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Miscellaneous Must Haves Opinion

April 2018 Must Haves

Contemporary Romance

Claim Me, Cowboy cover imageClaim Me, Cowboy (Copper Ridge: Desire #4) by Maisey Yates – 3-Apr-2018 (Harlequin Desire)

Wanted: fake fiancée for a wealthy rancher

Benefits: all your dreams come true

#1 Rule: don’t fall in love

The woman on his doorstep is brash, independent and holding a baby! His father won’t approve, which makes her perfect for Joshua Grayson’s scheme. He’ll pretend he’s marrying unsuitable Danielle Kelly to keep his father from meddling. He won’t be tempted to touch her, to claim her…or to fall in love.

Deadly Dorian cover imageDeadly Dorian (Ward Security #3) by Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott – 13-Apr-2018 (Self)

Someone is trying to kill Marc Foster.

Attempted poisoning was bad enough, but when the would-be killer messes with the brakes on Marc’s precious Porsche, the art dealer admits he needs help. He just wasn’t expecting help to be quite so dark and sexy.

Royce Karras loves his job at Ward Security. He’s making up for a lifetime of bad decisions and a bloody past he’d rather forget. But Marc isn’t the spoiled rich boy he thought he’d be protecting. Sticking close to Marc as his “boyfriend” gives Royce insight into his toxic family, but it also reveals a brilliant, compassionate man who completely disarms Royce. Against his better judgment, Royce finds himself falling.

But can they find a way to make it work when Royce’s past threatens to tear their lives apart? Their futures hinges on a lost Renaissance painting, six Bichon Frises, and a pornographic Robin Hood.

No worries, right?

Not Your Cinderella cover imageNot Your Cinderella by Kate Johnson – 17-Apr-2018 (Self)

He’s a prince. She’s a barmaid. It’s never going to work.

All Jamie wants to do is finish his PhD and live a life of quiet academic obscurity, but since he’s actually Prince Jamie of Wales, that’s not likely to happen. All his family wants is for him to find a suitable bride, but the local pub probably isn’t the place he should be looking.

Clodagh shouldn’t be falling for a prince. She’s worked too hard to improve her life and leave her shady past behind to get derailed by romance anyway, and all the press scrutiny that comes with royalty would be a nightmare with her background.

But the sparks won’t stop flying between them, and soon all Clodagh and Jamie can do is try to limit the fire.

A story about royalty, computer sciences, geeky t-shirts and cult musicals. And a pub.

The Family Gathering cover imageThe Family Gathering (Sullivan’s Crossing #3) by Robyn Carr – 17-Apr-2018 (Mira)

Having left the military, Dakota Jones is at a crossroads in his life. With his elder brother and youngest sister happily settled in Sullivan’s Crossing, he shows up hoping to clear his head before moving on to his next adventure. But, like every visitor to the Crossing, he’s immediately drawn to the down-to-earth people and the seemingly simple way of life.

Dakota is unprepared for how quickly things get complicated. As a newcomer, he is on everyone’s radar—especially the single women in town. While he enjoys the attention at first, he’s really only attracted to the one woman who isn’t interested. And spending quality time with his siblings is eye-opening. As he gets to know them, he also gets to know himself and what he truly wants.

When all the Jones siblings gather for a family wedding, the four adults are drawn together for the first time in a way they never were as children. As they struggle to accept each other, warts and all, the true nature and strength of their bond is tested. But all of them come to realize that your family are the people who see you for who you really are and love you anyway. And for Dakota, that truth allows him to find the home and family he’s always wanted.

Welcome to Moonlight Harbor cover imageWelcome to Moonlight Harbor by Sheila Roberts – 17-Apr-2018 (Mira)

Once happily married, Jenna Jones is about to turn forty, and this year for her birthday—lucky her—she’s getting a divorce. She’s barely able to support herself and her teenage daughter, but now her deadbeat artist ex is hitting her up for spousal support…and then spending it on his “other” woman.

Still, as her mother always says, every storm brings a rainbow. And when she gets a very unexpected gift from her great-aunt Edie, things seem to be taking a turn for the better. Aging Aunt Edie is finding it difficult to keep up her business running The Driftwood Inn, so she invites Jenna to come live with her and run the place. It looks like Jenna’s financial problems are solved!

Or not. The town is a little more run-down than Jenna remembers, but that’s nothing compared to the ramshackle state of The Driftwood Inn. Aunt Edie is confident they can return it to its former glory, though Jenna feels like she’s jumped from the proverbial frying pan into the beach fire.

But who knows? With the help of her new friends and a couple of handsome citizens, perhaps that rainbow is on the horizon after all. Because, no matter what, life is always good at the beach.

