BP Note: Happy July! I am sneaking this post up a bit early in honor of the long reading weekend. Also I start a new job in my profession next Friday when I would customarily post it so I am predicting next week will be rather busy for me. I decided to err on the side of slightly early over who knows when late. We have as usual an interesting collection of titles on our list, some of which I am going to need to schedule some uninterrupted time alone with so they might have to sit on my TBR for a bit until that time comes. Hopefully you find some great reads for this month. Let us know what we missed! And like always, take care of yourself and tell those you care about how much they matter.
- Contemporary Romance
- Historical Fiction
- Historical Mystery
- Mystery – Thriller
- Paranormal Romance
- Science Fiction
- Science Fiction Romance
- Urban Fantasy
More to Love by Georgina Kiersten – 13 Jul (The Magnificent Engine)
An Unexpected Love
For Jamir Cunnigham, a relationship is the last thing on his mind. After inheriting his grandparent’s bookstore, Jamir has been completely focused on running the business. And if he’s lonely, that was between him and the books. Yet, from the moment Emmy Park walked into his life, Jamir was immediately captivated by the plus-size Korean.
A Fresh Start
After his recent divorce, former Olympic Wrestler Emerson “Emmy” Park moved to Texas to get a fresh start. After taking a job as an assistant wrestling coach at a nearby university, he stumbles across Jamir’s bookstore. Emmy is instantly attracted to Jamir. Unfortunately, he is big and burly with a resting bitch face and thinks he has zero chance with the gorgeous Black man.
However, when a sudden encounter shows them how good they can be together. Is the simmering attraction between them enough for them to see past their differences and finally give in to their desires?
Flirting with Fire by Jane Porter – 25 Jul (Berkley)
Forty-nine-year-old Margot Hughes has lived and breathed theater for the past twenty-five years. After a devastating breakup with her playwright fiancé, she wants nothing to do with the industry. She has sworn off New York, theater, actors—all of it. She returns to her hometown on California’s central coast and takes a job in real estate, where she manages significant investment properties. But Margot’s suddenly thrown back into the theater world when Sally, her friend and boss, who had been restoring and funding Cambria’s historic theater, has a heart attack. Before she knows it, Margot is tapped to take over the troubled summer production of Barefoot in the Park.
But the play is no walk in the park—the leads and director have all quit, and Margot struggles to find new actors…until Max Russo arrives. Forty-five-year-old Max is a former soap opera star turned rugged cowboy on TV’s most popular western series. Max has a huge following and is the perfect hero to step up and save the play, provided Margot stars opposite him. Although adamant she would never return to theater, Margot enjoys the long hours of rehearsal with a professional like Max, who is charming, witty, and passionate. But when the curtains close, can Margot allow herself to fall for Max when he represents everything she left behind?
Four Weddings to Fall in Love (Weddings with the Moks #1) by Jackie Lau – 15 Jul (Jackie Lau Books)
Max Mok has four weddings to attend this year…
When I meet Kim Sung at a friend’s wedding, I don’t make the first move. God, no. But she’s delightful and gorgeous, and she asks me to dance. Later, we go to her hotel room and…
Okay, I admit it doesn’t go well. She might be all about one-night stands, but I’m not used to having them.
That should be the end of it. I can forget about her or, more likely, obsess about it whenever I can’t sleep.
But then I see her at a second wedding. Apparently, she’s a family friend of my cousins. All three of them are getting married this summer, and she’ll also be at the next two weddings, along with her parents.
Kim is even more beautiful than last time, and I really want the chance to prove I’m not a complete disaster in bed. I also want to take her on an actual date, but she has no interest in dating anyone.
More than anything, though, I need to avoid her because I’m too embarrassed to hold a conversation, and my brothers have found out about my unfortunate one-night stand.
Oh, no. She’s coming this way. What do I do?
Just a Few Fake Kisses (Hana Trio #3) by Jayci Lee – 25 Jul (Harlequin Desire)
A pretend romance should be easy—if they can get their feelings to cooperate.
Chloe Han is thrilled that celebrated violinist Anthony Larsen—Chloe’s longtime crush—will play with the Hana Trio during her sister’s leave. But when a past romantic entanglement threatens Anthony’s image, he asks Chloe to pretend to be his girlfriend to save his reputation.
