BP Note: Welcome to the end of 2022, still not sure where time disappeared along the way. We did some thinking about the HC Union Strike and decided not to include those titles releasing this month. Hopefully HC will come to the negotiating table soon. Apologies for this going up so late. Day job and family responsibilities decided they needed some additional attention this month. I don’t know about you but I am looking forward to some quiet reading time later. Please let us know what we have missed in our December lists. We wish the best end of this year and a positive start to next year for all of us. Thanks for staying with us!
Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!
Three Cowboys and a Baby (Three Cowboys #1) by Kate Pearce – 27 Dec (Zebra)
When an old military buddy turns up at the ranch he shares with two friends, Noah Harding never imagines the friend will skip out overnight and leave his baby boy behind. Noah will have some choice parenting advice to offer when the baby’s mother turns up, but until then, he’ll do his best to take care of the little one. Yet when a relieved Jen finally tracks down her son, Noah realizes the story is more complicated than he thought. And soon, so are his feelings for Jen . . .
Jen Rossi doesn’t expect much from her unreliable ex, but she’s shocked to return from an extended mission and discover he’s abandoned their son with three men she doesn’t know. Not that Noah isn’t doing a good job as fill-in daddy. In fact, there seems to be very little the straight-talking cowboy can’t do. And with a winter storm settling in, and close quarters making it impossible to deny their chemistry, this temporary solution might just become the key to forever . . .
Sword-Bearer (Tiger and Del #8) by Jennifer Roberson – 6 Dec (DAW)
Tiger and Del have settled into semi-retirement to raise their daughter, establishing a school for those who wish to become sword-dancers, part of a highly ritualized rite in which specially trained sword-fighters are hired to settle feuds among rich and powerful desert princes. Death-dances are few and far between; the goal is simply to win within the confines of “the circle.”
But Tiger is an outcast, a man who attained the highest level of achievement at the training school he attended faster than anyone before him, only to voluntarily break all oaths in order to save Del. By doing so, he made himself a target of men formerly his colleagues, now sworn enemies. He is constantly challenged to death-dances where rules, and oaths, no longer apply.
Now, with the world around them falling victim to a malignant Northern-born magic, Tiger gathers Del and his adult son, Neesha, to end the magic threatening the world—and discovers, along the journey, yet another element of magecraft within himself. Yet even as Tiger learns more about his gifts, Del comes face to face with the daughter she left behind so many years before.
Into the West (founding of Valdemar #2) by Mercedes Lackey – 6 Dec (DAW)
Baron Valdemar and his people have found a temporary haven, but it cannot hold all of them, or for long. Trouble could follow on their heels at any moment, and there are too many people for Crescent Lake to support. Those who are willing to make a further trek by barge on into the West will follow him into a wilderness depopulated by war and scarred by the terrible magics of a thousand years ago and the Mage Wars. But the wilderness is not as empty as it seems. There are potential friends and rapacious foes….
….and someone is watching them.
Shenanigans (Tales of Valdemar #16) by Mercedes Lackey – 13 Dec (DAW)
This sixteenth anthology of short stories set in the beloved Valdemar universe features tales by debut and established authors and a brand-new story from Lackey herself.
The Heralds of Valdemar are the kingdom’s ancient order of protectors. They are drawn from all across the land, from all walks of life, and at all ages–and all are Gifted with abilities beyond those of normal men and women. They are Mindspeakers, FarSeers, Empaths, ForeSeers, Firestarters, FarSpeakers, and more. These inborn talents–combined with training as emissaries, spies, judges, diplomats, scouts, counselors, warriors, and more–make them indispensable to their monarch and realm. Sought and Chosen by mysterious horse-like Companions, they are bonded for life to these telepathic, enigmatic creatures. The Heralds of Valdemar and their Companions ride circuit throughout the kingdom, protecting the peace and, when necessary, defending their land and monarch.
The Heretic Royal (The Scarred Earth Saga #3) by G.A. Aiken – 27 Dec (Kensington)
Gods save the queen!
Ainsley Farmerson has always planned to break free of the family business—and the family drama. But what was once farming, smithworking, and bickering over the dinner table has turned into open warfare between sisters. Sides have been taken, lives are on the line, and Ainsley has no doubt which sister must be queen. She’ll do whatever is necessary to take down the soulless Beatrix. Even if that means joining forces with angry battle nuns, irritating monks, and overbearing centaurs.
