This month’s post is sponsored by Dougie K Powell in honor of the release of My Best Rival, a new trans YA romance published by Spectrum Books! Click the graphic for more information and buy links!
The Santa Pageant by Lillian Barry (1st)
For fans of Rachel Bowdler and Ashley Herring Blake, a second-chance holiday romance between a sunshiney lesbian and a chilly non-binary bisexual.
Ten years ago, best friends Effie and Tove kissed in the bushes at Winter Ball…and then stood there like lemons, as if they weren’t crushing on each other so hard it hurt. In the confusion, their friendship fizzled, and Tove walked into the sunset with some guy who had nice hair.
Now a cocksure twenty-five-year-old with secretly appalling self-esteem, Effie enters the Santa of the Year Pageant to prove to her unsupportive family that Santa could, in fact, be a lesbian. Enter Tove, the grumpiest Santa in the grotto, back on the island after a harrowing break-up with Nice Hair Guy and using the Pageant to reconnect with the world.
As the Pageant eliminates Santa after Santa, Effie and Tove clash over their past: the kiss that drove them apart, and the fears the last ten years have etched into their worldviews. Effie must let go of others’ opinions and learn to love herself, and Tove must move forward despite there being no guarantee they won’t be hurt again… Or they risk losing each other a second time.
Buy it: Amazon
Sir Callie and the Dragon’s Roost by Esme Symes-Smith (7th)
This is the sequel to Sir Callie and the Champions of Helston
Thanks to Callie and their friends, Helston seems to be changing for the better: Boys are allowed to explore their magic, and girls are permitted to train as warriors. Callie is an official Helston page, Willow in on track to become king, and Elowen and Edwyn are finally safe and free of their father. Everything is…perfect.
Except it isn’t.
Not in Helston, where every step forward is accompanied by a storm of opposition. Even Queen Ewella and Sir Nick are struggling against the wave of fear and anti-magical sentiment growing daily, while the encroaching threat from across the bridge looms.
Callie isn’t foolish; they notice the suspicious glances thrown Neal’s way and hear the doubtful murmurs following Willow. They know what people think about them, too. Tolerance is not the same as acceptance, and when the fragile peace finally shatters, Callie and their friends have no choice but to leave their home and run.
On the other side of the bridge, old secrets are revealed and new allegiances are formed that will throw into question everything Callie thought they knew about their world. Including what it means to be a hero.
Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon
Almond, Quartz, and Finch by Lisa Bunker (7th)
As the ritual of Naming approaches, brash Quartz already knows the path ahead, while watchful Almond feels torn, fearing that any choice will disappoint someone in the family. Prowling through secret fortress tunnels, Almond and Quartz overhear a villainous plot: an ambitious underling schemes to seize power from Finch, the rightful Irzemi heir. Aided by a wise orchard-keeper and other surprising allies, Quartz and Almond invent a desperate plan to help Finch fight to keep the throne. In a richly imagined world, sustained by the power of family both born and made, three young rainbow humans make personal sacrifices and claim their identities in a time of strife.
Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon
Emmett by L.C. Rosen (7th)
Emmett Woodhouse, handsome, clever and rich, with a comfortable home and happy disposition seemed to unite some of the best blessings of existence and had lived nearly eighteen years in the world with very little to distress or vex him.
Emmett knows he’s blessed. And because of that, he tries to give back: from charity work to letting the often irritating Georgia sit at his table at lunch, he knows it’s important to be nice. And recently, he’s found a new way of giving back: matchmaking. He set up his best friend Taylor with her new boyfriend and it’s gone perfectly. So when his occasional friend-with-benefits Harrison starts saying he wants a boyfriend (something Emmett definitely does NOT want to be), he decides to try and find Harrison the perfect man at Highbury Academy, the candy-colored private school they attend just outside Los Angeles.
