BP Note: Happy July! As we start the second half of the year I hope things are looking up for people. It has been a long, very long rough slog for most of us and I know some are still thick in the weeds. Please continue to take care of yourselves and your loved ones to the extent you healthfully can. If you are eligible please get vaccinated! We don’t need any additional losses. And as you start to venture out more, be patient. Much better to reach your destination, buy your groceries etc and return safely home than risk your life or others. We have some long awaited new releases this month which should certainly continue to bring joy. I know we can’t find ALL the new books to please share what you are planning or hoping to read this month. And as always,
- Books About Books
- Contemporary Romance
- Historical Fantasy
- Historical Fiction
- Historical Mystery
- Historical Romance
- Paranormal Romance
- Romantic Suspense
- Science Fiction
- Science Fiction Romance
- Urban Fantasy
- YA Fantasy
Books About Books
Books Promiscuously Read by Heather Cass White – 6 Jul (FSG)
Heather Cass White’s Books Promiscuously Read is about the pleasures of reading and its power in shaping our internal lives. It advocates for a life of constant, disorderly, time-consuming reading, and encourages readers to trust in the value of the exhilaration and fascination such reading entails. Rather than arguing for the moral value of reading or the preeminence of literature as an aesthetic form, Books Promiscuously Read illustrates the irreplaceable experience of the self that reading provides for those inclined to do it.
Through three sections–Play, Transgression, and Insight–which focus on three ways of thinking about reading, Books Promiscuously Read moves among and considers many poems, novels, stories, and works of nonfiction. The prose is shot through with quotations reflecting the way readers think through the words of others.
Books Promiscuously Read is a tribute to the whole lives readers live in their books, and aims to recommit people to those lives. As White writes, “What matters is staying attuned to an ordinary, unflashy, mutely persistent miracle; that all the books to be read, and all the selves to be because we have read them, are still there, still waiting, still undiminished in their power. It is an astonishing joy.”
Sweet Tea by Piper Huguley – 13 Jul (Hallmark Publishing)
Althea Dailey has succeeded beyond her wildest dreams. So why doesn’t she feel more excited about it? She’s about to become the only woman—and the only Black person—to make partner at her prestigious law firm in New York City. When she has to travel South for a case, she pays a long-overdue visit back home to Milford, Georgia. To her surprise, a white man she’s never met has befriended her grandmother.
Jack Darwent wasn’t interested in the definition of success dictated by his father and Southern high society. His passion for cooking led him to his current project: a documentary and cookbook about authentic Southern food. Althea’s grandmother is famous for her cooking at the historically Black Milford College, especially the annual May feast meal. But Althea suspects Jack of trying to steal her grandmother’s recipes.
Although Althea and Jack don’t have the best first impressions of one another, they discover they have more in common than they’d guessed…and even as they learn about one another’s pasts, they both see glimmers of a better future.
While We Were Dating (Wedding Date #6) by Jasmine Guillory – 13 Jul (Berkley)
Ben Stephens has never bothered with serious relationships. He has plenty of casual dates to keep him busy, family drama he’s trying to ignore and his advertising job to focus on. When Ben lands a huge ad campaign featuring movie star Anna Gardiner, however, it’s hard to keep it purely professional. Anna is not just gorgeous and sexy, she’s also down to earth and considerate, and he can’t help flirting a little…
Anna Gardiner is on a mission: to make herself a household name, and this ad campaign will be a great distraction while she waits to hear if she’s booked her next movie. However, she didn’t expect Ben Stephens to be her biggest distraction. She knows mixing business with pleasure never works out, but why not indulge in a harmless flirtation?
But their lighthearted banter takes a turn for the serious when Ben helps Anna in a family emergency, and they reveal truths about themselves to each other, truths they’ve barely shared with those closest to them.
When the opportunity comes to turn their real-life fling into something more for the Hollywood spotlight, will Ben be content to play the background role in Anna’s life and leave when the cameras stop rolling? Or could he be the leading man she needs to craft their own Hollywood ending?
