Hasn’t it been ages since we discussed new releases? I feel like it has. Time either moves too quickly or at a glacial pace in the reading world. Down below are a ton of awesome upcoming books and I think we covered most of the big releases. However, there is one that many of you are anticipating that didn’t make our personal picks:
- The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory ( A | BN | K | G | AB ) has all sorts of enemies-to-lovers vibes.
Don’t forget to let us know which July books are on your TBR list!
Author: Victoria Helen Stone
Released: July 1, 2019 by Lake Union Publishing
Stay calm, keep smiling, and watch your step. In this marriage of secrets and lies, nothing is what it seems.
For days, all of Denver, Colorado, has worried over the fate of a missing child, little Tanner Holcomb. Then, a miracle: handsome, athletic Johnny Bradley finds him, frightened but unharmed, on a hiking trail miles from his wealthy family’s mountain home.
In a heartbeat, his rescuer goes from financially strapped fitness trainer to celebrated hero. The heat of the spotlight may prove too much for Johnny’s picture-perfect family, however. His wife, Veronica, despises the pressure of the sudden fame, afraid that secrets and bitter resentments of her marriage may come to light. And she’s willing to do anything to keep them hidden.
But when a shocking revelation exposes an even darker side to Tanner’s disappearance, Veronica realizes that nothing in her life can be trusted. And everything should be feared.
Elyse: I adore Stone’s thrillers!
Aarya: After Jane Doe, I’m a Victoria Helen Stone fangirl. I don’t think this is a revenge fantasy, but the blurb sounds creepy as hell.
From the glittering ballrooms of 17th Century England to the dangerous intrigues of the French court, Laura L. Sullivan brings an unlikely heroine to the page, turning on its head everything we’ve been told about The Three Musketeers and their ultimate rival.
I’ve gone by many names, though you most likely know me as Milady de Winter: Villainess. Seductress. A secondary player in someone else’s tale.
It’s finally time I tell my own story. The truth isn’t tidy or convenient, but it’s certainly more interesting.
Before you cast judgment, let me start at the beginning, and you shall learn how an innocent girl from the countryside became the most feared woman in all of Europe.
Because we all know history was written by men, and they so often get things wrong.
Amanda: Shoutout to my favorite onscreen Countess D’Winter: Rebecca De Mornay.
Elyse: I’m going to relive how much I loved 1993’s Three Musketeers…and how many times I sang the Bryan Adams song.
Protect the Prince
Author: Jennifer Estep
Released: July 2, 2019 by Harper Voyager
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Series: Crown of Shards #2
Magic, murder, adventure, and romance combine in this second novel in the exciting Crown of Shards saga from New York Timesand USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Estep.
Everleigh Blair might be the new gladiator queen of Bellona, but her problems are far from over.
First, Evie has to deal with a court full of arrogant, demanding nobles, all of whom want to get their greedy hands on her crown. As if that wasn’t bad enough, an assassin tries to kill Evie in her own throne room.
Despite the dangers, Evie goes ahead with a scheduled trip to the neighboring kingdom of Andvari in order to secure a desperately needed alliance. But complicating matters is the stubborn Andvarian king, who wants to punish Evie for the deaths of his countrymen during the Seven Spire massacre.
But dark forces are at work inside the Andvarian palace, and Evie soon realizes that no one is safe. Worse, Evie’s immunity to magic starts acting in strange, unexpected ways, which makes her wonder whether she is truly strong enough to be a Winter Queen.
But Evie’s magic, life, and crown aren’t the only things in danger—so is her heart, thanks to Lucas Sullivan, the Andvarian king’s bastard son and Evie’s . . . well, Evie isn’t quite sure what Sullivan is to her.
Only one thing is certain—protecting a prince might be even harder than killing a queen…
Elyse: This sequel is picking up where Kill the Queen left off, and I need some resolution to the romance that book introduced.
Someone to Honor
First appearances deceive in the newest charming and heartwarming Regency romance in the Westcott series from beloved New York Times bestselling author Mary Balogh.
Abigail Westcott’s dreams for her future were lost when her father died and she discovered her parents were not legally married. But now, six years later, she enjoys the independence a life without expectation provides a wealthy single woman. Indeed, she’s grown confident enough to scold the careless servant chopping wood outside without his shirt on in the proximity of ladies.
But the man is not a servant. He is Gilbert Bennington, the lieutenant colonel and superior officer who has escorted her wounded brother, Harry, home from the wars with Napoleon. Gil has come to help his friend and junior officer recover, and he doesn’t take lightly to being condescended to–secretly because of his own humble beginnings.
