Those Beyond the Wall (Space Between Worlds #2)

March 2024 Must Haves

BP Note: Welcome to March! This month’s collection seems a bit shy on the romance adjacent subgenres as well as speculative fiction. Any chance of you helping us out with some titles in the comments below? I am actually diving into a slightly older nonfiction audio listen at the moment. One of the rare times I voluntarily go for a memoir, however, this particular author made it easy because it involves food. One of my other passions and given I already trust his enthusiasm a memoir which centers food is certainly nothing like a mandatory school reading assignment. What are you reading that is out of your norm? What made you pick it. Interested in finding out what my nonstandard read is? Inquiring minds want to know.
Happy reading!

Contemporary Romance

The Reluctant Heartthrob (Chu's Restaurant #2)The Reluctant Heartthrob (Chu’s Restaurant #2) by Jackie Lau – 5 Mar (Jackie Lau Books)

Data scientist Robyn Au keeps seeing a cute guy at her neighborhood coffee shop. When she encounters him at a bar, she talks to him on a dare, and they enjoy a hot night together.

But the next morning, she’s shocked to find his picture in a listicle.

Did she just sleep with Ethan Park, an actor on Chu’s Restaurant?

She panics and leaves without saying goodbye. Convinced she’ll die of embarrassment if she meets him again, she starts avoiding the coffee shop. Besides, what has dating gotten her in the past? Just lots of men saying she isn’t who they want her to be, and she’s too awesome to subject herself to that.

Unfortunately, she left her favorite bra at his place, and soon decides she can’t live without it. When she comes to collect it, Ethan asks her on a date, and she hesitantly agrees.

But she won’t sleep with Canada’s newest heartthrob again until they’ve been dating more than a month, which is longer than she’s ever dated anyone before. She’s convinced this can’t last, but grumpy Ethan, who’s completely unlike his himbo character, might end up changing her mind above love after all…

Maya's Laws of LoveMaya’s Laws of Love by Alina Khawaja – 26 Mar (MIRA)

Maya Mirza is so convinced she’s unlucky in love that she’s come up with a list of laws to explain it. Most importantly…

But that’s about to change. Maya’s headed to Pakistan for an arranged marriage with a handsome, successful doctor who ticks all the right boxes. First comes marriage, then comes love—she’s sure of it. Except…

From the start, Maya’s journey is riddled with disaster, and the cynical lawyer seated next to her on the plane isn’t helping. When a storm leaves them stranded in Switzerland, she and Sarfaraz become unlikely travel companions through bus breakdowns and missed connections.

And before long, Maya’s wondering whether she’s just experienced the ultimate in misfortune—finally meeting the right man a few days before she marries someone else. And Maya might just be the worst person to keep a secret.

But maybe, if she’s willing to bend some laws, this detour could take her somewhere totally—and wonderfully—unexpected.

Manila Takes ManhattanManila Takes Manhattan by Carla de Guzman – 26 Mar (Afterglow Books by Harlequin)

How do you follow your heart when it’s in two places?

Filipino musician and producer Mon Mendoza has been in New York for less than a day. Just long enough to feel like he doesn’t belong despite landing a life-changing opportunity. All he can do is set a date night for just himself and some pancit canton. Which, as it turns out, is the only invitation his gorgeous Pinoy neighbor needs…

Actress Olivia Angeles can wear a character like a well-fitted dress. It’s her real self she’s having a hard time fitting into, craving a niche in Hollywood that doesn’t compromise her identity in the name of success. And right now, all she wants is comfort in the form of tasty noodles and her outrageously hot new neighbor. One night. Just enough to lose herself in his touch and the feel of his lips…

Only their sexy little tryst isn’t quite what they signed up for. Because for the next month, Mon and Olivia are working on the same movie. Together. Now they’re discovering they have a lot more in common than Pinoyness and sizzling chemistry. But how do you find yourself and your person when you’re caught between two different worlds?

From showing up to glowing up, these characters are on the path to leading their best lives and finding sizzling romance along the way.