Believing Anthony’s still in love with his wife, Chloe agrees. Between their age difference and her brother-in-law’s overprotectiveness, falling for each other is off-limits. But the irresistible desire between them is a challenge neither anticipated…
Ebony Gate (The Phoenix Hoard #1) by Julia Vee & Ken Bebelle – 11 Jul (Tor Books)
Emiko Soong belongs to one of the eight premier magical families of the world. But Emiko never needed any magic. Because she is the Blade of the Soong Clan. Or was. Until she’s drenched in blood in the middle of a market in China, surrounded by bodies and the scent of blood and human waste as a lethal perfume.
The Butcher of Beijing now lives a quiet life in San Francisco, importing antiques. But when a shinigami, a god of death itself, calls in a family blood debt, Emiko must recover the Ebony Gate that holds back the hungry ghosts of the Yomi underworld. Or forfeit her soul as the anchor.
What’s a retired assassin to do but save the City by the Bay from an army of the dead?
Gryphon in Light (Kelvren’s Saga #1, Valdemar #56) by Mercedes Lackey & Larry Dixon – 25 Jul (DAW)
On the border between Valdemar and the deadly Pelagirs Forest, the gryphon hero Kelvren returns from a near-fatal self-sacrifice that won him the approval of Valdemar’s ground troops, but caused a diplomatic crisis. Frustrated by his lack of a hero’s welcome, Kelvren is talked into helping with an expedition by his old friend, Firesong.
Firesong struggles with his own age and mortality, and he intends to solve a vast mystery at the center of legendary Lake Evendim as his crowning achievement. Just getting the multicultural fleet underway is a challenge, but what awaits them is a situation none of them could expect.
The Court War (The Godstone #2) by Violette Malan – 25 Jul (DAW)
Fenra Lowens, with her partner Elvanyn Karamisk, has already faced the Godstone. Now she has a different, simpler getting the stick-in-the-mud practitioners of the White Court to return to the old ways of practice, the ways that keep the World healthy.
But before she has a chance to present her case, the uneasy balance of power between the practitioners of the White Court and the mundanes of the Red Court—in existence since the World itself began—suddenly erupts into open warfare.
Fenra is torn between helping her friends and fellow practitioners and moving ahead with the demands of an increasingly impatient World. Though she has help from unexpected allies, Fenra begins to suspect that this conflict isn’t just about politics. The hand of an old enemy may be at work here….
Jade Shards (Green Bone Saga #0.75) by Fonda Lee – 31 Jul (Subterranean Press)
Fonda Lee returns to the acclaimed Green Bone Saga with four prequel short stories that delve into the personal histories of the Kaul and Ayt families.
The Witch and Her Friend. Before she was the ruthless leader of the Mountain clan, Ayt Mada was an orphan without friends at school except for one: Aun Ure, a teenage girl feared and renowned as an assassin but yearning for a simpler life.
Not Only Blood. Before he was the heir apparent of the No Peak clan, Kaul Lan challenged his grandfather and clan patriarch to help a boy who had lost everything.
Better Than Jade. Before they were married, Kaul Hilo and Maik Wen were a young couple facing long odds: the son of a top Green Bone clan in love with a stone-eye girl from a disreputable family.
Granddaughter Cormorant. Before she left and returned to Kekon, Kaul Shae was the apple of her grandfather’s eye…as well as a daring secret informer to a foreign country.
Contains an introduction and story notes by the author.
The Housekeepers by Alex Hay – 4 Jul (Graydon House)
Mrs. King is no ordinary housekeeper. Born into a world of con artists and thieves, she’s made herself respectable, running the grandest home in Mayfair. The place is packed with treasures, a glittering symbol of wealth and power, but dark secrets lurk in the shadows.
When Mrs. King is suddenly dismissed from her position, she recruits an eclectic group of women to join her in revenge: A black market queen out to settle her scores. An actress desperate for a magnificent part. A seamstress dreaming of a better life. And Mrs. King’s predecessor, with her own desire for vengeance.
Their plan? On the night of the house’s highly anticipated costume ball—set to be the most illustrious of the year—they will rob it of its every possession, right under the noses of the distinguished guests and their elusive heiress host. But there’s one thing Mrs. King wants even more than money: the truth. And she’ll run any risk to get it…
After all, one should never underestimate the women downstairs.
The Lady from Burma (Sparks & Bainbridge #5) by Allison Montclair – 25 Jul (Minotaur)
In the immediate post-war days of London, two unlikely partners have undertaken an even more unlikely, if necessary, business venture – The Right Sort Marriage Bureau. The two partners are Miss Iris Sparks, a woman with a dangerous – and never discussed – past in British intelligence and Mrs. Gwendolyn Bainbridge, a war widow with a young son entangled in a complicated aristocratic family. Mostly their clients are people trying to start (or restart) their lives in this much-changed world, but their new client is something different. A happily married woman has come to them to find a new wife for her husband. Dying of cancer, she wants the two to make sure her entomologist, academic husband finds someone new once she passes.
