitcher’s Bird,”
and an all-new fairy tale by Melissa Albert.

Places to Purchase:

Other Side of the Tracks by Charity Alyse

This lilting and riveting young adult debut novel about three teens entangled by secret love, open hatred, and the invisible societal constraints wrapped around people both Black and white is perfect for readers of All American Boys and The Hate U Give.

There is an unspoken agreement between the racially divided towns of Bayside and Hamilton: no one steps over the train tracks that divide them. Or else.

Not until Zach Whitman anyway, a white boy who moves in from Philly and who dreams of music. When he follows his dream across the tracks to meet his idol, the famous jazz musician who owns The Sunlight Record Shop in Hamilton, he’s flung into Capri Collins’s path.

Capri has big plans: she wants to follow her late mother’s famous footsteps, dancing her way onto Broadway, and leaving this town for good, just like her older brother, Justin, is planning to do when he goes off to college next year. As sparks fly, Zach and Capri realize that they can help each other turn hope into a reality, even if it means crossing the tracks to do it.

But one tragic night changes everything. When Justin’s friend, the star of Hamilton’s football team, is murdered by a white Bayside police officer, the long-standing feud between Bayside and Hamilton becomes an all-out war And Capri, Justin, and Zach are right in the middle of it.

Places to Purchase:

The Vermilion Emporium by Jamie Pacton

The heart-wrenching story of The Radium Girls meets the enchanting world of Howl’s Moving Castle in a story of timeless love and deadly consequences.

It was a day for finding things...

On the morning Twain, a lonely boy with a knack for danger, discovers a strand of starlight on the cliffs outside of Severon, a mysterious curiosity shop appears in town. Meanwhile, Quinta, the ordinary daughter of an extraordinary circus performer, chases rumors of the shop, the Vermilion Emporium, desperate for a way to live up to her mother’s magical legacy.

When Quinta meets Twain outside of the Emporium, two things happen: One, Quinta is sure she’s infatuated with this starlight boy, who uses his charm to hide his scars. Two, they enter the store and discover a book that teaches them how to weave starlight into lace.

Soon, their lace catches the eye of the Casorina, the ruler of Severon. She commissions Quinta and Twain to make her a starlight dress and will reward them handsomely enough to make their dreams come true. However, they can’t sew a dress without more material, and the secret to starlight’s origins has been lost for decades. As Quinta and Twain search the Emporium for answers, though, they discover the secret might not have actually been lost—but destroyed. And likely, for good reason.

A powerful and romantic adventure set in a whimsically magical world. The Vermilion Emporium shines a light into the darkest spaces. It’s about healing in a world shrouded with despair and discovering a spark of magic when you need it most.

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Of Cages and Crowns by Brianna Joy Crump

For goddess-touched girls, there is only one destiny: the Culling

From the moment Monroe Benson is born with a mark on her hand and the ability to summon fire from her fingertips, her life will never be her own. She’s goddess-touched, which means she’s destined to participate in the Culling, an age-old competition to determine the next queen of Erydia. For most of her seventeen years, her family has managed to keep Monroe--and her powers--hidden. But now, as Queen Viera calls for the Culling to start, and war looms on the horizon, Monroe can no longer hide. She must face her destiny whether she wants to or not.

For the ten goddess-touched girls, all with different powers, the inevitably of this fight to the death has always ruled their lives. The tradition is both barbaric and cruel, but to make matters worse--Monroe isn’t prepared. She hasn’t trained her whole life for this day. She doesn’t want to be in the spotlight. She doesn’t want the crown.

While Monroe struggles with her fate, a rebellion is brewing in the castle and in the country. A group called the Culled are banding together; their goal--to topple the monarchy. And the more they rise, the more merciless Viera is with her kingdom, recruiting younger and younger people from poorer and poorer places to fight in a war no one wants to be waging.

When Monroe finds herself on the front lines of the rebellion’s inner circle, only one thing stands in her way: Cohen. The queen’s son and the man who will be king. The pair grows close, yet Cohen’s dedication to duty, to family, to tradition stands in stark contrast to the boy Monroe sees at night in the kitchens, secretly making the two of them a snack.

As the fight crescendos around them, and the death of innocents is a force to bear, the choices Monroe makes will reverberate through the kingdom . . . and her heart forever.