Hot Response cover imageHot Response (Boston Fire #4) by Shannon Stacey – 24-Apr-2018 (Carina)

Gavin Boudreau lives for the job, but he also believes in “work hard, play harder.” As the youngest guy in Ladder 37, he figures he’s got plenty of time before settling down becomes a priority. Soft, pretty women who aren’t looking for promises are exactly his type, and he’s comfortable with that. Working with a gorgeous EMT isn’t going to change who he is.

The last thing Cait Tasker needs in her personal life is a firefighter whose challenges on-scene have been a thorn in her side from minute one. Her plate’s too full for a man anyway. Back in her childhood home to help her family cope with an unexpected tragedy, she’s got enough to handle without throwing a hot, testosterone-laden fireman into the mix.

As long days on the job lead to long nights together, Gavin and Cait will discover how far temptation can take them—and what happens when the one you thought was all wrong for you turns out to be the person you can’t live without.

Total Bravery cover imageTotal Bravery (True Heroes #4) by Piper J. Drake – 24-Apr-2018 (Grand Central Publishing)

True heroes will do anything to protect the women they love…

As the newest recruit at Search and Protect, Raul has a lot to prove. Luckily, he’s got the best friend and partner a man could ask for: a highly trained, fiercely loyal German Shepherd Dog named Taz. Together, Raul and Taz make an unbeatable team. But their first mission in Hawaii really puts them to the test when an international kidnapping ring sets its sights on the bravest woman Raul’s ever met . . .

Mali knows her latest job has put one hell of a target on her back. And on this small island paradise, there’s nowhere to hide. With a service dog like Taz, Mali feels safe. Sharing close quarters with a smoldering muscle-for-hire like Raul, she feels something else – an unexpected wave of desire. Raul feels it too. But when the kidnappers make their move, he’s got to turn that slow-burning passion into hard-hitting action – and save the life of the woman he loves.

Fantasy

Not So Stories cover imageNot So Stories by David Thomas Moore et al – 10-Apr-2018 (Abaddon (Rebellion))

Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories was one of the first true children’s books in the English language, a timeless classic that continues to delight readers to this day. Beautiful, evocative and playful, the stories of ‘How the Whale Got His Throat’ or ‘The First Letter Written’ paint a magical, primal world. It is also deeply rooted in British colonialism. Kipling saw the Empire as a benign, civilising force, and his writing can be troubling to modern readers. Not So Stories attempts to redress the balance, bringing together new and established writers of colour from around the world to take the Just So Stories back; giving voices to cultures that were long deprived them.

From Unseen Fire cover imageFrom Unseen Fire (Aven Cycle #1) by Cass Morris – 17-Apr-2018 (DAW)

The Dictator is dead; long live the Republic.

But whose Republic will it be? Senators, generals, and elemental mages vie for the power to shape the future of the city of Aven. Latona of the Vitelliae, a mage of Spirit and Fire, has suppressed her phenomenal talents for fear they would draw unwanted attention from unscrupulous men. Now that the Dictator who threatened her family is gone, she may have an opportunity to seize a greater destiny as a protector of the people — if only she can find the courage to try.

Her siblings—a widow who conceals a canny political mind in the guise of a frivolous socialite, a young prophetess learning to navigate a treacherous world, and a military tribune leading a dangerous expedition in the province of Iberia—will be her allies as she builds a place for herself in this new world, against the objections of their father, her husband, and the strictures of Aventan society.

Latona’s path intersects with that of Sempronius Tarren, an ambitious senator harboring a dangerous secret. Sacred law dictates that no mage may hold high office, but Sempronius, a Shadow mage who has kept his abilities a life-long secret, intends to do just that. As rebellion brews in the provinces, Sempronius must outwit the ruthless leader of the opposing Senate faction to claim the political and military power he needs to secure a glorious future for Aven and his own place in history.

As politics draw them together and romance blossoms between them, Latona and Sempronius will use wit, charm, and magic to shape Aven’s fate. But when their foes resort to brutal violence and foul sorcery, will their efforts be enough to save the Republic they love?

Fantasy Romance

A Guiding Light cover imageA Guiding Light (Royal States #3) by Susan Copperfield – 24-Apr-2018 (Pen & Page Publishing)

In the Royal States of America, magic rules all, but life—and love—always finds a way.

Once upon a time, Adam had been betrothed to North Dakota’s heir, and she’d been his everything, his reason for living. Failing to develop his parents’ talents, he’s stripped of his rank and shipped to a remote corner of the kingdom to live out the rest of his life as a shamed outcast.

