Rose and Wicked (Gold Sky #7)

May 2022 Must Haves

BP Note: Welcome to May. Take care of yourselves. Make yourself a priority. Me, I am going to take a few minutes to cuddle my elder kitty, reach out to friends and family, and reread KISS HARD. I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy, thank you Nalini, and thoroughly enjoyed reading the enemies to lovers in a fake relationship not to mention revisiting favorite characters. Then I am tightening my bootlaces and taking care of business. Hopefully our list below gives you some peace and enjoyment.
Happy reading!
~E

Contemporary Romance

By the Book (Meant to Be #2)By the Book (Meant to Be #2) by Jasmine Guillory – 3 May (Hyperion)

Isabelle is completely lost. When she first began her career in publishing right out of college, she did not expect to be twenty-five, living at home, still an editorial assistant, and the only Black employee at her publishing house. Overworked and underpaid, constantly torn between speaking up or stifling herself, Izzy thinks there must be more to this publishing life. So when she overhears her boss complaining about a beastly high-profile author who has failed to deliver his long-awaited manuscript, Isabelle sees an opportunity to finally get the promotion she deserves.

All she has to do is go to the author’s Santa Barbara mansion and give him a quick pep talk or three. How hard could it be?

But Izzy quickly finds out she is in over her head. Beau Towers is not some celebrity lightweight writing a tell-all memoir. He is jaded and withdrawn and—it turns out—just as lost as Izzy. But despite his standoffishness, Izzy needs Beau to deliver, and with her encouragement, his story begins to spill onto the page. They soon discover they have more in common than either of them expected, and as their deadline nears, Izzy and Beau begin to realize there may be something there that wasn’t there before.

Kiss Hard (Hard Play #4)Kiss Hard (Hard Play #4) by Nalini Singh – 3 May (TKA Distribution)

Daniel Esera is a young god on the rugby field, a sexy and charming man who’s got the world at his feet. There’s just one problem: his sudden potent attraction to his number one nemesis–Catie River. No. Just no. Not happening.

Catie River is on her way to Paralympic gold, and she’s not about to allow Danny “Hotshot” Esera to derail her plans. Too bad her body isn’t cooperating. Even worse? Her heart might be coming along for the ride. No. Nope. Never.

The pair are united in their desire to remain enemies… until a stranger’s reckless action threatens both their careers. Now, the only way out for Catie and Danny is to pretend to be in a relationship. How bad can it be? They’re adults in full control of their hormones and their hearts. There will be no kissing. No PDA. And definitely no falling in love.

Let the games begin.

The Dachshund Wears Prada (Paws in the City #1)The Dachshund Wears Prada (Paws in the City #1) by Stefanie London – 3 May (HQN)

—the internet is forever. Social media consultant Isla Thompson learned that lesson the hard way when she went viral for all the wrong reasons. A month later, Isla is still having nightmares about the moment she ruined a young starlet’s career and made herself the most unemployable influencer in Manhattan. But she doesn’t have the luxury of hiding until she’s no longer Instagram poison. Not when her fourteen-year-old sister, Dani, needs Isla to keep a roof over their heads. So, she takes the first job she can get: caring for Camilla, a glossy-maned, foul-tempered hellhound.

After a week of ferrying Camilla from playdates to pet psychics, Isla starts to suspect that the dachshund’s bark is worse than her bite—just like her owner, Theo Garrison. Isla has spent her career working to make people likable and here’s Theo—happy to hide behind his reputation as a brutish recluse. But Theo isn’t a brute—he’s sweet and funny, and Isla should not see him as anything but the man who signs her paychecks. Because loving Theo would mean retreating to his world of secluded luxury, and Isla needs to show Dani that no matter the risk, dreams are always worth chasing.

Adult Assembly RequiredAdult Assembly Required by Abbi Waxman – 17 May (Berkley Books)

When Laura Costello moves to Los Angeles, trying to escape an overprotective family and the haunting memories of a terrible accident, she doesn’t expect to be homeless after a week. (She’s pretty sure she didn’t start that fire — right?) She also doesn’t expect to find herself adopted by a rogue bookseller, installed in a lovely but completely illegal boardinghouse, or challenged to save a losing trivia team from ignominy…but that’s what happens. Add a regretful landlady, a gorgeous housemate and an ex-boyfriend determined to put himself back in the running and you’ll see why Laura isn’t really sure she’s cut out for this adulting thing. Luckily for her, her new friends Nina, Polly and Impossibly Handsome Bob aren’t sure either, but maybe if they put their heads (and hearts) together they’ll be able to make it work for them.