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The Last Field Party by Abbi Glines

The seventh and final book in the #1 New York Times bestselling Field Party series—a Southern soap opera filled with football, cute boys, and pick-up trucks—from USA TODAY bestselling author Abbi Glines.

Five years after the Lawton High football team last took the field, everyone is gathering for a special event back home in Alabama. But coming back together brings up memories from the past. Special ones. Painful ones. Unforgettable ones. And for some, the reunion introduces an opportunity to confront unresolved issues. 

Can Asa and Ezmita continue to run away from what their hearts truly want? What about Nash and Tallulah—will their natural attraction to each other last when trust concerns rise to the surface? For West and Maggie, five years later means taking the next step—if they have the courage to face it. And a joyous celebration waits for Brady and Riley and their beautiful family. But family may be the point of contention when it comes to Gunner and Willa and their upcoming plans. Finally, there are Ryker and Aurora, who must continue to fight their way through insecurity and temptation. 

All these couples find themselves face-to-face with not only the past but a possible future worth celebrating. So as we catch up with the members of the Lawton High football team, the future still remains unknown. Will everyone get their happy endings? Or will they leave it all on the field as they step forward toward the days ahead?

Places to Purchase:

Romance

Astrid Parker Doesn't Fail by Ashley Herring Blake

An interior designer who is never without the perfect plan learns to renovate her love life without one in this new romantic comedy by Ashley Herring Blake, author of Delilah Green Doesn't Care. 

For Astrid Parker, failure is unacceptable. Ever since she broke up with her fiancé a year ago, she's been focused on her career--her friends might say she's obsessed, but she knows she's just driven. When Pru Everwood asks her to be the designer for the Everwood Inn's renovation, which will be featured on a popular HGTV show, Innside America, Astrid is thrilled. Not only will the project distract her from her failed engagement and help her struggling business, but her perpetually displeased mother might finally give her a nod of approval. 

However, Astrid never planned on Jordan Everwood, Pru's granddaughter and the lead carpenter for the renovation, who despises every modern design decision Astrid makes. Jordan is determined to preserve the history of her family's inn, particularly as the rest of her life is in shambles. When that determination turns into some light sabotage to ruffle Astrid's perfect little feathers, the showrunners ask them to play up the tension. But somewhere along the way, their dislike for each other evolves into something quite different, and Astrid must decide what success truly means. Is she going to pursue the life that she's expected to lead or the one that she wants?

Places to Purchase:

I hope you're as excited for these books as I am! My preorders for A Consuming Fire and At Midnight have already arrived and I can't wait to start reading them! I'm also pretty proud of myself as I managed to hand sell a copy of A Consuming Fire at work by comparing to Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson and describing it as about a girl who goes to kill god.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Romance Round-Up (8)


It's been a while, but I've been reading a bunch of great romance novels! This is the first of two or three posts that will talk about the romances I've read in the last several months.

Title: Never Seduce a Duke
Author: Vivienne Lorret
Publisher: Avon
Release: February 21, 2023
Series: The Mating Habits of Scoundrels #5
Pages: 384
My Review: 5 Stars

I almost screamed when I got approved for an ARC on Netgalley. Ever since finishing the previous book I have been anxiously awaiting this one. I started reading last night and finished this afternoon. I had to pause the book to go to class and it almost killed me. Meg is such a great heroine and I really enjoyed her story. Lucien is a mixed bag, but overall a positive. He's also the epitome of a genius idiot. So smart, but so so dumb. I found it slightly odd that something that was in the back of the previous book didn't actually come up in here until over halfway through. This made it so I was waiting for that moment to happen and kept being surprised when it wasn't here yet. I felt that Lucien could have had a slightly stronger grovel, given how long he didn't believe Meg about some things. All in all, I really enjoyed it!

Synopsis:

In USA Today bestselling author Vivienne Lorret's latest romance, a young lady engages in a steamy flirtation with a bespectacled, studious duke while on holiday, only to return with more than just memories... 

After being jilted, Margaret Stredwick has sworn off men and marriage. What she needs is a holiday. But a detour along the way takes a surprising turn that leads Meg to him. And soon she starts to wonder if she should indulge in one grand flirtation before she's firmly on the shelf.

