Hide Your Wallet

February’s New Releases, Part One

I know last Hide Your Wallet we instituted some changes. Well now we have more, thanks to the comment left by Katie C. A lot of you expressed wanting to keep the wide breadth of new releases and Katie’s suggestion was pretty great.

We’re still keeping our book maximums (five per person), but have added an extra HYW post per month, allowing another five books per person. The first HYW of the month will cover books that release from the 1st to the 14th. The second HYW will cover books released from the 15th to the end of the month.

We also think this will help us feature books from smaller publishers who don’t have buy links up as quickly as the big five.

Hope you like the new, new changes! And thanks again to this community for the feedback!

  • Blame It on the Billionaire

    Blame It on the Billionaire by Naima Simone

    Author: Naima Simone
    Released: February 1, 2020 by Harlequin Desire
    Genre: ,
    Series: Blackout Billionaires #3

    Will a blackout change everything for these unlikely lovers?

    She fell into his arms.

    Now she’s falling for his trap.

    It was a night filled with secrets, lies…and soul-stealing passion. And now the blackout that turned lowly executive assistant Nadia Jordan and start-up billionaire Grayson Chandler into insatiable lovers leads to a proposal Nadia can’t refuse. As she steps into Grayson’s privileged Chicago world, will his matchmaking mother and vengeful ex destroy her dreams? Or will her fake fiancé make those dreams a reality?

    Shana: I’m not a fan of billionaire romances, but I read an ARC and found it fun. Fake relationships are my jam plus…You’re trapped in a locked house during a blackout with your company’s CEO. He a) doesn’t know who you are, and b) you’ve been crushing on for years. What else is there to do but…get naked.

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  • Temporary Wife Temptation

    Temporary Wife Temptation by Jayci Lee

    Author: Jayci Lee
    Released: February 1, 2020 by Harlequin Desire
    Genre: ,
    Series: The Heirs of Hansol

    Much more than he bargained for…

    “You want me to find you a wife?”

    “No. I want you to be my wife.”

    Garrett Song is this close to taking the reins of his family’s LA fashion empire…until the Song matriarch insists he marry her handpicked bride first. To block her matchmaking, he recruits Natalie Sobol to pose as his wife. She needs a fake spouse as badly as he does. But when passion burns down their chaste agreement, the flames could destroy them all…

    Aarya: THIS COVER. OH MY GOD. Let us take an hour to gape in awe.

    Maya: The cover looks great and, really, how often does a girl get to read a contemporary romance between two Korean(-American) people?

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  • Hearts on Hold

    Hearts on Hold by Charish Reid

    Author: Charish Reid
    Released: February 3, 2020 by Carina Press
    Genre: ,

    What happens in the stacks stays in the stacks…

    Professor Victoria Reese knows an uphill battle when she sees one. Convincing her narrow-minded colleagues at the elite Pembroke University to back a partnership with the local library is a fight she saw coming and already has a plan for. What she didn’t see coming? The wildly hot librarian who makes it clear books aren’t the only thing he’d like to handle.

    When a tightly wound, sexy-as-hell professor proposes a partnership between his library and her university, children’s department head John Donovan is all for it. He knows his tattoos and easygoing attitude aren’t quite what she expected, but the unmistakable heat between them is difficult to resist.

    And then there’s the intriguing late fee on her record. For the Duke’s Convenience… A late fee and a sexy romance novel? There’s more to Dr. Reese than she’s letting on.

    John might like to tease her about her late fee, but when he teases her in other ways, Victoria is helpless to resist. Mixing business with pleasure—and oh, it is pleasure—always comes with risks, but maybe a little casual fun between the sheets is just what Victoria needs.

    Aarya: I am sulking over the bitter Northeastern cold right now; the autumn vibes in this cover are so appealing.

    Ellen: I’m only mildly into contemporary romance but this blurb sounds so adorable I can’t help myself.

    Shana: I adored Charish Reid’s last book and I’ve heard this one is even better. Gimme!

    Catherine: I have read the ARC of this and the result was so much squeeing at the adorableness and the bookish flirtation and the EVERYTHING. I’ll be rereading this one again the moment it hits my Kobo.

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  • Moontangled

    Moontangled by Stephanie Burgis

    Author: Stephanie Burgis
    Released: February 3, 2020 by Five Fathoms Press
    Genre: , , , ,
    Series: The Harwood Spellbook #2.5

    Take one ambitious politician and one determined magician with wildly different aims for their next meeting.

    Add a secret betrothal, a family scandal, and a heaping of dangerous fey magic in an enchanted wood…and watch the sparks fly!

    For just one moonlit, memorable night, Thornfell College of Magic has flung open its doors, inviting guests from around the nation to an outdoor ball intended to introduce the first-ever class of women magicians to society…but one magician and one invited guest have far more pressing goals of their own for the night.

    Quietly brilliant Juliana Banks is determined to win back the affections of her secret fiancée, rising politician Caroline Fennell, who has become inexplicably distant. If Juliana needs to use magic to get her stubborn fiancée to pay her attention…well, then, as the top student in her class, she is more than ready to take on that challenge!

    Unbeknownst to Juliana, though, Caroline plans to nobly sacrifice their betrothal for Juliana’s own sake – and no one has ever accused iron-willed Caroline Fennell of being easy to deter from any goal.