Emmett’s childhood friend, Miles, thinks finding a boyfriend for a guy you sleep with is a bad idea. But Miles is straight, and Emmett says this is gay life – your friends, your lovers, your boyfriends – they all come from the same very small pool. That’s why Emmett doesn’t date – to keep things clean. He knows the human brain isn’t done developing until twenty-five, so any relationship he enters into before then would inevitably end in a breakup, in loss. And he’s seen what loss can do. His mother died four years ago and his Dad hasn’t been the same since.
But the lines Emmett tries to draw are more porous than he thinks, and as he tries to find Harrison the perfect match, he learns that gifted as he may be, maybe he has no idea what he’s doing when it comes to love.
No One Left But You by Tash McAdam (7th)
Newly out trans guy Max is having a hard time in school. Things have been tough since his summer romance turned on him. This year, his plan is to keep his head down and make sure he graduates. All that changes when new It-girl Gloss moves to town.
No one understands why perfect, polished Gloss is so interested in an introverted skater kid, but Max blooms in the hothouse of her attention. Swept along in the riptide of burgeoning popularity, it doesn’t matter to Max that Gloss is making all the decisions, choosing his clothes, what he does and who he hangs out with. Caught somewhere between romance and obsession, he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her on his side.
Haircuts, makeovers, drugs, parties. It’s all fun and games until someone gets stabbed in the throat. When Gloss confesses to murdering his ex, Max refuses to believe that she did it. If she did, he’ll have lost the two most important people in his life in one night. Trying to collect evidence that will exonerate his only friend, Max veers dangerously close to being implicated—and his own memories of that awful night are fuzzy. He has to figure out who’s lying, even if it turns out to be himself.
Wren Martin Ruins it All by Amanda DeWitt (7th)
Now that Wren Martin is student council president (on a technicality, but hey, it counts) he’s going to fix Rapture High. His first order of business: abolish the school’s annual Valentine’s Day Dance, a drain on the school’s resources and general social nightmare—especially when you’re asexual.
His greatest opponent: Leo Reyes, vice president and all-around annoyingly perfect student, who has a solution to Wren’s budget problem. A sponsorship from Buddy, the anonymous “not a dating” app that’s swept the nation. The theme: 21st Century Masquerade. Suddenly, Wren’s plan for a dance-less senior year has turned into heading the biggest dance Rapture High has ever seen. He’s even secretly signed up for the app, determined to make good on his promises to improve the school, even if that means going into the belly of the beast.
When Wren accidentally starts up a conversation with one of his matches, he realizes things might be getting out of control. He never meant to like his anonymous match, and he certainly didn’t mean to develop a crush on him. Wren decided a long time ago that dating while asexual wasn’t worth the hassle. With the Valentine’s Day Dance rapidly approaching, Wren isn’t sure what will kill him first: the dance, his relationship drama, or the growing realization that Leo’s perfect life might not be so perfect after all.
Finding My Elf by David Valdes (7th)
Escaping to NYU for college didn’t turn out the way Cameron planned—he’s flunking his theater classes, about to lose his scholarship, and he still hasn’t found anyone he can call his “people.” When he gets home for winter break, he’s so desperate to avoid a Conversation with his dad that he takes the first acting job he can get—as a mall elf. Despite how Scroogey he feels, the plus side is that there’s a cash prize for the most festive of Santa’s helpers.
But the competition is fierce—especially from fellow elf Marco. Christmas spirit oozes out of his veins. At first Cam is determined to see him as nothing but a rival, but as they spend more time together, Cam starts to second-guess himself. What if he’s finally found his people here—in the fakest consumerist nightmare place on Earth, where he least expected it?
Gruesome Gruesome Faces by Linda Cheng (7th)
After a huge scandal that ended her pop idol career, eighteen-year-old Sunny Lee spends her days longing for the past and cyber-stalking her former bandmate, Candie. When Sunny learns that Candie is attending an intensive workshop that promises stardom, she auditions and enters the program, desperate for one last shot at her dreams and a chance to mend their broken relationship.
But Sunny’s hopes are dashed when a hostile Candie leaves her to struggle alone through the grueling training. Things only get worse as Sunny notices eerie happenings as the workshop goes on – strange injuries and even stranger changes to her competitors bodies that quickly turn grisly as the girls begin to drop one by one.