If at first Gil and Abigail seem to embody what the other most despises, each will soon discover how wrong first impressions can be. For behind the appearances of the once-grand lady and the once-humble man are two people who share an understanding of what true honor means, and how only with it can one find love.
Elyse: I love the tenderness in Balogh’s books, although this series has been hit or miss for me.
Author: Chandler Baker
Released: July 2, 2019 by Flatiron Books
Four women learn their boss (a man who’s always been surrounded by rumors about how he treats women) is next in line to be CEO—what will happen when they decide enough is enough?
Sloane, Ardie, Grace, and Rosalita are four women who have worked at Truviv, Inc., for years. The sudden death of Truviv’s CEO means their boss, Ames, will likely take over the entire company. Ames is a complicated man, a man they’ve all known for a long time, a man who’s always been surrounded by…whispers. Whispers that have always been ignored by those in charge. But the world has changed, and the women are watching Ames’s latest promotion differently. This time, they’ve decided enough is enough.
Sloane and her colleagues set in motion a catastrophic shift within every floor and department of the Truviv offices. All four women’s lives—as women, colleagues, mothers, wives, friends, even adversaries—will change dramatically as a result.
“If only you had listened to us,” they tell us on page one, “none of this would have happened.”
Amanda: This gives me 9 to 5 vibes but much, much darker.
The Bookish Life of Nina Hill
The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.
When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?
Nina considers her options.
1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.)
2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee).
3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)
It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.
Amanda: I feel like this is a book for people who love books. Which are my kind of people.
Sarah: An introvert seems to inherit a family, and her trivia nemesis likes her. I’m in!
A lethal virus is awoken on an abandoned spaceship in this incredibly fast-paced, claustrophobic thriller.
They thought the ship would be their salvation.
Zahra knew every detail of the plan. House of Wisdom, a massive exploration vessel, had been abandoned by the government of Earth a decade earlier, when a deadly virus broke out and killed everyone on board in a matter of hours. But now it could belong to her people if they were bold enough to take it. All they needed to do was kidnap Jaswinder Bhattacharya—the sole survivor of the tragedy, and the last person whose genetic signature would allow entry to the spaceship.
But what Zahra and her crew could not know was what waited for them on the ship—a terrifying secret buried by the government. A threat to all of humanity that lay sleeping alongside the orbiting dead.
And then they woke it up.
Amanda: I talked about my excitement for this one on the recent BEA podcast I did with Sarah!
Spin the Dawn
Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping YA fantasy about a young girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars.
Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.
Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.
And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.
Steeped in Chinese culture, sizzling with forbidden romance, and shimmering with magic, this young adult fantasy is pitch-perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas or Renée Ahdieh.
Amanda: “Project Runway meets Mulan.” Why yes, I do enjoy both of those things.
Author: Cherie Priest
Released: July 9, 2019 by Tor Books
From Cherie Priest, the author of The Family Plot and Maplecroft, comes The Toll, a tense, dark, and scary treat for modern fans of the traditionally strange and macabre.
State Road 177 runs along the Suwannee River, between Fargo, Georgia, and the Okefenokee Swamp. Drive that route from east to west, and you’ll cross six bridges. Take it from west to east, and you might find seven.
But you’d better hope not.
Titus and Davina Bell leave their hotel in Fargo for a second honeymoon canoeing the Okefenokee Swamp. But shortly before they reach their destination, they draw up to a halt at the edge of a rickety bridge with old stone pilings, with room for only one car . . .
When, much later, a tow-truck arrives, the driver finds Titus lying in the middle of the road, but Davina is nowhere to be found.
Amanda: I grew up on the Suwannee River in North Florida, so I’m very curious how well Priest creates a sense of place in this one.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author, a novel about the power of family to harm—and to heal.
Within the walls of a tasteful, perfectly kept house in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, young Zane Bigelow feels like a prisoner of war. Strangers—and even Zane’s own aunt across the lake—see his parents as a successful surgeon and his stylish wife, making appearances at their children’s ballet recitals and baseball games. Zane and his sister know the truth: There is something terribly wrong.
As his father’s violent, controlling rages—and his mother’s complicity—become more and more oppressive, Zane counts the years, months, days until he can escape. He looks out for little Britt, warning her Be smart. Be careful. In fear for his very life, he plays along with the insidious lie that everything is fine, while scribbling his real thoughts in a secret journal he must carefully hide away.
