The Build Up

March 2023 Must Haves

BP Note: Welcome to March! Hopefully Mother Nature decides to settle down a bit because last month was quite the rollar-coaster. Our Must Haves this month cover a wide spread without any one subgenre taking the leading role. Hopefully you will find something to enjoy as a result. And as always let us know what we missed. Take care of yourselves and reach out to a friend.
Happy reading!

Contemporary Romance

Her Best Kept SecretHer Best Kept Secret by Naima Simone – 28 Mar (Harlequin Desire)

After the crushing end of her engagement, event planner Nore Daniels is through with love. Except her plan to throw herself into work ends with landing in the bed of sexy former motorcycle racer and CEO Joaquin Iverson. Now he wants Nore to work for him—and it’s a business arrangement that may require a decidedly personal touch…

Their chemistry is undeniably off the charts—but when it comes to trust, both Nore and Joaquin have been burned before. And when Nore discovers that he’s the brother of her ex-fiancé, it might send both their worlds spinning out of control…

The Build UpThe Build Up by Tati Richardson – 28 Mar (Carina Press)

Rumpled and ragged was not how architect Ari James envisioned kicking off her first day at a new firm. And few things can top the horror of her new—and extremely hot—colleague walking in on her at the worst moment ever. Learning that she’ll be working with him on the project that’s supposed to get her career back on top makes it harder than ever to focus on her big comeback.

With a partnership at his firm on the line, nothing is going to stand in the way of Porter Harrison absolutely killing it on his new project: not his obnoxious rival, not his unpredictable brother and definitely not his new coworker whose gorgeous curves he accidentally saw and now can’t get out of his head.

Though neither of them is looking for love, once their creative juices get flowing, Ari and Porter’s connection is obvious. But when their shared goal has always been winning at work, building a solid foundation for a relationship might end up costing them everything…


Conquer the Kingdom (Gargoyle Queen #3)Conquer the Kingdom (Gargoyle Queen #3) by Jennifer Estep – 7 Mar (Harper Voyager)

Time is running out for crown princess Gemma Ripley. Despite being a cunning spy and a powerful mind magier, Gemma hasn’t been able to track down the most dangerous enemy her kingdom of Andvari has ever seen. Adding to her worries is the Sword and Shield tournament. With gladiators flocking to the capital city of Glanzen, Gemma can’t tell who is friend–or foe.

Determined to protect Andvari at any cost, Gemma hatches a bold plan, but things aren’t what they seem. Soon, everything she holds dear is being threatened, including her burgeoning relationship with Prince Leonidas Morricone.

With the kingdom she holds dear slipping through her fingers, Gemma will have to conquer her fear and unlock the true secret of her magic–or watch her friends and family die and her beloved Andvari fall . . .

The Queen's Price (Black Jewels #12)The Queen’s Price (Black Jewels #12) by Anne Bishop – 7 Mar (Ace)

The Queen’s price is to stand against what you know is wrong. To stand and fight, no matter the cost to your court or to yourself. Especially to yourself.

Zoey, a young Queen-in-training at SaDiablo Hall, is wounded…and vulnerable to taunts and criticism. When an opportunity arises to befriend a stranger seeking sanctuary at the Hall, she puts herself and others in danger by ignoring Daemonar Yaslana’s warning to back off.

Meanwhile, the witch Jillian’s family prepares for her Virgin Night, the rite of passage that assures a woman will retain her power and her Jewels. The trouble is Jillian secretly went through the ceremony already. Now she has to explain the omission of that detail to her powerful and lethal family. And the High Lord of Hell’s daughter, Saetien, travels to Scelt to find out about Jaenelle Angelline’s sister–and perhaps to discover truths about herself.

With some guidance from Witch, these three young women will learn when to yield because it is right–and when to take a stand, even if they must pay the Queen’s price.

Historical Mystery

A Tempest at Sea (Lady Sherlock #7)A Tempest at Sea (Lady Sherlock #7) by Sherry Thomas – 14 Mar (Berkley)

After feigning her own death in Cornwall to escape from Moriarty’s perilous attention, Charlotte Holmes goes into hiding. But then she receives a tempting offer: Find a dossier the crown is desperately seeking to recover, and she might be able to go back to a normal life.

Her search leads her aboard the RMS Provence, sailing from Southampton for the eastern hemisphere. But on the night Charlotte makes her move to retrieve the dossier, in the midst of a terrifying storm in the Bay of Biscay, a brutal murder also takes place on the ship.

Instead of solving the crime, as she is accustomed to doing, Charlotte must take care not to be embroiled in this investigation, lest it become known to those who harbor ill intentions that Sherlock Holmes is abroad and still very much alive.