Gruffyn of the Torn Moon Clan has no time for human beings. And yet . . . there is something about the uncontrollable princess that he can’t ignore. Maybe it’s the way her eldest sisters underestimate her. Or her bravery facing down dragons and mad queens from distant lands. Whatever the reason, Gruff is willing to fight by this human’s side. Not only for the entertainment value, but because she’s right. Beatrix must never be queen. So whatever he has to do, whoever he has to destroy, Gruff will battle beside Ainsley. Fast. Hard. And with absolutely no mercy . . .
Moon Tamed by Audrey Green – 6 Dec (Pen & Page Publishing)
Coraline Patten enjoys nothing more than facing new challenges, but when she’s asked to evaluate Moonriver’s ruling faction, she worries she’s bitten off more than she can chew.
Allasandro Stephans has reigned since she’d been a child, unwavering in his dedication to Moonriver. His heir, Calden, has supported him every step of the way. Together, the shapeshifting widower and his son appear to be the perfect men for the job of preserving and protecting their home.
When Moonriver’s heir asks her to free his father from the burden of leadership, Coraline is determined to do what is best for her people, even if it costs her the love of her life.
Secrets Typed in Blood (Pentecost and Parker #3) by Stephen Spotswood – 13 Dec (Doubleday)
New York City, 1947: For years, Holly Quick has made a good living off of murder, filling up the pages of pulp detective magazines with gruesome tales of revenge. Now someone is bringing her stories to life and leaving a trail of blood-soaked bodies behind. With the threat of another murder looming, and reluctant to go to the police, Holly turns to the best crime-solving duo in or out of the pulps, Willowjean “Will” Parker and her boss, famed detective Lillian Pentecost.
The pair are handed the seemingly-impossible task of investigating three murders at once without tipping off the cops or the press that the crimes are connected. A tall order made even more difficult by the fact that Will is already signed up to spend her daylight hours undercover as a guileless secretary in the hopes of digging up a lead on an old adversary, Dr. Olivia Waterhouse.
But even if Will is stuck in pencil skirts and sensible shoes, she’s not about to let her boss have all the fun. Soon she’s diving into an underground world of people obsessed with murder and the men and women who commit them. Can the killer be found in the Black Museum Club, run by a philanthropist whose collection of grim murder memorabilia may not be enough to satisfy his lust for the homicidal? Or is it Holly Quick’s pair of editors, who read about murder all day, but clearly aren’t telling the full story?
With victims seemingly chosen at random and a murderer who thrives on spectacle, the case has the great Lillian Pentecost questioning her methods. But whatever she does, she’d better do it fast. Holly Quick has a secret, too and it’s about to bring death right to Pentecost and Parker’s doorstep.
Pearl Sky (Elemental Legacy #6) by Elizabeth Hunter – 6 Dec (Recurve Press LLC)
It’s not just any holiday season in the immortal world. Elder Zhang’s oldest servant is reaching the century mark and Ben and Tenzin are ready to celebrate, but no sooner do they land on Penglai Island than a mystery falls in their path. A valuable seal has gone missing, and the artifact was a gift from an ancient vampire who just happens to be heading to Penglai for a long-overdue formal visit.
The Elders of Penglai may have asked Ben and Tenzin’s assistance to find the lost treasure, but that doesn’t mean that eight ancient vampires, their immortal children, and all the humans who serve them will suddenly become open books. Penglai Island is secret for a reason, and the heart of that reason may just reveal the motive behind the theft.
Sweep of the Heart (Innkeeper Chronicles #6) by Ilona Andrews – 13 Dec (Ilona Andrews)
From the New York Times #1 bestselling author, Ilona Andrews, comes a fun and action-packed new adventure in the Innkeeper Chronicles! We invite you to relax, enjoy yourself, and above all, remember the one rule all visitors must obey: the humans must never know.
Life is busier than ever for Innkeeper, Dina DeMille and Sean Evans. But it’s about to get even more chaotic when Sean’s werewolf mentor is kidnapped. To find him, they must host an intergalactic spouse-search for one of the most powerful rulers in the Galaxy. Dina is never one to back down from a challenge. That is, if she can manage her temperamental Red Cleaver chef; the consequences of her favorite Galactic ex-tyrant’s dark history; the tangled politics of an interstellar nation, and oh, yes, keep the wedding candidates from a dozen alien species from killing each other. Not to mention the Costco lady.
They say love is a battlefield; but Dina and Sean are determined to limit the casualties!
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!