BP Note: Welcome to April or the 25th March… We have a rather mixed selection for you this month. I would almost venture to say evenly split between stories when romance as the central thread and stories with romantic elements. Not sure what this says about a large number of things, if anything, except we read broadly *grin*. Hopefully you will find an eagerly anticipated read or a new to your on this post. And as always, what releases do you recommend we try this month?
- Contemporary Romance
- Epic Fantasy
- Historical Mystery
- Paranormal Romance
- Paranormal Women’s Fiction
- Romantic Suspense
- Science Fiction
- Urban Fantasy
- Women’s Fiction
A Family Affair by Robyn Carr – 5 Apr (MIRA)
Anna McNichol knows how to take charge. Raised by a single mother, she’s worked to ensure her three children have every advantage she didn’t. And while her marriage has its problems, she values commitment and believes in “till death do us part.” Now an empty nester, she’s at the peak of her career and ready to seize the opportunity to focus on her future.
But life can change in an instant, and when her husband dies suddenly, Anna’s carefully constructed world falls apart. The mysterious young woman at the memorial service confirms her husband had been keeping secrets, and Anna is determined to get to the truth.
For once, she doesn’t have the answers. Her kids are struggling with their grief, her mother’s health is in decline and Anna needs closure. Faced with one challenge after another, she finds support from an unexpected source. And as she puts her life back together, Anna realizes the McNichols may not be perfect but they’ll always be family, and family is forever.
What a Match (Lovestruck #2) by Mimi Grace – 13 Apr (Self)
Sometimes what you’re looking for is right under your nose.
Meticulous and driven Gwen Gilmore knows what she wants… especially in a man. She is newly single and doesn’t have time for lackluster chemistry or mixed signals. But the dating scene proves to be slow and unserious, and she realizes she may need some help.
A matchmaker, to be more specific.
Nothing will distract her from finding a man who checks all the boxes, except maybe her brother’s grumpy best friend who’s just moved into her home.
Anthony Woods has had a crush on his best friend’s sister since the day he met her, and he’s managed the unfortunate affliction by keeping his distance. However, when apartment problems have him temporarily sleeping on her couch, Gwen is suddenly closer than ever. And as much as he tries, his scowls and frowns can’t stop the sparks from flying.
As they connect and get to know each other, Gwen can’t help but notice when the perfect-on-paper boyfriend she has in mind starts to take an unexpected shape. Will she stick to the dating plan outlined by the professionals? Or admit when it comes to love, there’s no right way to fall.
Book Boyfriend by Kris Ripper – 26 Apr (Carina Adores)
There are three things you need to know about Preston “PK” Kingsley:
1) He’s a writer, toiling in obscurity as an editorial assistant at a New York City publishing house.
2) He is not a cliché. No, really.
3) He’s been secretly in love with his best friend, Art, since they once drunkenly kissed in college.
When Art moves in with PK following a bad breakup, PK hopes this will be the moment when Art finally sees him as more than a friend. But Art seems to laugh off the very idea of them in a relationship, so PK returns to his writing roots—in fiction, he can say all the things he can’t say out loud.
In his book, PK can be the perfect boyfriend.
Before long, it seems like the whole world has a crush on the fictionalized version of him, including Art, who has no idea that the hot new book everyone’s talking about is PK’s story. But when his brilliant plan to win Art over backfires, PK might lose not just his fantasy book boyfriend, but his best friend.
Love, Hate and Clickbait by Liz Bowery – 26 Apr (MIRA)
Cutthroat political consultant Thom Morgan is thriving, working on the governor of California’s presidential campaign. If only he didn’t have to deal with Clay Parker, the infuriatingly smug data analyst who gets under Thom’s skin like it’s his job. In the midst of one of their heated and very public arguments, a journalist snaps a photo, but the image makes it look like they’re kissing. As if that weren’t already worst-nightmare territory, the photo goes viral—and in a bid to secure the liberal vote, the governor asks them to lean into it. Hard.