Shortly thereafter, she’s found dead in Epping Forest, in what appears to be a suicide. But that doesn’t make sense to either Sparks or Bainbridge. At the same time, Bainbridge is attempting to regain legal control of her life, opposed by the conservator who has been managing her assets – perhaps not always in her best interest. When that conservator is found dead, Bainbridge herself is one of the prime suspects. Attempting to make sense of two deaths at once, to protect themselves and their clients, the redoubtable owners of the Right Sort Marriage Bureau are once again on the case.
Mystery – Thriller
Blind Fear (Finn Thrillers #3) by Brandon Webb & John David Mann – 11 Jul (Bantam)
By day, AWOL Navy SEAL Finn is hiding out on Vieques, a tiny island paradise off the eastern coast of Puerto Rico, living in a spare room behind a seafood restaurant owned by a blind local. By night he scours the dark web, hunting for the rogue officer responsible for the crimes he is accused of committing.
But Finn’s world is about to be turned upside down by a new nightmare, when his employer’s two grandchildren go missing. To find them, he’ll have to infiltrate the island’s dangerous criminal underbelly and expose a shadowy crime network known as La Empresa—even if it means exposing himself in the process.
As the children go on their own harrowing odyssey to stay one step ahead of a cop-turned-killer, a hurricane batters the coastline, cutting Puerto Rico off from the rest of the world. Taking his pursuit to the sea, Finn’s skills and endurance will be tested to their limits to rescue the lost children and escape his own pursuers before the clock runs out. No one is to be trusted. And those who are seemingly his friends might be the most dangerous foes he’s faced yet.
Hunted (The Dark in You #9) by Suzanne Wright – 6 Jul (Piatkus)
Larkin is tired of her friends constantly trying to play Cupid. Just because they are all happily mated doesn’t mean she needs to be. And she definitely doesn’t need the over-protective men in her life vetting potential partners for her. In a bid to get them off her back, the harpy turns to the one person she knows they would never approve of . . .
Teague Sullivan. Explicitly sexy and unquestionably alpha male, the mysterious hellhound is the perfect candidate for a fake relationship. More than happy to spend time with the pretty harpy, Teague agrees. But when a wager is made between them, and things start to heat up, Larkin can’t seem to ignore their explosive chemistry- and neither can her demon.
But when old and new dangers creep up on them, and Teague’s shady past starts to ring alarm bells; he must decide whether to trust Larkin completely or risk losing her forever.
The Only Purple House in Town (Fix-It Witches #4) by Ann Aguirre – 11 Jul (Sourcebooks Casa)
Iris Collins is the messy one in her family. The “chaos bunny.” Her sisters are all wildly successful, while she can’t balance her budget for a single month. It’s no wonder she’s in debt to her roommates. When she unexpectedly inherits a house from her great aunt, her plan to turn it into a B&B fails—as most of her plans do. She winds up renting rooms like a Victorian spinster, collecting other lost souls…and not all of them are “human.”
Eli Reese grew up as the nerdy outcast in school, but he got rich designing apps. Now he’s successful by any standards. But he’s never had the same luck in finding a real community or people who understand him. Over the years, he’s never forgotten his first crush, so when he spots her at a café, he takes it as a sign. Except then he gets sucked into the Iris-verse and somehow ends up renting one of her B&B rooms. As the days pass, Eli grows enchanted by the misfit boarders staying in the house…and even more so by Iris. Could Eli have finally found a person and a place to call “home”?
The Enforcer’s Gamble (Timberwolf Lodge #2) by Vivian Arend – 18 Jul (Arend Inc)
There’s nothing more dangerous than a mama bear…
Only days ago, Stacy Moraine and her three young boys’ arrival at Timberwolf Lodge involved a near disaster in a flooded river. This week’s agenda? Learn the ins and outs of the huge kitchen Stacy needs to run at the Lodge, deal with mouthy teenage pack members with control issues, and not drool over the deliciously dangerous Delaney Vezina, the local pack Enforcer, whose goal in life seems to be to strip naked and show off his perfect… everything anytime Stacy is near.
Switching from Alpha to Enforcer for the Jasper pack was the right thing to do, and Del’s had a lifetime of experience in doing what’s right, even if it’s currently killing him. Like not pushing Stacy too fast, even though he knows they’re fated mates. Having her boys in the picture only makes him want to accelerate the timing even more. He wants her, and them, to be his. But first, he needs to eliminate the dangers from her past that threaten their future.