Defying the realities of his new caste and hiding his love for the one woman he can’t have, Adam turns to the stock markets, ghosting through the financial world in search of purpose. Trouble comes calling when his beloved’s little brother shows up on his doorstep. Adam’s first mistake is inviting in the royal runaway. His second is listening to the child’s plight, learning of New York’s plan to crash North Dakota’s stock market and incite rebellion.

Unless Adam does something to stop the rival kingdom, his former betrothed will become the property of another man. Unwilling to see her reduced to a trophy bride and unable let her go without a fight, Adam pits his love and fortunes against the influence and power of kings.

Should Adam falter, North Dakota will lose more than a princess: it will fall to civil war.

Historical Mystery

Why Kill the Innocent cover imageWhy Kill the Innocent (Sebastian St. Cyr #13) by C.S. Harris – 3-Apr-2018 (Berkley)

In the newest mystery from the national bestselling author of Where the Dead Lie, a brutal murder draws Sebastian St. Cyr into the web of the royal court, where intrigue abounds and betrayal awaits.

London, 1814. As a cruel winter holds the city in its icy grip, the bloody body of a beautiful young musician is found half-buried in a snowdrift. Jane Ambrose’s ties to Princess Charlotte, the only child of the Prince Regent and heir presumptive to the throne, panic the palace, which moves quickly to shut down any investigation into the death of the talented pianist. But Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, and his wife Hero refuse to allow Jane’s murderer to escape justice.

Untangling the secrets of Jane’s world leads Sebastian into a maze of dangerous treachery where each player has his or her own unsavory agenda and no one can be trusted. As the Thames freezes over and the people of London pour onto the ice for a Frost Fair, Sebastian and Hero find their investigation circling back to the palace and building to a chilling crescendo of deceit and death . . .

Historical Romance

My Lady's Choosing cover imageMy Lady’s Choosing by Kitty Curran, Larissa Zageris – 3-Apr-2018 (Quirk Books)

The romance novel that lets you pick your path, follow your heart, and find happily ever after

You are the plucky but penniless heroine in the center of eighteenth-century society, courtship season has begun, and your future is at hand. Will you flip forward fetchingly to find love with the bantering baronet Sir Benedict Granville? Or turn the page to true love with the hardworking, horse-loving highlander Captain Angus McTaggart? Or perhaps race through the chapters chasing a good (and arousing) man gone mad, bad, and scandalous to know, Lord Garraway Craven? Or read on recklessly and take to the Continent as the “traveling companion” of the spirited and adventuresome Lady Evangeline? Or yet some other intriguing fate? Make choices, turn pages, and discover all the daring delights of the multiple (and intertwining!) storylines. And in every path you pick, beguiling illustrations bring all the lust and love to life.

Unmasked by the MarquessUnmasked by the Marquess (Regency Imposters #1) by Cat Sebastian – 17-Apr-2018 (Avon Impulse)

The one you love…
Robert Selby is determined to see his sister make an advantageous match. But he has two problems: the Selbys have no connections or money and Robert is really a housemaid named Charity Church. She’s enjoyed every minute of her masquerade over the past six years, but she knows her pretense is nearing an end. Charity needs to see her beloved friend married well and then Robert Selby will disappear…forever.

May not be who you think…

Alistair, Marquess of Pembroke, has spent years repairing the estate ruined by his wastrel father, and nothing is more important than protecting his fortune and name. He shouldn’t be so beguiled by the charming young man who shows up on his doorstep asking for favors. And he certainly shouldn’t be thinking of all the disreputable things he’d like to do to the impertinent scamp.

But is who you need…

When Charity’s true nature is revealed, Alistair knows he can’t marry a scandalous woman in breeches, and Charity isn’t about to lace herself into a corset and play a respectable miss. Can these stubborn souls learn to sacrifice what they’ve always wanted for a love that is more than they could have imagined?

After the Wedding cover imageAfter the Wedding (Worth Saga #2) by Courtney Milan – 24-Apr-2018 (Courtney Milan)

Adrian Hunter has concealed his identity and posed as a servant to assist his powerful uncle. He’s on the verge of obtaining the information he needs when circumstances spiral out of his control. He’s caught alone with a woman he scarcely knows. When they’re discovered in this compromising circumstance, he’s forced to marry her at gunpoint. Luckily, his uncle should be able to obtain an annulment. All Adrian has to do is complete his mission…and not consummate the marriage, no matter how enticing the bride may be.

Lady Camilla Worth has never expected much out of life—not since her father was convicted of treason and she was passed from family to family. A marriage, no matter how unfortunate the circumstances under which it was contracted, should mean stability. It’s unfortunate that her groom doesn’t agree. But Camilla has made the best of worse circumstances. She is determined to make her marriage work. All she has to do is seduce her reluctant husband.