The instant Lucien Ambrose, Duke of Merleton, finds a strange woman touring the halls of his ancient estate, he knows the minx is up to something. So, when a family heirloom is stolen, it's clear who the culprit is. She may tempt him beyond reason, but he isn't about to let her get away, even if he has to chase her across the continent.

Meg never imagined that anyone would mistake her for a notorious thief, known for seducing men to distraction. It's the most thrilling thing ever! She eagerly plays along. . . until she finds herself falling in love with a man who has no idea who she really is. And by the time she returns to her ordinary life, she discovers that her grand flirtation won't be a secret for long. Apparently, she brought home an unexpected souvenir...

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Title: Never a Duke
Author: Grace Burrowes
Publisher: Forever
Release: April 26, 2022
Series: Rogues to Riches #7
Pages: 383
My Review: 5 Stars

I initially started this book when I was lucky enough to get an ARC through NetGalley, but then life happened and I didn't end up reading the rest of it until I picked up a finished copy. Once I dove in for real, I devoured Never a Duke. Ned is a great character from the earlier books, and it was so exciting to have him get his own book.

Starting off the book, Ned is approached by Rosalind, who needs his help. Her maid has gone missing and Rosalind doesn't think she ran away. Ned and Rosalind quickly discover that many young women are going missing, all ones that wouldn't be missed enough to be looked for.

The mystery of the missing women is mixed well with Ned and Rosalind's romance. While Ned has been living with the Wentworth family for around 10 years, he still isn't seen as truly upper class. That means a relationship with Rosalind, a fancy lady, should be off limits. But what starts as clandestine meetings for innocent purposes quickly heats up. I loved watching them fall for each other, and while they had to put in some hard work to make their happily ever after, it was definitely worth it!

Synopsis:

A proper lady must choose between society or the untitled gentleman who has stolen her heart in this captivating Regency romance.

Ned Wentworth will be forever grateful to the family that plucked him from the streets and gave him a home, even though polite society still whispers years later about his questionable past. Precisely because of Ned’s connections in low places, Lady Rosalind Kinwood approaches him to help her find a lady’s maid who has disappeared.

Rosalind is too opinionated—and too intelligent—and has frequently suffered judgment at the hands of polite society. Despite her family’s disdain for Ned, Rosalind finds he listens to her and respects her. Then too, his kisses are exquisite. As the investigation of the missing maids becomes more dangerous, both Ned and Rosalind will have to risk everything—including their hearts—if they are to share the happily ever after that Mayfair’s matchmakers have begrudged them both.


Title: How to Steal a Scoundrel
Author: Vivienne Lorret
Publisher: Avon
Release: May 24, 2022
Series: The Mating Habits of Scoundrels #4
Pages: 384
My Review: 5 Stars

I really enjoyed this book! Full review to come.

I'm not gonna lie, it's been so long since I read this book that I don't really remember what happened. More specially, what happened in the second half. The set up of the book is great though! Prudence and Leo are a phenomenal couple. Prudence needs assistance recovering some personal objects, and finds that Leo might be the perfect partner in crime. While Leo can live up to the name "Savage", he can also be sweet and caring. Leo has been burned by love in the past (quite badly I might add), and is hesitant to care for Prue at first. But she's rather lovable, and inevitably he gives in to his heart.

I wanted to throttle some of Prue's family members when they showed up, but luckily she had both Leo and her friends for support. And at the end, we get a sneak peek for the next book, and I absolutely need it right now! I can't wait for Meg's book and might die in the meantime!

Synopsis:

In USA Today bestselling author Vivienne Lorret’s latest steamy romance, a determined debutante discovers that making a deal with a notorious rake might just give her more than she ever bargained for…

Ruined debutante Prudence Thorogood lost everything when she was ousted from polite society, including her inheritance. Now she’ll do anything to take back what’s hers… even if she has to steal it. Accepting a scandalous offer from Lord Savage seems like the perfect solution to disguise her criminal intentions from the ton. Until she discovers that there’s more to this scoundrel than meets the eye.

Leo Ramsgate, Marquess of Savage, has everything except for a heart. That organ dried up long ago after a devastating betrayal. Since then, he vowed never to trust or love again. He ensures that his dalliances are mutually satisfying, but always temporary… until he meets the reserved Miss Thorogood. Not one of his previous lovers has ever beguiled him the way she does. Not one has made him want to break his own rules. Not one has tempted him to keep her… forever. 

