Daughter of the Merciful Deep

June & July 2024 Must Haves

BP Note: Well… due to my June and early July being wildly overscheduled you get a double month Must Haves post. I am catching up on June and giving you July. They will be divided by genre as always followed by release date. Hopefully you enjoy this quite long round-up. Let us know what we missed. Be kind to yourself especially during these turbulent times.
Happy reading!

Contemporary Romance

Grave Games (Gravediggers MC #1)Grave Games (Gravediggers MC #1) by Stacy Gail – 6 Jun (Stacy Gail)

TRIGGER WARNINGS: The main character is a victim of violent sexual assault, a subject that is dealt with throughout this book. If this is a triggering subject, this book is not for you. Also, physical violence leading to death is also a factor.

My life as I knew it ended four years ago.

I’d always been on the shy side—you know, not too great with the boys. So when my brother’s hot new friend asked me out, I was dazzled beyond belief. Then our first date turned into a kidnapping, where I was assaulted for three days by this so-called friend. Turns out the guy is the heir to the Chicago Gravediggers Motorcycle Club, and they wanted to recruit my brother bad. Their solution? Torture me until my brother broke. He did, and when he traded his freedom for mine, our family shattered.

The Chicago Gravediggers had once been my MC, my family, but it was being run into the ground by a madman and his psycho kid. A few years back I jumped ship with my fellow brothers to form a new chapter, but everyone knows two Gravedigger chapters in one town is one chapter too many. Then we got word one of theirs is trying to get out. We’ll help him, as long as there’s something in it for us. The only thing that might gum up the works is the guy’s sister, Shiloh McKeen. I’m tasked with making her fall in line, because my road name is Romeo, and I earned it honestly. But Shiloh’s not falling for the act, or me.

Hell, if I’m not careful, I might be the one falling for her.

One and DoneOne and Done by Federick Smith – 11 Jun (Bold Stroke Books)

One night of passion and possibly one more chance at love…

Determined, motivated, goal-driven, and eternally-single, Dr. Taylor James is an accomplished university administrator in San Francisco determined to get his campus successfully through an upcoming accreditation process. The process could set him up for his ultimate career goal–to be one of the only Black and openly-queer university presidents in the U.S. Taylor gives himself just one day a week to have fun and let loose with friends–a one and done Sunday Funday brunch in the Castro District.

Dustin McMillan is a consultant and project manager who reluctantly returns to the Bay Area, his hometown, for an assignment. The first in his family to finish college, earn a healthy six-figure income, and have choice and agency in his life’s direction, Dustin is fearful that returning home could mean falling back into roles that he’d thought he’d resolved by moving miles away… and equally fearful of falling back into bed with one sexy and toxic ex-boyfriend who still lingers in his memories.

One Cursed Rose (Grimm Bargains #1)One Cursed Rose (Grimm Bargains #1) by Rebecca Zanetti – 28 Jun (Kensington Books)

Information is power, and those who control it live like gods.
In my world, billionaires play deadly games of insult and influence where magic is the dirtiest weapon of all. Here, even a powerful princess can be swallowed by the darkest of shadows . . .

My name is Alana Beaumont, and due to a recent tragedy, I’m the sole heir to Aquarius Social, a family business being systematically dismantled by an unseen enemy. My father’s solution is to give me in marriage and create a coalition with a competing family, so I’m torn between my thirst for revenge and my duty. Now I just have a week to finish my hunt before the wedding.

There’s nothing like an assassination attempt to cut short the best of plans—even worse is my unwanted rescue by Thorn Beathach, the Beast whose social media empire is driving Aquarius under. The richest, most ruthless of them all, he protects his realm with an iron rule: no one sees his face. When he shows himself to me, I know he’ll never let me go.

Adam may think he can lock me in his castle forever, but I’m not the docile Beauty he expects. If the Beast wants to tie me up, I’m going to take pleasure from every minute of it . . .and we’ll just see who ends up shackled.

More Days at the Morisaki Bookshop (Days at the Morisaki Bookshop #2)More Days at the Morisaki Bookshop (Days at the Morisaki Bookshop #2) by Satoshi Yagisawa – 2 Jul (Harper Perennial)

Set again in the beloved Japanese bookshop and nearby coffee shop in the Jimbochi neighborhood of Toyko, More Days at the Morisaki Bookshop deepens the relationship between Takako, her uncle Satoru , and the people in their lives. A new cast of heartwarming regulars have appeared in the shop, including an old man who wears the same ragged mouse-colored sweater and another who collects books solely for the official stamps with the author’s personal seal.