Flirting with FiftyFlirting with Fifty by Jane Porter – 24 May (Berkley Books)

Paige Newsom is finally at a place in her life where she’s comfortable. She loves her job as a college professor in Southern California, lives close enough to her mother to visit her regularly, and has three daughters who are flourishing in their own careers. Paige has no plans to upend her life again after her divorce eight years ago, but she’s about to embark on a new adventure: co-teaching a course that includes a three-week international field study.

Paige can think of a dozen reasons why she shouldn’t go, one being a dazzling Australian biologist who will be teaching alongside her. Professor Jack King is charismatic, a world traveler, and more like Indiana Jones than Indiana Jones, all of which unsettles Paige, who prides herself on being immune to any man’s charms. As the two co-professors lead the rigorous program together, first on campus, then in beautiful Tanzania, Paige’s biggest challenge will be working closely with Jack while resisting the undeniable chemistry she feels when she’s with him.

Trusted & True (Men of Haven #7)Trusted & True (Men of Haven #7) by Rhenna Morgan – 24 May (Carina Press)

The last person Callie Moore is prepared to see when she shows up for a job interview is Danny Parker, the guy who witnessed her at her worst and gave her an ultimatum: get clean or don’t ever ask for help again. It’s been years since then, and Callie’s been through hell, but she’s finally doing the work to change her life. That doesn’t mean she couldn’t use the job. And it doesn’t mean her troubled past is completely behind her, either.

When his best friend’s sister-in-law walks in looking for a job and a second—or is it third—chance, Danny isn’t so sure he’s willing to risk it. Even if he does desperately need the help at his custom car shop.

Letting Callie back into his life opens Danny’s eyes, and heart, to the woman she is now—and the man he wants to become. If anyone has a problem with that, too bad. Including his skeptical Haven brothers. But when a dangerous part of the life Callie’s left behind comes to town, seeking revenge, the family will have to join together to save her—as well as the innocent Haven life caught in the cross fire.

Eight Weeks in ParisEight Weeks in Paris by S.R. Lane – 31 May (Carina Adores)

BREAKING: Lost novel of Bell Epoque Paris, The Throne, comes to the silver screen with an A-list cast. But will on-set drama doom the filming of this gay love story before it starts?

Nicholas Madden is one of the best actors of his generation. His personal life is consistently a shambles, but he’ll always have his art—and The Throne is going to be his legacy.

Then his costar walks off the runway and into rehearsal. The role of a lifetime is about to be sunk by a total amateur.

Chris Lavalle is out, gorgeous and totally green. He has thousands of Instagram followers, a string of gorgeous exes and more ad campaigns to his name than one can count. But he’s more than just a pretty face, and The Throne is his chance to prove it.

If only Nicholas wasn’t a belligerent jerk with a chip on his shoulder and a face carved by the gods.

Eight weeks of filming, eight weeks of 24/7 togetherness bring Nicholas and Chris closer than the producers had dared to dream. Chemistry? So very much not a problem. But as The Throne gets set to wrap and real life comes calling, they’ll have to rewrite the ending of another love story: their own.

Fantasy

The Prince's Poisoned Vow (Infernal War Saga #1)The Prince’s Poisoned Vow (Infernal War Saga #1) by Hailey Turner – 2 May (Self)

Every country is built on revolution.

THE WARDEN. Soren is a nameless, stateless man, tasked with keeping watch over Maricol’s borders. He isn’t meant for politics, only dealing with the dead. His past was buried in the poison fields, but after a fateful encounter with a prince, Soren comes to realize he can’t keep what magic burns inside him hidden forever.

THE PRINCE. Vanya Sa’Liandel was the spare who survived the Houses’ murderous games to become the Imperial crown prince of Solaria. He has a duty to his country, but he’ll owe his life to the wardens. Payment of any kind is costly, especially when he’s at risk of losing his heart to the man who saved his life.

THE COG. Caris Dhemlan hears the siren song of clarion crystals better than anyone in Ashion. That skill for inventing has enriched her bloodline, but it’s who she can become that will ultimately entangle her with the Clockwork Brigade.

THE PRINCESS. Eimarille Rourke should have been raised to be queen of one country; instead, she is prisoner of another. Guided by a star god, Eimarille bides her time in a gilded cage, spinning a political web to gain a throne and start a war the world isn’t ready for.

Tear Down the Throne (Gargoyle Queen #2)Tear Down the Throne (Gargoyle Queen #2) by Jennifer Estep – 3 May (Harper Voyager)

Crown princess. Clever spy. Powerful mind magier. Gemma Ripley of Andvari is all those things–and determined to stop an enemy from using magical tearstone weapons to conquer her kingdom.