Historical Urban Fantasy

Dread Nation cover imageDread Nation (Dread Nation #1) by Justina Ireland – 3-Apr-2018 (Blazer & Bray)

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

Mystery

Cave of Bones cover imageCave of Bones (Leaphorn & Chee #22) by Anne Hillerman – 3-Apr-2018 (Harper)

When Tribal Police Officer Bernadette Manuelito arrives to speak at an outdoor character-building program for at-risk teens, she discovers chaos. Annie, a young participant on a solo experience due back hours before, has just returned and is traumatized. Gently questioning the girl, Bernie learns that Annie stumbled upon a human skeleton on her trek. While everyone is relieved that Annie is back, they’re concerned about a beloved instructor who went out into the wilds of the rugged lava wilderness bordering Ramah Navajo Reservation to find the missing girl. The instructor vanished somewhere in the volcanic landscape known as El Malpais. In Navajo lore, the lava caves and tubes are believed to be the solidified blood of a terrible monster killed by superhuman twin warriors.

Solving the twin mysteries will expose Bernie to the chilling face of human evil. The instructor’s disappearance mirrors a long-ago search that may be connected to a case in which the legendary Joe Leaphorn played a crucial role. But before Bernie can find the truth, an unexpected blizzard, a suspicious accidental drowning, and the arrival of a new FBI agent complicate the investigation.

While Bernie searches for answers in her case, her husband, Sergeant Jim Chee juggles trouble closer to home. A vengeful man he sent to prison for domestic violence is back—and involved with Bernie’s sister Darleen. Their relationship creates a dilemma that puts Chee in uncomfortable emotional territory that challenges him as family man, a police officer, and as a one-time medicine man in training.

Anne Hillerman takes us deep into the heart of the deserts, mountains, and forests of New Mexico and once again explores the lore and rituals of Navajo culture in this gripping entry in her atmospheric crime series.

Paranormal Romance

The Coyote's Cowboy cover imageThe Coyote’s Cowboy (Masters of Maria #5) by Holley Trent – 16-Apr-2018 (Self)

Those sexy shapeshifters are once again on the prowl in Maria, New Mexico, in this tender romance that explores the soft side of being accepted—and loved.

Sheena Esposito has never rocked the boat in her father’s repressive Coyote pack, but when she learns of his intentions to further antagonize a rival alpha, she can’t stay quiet. She must warn the good guys that trouble is headed their way.

When her search lands her outside Maria, New Mexico, a surly ranch hand pegs her as an annoying stray dog. Desperate to keep his new job, cowboy Austin Stuart plans to get rid of the distraction. Yet, according to his little brother, the dog is really a human, and she’s on the run. Could this get more ridiculous? But he soon finds out shapeshifters are very real…and all signs point to Austin being Sheena’s mate.

After a lifetime spent recovering from one embarrassing social gaffe after another, Austin is open to trading his solitude for a chance at having a partner who’s kind about his rough edges—and no one’s sweeter than Sheena. Unfortunately, Sheena is still under her abusive father’s thumb, and she knows he’s waiting for her back in Sacramento.

It’s up to Austin to convince her that the bravest thing she can do is stay in Maria—not only for him, but so she can incite lasting change in Coyote culture as well.

Wicked and Wild cover imageWicked and Wild (Bad Things #7) by Cynthia Eden – 24-Apr-2018 (Hocus Pocus Publishing)

She was wicked…

Everyone knew that Valerie Storm was the baddest bit—um, witch on the block. She might look like Snow White, but she had the heart of the wicked queen. She turned her enemies to ash, she danced on their graves, and she had to be stopped. But who could stand up to someone so wicked?

He was wild.

Griffin Bastien was the most powerful shifter to ever walk the earth. His claws had sent plenty of his foes to the grave. Bloodlust burned fast and hard within him, and when his beast took over, there was no stopping him.

Then Wicked met Wild.

Neither of them believed in love. And neither of them ever expected the firestorm that ignited when they kissed. But some things—some people—can’t be controlled. The need that Valerie and Griffin feel for each other, the white-hot lust, will change their world.

Even hell doesn’t burn this hot.

Too bad that Griffin has been keeping secrets. Too bad that he is the original assassin sent to destroy Valerie. Because when she finds out the truth, there will be no greater fury than a wicked witch betrayed. Even the biggest, baddest beast might discover that he’s absolutely lost when a witch casts her spell, and he will be willing to do anything to reclaim the mate he never expected.

Buckle up, it’s gonna be a wild ride.