Satoshi Yagisawa illuminates the everyday relationships between people that are forged and grown through a shared love of books. Characters leave and return, fall in and out of love, and some eventually die. As time passes, Satoru, with Takako’s help, must choose whether to keep the bookshop open or shutter its doors forever. Making the decision will take uncle and niece on an emotional journey back to their family’s roots and remind them again what a bookstore can mean to an individual, a neighborhood, and a whole culture.

That Prince is MineThat Prince is Mine by Jayci Lee – 30 Jul (St. Martin’s Griffin)

A love-averse Korean royal court cuisine instructor in search of a perfect-on-paper husband is waylaid from her practical, heartbreak-proof plan when she meets a gorgeous professor—and prince in disguise—who will do anything to prove to her that love and happily ever after can be theirs.

Emma Yoon runs a small business as a culinary instructor in Los Angeles teaching Korean royal court cuisine to young ladies striving to marry into the exclusive upper crust Korean families. She has built her business alongside her renowned Korean matchmaker godmother, which brings her one step closer to her dream of opening up a culinary school on her own. But when her godmother’s fellow matchmakers decide to meddle in Emma’s love life in a bid to sabotage her godmother, and indirectly push Emma’s dream out of her reach, she must go on a series of arranged first dates and find herself the perfect-on-paper husband to help save both, her godmother’s reputation and her dream–even if she’s not ready for love. But when she meets Michel Aubert, a professor at USC, after a series of disastrous first dates, she wonders if she might reevaluate her position on love.

Prince Michel Aubert is bound by duty and responsibility to his country, but an arranged marriage is the last thing he wants. If he is going to spend the rest of his life in service of his people, then he at least wants someone he loves and trusts by his side while doing it. He needs to find a woman who loves him for who he is before his engagement to his handpicked bride is announced. Emma Yoon might be just the woman he is looking for.

Epic Fantasy

The Sky on FireThe Sky on Fire by Jenn Lyons – 9 Jul (Tor Books)

Enter a world ruled by dragons…

Anahrod lives only for survival, preferring to thrive in the jungles of the Deep with the titan drake she keeps by her side. When an adventuring party saves her from capture by the local warlord, Sicaryon, she is eager to return to her solitary life, but this is no ordinary rescue. Anahrod’s past has caught up with her. And these cunning misfits intend to spirit her away to the cloud cities, where they need her help to steal from a dragon’s hoard.

There’s only one in the cloud cities, dragons rule, and the hoard in question belongs to the current regent, Neveranimas―and she wants Anahrod dead.

The Price of Redemption (Tides of Magic #1)The Price of Redemption (Tides of Magic #1) by Shawn Carpenter – 9 Jul (S&S/Saga Press)

A debut female-led swashbuckling fantasy following powerful sorceress and sea captain Marquese Enid d’Tancreville as she is forced on the run where she meets a vast cast of characters perfect for fans of Patrick O’Brian’s beloved Master and Commander series.

Despite her powerful magic, Marquese Enid d’Tancreville must flee her homeland to escape death at the hands of the Theocratic Revolution. When a Theocratic warship overtakes the ship bringing her to safety, Enid is spared capture by the timely intervention of the Albion frigate Alarum , under the command of Lt. Rue Nath.

The strange circumstances make for an odd alliance, and Enid finds herself replacing Alarum ’s recently slain sea mage. Now an officer under Nath’s command, Enid is thrust into a strange maritime world full of confusing customs, duties, and language. Worse she soon discovers the threat of the revolution is not confined to shore.

Wyvern's Gold (The Ruins of Men #1)Wyvern’s Gold (The Ruins of Men #1) by A.H. Hadley – 26 Jul (Spotted Horse Productions)

Dragons are a myth. Heroes are a reality.

Six hundred years ago, humans retreated underground. Our Elders said our sins were why. Ever since, the battle between Heaven and Hell has raged on Earth’s surface. Only becoming truly righteous can save us.

It was a lie.

Stories of dragons willing to devour us and wild men who will torture us keep the population in line. For twenty years, all I’d heard was how the surface was filled with horrors – that’s why our hunters always return wounded. God does not consider us ready yet.

It. Was. A. Lie!

They’ve beaten me down until the only option left is death. Sacrificed to the dragons, I expect monsters from legends. Instead, I learn the truth. Dragons are people. Massive, strange, dangerous people.

My only hope is to push aside everything I’ve been taught and learn to embrace who I really am. A daughter. A woman. Not just a healer but also a warrior! I was chained out to die, but I will survive. One way or another, I will find a way to stop all the lies.

Because monsters are real. They just aren’t the ones I expected.


Daughter of the Merciful DeepDaughter of the Merciful Deep by Leslye Penelope – 4 Jun (Redhook)

“Our home began, as all things do, with a wish.”