When one brutal, shattering night finally reveals cracks in the façade, Zane begins to understand that some people are willing to face the truth, even when it hurts. As he grows into manhood and builds a new kind of family, he will find that while the darkness of his past may always shadow him, it will also show him what is necessary for good to triumph—and give him strength to draw on when he once again must stand up and defend himself and the ones he loves…
Elyse: It’s a Nora romantic suspense. I’m probably going to be “sick” that day…
A feminist Lord of the Flies about three best friends living in quarantine at their island boarding school, and the lengths they go to uncover the truth of their confinement when one disappears. This fresh, new debut is a mind-bending novel unlike anything you’ve read before.
It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.
It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.
But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.
Amanda: Queer characters + school for girls + creepiness!
Along for the Ride
THIS ROAD TO LOVE MAY HAVE A FEW SPEED BUMPS…
Former hot mess Jolene Baxter is committed to doing better. It’s why she offered to help her sister and brother-in-law move across the country. However, her goodwill is tested when last minute changes—mainly her father ditching her for an all-expenses paid vacation—forces her to make the journey with a man who is the human version of a pebble in her shoe.
Jason Akana operates on lists and bitter coffee, but none of those things will help him on a sixteen-hour trip with the most infuriating woman. Maybe they can get along and forget their heated confrontation five years ago at his best friend’s wedding…when pigs fly.
But the addition of vehicle problems, an unplanned pit stop in a small town, and chemistry that inconveniently tags along, shifts their perspectives. And once the dust settles after their trip, a tentative friendship emerges. Will these two stubborn people successfully navigate the unexpected feelings that follow close behind? Or will they hit a roadblock before reaching happily ever after?
Aarya: I normally don’t judge books by covers but damn. This cover got me interested instantly.
Ten Years a Nomad
Ten Years a Nomad is New York Times bestselling author Matt Kepnes’ poignant exploration of wanderlust and what it truly means to be a nomad. Part travel memoir and part philosophical look at why we travel, it is filled with aspirational stories of Kepnes’ many adventures.
New York Times bestselling author of How to Travel the World on $50 a Day, Matt Kepnes knows what it feels like to get the travel bug. Wanderlust is a powerful thing. After quitting his 9-5 job more than ten years ago, he realized that living life meant more for him than simply meeting traditional milestones like buying a car, paying a mortgage, and moving up the career ladder. With almost nothing tangible to show for it after traveling over 500,000 miles and staying in 1,000 different hostels in 90 different countries, Matt has compiled his favorite stories and experiences in this travel manifesto to show a different side of life. Filled with the color and perspective that only hindsight and self-reflection can offer, these stories get to the real questions at the heart of wanderlust. Travel questions that transcend the basic “how-to,” and plumb the depths of “why now” and “what for.” Ten Years a Nomad is for travel junkies, the travel-curious, and anyone interested in what you can learn about the world when you don’t have a cable bill for a decade or spend a month not wearing any shoes living on the beach for a few bucks a day.
Sarah: This is a nonfiction release from a travel blogger I read for a long time. I’m very curious.
This Is How You Lose the Time War
Author: Amal El-Mohtar
Released: July 16, 2019 by Gallery/Saga Press
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Two time-traveling agents from warring futures, working their way through the past, begin to exchange letters—and fall in love in this thrilling and romantic book from award-winning authors Amal-El Mohtar and Max Gladstone.
Among the ashes of a dying world, an agent of the Commandant finds a letter. It reads: Burn before reading.
Thus begins an unlikely correspondence between two rival agents hellbent on securing the best possible future for their warring factions. Now, what began as a taunt, a battlefield boast, grows into something more. Something epic. Something romantic. Something that could change the past and the future.
Except the discovery of their bond would mean death for each of them. There’s still a war going on, after all. And someone has to win that war. That’s how war works. Right?
Cowritten by two beloved and award-winning sci-fi writers, This Is How You Lose the Time War is an epic love story spanning time and space.
Amanda: A “time war” with a hint of a romance.
He burns for her. Lucky for him, she likes to play with fire. . .
My name is Eddie Rosas, but everyone calls me Trouble. Since I got out of prison six months ago, I’ve had one goal: find my father, whatever the cost. My older brother says I need to move on. He also wants me to leave our gang, East Side Hollenbeck, and go straight, but I can’t–not until I uncover the truth about our family and its missing piece.
One problem? I’m distracted. My distraction’s name is Carmen Centeno. Smart, passionate, and tough as hell, Carmen is a woman from the neighborhood who’s built her career as one of the city’s top chefs. She’s a master of creating pleasure both in and out of bed. But when our connection deepens, how can I show her I’m not the trash everyone says I am?