The Truth of the Aleke (Forever Desert #2)The Truth of the Aleke (Forever Desert #2) by Moses Ose Utomi – 5 Mar (Tordotcom)

The Aleke is cruel. The Aleke is clever. The Aleke is coming.

500 years after the events of The Lies of the Ajungo , the City of Truth stands as is the last remaining free city of the Forever Desert. A bastion of freedom and peace, the city has successfully weathered the near-constant attacks from the Cult of Tutu, who have besieged it for three centuries, attempting to destroy its warriors and subjugate its people.

17-year-old Osi is a Junior Peacekeeper in the City. When the mysterious leader of the Cult, known only as the Aleke, commits a massacre in the capitol and steals the sacred God’s Eyes, Osi steps forward to valiantly defend his home. For his bravery he is tasked with a tremendous responsibility―destroy the Cult of Tutu, bring back the God’s Eyes, and discover the truth of the Aleke.

Fantasy Romance

That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Human (Mead Mishaps #3)That Time I Got Drunk and Saved a Human (Mead Mishaps #3) by Kimberly Lemming – 5 Mar (Orbit)

All children are told fairytales. Some are epic adventures with high stakes and exciting twists, while others are tales of pitiful princesses trapped in boring towers pining for their Prince Charmings to come and rescue them. Growing up, Cherry always hated those stories. Why didn’t the princesses just get up and rescue themselves? Little did she know that her own fate would take an ironically similar turn. Because now, here she is. Stuck. In a tower. Turns out, when a dragon holds you hostage, he doesn’t just let you get up and leave.

Who knew?

And just when Cherry thinks she sees hope on the horizon, that hope is smashed to bits by—you guessed it—another damn dragon.

The Emperor and the Endless PalaceThe Emperor and the Endless Palace by Justinian Huang – 26 Mar (MIRA)

“What if I told you that the feeling we call love is actually the feeling of metaphysical recognition, when your soul remembers someone from a previous life?”

In the year 4 BCE, an ambitious courtier is called upon to seduce the young emperor — but quickly discovers they are both ruled by blood, sex and intrigue.

In 1740, a lonely innkeeper agrees to help a mysterious visitor procure a rare medicine, only to unleash an otherworldly terror instead.

And in present-day Los Angeles, a college student meets a beautiful stranger and cannot shake the feeling they’ve met before.

Across these seemingly unrelated timelines woven together only by the twists and turns of fate, two men are reborn, lifetime after lifetime. Within the treacherous walls of an ancient palace and the boundless forests of the Asian wilderness to the heart-pounding cement floors of underground rave scenes, our lovers are inexplicably drawn to each other, constantly tested by the worlds around them.

As their many lives intertwine, they begin to realize the power of their undying love—a power that transcends time itself…but one that might consume them both.

An unpredictable roller coaster of a debut novel, The Emperor and the Endless Palace is a genre-bending romantic thriller that challenges everything we think we know about true love.

Historical Fiction

The Underground LibraryThe Underground Library by Jennifer Ryan – 12 Mar (Ballantine)

When new deputy librarian, Juliet Lansdown, finds that Bethnal Green Library isn’t the bustling hub she’s expecting, she becomes determined to breathe life back into it. But can she show the men in charge that a woman is up to the task of running it, especially when a confrontation with her past threatens to derail her?

Katie Upwood is thrilled to be working at the library, although she’s only there until she heads off to university in the fall. But after the death of her beau on the front line and amid tumultuous family strife, she finds herself harboring a life-changing secret with no one to turn to for help.

Sofie Baumann, a young Jewish refugee, came to London on a domestic service visa only to find herself working as a maid for a man who treats her abominably. She escapes to the library every chance she can, finding friendship in the literary community and aid in finding her sister, who is still trying to flee occupied Europe.

When a slew of bombs destroy the library, Juliet relocates the stacks to the local Underground station where the city’s residents shelter nightly, determined to lend out stories that will keep spirits up. But tragedy after tragedy threatens to unmoor the women and sever the ties of their community. Will Juliet, Kate, and Sofie be able to overcome their own troubles to save the library? Or will the beating heart of their neighborhood be lost forever?