Jane Edwards hasn’t spoken since she was eleven years old, when armed riders expelled her family from their hometown along with every other Black resident. Now, twelve years later, she’s found a haven in the all-Black town of Awenasa. But the construction of a dam promises to wash her home under the waters of the new lake.

Jane will do anything to save the community that sheltered her. So, when a man with uncanny abilities arrives in town asking strange questions, she wonders if he might be the key. But as the stranger hints at gods and ancestral magic, Jane is captivated by a bigger mystery. She knows this man. Only the last time she saw him, he was dead. His body laid to rest in a rushing river.

Who is the stranger and what is he really doing in Awenasa? To find those answers, Jane will journey into a sunken world, a land of capricious gods and unsung myths, of salvation and dreams made real. But the flood waters are rising. To gain the miracle she desires, Jane will have to find her voice again and finally face the trauma of the past.

Mirrored Heavens (Between Earth and Sky #3)Mirrored Heavens (Between Earth and Sky #3) by Rebecca Roanhorse – 4 Jun (Saga Press)

Even the sea cannot stay calm before the storm. —Teek saying

Serapio, avatar of the Crow God Reborn and the newly crowned Carrion King, rules Tova. But his enemies gather both on distant shores and within his own city as the matrons of the clans scheme to destroy him. And deep in the alleys of the Maw, a new prophecy is whispered, this one from the Coyote God. It promises Serapio certain doom if its terrible dictates are not fulfilled.

Meanwhile, Xiala is thrust back amongst her people as war comes first to the island of Teek. With their way of life and their magic under threat, she is their last best hope. But the sea won’t talk to her the way it used to, and doubts riddle her mind. She will have to sacrifice the things that matter most to unleash her powers and become the queen they were promised.

And in the far northern wastelands, Naranpa, avatar of the Sun God, seeks a way to save Tova from the visions of fire that engulf her dreams. But another presence has begun stalking her nightmares, and the Jaguar God is on the hunt.

The Daughters War (Blacktongue #0)The Daughters War (Blacktongue #0) by Christopher Buehlman – 25 Jun (Tor Books)

Enter the fray in this luminous new adventure from Christopher Buehlman, set during the war-torn, goblin-infested years just before The Blacktongue Thief .

The goblins have killed all of our horses and most of our men.

They have enslaved our cities, burned our fields, and still they wage war.

Now, our daughters take up arms.

Galva ― Galvicha to her three brothers, two of whom the goblins will kill ― has defied her family’s wishes and joined the army’s untested new unit, the Raven Knights. They march toward a once-beautiful city overrun by the goblin horde, accompanied by scores of giant war corvids. Made with the darkest magics, these fearsome black birds may hold the key to stopping the goblins in their war to make cattle of mankind.

The road to victory is bloody, and goblins are clever and merciless. The Raven Knights can take nothing for granted ― not the bonds of family, nor the wisdom of their leaders, nor their own safety against the dangerous war birds at their side. But some hopes are worth any risk.

The Spice GateThe Spice Gate by Prashanth Srivatsa – 16 Jul (Harper Voyager)

he weight of spice is more than you know.

Relics of a mysterious god, the Spice Gates connect the eight far-flung kingdoms, each separated by a distinct spice and only accessible by those born with a special mark. This is not a caste of distinction, though, but one of subjugation: Spice Carriers suffer the lashes of their masters, the weight of the spices they bear on their backs, and the jolting pain of the Gates themselves.

Amir is one such Spice Carrier, and he dreams of escaping his fate of being a mule for the rich who gorge themselves on spices like the addicted gluttons they are. More important than relieving his own pain, though, is saving his family, especially his brother, born like him with the unfortunate spice mark that designates him for a life of servitude.

But while Amir makes his plans for freedom, something stirs in the inhospitable spaces between the kingdoms. Fate has designs of its own for Amir, and he soon finds himself drawn into a conspiracy that could disrupt the delicate dynamics of the kingdoms forever.

The more Amir discovers truth and myth blurring, the more he realizes that his own schemes are insignificant compared to the machinations going on around him. Forced to chase after shadows with unlikely companions, searching for answers that he never even thought to question, Amir’s simple dream of slipping away transforms into a grand, Spice Gate–hopping adventure. Gods, assassins, throne-keepers, and slaves all have a vested interest in the spice trade, and Amir will have to decide—for the first time in his life—what kind of world he wants to live in…if the world survives at all.

Yoke of Stars (Birdverse)Yoke of Stars (Birdverse) by R.B. Lemberg – 16 Jul (Tachyon Publications)

In the School of Assassins, Stone Orphan waits for a first assignment. After their first kill, they will graduate, and attain the coveted cloth of bone. But instead of a commission, Stone Orphan gets an inquisitive linguist, Ulín.