The pressure’s rising. Carmen deserves a man she can depend on. And when the ghosts of my past rise up, I’ll have to outsmart them–or lose my shot at a future with the only woman who believes in me.
Aarya: I’m a little nervous – this is hero POV and I’m a heroine-centric reader. But the first book Thirsty is so beloved so I’m going to give this one a chance.
Desire and the Deep Blue Sea
They’re pretending. Until they aren’t.
Thomas McKinney has never wanted a woman the way he wants Callie Adesso. Since she started working alongside him at the Colonial Marysburg Research Library, he’s spent his desk shifts fumbling pencils, tripping over his own feet, and struggling to remember both the Dewey Decimal System and the existence of her inconvenient boyfriend. Now, however, Callie is suddenly single–and in need of a last-minute faux-boyfriend for an episode of HATV’s Island Match. Thomas is more than happy to play the part…and in the process, convince Callie that a week together isn’t nearly long enough.
Callie has never found a man as irritating as she finds Thomas. He may be brilliant, kind, and frustratingly handsome, but the absent-minded librarian also makes every workday an anxiety-inducing exercise in stress. Even seven days in paradise by his side won’t change her opinion of him. Really. No matter how attentive he is. And gentle. And sexy.
One plane ride later, the two of them are spending long, hot days under the sun and on display, pretending to be in love for a television show. This may be a vacation, but it’s also an act–as well as Thomas’s last chance to persuade the woman of his dreams to include him in hers. And soon, the island heat isn’t the only thing steaming up HATV’s cameras…
Aarya: I loved Dade’s Teach Me so I’m psyched for this novella. Glasses-wearing hero + fake relationship + reality TV? Sign me up.
Gods of Jade and Shadow
The Mayan God of Death sends a young woman on a harrowing, life-changing journey in this dark fairy tale inspired by Mexican folklore, for readers of The Song of Achilles and Uprooted.
Here we shall begin to tell a story: a tale of a throne lost, of monsters and magic. A tale of gods and of the shadow realm. But this, our story, it begins in our world, in the land of mortals.
It begins with a woman. For this story, it is her story. It begins with her.
The Jazz Age is in full swing, but Casiopea Tun is too busy cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house to listen to any fast tunes. Nevertheless, she dreams of a life far from her dusty, small town in southern Mexico. A life she can call her own.
Yet this new life seems as distant as the stars, until the day she finds a curious wooden box in her grandfather’s room. She opens it–and accidentally frees the spirit of the Mayan God of Death, who requests her help in recovering his throne from his treacherous brother. Failure will mean Casiopea’s demise, but success could make her dreams come true.
In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey, from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City–and deep into the darkness of the Mayan underworld.
Mixing the excitement of the Roaring Twenties with Prehispanic mythology, Gods of Jade and Shadow is a vivid, wildly imaginative historical fantasy.
Amanda: Moreno-Garcia’s writing is always absorbing.
Aarya: 1920s Mexican historical fantasy! I think I nearly broke my keyboard trying to one-click. I hope the romantic element has HEA.
A Stranger on the Beach
Author: Michele Campbell
Released: July 23, 2019 by St. Martin's Press
From the bestselling author of It’s Always the Husband comes a novel about a love triangle that begins on a fateful night…
There is a stranger outside Caroline’s house.
Her spectacular new beach house, built for hosting expensive parties and vacationing with the family she thought she’d have. But her husband is lying to her and everything in her life is upside down, so when the stranger, Aidan, shows up as a bartender at the same party where Caroline and her husband have a very public fight, it doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary.
As her marriage collapses around her and the lavish lifestyle she’s built for herself starts to crumble, Caroline turns to Aidan for comfort…and revenge. After a brief and desperate fling that means nothing to Caroline and everything to him, Aidan’s obsession with Caroline, her family, and her house grows more and more disturbing. And when Caroline’s husband goes missing, her life descends into a nightmare that leaves her accused of her own husband’s murder.
A Stranger on the Beach is Strangers on a Train meets Fatal Attraction in Michele Campbell’s edge-of your-seat story of passion and intrigue.
Elyse: This thriller sounds perfect for summer creepiness.
