April is here! Happy April Fool’s, by the way! How did you like this year’s joke? A new month is upon us, which means a lot more books will be making it onto our shelves. It seems the month is a bit back heavy (heh) for us at SBTB HQ, but here are a few more titles that you might be aware of:
- A bunch of women in my book group have been talking about The Female Persuasion by Meg Woltizer ( A | BN | K | G | iB ).
- Dread Nation by Justina Ireland ( A | BN | K | G | iB ) is a hugely anticipated title!
- The Iron Druid Chronicles reaches its conclusion with Scourged by Kevin Hearne ( A | BN | K | G | iB ).
- Love and Other Words ( A | BN | K | G | iB ) is Christina Lauren’s foray into women’s fiction.
- J.R. Ward continues her Black Dagger Brotherhood series with The Thief ( A | BN | K | iB ).
A novel of betrayal and passion in a frozen landscape far from the city lights, by the bestselling author of All In and Falling . . .
Ambra Vinter dreams of making it to the top of her chosen field. But instead, the beautiful young journalist is sent on assignment to Kiruna, a tiny mining town far north of Stockholm, chasing after yesterday’s news. In December, this is a place on the edge of darkness—and Ambra’s memories of it are just as bleak, for it is where she once suffered at the hands of a brutal foster father. Yet it is here, in the middle of nowhere, that she meets a man who takes her breath away . . .
Tom Lexington has left Special Forces for a career in private security. But he is still haunted by a mission that almost cost him his life—and by the woman who shattered his heart. When he meets Ambra in a café, she brings a promise of light, and heat, to his life—if he dares to let go of all he’s been holding onto.
Now, as Ambra risks looking more closely at her own painful past, and stumbles into a story that’s hotter than she ever expected, she and Tom must decide whether to take a chance on each other and come in from the cold . . .
RHG says: YES I KNOW THIS WAS LAST MONTH BUT I MISSED IT. The third book in Arhnstedt’s Swedish High Stakes series. IT’S SO GOOD- she’s a journalist, he’s a private security specialist, they each have baggage and I just lost a game of Kindle Chicken reading it (my battery ran out before the book did).
The Last King
Ultra wealthy and super powerful, the King family is like royalty in Texas. But who will keep the throne? New York Times bestselling author Katee Robert introduces a red-hot new series.
THE MAN SHE HATES TO LOVE
Beckett King just inherited his father’s fortune, his company-and all his enemies. If he’s going to stay on top, he needs someone he can trust beside him. And though they’ve been rivals for years, there’s no one he trusts more than Samara Mallick.
The rebel. That’s how Samara has always thought of Beckett. And he’s absolutely living up to his unpredictable ways when he strides into her office and asks for help. She can’t help wondering if it’s a legit request or just a ploy to get her into bed. Not that she’d mind either one. After all, she likes to live on the edge too.
But soon the threats to the King empire are mounting, and the two find family secrets darker than they ever imagined and dangerous enough to get them both killed.
Elyse says: I really liked Robert’s O’Malley series so I’m excited to start this one!
The Summer of Jordi Perez (And the Best Burger in Los Angeles)
Seventeen, fashion-obsessed, and gay, Abby Ives has always been content playing the sidekick in other people’s lives. While her friends and sister have plunged headfirst into the world of dating and romances, Abby’s been happy to focus on her plus-size style blog and her dreams of taking the fashion industry by storm. When she lands a great internship at her favorite boutique, she’s thrilled to take the first step toward her dream career. Then she falls for her fellow intern, Jordi Perez. Hard. And now she’s competing against the girl she’s kissing to win the coveted paid job at the end of the internship.
But really, nothing this summer is going as planned. She’s also unwittingly become friends with Jax, a lacrosse-playing bro-type who wants her help finding the best burger in L.A.; she’s struggling to prove to her mother—the city’s celebrity health nut—that she’s perfectly content with who she is; and she’s desperately trying to remain behind the scenes and off-camera where she feels she belongs, when she hangs out with Jordi, who documents her entire life in photographs.