Ulín has heard the Orphan Star’s song of despair, mirroring her own, and drawing her to the School of Assassins. But Ulín is far more interested in learning Stone Orphan’s language than deciding whom she wishes to kill.

Unable to contain their curiosity, Stone Orphan offers to exchange stories with Ulín to help her decide the fate of three men.

In the Shadow of the Fall (Guardians of the Gods #1)In the Shadow of the Fall (Guardians of the Gods #1) by Tobi Ogundiran – 23 Jul (Tordotcom)

Ashâke is an acolyte in the temple of Ifa, yearning for the day she is made a priest and sent out into the world to serve the orisha. But of all the acolytes, she is the only one the orisha refuse to speak to. For years she has watched from the sidelines as peer after peer passes her by and ascends to full priesthood.

Desperate, Ashâke attempts to summon and trap an orisha―any orisha. Instead, she experiences a vision so terrible it draws the attention of a powerful enemy sect and thrusts Ashâke into the center of a centuries-old war that will shatter the very foundations of her world.

Fantasy Romance

The God and the Gumiho (Fate's Thread #1)The God and the Gumiho (Fate’s Thread #1) by Sophie Kim – 4 Jun (Del Rey)

Kim Hani – the once-terrible gumiho known as the Scarlet Fox – spends her days working at a café and trying not to let a certain customer irk her.

Seokga – a trickster god thrown from the heavens for his attempt at a coup – spends his days hunting demons and irking a particular gumiho.

When a demon of darkness escapes the underworld, and the Scarlet Fox emerges from hiding before quickly vanishing, Seokga is offered a chance at redemption: kill them both, and his sins will be forgiven.

But Hani is prepared to do anything to prevent Seokga from bringing her to justice, even trick her way into his investigation. Anything, that is – except fall in love . . .

The Undermining of Twyla and Frank (The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy #2)The Undermining of Twyla and Frank (The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy #2) by Megan Bannen – 2 Jul (Orbit)

The entire town of Eternity was shocked when widowed, middle-aged Twyla Banneker partnered up with her neighbor and best friend, Frank Ellis, to join the Tanrian Marshals. Eight years later, Twyla and Frank are still patrolling the dangerous land of Tanria, the former prison of the Old Gods.

Twyla might look like a small town mom who brings cheesy potatoes to funerals and whips up a batch of cookies for the school bake sale, but her rewarding career in law enforcement has been a welcome change from the domestic grind of mom life, despite the misgivings of her grown children.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) a recent decrease in on-the-job peril has made Twyla and Frank’s job a lot safer … and a lot less exciting. So when they discover the body of one of their fellow marshals covered in liquid glitter–and Frank finds himself the inadvertent foster dad to a baby dragon–they are more than happy to be back on the beat.

Soon, the friends wind up ensnared in a nefarious plot that goes far deeper than any lucrative Tanrian mineshaft. But as the danger closes in and Twyla and Frank’s investigation becomes more complicated, so does their easy friendship. And Twyla starts to realize that her true soul mate might just be the person who has lived next door all along…

The SpellshopThe Spellshop by Sarah Beth Durst – 9 Jul (Bramble)

Kiela has always had trouble dealing with people. Thankfully, as a librarian at the Great Library of Alyssium, she and her assistant, Caz—a magically sentient spider plant—have spent the last decade sequestered among the empire’s most precious spellbooks, preserving their magic for the city’s elite.

When a revolution begins and the library goes up in flames, she and Caz flee with all the spellbooks they can carry and head to a remote island Kiela never thought she’d see again: her childhood home. Taking refuge there, Kiela discovers, much to her dismay, a nosy—and very handsome—neighbor who can’t take a hint and keeps showing up day after day to make sure she’s fed and to help fix up her new home.

In need of income, Kiela identifies something that even the bakery in town doesn’t have: jam. With the help of an old recipe book her parents left her and a bit of illegal magic, her cottage garden is soon covered in ripe berries.

But magic can do more than make life a little sweeter, so Kiela risks the consequences of using unsanctioned spells and opens the island’s first-ever and much needed secret spellshop.

The Ornithologist's Field Guide to Love (Love's Academic #1)The Ornithologist’s Field Guide to Love (Love’s Academic #1) by India Holton – 23 Jul (Berkley)

Rival ornithologists hunt through England for a rare magical bird in this historical-fantasy rom-com reminiscent of Indiana Jones but with manners, tea, and helicopter parasols.

