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June 2020 Must Haves

BP Note: We are 6 months by my calendar into a 2020 which has so far turned out nothing like I anticipated. I am taking a cue from the core tenant of romance and believing things will get better, our HEA/HFN is coming, things are bleak now but now won’t last forever. Thank you to everyone who is listening, learning, AND driving enduring positive change because our current now is not acceptable.

~E

Contemporary Romance

The Summer Deal (Wildstone #5)The Summer Deal (Wildstone #5) by Jill Shalvis – 2 Jun (William Morrow Paperbacks)

Brynn Turner desperately wishes she had it together, but her personal life is like a ping-pong match that’s left her scared and hurt after so many attempts to get it right. In search of a place to lick her wounds and get a fresh start, she heads back home to Wildstone.

And then there’s Kinsey Davis, who after battling serious health issues her entire twenty-nine years of life, is tired of hoping for . . . well, anything. She’s fierce, tough, and pretty much the opposite of Brynn except for one thing: they’re half-sisters. Kinsey is keeping this bombshell, and a few others as well. Long time frenemies from summer camp, there’s no way she’s going to tell Brynn they’re related.

But then Brynn runs into Kinsey’s lifelong best friend, Eli, renewing a childhood crush. He’s still easy-going and funny and sexy as hell. When he gets her to agree to a summer-time deal to trust him to do right by her, no matter what, she never dreams it’ll result in finding a piece of herself she didn’t even know was missing. She could have a sister, love, and a future―if she can only learn to let go of the past.

As the long days of summer wind down, the three of them must discover if forgiveness is enough to grasp the unconditional love that’s right in front of them.

The Boyfriend ProjectThe Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon – 9 Jun (Forever)

Samiah Brooks never thought she would be “that” girl. But a live tweet of a horrific date just revealed the painful truth: she’s been catfished by a three-timing jerk of a boyfriend. Suddenly Samiah-along with his two other “girlfriends,” London and Taylor-have gone viral online. Now the three new besties are making a pact to spend the next six months investing in themselves. No men, no dating, and no worrying about their relationship status . . .

For once Samiah is putting herself first, and that includes finally developing the app she’s always dreamed of creating. Which is the exact moment she meets the deliciously sexy, honey-eyed Daniel Collins at work. What are the chances? When it comes to love, there’s no such thing as a coincidence. But is Daniel really boyfriend material or is he maybe just a little too good to be true?

40-Love (There's Something About Marysburg #2)40-Love (There’s Something About Marysburg #2) by Olivia Dade – 18 Jun (Hussies & Harpies Press)

This match is no game.

When a rogue wave strips Tess Dunn of her bikini top, desperate, half-naked times call for desperate, please-cover-me-kids-are-coming-closer measures. Enter Lucas Karlsson, AKA that flirty Swede in the water nearby. When he prevents her bare buoys from being exposed to fellow vacationers, even an ocean can’t drown the sparks that fly.

Lucas, a former top-level tennis pro now giving lessons at the resort, fled there after the abrupt, painful end to his injury-plagued career. But he’s finally ready to move on with his life—and after a few late-night, hands-on sessions with Tess, he’s eager to prove he’s the ace she wants.

But this match comes with challenges: She’s forty, and at twenty-six, he’s barely old enough to rent a car. Worse, they only have two weeks together before Tess returns to her assistant-principal life in Virginia. During that brief time, they’ll have to play hard, take a few risks, and find out whether their chemistry is a one-shot wonder…or whether they’re meant to be doubles partners for life.

Party of Two (Wedding Date #5)Party of Two (Wedding Date #5) by Jasmine Guillory – 23 Jun (Berkley)

Dating is the last thing on Olivia Monroe’s mind when she moves to LA to start her own law firm. But when she meets a gorgeous man at a hotel bar and they spend the entire night flirting, she discovers too late that he is none other than hotshot junior senator Max Powell. Olivia has zero interest in dating a politician, but when a cake arrives at her office with the cutest message, she can’t resist–it is chocolate cake, after all.

Olivia is surprised to find that Max is sweet, funny, and noble–not just some privileged white politician she assumed him to be. Because of Max’s high-profile job, they start seeing each other secretly, which leads to clandestine dates and silly disguises. But when they finally go public, the intense media scrutiny means people are now digging up her rocky past and criticizing her job, even her suitability as a trophy girlfriend. Olivia knows what she has with Max is something special, but is it strong enough to survive the heat of the spotlight?