Historical Mystery

To Slip the Bonds of Earth (Katharine Wright Mystery #1)To Slip the Bonds of Earth (Katharine Wright Mystery #1) by Amanda Flower – 26 Mar (Kensington)

December 1903: While Wilbur and Orville Wright’s flying machine is quite literally taking off in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina with its historic fifty-seven second flight, their sister Katharine is back home in Dayton, Ohio, running the bicycle shop, teaching Latin, and looking after the family. A Latin teacher and suffragette, Katharine is fiercely independent, intellectual, and the only Wright sibling to finish college. But at twenty-nine, she’s frustrated by the gender inequality in academia and is for a new challenge. She never suspects it will be sleuthing…

Returning home to Dayton, Wilbur and Orville accept an invitation to a friend’s party. Nervous about leaving their as-yet-unpatented flyer plans unattended, Wilbur decides to bring them to the festivities . . . where they are stolen right out from under his nose. As always, it’s Katharine’s job to problem solve—and in this case, crime-solve.

As she sets out to uncover the thief among their circle of friends, Katharine soon gets more than she bargained She finds her number one suspect dead with a letter opener lodged in his chest. It seems the patent is the least of her brothers’ worries. They have a far more earthbound concern—prison. Now Katharine will have to keep her feet on the ground and put all her skills to work to make sure Wilbur and Orville are free to fly another day.


A Midnight PuzzleA Midnight Puzzle (Secret Staircase Mystery #3) by Gigi Pandian – 19 Mar (Minotaur)

Secret Staircase Construction is under attack, and Tempest Raj feels helpless. After former client Julian Rhodes tried to kill his wife, he blamed her “accident” on the home renovation company’s craftsmanship. Now the family business—known for bringing magic into homes through hidden doors, floating staircases, and architectural puzzle walls—is at a breaking point. No amount of Scottish and Indian meals from her grandfather can distract Tempest from the they’re being framed.

When Tempest receives an urgent midnight phone call from Julian, she decides to meet him at the historic Whispering Creek Theater—only to find his dead body, a sword through his chest. After a blade appears from thin air to claim another victim, Tempest is certain they’re dealing with a booby trap… something Secret Staircase Construction could easily build. Tempest refuses to wait for the investigation to turn to her or her loved ones. She knows the pieces of the puzzle are right in front of her, she just has to put them together correctly before more disaster strikes.

The Stars Turned Inside OutThe Stars Turned Inside Out by Nova Jacobs – 19 Mar (Atria)

Deep beneath the ground outside of Geneva, where CERN’s Large Hadron Collider smashes subatomic particles at breathtaking speeds, a startling discovery is made when the tunnel is down for maintenance: the body of Howard Anderby, a brilliant and recently arrived young physicist, who appears to have been irradiated by the collider. But security shows no evidence of him entering the tunnel, and for all of the lab’s funding, its video surveillance is sorely lacking.

Eager to keep the death under wraps until more is known, CERN brings in private investigator Sabine Leroux, who has her own ties to the lab’s administration—and more than a passing interest in particle physics. Meanwhile, Howard’s colleague and budding love interest Eve, shattered by his death, determines to reconcile what she knew of Howard with his gruesome fate, wondering if she could have done something to stop it.

As Sabine digs into petty academic rivalries and personal secrets, an escalating international physics arms race heightens tensions and fuels speculation of a mole at the lab—throwing into question loyalties and revealing what sort of knowledge may be worth killing for.

The Mystery WriterThe Mystery Writer by Sulari Gentill – 19 Mar (Poisoned Pen Press)

There’s nothing easier to dismiss than a conspiracy theory—until it turns out to be true.

When Theodosia Benton abandons her career path as an attorney and shows up on her brother’s doorstep with two suitcases and an unfinished novel, she expects to face a few challenges. Will her brother support her ambition or send her back to finish her degree? What will her parents say when they learn of her decision? Does she even have what it takes to be a successful writer?