Though crazy, summer’s been fun, and just as Abby starts to feel like she’s no longer the sidekick in her own life anymore, Jordi’s photography surprisingly puts her in the spotlight for the first time, and it feels more like a betrayal rather than a starring role. Can Abby find a way to reconcile her positive yet private sense of self with the image that other people have of her?
Elyse says: A YA book about a teen with a plus sized fashion blog!
From New York Times Bestselling authors Vi Keeland and Penelope Ward, comes the first book in a new, sexy duet.
How to kick off a great summer in the Hamptons:
Snag a gorgeous rental on the beach. Check.
Get a job at a trendy summer haunt. Check.
How to screw up a great summer in the Hamptons:
Fall for the one guy with a dark leather jacket, scruff on his face, and intense eyes that doesn’t fit in with the rest of the tony looking crowd. A guy you can’t have when you’ll be leaving at the end of the season.
Check. Check. Check.
I should add—especially when the guy is your sexy, tattooed God of a boss.
Especially when he not only owns your place of employment but inherited half of the town.
Especially when he’s mean to you.
Or so I thought.
Until one night when he demanded I get in his car so he could drive me home because he didn’t want me walking in the dark.
That was sort of how it all started with Rush.
And then little by little, some of the walls of this hardass man started to come down.
I never expected that the two of us, seemingly opposites from the outside, would grow so close.
I wasn’t supposed to fall for the rebel heir, especially when he made it clear he didn’t want to cross the line with me.
As the temperature turned cooler, the nights became hotter. My summer became a lot more interesting—and complicated.
All good things must come to an end, right?
Except our ending was one I didn’t see coming.
Amanda says: In real life, I find smoking to be unattractive but this cover makes my limbs go all noodly.
Ace of Shades
Welcome to the City of Sin, where casino families reign, gangs infest the streets…and secrets hide in every shadow.
Enne Salta was raised as a proper young lady, and no lady would willingly visit New Reynes, the so-called City of Sin. But when her mother goes missing, Enne must leave her finishing school—and her reputation—behind to follow her mother’s trail to the city where no one survives uncorrupted.
Frightened and alone, her only lead is a name: Levi Glaisyer. Unfortunately, Levi is not the gentleman she expected—he’s a street lord and con man. Levi is also only one payment away from cleaning up a rapidly unraveling investment scam, so he doesn’t have time to investigate a woman leading a dangerous double life. Enne’s offer of compensation, however, could be the solution to all his problems.
Their search for clues leads them through glamorous casinos, illicit cabarets and into the clutches of a ruthless Mafia donna. As Enne unearths an impossible secret about her past, Levi’s enemies catch up to them, ensnaring him in a vicious execution game where the players always lose. To save him, Enne will need to surrender herself to the city…
And she’ll need to play.
Amanda says: Doesn’t this sound so cool?!
Author: Madeline Miller
Released: April 10, 2018 by Little, Brown and Company
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.
Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.
But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.
With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man’s world.
Elyse says: This book has gotten a lot of praise and I’m very interested in the setting.
Author: Catherynne Valente
Released: April 10, 2018 by Saga Press
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy meets Eurovision in an over-the-top science fiction spectacle from bestselling author Catherynne Valente has galaxies competing for glory in a universe-wide musical contest—where the stakes are as high as the fate of planet Earth.
A century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly ended the entire concept of intelligent space-faring life. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented—something to cheer up everyone who was left and bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, unity, and understanding.
Once every cycle, the civilizations gather for Galactivision—part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part continuation of the wars of the past. Instead of competing in orbital combat, the powerful species that survived face off in a competition of song, dance, or whatever can be physically performed in an intergalactic talent show. The stakes are high for this new game, and everyone is forced to compete.
This year, though, humankind has discovered the enormous universe. And while they expected to discover a grand drama of diplomacy, gunships, wormholes, and stoic councils of aliens, they have instead found glitter, lipstick, and electric guitars. Mankind will not get to fight for its destiny—they must sing.