Inked Obsession (Montgomery Ink: Fort Collins #2) by Carrie Ann Ryan – 20 Jul (Carrie Ann Ryan)
When men in uniform showed up on Eliza Wilder-Strong’s doorstep, she knew her life would be irrevocably altered. She not only lost her husband, but the future she’d carefully planned. A year later, she’s looking to start over—beginning with a solo healing vacation. Only she never expects to see a familiar, tempting face along the way.
Beckett Montgomery refuses to want his little sister’s best friend—especially because she’s a widow. Yet there’s no stopping the connection between them. As the temptation to give in intensifies between them, so do the reasons they shouldn’t stay together.
Painful ghosts from both of their pasts stand in their way and sometimes it’s the living that can haunt you when you’re not looking.
Isn’t It Bromantic? (Bromance Book Club #4) by Lyssa Kay Adams – 20 Jul (Berkley)
Elena Konnikova has lived her entire adult life in the shadows. As the daughter of a Russian journalist who mysteriously disappeared, she escaped danger the only way she knew how: She married her childhood friend, Vladimir, and moved to the United States, where he is a professional hockey player in Nashville.
Vlad, aka the Russian, thought he could be content with his marriage of convenience. But it’s become too difficult to continue in a one-sided relationship. He joined the Bromance Book Club to learn how to make his wife love him, but all he’s learned is that he deserves more. He’s ready to create his own sweeping romance—both on and off the page.
The bros are unwilling to let Vlad forgo true love—and this time they’re not operating solo. They join forces with Vlad’s neighbors, a group of meddling widows who call themselves the Loners. But just when things finally look promising, Elena’s past life intrudes and their happily ever after is cast into doubt.
Awakened by the CEO’s Kiss by Therese Beharrie – 27 Jul (Harlequin Romance)
Friendship is all she can offer…
…but he makes her want so much more!
The incredibly attractive man on Brooke Jansen’s doorstep is definitely not the new housekeeper she’s expecting. CEO Tyler Murphy is filling in temporarily, yet within days he’s turned Brooke’s carefully curated life upside down! Suddenly she’s living—and feeling—again. But her connection with Tyler is dangerous, exciting and strangely familiar… After losing everything once already, can Brooke risk her damaged heart again?
Capture the Crown (Gargoyle Queen #1) by Jennifer Estep – 6 Jul (Harper Voyager)
Gemma Ripley has a reputation for being a pampered princess who is more interested in pretty gowns, sparkling jewelry, and other frivolous things than learning how to rule the kingdom of Andvari. But her carefully crafted persona is just an act to hide the fact that Gemma is a powerful mind magier—and a spy.
Gemma is undercover, trying to figure out who is stealing large amounts of tearstone from one of the Ripley royal mines when she encounters Prince Leonidas Morricone of Morta—her mortal enemy. Gemma tries to steer clear of the handsome prince, but when she finds herself behind enemy lines, she reluctantly joins forces with Leo. Also coming to Gemma’s aid is Grimley, her beloved gargoyle.
Despite the fact that Andvari and Morta are old, bitter enemies, a dangerous attraction sparks between Gemma and Leo. Further complicating matters is Leo’s murderous family, especially Queen Maeven Morricone, the mastermind behind the infamous Seven Spire massacre.
The closer Gemma gets to the stolen tearstone, the more deadly plots she uncovers. Everyone is trying to capture the crown, but only one queen can sit on the throne…
Spark the Fire (The Dragons of Mother Stone #1) by Melissa McShane – 6 Jul (Night Harbor Publishing)
The dragon Lamprophyre prefers poetry to politics and would rather fly than hunt. But when humans intrude on dragon territory for the first time in centuries, only Lamprophyre wants to know why. Her search leads her to meet the human Prince Rokshan—and ends with her mother, the dragon queen, appointing her ambassador to the humans of Gonjiri.