Take a Hint, Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters #2)Take a Hint, Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters #2) by Talia Hibbert – 23 Jun (Avon)

Danika Brown knows what she wants: professional success, academic renown, and an occasional roll in the hay to relieve all that career-driven tension. But romance? Been there, done that, burned the T-shirt. Romantic partners, whatever their gender, are a distraction at best and a drain at worst. So Dani asks the universe for the perfect friend-with-benefits—someone who knows the score and knows their way around the bedroom.

When brooding security guard Zafir Ansari rescues Dani from a workplace fire drill gone wrong, it’s an obvious sign: PhD student Dani and ex-rugby player Zaf are destined to sleep together. But before she can explain that fact, a video of the heroic rescue goes viral. Now half the internet is shipping #DrRugbae—and Zaf is begging Dani to play along. Turns out, his sports charity for kids could really use the publicity. Lying to help children? Who on earth would refuse?

Dani’s plan is simple: fake a relationship in public, seduce Zaf behind the scenes. The trouble is, grumpy Zaf’s secretly a hopeless romantic—and he’s determined to corrupt Dani’s stone-cold realism. Before long, he’s tackling her fears into the dirt. But the former sports star has issues of his own, and the walls around his heart are as thick as his… um, thighs.

Suddenly, the easy lay Dani dreamed of is more complex than her thesis. Has her wish backfired? Is her focus being tested? Or is the universe just waiting for her to take a hint?

The Bad Boy of Redemption Ranch (Gold Valley #10)The Bad Boy of Redemption Ranch (Gold Valley #10) by Maisey Yates – 23 Jun (HQN)

Police officer Pansy Daniels is the poster girl for responsible behavior. Orphaned as a child, she has dedicated her life to safeguarding her local community. The last thing she needs is a hot-headed cowboy with attitude cruising into town. He may be her new landlord, but that’s no excuse for provoking her…or sending her heart into overdrive.

West Caldwell has come to Redemption Ranch to put his past behind him. Flirting with a pint-size police officer who thinks he’s bad news is definitely not part of the plan, but it’s deliciously easy to get under Pansy’s skin. Then West discovers the vulnerability Pansy keeps so well hidden, and suddenly this renegade cowboy is in over his head. In her arms, West feels like the man he always wanted to be–but can he become the man Pansy deserves?

Hate Crush (Filthy Rich #2)Hate Crush (Filthy Rich #2) by Angelina Lopez – 29 Jun (Carina Press)

Ten years ago, wild child Princesa Sofia Maria Isabel de Esperanza y Santos fell in fast crazy love with heartbreaker Aish Salinger during one California harvest season. Now, all grown up and with the future of her kingdom on her shoulders, she hates him as passionately as she once loved him.

Even if her body hasn’t gotten the hate memo.

Faking a relationship with the now-famous rock star for the press and public will ensure the success of her new winery and the prosperity of her kingdom. All she has to do is grit her teeth and bear his tattooed presence in her village and winery—her home—for a month.

Trying to recover from his own scandal, fallen superstar Aish Salinger jumps at the chance to be near Sofia again. Leaving her was the biggest mistake he’s ever made, and he’s waited ten years to win her back.

He never counted on finding a woman who despised him so much she didn’t want to be anywhere near him.

A war of wills breaks out as the princess and rock star battle to control their fake relationship. She wants to dictate every action to keep him away from her. He wants to be as close as he can be. She’s already lost so much because of Aish—he won’t be the reason her people lose even more.

But he also won’t make her break her life’s most important vow: to never fall in love again.

Fantasy

Dragon Unleashed (Fallen Empire #2)Dragon Unleashed (Fallen Empire #2) by Grace Draven – 9 Jun (Ace)

Magic is outlawed in the Krael Empire and punishable by death. Born with the gift of earth magic, the free trader Halani keeps her dangerous secret closely guarded. When her uncle buys a mysterious artifact, a piece of bone belonging to a long-dead draga, Halani knows it’s far more than what it seems.

Dragas haven’t been seen for more than a century, and most believe them extinct. They’re wrong. Dragas still walk among the denizens of the Empire, disguised as humans. Malachus is a draga living on borrowed time. The magic that has protected him will soon turn on him–unless he finds a key part of his heritage. He has tracked it to a group of free traders, among them a grave-robbing earth witch who fascinates him as much as she frustrates him with her many secrets.

Unbeknownst to both, the Empire’s twisted empress searches for a draga of her own, to capture and kill as a trophy. As Malachus the hunter becomes the hunted, Halani must risk herself and all she loves to save him from the Empire’s machinations and his own lethal birthright.

