December 2013 Must Haves

I can’t believe that I’m sitting here, formatting the last Must Have list for 2013. I know it’s a common sentiment, but seriously, where did the year go? Does anyone else feel like time is on fast-forward? Like actually, literally moving faster than it ever has before? Oy. Well, I just have to say, from this list, 2013 is going out with a bang! Lots of goodies to dig into this month:-)

Contemporary Romance

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Take Over at Midnight by M.L. Buchman – Dec 3rd (Sourcebooks Casa)

Lola LaRue, Chief Warrant Officer of the U.S. Army’s secret helicopter regiment, is a natural at everything except relationships. She’s a professional in the air but she screws up every time she touches the ground.

Sergeant “Crazy” Tim Maloney is a goner the moment he first sees LaRue on a mission to deliver a Delta Force team into the Iranian Desert. He’s always been a ‘love ‘em and leave ‘em’ kind of guy, but all that changes when Lola’s in danger. Now with the stakes higher than ever, they must find a way to eliminate a threat that could destroy more than just their future.

*blurb from Goodreads here

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When It’s Right by Jeanette Grey – Dec 3rd (Samhain)

“He’s the last resolution she intends to break.”

Still licking his wounds after a messy breakup, Nate is at loose ends for New Year’s Eve and itching for a wild and crazy adventure to jolt him out of his rut. Now if he could only convince his best friend, Cassie, to break away for an impromptu road trip to Times Square.

Fun as it sounds, Cassie is reluctant to accept Nate’s invitation. Little does he know, she’s made resolutions of her own-resolutions about finally getting over her long-standing crush on him. Telling herself this trip will be the perfect “last hurrah,” she packs her bag.

The trip is a fiasco from the outset. A car that won’t start, a freak storm that strands them on the side of the road, and a long drive with too much time for true confessions. Cassie’s rocks Nate to the core, leaving him wondering if the best thing that ever happened to him has been right in front of him all along.

Warning: Contains two best friends, a secret crush, and a road trip that leads to tow trucks, unexpected hotel-room sharing, epiphanies, sex, and more.

*blurb from Goodreads here

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Foolish Games by Tracy Solheim – Dec 3rd (Berkley)

A Hail Mary play for the heart.

Bridal gown designer, Julianne Marchione knows better than to lose her head at a client’s wedding. But, much to her embarrassment, a mix of migraine medication and a smoking hot football player lead to a steamy one night stand resulting in a surprise pregnancy. Julianne has every intention of leaving her NFL hookup far in the past until her son, Owen, is born with a life-threatening blood disorder that requires a transfusion—and Julianne is not a match.

Will “William the Conqueror” Connelly grew up tough, shouldering the stigma of being a bastard child born on the wrong side of the tracks. He refuses to let any child face the same discrimination. When he finds out about Owen, he’s furious that Julianne kept his son a secret. But when he sees her again at the hospital, he realizes that his feelings for her go far beyond anger.

Will insists that Owen recuperate at his home in North Carolina, and he’s adamant that Julianne become his wife—even if it’s only a temporary marriage in name only. But will their simmering attraction ever lead to a real connection? Or are they just playing foolish games?

*blurb from Goodreads here

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Tinsel My Heart by Christi Barth – Dec 5th (Carina Press)

Becca Huntley’s produced the Lyndale Park Players’ over-the-top Christmas show for ten years. It’s a beloved Minneapolis tradition, and the theater’s main fundraiser. But this year’s production is in danger of being canceled when their director disappears into rehab. Good thing his directing partner steps in to save the day. Except for the minor fact that he hates everything about Christmas.

Jack Whittaker wiped this town off his shoe with his graduation tassel and never looked back. But duty compels him to fulfill Tyler’s promise to direct the show. Even though it means working with Becca, the girl he always wanted, lost to Ty, but never forgot.

It’ll take more than a few handfuls of tinsel to soften Jack’s heart toward Becca’s favorite holiday. Steamy kisses that melt the snow right off his boots are a step in the right direction. They’ll both discover that Christmas is about making each other’s dreams come true. But will it require sacrificing their chance at a happily-ever-after together?