Beth Pickering is on the verge of finally capturing the rare deathwhistler bird when Professor Devon Lockley swoops in, capturing both her bird and her imagination like a villain. Albeit a handsome and charming villain, but that’s beside the point. As someone highly educated in the ruthless discipline of ornithology, Beth knows trouble when she sees it, and she is determined to keep her distance from Devon.

For his part, Devon has never been more smitten than when he first set eyes on Professor Beth Pickering. She’s so pretty, so polite, so capable of bringing down a fiery, deadly bird using only her wits. In other words, an angel. Devon understands he must not get close to her, however, since they’re professional rivals.

When a competition to become Birder of the Year by capturing an endangered caladrius bird is announced, Beth and Devon are forced to team up to have any chance of winning. Now keeping their distance becomes a question of one bed or two. But they must take the risk, because fowl play is afoot, and they can’t trust anyone else—for all may be fair in love and war, but this is ornithology.

Historical Mystery

The Last Note of Warning (Nightingale Mysteries #3)The Last Note of Warning (Nightingale Mysteries #3) by Katharine Schellman – 4 Jun (Minotaur)

Prohibition is a dangerous time to be a working-class woman in New York City, but Vivian Kelly has finally found some small measure of both stability and freedom. By day, she’s a respectable shop assistant, delivering luxurious dresses to the city’s wealthy and elite. At night, she joins the madcap revelry of New York’s underworld, serving illegal drinks and dancing into the morning at a secretive, back-alley speakeasy known as the Nightingale. She’s found, if not love, then something like it with her bootlegger sweetheart, Leo, even if she can’t quite forget the allure of the Nightingale’s sultry owner, Honor Huxley.

It’s not a safe life. Every day comes with the threat of poverty; every night could be the police raid that ends in disaster. But it’s a better life than Vivian once thought possible, and she’s determined to cling to it with both hands.

Then the husband of a wealthy client is discovered dead in his study, and Vivian was the last known person to see him alive. With the police and the press both eager to name a culprit in the high-profile case, she finds herself the primary murder suspect.

She can’t flee town without endangering the people she loves, but Vivian isn’t the sort of girl to go down without a fight. She can strike a deal with the police commissioner: one more week of freedom before she’s arrested for good. She can cash in every favor she has from the criminals she calls friends to prove she had no connection to the dead man.

But she can’t prove what isn’t true.

The more Vivian digs into the dead man’s life, counting down the hours until the police come for her, the harder it is to avoid the truth: someone she knows wanted him dead. And the best way to get away with murder is to set up a girl like Vivian to take the fall.

A Ruse of Shadows (Lady Sherlock #8)A Ruse of Shadows (Lady Sherlock #8) by Sherry Thomas – 25 Jun (Berkley)

Charlotte’s success on the RMS Provence has afforded her a certain measure of time and assurance. Taking advantage of that, she has been busy, plotting to prise the man her sister loves from Moriarty’s iron grip.

Disruption, however, comes from an unexpected quarter. Lord Bancroft Ashburton, disgraced and imprisoned as a result of Charlotte’s prior investigations, nevertheless manages to press Charlotte into service: Underwood, his most loyal henchman, is missing and Lord Bancroft wants Charlotte to find Underwood, dead or alive.

But then Lord Bancroft himself turns up dead and Charlotte, more than anyone else, meets the trifecta criteria of motive, means, and opportunity. Never mind rescuing anyone else, with the law breathing down her neck, can Charlotte save herself from prosecution for murder?

The Mummy of Mayfair (Irregular Detective #2)The Mummy of Mayfair (Irregular Detective #2) by Jeri Westerson – 2 Jul (Severn House)

Private investigators Timothy Badger and Benjamin Watson take on another unusual and baffling case in Victorian London when a mummy unwrapping party takes a chilling turn.
London, 1895. Although their last high profile case was a huge success, private detectives Tim Badger and Benjamin Watson know they can’t afford to turn down any work, despite financial assistance from their mentor, Sherlock Holmes.
So when the eminent Doctor Enock Sawyer of St Bart’s Hospital asks Badger if the duo will provide security for a mummy unwrapping party he is hosting, Badger doesn’t hesitate to take the job. After all, how hard can guarding the doctor’s bizarre Egyptian artefacts be? But with Doctor Sawyer running late for his own party, the ‘genuine’ ancient sarcophagus of Runihura Saa is unravelled to reveal the remains of . . . Doctor Sawyer!
Suddenly, the pair are drawn into a new case that’s stranger and twister than they could ever have imagined.