A Declaration of the Rights of MagiciansA Declaration of the Rights of Magicians by H.G. Parry – 23 Jun (Redhood)

It is the Age of Enlightenment — of new and magical political movements, from the necromancer Robespierre calling for revolution in France to the weather mage Toussaint L’Ouverture leading the slaves of Haiti in their fight for freedom, to the bold new Prime Minister William Pitt weighing the legalization of magic amongst commoners in Britain and abolition throughout its colonies overseas.

But amidst all of the upheaval of the early modern world, there is an unknown force inciting all of human civilization into violent conflict. And it will require the combined efforts of revolutionaries, magicians, and abolitionists to unmask this hidden enemy before the whole world falls to darkness and chaos.

The Angel of the CrowsThe Angel of the Crows by Katherine Addison – 23 Jun (Tor Books)

A fantasy novel of alternate 1880s London, where killers stalk the night and the ultimate power is naming.

This is not the story you think it is. These are not the characters you think they are. This is not the book you are expecting.

In an alternate 1880s London, angels inhabit every public building, and vampires and werewolves walk the streets with human beings under a well-regulated truce. A fantastic utopia, except for a few things: Angels can Fall, and that Fall is like a nuclear bomb in both the physical and metaphysical worlds. And human beings remain human, with all their kindness and greed and passions and murderous intent.

Jack the Ripper stalks the streets of this London too. But this London has an Angel. The Angel of the Crows.

The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in WaterThe Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in Water by Zen Cho – 23 Jun (Tor.com)

Zen Cho returns with a found family wuxia fantasy that combines the vibrancy of old school martial arts movies with characters drawn from the margins of history.

A bandit walks into a coffeehouse, and it all goes downhill from there. Guet Imm, a young votary of the Order of the Pure Moon, joins up with an eclectic group of thieves (whether they like it or not) in order to protect a sacred object, and finds herself in a far more complicated situation than she could have ever imagined.

The Empire of Gold (Daevabad Trilogy #3)The Empire of Gold (Daevabad Trilogy #3) by S.A. Chakraborty – 30 Jun (Harper Voyager)

Daevabad has fallen.

After a brutal conquest stripped the city of its magic, Nahid leader Banu Manizheh and her resurrected commander, Dara, must try to repair their fraying alliance and stabilize a fractious, warring people.

But the bloodletting and loss of his beloved Nahri have unleashed the worst demons of Dara’s dark past. To vanquish them, he must face some ugly truths about his history and put himself at the mercy of those he once considered enemies.

Having narrowly escaped their murderous families and Daevabad’s deadly politics, Nahri and Ali, now safe in Cairo, face difficult choices of their own. While Nahri finds peace in the old rhythms and familiar comforts of her human home, she is haunted by the knowledge that the loved ones she left behind and the people who considered her a savior are at the mercy of a new tyrant. Ali, too, cannot help but look back, and is determined to return to rescue his city and the family that remains. Seeking support in his mother’s homeland, he discovers that his connection to the marid goes far deeper than expected and threatens not only his relationship with Nahri, but his very faith.

As peace grows more elusive and old players return, Nahri, Ali, and Dara come to understand that in order to remake the world, they may need to fight those they once loved . . . and take a stand for those they once hurt.

Fantasy Romance

The House that Walked Between Worlds (Uncertain Sanctuary #1)The House that Walked Between Worlds (Uncertain Sanctuary #1) by Jenny Schwartz – 25 Jun (Self)

A reckless act of compassion costs Dr. Kira Aist her family and her future on Earth. To escape the wolves pursuing her she’ll have to call on her heritage as a descendant of Baba Yaga and walk between worlds. But to do that she needs a House.

Built of grief and magic, the first new House in three hundred years grows tall and bleak and forbidding.

But not forbidding enough.

As Kira roams the paths of Reality strangers are drawn to her House. Some seek refuge and some seek power. With a cyborg elf, an elegant Neanderthal, a Whisper and a dinosaurian all keeping secrets, Kira discovers that the most dangerous profession in Reality is Landlady.

Historical Romance

Her Lady's HonorHer Lady’s Honor by Renee Dahlia – 22 Jun (Carina Press)

The war might be over, but the battle for love has just begun.

When Lady Eleanor “Nell” St. George arrives in Wales after serving as a veterinarian in the Great War, she doesn’t come alone. With her is her former captain’s beloved warhorse, which she promised to return to him—and a series of recurring nightmares that torment both her heart and her soul. She wants only to complete her task, then find refuge with her family, but when Nell meets the captain’s eldest daughter, all that changes.

Beatrice Hughes is resigned to life as the dutiful daughter. Her mother grieves for the sons she lost to war; the care of the household and remaining siblings falls to Beatrice, and she manages it with a practical efficiency. But when a beautiful stranger shows up with her father’s horse, practicality is the last thing on her mind.

