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Miscellaneous Must Haves

December 2018 Must Haves

BP NOTE: Welcome to the last Must Haves post for 2018! It has been a very busy year for us with lots of changes in our day to day lives. This has been evident by the sadly sharp reduction in reviews BUT we still love the book community and look forward to finding new-to-us reads each month. We hope you are enjoying what we are also anticipating. May your year end on a high note with a good read!

Fantasy Romance

Marked by Stars cover imageMarked by Stars (Songs of the Amaranthine #1) by Forthwright – 4 Dec 18 (Twinkle Press)

A wolf without a pack and a boy in need of roots become founders.
After a heavenly visitation, one young wolf turns his back on his pack and on the moon in order to tread a lonesome path. A blaze of stars. A brand of copper. A burden of trust. First of Dogs, he takes a new name, makes peace with group of weary humans, and helps to found the In-between. This is a tale of the Kindred. This is the lore of the Starmark clan.

Songs of the Amaranthine is a collection of short stories set in Forthright’s Amaranthine universe. Before the Emergence, the clans were nothing more than whispers and mysteries and legends and lore. But every so often—in out-of-the-way places or shockingly close to home—an unsuspecting person stumbled into a fateful encounter with someone who was decidedly other. An eclectic collection, spanning continents and centuries. Tales of adventure, discovery, friendship, rescue, belonging, and love. Each short story stands alone and can be read in any order.

Historical Fiction

The Gown cover imageThe Gown by Jennifer Robson – 31 Dec 18 (William Morrow)

“Millions will welcome this joyous event as a flash of color on the long road we have to travel.”—Sir Winston Churchill on the news of Princess Elizabeth’s forthcoming wedding

London, 1947: Besieged by the harshest winter in living memory, burdened by onerous shortages and rationing, the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation’s recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown.

Toronto, 2016: More than half a century later, Heather Mackenzie seeks to unravel the mystery of a set of embroidered flowers, a legacy from her late grandmother. How did her beloved Nan, a woman who never spoke of her old life in Britain, come to possess the priceless embroideries that so closely resemble the motifs on the stunning gown worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding almost seventy years before? And what was her Nan’s connection to the celebrated textile artist and holocaust survivor Miriam Dassin?

With The Gown, Jennifer Robson takes us inside the workrooms where one of the most famous wedding gowns in history was created. Balancing behind-the-scenes details with a sweeping portrait of a society left reeling by the calamitous costs of victory, she introduces readers to three unforgettable heroines, their points of view alternating and intersecting throughout its pages, whose lives are woven together by the pain of survival, the bonds of friendship, and the redemptive power of love.

Historical Mystery

Death of an Eye cover imageDeath of an Eye (Eye of Isis #1) by Dana Stabenow – 6 Dec 18 (Head of Zeus)

Alexandria, 47BCE: Cleopatra shares the throne with her brother Ptolemy under the auspices of Julius Caesar, by whom Cleopatra is heavily pregnant with child. A shipment of new coin meant to reset the shaky Egyptian economy has been stolen, the Queen’s Eye has been murdered and Queen Cleopatra turns to childhood friend Tetisheri to find the missing shipment and bring the murderer to justice.

Historical Romance

Not the Duke's Darling cover imageNot the Duke’s Darling (Greycourt #1) by Elizabeth Hoyt – 18 Dec 18 (Forever)

Freya de Moray is many things: a member of the secret order of Wise Women, the daughter of disgraced nobility, and a chaperone living under an assumed name. What she is not is forgiving. So when the Duke of Harlowe–the man who destroyed her brother and led to the downfall of her family–appears at the country house party she’s attending, she does what any Wise Woman would do: she starts planning her revenge.