*blurb from Goodreads here

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The Principle of Desire (Science of Temptation #3) by Delphine Dryden – Dec 9th (Carina Press)

1 Sexy Switch + 1 Nerdy Newbie = A Master Class in Seduction

After several years as a submissive, psychology lecturer Beth is eager to experience being on the other end of the whip for a change. When she meets sweet but socially awkward Ed at a party, it’s obvious the aerospace engineer is interested—and obvious he’s way too vanilla.

When tracking down a friend lands him in a BDSM club, Ed’s eyes are opened to a whole other world—and a whole other side of Beth. Then Beth’s former Master shows up, and Ed agrees to play along as her sub in exchange for a real date. The biggest surprise of the evening? How much he enjoys letting her take control…

Beth’s ex makes it clear he wants her back, but she needs more from a relationship than he can offer—and not just the freedom to explore her switch side. At first Ed is just an enthusiastic student. But the more she gets to know him, in and out of the bedroom, the more Beth wonders if he’s everything she desires…

*blurb from Goodreads here

Futuristic Romance

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There All Along by Lauren Dane, Megan Hart – Dec 3rd (Berkley)

Bestselling authors Lauren Dane and Megan Hart deliver two stories of longing, lust, and love in futuristic worlds where love comes first—then survival…

“Land’s End” by Lauren Dane…The Land’s End highway is one of the most dangerous places in the universe. The constant peril of brigands keeps Verity Coleman stuck in Silver Cliffs, dreaming of the open road—and of Loyal Alsbaugh, the tall and silent highway patrolman. When her town is attacked, Verity has a chance to win over Loyal’s muted heart. But will his wounded past make him leave her along the road, or can she convince him to take her along?

“By the Sea of Sand” by Megan Hart…Captain Kason Reed was willing to give his life to the Sheirran Defense Forces, but now he can’t remember anything but bits and pieces of the war. When his sexual attraction to his caregiver, Teila, causes him to make advances toward her, she becomes the aggressor, urging him with her body to explore the memories of his past—memories that all seem to draw him back to Teila….

*blurb from Goodreads here

Horror/Dark Urban Fantasy

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The Cormorant (Miriam Black #3) by Chuck Wendig – Dec 31st (Angry Robot)

Miriam is on the road again, having transitioned from “thief” to “killer”.

Hired by a wealthy businessman, she heads down to Florida to practice the one thing she’s good at, but in her vision she sees him die by another’s hand and on the wall written in blood is a message just for Miriam.

She’s expected…

*blurb from Goodreads here

Paranormal Mystery

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Iron & Velvet (Kate Kane, Paranormal Investigator #1) by Alexis Hall – Dec 16th (Riptide Publishing)

First rule in this line of business: don’t sleep with the client.

My name’s Kate Kane, and when an eight-hundred-year-old vampire prince came to me with a case, I should have told her no. But I’ve always been a sucker for a femme fatale.

It always goes the same way. You move too fast, you get in too deep, and before you know it, someone winds up dead. Last time it was my partner. This time it could be me. Yesterday a werewolf was murdered outside the Velvet, the night-time playground of one of the most powerful vampires in England. Now half the monsters in London are at each other’s throats, and the other half are trying to get in my pants. The Witch Queen will protect her own, the wolves are out for vengeance, and the vampires are out for, y’know, blood.

I’ve got a killer on the loose, a war on the horizon, and a scotch on the rocks. It’s going to be an interesting day.