Author: T. Marie Vandelly
Released: July 23, 2019 by Dutton
An utterly propulsive and unpredictable psychological thriller from stunning new talent T. Marie Vandelly
For the lucky among us, life is what you make of it, but for Dixie Wheeler, the theme music for her story was chosen by another long ago, on the day her father butchered her mother and brothers and then slashed a knife across his own throat. Only one-year-old Dixie was left alive, infamously known as Baby Blue for the song left playing in the aftermath of the slaughter.
Twenty-five years later, Dixie is still desperate for a connection to the family she can’t remember, so when her childhood home goes up for sale, Dixie sets aside all reason and moves in, re-creating a macabre decor with her family’s salvaged furniture. But as the ghosts of her family seemingly begin to take up residence in the home that was once theirs, Dixie starts to question her own sanity and wonders if the evil force menacing her is that of her father, or a demon of her own making.
In order to make sense of her present, Dixie becomes determined to unravel the truth of her past and seeks out the detective who originally investigated the murders. But the more she learns, the more she opens up the uncomfortable possibility that the sins of her father may belong to another, and, perhaps most tragically, to Dixie herself. As bodies begin to pile up around her, Dixie must find a way to expose the lunacy behind her family’s massacre and redeem what little remains of her soul.
Elyse: The main character in this book moves back into the house where her family was killed. Total Elyse-Nip!
To save Manhattan, they’ll have to save each other first…
Arthur Kenzie’s life’s work is protecting the world from the supernatural relics that could destroy it. When an amulet with the power to control the tides is shipped to New York, he must intercept it before it can be used to devastating effects. This time, in order to succeed, he needs a powerful psychometric…and the only one available has sworn off his abilities altogether.
Rory Brodigan’s gift comes with great risk. To protect himself, he’s become a recluse, redirecting his magic to find counterfeit antiques. But with the city’s fate hanging in the balance, he can’t force himself to say no.
Being with Arthur is dangerous, but Rory’s ever-growing attraction to him begins to make him brave. And as Arthur coaxes him out of seclusion, a magical and emotional bond begins to form. One that proves impossible to break—even when Arthur sacrifices himself to keep Rory safe and Rory must risk everything to save him.
Aarya: Another 1920s historical fantasy, although this one is Genre Romance. The blurb couldn’t be more my catnip if it tried.
Sarah: This is a m/m historical fantasy with magic, psychometry, fate, and spells and that seems like plenty of reasons to try it, right? Right.
Brazen and the Beast
The Lady’s Plan
When Lady Henrietta Sedley declares her twenty-ninth year her own, she has plans to inherit her father’s business, to make her own fortune, and to live her own life. But first, she intends to experience a taste of the pleasure she’ll forgo as a confirmed spinster. Everything is going perfectly…until she discovers the most beautiful man she’s ever seen tied up in her carriage and threatening to ruin the Year of Hattie before it’s even begun.
The Bastard’s Proposal
When he wakes in a carriage at Hattie’s feet, Whit, a king of Covent Garden known to all the world as Beast, can’t help but wonder about the strange woman who frees him—especially when he discovers she’s headed for a night of pleasure . . . on his turf. He is more than happy to offer Hattie all she desires…for a price.
An Unexpected Passion
Soon, Hattie and Whit find themselves rivals in business and pleasure. She won’t give up her plans; he won’t give up his power . . . and neither of them sees that if they’re not careful, they’ll have no choice but to give up everything . . . including their hearts.
Aarya: The cover model makes me really, really happy. She’s unapologetically fat and gorgeous.
Shatter the Sky
A determined young woman sets out to rescue her kidnapped girlfriend by stealing a dragon from the corrupt emperor in this stunning fantasy debut that’s perfect for fans of Margaret Rogerson, Rae Carson, and Rachel Hartman.
Raised among the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, Maren dreams only of sharing a quiet life with her girlfriend Kaia—until the day Kaia is abducted by the Aurati, prophetic agents of the emperor, and forced to join their ranks. Desperate to save her, Maren hatches a plan to steal one of the emperor’s coveted dragons and storm the Aurati stronghold.
If Maren is to have any hope of succeeding, she must become an apprentice to the Aromatory—the emperor’s mysterious dragon trainer. But Maren is unprepared for the dangerous secrets she uncovers: rumors of a lost prince, a brewing rebellion, and a prophecy that threatens to shatter the empire itself. Not to mention the strange dreams she’s been having about a beast deep underground…
With time running out, can Maren survive long enough to rescue Kaia from impending death? Or could it be that Maren is destined for something greater than she could have ever imagined?
Aarya: The heroine steals a dragon so that she can find her missing girlfriend and save the world. Perfect for anyone who needs a dragon fix after Game of Thrones.