Author’s Note: WICKED AND WILD is a complete, stand-alone story that is set in the world of my “Bad Things” paranormal books. Expect a sexy alpha, a very fierce heroine, and hot times ahead.

Science Fiction

Space Opera cover imageSpace Opera by Catherynne M. Valente – 10-Apr-2018 (Saga Press)

IN SPACE EVERYONE CAN HEAR YOU SING

A century ago, the Sentience Wars tore the galaxy apart and nearly ended the entire concept of intelligent space-faring life. In the aftermath, a curious tradition was invented-something to cheer up everyone who was left and bring the shattered worlds together in the spirit of peace, unity, and understanding.

Once every cycle, the civilizations gather for Galactivision – part gladiatorial contest, part beauty pageant, part concert extravaganza, and part continuation of the wars of the past. Instead of competing in orbital combat, the powerful species that survived face off in a competition of song, dance, or whatever can be physically performed in an intergalactic talent show. The stakes are high for this new game, and everyone is forced to compete.

This year, though, humankind has discovered the enormous universe. And while they expected to discover a grand drama of diplomacy, gunships, wormholes, and stoic councils of aliens, they have instead found glitter, lipstick and electric guitars. Mankind will not get to fight for its destiny – they must sing.

A one-hit-wonder band of human musicians, dancers and roadies from London – Decibel Jones and the Absolute Zeroes – have been chosen to represent Earth on the greatest stage in the galaxy. And the fate of their species lies in their ability to rock.

Head On cover imageHead On (Lock In #2) by John Scalzi – 17-Apr-2018 (Tor)

Hilketa is a frenetic and violent pastime where players attack each other with swords and hammers. The main goal of the game: obtain your opponent’s head and carry it through the goalposts. With flesh and bone bodies, a sport like this would be impossible. But all the players are “threeps,” robot-like bodies controlled by people with Haden’s Syndrome, so anything goes. No one gets hurt, but the brutality is real and the crowds love it.

Until a star athlete drops dead on the playing field.

Is it an accident or murder? FBI Agents and Haden-related crime investigators, Chris Shane and Leslie Vann, are called in to uncover the truth―and in doing so travel to the darker side of the fast-growing sport of Hilketa, where fortunes are made or lost, and where players and owners do whatever it takes to win, on and off the field.

Urban Fantasy

How to Break an Undead Heart cover imageHow to Break an Undead Heart (Beginners Guide to Necromancy #3) by Hailey Edwards – 1-Apr-18 (Black Dog Books LLC)

Grier finally has the one thing she’s always wanted: Boaz Pritchard. Too bad her dream boyfriend is keeping her up nights, just not in a sweaty or fun way. Boaz has dialed down the Southern charm and stopped returning her calls. His job forces him to keep secrets, but his radio silence is cranking up her suspicions. He’s a shameless flirt, but he’s her shameless flirt…right?

Soon an attack on Woolworth House leaves her with bigger problems than he loves me, he loves me not. Vampires are on the prowl, and they aren’t the only predators circling. A new threat has emerged, one with blood rights to Grier. With enemies closing in on all sides, she must choose her allies, and the decision could make or break her…and her heart.

Warning: This book contains a buttload of zombie parakeet poop. Like grab a poncho and thank me later. Watch out, y’all. It’s all about to hit the fan. Hearts will break, and heads will roll. Literally.

A Glimmer of Hope cover imageA Glimmer of Hope (The Avalon Chronicles #1) by Steve McHugh – 1-Apr-2018 (47North)

Layla Cassidy has always wanted a normal life, and the chance to put her father’s brutal legacy behind her. And in her final year of university she’s finally found it. Or so she thinks.

But when Layla accidentally activates an ancient scroll, she is bestowed with an incredible, inhuman power. She plunges into a dangerous new world, full of mythical creatures and menace—all while a group of fanatics will stop at nothing to turn her abilities to their cause.

To protect those she loves most, Layla must take control of her new powers…before they destroy her. All is not yet lost—there is a light shining, but Layla must survive long enough to see it.

The monthly Must Have list is a compilation of the upcoming release titles that we, The Book Pushers, just can’t wait to get our hands on. Don’t see a title you’re excited about listed here? Add it to the comments section below. Let us know what you’re looking forward to!

By E_booklover

E is addicted to books. She discovered at an early age that not only were they her transport to far off worlds, adventures, and exotic cultures, but that she ran into far fewer objects if she walked while reading then if she wasn't reading. She reads across several genres, such as: romance, western,mystery, SF/F and its derivatives. She isn't too picky except for good characterization, settings she can imagine, and a story that flows logically... umm so ok -- she wants a good story. Have any to recommend?

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