*blurb from Goodreads here

Paranormal Romance

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Flamebound (Lone Star Witch #2) by Tessa Adams – Dec 3rd (Signet)

After Xandra’s nasty run in with the Arcadian Council of Witches—where she was almost killed and her boyfriend, Declan, was almost framed for it—her plan is to lay low and figure out why its members would torment the people they are supposed to protect. Declan, temperamental and protective warlock that he is, doesn’t feel so reticent. And when violence erupts again, there’s no stopping him from pursuing revenge…

When a council member is murdered in a fashion that screams dark magic, Declan claims someone else beat him to it. Xandra doesn’t want to believe he could commit such a brutal act, but she knows he has a dark side—one that his former love interest Tsura understands better than she ever will. With Tsura back in town, Xandra doesn’t know whom to trust. And a killer targeting witches and wizards is still at large…

*blurb from Goodreads here

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True (New Species #11) by Laurann Dohner – Dec 11th (Ellora’s Cave)

Jeanie loves a New Species and is willing to pay for that love with pain, tears and heartbreak. She’ll do anything to keep 710 alive but she never wants him to know how she suffered for him. He’s the reason for her mission in life—freeing others like him.

True has a new life working with the NSO to rescue his people. A good life, until he encounters a dying woman—the female who betrayed him. True should feel gratified that she’s finally going to pay for her crimes, but she claims to be a victim too. He is still irresistibly drawn to the pretty little human who touched his heart and made him want her. When he clasps her hand to offer comfort, his instincts kick in and True will fight everyone to protect her.

*blurb from Goodreads here

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Reaver (Lords of Deliverance #5; Demonica #10) by Larissa Ione – Dec 17th (Forever)

WARRIOR OF HEAVEN

Reaver is an angel with a past, a record, and a less-than-heavenly attitude. Powerful enough to fight alongside the fiercest battle angels-and crazy enough to risk his wings on a one-way mission to hell-he’s agreed to go where no angel has ever gone before…to steal the most seductive and dangerous prize of Satan himself.

ANGEL OF HELL

Harvester is one of the Fallen, a once-heroic angel who sacrificed her wings to work as an undercover agent in hell. But now her cover has been blown, and she’s been doomed to an eternity of agonizing torture. Even if Reaver can snatch her away from Satan’s lair, even if they can fight their way out of the underworld’s darkest depths, there is one thing Harvester can never escape-her newfound thirst for an angel’s blood…

*blurb from Goodreads here

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Dragon Awakened (The Hidden #1) by Jamie Rush – Dec 17th (Grand Central Publishing)

PLAYING WITH FIRE
Ruby Salazaar wants answers…and revenge. Her uncle has just been murdered before her eyes and the name he utters with his final breath—Cyntag—leads Ruby into a world beyond her wildest imaginings. She soon learns that the dark, sexy Cyntag Valeron knows more about her than she does herself.

BURNED BY LOVE
Ruby changed Cyn’s life before she even knew who he was. Now she charges into his life, a beautiful woman full of fire and questions. Cyn knew this day would come, yet he couldn’t foresee the danger—and desires—Ruby would bring with her. He can teach her how to harness her newly awakened powers. But there is one force neither of them can control…

*blurb from author’s website here

Romantic Suspense

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Sweet Revenge by Rebecca Zanetti – Dec 3rd (Forever)

The One Man She Can’t Have

Matt Dean was born to fight…and kill. A member of a secret black-ops military unit, he and his brothers were genetically engineered by the government to be the perfect soldiers with an expiration date. Now, with time running out, he’s gone rogue in a relentless quest for the one person who can save them. His mission leads him to Charmed, Idaho…and to a beautiful woman with eyes like emeralds and a body made for pleasure.

The One Woman He Can’t Resist

Laney Jacobs knows the mysterious, handsome stranger is trouble from the moment he walks into her bar, looking for a job. She’s spent years running from her own past—the last thing she needs is a romantic entanglement. But Matt’s strong arms offer her protection, and his gentle touch promises passion unlike anything she’s ever known. As lethal forces surround them, revealing explosive secrets about Matt’s past and putting everything—and everyone—he holds dear in danger, can he save them all before time runs out?

*blurb from Goodreads here

SciFi/Fantasy Mixed Bag

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The Grove by Jean Johnson – Dec 3rd (Berkley)

Calm the magics caught in thrall:
Put your faith in strangers’ pleas,
Watcher, Witch, and treasure trove;
Ride the wave to calm the trees,
Servant saves the sacred grove.