Because something’s not right in the pack. There’s going to be a showdown between one very protective mama and anyone who thinks they can pull fast one on her. Del’s more than willing to hold her cape as long as they’re standing together in the end.
Resonance Surge (Psy-Changeling Trinity #7) by Nalini Singh – 18 Jul (Berkley)
Where are the broken? A propulsive question that unleashes a world of secrets in New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh’s Resonance Surge . . .
StoneWater bears Pavel and Yakov Stepyrev have been a unit since birth, but now Pavel’s life is veering in a new direction, his heart held in the hands of Arwen Mercant, a Psy empath—and the only man who has ever brought Pavel to his knees.
This is it. A point of irrevocable change. For Pavel . . . for Arwen . . . for Yakov . . . and for another pair of twins whose bond has a far darker history.
A low-gradient Psy, Theodora Marshall is considered worthless by everyone but her violently powerful twin, Pax. She is the sole person he trusts in their venomous family to investigate a hidden and terrible part of their family history—an unregistered rehabilitation center established by their grandfather.
Places of unimaginable pain designed to psychically wipe minds, leaving the victims shells of their former selves, the Centers are an ugly vestige of the Psy race’s Silent past. But this Center was worse. Far, far worse. And now Theo must uncover the awful truth—in the company of a scowling bear named Yakov who isn’t about to take a Marshall at face value . . . especially a Marshall who has turned his dreams into chilling nightmares.
Because Yakov is the great-grandson of a foreseer . . . and he has seen Theo die in an unstoppable surge of blood. Night after night after night . . .
Nightborn: Coldfire Rising (Coldfire #0) by C.S. Friedman – 18 Jul (Astra)
A prequel to the lauded Coldfire trilogy, Friedman’s latest novel mixes the best of dark fantasy and chilling sci-fi.
A ship full of colonists arrive on a seemingly hospitable planet, only to discover that it harbors a terrifying secret. Soon the settlers find themselves caught up in a desperate battle for survival against the fae, a natural force with the power to prey upon the human mind itself, bringing a person’s greatest fears and darkest nightmares to life.
As Colony Commander Leon Case and Chief Medic Lise Perez struggle to find a way to control the fae before more people die, other settlers have ideas of their own…and they may prove more of a threat to colony than the fae itself.
Nightborn: Coldfire Rising is a tale that blends sci-fi, fantasy, and horror, suspenseful and emotionally intense, as a handful of humans struggle to survive on an alien world that seems determined to kill them. In the end they will have to draw upon both scientific knowledge and mystical traditions to save themselves.
Emergent Properties by Aimee Ogden – 25 Jul (Tordotcom)
A state-of-the-art AI with a talent for asking questions and finding answers, Scorn is nevertheless a parental disappointment. Defying the expectations of zir human mothers, CEOs of the world’s most powerful corporations, Scorn has made a life of zir own as an investigative reporter, crisscrossing the globe in pursuit of the truth, no matter the danger.
In the middle of investigating a story on the moon, Scorn comes back online to discover ze has no memory of the past ten days—and no idea what story ze was even chasing. Letting it go is not an option—not if ze wants to prove zirself. Scorn must retrace zir steps in a harrowing journey to uncover an even more explosive truth than ze could have ever imagined.
Science Fiction Romance
A Song of Salvation by Alechia Dow – 11 Jul (Inkyard Press)
Zaira Citlali is supposed to die. After all, she’s the god Indigo reborn. Indigo, whose song created the universe and unified people across galaxies to banish Ozvios, the god of destruction. Although Zaira has never been able to harness Indigo’s powers, the Ilori Emperor wants to sacrifice her in Ozvios’s honor. Unless she escapes and finds Wesley, the boy prophesized to help her defeat Ozvios and the Ilori, once and for all.
Wesley Daniels didn’t ask for this. He just wants to work as a smuggler so he can save enough money to explore the stars. Once he completes his biggest job yet—bringing wanted celebrity Rubin Rima to a strange planet called Earth—he’ll be set for life. But when his path crosses with Zaira, he soon finds himself in the middle of an intergalactic war with more responsibility than he bargained for.
Together, Zaira, Wesley, and Rubin must find their way to Earth and unlock Zaira’s powers if they’re going to have any hope of saving the universe from total destruction.