Gemma’s quest for answers leads her to a trade Summit between the various kingdoms. Among the other royals in attendance is Queen Maeven Morricone of Morta and her son, Prince Leonidas–Gemma’s charming and dangerous nemesis.

Gemma knows that Maeven always has a long game in motion, and sure enough, the cunning queen invokes an arcane tradition that threatens the fragile truce between Andvari and the other kingdoms. Despite her best intentions, Gemma once again finds herself thrown together with Leo and battling her growing feelings for the enemy prince.

When a series of deadly attacks shatters the Summit’s peaceful negotiations, Gemma realizes that someone wants to tear the royals down from their thrones–and that this enemy just might succeed.

When Women Were DragonsWhen Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill – 3 May (Doubleday)

Learn about the Mass Dragoning of 1955 in which 300,000 women spontaneously transform into dragons…and change the world.

Alex Green is a young girl in a world much like ours. But this version of 1950’s America is characterized by a significant event: The Mass Dragoning of 1955, when hundreds of thousands of ordinary wives and mothers sprouted wings, scales and talons, left a trail of fiery destruction in their path, and took to the skies. Seemingly for good. Was it their choice? What will become of those left behind? Why did Alex’s beloved Aunt Marla transform but her mother did not? Alex doesn’t know. It’s taboo to speak of, even more so than her crush on Sonja, her schoolmate.

Forced into silence, Alex nevertheless must face the consequences of dragons: a mother more protective than ever; a father growing increasingly distant; the upsetting insistence that her aunt never even existed; and a new “sister” obsessed with dragons far beyond propriety. Through loss, rage, and self-discovery, this story follows Alex’s journey as she deals with the events leading up to and beyond the Mass Dragoning, and her connection with the phenomenon itself.

Siren QueenSiren Queen by Nghi Vo – 10 May (Tordotcom)

It was magic. In every world, it was a kind of magic.

“No maids, no funny talking, no fainting flowers.” Luli Wei is beautiful, talented, and desperate to be a star. Coming of age in pre-Code Hollywood, she knows how dangerous the movie business is and how limited the roles are for a Chinese American girl from Hungarian Hill—but she doesn’t care. She’d rather play a monster than a maid.

But in Luli’s world, the worst monsters in Hollywood are not the ones on screen. The studios want to own everything from her face to her name to the women she loves, and they run on a system of bargains made in blood and ancient magic, powered by the endless sacrifice of unlucky starlets like her. For those who do survive to earn their fame, success comes with a steep price. Luli is willing to do whatever it takes—even if that means becoming the monster herself.

The Stardust Thief (Sandsea Trilogy #1)The Stardust Thief (Sandsea Trilogy #1) by Chelsea Abdullah – 17 May (Orbit)

Neither here nor there, but long ago…

Loulie al-Nazari is the Midnight Merchant: a criminal who, with the help of her jinn bodyguard, hunts and sells illegal magic. When she saves the life of a cowardly prince, she draws the attention of his powerful father, the sultan, who blackmails her into finding an ancient lamp that has the power to revive the barren land—at the cost of sacrificing all jinn.

With no choice but to obey or be executed, Loulie journeys with the sultan’s oldest son to find the artifact. Aided by her bodyguard, who has secrets of his own, they must survive ghoul attacks, outwit a vengeful jinn queen, and confront a malicious killer from Loulie’s past. And, in a world where story is reality and illusion is truth, Loulie will discover that everything—her enemy, her magic, even her own past—is not what it seems, and she must decide who she will become in this new reality.

Historical Fantasy

When She Dreams (Burning Cove #6)When She Dreams (Burning Cove #6) by Amanda Quick – 3 May (Berkley Books)

Maggie Lodge, assistant to the reclusive advice columnist known only as Dear Aunt Cornelia to her readers, hires down-but-not-quite-out private eye Sam Sage to help track down the person who is blackmailing her employer. Maggie and Sam are a mismatched pair. As far as Sam is concerned, Maggie is reckless and in over her head. She is not what he had in mind for a client but he can’t afford to be choosy. Maggie, on the other hand, is convinced that Sam is badly in need of guidance and good advice. She does not hesitate to give him both.

In spite of the verbal fireworks between them, they are fiercely attracted to each other, but each is convinced it would be a mistake to let passion take over. They are, after all, keeping secrets from each other. Sam is haunted by his past, which includes a marriage shattered by betrayal and violence. Maggie is troubled by intense and vivid dreams–dreams that she can sometimes control. There are those who want to run experiments on her and use her for their own purposes, while others think she should be committed to an asylum.