At the behest of their leader, the Witches of Darkhana are mobilized. Their mission: gather the most honest, true servants of each deity so that they may respectfully represent their land at the reopening of the Convocation of Gods and Man. For Witch-Priest Aradin Teral, his part in the quest has taken him across the length and breadth of Katan, searching for the best possible representative of an empire bent on preventing that very task.

Ever since the destruction of the last Convocation, the magics of the Grove have been warped, endangering pilgrims and residents alike and requiring the guardianship of the strongest mage the priesthood can spare. Priestess Saleria is now the Keeper of the Grove, and Guardian of the Divine Garden. The arrival of a black-robed stranger bearing the faces of two men brings the promise of change, even peace, to the isolated valley. But it also ushers in an irresistible passion and a threat to Saleria’s control of the wildest magics in the woods…

*blurb from Goodreads here

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Dangerous Women by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, editors – Dec 3rd (Tor)

The Dangerous Women anthology contains following stories:
- Introduction by Gardner Dozois
- “Some Desperado” by Joe Abercrombie – A Red Country story
- “My Heart is Either Broken” by Megan Abbott
- “Nora’s Song” by Cecelia Holland
- “The Hands That Are Not There” by Melinda Snodgrass
- “Bombshells” by Jim Butcher – A Harry Dresden story
- “Raisa Stepanova” by Carrie Vaughn
- “Wrestling Jesus” by Joe R. Lansdale
- “Neighbors” by Megan Lindholm
- “I Know How to Pick ’Em” by Lawrence Block
- “Shadows For Silence in the Forests of Hell” by Brandon Sanderson
- “A Queen in Exile” by Sharon Kay Penman
- “The Girl in the Mirror” by Lev Grossman – A Magicians story
- “Second Arabesque, Very Slowly” by Nancy Kress
- “City Lazarus” by Diana Rowland
- “Virgins” by Diana Gabaldon – An Outlander story
- “Hell Hath No Fury” by Sherilynn Kenyon
- “Pronouncing Doom” by S.M. Stirling – An Emberverse story
- “Name the Beast” by Sam Sykes
- “Caretakers” by Pat Cadigan
- “Lies My Mother Told Me” by Caroline Spector – A Wild Cards story
- “The Princess and the Queen” by George R.R. Martin – A Song of Ice and Fire story

*blurb from Goodreads here

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Taste of Darkness (Healer #3) by Maria V. Snyder – Dec 31st (MIRA)

She’s fought death and won. But how can she fight her fears?

Avry knows hardship and trouble. She fought the plague and survived. She took on King Tohon and defeated him. But now her heart-mate, Kerrick, is missing, and Avry fears he’s gone forever.

But there’s a more immediate threat. The Skeleton King plots to claim the Fifteen Realms for his own. With armies in disarray and the dead not staying down, Avry’s healing powers are needed now more than ever.Torn between love and loyalty, Avry must choose her path carefully. For the future of her world depends on her decision.

*blurb from Goodreads here

Urban Fantasy

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Blade to the Keep (Rowan Summerwaite #2) by Lauren Dane – Dec 9th (Carina Press)

Rowan Summerwaite is no ordinary woman. She’s smart and strong and with the power of an ancient goddess in her belly, she’s the perfect candidate to re-negotiate the fragile Treaty keeping the peace between the Vampire Nation and the last line of defense for humanity, The Hunter Corporation. A meeting of the Joint Tribunal, and Rowan’s new status as Liaison sends her straight to the last place on earth she wants to be—The Keep.

Raised at the knee of The First, honed into a weapon by the Hunter Corporation, wielding ancient knowledge from the Goddess within, Rowan must navigate around bloodthirsty opposition among Vampires and Hunters alike to avoid an all out war that puts humanity in the crosshairs.

And she’s got to do it as she attempts to manage a politically awkward romantic relationship with Scion Clive Stewart during a trip back to a place she escaped nearly fifteen years before. No pressure.