    Their path to mutual happiness may seem tangled beyond repair…but when they enter the fey-ruled woods that border Thornfell College, these two determined women will find all of their plans upended in a night of unexpected and magical possibilities.

    Ellen: I’m actually a little behind on this novella series but I have been really enjoying the 1st one and I’m excited for the F/F pairing!

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  • A Big Surprise for Valentine’s Day

    A Big Surprise for Valentine’s Day by Jackie Lau

    Author: Jackie Lau
    Released: February 4, 2020 by Jackie Lau Books
    Genre: ,
    Series: Holidays with the Wongs #4

    Amber Wong has landed her dream job at the Stratford Festival, and life is looking good. Sure, she hasn’t had sex in so long that her condoms have expired, but she’ll just pick up some new ones, along with some discounted Christmas chocolate, at the grocery store.

    And that’s where she runs into Dr. Sebastian Lam, the son of her parents’ close friends, whom she hasn’t seen in years. He’s moved back to Ontario, newly single, and… Oh my God. He’s really hot.

    The attraction is mutual and no-strings-attached sex is the perfect arrangement for both of them, since Amber has sworn off dating after a string of terrible boyfriends.

    But what if their families find out they’re spending time together and start interfering in their lives? That would be a disaster.

    Even worse? If they develop feelings for each other, given a relationship is the last thing Amber wants right now…

    Sneezy: Fourth installment in one of my favorite feel good series!!! You can’t see me, but I have heart eyes just thinking of it!

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  • A Heart of Blood and Ashes

    A Heart of Blood and Ashes by Milla Vane

    Author: Milla Vane
    Released: February 4, 2020 by Berkley
    Genre: ,
    Series: A Gathering of Dragons #1

    A generation past, the western realms were embroiled in endless war. Then the Destroyer came. From the blood and ashes he left behind, a tenuous alliance rose between the barbarian riders of Parsathe and the walled kingdoms of the south. That alliance is all that stands against the return of an ancient evil—until the barbarian king and queen are slain in an act of bloody betrayal.

    Though forbidden by the alliance council to kill the corrupt king responsible for his parents’ murders, Maddek vows to avenge them, even if it costs him the Parsathean crown. But when he learns it was the king’s daughter who lured his parents to their deaths, the barbarian warrior is determined to make her pay.

    Yet the woman Maddek captures is not what he expected. Though the last in a line of legendary warrior-queens, Yvenne is small and weak, and the sharpest weapons she wields are her mind and her tongue. Even more surprising is the marriage she proposes to unite them in their goals and to claim their thrones—because her desire for vengeance against her father burns even hotter than his own…

    Amanda: For those who don’t know, this is Meljean Brook’s other pen name and I knew I wanted to read this once I say the dirt-streaked cover model.

    Sneezy: I need EVERYONE to read it, and talk about it with me!

    Ellen: The Iron Seas books had some kickin’ world-building, so I’m definitely on board to check out a new fantasy world by Meljean Brook.

    Catherine: I’m both excited and apprehensive about this one. I love, love, LOVE Meljean Brook’s other work, but I’m a bit worried that she has spent so much time warning us about the violence…

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  • A Map Is Only One Story

    A Map Is Only One Story by Nicole Chung

    Author: Nicole Chung
    Released: February 11, 2020 by Catapult
    Genre:

    From rediscovering an ancestral village in China to experiencing the realities of American life as a Nigerian, the search for belonging crosses borders and generations. Selected from the archives of Catapult magazine, the essays in A Map Is Only One Story highlight the human side of immigration policies and polarized rhetoric, as twenty writers share provocative personal stories of existing between languages and cultures.

    Victoria Blanco relates how those with family in both El Paso and Ciudad Juárez experience life on the border. Nina Li Coomes recalls the heroines of Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki and what they taught her about her bicultural identity. Nur Nasreen Ibrahim details her grandfather’s crossing of the India-Pakistan border sixty years after Partition. Krystal A. Sital writes of how undocumented status in the United States can impact love and relationships. Porochista Khakpour describes the challenges in writing (and rewriting) Iranian America. Through the power of personal narratives, as told by both emerging and established writers, A Map Is Only One Story offers a new definition of home in the twenty-first century.

    Maya: Entirely too much time and money has been spent of late to center a particular kind of dangerously clueless and extremely self-absorbed (to the point of parody!) whiteness, particularly in relation to the stories of immigrants. Here’s a book, edited by people of color, with stories by people of color about their lived immigration experiences BECAUSE THEY ARE THE ONES THAT WOULD BE THE EXPERTS OF THEIR OWN LIVES.

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  • All the Stars and Teeth

    All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace

    Author: Adalyn Grace
    Released: February 4, 2020 by Imprint
    Genre: ,
    Series: All the Stars and Teeth #1

    Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice, Adalyn Grace’s All the Stars and Teeth is a thrilling fantasy for fans of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval and Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series.

    She will reign.

    As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

    When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

    But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

    I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.

    Ellen: I should probably stop getting so excited for YA fantasy since it so often lets me down but this one sounds cool as heck!! Love me a pirate.

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  • Belle Révolte

    Belle Révolte by Linsey Miller

    Author: Linsey Miller
    Released: February 4, 2020 by Sourcebooks Fire
    Genre: ,

    Emilie des Marais is more at home holding scalpels than embroidery needles and is desperate to escape her noble roots to serve her country as a physician. But society dictates a noble lady cannot perform such gruesome work.