Prue has every intention of disappearing from London after their affair ends. But her plan falters when she finds herself falling hopelessly in love with a man who may never love her in return. With time running out and so much at stake, she cannot help but wonder… 

How to Steal a Scoundrel’s Heart?

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Title: A Lady for a Duke
Author: Alexis Hall
Publisher: Forever
Release: May 24, 2022
Pages: 460
My Review: 5 Stars

I loved A Lady for a Duke! A great queer historical romance! While I have read some great queer historical before, I believe this is the first one I've read with a transgender main character. While I can't speak to representation itself, I definitely found the characters and their story compelling. Viola is determined to leave her past behind to make her new self, even if that includes her former best friend, the Duke of Gracewood. But family and circumstance throw them back together. While Viola initially hides their shared past, Gracewood eventually figures out who she used to be known as. Despite his initial feelings of betrayal, a fragile truce is formed between Viola and Gracewood for the sake of his sister, who is coming out in society.

With the backdrop of high society and the events of the season, Viola and Gracewood slowly find their way back to each other. And lucky for them, they have loving family cheering them on. I loved all the characters in this book and can't wait to read more by Alexis Hall!

Synopsis:

A lush, sweeping queer historical romance from the bestselling author of Boyfriend Material—perfect for fans of Netflix’s Bridgerton, Evie Dunmore, and Manda Collins!

When Viola Carroll was presumed dead at Waterloo she took the opportunity to live, at last, as herself. But freedom does not come without a price, and Viola paid for hers with the loss of her wealth, her title, and her closest companion, Justin de Vere, the Duke of Gracewood.

Only when their families reconnect, years after the war, does Viola learn how deep that loss truly was. Shattered without her, Gracewood has retreated so far into grief that Viola barely recognises her old friend in the lonely, brooding man he has become.

As Viola strives to bring Gracewood back to himself, fresh desires give new names to old feelings. Feelings that would have been impossible once and may be impossible still, but which Viola cannot deny. Even if they cost her everything, all over again.

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Title: How the Wallflower Was Won
Author: Eva Leigh
Publisher: Avon
Release: September 27, 2022
Pages: 384
Review: 4.5 Stars

I love Eva Leigh, so of course I was going to read this book! I was lucky enough to get an ARC and immediately began reading it. This review will be on the shorter side, since I forgot to write one up immediately after reading it and the book has faded a little in my mind. I really liked the characters of Finn and Tabitha. Finn deals with some challenges that have made life hard for him. He's used to being made fun of, which makes it hard for him to reach out to others outside his circle. Tabitha is in a similar boat for different reasons. She is incredibly intelligent, but that doesn't mesh with the fancy lady her parents want her to be. If you've read the first book, you know Finn is under orders to get married if he wants to get his inheritance. Those issues I mentioned mean that he didn't exactly want to woo someone, so a marriage of convenience with Tabitha, who wants to get away from the ballroom, is perfect. My one complaint about the book is the dark moment. I felt it was overdone and made the happy ending a little harder to feel. Besides that, I really loved this book and recommend the whole series!

Synopsis:

USA TODAY bestselling author Eva Leigh continues her Last Chance Scoundrels series with a steamy romance between two opposites--a rogue with a taste for wagers and a bookish wallflower--who marry for convenience... but neither bet on falling in love.

Finn Ransome is an expert on Lady Luck, which is why he refuses to take a chance on love. Experience has taught him that he's happier at a gaming table than around people he will, inevitably, disappoint. However, the clock is ticking on his father's matrimonial demands. But the only woman to catch his eye is a bluestocking who would never consider a rogue like him.

After a disastrous first Season, Tabitha Seaton decided to focus on books instead of ballrooms. She hopes to join the Sterling Society, a collective of the most brilliant, influential minds in London. Except, they will never admit an unmarried lady. Now Tabitha needs a husband, and a notorious, handsome gambler may be her best bet.

Finn and Tabitha are opposites who have no intention of wagering on a love match, and a calculated marriage of convenience solves all their problems--with no risk to their hearts. Once married, however, their potent attraction boils over into a deep passion that neither expected. When a painful mistake drives the new lovers apart, Finn will risk it all to prove a scoundrel and a wallflower are a winning pair...

Places:

That's all for part one! Hopefully I'll get the next one up later this week or next week! What romance novels have you been reading recently?
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