Alone in the humans’ capital city, with Rokshan her only friend, Lamprophyre learns quickly that not all humans can be trusted. Some want dragons gone from Gonjiri. Others want to use them in political intrigue. And a few want all dragons dead. Unless Lamprophyre discovers the culprits behind all these plots, the first contact between humans and dragons will end in war.
Mother of All (Women’s War #3) by Jenna Glass – 20 Jul (Del rey)
In the once male-dominated world of Seven Wells, women now control their own reproduction, but the battle for equality is far from over. Even with two thrones held by women, there are still those who cling to the old ways and are determined to return the world to the way it was.
Now into this struggle comes a darker power. Delnamal, the former King of Aalwell, may have lost his battle to undo the spell that gave women reproductive control, but he has gained a terrible and deadly magic, and he uses these new abilities to raise an army the likes of which the world has never seen. Delnamal and his allies seem like an unstoppable force, destined to crush the fragile new balance between men and women.
Yet sometimes it is possible for determined individuals to stem the tide, and it comes down to a unique triad of women–maiden, mother, and crone–to risk everything…not only to preserve the advances they have won but to change the world one final time.
She Who Became the Sun (Radiant Emperor #1) by Shelley Parker-Chan – 20 Jul (Tor Books)
“I refuse to be nothing…”
In a famine-stricken village on a dusty yellow plain, two children are given two fates. A boy, greatness. A girl, nothingness…
In 1345, China lies under harsh Mongol rule. For the starving peasants of the Central Plains, greatness is something found only in stories. When the Zhu family’s eighth-born son, Zhu Chongba, is given a fate of greatness, everyone is mystified as to how it will come to pass. The fate of nothingness received by the family’s clever and capable second daughter, on the other hand, is only as expected.
When a bandit attack orphans the two children, though, it is Zhu Chongba who succumbs to despair and dies. Desperate to escape her own fated death, the girl uses her brother’s identity to enter a monastery as a young male novice. There, propelled by her burning desire to survive, Zhu learns she is capable of doing whatever it takes, no matter how callous, to stay hidden from her fate.
After her sanctuary is destroyed for supporting the rebellion against Mongol rule, Zhu takes the chance to claim another future altogether: her brother’s abandoned greatness.
Radar Girls by Sara Ackerman – 27 Jul (MIRA)
Daisy Wilder prefers the company of horses to people, bare feet and salt water to high heels and society parties. Then, in the dizzying aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Daisy enlists in a top secret program, replacing male soldiers in a war zone for the first time. Under fear of imminent invasion, the WARDs guide pilots into blacked-out airstrips and track unidentified planes across Pacific skies.
But not everyone thinks the women are up to the job, and the new recruits must rise above their differences and work side by side despite the resistance and heartache they meet along the way. With America’s future on the line, Daisy is determined to prove herself worthy. And with the man she’s falling for out on the front lines, she cannot fail. From radar towers on remote mountaintops to flooded bomb shelters, she’ll need her new team when the stakes are highest. Because the most important battles are fought—and won—together.
The Women’s March by Jennifer Chiaverini – 27 Jul (William Morrow)
Twenty-five-year-old Alice Paul returns to her native New Jersey after several years on the front lines of the suffrage movement in Great Britain. Weakened from imprisonment and hunger strikes, she is nevertheless determined to invigorate the stagnant suffrage movement in her homeland. Nine states have already granted women voting rights, but only a constitutional amendment will secure the vote for all.
To inspire support for the campaign, Alice organizes a magnificent procession down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC, the day before the inauguration of President-elect Woodrow Wilson, a firm antisuffragist.
Joining the march is thirty-nine-year-old New Yorker Maud Malone, librarian and advocate for women’s and workers’ rights. The daughter of Irish immigrants, Maud has acquired a reputation—and a criminal record—for interrupting politicians’ speeches with pointed questions they’d rather ignore.
Civil rights activist and journalist Ida B. Wells-Barnett resolves that women of color must also be included in the march—and the proposed amendment. Born into slavery in Mississippi, Ida worries that white suffragists may exclude Black women if it serves their own interests.