Thom knows all about damage control—he practically invented it. Ever the professional, he’ll grin and bear this challenge as he does all others. But as the loyal staffers push the boundaries of “giving the people what they want,” the animosity between them blooms into something deeper and far more dangerous: desire. Soon their fake relationship is hurtling toward something very real, which could derail the campaign and cost them both their jobs…and their hearts.
The Discord of Gods (Chorus of Dragons #5) by Jenn Lyons – 26 Apr (Tor Books)
The end times have come.
Relos Var’s final plans to enslave the universe are on the cusp of fruition. He believes there’s only one being in existence that might be able to stop him: the demon Xaltorath.
As these two masterminds circle each other, neither is paying attention to the third player on the board, Kihrin. Unfortunately, keeping himself classified in the “pawn” category means Kihrin must pretend to be everything the prophecies threatened he’d become: the destroyer of all, the sun eater, a mindless, remorseless plague upon the land. It also means finding an excuse to not destroy the people he loves (or any of the remaining Immortals) without arousing suspicion.
Kihrin’s goals are complicated by the fact that not all of his “act” is one. His intentions may be sincere, but he’s still being forced to grapple with the aftereffects of the corrupted magic ritual that twisted both him and the dragons. Worse, he’s now tied to a body that is the literal avatar of a star – a form that is becoming increasingly, catastrophically unstable. All of which means he’s running out of time.
After all, some stars fade – but others explode.
The Blood Trials (The Blood Gift #1) by N.E. Davenport – 5 Apr (Harper Voyager)
It’s all about blood.
The blood spilled between the Republic of Mareen and the armies of the Blood Emperor long ago. The blood gifts of Mareen’s deadliest enemies. The blood that runs through the elite War Houses of Mareen, the rulers of the Tribunal dedicated to keeping the republic alive.
The blood of the former Legatus, Verne Amari, murdered.
For his granddaughter, Ikenna, the only thing steady in her life was the man who had saved Mareen. The man who had trained her in secret, not just in martial skills, but in harnessing the blood gift that coursed through her.
Who trained her to keep that a secret.
But now there are too many secrets, and with her grandfather assassinated, Ikenna knows two things: that only someone on the Tribunal could have ordered his death, and that only a Praetorian Guard could have carried out that order.
Bent on revenge as much as discovering the truth, Ikenna pledges herself to the Praetorian Trials–a brutal initiation that only a quarter of the aspirants survive. She subjects herself to the racism directed against her half-Khanaian heritage and the misogyny of a society that cherishes progeny over prodigy, all while hiding a power that–if found out–would subject her to execution…or worse. Ikenna is willing to risk it all because she needs to find out who murdered her grandfather…and then she needs to kill them.
Mareen has been at peace for a long time…
Ikenna joining the Praetorians is about to change all that.
Magic and technology converge in the first part of this stunning debut duology, where loyalty to oneself–and one’s blood–is more important than anything.
Fevered Star (Between Earth and Sky #2) by Rebecca Roanhorse – 19 Apr (Saga Press)
There are no tides more treacherous than those of the heart. —Teek saying
The great city of Tova is shattered. The sun is held within the smothering grip of the Crow God’s eclipse, but a comet that marks the death of a ruler and heralds the rise of a new order is imminent.
The Meridian: a land where magic has been codified and the worship of gods suppressed. How do you live when legends come to life, and the faith you had is rewarded?
As sea captain Xiala is swept up in the chaos and currents of change, she finds an unexpected ally in the former Priest of Knives. For the Clan Matriarchs of Tova, tense alliances form as far-flung enemies gather and the war in the heavens is reflected upon the earth.
And for Serapio and Naranpa, both now living avatars, the struggle for free will and personhood in the face of destiny rages. How will Serapio stay human when he is steeped in prophecy and surrounded by those who desire only his power? Is there a future for Naranpa in a transformed Tova without her total destruction?
Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher – 26 Apr (Tor Books)
After years of seeing her sisters suffer at the hands of an abusive prince, Marra—the shy, convent-raised, third-born daughter—has finally realized that no one is coming to their rescue. No one, except for Marra herself.