    Annette Boucher, overlooked and overworked by her family, wants more from life than her humble beginnings and is desperate to be trained in magic. So when a strange noble girl offers Annette the chance of a lifetime, she accepts.

    Emilie and Annette swap lives—Annette attends finishing school as a noble lady to be trained in the ways of divination, while Emilie enrolls to be a physician’s assistant, using her natural magical talent to save lives.

    But when their nation instigates a frivolous war, Emilie and Annette must work together to help the rebellion end a war that is based on lies.

    Aarya: I don’t think I’ve read a French-inspired fantasy before? This has echoes from The Prince and the Pauper and I believe there is ace rep.

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  • Deathless Divide

    Deathless Divide by Justina Ireland

    Author: Justina Ireland
    Released: February 4, 2020 by Blazer + Bray
    Genre: , , , ,
    Series: Dread Nation #2

    The sequel to Dread Nation is a journey of revenge and salvation across a divided America.

    After the fall of Summerland, Jane McKeene hoped her life would get simpler: Get out of town, stay alive, and head west to California to find her mother.

    But nothing is easy when you’re a girl trained in putting down the restless dead, and a devastating loss on the road to a protected village called Nicodermus has Jane questioning everything she thought she knew about surviving in 1880’s America.

    What’s more, this safe haven is not what it appears – as Jane discovers when she sees familiar faces from Summerland amid this new society. Caught between mysteries and lies, the undead, and her own inner demons, Jane soon finds herself on a dark path of blood and violence that threatens to consume her.

    But she won’t be in it alone.

    Katherine Deveraux never expected to be allied with Jane McKeene. But after the hell she has endured, she knows friends are hard to come by – and that Jane needs her, too, whether Jane wants to admit it or not.

    Watching Jane’s back, however, is more than she bargained for, and when they both reach a breaking point, it’s up to Katherine to keep hope alive – even as she begins to fear that there is no happily-ever-after for girls like her.

    Shana: I’ve been salivating over this cover for months. I need this sequel to Dread Nation now.now.now.

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  • Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line

    Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara

    Author: Deepa Anappara
    Released: February 4, 2020 by Random House
    Genre:

    ‘Djinns aren’t real, but if they were, they would only steal children because we have the most delicious souls’

    Nine-year-old Jai watches too many reality police shows, thinks he’s smarter than his friend Pari (even though she always gets top marks) and considers himself to be a better boss than Faiz (even though Faiz is the one with a job). When a boy at school goes missing, Jai decides to use the crime-solving skills he has picked up from episodes of Police Patrol to find him. With Pari and Faiz by his side, Jai ventures into some of the most dangerous parts of the city; the bazaar at night, and even the railway station at the end of the Purple Line. But kids continue to vanish, and the trio must confront terrified parents, an indifferent police force and soul-snatching djinns in order to uncover the truth.

    When the fog of rumour rolls back, the detective game is no longer child’s play. And as the disappearances edge ever closer to home, the lives of Jai and his friends will never be the same again.

    ‘This story is a talisman. Hold it close to your hearts.’

    Amanda: I have a feeling this is a book I will read in one sitting.

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  • Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes

    Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes by Kathleen West

    Author: Kathleen West
    Released: February 4, 2020 by Berkley
    Genre:

    Perfect for fans of Where’d You Go, Bernadette and Small Admissions, a wry and cleverly observed debut novel about the privileged bubble that is Liston Heights High—the micro-managing parents, the overworked teachers, and the students caught in the middle—and the fallout for each of them when the bubble finally bursts.

    When a devoted teacher comes under pressure for her progressive curriculum and a helicopter mom goes viral on social media, two women at odds with each other find themselves in similar predicaments, having to battle back from certain social ruin.

    Isobel Johnson has spent her career in Liston Heights sidestepping the community’s high-powered families. But when she receives a threatening voicemail accusing her of Anti-Americanism and a liberal agenda, she’s in the spotlight. Meanwhile, Julia Abbott, obsessed with the casting of the school’s winter musical, makes an error in judgment that has far-reaching consequences for her entire family.

    Brought together by the sting of public humiliation, Isobel and Julia learn firsthand how entitlement and competition can go too far, thanks to a secret Facebook page created as an outlet for parent grievances. The Liston Heights High student body will need more than a strong sense of school spirit to move past these campus dramas in an engrossing debut novel that addresses parents behaving badly and teenagers speaking up, even against their own families.

    Aarya: Something y’all might not know about me: I am OBSESSED with stories featuring “wild school shenanigans of upper class folks meddling in their children’s education.” I have read Amy Poeppel’s Small Admissions way too many times. Or that amazing article in The Cut: “The Battle of Grace Church. What happened when Brooklyn’s oldest nursery school decided to become less old-fashioned? A riot among the one percent.”

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  • Upright Women Wanted

    Upright Women Wanted by Sarah Gailey

    Author: Sarah Gailey
    Released: February 4, 2020 by Tor.com
    Genre: , ,

    In Upright Women Wanted, award-winning author Sarah Gailey reinvents the pulp Western with an explicitly antifascist, near-future story of queer identity.

    “That girl’s got more wrong notions than a barn owl’s got mean looks.”

    Esther is a stowaway. She’s hidden herself away in the Librarian’s book wagon in an attempt to escape the marriage her father has arranged for her—a marriage to the man who was previously engaged to her best friend. Her best friend who she was in love with. Her best friend who was just executed for possession of resistance propaganda.