On March 3, 1913, the glorious march commences, but negligent police allow vast crowds of belligerent men to block the parade route—jeering, shouting threats, assaulting the marchers—endangering not only the success of the demonstration but the women’s very lives.
The Great War has finally come to an end, but tensions remain high throughout Europe. In Ireland, no one has forgotten the bloody 1916 Easter Rising that fought to end British rule in the country. Bess’s old friend, nurse Eileen Flynn, returns to her isolated Irish village where two factions continue to battle against each other. Eileen’s time with the British army makes her a target for retaliation. Her missing cousin, who was active in the rising and is still being hunted by the British, is her only protection.
Despite concerns about her safety, Bess keeps her promise to her wartime friend and travels to Ireland to be part of Eileen’s wedding party. But on her arrival, Bess discovers that the groom has gone missing. Then a body is fished from the sea. The villagers are hungry to see justice carried out—for wrongdoings new and old—and Eileen’s protection is running out. But clearing her name may mean sacrificing another beloved friend’s neck to the noose instead. Bess must unravel a dark, deceptive plot before someone she loves dies.
Devil in Disguise by Lisa Kleypas – 27 Jul (Avon/Piatkus)
Lady Merritt Sterling, a strong-willed young widow who’s running her late husband’s shipping company, knows London society is dying to catch her in a scandal. So far, she’s been too smart to provide them with one. But then she meets Keir MacRae, a rough-and-rugged Scottish whisky distiller, and all her sensible plans vanish like smoke. They couldn’t be more different, but their attraction is powerful, raw and irresistible.
From the moment Keir MacRae arrives in London, he has two goals. One: don’t fall in love with the dazzling Lady Merritt Sterling. Two: avoid being killed.
So far, neither of those is going well.
Keir doesn’t know why someone wants him dead until fate reveals his secret connection to one of England’s most powerful families. His world is thrown into upheaval, and the only one he trusts is Merritt.
Their passion blazes with an intensity Merritt has never known before, making her long for the one thing she can’t have from Keir MacRae: forever. As danger draws closer, she’ll do whatever it takes to save the man she loves… even knowing he might be the devil in disguise.
The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix – 13 Jul (Berkley)
In horror movies, the final girl is the one who’s left standing when the credits roll. The one who fought back, defeated the killer, and avenged her friends. The one who emerges bloodied but victorious. But after the sirens fade and the audience moves on, what happens to her?
Lynnette Tarkington is a real-life final girl who survived a massacre twenty-two years ago, and it has defined every day of her life since. And she’s not alone. For more than a decade she’s been meeting with five other actual final girls and their therapist in a support group for those who survived the unthinkable, putting their lives back together, piece by piece. That is until one of the women misses a meeting and Lynnette’s worst fears are realized–someone knows about the group and is determined to take their lives apart again, piece by piece.
But the thing about these final girls is that they have each other now, and no matter how bad the odds, how dark the night, how sharp the knife, they will never, ever give up.
Fallen (The Dark in You #7) by Suzanne Wright – 1 Jul (Piatkus)
Only a few are brave enough to fall . . .
When Raini desperately needed help, she went to the one person who she knew could save her dying friend . . . her secretive and ruthlessly powerful anchor, Maddox. His price was that she grant him access to her life, yet he’s still determined not to form the anchor bond with Raini. That rejection stings, even while she can’t stop her body – or her demon – reacting to his presence.
Maddox is a descendent, a rare breed of demon possessing angelic blood – and Raini knows he’ll let someone close when hell freezes over. As a succubus, she’s used to men wanting her uncontrollably – and used to having all the power. But while Maddox wants her strictly on his own terms, for the first time she can remember Raini’s struggling to keep her own emotions in check.
Yet when someone – or something – starts to target Raini, Maddox’s protectiveness goes into overdrive. Suddenly he’s finding it harder to keep his secrets and his distance, for nothing seems to matter as much as Raini. As the threat escalates into all-out war, they both have to decide: can they trust the other to catch them if they fall?