What Theo never expects is to be drawn into a hidden literary world in which identity is something that can be lost and remade for the sake of an audience. When her mentor, a highly successful author, is brutally murdered, Theo wants the killer to be found and justice to be served. Then the police begin looking at her brother, Gus, as their prime suspect, and Theo does the unthinkable in order to protect him. But the writer has left a trail, a thread out of the labyrinth in the form of a story. Gus finds that thread and follows it, and in his attempt to save his sister he inadvertently threatens the foundations of the labyrinth itself. To protect the carefully constructed narrative, Theo Benton, and everyone looking for her, will have to die.

A Trace of Hares (Nell Ward Mystery #5)A Trace of Hares (Nell Ward Mystery #5) by Sarah Yarwood-Lovett – 27 Mar (Embla Books)

A family wedding. An unsolved murder. Til death us do part?

Dr Nell Ward is in the lush, emerald-green hills of Ireland to attend the wedding of two dear friends at a picture-perfect farmhouse.

But family tensions are running high in the days before the happy couple tie the knot. And when Nell hears a fox kill a hare in the early morning, the bad omen sends shivers down her spine. Almost like it is a sign of something to come…

Then one of the locals makes a gruesome discovery in a nearby peat bog. The habitats are famous for the ancient bodies they can preserve for thousands of years. This woman, however, died much more recently and was clearly a victim of foul play.

Nell and her friends are suddenly in the middle of another murder case. Can they trace the truth to unmask a long-hidden killer and save the wedding, before it’s too late?

Paranormal Romance

When He Dares (Olympus Pride #6)When He Dares (Olympus Pride #6) by Suzanne Wright – 8 Mar (Self)

Get painfully rejected by true mate. Check.
Join a website for shifters seeking an arranged mating. Check.
Schedule a meeting with a prospective match. Check.

Quinley Bevan doesn’t expect to get smacked in the face by intense sexual chemistry during the meeting, but Isaiah Hale—dark, masculine, rugged—sets off all her hormonal fireworks. More, as a dominant shifter, the enforcer pulls at her submissive nature and calls to her inner cat. Both his power and stabilizing strength are plain drugging.

Their agreement is pretty standard: If they don’t imprint on each other within two years, they’ll dissolve the mating. But with his cat holding back, danger lurking around corners, and her true mate making a reappearance, things might be more complicated than they bargained for.

When he first joined Find Your Match . com, Isaiah wasn’t confident he’d be paired with someone who truly fit him. But he feels a kinship with Quinley. The healer stirs up his protective instincts and ticks his every box. He always envisioned that he’d mate a fellow dominant, but this submissive healer pulls him in like no other.
Still, he doesn’t expect to feel possessive of her so fast—she’s a relative stranger. But as soon as he puts the claiming brand on her neck, everything in him screams Mine.

His cat, though, doesn’t view her as its mate. The animal is still angry at being unable to have the female it was predestined to claim. But when Quinley’s own fated mate comes sniffing around and she becomes a target of their enemies, the cat is finally in agreement with Isaiah on one vital thing: Quinley belongs to them now, and they’ll never let her go.

Science Fiction

These Fragile Graces, This Fugitive HeartThese Fragile Graces, This Fugitive Heart by Izzy Wasserstein – 12 Mar (Tachyon)

In mid-21st-century Kansas City, Dora hasn’t been back to her old commune in years. But when Dora’s ex-girlfriend Kay is killed, and everyone at the commune is a potential suspect, Dora knows she’s the only person who can solve the murder.

As Dora is dragged back into her old community and begins her investigations, she discovers that Kay’s death is only one of several terrible incidents. A strange new drug is circulating. People are disappearing. And Dora is being attacked by assailants from her pre-transition past.

Meanwhile, It seems like a war between two nefarious corporations is looming, and Dora’s old neighborhood is their battleground. Now she must uncover a twisted conspiracy, all while navigating a deeply meaningful new relationship.

Those Beyond the Wall (Space Between Worlds #2)Those Beyond the Wall (Space Between Worlds #2) by Micaiah Johnson – 12 Mar (Del Rey)

In Ashtown, a rough-and-tumble desert community, the Emperor rules with poisoned claws and an iron fist. He can’t show any sign of weakness, as the neighboring Wiley City has spent lifetimes beating down the people of Ashtown and would love nothing more than its downfall. There’s only one person in the desert the Emperor can fully trust—and her name is Scales.