A band of human musicians, dancers, and roadies have been chosen to represent Earth on the greatest stage in the galaxy. And the fate of their species lies in their ability to rock.
Amanda says: Valente’s writing is amazing and this is essentially Eurovision in space.
For fans of Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen and Sabaa Tahir’s An Ember in the Ashes , Ash Princess is an epic new fantasy about a throne cruelly stolen and a girl who must fight to take it back for her people.
Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia’s family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess–a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.
For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She’s endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.
Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn’t always won on the battlefield.
For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.
Amanda says: I’m a sucker for an angry vengeful heroine.
Will she risk it all for a priceless desire?
A rising star in one of London’s top art investigation firms, Zara Leighton’s talent for seeing deep into paintings is in her blood. She’s chosen to help track down Icon, an enigmatic international art thief whose heists are methodical, daring, baffling. To Zara the case is maddening—bordering on an obsession.
She finds distraction in the chiseled form of top-shelf client Tobias Wilder, a magnetic American billionaire who demands her expertise, her discretion—and her secrecy. Wilder doesn’t ask questions. He gives orders. His gaze alone ignites her deepest fantasies. And his touch…
The sudden whirl of exclusive exhibitions and decadent parties that Wilder introduces her to is a potent aphrodisiac. But surrender soon becomes tinged with suspicion. Is Zara’s tryst with Wilder the real thing…or just a convincing forgery?
NB: This is a rerelease, I think, and if you’re interested, we ran an excerpt previously!
RHG says: She’s an art investigator, he’s a billionaire that hired her to investigate his “art” and the cover copies implies that he might actually be Thomas Crown. (Remember the days when I said I didn’t read contemporary? Good times.)
Her Secret Scandal
As far as London’s high society knows, Lady Isabel Morrow is above reproach. But the truth is rarely so simple. Though the young widow’s passionate fling with dashing Bow Street Runner Callum Jenks ended amicably months ago, she now needs his expertise. It seems Isabel’s late husband, a respected art dealer, was peddling forgeries. If those misdeeds are revealed, the marriage prospects of his younger cousin—now Isabel’s ward—will be ruined.
For the second time, Isabel has upended Callum’s well-ordered world. He’s resolved to help her secretly replace the forgeries with the real masterpieces, as a…friend. A proper sort of friend doesn’t burn with desire, of course, or steal kisses on twilight errands. Or draw a willing lady into one passionate encounter after another. Isabel’s scheme is testing Callum’s heart as well as his loyalties. But with pleasure so intoxicating, the real crime would be to resist.
RHG says: Third Book in Romain’s Royal Rewards series – art forgeries and Bow Street Runners!
Luck of the Draw
Buying a lotto ticket with her two best friends didn’t change Zoe’s life. Only following her heart would do that…
Sure, winning the lottery allows Zoe Ferris to quit her job as a cutthroat corporate attorney, but no amount of cash will clear her conscience about the way her firm treated the O’Leary family in a wrongful death case. So she sets out to make things right, only to find gruff, grieving Aiden O’Leary doesn’t need—or want—her apology. He does, however, need something else from her. Something Zoe is more than willing to give, if only to ease the pain in her heart, a sorrow she sees mirrored in his eyes…
Aiden doesn’t know what possesses him to ask his family’s enemy to be his fake fiancée. But he needs a bride if he hopes to be the winning bid on the campground he wants to purchase as part of his beloved brother’s legacy. Skilled in the art of deception, the cool beauty certainly fits the bill. Only Aiden didn’t expect all the humor and heart Zoe brings to their partnership—or the desire that runs deep between them. Now he’s struggling with his own dark truth—that he’s falling for the very woman he vowed never to forgive.
Elyse says: I love a fake engagement story!