Last Guard (Psy-Changeling Trinity #5) by Nalini Singh – 20 Jul (Berkley)
Termed merciless by some, and a robotic sociopath by others, Payal Rao is the perfect Psy: cardinal telekinetic, CEO of a major conglomerate, beautiful—and emotionless.
For Canto Mercant, family and loyalty are everything. A cardinal telepath deemed “imperfect” by his race due to a spinal injury, Canto cares for the opinions of very few—and ruthlessly protects those he claims as his own. Head of intel of the influential Mercant family, he prefers to remain a shadow in the Net, unknown and unseen. But Canto is also an Anchor, part of a secretive designation whose task it is to stabilize the PsyNet. Now that critical psychic network is dying, threatening to collapse and kill the entire Psy race with it.
To save those he loves, Canto needs the help of a woman bound to him by a dark past neither has been able to forget. A woman who is the most powerful Anchor of them all: Payal Rao. Neither is ready for the violent inferno about to ignite in the PsyNet…or the passionate madness that threatens to destroy them both.
Client From Hell (Magically Hellish Comedy #1) by R.J. Blain – 27 Jul (Pen & Page Publishing)
Step one: add some gasoline.
Step two: light a match.
Step three: watch the devil’s house burn.
As far as plans go, Sandra Moore rather likes hers. It’s simple. It gets the job done. It reduces the devil’s house to smoldering ruins.
Life is good—at least for the year she has left of it, assuming the devil doesn’t kill her first.
Instead of the quick end and the retribution she deserves, Sandra gets the client from hell for the case of a lifetime, one that could forever change the war between the heavens and the devil’s many hells.
Sleight of Hand (The Kings: Wild Cards #3) by Charlie Cochet – 6 Jul (Self/KU)
Former Special Forces Green Beret, Sacha “Joker” Wilder, is well-versed on the subject of demolitions. As a silent partner of Four Kings Security, Joker spends his days working alongside his brothers-in-arms and his best boy, Chip—a bomb-sniffing Belgian Malinois with sass. Years of military and private security experience have prepared Joker for almost anything, except the explosive attraction between him and Giovanni Galanos.
When Gio returns from his travels abroad, everyone is charmed by the handsome billionaire philanthropist, but in Joker’s experience, anyone who’s too good to be true usually is. Gio is hiding something, but the more time Joker spends around Gio, the more his walls start crumbling, leaving him exposed and at risk of losing his heart, something he swore he would never do. Love is for suckers, and that’s not him.
For years Gio has dedicated his life to his charity work, helping people around the globe, but when things go horribly wrong during one particular trip, Gio decides it’s time to come home for good. The desire for family, and a certain ex-Green Beret with a chip on his shoulder, has Gio eager to restart his life Stateside. For all of Sacha’s blustering and griping, no one makes Gio feel safer. If only Sacha could see how right they are for each other.
Danger lurks in the shadows as someone sets their sights on Gio, and secrets are forced into the light. If Gio and Joker are to have any kind of future together, they’ll have to face difficult truths, because where love is concerned, it’ll take more than sleight of hand to make things work.
Hold Fast Through the Fire (NeoG #2) by K.B. Wagers – 27 Jul (Harper Voyager)
Zuma’s Ghost has won the Boarding Games for the second straight year. The crew—led by the unparalleled ability of Jenks in the cage, the brilliant pairing of Ma and Max in the pilot seats, the technical savvy of Sapphi, and the sword skills of Tamago and Rosa—has all come together to form an unstoppable team. Until it all comes apart.
Their commander and Master Chief are both retiring. Which means Jenks is getting promoted, a new commander is joining them, and a fresh-faced spacer is arriving to shake up their perfect dynamics. And while not being able to threepeat is on their minds, the more important thing is how they’re going to fulfill their mission in the black.