Despite the differences in their social standing, Beatrice and Nell give in to their unlikely attraction, finding love where they least expect it. But not everything in the captain’s house is as it seems. When Beatrice’s mother disappears under mysterious circumstances, Nell must overcome her preconceptions to help Beatrice, however she’s able. Together, they must find out what really happened that stormy night in the village, before everything Beatrice loves is lost—including Nell.

Two Rogues Make a Right (Seducing the Sedgewicks #3)Two Rogues Make a Right (Seducing the Sedgewicks #3) by Cat Sebastian – 23 Jun (Avon Impulse)

Will Sedgwick can’t believe that after months of searching for his oldest friend, Martin Easterbrook is found hiding in an attic like a gothic nightmare. Intent on nursing Martin back to health, Will kindly kidnaps him and takes him to the countryside to recover, well away from the world.

Martin doesn’t much care where he is or even how he got there. He’s much more concerned that the man he’s loved his entire life is currently waiting on him hand and foot, feeding him soup and making him tea. Martin knows he’s a lost cause, one he doesn’t want Will to waste his life on.

As a lifetime of love transforms into a tender passion both men always desired but neither expected, can they envision a life free from the restrictions of the past, a life with each other?

A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby (Rogues and Remarkable Women #1)A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby (Rogues and Remarkable Women #1) by Vanessa Riley – 30 Jun (Zebra)

Created by a shrewd countess, The Widow’s Grace is a secret society with a mission: to help ill-treated widows regain their status, their families, and even find true love again—or perhaps for the very first time…

When headstrong West Indian heiress Patience Jordan questioned her English husband’s mysterious suicide, she lost everything: her newborn son, Lionel, her fortune—and her freedom. Falsely imprisoned, she risks her life to be near her child—until The Widow’s Grace gets her hired as her own son’s nanny. But working for his unsuspecting new guardian, Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington, has perils of its own. Especially when Patience discovers his military strictness belies an ex-rake of unswerving honor—and unexpected passion…

A wounded military hero, Busick is determined to resolve his dead cousin’s dangerous financial dealings for Lionel’s sake. But his investigation is a minor skirmish compared to dealing with the forthright, courageous, and alluring Patience. Somehow, she’s breaking his rules, and sweeping past his defenses. Soon, between formidable enemies and obstacles, they form a fragile trust—but will it be enough to save the future they long to dare together?

The Devil of Downtown (Uptown Girls #3)The Devil of Downtown (Uptown Girls #3) by Joanna Shupe – 30 Jun (Avon)

Manhattan kingpin.
Brilliant mastermind.
Gentleman gangster.

He’s built a wall around his heart…

Orphaned and abandoned on the Bowery’s mean streets, Jack Mulligan survived on strength, cunning, and ambition. Now he rules his territory better than any politician or copper ever could. He didn’t get here by being soft. But in uptown do-gooder Justine Greene―the very definition of an iron fist in a velvet glove―Jack may have met his match.

She wears hers on her sleeve…

Justine is devoted to tracking down deadbeat husbands and fighting for fair working conditions. When her mission brings her face-to-face with Jack, she’s shocked to find the man behind the criminal empire is considerably more charming and honorable than many “gentlemen” she knows.

Forming an unlikely alliance, they discover an unexpected desire. And when Justine’s past catches up with them, Jack may be her only hope of survival. Is she ready to make a deal with the devil…?

Mystery

A Royal Affair (Sparks & Bainbridge #2)A Royal Affair (Sparks & Bainbridge #2) by Allison Montclair – 9 Jun (Minotaur)

In London 1946, The Right Sort Marriage Bureau is just beginning to take off and the proprietors, Miss Iris Sparks and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge, are in need of a bigger office and a secretary to handle the growing demand. Unfortunately, they don’t yet have the necessary means. So when a woman arrives—a cousin of Gwen’s—with an interesting and quite remunerative proposition, they two of them are all ears.

The cousin, one Lady Matheson, works for the Queen in “some capacity” and is in need of some discreet investigation. It seems that the Princess Elizabeth has developed feelings for a dashing Greek prince and a blackmail note has arrived, alluding to some potentially damaging information about said prince. Wanting to keep this out of the palace gossip circles, but also needing to find out what skeletons might lurk in the prince’s closet, the palace has quietly turned to Gwen and Iris. Without causing a stir, the two of them must now find out what secrets lurk in the prince’s past, before his engagement to the future Queen of England is announced. And there’s more at stake than the future of the Empire —there is their potential new office that lies in the balance.