Seeking help from a powerful gravewitch, Marra is offered the tools to kill a prince—if she can complete three impossible tasks. But, as is the way in tales of princes, witches, and daughters, the impossible is only the beginning.
On her quest, Marra is joined by the gravewitch, a reluctant fairy godmother, a strapping former knight, and a chicken possessed by a demon. Together, the five of them intend to be the hand that closes around the throat of the prince and frees Marra’s family and their kingdom from its tyrannous ruler at last.
When Blood Lies (Sebastian St. Cyr #17) by C.S. Harris – 5 Apr (Berkley)
March, 1815. The Bourbon King Louis XVIII has been restored to the throne of France, Napoleon is in exile on the isle of Elba, and Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, and his wife, Hero, have traveled to Paris in hopes of tracing his long-lost mother, Sophie, the errant Countess of Hendon. But his search ends in tragedy when he comes upon the dying Countess in the wasteland at the tip of the Île de la Cité. Stabbed—apparently with a stiletto—and thrown from the bastions of the island’s ancient stone bridge, Sophie dies without naming her murderer.
Sophie had been living in Paris under an assumed name as the mistress of Maréchal Alexandre McClellan, the scion of a noble Scottish Jacobite family that took refuge in France after the Forty-Five Rebellion. Once one of Napoleon’s most trusted and successful generals, McClellan has now sworn allegiance to the Bourbons and is serving in the delegation negotiating on behalf of France at the Congress of Vienna. It doesn’t take Sebastian long to realize that the French authorities have no interest in involving themselves in the murder of a notorious Englishwoman at such a delicate time. And so, grieving and shattered by his mother’s death, Sebastian takes it upon himself to hunt down her killer. But what he learns will not only shock him but could upend a hard-won world peace.
The Sacred Bridge (Leaphorn, Chee and Manuelito #25) by Anne Hillerman – 12 Apr (Harper)
Sergeant Jim Chee’s vacation to beautiful Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell has a deeper purpose. He’s on a quest to unravel a sacred mystery his mentor, the Legendary Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn, stumbled across decades earlier.
Chee’s journey takes a deadly turn when, after a prayerful visit to the sacred Rainbow Bridge, he spots a body floating in the lake. The dead man, a Navajo with a passion for the canyon’s ancient rock art, lived a life filled with many secrets. Discovering why he died and who was responsible involves Chee in an investigation that puts his own life at risk.
Back in Shiprock, Officer Bernadette Manuelito is driving home when she witnesses an expensive sedan purposely kill a hitchhiker. The search to find the killer leads her to uncover a dangerous chain of interconnected revelations involving a Navajo Nation cannabis enterprise.
But the evil that is unleashed jeopardizes her mother and sister Darleen, and puts Bernie in the deadliest situation of her law enforcement career.
Flattered by Flowers (Songs of the Amaranthine #8) by Forthright – 4 Apr (Twinkle Press)
He’s a rough-hewn romantic, and she becomes his muse.
Junpei is a day laborer who’s supporting his mother and younger brother. He’s mostly resigned to rough hands and scant respectability, but for a few precious hours each evening, he loses himself in the colors and beauty of creation. His painted lanterns and parasols always sell, but supplies are costly, and unlike his illustrious father, he has no patron. While Junpei struggles to get by, strange things are afoot in Keishi—foreigners and their foreign ways. But he’s most interested in the lovely daughter of a local sweets merchant, whose kimono patterns inspire his paintings.
Boss Witch (Fix-It Witches #2) by Ann Aguirre – 5 Apr (Sourcebooks Casablanca)
Clementine Waterhouse is a perfectly logical witch. She doesn’t tumble headlong into love. Rather she weighs the pros and cons and decides if a relationship is worth pursuing. At least that’s always been her modus operandi before. Clem prefers being the one in charge, always the first to walk away when the time is right. Attraction has never struck her like lightning.
Until the witch hunter comes to town.
Gavin Rhys hates being a witch hunter, but his family honor is on the line, and he needs to prove he’s nothing like his grandfather, a traitor who let everyone down. But things in St. Claire aren’t what they seem, and Gavin is distracted from the job immediately by a bewitching brunette with a sexy smile and haunting secrets in her eyes.