    The future American Southwest is full of bandits, fascists, and queer librarian spies on horseback trying to do the right thing.

    Maya: What, am I supposed to not be deeply excited about a queer, antifacist neo-Western? I’m only human.

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  • The Worst Best Man

    The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

    Author: Mia Sosa
    Released: February 4, 2020 by Avon
    Genre: ,

    Critically acclaimed author Mia Sosa delivers a sassy, steamy enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy about a wedding planner whose new job opportunity forces her to work side-by-side with the best man who ruined her own nuptials: her ex-fiancé’s infuriating, irritating, annoyingly handsome brother. Perfect for fans of Jasmine Guillory, Helen Hoang, and Sally Thorne!

    A wedding planner left at the altar. Yeah, the irony isn’t lost on Carolina Santos, either. But despite that embarrassing blip from her past, Lina’s managed to make other people’s dreams come true as a top-tier wedding coordinator in DC. After impressing an influential guest, she’s offered an opportunity that could change her life. There’s just one hitch… she has to collaborate with the best (make that worst) man from her own failed nuptials.

    Tired of living in his older brother’s shadow, marketing expert Max Hartley is determined to make his mark with a coveted hotel client looking to expand its brand. Then he learns he’ll be working with his brother’s whip-smart, stunning—absolutely off-limits—ex-fiancée. And she loathes him.

    If they can survive the next few weeks and nail their presentation without killing each other, they’ll both come out ahead. Except Max has been public enemy number one ever since he encouraged his brother to jilt the bride, and Lina’s ready to dish out a little payback of her own.

    But even the best laid plans can go awry, and soon Lina and Max discover animosity may not be the only emotion creating sparks between them. Still, this star-crossed couple can never be more than temporary playmates because Lina isn’t interested in falling in love and Max refuses to play runner-up to his brother ever again…

    Maya: Enemies to lover + brother of the ex-fiance (and former best man). The cover–with the bride pushing the best man off the cake–makes me hopeful that the heroine will get to live in her rage until she’s ready to forgive (and he does one dope ass grovel).

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  • House Rules

    House Rules by Ruby Lang

    Author: Ruby Lang
    Released: February 10, 2020 by Carina Press
    Genre: ,
    Series: Uptown #3

    ROOMMATE WANTED to share a gorgeous sun-filled apartment in Central Harlem. Must love cats. No ex-husbands or wives need apply.

    Seventeen years ago, different dreams pulled Simon Mizrahi and Lana Kuo apart. But when Lana takes a position as a chef back in Manhattan, her apartment search puts her right in her ex-husband’s path. Music teacher Simon is also hunting for a new place to live, and when Lana proposes they be platonic roomies, well…it’s not the worst idea he’s ever heard.

    A sunny uptown two-bedroom sounds far more appealing than the cramped, noisy space where he’s currently struggling to work. Still, Simon has seen firsthand that Lana’s a flight risk, so he agrees on a trial basis.

    Three months. With strict boundaries.

    Living together again feels wonderfully nostalgic, but when the ex-couple’s lingering feelings rise to the surface, the rules go out the window.

    Of course, chemistry was never their problem. But while Simon’s career feels back on solid footing, Lana is still sorting out what she wants. With their trial period soon coming to an end, they’ll have to decide if their living arrangement was merely a sexy trip down memory lane or a reunion meant to last.

    Elyse: Second-change, forced proximity and there’s a kitty!

    Sneezy: What can I say? I’m a sucker for second chance romances and realistic portrayals of how fucked housing is now.

    Maya: Dear Sneezy, let’s talk about the affordable housing crisis! I’m really digging the 17 year separation between the couple–so much can happen in 17 years and it’ll be interesting to see how they bridge that gap of time and (one hopes!) individual growth.

    Shana: Two exes deciding their pants feeling are over so they should be roommates. What could go (deliciously) wrong?

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  • City Kitty and Country Mouse

    City Kitty and Country Mouse by Alyssa Linn Palmer

    Author: Alyssa Linn Palmer
    Released: February 11, 2020 by Bold Strokes Books
    Genre: , ,

    Kitty Kerr is a high-flying lawyer when her career plans are derailed by the luscious blackberries from Lucy Shen’s Country Mouse Farms. Kitty can’t get enough of the fruit, or of Lucy. Suddenly, she’s wanting things she never dared to want—Lucy, and the life on the farm. But how will being an artisan cook/farmer fit with her legal ambitions and city habits?

    Between her beautiful farm and her sculpture, Lucy’s life is set. Falling for a big city lawyer is not part of the plan. Even as Kitty helps make her dreams of spotlighting her farm’s produce in restaurants a reality, Lucy’s terrified that she and the farm aren’t enough to keep Kitty interested in love and the simpler things in life.

    Pulled in two different directions, will the city kitty and country mouse be able to make it work?

    Sneezy: This sounds cute as fuck, and I really hope city kitty and country mouse gets EVERYTHING they want!

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  • Ink in the Blood

    Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal

    Author: Kim Smejkal
    Released: February 11, 2020 by HMH Books for Young Readers
    Genre: ,
    Series: Ink in the Blood Duology #1

    A lush, dark YA fantasy debut that weaves together tattoo magic, faith, and eccentric theater in a world where lies are currency and ink is a weapon, perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Kendare Blake.