Riviera Gold (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #16)Riviera Gold (Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes #16) by Laurie R. King – 9 Jun (Bantam)

It’s summertime on the Riviera, where the Jazz Age is busily reinventing the holiday delights of warm days on golden sand and cool nights on terraces and dance floors. Just up the coast lies a more traditional pleasure ground: Monte Carlo, where fortunes are won, lost, stolen, and hidden away. So when Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes happen across the Côte d’Azur in this summer of 1925, they find themselves pulled between the young and the old, hot sun and cool jazz, new friendships and old loyalties, childlike pleasures and very grownup sins…

Paranormal Romance

Alpha Night (Psy-Changeling Trinity #4)Alpha Night (Psy-Changeling Trinity #4) by Nalini Singh – 9 Jun (Berkley)

Alpha wolf Selenka Durev’s devotion to her pack is equaled only by her anger at anyone who would harm those under her care. That currently includes the empaths who’ve flowed into her city for a symposium that is a security nightmare, a powder keg just waiting for a match.

Ethan Night is an Arrow who isn’t an Arrow. Numb and disengaged from the world, he’s loyal only to himself. Assigned as part of the security force at a world-first symposium, he carries a dark agenda tied to the power-hungry and murderous Consortium. Then violence erupts and Ethan finds himself crashing into the heart and soul of an alpha wolf.

Mating at first sight is a myth, a fairytale. Yet Selenka’s wolf is resolute: Ethan Night, broken Arrow and a man capable of obsessive devotion, is the mate it has chosen. Even if the mating bond is full of static and not quite as it should be. Because Selenka’s new mate has a terrible secret, his mind surging with a power that is a creature of madness and death…

Urban Fantasy

Sin & Surrender (Demigods of San Francisco #6)Sin & Surrender (Demigods of San Francisco #6) by K.F. Breene – 9 Jun (Self)

It’s the moment Kieran and Lexi have been preparing for. The Magical Summit.

Ready or not, they will take their assembled team into the belly of the beast. The stakes couldn’t be higher. If the powers that be don’t approve of Kieran, he will not earn the official title of the Demigod of San Francisco.

The real danger concerns Lexi, however. With Kieran away in meetings, she must brave the treacherous halls of the Summit with just her crew and her wards, fighting for social placement and status, open to attack from all angles.

She could’ve never expected what comes at her. No one could’ve.

Twilight's Herald (Aileen #5)Twilight’s Herald (Aileen #5) by T.A. White – 10 Jun (Self)

Aileen Travers thought she had it all figured out. Part private investigator, part fixer to the supernatural community, she was slowly building a reputation as the go-to vampire in Columbus. If you had a supernatural problem and nowhere to turn, she was the girl for you. The best part—no one had tried to kill her in weeks.

Aileen’s peaceful existence comes crashing down around her when an unwilling visit to the police station results in her picking up a stalker—or two. Now, Aileen is dodging suspicious looking portals while evading kidnapping attempts.

Looks like Aileen has a new client. Herself.

Dawn Caravan (Elemental Legacy #3)Dawn Caravan (Elemental Legacy #3) by Elizabeth Hunter – 23 Jun (Recurve Press LLC)

After this night, dawn can’t come fast enough.

For Ben Vecchio, everything has changed. His eyes. His diet. His new aversion to sunlight. But after a long sojourn in China, Ben realizes that the world he left behind hasn’t changed as much as he feared. He wants to leave his old life in the past, but there’s one job remaining that just won’t leave him alone.

Radu’s mystery is too interesting—and too profitable—to ignore. The problem? Taking on this commission puts Ben in the path of his old partner, the one woman he’s spent years avoiding.

Tenzin has been following Ben at a distance, hoping his ire might wane, but when he heads to Romania, her patience runs out. Ben is a new power in their world, and more than one vampire will be eager to test him.

Ben and Tenzin need to work together if they want to find the truth behind Radu, his mysterious clan, and the treasure at the heart of the Dawn Caravan. One last job, then it’s finished between them.

Right?

Women’s Fiction

How the Penguins Saved VeronicaHow the Penguins Saved Veronica by Hazel Prior – 16 Jun (Berkley)

Eighty-five-year-old Veronica McCreedy is estranged from her family and wants to find a worthwhile cause to leave her fortune to. When she sees a documentary about penguins being studied in Antarctica, she tells the scientists she’s coming to visit—and won’t take no for an answer. Shortly after arriving, she convinces the reluctant team to rescue an orphaned baby penguin. He becomes part of life at the base, and Veronica’s closed heart starts to open.

Her grandson, Patrick, comes to Antarctica to make one last attempt to get to know his grandmother. Together, Veronica, Patrick, and even the scientists learn what family, love, and connection are all about.

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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