Scales is the best at what she does: keeping everyone and everything in line. As a skilled mechanic—and an even more skilled fighter, when she needs to be—Scales is a respected member of the Emperor’s crew, who’s able to keep things running smoothly. But the fragile peace Scales helps to maintain is fractured when a woman is mangled and killed before her eyes. Even more incomprehensible: There doesn’t seem to be a murderer.

When more bodies start to turn up, both in Ashtown and in the wealthier, walled-off Wiley City, Scales is tasked with finding the cause—and putting an end to it by any means necessary. To protect the people she loves, she teams up with a frustratingly by-the-books partner from Ashtown and a brusque-but-brilliant scientist from the City, delving into both worlds to track down an invisible killer.

But the answers Scales finds are bigger than she ever could have imagined, leading her into the brutal heart beneath Wiley City’s pristine façade and dredging up secrets from her own past that she would rather keep hidden. If she wants to save the world from the earth-shattering truths she uncovers, she can no longer remain silent—even if speaking up costs her everything.

Floating HotelFloating Hotel by Grace Curtis – 19 Mar (DAW)

Welcome to the Grand Abeona home of the finest food, the sweetest service, and the very best views the galaxy has to offer. All year round it moves from planet to planet, system to system, pampering guests across the furthest reaches of the milky way. The last word in sub-orbital luxury—and an absolute magnet for intrigue. Intrigues such Why are there love poems in the lobby inbox? How many Imperial spies are currently on board? What is the true purpose of the Problem Solver’s conference? And perhaps most pertinently— who is driving the ship?

Each guest has a secret, every member of staff a universe unto themselves. At the center of these interweaving lives and interlocking mysteries stands Carl, one time stowaway, longtime manager, devoted caretaker to the hotel. It’s the love of his life and the only place he’s ever called home. But as forces beyond Carl’s comprehension converge on the Abeona, he has to face one final when is it time to let go?

The Mars HouseThe Mars House by Natasha Pulley – 19 Mar (Bloomsbury)

In the wake of environmental catastrophe, January, once a principal in London’s Royal Ballet, has become a refugee on Tharsis, the terraformed colony on Mars. In Tharsis, January’s life is dictated by his status as an Earthstronger—a person whose body is not adjusted to Mars’s lower gravity and so poses a danger to those born on, or naturalized to, Mars. January’s job choices, housing, and even transportation options are dictated by this second-class status, and now a xenophobic politician named Aubrey Gale is running on a platform that would make it all worse: Gale wants all Earthstrongers to be surgically naturalized, a process that can be anything from disabling to deadly.

When Gale chooses January for an on-the-spot press junket interview that goes horribly awry, January’s life is thrown into chaos, but Gale’s political fortunes are damaged, too. Gale proposes a solution to both their problems: a five-year made-for-the-press marriage that would secure January’s financial future without naturalization and ensure Gale’s political future. But when January accepts the offer, he discovers that Gale is not at all like they appear in the press. And worse, soon, January finds himself entangled in political and personal events well beyond his imagining. Gale has an enemy, someone willing to destroy all of Tharsis to make them pay—and January may be the only person standing in the way.

Science Fiction Romance

An Idol with Luv (Intergalatic Idol #1)An Idol with Luv (Intergalatic Idol #1) by Piper J. Drake – 19 Mar (Ebullient Studios)

Trouble can be fun and fun can be a great way to recover from burnout.

Nirin is a lot of things-a human, who shapeshifts into a werewolf, who works as a mercenary-so she strives for a simple life. Complete the mission. Get paid. Survive. Avoid complications.
But when an old friend calls in a favor and hires her to protect a brilliant intergalactic idol, she finds herself sharing guard duty with the rakish station engineer she swore she’d never get tangled up with again. She’s tempted beyond reason by each of them, and they’re quickly overriding any reasons not to choose the both of them.

Add in the discovery of a dead body in a place where all three of them are potential suspects, and this job is beyond complicated.

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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