Can the bossiest witch in town find a happy ending with the last person she should ever love?
Go Hex Yourself by Jessica Clare – 19 Apr (Berkley)
When Reggie Johnson answers a job ad in the paper, she’s astonished to find that she’s not applying to work at her favorite card game, Spellcraft: The Magicking. Instead, she’s applying to be an actual familiar for an actual witch. As in, real magic.
The new job has a few perks – great room and board, excellent pay, and she’s apprenticing to a powerful witch. Sure, the witch is a bit eccentric. And sure, there was that issue with the black cat Reggie would prefer to forget about. The biggest problem, however, is warlock Ben Magnus, her employer’s nephew and the most arrogant, insufferable, maddening man to ever cast a spell.
Reggie absolutely hates him. He’s handsome, but he’s also bossy and irritating and orders her around. Ben’s butt might look great in a crystal ball vision, but that’s as far as it goes. But when someone with a vendetta targets the household, she finds herself working with Ben to break a deadly curse. Apparently, when they’re not fighting like cats and dogs, things get downright…bewitching.
Lucky in Leather (Hearth Motel #4) by Holley Trent – 19 Apr (Self)
Few fairies can rival Matthew Gilisson’s magic despite him being only a quarter fae. Strong, smart, and fearless, he’s the perfect agent for his cousin Heath to deploy against his mother. As Queen Rhiannon’s realm continues to collapse, her plans pivot to survival at all costs, but Matt has too much at stake to let her find a foothold in the human world. She’s already spent a thousand years torturing her subjects.
Like his partner Perry.
A fairy like Perry Geer would normally be an unlikely recruit in the leather-and-chaos world of Prince Heath. He’s a thinker, not a warrior, so it made perfect sense that Prince Heath paired newcomer Matt with him. Conveniently, the two can combine their magic in useful, and unusual, ways and cooperatively neutralize the queen’s efforts to sabotage her defector son’s powerful crew.
But Perry wonders just how useful he really is when it becomes evident that Matt’s meant to be much more than his mission partner.
How could a quiet mage like him be the fated partner of a fairy royal? And how long will Perry be able to keep the match a secret from the man he wants so much more for?
Paranormal Women’s Fiction
Double Vision (Vista de Lirio #1) by Elizabeth Hunter – 19 Apr (Recurve Press LLC)
Successful realtor Julia Brooks moves to the quirky neighborhood of Vista de Lirio in the California desert and meets a riotous cast of eccentric characters. But her semi-retirement is spoiled when she finds the body of the neighborhood lothario dead in the kitchen of her brand new listing. Even more complicated? She also meets his ghost.
The Wrong Victim (Quinn & Costa #3) by Allison Brennan – 26 Apr (MIRA)
A bomb explodes on a sunset charter cruise out of Friday Harbor at the height of tourist season and kills everyone on board. Now this fishing and boating community is in shock and asking who would commit such a heinous crime—the largest act of mass murder in the history of the San Juan Islands.
Forensic profilers know there are two types of domestic terrorists: those who use violence to instill fear for political purposes but stop at murder because it detracts from the cause, and those who crave attention and are willing to maim and murder for their own agenda.
Accused of putting profits before people after leaking fuel that caused a massive fish kill, the West End Charter company may itself have been the target. But as special agent Matt Costa, detective Kara Quinn and the rest of the FBI team begin their investigation, they discover that plenty of people might have wanted someone dead on that yacht. Now they must track down who is responsible and stop them before they strike again.
Crudrat (The Tinkered Stars #2) by Gail Carriger – 1 Apr (Gail Carriger LLC)
The Progenitors of The Wheel live high up above the sky, amongst the stars, removed from the petty concerns of mere mortals. Each one designed, engineered, perfect; their imperfect children get left to die.
Ghosts. Cyphers. They do not exist. A lucky few, the Crudrats, scrape out a perilous living cleaning the toxic wastes from the great machines that power the station.