Christopher Renshaw, the Duke of Harlowe, is being blackmailed. Intent on keeping his secrets safe, he agrees to attend a house party where he will put an end to this coercion once and for all. Until he recognizes Freya, masquerading amongst the party revelers, and realizes his troubles have just begun. Freya knows all about his sins. Sins he’d much rather forget. But she’s also fiery, bold, and sensuous-a temptation he can’t resist. When it becomes clear Freya is in grave danger, he’ll risk everything to keep her safe. But first, Harlowe will have to earn Freya’s trust-by whatever means necessary.

Features a bonus novella from New York Times bestselling author Grace Burrowes!

Dare to Love a Duke cover imageDare to Love a Duke (London Underground #3) by Eva Leigh – 24 Dec 18 (Avon)

Thomas Powell, the new Duke of Northfield, knows he should be proper and principled, like his father. No more dueling, or carousing, or frequenting masked parties where Londoners indulge their wildest desires. But he’s not ready to give up his freedom just yet. The club is an escape, a place where he can forget about society and the weight of his title… and see her, the woman he’s wanted forever.

Lucia—known as Amina—manages the Orchid Club, a secret society where fantasies become reality. But for Lucia, it’s strictly business, profitable enough to finance her dream: a home for the lost girls of the streets. Surrounded by lovers, she only observes, unwilling risk her future for any man. No member has ever intrigued her…until him, the masked stranger whose heated looks sear her skin. After months of suppressed longing, they dare to give in to temptation…

But the late duke’s legacy comes with a shocking secret, and the scandal threatens to destroy everything Tom loves… his family, the Orchid Club, and even Lucia.

Mystery

Murder in the Dark cover imageMurder in the Dark (Ishmael Jones #6) by Simon R. Green – 1 Dec 18 (Severn House)

The sudden appearance of a sinister black hole in the English countryside leads to a baffling murder investigation for Ishmael Jones.

“The past is England’s dreaming, and not all of it sleeps soundly…”

Ishmael Jones and his partner Penny have been despatched to assist a group of scientists who are investigating a mysterious black hole which has appeared on a Somerset hillside. Could it really be a doorway to another dimension, an opening into another world?

When one of the scientists disappears into the hole — with fatal consequences — Ishmael must prove whether it was an accident — or murder. But with no clues, no witnesses and no apparent motive, he has little to go on. Is there an alien predator at large, or is an all-too-human killer responsible? Only one thing is certain: if Ishmael does not uncover the truth in time, more deaths will follow…

For the Sake of the Game cover imageFor the Sake of the Game by Laurie R. King, Leslie S. Klinger (editors) – 4 Dec 18 (Pegasus)

For the Sake of the Game is the latest volume in the award-winning series from New York Times bestselling editors Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger, with stories of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Watson, and friends in a variety of eras and forms. King and Klinger have a simple formula: ask some of the world’s greatest writers—regardless of genre—to be inspired by the stories of Arthur Conan Doyle.

The results are surprising and joyous. Some tales are pastiches, featuring the recognizable figures of Holmes and Watson; others step away in time or place to describe characters and stories influenced by the Holmes world. Some of the authors spin whimsical tales of fancy; others tell hard-core thrillers or puzzling mysteries. One beloved author writes a song; two others craft a melancholy graphic tale of insectoid analysis.

This is not a volume for readers who crave a steady diet of stories about Holmes and Watson on Baker Street. Rather, it is for the generations of readers who were themselves inspired by the classic tales, and who are prepared to let their imaginations roam freely.

Featuring Stories by: Peter S. Beagle, Rhys Bowen, Reed Farrel Coleman, Jamie Freveletti, Alan Gordon, Gregg Hurwitz, Toni L. P. Kelner, William Kotzwinkle and Joe Servello, Harley Jane Kozak, D. P. Lyle, Weston Ochse, Zoe Sharp, Duane Swierczynski, and F. Paul Wilson.

Paranormal Romance

Echoes of Fire cover imageEchoes of Fire (The Mercury Pack #4) by Suzanne Wright – 11 Dec 18 (Montlake Romance)

They may not be made for each other, but animal instincts are impossible to ignore.