My Oxford Year
Author: Julia Whelan
Released: April 24, 2018 by William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Literary Fiction
Set amidst the breathtaking beauty of Oxford, this sparkling debut novel tells the unforgettable story about a determined young woman eager to make her mark in the world and the handsome man who introduces her to an incredible love that will irrevocably alter her future—perfect for fans of JoJo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks.
American Ella Durran has had the same plan for her life since she was thirteen: Study at Oxford. At 24, she’s finally made it to England on a Rhodes Scholarship when she’s offered an unbelievable position in a rising political star’s presidential campaign. With the promise that she’ll work remotely and return to DC at the end of her Oxford year, she’s free to enjoy her Once in a Lifetime Experience. That is, until a smart-mouthed local who is too quick with his tongue and his car ruins her shirt and her first day.
When Ella discovers that her English literature course will be taught by none other than that same local, Jamie Davenport, she thinks for the first time that Oxford might not be all she’s envisioned. But a late-night drink reveals a connection she wasn’t anticipating finding and what begins as a casual fling soon develops into something much more when Ella learns Jamie has a life-changing secret.
Immediately, Ella is faced with a seemingly impossible decision: turn her back on the man she’s falling in love with to follow her political dreams or be there for him during a trial neither are truly prepared for. As the end of her year in Oxford rapidly approaches, Ella must decide if the dreams she’s always wanted are the same ones she’s now yearning for.
Sarah says: The heroine earns a Rhodes Scholarship and flies to Oxford while also balancing her dream job on a campaign in DC – working remotely. Add romance with a local who is also a lit professor. It’s a whole lot of my catnip. A WHOLE LOT.
In the next sizzling romance in Kristen Proby’s New York Timesbestselling Fusion series, two celebrity chefs compete in a culinary competition, but resisting each other will prove to be the greater challenge.
Cooking isn’t what Mia Palazzo does, it’s who she is. Food is her passion . . . her pride . . . her true love. She’s built a stellar menu full of delicious and sexy meals for her restaurant, Seduction. Now, after being open for only a few short years, Mia’s restaurant is being featured on Best Bites TV. To say Seduction is a wild success is an understatement. All the blood, sweat, tears, and endless hours of work Mia has put into the restaurant has finally paid off.
Then Camden Sawyer, the biggest mistake of her life, walks into her kitchen . . .
Camden’s celebrity chef status is world-renowned. He’s the best there is, and the kitchen is where he’s most at home. He can’t resist the invitation to Portland for a showdown against Mia for a new television show. Mia was in his life years ago, and just like before, he’s met his match in the beautiful Italian spitfire. The way she commands the kitchen is mesmerizing, and her recipes are clever and delicious. He’s never had qualms about competition, and this is no different. He can’t wait to go head to head with Mia. But can he convince her the chemistry they share in the kitchen would be just as great in the bedroom as well?
As Mia and Camden face off, neither realizes how high the stakes are as their reputations are put on the line and their hearts are put to the ultimate test.
Amanda says: This series is so fun and has some great female friendships.
Sky in the Deep
A 2018 Most Anticipated Young Adult book that is part Wonder Woman, part Vikings—and all heart.
OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.
Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient, rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.
Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.
She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.
Amanda says: We talked about this amazing cover on a recent cover awe!
Alicia Michaels needs a major career reboot, so she’s got no time for romance. But starting over in Atlanta is an uphill battle for the cautious PR rep—especially after she teams up with wealthy Richmond Crawford on a make-or-break project. For one thing, the risk-taking entrepreneur is nothing like the staid businessman he used to be. For another, she and Richmond can’t see eye-to-eye on anything—except that the reckless attraction between them is sizzling, off-the-charts trouble . . .
Playing by the rules got Richmond betrayal from his rich family—and shattering heartbreak. He’s got to prove he can be his own man, so keeping things strictly-business with Alicia is the smart play. Still, even their conflicts only make Richmond want more of her honesty and courage. But a shocking revelation will endanger everything they’re fighting to build. And making things right could be the final deal breaker . . .
Elyse says: I’m a big fan of Hodges!
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