Meet Maura. Cypher. Crudrat. Grown too tall, alone in a spaceport with no use for her, doomed to starve. With only her crud-eating murmel and an alien monster to help her, she must find a way to survive, or escape, before they catch her and blow what’s left of her life, and her companions, into space.
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel – 5 Apr (Knopf)
Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal–an experience that shocks him to his core.
Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She’s traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony, a place of white stone, spired towers, and artificial beauty. Within the text of Olive’s bestselling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him.
When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended: The exiled son of an earl driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.
The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer by Janelle Monae – 19 Apr (Harper Voyager)
Whoever controls our memories controls the future.
Janelle Monáe and an incredible array of talented collaborating creators have written a collection of tales comprising the bold vision and powerful themes that have made Monáe such a compelling and celebrated storyteller. Dirty Computer introduced a world in which thoughts—as a means of self-conception—could be controlled or erased by a select few. And whether human, A.I., or other, your life and sentience was dictated by those who’d convinced themselves they had the right to decide your fate.
That was until Jane 57821 decided to remember and break free.
Expanding from that mythos, these stories fully explore what it’s like to live in such a totalitarian existence…and what it takes to get out of it. Building off the traditions of speculative writers such as Octavia Butler, Ted Chiang, Becky Chambers, and Nnedi Okorafor—and filled with the artistic genius and powerful themes that have made Monáe a worldwide icon in the first place—The Memory Librarian serves readers tales grounded in the human trials of identity expression, technology, and love, but also reaching through to the worlds of memory and time within, and the stakes and power that exists there.
Jade Setter of Janloon (Green Bone Saga #0.5) by Fonda Lee – 30 Apr (Subterranean Press)
The rapidly changing city of Janloon is ruled by jade, the rare and ancient substance that enhances the abilities and status of the trained Green Bone warriors who run the island’s powerful clans.
Pulo Oritono is not one of those warriors. He’s simply an apprentice jade setter with dreams of securing clan patronage and establishing a successful business. His hopes are dashed, however, when a priceless jade weapon is stolen from the shop where he works.
Now, Pulo has three days to hunt down the thief, find the jade, and return it to its rightful owner if he wants to save his future prospects, the people he cares about, and his very life. The desperate mission will lead Pulo to old vendettas, vast corruption, and questions about everything and everyone he thought he knew.
Harbinger (Elfhome #5) by Wen Spencer – 5 Apr (Baen)
The war against the oni heats to a flashpoint even as Tinker learns that the enemy has a dangerous new weapon, the nactka. What’s more, the Stone Clan has sent its most famous warlords, the Harbingers, to take control of the allied war effort. Are these elves friends or foes? Tinker’s newfound baby siblings are up for grabs. The babies, though, are wood sprites and aren’t going to take things lying down. Team Mischief go!
Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments (Edinburgh Nights #2) by T.L. Huchu – 5 Apr (Tor Books)
Ropa Moyo’s ghostalking practice has tanked, desperate for money to pay bills and look after her family she reluctantly accepts a job to look into the history of a coma patient receiving treatment at the magical private hospital Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments. The patient is a teenage schoolboy called Max Wu, and healers at the hospital are baffled by the illness which has confounded medicine and magic.
Ropa’s investigation leads her to the Edinburgh Ordinary School for Boys, one of only the four registered schools for magic in the whole of Scotland (the oldest and only one that remains closed to female students).
But the headmaster there is hiding something and as more students succumb Ropa learns that a long-dormant and malevolent entity has once again taken hold in this world.
She sets off to track the current host for this spirit and try to stop it before other lives are endangered.
One Fell Sweep (Innkeeper Chronicles #3) by Ilona Andrews – 18 Apr (Graphic Audio) BP Note: Full cast audio recording of previously released title.
Dina Demille may run the nicest Bed and Breakfast in Red Deer, Texas, but she caters to a very particular kind of guest… the kind that no one on Earth is supposed to know about. Guests like a former intergalactic tyrant with an impressive bounty on her head, the Lord Marshal of a powerful vampire clan, and a displaced-and-superhot werewolf; so don’t stand too close, or you may be collateral damage.