When the pair discovers someone is impersonating Aunt Cornelia at a conference on psychic dreaming and a woman dies at the conference, the door is opened to a dangerous web of blackmail and murder. Secrets from the past are revealed, leaving Maggie and Sam in the path of a ruthless killer who will stop at nothing to exact vengeance

Historical Mystery

The Key to Deceit (Electra McDonnell #2)The Key to Deceit (Electra McDonnell #2) by Ashley Weaver – 10 May (Minotaur)

London, 1940. After years of stealing from the rich and giving to the poor—well, to themselves, anyway—Ellie McDonnell and her family have turned over a new leaf as they help the government’s war effort. It’s true that the straight-laced Major Ramsey didn’t give them much choice, but still, Ellie must admit she doesn’t miss breaking and entering as much as she might have thought. What she does miss is the challenge of unlocking an impossible code and the adrenaline rush that comes from being somewhere she shouldn’t.

So when Major Ramsey turns up unannounced with another job, she can’t say no. A woman’s body has been found floating in the Thames, with a bracelet locked onto her wrist, and a cameo locket attached to it. It’s clear this woman was involved in espionage, but whose side was she on? Who was she reporting to? And who wanted her dead?

Historical Romance

Rose and Wicked (Gold Sky #7)Rose and Wicked (Gold Sky #7) by Rebel Carter – 3 May (Self)

Rose Wickes-Barnes has a plan to establish herself as an independent woman of good standing.

* Move away from Gold Sky.

* Join one of New York City’s most prestigious theater companies.

* Establish herself in society as an up-and-coming costumier with said theater company.

Thus, she aims to enjoy the fruits of her labor just as any woman should. What she never anticipates is the scandal, paparazzi storm, and subsequent whirlwind marriage she finds herself in.

Rose and her new husband, the gentle, soft-spoken and earnest Samuel Walker, who selflessly put himself in harm’s way to keep her safe one fateful, rainy, day, are forced to flee the city and marry to keep their reputations intact. All the while Rose suspects there is far more to her new husband than the man she’s coming dangerously close to falling in love with.

People on the streets of New York give him a wide berth, and they call him ‘Wicked Walker’. Rose has never known him to be anything but a gentleman and her protector, but she can’t help but admit she is curious to see just what’s so wicked about ‘Wicked Walker.’

The Servant and the Gentleman (Society of Beasts #3)The Servant and the Gentleman (Society of Beasts #3) by Annabelle Greene – 17 May (Carina Press)

A surly gentleman and his overworked clerk fake a relationship in this swoonworthy Regency romance from Annabelle Greene.

William Hartley’s wealth and social standing often make up for his short temper, but they can’t cure his claustrophobia. He’d lost hope of finding help for it, until meeting Josiah Balfour. In a moment of panic, Josiah’s presence is a balm to his senses, leaving Hartley calm for the first time in months.

Josiah Balfour knows his place—and it’s not in the bed of a gentleman. As the administrator for the Society of Beasts, he’s responsible for the club’s well-being. When a threat to the Society emerges from an unexpected quarter, it falls to Josiah to deal with it. But Hartley is willing to help, even if it involves posing as a couple to infiltrate a rival club.

Josiah needs Hartley’s prestige to help him save the Society, while Hartley simply needs Josiah. Their relationship might be a sham, but the desire between them is all too real. Stuck in close quarters with everything they love on the line, they discover that everything might just include each other.

Paranormal Romance

When He's Ruthless (Olympus Pride #4)When He’s Ruthless (Olympus Pride #4) by Suzanne Wright – 13 May (Self)

Blair Kendrick was just twelve-years-old when she stared into slate blue eyes and sensed that her world was about to change. She’d known down to her bones that the broody alpha cat shifter was her true mate. For the past six years, Luke has watched over and supported her. When she turns nineteen in a few months’ time, he’ll officially claim her and she’ll then join his pride. Or that’s the plan. Knowing her parents are extremely opposed to it, she isn’t surprised when her mother attempts to derail it. But the recent discovery on her porch comes as a shock, forcing Blair to face that she’s become the focus of a predator that lurks in the darkness and now intends to close in on her.