    Celia Sand and her best friend, Anya Burtoni, are inklings for the esteemed religion of Profeta. Using magic, they tattoo followers with beautiful images that represent the Divine’s will and guide the actions of the recipients. It’s considered a noble calling, but ten years into their servitude Celia and Anya know the truth: Profeta is built on lies, the tattooed orders strip away freedom, and the revered temple is actually a brutal, torturous prison.

    Their opportunity to escape arrives with the Rabble Mob, a traveling theater troupe. Using their inkling abilities for performance instead of propaganda, Celia and Anya are content for the first time . . . until they realize who followed them. The Divine they never believed in is very real, very angry, and determined to use Celia, Anya, and the Rabble Mob’s now-infamous stage to spread her deceitful influence even further.
    To protect their new family from the wrath of a malicious deity and the zealots who work in her name, Celia and Anya must unmask the biggest lie of all–Profeta itself.

    Amanda: Tattoo magic!!

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  • The Mercies

    The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

    Author: Kiran Millwood Hargrave
    Released: February 11, 2020 by Little, Brown and Company
    Genre: , ,

    “Every once in a while, a modern day parable, perfectly told, reflects all that could happen in a world gone mad.” – Adriana Trigiani

    Finnmark, Norway, 1617. Twenty-year-old Maren Magnusdatter stands on the craggy coast, watching the sea break into a sudden and reckless storm. Forty fishermen, including her brother and father, are drowned and left broken on the rocks below. With the menfolk wiped out, the women of the tiny Arctic town of Vardø must fend for themselves.

    Three years later, a sinister figure arrives. Absalom Cornet comes from Scotland, where he burned witches in the northern isles. He brings with him his young Norwegian wife, Ursa, who is both heady with her husband’s authority and terrified by it. In Vardø, and in Maren, Ursa sees something she has never seen before: independent women. But Absalom sees only a place untouched by God, and flooded with a mighty evil.

    As Maren and Ursa are drawn to one another in ways that surprise them both, the island begins to close in on them, with Absalom’s iron rule threatening Vardø’s very existence.

    Inspired by the real events of the Vardø storm and the 1621 witch trials, The Mercies is a story of love, evil, and obsession, set at the edge of civilization.

    Amanda: Elements of witchcraft and feminist uprising, plus a queer romance. Hell yeah.

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  • My Androgynous Boyfriend, Vol. 1

    My Androgynous Boyfriend, Vol. 1 by Tamekou

    Author: Tamekou
    Released: February 13, 2020 by Seven Seas
    Genre:

    His makeup is flawless! The daily ins-and-outs of an office lady and her beautiful boyfriend.

    Wako and her androgynous boyfriend don’t exactly have the most traditional of relationships. She spends her days working hard in the world of publishing, while he spends his time obsessing over fashion and makeup–all with the goal of making himself beautiful just for her. This romantic slice-of-life story is about love, relationships, and breaking with tradition!

    Ellen: UMMMMM a slice-of-life manga about a woman and her gorgeous makeup-wearing boyfriend!? I NEED IT.

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  • Out of Practice

    Out of Practice by Carsen Taite

    Author: Carsen Taite
    Released: February 11, 2020 by Bold Strokes Books
    Genre: , ,
    Series: Legal Affairs #2

    Attorney Abby Keane’s vacation is perfect, especially her steamy interlude with a beautiful stranger. But her newfound zen crumbles when her biggest client, a chain of bridal stores, leaves hundreds of brides without dresses. As if reentry isn’t bad enough, a new wedding blogger is doing her best to stoke the anger of the already unhappy brides, and has chosen Abby as the villain.

    Roxanne Daly’s blog has finally hit the sweet spot, and her popularity is soaring. With a regular TV spot on the line, she’ll do whatever it takes to impress the network producers. Running point for a horde of angry brides against a hotshot lawyer seems like the perfect plan until her crusade collides with Abby, the woman she hasn’t been able to stop thinking about since she left her in a tropical paradise.

    Legal Affairs: one law firm, three best friends, three chances to fall in love.

    Tara: This series revolves around a trio of old law school friends who set up their own practice. This one sounds like a lot of fun, with one of the friends, Abby, having a vacation fling that comes back to haunt her later.

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  • Providence

    Providence by Leigh Hays

    Author: Leigh Hays
    Released: February 11, 2020 by Bold Strokes Books
    Genre: , ,

    Rebekiah Kearns’s passion is photography—erotic images of sex, love, and the boundaries between them. Still wounded by the death of her best friend, she’s locked her heart away and forges her only meaningful connections through the lens of her camera.

    Lindsey Blackwell never stops. Her work as a wealth management consultant takes her all over the world, and she just doesn’t have time to make a relationship work. Women always end up asking for more than she can give.

    When Rebekiah receives a huge inheritance, all she wants to do is get rid of it, but Lindsey has other ideas. Their professional relationship quickly turns personal when Lindsey agrees to pose for Rebekiah. With every click of the shutter, Rebekiah finds it harder and harder to keep Lindsey in focus without getting too close.

    Tara: I don’t think I’ve read a book with a boudoir photographer as a lead, so I’m intrigued by this one. I’ve also heard that it sort of straddles that line between erotic romance and spicier contemporary in a good way, so I want to see if it lives up to the hype.