After a plea deal transforms a twenty-year ore-mining sentence into NeoG service, Spacer Chae Ho-ki earns a spot on the team. But there’s more to Chae that the crew doesn’t know, and they must hide a secret that could endanger everyone they love—as well as their new teammates—if it got out. At the same time, a seemingly untouchable coalition is attempting to take over trade with the Trappist colonies and start a war with the NeoG. When the crew of Zuma’s Ghost gets involved, they end up as targets of this ruthless enemy.
With new members aboard, will the team grow stronger this time around? Will they be able to win the games? And, more important, will they be able to surmount threats from both without and within?
Science Fiction Romance
Winner Takes All (The Drift: Astek Station #11) by Susan Hayes – 13 Jul (Black Scroll Publications)
Never again. That’s the promise she made to herself after two men broke her heart… but is it a promise she should keep?
Phylomenia only has two rules. Never profit from someone else’s suffering, and don’t make the same mistake twice. Rekindling the flames of a thirty-year-old love affair would mean repeating the biggest mistake of her life—falling in love with Scott and Garrett. So why is she tempted to fall again?
Scott made a mistake that cost him everyone he loved. The time has come to make things right.
Duty. Loyalty. Honor. Scott Archer built his life around those principles. But duty is a cold companion, and honor can’t heal the scars of the past. When fate brings the three of them together again, Scott must reforge the links between them or risk losing his loves forever.
Garrett never expected to see them again. The one that got away… and the one that never was.
Decades ago their love was torn apart by lies, death, and secrets. Now Garrett has both of them back in his sights, and he’s determined to rebuild what they once had… only better. Phylomenia and Scott aren’t same people they were back then, and neither is he. He knows what he wants, and he’s going to take it any way he can.
Old flames. New dangers. And one last chance to make a play for love… winner takes all.
Royal Pawn (Jacky Leon #6) by K.N. Banet – 13 Jul (Self/KU)
I’m Jacqueline, daughter of Hasan, ruling werecat of the Americas, the werecat liaison to humanity, and the lover of Heath Everson, Alpha werewolf. But I go by Jacky Leon and no one knows about the werewolf.
Some time ago, I met a fae and his family while on the run. They helped me, and for his own reasons, the fae had given me a gift. I never went looking for him. I knew the name he gave me and I did my best not to think too hard about it, him, or his family.
Life has a fun way of bringing things back because he’s the lost king of the fae and now everyone knows. People who want him to take back the throne, people who want to kill him so he can’t, and people who want to hurt those he loves just to see him hurt.
And I’m the werecat he gave a gift, just in case he ever needed someone to protect his innocent human wife. I’m now a pawn in a deadly clash of fae powers the likes of which has never been seen.
Brin knows even a pawn can change the game.
Especially this pawn.
This Poison Heart (This Poison Heart #1) by Kalynn Bayron – 29 Jul (Bloomsbury YA UK)
Darkness blooms in bestselling author Kalynn Bayron’s new contemporary fantasy about a girl with a unique and deadly power.
Briseis has a gift: she can grow plants from tiny seeds to rich blooms with a single touch.
When Briseis’s aunt dies and wills her a dilapidated estate in rural New York, Bri and her parents decide to leave Brooklyn behind for the summer. Hopefully there, surrounded by plants and flowers, Bri will finally learn to control her gift. But their new home is sinister in ways they could never have imagined–it comes with a specific set of instructions, an old-school apothecary, and a walled garden filled with the deadliest botanicals in the world that can only be entered by those who share Bri’s unique family lineage.
When strangers begin to arrive on their doorstep, asking for tinctures and elixirs, Bri learns she has a surprising talent for creating them. One of the visitors is Marie, a mysterious young woman who Bri befriends, only to find that Marie is keeping dark secrets about the history of the estate and its surrounding community. There is more to Bri’s sudden inheritance than she could have imagined, and she is determined to uncover it . . . until a nefarious group comes after her in search of a rare and dangerous immortality elixir. Up against a centuries-old curse and the deadliest plant on earth, Bri must harness her gift to protect herself and her family.
From the bestselling author of Cinderella Is Dead comes another inspiring and deeply compelling story about a young woman with the power to conquer the dark forces descending around her.
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!