Walking the path between her two lives has already made Rowan a pariah. If she leaves it to become something even more Other, she may lose even the shreds of home she has left.

*blurb from Goodreads here

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The Spider (Elemental Assassin #10) by Jennifer Estep – Dec 24th (Simon and Schuster)

The tenth book in the bestselling and “outstanding” (Romantic Times) Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series finally reveals for the first time the origins of Gin Blanco’s career as the deadliest of assassins.

For the first time, the origins of Gin Blanco’s career as the deadly assassin “the Spider” are revealed in full. In a story that pre-dates the other nine books in the series, Gin Blanco goes through her paces to become the most feared assassin in the Ashland.

*blurb from Goodreads here

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Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews – Dec 2nd (Self)

Dina Demille runs a Bed and Breakfast in a small Texas town and tries her best to pretend to be normal. Her broom is a deadly weapon, her house is a sentient magic inn for otherwordly visitors to Earth, and her only permanent guest is a retired Galactic aristocrat who can’t leave the grounds because she’s responsible for the deaths of millions and someone might shoot her on sight. Under the circumstances, normal can be a little difficult.

And now, something with wicked claws and deepwater teeth begins hunting dogs in her neighborhood. Feeling responsible for the welfare of her neighbors, Dina decides to get involved. Before long, she has to juggle dealing with an alpha-strain werewolf and a cosmic vampire, while trying to keep her inn and its guests safe. But the enemy she’s facing is unlike anything she’d ever encountered before. It’s smart, vicious, and lethal, and putting herself between this creature and her neighbors might just cost her everything.

*blurb from Goodreads here

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The Grendel Affair (SPI Files #1) by Lisa Shearin – Dec 31st (Ace)

We’re Supernatural Protection & Investigations, known as SPI. Things that go bump in the night, the monsters you thought didn’t exist? We battle them and keep you safe. But some supernatural baddies are just too big to contain, even for us…

When I moved to New York to become a world famous journalist, I never imagined that snagging a job at a seedy tabloid would change my career path from trashy reporter to undercover agent. I’m Makenna Fraser, a Seer for SPI. I can see through any disguise, shield, or spell that a paranormal pest can come up with. I track down creatures and my partner, Ian Byrne, takes them out—usually saving my skin in the process.

Our cases are generally pretty routine, but a sickle-wielding serial killer has been prowling the city’s subway tunnels. And the murderer’s not human. The fiend in question, a descendant of Grendel—yes, that Grendel—shares his ancestor’s hatred of parties, revelry, and drunkards. And with New Year’s Eve in Times Square only two days away, we need to bag him quickly. Because if we don’t find him—and the organization behind him—by midnight, our secret’s out and everyone’s time is up.

*blurb from Goodreads here

Comments

  1. Amanda says

    IT really does feel like someone push Fast-Forward on 2013. It seems like just weeks ago I was lamenting about how some of the books that I most looked forward were not coming out until later in the year and now most of them are out. However in this batch I want to read Clean Sweep, True, and Taste of Darkness (though I still need to read the second in he series). I am not really into football but the guy on the front of Foolish Games looks like Matt Damon so I might give it ago too.

    ReplyReply
  2. says

    You only show a few of the ones I want this month. I was happy to read the ARC of Gini Koch – Alien Research, and it is so good!
    And yes, the year has flown.

    ReplyReply
  3. miscjoy says

    @Amanda: I’m not sure how it happened, but I haven’t read a good portion of books I was so impatient for this year. I downloaded them when they came out and still have yet to get to them. It feels like they just released instead of months having gone by. O_O I gotta get a handle on this, lol!

    @xaurianx: I haven’t read that series. I’ll have to check it out. The blurb for Alien Research looks good:-)

    ReplyReply
  4. mel burns says

    Alexis Hall is my new fav……I loved Glitterland and can’t wait for his take on the supernatural.
    Happy Holidays!

    ReplyReply

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