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  • Stormsong

    Stormsong by C.L.  Polk

    Author: C.L. Polk
    Released: February 11, 2020 by Tor.com
    Genre: , ,
    Series: The Kingston Cycle #2

    After spinning an enthralling world in Witchmark, praised as a “can’t-miss debut” by Booklist, and as “thoroughly charming and deftly paced” by the New York Times, C. L. Polk continues the story in Stormsong. Magical cabals, otherworldly avengers, and impossible love affairs conspire to create a book that refuses to be put down.

    Dame Grace Hensley helped her brother Miles undo the atrocity that stained her nation, but now she has to deal with the consequences. With the power out in the dead of winter and an uncontrollable sequence of winter storms on the horizon, Aeland faces disaster. Grace has the vision to guide her parents to safety, but a hostile queen and a ring of rogue mages stand in the way of her plans. There’s revolution in the air, and any spark could light the powder. What’s worse, upstart photojournalist Avia Jessup draws ever closer to secrets that could topple the nation, and closer to Grace’s heart.

    Can Aeland be saved without bloodshed? Or will Kingston die in flames, and Grace along with it?

    Aarya: Witchmark was critically acclaimed by SFF awards and audiences; I had some pacing issues with it but I’m still looking forward to Stormsong because of the terrific worldbuilding.

    Shana: Witchmark was a delightful fantasy with a m/m romance. I’ve been anxious to drop back into this magical world.

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  • The Snow Collectors

    The Snow Collectors by Tina May Hall

    Author: Tina May Hall
    Released: February 12, 2020 by Dzanc Books
    Genre: , ,

    Haunted by the loss of her parents and twin sister at sea, Henna cloisters herself in a Northeastern village where the snow never stops. When she discovers the body of a young woman at the edge of the forest, she’s plunged into the mystery of a centuries-old letter regarding one of the most famous stories of Arctic exploration—the Franklin expedition, which disappeared into the ice in 1845.

    At the center of the mystery is Franklin’s wife, the indomitable Lady Jane. Henna’s investigation draws her into a gothic landscape of locked towers, dream-like nights of snow and ice, and a crumbling mansion rife with hidden passageways and carrion birds. But it soon becomes clear that someone is watching her—someone who is determined to prevent the truth from coming out.

    Suspenseful and atmospheric, The Snow Collectors sketches the ghosts of Victorian exploration against the eerie beauty of a world on the edge of environmental collapse.

    Elyse: Amanda sent me a link to this and I one-clicked so hard. This book has gothic, mystery elements and is set in a snow-covered landscape.

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Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    DiscoDollyDeb says:

    So glad to see some love for category romances! I read (although I can’t personally confirm it) that TEMPORARY WIFE TEMPTATION was Harlequin’s first book to feature two Asian cover models and a hero and heroine who are both of Korean ancestry. And the cover is utterly lovely.

    I’m also looking forward to the BLAME IT ON THE BILLIONAIRE. I read Simone’s previous book in the series, THE BILLIONAIRE’S BARGAIN, which features one of my favorite tropes (a man falls for the widow of his late best friend) and enjoyed the angsty story and determined heroine very much. Plus, a whole series featuring the consequences of anonymous sexy-times during a blackout? Genius!

    Speaking of category romances, I’ve got three Harlequins on my tbr that drop today: Jackie Ashenden’s HP, CROWNED AT THE DESERT KING’S COMMAND, Claire Connelly’s REDEMPTION OF THE UNTAMED ITALIAN (also from HP), and Caitlin Crews’s latest from Harlequin’s Dare line, TEACH ME. Overall, I don’t think Dare has lived up to its promise of being hotter than Harlequin’s discontinued Blaze line, but Crews is basically an autobuy for me. I never get tired of her angsty style…and she’s a genius at stretching out sexual tension until it almost leaps off the page.

    On Monday, Molly O’Keefe’s SECRETS OF THE RIVERVIEW INN is released. O’Keefe is another autobuy for me and I loved the first book in this series, WEDDING AT THE RIVERVIEW INN. The hero of SECRETS is the brother of the hero of WEDDING, so I expect more of O’Keefe’s heart-lacerating (in a good way) style.

  2. 2
    MirandaB says:

    Alone in the Wild by Kelley Armstrong: Feb 4th. Next Rockton book. Nuff said.

  3. 3
    Crystal says:

    It’s actually kind of a light month for me, for once (probably to the relief of my husband, haaa, joke’s on him, April and May are bloodbaths). I only have preorders on Deathless Divide (I burn, I pine, I perish, I need it in my eyeballs), King of Crows by Libba Bray (the last in her Diviners series, lolsob), and Chasing Cassandra by Lisa Kleypas (I had to, Devil’s Daughter was pure comfort food last year when I was sick and stressed and renovating my hurricane-struck house). This is good, because hoo boy, my TBR.

  4. 4
    DonnaMarie says:

    Most wanted right now is the latest Rockton mystery, Alone in the Wild, from Kelley Armstrong. It is #1 on my beginning of the month list, and I only have three more days to wait. Casey and Eric’s latest challenge: a baby. Everybody breath; it’s not theirs.

    Like DiscoDollyDeb, another Molly O’Keefe is always reason for a happy dance. Since I’ve reached the end of her Kindle Unlimited catalog, I’ll be breaking out the Amazon gift cards.

    Everything else on my list is coming out at the end of the month. and I’m pretty excited about them.

  5. 5
    The Other Kate says:

    Bec McMaster has the first in a new fantasy romance series dropping on February 11th!