A Vengeful King Rises (House of Croft #1)A Vengeful King Rises (House of Croft #1) by Sophie Barnes – 30 Jul (Sophie Barnes)

The only thing more lethal than his need for revenge, is the woman who’s tasked with bringing him down.
Adrian Croft dreams of quitting the shady business he stands to inherit, of settling down, and of raising a family free from a life of crime. But when tragedy strikes, this fanciful dream is destroyed. All he wants now is revenge. His anger, however, threatens to cloud his judgment, making it harder for him to recognize danger when it approaches in the form of a beautiful woman.Trained for covert operations as part of a secret government program, Samantha Carmichael’s mission is to give British law enforcement a reason to prosecute the most powerful man in the country. But when common sense and duty begin to blur, can she remain steadfast in her goal, or will her loyalties shift as she gradually loses her heart to the one man she cannot afford to love?
-One series, one couple, and the brutal challenges they must face-


Requiem for a Mouse (Cat in the Stacks #16)Requiem for a Mouse (Cat in the Stacks #16) by Miranda James – 25 Jun (Berkley)

Librarian Charlie Harris and his ever-intuitive feline friend Diesel must catch a killer in a deadly game of cat and mouse where no one is who they seem to be…

At last, Charlie and Helen Louise’s wedding is only a month away. They’re busy preparing for the big day, and the last thing Charlie needs is a new mystery to solve. Enter Tara Martin, a shy, peculiar woman who has recently started working part-time at Helen Louise’s bistro and helping Charlie in the archive. Tara isn’t exactly friendly and she has an angry outburst at the library that leaves Charlie baffled. And then she abruptly leaves a catered housewarming party Charlie’s son Sean is throwing to celebrate his new home in the middle of her work shift. Before ducking out of the party, Tara looked terrified and Charlie wonders if she’s deliberately trying to escape notice. Is she hiding from someone?

When Tara is viciously attacked and lands in the hospital, Charlie knows his instincts were correct: Tara was in trouble and someone was after her. With the help of his much beloved cat, Diesel, Charlie digs deeper, and discovers shocking glimpses into Tara’s past that they could never have predicted. Will they catch the villain before Charlie’s own happily ever after with Helen Louise is ruined?

Chaos at the Lazy Bones Bookshop (Halloween Bookshop Mystery #1)Chaos at the Lazy Bones Bookshop (Halloween Bookshop Mystery #1) by Emmeline Duncan – 23 Jul (Kensington Cozies)

Normally, spooky season is Bailey Briggs’ favorite time of year, and her Halloween-themed small town’s time to shine. But between managing Lazy Bones Books, working on her graphic novel-in-progress, and running the Spooky Season Literary Festival, Bailey hardly has a moment to enjoy Elyan Hollow’s spot-on seasonal vibes. Not to mention, at every turn she seems to be tripping over the contentious crew of Gone Ghouls, a ghost-hunting reality TV show currently filming around town. Bailey tries to stay focused on the Lit Festival, which is supposed to kick off Elyan Hollow’s annual Halloween Fair; instead, this year’s festival begins with a murder . . .

It’s bad enough Bailey discovered the victim, but now, as a lead suspect with some (admittedly) damning evidence pointing her way, she’s got to clear her name! With the help of her librarian friend, Colby, and Jack Skeleton, her world-class bookshop dog (and the absolute bestest boy ever), Bailey sets out to solve a murder . . .

As her investigation weaves through family secrets, professional rivalries, and town feuds, the list of suspects is growing fast . . . and unfortunately, so is the list of victims. If Bailey doesn’t find the killer soon, Elyan Hollow’s haunted reputation will get a little too real . . .

Paranormal Romance

Books and Broadswords, Volume OneBooks and Broadswords, Volume One by Jesse Mihalik – 11 Jun (NYLA)

This novella-length volume includes two romantic fantasy stories set in a shared world, each with a guaranteed happily ever after, plus a new bonus epilogue.

Books & Broadswords
The only thing Feora likes more than stealing the king’s gold is using it to buy books. But when a handsome, persistent knight interrupts her day, Feora must decide if saving his life is worth revealing her true nature.

Rocks & Rapiers
Zenira never wanted to sell her rock collection, but when the new landowner raises her rent, she’s out of options. Armed with a sketchy rumor about a collector who will pay for stones others might consider worthless, Zenira sets out, but she’s met with an icy scowl, a muddy manor, and the overwhelming urge to mend the mess—owner included.

Viper (The Dark in You #10)Viper (The Dark in You #10) by Suzanne Wright – 18 Jul (Piatkus)

Their bond transcends lifetimes, but there’s nothing their enemies won’t do to keep them apart.

“You will be chained to him forever, and you cannot imagine what that will mean for you.”