Only Good Enemies (Galactic Bonds #2) by Jennifer Estep – 18 Jul (Self)
A WOMAN ON A MISSION . . .
My name is Vesper Quill. I used to be a lowly lab rat, toiling away in obscurity developing brewmakers and other household appliances. But thanks to my seer magic and my own ingenuity, I’m now a Regal lady and the head of a successful corporation.
My mission? To destroy the Techwave, the dangerous group that has stolen my designs and plans to weaponize them against the Imperium. But when my mission takes an unexpected turn, I’m once again surrounded by enemies and fighting for my life.
Further complicating matters is Kyrion Caldaren, an arrogant Regal lord whose fate is bound to mine. Kyrion doesn’t realize the two of us still have an unwanted connection that puts us both in grave danger . . . or does he?
A MAN SURROUNDED BY ENEMIES . . .
My name is Kyrion Caldaren. As the leader of the Arrows, the Imperium’s elite fighting force, I’ve been tasked with tracking down and destroying the Techwave before they seize control of the Archipelago Galaxy.
My other mission? Find a way to assassinate Lord Callus Holloway, the Imperium ruler who wants to take my psion power for his own. Holloway is also a threat to Vesper Quill, who haunts my thoughts, despite the broken bond and distance between us.
When I realize Vesper is in danger, my priorities change, and I vow to use all my telepathic, telekinetic, and other abilities to help her. I will save Vesper from her enemies and mine—even if I have to burn down the whole bloody galaxy.
Bishop’s Flight (Elemental Covenant #4) by Elizabeth Hunter – 25 Jul (Recurve Press, LLC)
The sins of the past will burn you.
Four nights. Three days. The human son of two powerful vampires has been taken from his home, and if Carwyn and Brigid can’t find him, the delicate balance of power in an immortal haven might just go up in flames.
Las Vegas holds a special appeal in the immortal world. It’s a city of darkness, debauchery, and vice; a city where inhibitions are low and blood runs hot.
Rose Di Marco and Agnes Wong have been running Sin City as immortal bosses for nearly a century, but when their son is kidnapped, they turn to their neighbors for help.
Carwyn and Brigid know how to find the lost, but what they don’t know is why Zasha Sokholov, a Siberian fire vampire and offshoot of an old crime family, became fixated on them. Carwyn has his suspicions, but all Brigid can think about is a fifteen-year-old boy who’s been taken as bait. She’ll need a clear head and the help of some unexpected allies to find him.
Dead Weight (Magic, Mayhem, and the Law in Precinct #153 #1) by G.P. Robbins – 25 Jul (Pen & Page Publishing)
Newly promoted Detective Jace Smithson has his hands full with solving the murders of ten men and the kidnapping of a unicorn capable of producing diamonds. On the surface, the crime appears to be a classic tale of greed and violence, but digging deeper reveals something sinister has come to Cauldron City.
Securing the safety and security of those he swore to protect is only the beginning of Jace’s problems. Add in his relationship with the dragons of Cauldron City along with a few personal secrets, and he’s the ideal target for the killer. Surviving to tell the tale will test his wit and skills in ways he never thought possible.
But if he wants to obtain justice for the wronged, he will have to face his challenged beliefs and come to terms with the darker realities of the city he calls home.
Magic Tides/Magic Claims (Kate Daniels: Wilmington Years #1-2) Audio version by Ilona Andrews – 10 Jul (NYLA)
12 hours, 21 minutes
This bundle contains the following two long novellas:
In Book #1, MAGIC TIDES, Kate, Curran and their son, Conlan have left Atlanta, vowing to keep a low profile, and are settling into a new city and new house…but some things never change! Magical mayhem is about to erupt when Kate undertakes the rescue of a kidnapped youth, while Curran guards the home front.
It should be a simple retrieval, but with monsters on land and sea, Kate’s got her work cut out for her. Still, she’s never let her blade dull or her purpose falter. And that low profile? It’s about to wash away with the raging tides!
In Book #2, MAGIC CLAIMS, Kate and Curran have just settled into their new home and their “low profile,” when a local businessman approaches them with an offer they can’t refuse. A mysterious evil has spawned in the nearby forest and is holding a defenseless town hostage. The “ransom date” is rapidly approaching.
It’s exactly the kind of fight the Lennarts can’t resist, not for the prize the town offers, but for the people who will surely die if they ignore it. If they succeed, they’ll be rescuing an entire community and can build a strong new base for their family and the Wilmington Pack. If they fail…well, fail is a four-letter word.
Nothing comes without a price. Now Kate must decide if she has what it takes to pay it.
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!