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Book Beat: Astrology Romance, a Thriller, & 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.

  • Barely Even Friends

    Barely Even Friends by Mae Bennett

    Author: Mae Bennett
    Released: June 4, 2024 by Alcove Press
    Genre: ,

    A grumpy, rich recluse meets his match in this steamy Beauty and the Beast retelling—with a Succession twist. Fans of fairy tale adaptations, and readers of Julie Murphy and Falon Ballard, will adore Mae Bennett’s debut romance.

    Bellamy Price has just been offered the job of a lifetime: lead contractor on the restoration of the mysterious and sprawling Killington Estate. If she meets the owner’s ridiculous timeline, she’ll finally make a name for herself in this male-dominated industry. But when she rolls up her sleeves, slips on her suspenders, and shows up at the crumbling mansion, Bellamy finds the estate very much occupied.

    After a traumatic car accident that left his parents dead and himself injured, Oliver Killington, heir to the Killington empire, took up residence as the grumpy caretaker of his grandfather’s mansion. None too pleased by the presence of the hammer-wielding woman who’s moved into his house, Oliver tries to block her at every turn.

    But when Bellamy discovers Oliver’s facing his own ultimatum from his grandfather, the two form a cautious truce, which leads to flying sparks that are definitely not from faulty wiring. As Bellamy restores the gleam to the Killington Estate, she’ll have to decide if the walls she’s built around herself are worth knocking down to make space for someone else.

    Perfect for fans of Tessa Bailey, this clever, steamy debut novel will have readers rooting for this Beauty and her Beast until the very last page.

    This is a Beauty and the Beast retelling mixed with a home renovation setting!

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  • Glorious Exploits

    Glorious Exploits by Ferdia Lennon

    Author: Ferdia Lennon
    Released: March 26, 2024 by Henry Holt & Co
    Genre: ,

    An utterly original celebration of that which binds humanity across battle lines and history.

    On the island of Sicily amid the Peloponnesian War, the Syracusans have figured out what to do with the surviving Athenians who had the gall to invade their they’ve herded the sorry prisoners of war into a rock quarry and left them to rot. Looking for a way to pass the time, Lampo and Gelon, two unemployed potters with a soft spot for poetry and drink, head down into the quarry to feed the Athenians if, and only if, they can manage a few choice lines from their great playwright Euripides. Before long, the two mates hatch a plan to direct a full-blown production of Medea. After all, you can hate the people but love their art. But as opening night approaches, what started as a lark quickly sets in motion a series of extraordinary events, and our wayward heroes begin to realize that staging a play can be as dangerous as fighting a war, with all sorts of risks to life, limb, and friendship.

    Told in a contemporary Irish voice and as riotously funny as it is deeply moving, Glorious Exploits is an unforgettable ode to the power of art in a time of war, brotherhood in a time of enmity, and human will throughout the ages.

    The marketing materials for this said, “pitched as part The Song of Achilles, part Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, and part O Brother, Where Art Thou.” I know that is a lot of catnip for someone.

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  • Looking for a Sign

    Looking for a Sign by Susie Dumond

    Author: Susie Dumond
    Released: June 11, 2024 by The Dial Press
    Genre: , ,

    “A sweet and spicy story about found family, taking chances on love, and getting through your Saturn return.”—Elissa Sussman, bestselling author of Funny You Should Ask

    A newly single queer woman moves to New Orleans and sets off on a mission to find her most compatible match by going on a date with someone of each astrological sign in this rom-com from the Lambda Literary Award–nominated author of Queerly Beloved.

    Reeling from a breakup with her long-term partner, Gray—an optimistic lesbian Aries—relocates to New Orleans for a new job. Gray wants to meet someone, settle down, and build the loving, accepting family she’s always wanted, but having been out of the dating scene for a decade, she has no idea where to start. After visiting an iconic astrologer, Gray and her best friend, Cherry, draw up a dramatic scheme: Gray will go on a date with someone of each zodiac sign to test their compatibility and get a jump start on creating the queer family of her dreams—all before her twenty-ninth birthday, when Saturn will usher in a major turning point in her life.

    Gray’s got her hands full getting to know her new city, proving herself at her new job, wooing twelve new paramours—cue bathroom hookups, ghosts, getting ghosted, incredible macchiatos, and celesbians—and making some surprising discoveries about her needs and desires. Even when the dating challenge throws a few curveballs that make Gray question what she believes that she’s destined for, she’s determined to finish what she’s started while the planets are still on her side.

    For all my astrology girlies out there!

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  • The Return of Ellie Black

    The Return of Ellie Black by Emiko Jean

    Author: Emiko Jean
    Released: May 7, 2024 by Simon & Schuster
    Genre:

    Detective Chelsey Calhoun’s life is turned upside down when she gets the call Ellie Black, a girl who disappeared years earlier, has resurfaced in the woods of Washington state—but Ellie’s reappearance leaves Chelsey with more questions than answers.

    “I stayed up late into the night turning the pages until I learned the truth of what happened to Ellie—and gasped when Jean delivered a truly jaw-dropping twist.” —Jessica Knoll, New York Times bestselling author of Luckiest Girl Alive and Bright Young Women

    It’s been twenty years since Detective Chelsey Calhoun’s sister vanished when they were teenagers, and ever since she’s been searching: for signs, for closure, for other missing girls. But happy endings are rare in Chelsey’s line of work.

    Then a glimmer: local teenager Ellie Black, who disappeared without a trace two years earlier, has been found alive in the woods of Washington State.

    But something is not right with Ellie. She won’t say where she’s been, or who she’s protecting, and it’s up to Chelsey to find the answers. She needs to get to the bottom of what happened to Ellie: for herself, and for the memory of her sister, but mostly for the next girl who could be taken—and who, unlike Ellie, might never return.

    The debut thriller from New York Times bestselling author Emiko Jean, The Return of Ellie Black is both a feminist tour de force about the embers of hope that burn in the aftermath of tragedy and a twisty page-turner that will shock and surprise you right up until the final page.

    Emiko Jean’s mystery debut! One of my friends, who has discerning taste when it comes to figuring out a mystery, said the twist definitely caught her by surprise.

    Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

    • Available at Amazon
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    As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
    We also may use affiliate links in our posts, as well. Thanks!

Add Your Comment →

  1. Amy says:

    Highly recommend The Return of Ellie Black

  2. Lisa F says:

    All on my TBR!

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