Ella has been walking close to danger her whole life. As an incantor she uses her powers to protect innocents, often putting herself in harm’s way. But she’s never felt anything like the way her skin electrifies when a certain gang member – one rumoured to be a fallen archangel – locks eyes with her across a crowded bar. She can’t help but feel like maybe he’s been in her life before…

Viper, president of the Black Saints’ motorcycle club, carries heavy secrets. He has been searching for his mate across lifetimes. Now he’s finally got her in his sights he’ll do anything to keep her, even if that means destroying himself in the process. They took her from him once, he’s not going to let it happen again.

But as foes old and new close in, Ella and Viper’s bond will be pushed to the limit. Will their love endure, or will they reach breaking point?

Primal Mirror (Psy-Changeling Trinity #8)Primal Mirror (Psy-Changeling Trinity #8) by Nalini Singh – 23 Jul (Berkley)

Daughter of two ruthless high-gradient telepaths, Auden Scott is not the child her Psy parents wanted or expected, even before her brain injury. Her thoughts are scattered, her memories fuzzy—or just terrifyingly blank. The only thing she knows for certain is that she must protect her unborn baby…a baby she has no recollection of conceiving and who draws an abnormal intensity of notice from her dead mother’s closest associates.

Leopard alpha Remi Denier is a man driven by the primal instinct to protect. Protect his pack, protect his allies… and protect the mysterious woman who has become a most unlikely neighbor. With eerie eyes that see too much and a scent that alters in ways disturbing and impossible, Auden Scott is the enemy…but nothing about this strange Psy is what it seems, Remi’s feline heart as fascinated by her as the human half of his soul.

Then Auden asks Remi to help her shatter the wall of secrets that is the Scott bloodline. What they unearth will reveal a nightmare beyond imagination. This time, the battle is to the death…

Science Fiction Romance

Fiasco (Uncharted Hearts #2)Fiasco (Uncharted Hearts #2) by Constance Fay – 4 Jun (Bramble)

Cynbelline Khaw is a woman of many names. She’s Generosity, a cultist who never quite fit in. She’s Bella, the daughter who failed to save her cousin’s life. And then there’s Cyn, the notorious bounty hunter who spaced a ship of slavers.

She’s exhausted, lonely, and on her very last legs―but then a new client offers her a job she can’t refuse: a bounty on the kidnapper who killed her cousin. All Cyn has to do is partner with the crew of the Calamity, a scouting vessel she encountered when she was living under a previous alias. One tiny little issue, she’s been given an additional deliver the oh-so-compelling medic, Micah Arora, to the treacherous Pierce Family or all her identities will be revealed, putting her estranged family in danger.

Hunting a kidnapper doesn’t usually mean accidentally taking your sexy new target to dinner at your parent’s house, a local mystic predicting you’ll have an increasingly large number of children, or being accompanied by a small flying lizard with a penchant for eating metal, but, as they field investigative hurdles both dangerous and preposterous, Cyn and Micah grow ever closer. When a violent confrontation reveals that everything Cyn thought about her past is wrong, she realizes that she has the power to change her future. The first part of that is making sure that Micah Arora is around to be a part of it.

Lady Eve's Last ConLady Eve’s Last Con by Rebecca Fraimow – 4 Jun (Solaris)

Ruth Johnson and her sister Jules have been small-time hustlers on the interstellar cruise lines for years. But then Jules fell in love with one of their targets, Esteban Mendez-Yuki, sole heir to the family insurance fortune. Esteban seemed to love her too, until she told him who she really was, at which point he fled without a word.

Now Ruth is set on disguised as provincial debutante Evelyn Ojukwu and set for the swanky satellite New Monte, she’s going to make Esteban fall in love with her, then break his heart and take half his fortune. At least, that’s the plan. But Ruth hadn’t accounted for his younger sister, Sol, a brilliant mind in a dashing suit… and much harder to fool.

Sol is hot on Ruth’s tail, and as the two women learn each other’s tricks, Ruth must decide between going after the money and going after her heart.

Her Alien Mercenaries (The Drift: Haven Colony #8)Her Alien Mercenaries (The Drift: Haven Colony #8) by Susan Hayes – 26 Jul (Black Scroll Production Ltd)

She thought that moving to a new world would be the challenge of a lifetime. Then the universe upped the ante.

Jenna never expected to escape from Earth. Now she’s a colonist in a beautiful and inviting new world, surrounded by beings she wants to trust…if only she could.

Not everyone in Haven wants it to succeed, and Jenna is now a pawn in a dangerous game of secrets and subterfuge. To protect her new home, she’ll have to risk everything, including her chance at love.

They thought they could leave their bloodstained past behind them. They were wrong.