  6. 6
    MaryK says:

    I’ve preordered the Milla Vane book. She already has a novella in that world that I enjoyed so I’m really looking forward to this one.

  7. 7
    FashionablyEvil says:

    I can’t wait for the Stephanie Burgis. I actually thought I had overlooked it and flew over to Amazon to preorder only to realized that I had already preordered some months ago. Good thing Amazon tells you about mistakes like that…

  8. 8
    Elizabeth says:

    Hi – Simone St James – The Sun Down Motel is 2.18 (I know it’s off schedule but it’s awesome).
    And lord help me if I have to see one more Billionaire book. When did a millionaire become undesirable?!?

  9. 9
    Kate says:

    I loved Witchmark and Dread Nation so much and can’t believe that neither sequel is in my library catalog yet *stamps foot*

  10. 10
    Allison R-B says:

    Fire & Water, Alexis Hall’s 3rd Kate Kane book, will be available 2/23/20. I love Arden St. Ives more than Kate Kane, but Alexis Hall is one of my Must-Buy authors.
    “I like my women like I like my whiskey: embroiled in a magical war…”
    http://www.quicunquevult.com/books/kate-kane#FW

  11. 11
    Zyva says:

    @DiscoDollyDeb
    I’d be curious what you think about this one (or where you’ve opined, if I missed it):
    I recently remembered to read a Crews (bought it tucked away in an anthology), “Untamed Billionaire’s Innocent Bride” and I guess she can claim a ‘first’, at least for an HP/variant, as well: an ace-identifying heroine – who, by narrative inevitablility turns out to be demi.
    (I think. Neither identity is named in the narrative, just contrasted with the ‘sexual’ majority.)

    It was a bit weird and I felt a bit weird about it. I mean, kudos to Crews for seeing the synergy between “virgin heroine” and the ace/grey-ace/demi identity and getting some tiny minority rep into a category romance.
    But… I think AVEN et al are trying to get recognition of the (majorital) born-this-way orientation, while remaining inclusive of more-by-nurture-than-nature-indisposed-to-sex members and category fluidity.
    I don’t think that balancing act comes through to HPlandia. We just get your standard Harlequin heroine with angsty background. Maybe – probably – due to contractual obligation, but it’s still reductive.

    I kind of wish Crews did lighter touches, because that’s where I’ve seen a quick panorama to widen the worldview while keeping the focus stable (statistical positions clear).
    Like the scene in “Bedrooms and Hallways” where the camp flatmate (representing the largest group within LGBTQ) at first scrambles to minimise his mate’s attraction to a woman, (putting the mate in the bi/pan minority in a minority). “It’s just a phase”, he cries, in a parody of biphobia and homophobia. (From memory, it was more the biphobia that was a phase.)

  12. 12
    DiscoDollyDeb says:

    @Zyva: I did read UBIB (and commented about it on WAYR) but I think the ace/demi element went right over my head. I read the heroine as the “standard HP virgin heroine” who had a dysfunctional upbringing and focused all of her libidinal tendencies on her boss (who was utterly oblivious to them and was actually the hero of an earlier HP where he married another woman—also a standard HP virgin)—but when she was sent by said boss to find his half-brother (who was living in an isolated cottage in a Hungarian forest), she met THE MAN for her and sparks flew.

    I always say, no two people ever read the same book. We bring our entire histories, life experiences, attitudes, opinions, and cultures to every book we read—and no two people ever have identical outlooks—so all of us see (or don’t see) different elements in a book. I’m not very familiar with ace/demi or how they are defined or how they would be characterized in a romance. I tend to see HP virgin heroines as women who by circumstances, family background, lack of opportunities, and/or (this is often the case) personal preference have not had a physical relationship yet. (I’m reading Jackie Ashenden’s latest HP right now and the heroine has never even been kissed!)

  13. 13
    Zyva says:

    @DiscoDollyDeb, thanks for sharing. Lucky it was an aspect you hadn’t talked about earlier. Might be a bit fiddly to find the WAYR. Even if it matched publication date, I think there’s a slight delay to Australian publication (?).

    Your view kind of reminds me of Germaine Greer [NOT endorsing her wholesale but] citing the “utter resistibility of the offers” women receive as an underestimated factor of causation. (Though that was about repartnering rates/persistent singledom iirc.)

    It can work with different frames of reference, true. I prefer there to be reasonable availability of non-‘disappointed in love’, just hitherto uninterested, romance characters though. (I have less of a problem with the trauma backgrounds. Speaking of…Ashenden does betrayal trauma portrayal particularly well, from what I’ve seen.)
    Even if it’s explained away by their being workaholics or whatever. Couldn’t quibble. Not compared to…I reckon the first demis (who are peak demi) I found were in tragedy: Hippolytus and Arc-something in Racine’s Phèdre. Wish that story got Anastasia-ized. Sigh.

    To me, I mean I am demi myself, but I reckon regardless, the degrees of sexuality and asexuality range just better covers the full range of experience and makes better sense of it.
    For instance, I wasn’t all “so far, so normal” like the hero about the appeal of the brother. I just thought “asexual doesn’t always go with aromantic”. (And different people inspire different feelings.)
    And it’s not like standard sexuals have no experiences at all analogous to that. Not a pretty example, but dramatic, is “emotional affairs”, where a partner confides in another person, leaving their partner in the dark. (Sighted it in fiction. That was what ended a backstory marriage in “Rectify”.)