But what passes for Dina’s normal life is about to be thrown into chaos. First, she must rescue her long-distant older sister, Maud, who’s been exiled with her family to a planet that functions as the most lawless penal colony since Botany Bay. Then she agrees to help a guest whose last chance at saving his civilization could bring death and disaster to all Dina holds dear. Now Gertrude Hunt is under siege by a clan of assassins. To keep her guests safe and to find her missing parents, Dina will risk everything, even if she has to pay the ultimate price. Though Sean may have something to say about that!
The Other Half of the Grave (Night Huntress #9) by Jeaniene Frost – 22 Apr (NYLA)
There are two sides to every story–and the sizzling British alpha vampire, Bones, has a lot to say…
Ever wondered what Bones was thinking and feeling when he and half-vampire Cat Crawfield first met? Or how their story might differ if he were the one telling it? Now, relive the beginning of Cat and Bones’ bestselling love story through Bones’ point of view, which reveals a darker, sexier take on their early days, as well as a deeper dive into Bones’ past, the vampire world, and other things that Cat didn’t see when their story was told only through her eyes in Halfway to the Grave.
Cat had her say. Now, it’s Bones’ turn.
Highway to Hail (Rain Chaser #3) by Sierra Dean – 26 Apr (Sierra Dean)
Messing with time has consequences.
Tallulah Corentine turned back time itself to save her sister Sunny’s life, but in doing so she also erased the one perfect night she spent with the man she loves. Now, the bad luck priest Cade Melpomene has a question or two about some dreams he’s been having. Explaining that would be hard enough, but Tallulah’s got her hands full as Charon, the ferryman of the dead, is staking his claim on Sunny, and a charlatan storm god is stirring up trouble for Seth in Texas.
Can Tallulah undo the damage done by the false god, and also save her relationship with Cade? Can she convince Charon it’s not Sunny’s time, without losing her sister forever?
One way or the other, it’s going to be a hell of a ride.
The Hob and Hound Pub (Sam Quinn #4) by Seana Kelly – 26 Apr (NYLA)
I’m Sam Quinn, the newly married werewolf book nerd owner of the Slaughtered Lamb Bookstore and Bar. Clive and I are on our honeymoon. Paris is lovely, though the mummy in the Louvre inching toward me is a bit off-putting. Although Clive doesn’t sense anything, I can’t shake the feeling I’m being watched.
Even after we cross the English Channel to begin our search for Aldith—the woman who’s been plotting against Clive since the beginning—the prickling unease persists. Clive and I are separated, rather forcefully, and I’m left to find my way alone in a foreign country, evading not only Aldith’s large web of hench-vamps, but vicious fae creatures disloyal to their queen. Gloriana says there’s a poison in the human realm that’s seeping into Faerie, and I may have found the source.
I knew this was going to be a working vacation, but battling vampires on one front and the fae on another is a lot, especially in a country steeped in magic. As a side note, I need to get word to Benvair. I think I’ve found the dragon she’s looking for.
Gloriana is threatening to set her warriors against the human realm, but I may have a way to placate her. Aldith is a different story. There’s no reasoning with rabid vengeance. She’ll need to be put out of our misery permanently if Clive and I have any hope of a long, happy life together. Heck, I’d settle for a few quiet weeks.
Summer at the Cape by RaeAnne Thayne – 12 Apr (HQN)
As the older sibling to identical twins Violet and Lily, Cami Porter was always the odd sister out. The divide grew even wider when their parents split up—while the twins stayed in Cape Sanctuary with their free-spirited mother, Rosemary, fourteen-year-old Cami moved to LA with her attorney father. Nearly twenty years later, when Cami gets the terrible news that Lily has drowned saving a child’s life, her mother begs her to return home to help untangle the complicated estate issues her sister left behind.
Navigating their own strained relationship, Cami readjusts to the family and community she hasn’t known for decades, including the neighbor who stands in the way of her late sister’s dream, while Violet grieves the loss of her twin and struggles to figure out who she is now, without her other half, as the little girl Lily saved pulls her back into the orbit of the man she once loved.
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!