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Book Beat: Mysteries, Poly Romance, & More

Welcome to Book Beat!

Book Beat aims to highlight other books that we may hear about through friends, social media, or other sources. We could see a gorgeous ad! Or find a new-to-us author on a list of underrated romances! Think of Book Beat as Teen Beat or Tiger Beat, but for books. And no staples to open to get the fold-out poster.

  • A Masc for Purim

    A Masc for Purim by Roz Alexander

    Author: Roz Alexander
    Released: March 5, 2022
    Genre: , , ,
    Series: Hot for the Holidays #3

    Every year, tomboy-femme Liza plans the perfect party for Purim, and every year she goes alone. She’s convinced her role as holiday host is enough to find happiness, but lately, the nights have gotten lonelier.

    Carrie, a.k.a. Liza’s first love, a.k.a. the butch who broke her heart into a million pieces, is back in town and determined to win Liza back.

    Their inexperience and inability to be vulnerable with one another may have driven them apart the first time, but has the last decade taught them both to be brave? Luckily, they have the whole megillah to figure it out.

    A MASC FOR PURIM is an angsty, steamy, second chance romance between a bisexual butch and her tomboy lesbian. It’s a part of the “Hot for the Holidays” series.

    If you’re still wanting more queer, Jewish romances set around a holiday after finishing Season of Love, this may work for you!

    Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

    • Available at Amazon

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  • Murder for the Modern Girl

    Murder for the Modern Girl by Kendall Kulper

    Author: Kendall Kulper
    Released: May 31, 2022 by Holiday House
    Genre: , ,

    Gatsby-era glamour, a swoon-worthy love story, and an indomitable heroine dazzle in this romp that captures the extravagance of the Roaring Twenties and the dangers of vigilante justice.

    A ravishing young mind reader stalks the streets at night in kitten heels, prowling for men to murder.

    A soft-spoken genius toils away in the city morgue, desperate to unearth the science behind his gift for shapeshifting.

    It’s a match made in 1928 Chicago, where gangsters run City Hall, jazz fills the air, and every good girl’s purse conceals a flask.

    Until now, eighteen-year-old Ruby’s penchant for poison has been a secret. No one knows that she uses her mind-reading abilities to target men who prey on vulnerable women, men who escape the clutches of Chicago “justice.” When she meets a brilliant boy working at the morgue, his knack for forensic detail threatens to uncover her dark hobby. Even more unfortunately: sharp, independent Ruby has fallen in love with him.

    Waltzing between a supernaturally enhanced romance, the battle to take down a gentleman’s club, and loyal friendships worth their weight in diamonds, Ruby brings defiant charm to every spectacular page of Murder for the Modern Girl—not to mention killer fashion. An irresistible caper perfect for fans of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue.

    A YA murder mystery set in 1920s Chicago. Also loving that cover.

    Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

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  • Murder in Westminster

    Murder in Westminster by Vanessa Riley

    Author: Vanessa Riley
    Released: August 30, 2022 by Kensington
    Genre: ,
    Series: Lady Worthing Mysteries #1

    Perfect for readers looking for a darker twist on Bridgerton, this first story in a vibrant, inclusive new historical mystery series from an acclaimed author portrays the true diversity of the Regency-era, as a widow whose skin color and notorious family history have left her with few friends she can rely on – just as the local vicar names her the prime suspect in a murder case…

    A BiblioLifestyle Most Anticipated Mystery of Summer 2022

    Discovering a body on her property presents Lady Abigail Worthing with more than one pressing problem. The victim is Juliet, the wife of her neighbor, Stapleton Henderson. Although Abigail has little connection with the lady in question, she expects to be under suspicion. Abigail’s skin color and her mother’s notorious past have earned her a certain reputation among the ton, and no amount of wealth or status will eclipse it.

    Abigail can’t divulge that she was attending a secret pro-abolition meeting at the time of the murder. To her surprise, Henderson offers her an alibi. Though he and Juliet were long estranged, and she had a string of lovers, he feels a certain loyalty to his late wife. Perhaps together, he and Abigail can learn the truth.

    Abigail, whose marriage to Lord Worthing was not a love match, knows well how appearances can deceive. For all its surface elegance, London’s high society can be treacherous. Yet who in their circle would have killed Juliet, and why? Taking the reins of her life in a way she never has before, Abby intends to find out—but in the process she will uncover more danger than she ever imagined…

    Did y’all know that Vanessa Riley has a historical mystery series now?

    Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

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  • Shake Things Up

    Shake Things Up by Skye Kilaen

    Author: Skye Kilaen
    Released: March 22, 2022
    Genre: , ,
    Series: Love at Knockdown #2

    Three people, one road trip, and so many queer feelings. A polyamorous romance about changing your life.

    Allie and Matt’s happy open relationship means they’re both free to find hookups. When Allie gets duped by a date, though, she’s found with someone else’s cheating boyfriend. Ugh!

    Meeting Noelle by helping her leave the guy isn’t the night Allie expected, but after the women bond over drinks and a seriously dysfunctional tape gun, Allie’s hesitant to say goodbye. It’s weird; she doesn’t normally like-like people who aren’t Matt.