The White LadyThe White Lady by Jacqueline Winspear – 21 Mar (Harper)

A reluctant ex-spy with demons of her own, Elinor finds herself facing down one of the most dangerous organized crime gangs in London, and exposing corruption from Scotland Yard to the highest levels of government.

Post-World War II Britain, 1947. Forty-one-year-old “Miss White,” as Elinor is known, lives in a village in Kent, England, so quietly and privately as to seem an enigma to her fellow villagers. Well she might, as Elinor occupies a “grace and favor” property, a rare privilege offered to faithful servants of the Crown for services to the nation. But the residents of Shacklehurst have no way of knowing how dangerous Elinor’s war work had been, or how deeply their mysterious neighbor continues to be haunted by her past.

It will take the child of Jim Mackie, a young farmworker and his wife, Rose, to break through Miss White’s icy demeanor—but Jim has something in common with Elinor. He, too, is desperate to escape his past. When the powerful Mackie crime family demands a return of their prodigal son for an important job, Elinor assumes the task of protecting her neighbors, especially the bright-eyed Susie, who reminds her of the darkest day of her life.

Elinor’s wartime training and instincts serve her well, but as she endeavors to neutralize the threat to Jim, Rose and Susie Mackie, she is rapidly led along a tunnel of smoke and mirrors in which former wartime colleagues – who know the truth about what happened in 1944, and the terrible event that led to her wartime suicide attempt – are compromised by more powerful influences.

Ultimately, Elinor will hold a gun to the head of a Mackie crime lord to uncover the truth behind the family’s pursuit of Jim, and in doing so, reveal the far-reaching tentacles of their power—along with the truth that will free Elinor from her past.

Historical Romance

The Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen (Doomsday Books #1)The Secret Lives of Country Gentlemen (Doomsday Books #1) by KJ Charles – 7 Mar (Sourcebooks Casa)

Abandoned by his father as a small child, Sir Gareth Inglis has grown up prickly, cold, and well-used to disappointment. Even so, he longs for a connection, falling headfirst into a passionate anonymous affair that’s over almost as quickly as it began. Bitter at the sudden rejection, Gareth has little time to lick his wounds: his father has died, leaving him the family title, a rambling manor on the remote Romney Marsh…and the den of cutthroats and thieves that make its intricate waterways their home.

Joss Doomsday has run the Doomsday smuggling clan since he was a boy. His family is his life…which is why when the all-too-familiar new baronet testifies against Joss’s sister for a hanging offense, Joss acts fast, blackmailing Gareth with the secret of their relationship to force him to recant. Their reunion is anything but happy and the path forward everything but smooth, yet after the dust settles, neither can stay away. It’s a long road from there—full of danger and mysteries to be solved—yet somehow, along the way, this well-mannered gentleman may at last find true love with the least likely of scoundrels.


A House with Good BonesA House with Good Bones by T. Kingfisher – 28 Mar (Tor Nightfire)

“Mom seems off.”

Her brother’s words echo in Sam Montgomery’s ear as she turns onto the quiet North Carolina street where their mother lives alone.

She brushes the thought away as she climbs the front steps. Sam’s excited for this rare extended visit, and looking forward to nights with just the two of them, drinking boxed wine, watching murder mystery shows, and guessing who the killer is long before the characters figure it out.

But stepping inside, she quickly realizes home isn’t what it used to be. Gone is the warm, cluttered charm her mom is known for; now the walls are painted a sterile white. Her mom jumps at the smallest noises and looks over her shoulder even when she’s the only person in the room. And when Sam steps out back to clear her head, she finds a jar of teeth hidden beneath the magazine-worthy rose bushes, and vultures are circling the garden from above.

To find out what’s got her mom so frightened in her own home, Sam will go digging for the truth. But some secrets are better left buried.


The Raven Thief (Secret Staircase Mystery #2)The Raven Thief (Secret Staircase Mystery #2) by Gigi Pandian – 21 Mar (minotaur)

One murder. Four impossibilities. A fake séance hides a very real crime.

Secret Staircase Construction just finished their first project with Tempest Raj officially a part of the team—a classic mystery novel-themed home interior. Their client is now ready to celebrate her new life without her cheating ex-husband, famous mystery author Corbin Colt. First up, a party, and Tempest and Grandpa Ash are invited to the exclusive mock séance to remove any trace of Corbin from the property—for good. It’s all lighthearted fun until Corbin’s dead body crashes the party.

The only possible suspects are the eight people around the séance table—a circle of clasped hands that wasn’t broken. Suspicion quickly falls on Grandpa Ash, the only one with actual blood on him. To prove her beloved grandfather’s innocence, Tempest must figure out what really happened—and how—or Ash will be cooking his delectable Indian and Scottish creations nevermore.