Zanyr and Torran may have kept their names, but they left the rest of their former lives behind. Most of their species despise mercenaries, which means they must hide their past to protect their future with the colony.

Their lives bound by blood-oaths and battle, these former soldiers of fortune want nothing more than to live in peace with their mate… once they find her, that is.

These three beings will have the chance to get everything they’ve ever wanted…but to keep it, they’ll have to go to war.

Urban Fantasy

Free as a Bird (Yard Birds #3)Free as a Bird (Yard Birds #3) by Hailey Edwards – 3 Jun (Black Dog Inc, LLC)

When an old friend reaches out to Ellie, asking for help locating her missing coven members, she’s ready for her big comeback. Witchlight is financing the op, and it feels damn good to be official again.

But when her friend’s lies begin to unravel, Ellie realizes she’s let her ego lead her into a trap. And she’s brought her coven down with her. With the girls’ lives on the line, Ellie has to decide what’s more important—reliving her glory days or saving her best friends from a permanent retirement.

Winter Lost (Mercy Thompson #14)Winter Lost (Mercy Thompson #14) by Patricia Briggs – 18 Jun (Ace)

In the supernatural realms, there are creatures who belong to winter. I am not one of them. But like the coyote I can become at will, I am adaptable.

My name is Mercy Thompson Hauptman, and my mate, Adam, is the werewolf who leads the Columbia Basin Pack, the pack charged with keeping the people who live and work in the Tri-Cities of Washington State safe. It’s a hard job, and it doesn’t leave much room for side quests. Which is why when I needed to travel to Montana to help my brother, I intended to go by myself.

But I’m not alone anymore.

Together, Adam and I find ourselves trapped with strangers in a lodge in the heart of the wilderness, in the teeth of a storm of legendary power, only to discover my brother’s issues are a tiny part of a problem much bigger than we could have imagined. Arcane and ancient magics are at work that could, unless we are very careful, bring about the end of the world. . . .

Tin God (Elemental Covenant #5)Tin God (Elemental Covenant #5) by Elizabeth Hunter – 16 Jul (Recurve Press LLC)

Everything comes to an end.

Brigid Connor is a vampire familiar with ghosts. The ghosts of her past, the ghosts of her victims, and the ghosts of those she couldn’t save. Now in the wilds of America’s most remote frontier, she’ll face a specter who has haunted her steps, a fire vampire with a baffling connection to Brigid’s mate, her clan, and those she holds most dear.

Tenzin is an immortal who has lived a hundred lives. She’s been a daughter, a sister, a villain, and a hero. With every millennium, she has evolved, cutting ties with the past and moving forward with relentless focus, a survivor among the fiercest predators in history.

But history has a way of finding those who flee from it.

Tin God is a crossover between the Elemental Covenant and the Elemental Legacy novels. It is the final book in the Elemental Covenant series by eleven-time USA Today bestselling author Elizabeth Hunter.

Blood Jade (Phoenix Hoard #2)Blood Jade (Phoenix Hoard #2) by Julie Vee and Ken Bebelle – 16 Jul (Tor Books)


Emiko Soong, newly minted Sentinel of San Francisco, just can’t catch a break. Just after she becomes the guardian for a sentient city, a murder strikes close to home. Called by the city and one of the most powerful clans to investigate, she traces the killer whose scent signature bears a haunting similarity to her mother’s talent.

The trail will lead her back to Tokyo where the thread she pulls threatens to unravel her whole world and bring dark family secrets to light.

Meanwhile, the General rises in the East and Emiko must fight the hidden enemies of his growing army who are amped up on Blood Jade, while keeping her promises to her brother Tatsuya as he prepares for his tourney.

Her duties as Sentinel and her loyalties collide when she must choose between hiding her deepest shame or stopping the General’s relentless march.

Sanctuary (Roman's Chronicles #1)
Sanctuary (Roman’s Chronicles #1)

Sanctuary (Roman’s Chronicles #1) by Ilona Andrews – 30 Jul (NYLA)

It’s not easy serving the Chernobog, the God of Destruction, Darkness and Death…especially during the holidays; and especially when you’re out of eggnog and one of your pesky, freeloading mythic creatures has eaten your last cookie.

Roman would like nothing more than to be left alone, but when a wounded boy stumbles into his yard and begs for sanctuary, Roman takes him in. Now elite mercenaries are camped out on his property, combat mages are dousing the house with fire, and strange priests are unleashing arcane magic. They thought Roman was easy pickings, just a hermit in the woods, but they chose the wrong dark priest to annoy. For while Roman might be patient, he is the Black Volhv, filled with the love of his terrible god. For his adversaries, it’s a fight to the death, but for him, it’s just another day in the neighborhood.

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!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.