    Matt’s questioning whether he’s entirely straight, and he hopes to find answers on his and Allie’s impending road trip. But he’s cool with bringing her new maybe-crush along, especially since he and Noelle keep finding things in common. And staring into each other’s eyes.

    Noelle lost her demanding job right before her boyfriend cheated, and she’s looking for the next one—preferably back home. Allie’s fumbling charm and Matt’s flirtatious humor, however, make her wonder if her life compass needs fixing.

    Late-night talks on Texas highways, first kisses, and hotel confessions might change a lot… if there’s a next step for Noelle that isn’t leaving.

    A high-heat contemporary romance novel with a polyamorous HFN involving F/F and queer M/F relationships. F/F and M/M love scenes on page.

    Tropes: road trip, geeks in love, bisexual awakening, polyamory, open relationships.

    I know some of the Bitchery is always on the hunt for poly romances!

    Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

    • Available at Amazon

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Add Your Comment →

  1. DiscoDollyDeb says:

    I’ve just discovered a new-to-me writer who has quickly gone on my auto-buy list: KD Casey. They write m/m baseball romances, and the first two I’ve read (UNWRITTEN RULES and FIRE SEASON) are epically good, becoming the first two books on my Favorites of 2023 list. Plus, for a baseball fan like me, Casey’s obvious knowledge of the game and the way they weave the elements of playing professional baseball into the fabric of a romance is done with incredible finesse. The analogy would have to be: Casey is to baseball romance what Taylor Fitzpatrick is to hockey; and you won’t get higher praise from me on that score. I’m looking forward to glomming Casey’s backlist (including a couple they co-wrote with Lauren Blakely), but for right now both UNWRITTEN RULES and FIRE SEASON are highly recommended.

  2. Vasha says:

    I love the cover of Shake Things Up!

  3. kkw says:

    Oh man @DDD, I didn’t know KD Casey had a backlist! My libraries only have KD Casey’s the baseball romances – which I have also enjoyed and second the recommendation. Fitzpatrick is my favorite by a very wide margin in the overall category of sports romance, which I hadn’t really bothered to break down into different types of sports beyond noting there’s alot a lot of hockey. So much hockey. It’s interesting that I don’t care at all about the sporty bits, and yet I think they are also my favorite writers within their respective sports.
    Has anyone read the YA? Because it’s got all kinds of catnip, so much catnip, but YA is one of those genres with explicitly no sex and I always want even erotica to have more sex, so I am torn.
    It sounds like the Bridgerton comparison is wildly misleading, but the comparison blurb as a concept is so pointless idk why I’m surprised.

  4. DiscoDollyDeb says:

    @kkw: Casey’s backlist isn’t huge (sadly). In addition to UNWRITTEN RULES and FIRE SEASON, there’s ONE TRUE OUTCOME (age-gap, with wealth/power-differential, between a veteran player and a rookie), along with the two books Casey co-wrote with Lauren Blakely: DIRTY SLIDE and DIRTY STEAL. Blakely isn’t in my pantheon of favorite writers (her books are hot, but often have a cookie-cutter feel to me), so I’m hoping the two co-written books lean more toward Casey’s style than Blakely’s. Casey does have a book scheduled for release on April 11: DIAMOND RING, a second-chance romance between players who were involved a decade ago. Can’t wait!

  5. Laura says:

    Thanks for including the poly queer romance!

  6. FashionablyEvil says:

    My sister loooves KD Casey. I read ONE TRUE OUTCOME and enjoyed it just fine—age gap romances aren’t usually my thing, but Casey handled it smoothly.

    FIRE SEASON also made the NYT’s “Best of Romance 2022” list.

  7. Felicia says:

    @DDD Thank you for the recommendation! I have been meaning to look for some sports romances because I have been striking out with contemporary romances with athlete leads. When the authors lack knowledge of the sport, it’s too distracting and frustrating. I’ll be adding Casey’s books to my TBR!

  8. Julia says:

    I was so excited for the Vanessa Riley series but the first installment was a hot mess. It ended up being a DNF for me- lots of great ideas but waaaaaaay too much plot stuffed into one book.

  9. Cristie says:

    @DDD The TF comparison did it for me. Going to try this author especially since baseball is my second favorite sport after hockey.

  10. Hannah Bloom says:

    I’m excited for A MASC FOR PURIM. I love, love, love Roz Alexander’s HIGHER, a hot FF romance set around Rosh Hashanah. Alexander has such a generous and naturalistic sense of how Jewish communities in America work—much more recognizable to me than, say, Helena Greer’s SEASON OF LOVE, which to be fair is trying to do wacky hijinks and is also a Christmas book. HIGHER is totally plugged in to the High Holidays’ themes of forgiveness, renewal, and hard-won optimism. It will probably be a yearly reread for me during that season. High hopes for their Purim book then!

  11. Lisa F says:

    All on my tBR pile!

  12. chacha1 says:

    May I tiptoe in with a self-rec? My novel UNDERTOW is a poly queer romance featuring F/F married couple seeking M third but cautiously because of famous friends & their child. Their eventual new partner has identified as straight but develops an interest in another man toward the end of the book. Happy ending guaranteed. 🙂 Alexandra Caluen at AMZ.

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