Madisyn Drake is a rare breed of cat shifter…a loner, unpredictably wild, and emotionally distant. A recent betrayal has left her ready to sharpen her claws on the next man she sees…until a prowling wolf with steel-gray eyes and a brooding dark edge challenges her distrust. No matter how fully he satisfies her touch-hunger, Madisyn’s not ready to open up again, even if it is oh so gratifying.

Bracken Slater has earned his reputation as an indomitable predator. Once broken by grief and guilt, Brack is feeling alive again, thanks to the heady scent of this independent feline. Convincing her that they’re meant for each other is going to take more than branding Madisyn’s beautiful neck. She’s not interested in joining an unfamiliar pack, much less answering to an alpha. But when threats from both their pasts take shape, their unexpected destiny may be the only thing that can save them.

Urban Fantasy

A Shadow of Crows cover imageA Shadow of Crows (The Wild Hunt #4) by Yasmine Galenorn – 3 Dec 18 (Nightqueen Enterprises)

As autumn approaches and Ember approaches the Cruharach, a revelation rocks Herne’s world that threatens their relationship. In the middle of the chaos, the Wild Hunt is approached by Raven, one of the Ante-Fae. A bone-witch, Raven hires them to find her missing fiancé. The spirits have warned her that he’s in danger.

As the Wild Hunt follows a trail of blood and bones, it leads them into a labyrinth of grisly deaths extending far beyond Raven’s lost love. A serial killer is murdering humans and Fae alike, hoping to win favor with one of the gods. But as Ember and Herne draw close to solving the case, yet another bombshell drops. And this time, the fallout could lead to outright war between the Fae Courts and an ancient enemy.

Series Reading Order:
1. The Silver Stag
2. Oak & Thorns
3. Iron Bones
4. A Shadow of Crows

Death Knell cover imageDeath Knell (Foundling #3) by Hailey Edwards – 4 Dec 18 ( Piatkus)

Luce is back in the third book of The Foundling, the bestselling fantasy series perfect for fans of Shannon Mayer, Jenn Stark and the Sookie Stackhouse novels

War burned her. Famine nearly killed her. Now Death is at her heels.

After her two worlds clashed apocalyptically, Luce Boudreau needed some time out. But Destiny had other ideas. When bodies begin washing ashore down the Mississippi River, Luce discovers they are part of a gruesome, lethal message. Her final sister, Death, is trying to break through.

Every sign is clear: the end is coming, but earth will be destroyed – quite literally – over Luce’s dead body, even if that means she’ll be battling her own nature. And her coterie will stand with her, though Cole keeps standing one step too goddamn far away. Her mysterious new partner, Adam Wu, on the other hand, seems determined to keep her close at all times. And the more Luce learns about the new world she’s part of, the deeper the secrets go. Who – if anyone – can she really trust?

As the final pieces of an ancient war come together, Luce’s chance to fight back comes sooner than she expected. Death can come at her . . . she’s eager to return the favour.

The Stars Afire cover imageThe Stars Afire (Elemental Mysteries Anthology) by Elizabeth Hunter – 4 Dec 18 (Recurve Press, LLC)

A new anthology of short fiction featuring your favorite characters from the Elemental Mysteries.



In Lost Letters and Christmas Lights, Christmas in Rome wasn’t quite what Giovanni and Beatrice had in mind, until a set of misplaced letters leads them back to their library in the heart of Italy. Serafina Rossi hadn’t expected vampires for Christmas, but the thought of meeting the cantankerous and intriguing ally of her employers was more than she could resist.


Giovanni Vecchio has a headache, and Richard Montegu is it. In Finding Richard, Giovanni and Beatrice head east to New York City in order to take care of a little problem who’s been spotted off-off-Broadway.


Giovanni and Beatrice return to Italy in Desires of the Heart. With their nephew growing older every year, Giovanni and Beatrice travel to Rome for the holidays, this time with a new vision for their future and the future of their family.


The Stars Afire is a short story and novella anthology in the Elemental Mysteries series by Elizabeth Hunter. It includes new and previously published material.


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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