  14. 14
    DiscoDollyDeb says:

    @Zyva: I went back through my notes and here was the comment I posted about UBIB back in June’s WAYR:

    “Caitlin Crews’s THE UNTAMED BILLIONAIRE’S INNOCENT BRIDE is the second of three HPs she is writing about the siblings of a wealthy Anglo-Italian family (it is also Crews’s 50th Harlequin book, which must be pushing her into Lynne Graham/Melanie Milburne territory). The story features both fairy-tale retelling (Little Red Riding Hood) and marriage-of-convenience tropes. The heroine is another of Crews’s super-efficient personal assistants, the hero is the reclusive older brother of the hero of the previous book (THE ITALIAN’S TWIN CONSEQUENCES). The heroine is sent by her employer to retrieve his brother from the forest cabin where he has been living. As is par for the recent Crews HP course, the heroine is a virgin (virginity fetishism appears to be a new HP trope; sometimes it feels as if the heroines have all stepped out of an Alexa Riley romance, their intact hymens are such a point of focus), and there’s a lot of angst before the HEA. I liked this book more than the previous one—the relationship between h&h seemed to develop more naturally, despite starting with an MOC.”

    I also agree with your assessment of Jackie Ashenden. She really shows how various types of family dysfunction have long-term effects on the ability of people to have healthy intimate relationships. Have you read her Lies We Tell duet, HAVING HER and TAKING HIM? They are connected books featuring friend’s sibling and sibling’s friend tropes. There is a lot of family dysfunction in both books—including mental illness, abuse, and neglect. The hero of TAKING HIM has an especially heartbreaking backstory which I think Ashenden handles with sensitivity and care.

  15. 15
    Zyva says:

    @DiscoDollyDeb, Wow, thanks!

    I should add that, in this connection, as a warning to others, that I looked back at the heroine explaining she’s ‘not sexual’ and the hero’s thoughts are a bit mansplainy. I mean, it’s an HP, so we know she will turn out to be be more sexual than she thinks, but it’s a bit smug of him to think it.

    Re Ashenden
    I’ve only read “Taking Him” out of the duo.
    I kind of couldn’t look too close at the hero’s background. Too close to home.

    And I was NOT happy with the author for kinda downplaying it at one point, like it was so draining for him partly because he’d been viewing people as a burdens, rather than because that was realistic.
    (I don’t know if that was what was intended, but it was as far as I got processing that sequence.)

    I really don’t have any patience with “it’s not as bad as you thought” epiphanies.
    I have the complete opposite experience. I reckon I’m cynical for my age all along, but I keep turning out overoptimistic enough to register on the Pollyanna scale compared to the realities that confront me.
    I mean, in my life (no promises about my prehistory) it’s not a Martin Miller memoir level of a ‘twist’ (in that case, in public perceptions), but there WAS Disney-villainous deception, “decades of denial”.

    (P S the ‘how you think about makes it’ sequence in Ashenden sounds CBT, and word from the acons is Dialectic (?) is better.)

    I’m a lot happier when people acknowledge stuff *more* than in my day instead. For instance, they now define third party mistreatment, like kids being put in the hands of abusive family friends (eg my at age 4/5 physically abusive babysitter) as ‘family violence’ in Australia. Oi oi oi, yeah!

    I’m aware it’s gendered, who gets the worst of things, but it’s also age-linked, victimology stats show. Being adult-centric with compassion (‘young carer is not THAT burdened’ messaging is getting there) is not worthy being dignified as feminism or social conscience consistent, and that’s something older generations need to face already. I bloody had to.

    Take the heroine. In that case at least the author seemed to get it, what I’m saying. But the system didn’t. It enabled abuse by taking no account of parenting towards kids once adult.

    Been there/similar (close call) too. “I’ve Been Everywhere” as the song goes.
    Though the score here is more “Wide Awake”, “Tell Me Why” etc.

  16. 16
    Zyva says:

    @DiscoDollyDeb,
    Profuse apologies, I’ve mixed up the two Ashenden titles. Which will make my comment make little sense. I’ve read “Having Her” which I think is the second in the sequence?

  17. 17
    DiscoDollyDeb says:

    @Zyva: No problem. I do not think you would find the hero’s trauma downplayed in TAKING HIM—but given what you have shared about your own childhood, I don’t think that I would recommend you read it—it would probably have triggers for you and I think everyone should always feel safe in their reading material.

  18. 18
    Zyva says:

    @DiscoDollyDeb
    Thanks for the thought. I think I’ll save my ‘male survivor story’ energy allocation for something more ripped from the headlines then. There’s a French film coming out about an large-scale abusive priest and the cover up that should be out here soon, “Grâce A Dieu”

    I do get a bit of a boost from the underrepresentation getting corrected, though.
    Contrast, ‘Jan Fran’ in Oz, distinguished herself by saying only women should post metoo stories and men apologies. Guess the large number of boyhood victims she tallied have to stay Lost Boys without a voice?

    Providing there’s no sting in the tail (or head, as mentioned) of rep. Eg One prominent male survivor downplayed the danger to teen pre-Dr Ford, and *that* went down like a lead balloon with me. Physical abuse IS bloody terrifying enough without adding sexual threat.
    One will do to create fear of being killed. Two and I extrapolate from my nightmares even further into unforgiveable.

  19. 19

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