Paranormal Romance

When He's Torn (Olympus Pride #5)When He’s Torn (Olympus Pride #5) by Suzanne Wright – 10 Mar (KU)

It has been said that Bailey Bryant lives with her middle finger up in the air. She can agree with that. But there’s one thing she fails to be breezy about: her unrelenting attraction to fellow enforcer Deke Hammond. Broad, inked, and ruggedly masculine, the grumpy cat shifter could attract a stone. He’s also currently riddled with touch-hunger and much crankier than usual. So she should probably stop poking at him for fun—he already despises her. Or so she thinks … until one of their regular disputes leads to an explosive kiss and an exchange of truths. That lip-lock creates a major issue—she now wants more. And there seems only one thing for it: She’ll have to kiss him again.

Deke is a man of logic. He doesn’t like what he doesn’t understand. And he cannot explain why Bailey compels him like no one else. Constantly teasing and provoking him, the snake shifter drives him nuts. Daily. On purpose. She takes nothing seriously—him included. Yet, he’s often come close to ravishing her mouth. When touch-hunger comes calling, he loses the strength and will to fight his attraction to her. The more time he spends with Bailey, the more he realizes he’s made many incorrect assumptions about her. There’s much he doesn’t know. Much to admire and respect. Much he truly likes. Likes a whole lot, in fact. And there seems only one thing for it: He’ll have to just keep her.

Demon Reign (Demons of Morningstar #4)Demon Reign (Demons of Morningstar #4) by Debbie Cassidy – 23 Mar (KU)

The trials are over.

A monarch must be chosen.

Morningstar is about to get a makeover and I don’t think the Princes are going to like it.

Science Fiction Mystery

Mimicking of Known Successes (Mossa & Pleiti #1)Mimicking of Known Successes (Mossa & Pleiti #1) by Malka Older – 7 Mar (Tordotcom)

On a remote, gas-wreathed outpost of a human colony on Jupiter, a man goes missing. The enigmatic Investigator Mossa follows his trail to Valdegeld, home to the colony’s erudite university—and Mossa’s former girlfriend, a scholar of Earth’s pre-collapse ecosystems.

Pleiti has dedicated her research and her career to aiding the larger effort towards a possible return to Earth. When Mossa unexpectedly arrives and requests Pleiti’s assistance in her latest investigation, the two of them embark on a twisting path in which the future of life on Earth is at stake—and, perhaps, their futures, together.

Science Fiction Romance

Bodies in Beta Sector (Lady Elizabeth in Space #2)Bodies in Beta Sector (Lady Elizabeth in Space #2) by Diana Xarissa – 17 Mar (KU)

I’ve been keeping myself busy studying coding and playing with my cat, Singer. Long-distance space travel has turned out to be incredibly boring, but at least the food on the Lady Elizabeth is good. When we finally reach the second sector of our twenty-six-sector journey, I think everyone on board is ready to celebrate.

Everyone except the couple in the cabin across the corridor from me. They’ve had their privacy screen in place since we left Cenclare. Galactic regulations mean that someone has to inspect their cabin as we enter Beta Sector, though.

I should have skipped breakfast the first morning in Beta Sector. That would have been far better than being in the corridor when the door across the hall was finally opened. The last thing I wanted to see was another dead body, and this time there were two of them. Now I’m tangled up in another murder investigation and everyone on the Lady Elizabeth knows it.

Urban Fantasy

Instinct- An Animal Rescuers AnthologyInstinct: An Animal Rescuers Anthology by L. J. Hachmeister – 7 Mar (Source 7 Productions LLC)

Danger. Evil. Death. Heroes can face it all, but they cannot do it alone.
Throughout history, creatures both big and small have stood alongside heroes and helped them through trying times, whether on the battlefield or in their laps. In these brand-new stories, sixteen bestselling authors regale us with adventures of animal companions and how they often are the ones rescuing the rescuer.

New stories by / in the world of

Jim Butcher – from The Dresden Files
Faith Hunter – from Jane Yellowrock
Patricia Briggs – from Mercy Thompson
Seanan McGuire – standalone
L. E. Modesitt – from Archform: Beauty and Flash
Kelley Armstrong – from Cainsville
L. J. Hachmeister – from the Triorion Universe/Laws of Attraction
Sam Knight – from The Abandoned Lands
Eliza Eveland – from Talons and Tethers
Hailey Edwards – from The Beginner’s Guide to Necromancy
D. J. Butler – from Abbott in Darkness
Lucienne Diver – from The Latter-Day Olympians
A. J. Hartley – from The Bowescroft Series
Alex Erickson – from Furever Pets
John Hartness – from Quincy Harker, Demon Hunter
R.R. Virdi – from Tales of Tremaine

Purchasing this book saves a puppy’s life! Book sale profits are donated to: Lifeline Puppy Rescue.

The King's Queen (Gate of Myth and Power #3)The King’s Queen (Gate of Myth and Power #3) by K.M. Shea – 24 Mar (KU)





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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