Not even the most ruthless of men are without a weakness. Luke Devereaux has only one: a fierce, lethal bush dog shifter who is also his mate. Before Blair, his mind was a place of endless blackness. She gave him purpose, peace, and balance. It’s finally nearing the time he can make her his, and he’s done playing nice with her interfering parents. But it turns out that they’re the least of his problems, because Luke isn’t the only one who has been watching and waiting for Blair to grow. There’s another who believes he has a claim to her. Someone who has so far kept to the shadows. Someone who is proving difficult to unmask. Someone who has already shown he’ll do anything to possess her. Even kill.

Plaidypus (Magical Romantic Comedy with a Body Count #19)Plaidypus (Magical Romantic Comedy with a Body Count #19) by R.J. Blain – 17 May (Pen & Page Publishing)

After a close encounter of the hotspot kind, Nadine’s paws are full figuring out how to feed her thirsty vampire of a brother, trying to convince the CDC she actually can be a shapeshifter infected with the lycanthropy virus, and dodging the pack of crazy women out for her blood—or her brother’s body.

She’s not sure if they want her or her brother, but she doesn’t want to find out.

Nadine knows one thing for certain: her backwater town is too small for everybody coming to pay her family of two a visit. Maybe she doesn’t have a male platypus’s venomous spurs, but she’s ready to put up a fight to protect her brother, and not even the sexy plaid-clad stranger strutting his stuff is going to lure her away from home.

Assuming she’ll be given a choice in the matter is only the first of her mistakes.

Urban Fantasy

Of Claws and Fangs (Jane Yellowrock Collection)Of Claws and Fangs (Jane Yellowrock Collection) by Faith Hunter – 3 May (Penguin Random House)

New York Times bestselling author Faith Hunter presents a stunning collection of stories from the world of shape-shifting vampire hunter Jane Yellowrock and beyond.

Collected together for the first time, this volume contains shorter works featuring heroines Jane Yellowrock and Nell Ingram, as well as a host of other characters from the Jane Yellowrock and Soulwood series. Faith Hunter is “an expert at creating worlds filled with intriguing supernatural elements and exciting scenarios”* and her skills are on full display in this collection. From a vampire-filled Halloween evening in New Orleans to the searing tale of how a certain were-leopard first got his spots, this collection has something for everyone, and each story is sure to put the super in supernatural.

With eighteen stories in all, Of Claws and Fangs will enrich and entertain—it’s a must-have for Faith Hunter’s readers and all lovers of fantasy.

Book of NightBook of Night by Holly Black – 3 May (Tor Books)

In Charlie Hall’s world, shadows can be altered, for entertainment and cosmetic preferences—but also to increase power and influence. You can alter someone’s feelings—and memories—but manipulating shadows has a cost, with the potential to take hours or days from your life. Your shadow holds all the parts of you that you want to keep hidden—a second self, standing just to your left, walking behind you into lit rooms. And sometimes, it has a life of its own.

Charlie is a low-level con artist, working as a bartender while trying to distance herself from the powerful and dangerous underground world of shadow trading. She gets by doing odd jobs for her patrons and the naive new money in her town at the edge of the Berkshires. But when a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie’s present life is thrown into chaos, and her future seems at best, unclear—and at worst, non-existent. Determined to survive, Charlie throws herself into a maelstrom of secrets and murder, setting her against a cast of doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, shadow thieves, and her own sister—all desperate to control the magic of the shadows.

Heroic HeartsHeroic Hearts by Jim Butcher et. al – 3 May (Ace)

An all-star urban fantasy collection featuring short stories from #1 New York Times bestselling authors Jim Butcher, Patricia Briggs, Charlaine Harris, Kelley Armstrong, and more . . .

In this short story collection of courage, adventure, and magic, heroes–ordinary people who do the right thing–bravely step forward.

But running toward danger might cost them everything. . . .

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher’s “Little Things,” the pixie Toot-Toot discovers an invader unbeknownst to the wizard Harry Dresden . . . and in order to defeat it, he’ll have to team up with the dread cat Mister.

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Patricia Briggs’s “Dating Terrors,” the werewolf Asil finds an online date might just turn into something more–if she can escape the dark magic binding her.

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Charlaine Harris’s “The Return of the Mage,” the Britlingen mercenaries will discover more than they’ve bargained for when they answer the call of a distress beacon on a strange and remote world.

And in #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong’s “Comfort Zone,” the necromancer Chloe Saunders and the werewolf Derek Souza are just trying to get through college. But they can’t refuse a ghost pleading for help.

ALSO INCLUDES STORIES BY Annie Bellet * Anne Bishop * Jennifer Brozek * Kevin Hearne * Nancy Holder * Kerrie L. Hughes * Chloe Neill * R.R. Virdi

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!

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