Determined to survive, Sunny teams up with her fiercest competitor, a razor-tongued mean girl, as they race to expose just what’s behind the carnage. But when traumatic memories resurface and ghostly apparitions start haunting the halls, Sunny begins to question everything and everyone, including her own unravelling mind.
The Queer Girl is Going to Be Okay by Dale Walls (7th)
Queer Love. Something Dawn wants, desperately, but does not have. But maybe, if she can capture it, film it, interview the people who have it, queer love will be hers someday. Or, at least, she’ll have made a documentary about it. A documentary that, hopefully, will win Dawn a scholarship to film school. Many obstacles stand in the way of completing her film, but her best friends Edie and Georgia are there to help her reach her goal, no matter what it takes.
Check & Mate by Ali Hazelwood (7th)
Mallory Greenleaf is done with chess. Every move counts nowadays; after the sport led to the destruction of her family four years earlier, Mallory’s focus is on her mom, her sisters, and the dead-end job that keeps the lights on. That is, until she begrudgingly agrees to play in one last charity tournament and inadvertently wipes the board with notorious “Kingkiller” Nolan Sawyer: current world champion and reigning Bad Boy of chess.
Nolan’s loss to an unknown rook-ie shocks everyone. What’s even more confusing? His desire to cross pawns again. What kind of gambit is Nolan playing? The smart move would be to walk away. Resign. Game over. But Mallory’s victory opens the door to sorely needed cash-prizes and despite everything, she can’t help feeling drawn to the enigmatic strategist….
As she rockets up the ranks, Mallory struggles to keep her family safely separated from the game that wrecked it in the first place. And as her love for the sport she so desperately wanted to hate begins to rekindle, Mallory quickly realizes that the games aren’t only on the board, the spotlight is brighter than she imagined, and the competition can be fierce (-ly attractive. And intelligent…and infuriating…)
Today Tonight Forever by Madeline Kay Sneed (7th)
When thirty-three-year-old Athena Matthias is asked—yet again—to be a bridesmaid, she’s not exactly enthusiastic about the idea. Still reeling from a messy divorce from her wife and the grief of losing her father, she’s never felt less inclined to celebrate love, preferring instead to escape into the literary world she studies as an English professor. But Athena is not great at saying no, especially to one of her oldest friends.
As the wedding weekend commences on the gorgeous beaches of Watercolor, Florida, for the first time in ages, Athena finds herself surrounded by people who know and love her. There’s the bride, nervous about an old relationship; a groomsman grappling with a big mistake; Athena’s mother, ready to date again; and even a potential new romantic interest.
But just as Athena begins to feel herself opening up again, an unexpected guest from the past throws the entire wedding party into chaos. By the time the cake is cut and the ultimate betrayal is revealed, Athena must find the courage to forgive—both others and herself—and embrace the beauty of a chance to move forward.
A Power Unbound by Freya Marske (7th)
This is the third and final book in the Last Binding series
Secrets! Magic! Enemies to. . .something more?
Jack Alston, Lord Hawthorn, would love a nice, safe, comfortable life. After the death of his twin sister, he thought he was done with magic for good. But with the threat of a dangerous ritual hanging over every magician in Britain, he’s drawn reluctantly back into that world.
Now Jack is living in a bizarre puzzle-box of a magical London townhouse, helping an unlikely group of friends track down the final piece of the Last Contract before their enemies can do the same. And to make matters worse, they need the help of writer and thief Alan Ross.
Cagey and argumentative, Alan is only in this for the money. The aristocratic Lord Hawthorn, with all his unearned power, is everything that Alan hates. And unfortunately, Alan happens to be everything that Jack wants in one gorgeous, infuriating package.
When a plot to seize unimaginable power comes to a head at Cheetham Hall―Jack’s ancestral family estate, a land so old and bound in oaths that it’s grown a personality as prickly as its owner―Jack, Alan and their allies will become entangled in a night of champagne, secrets, and bloody sacrifice . . . and the foundations of magic in Britain will be torn up by the roots before the end.
Last Night at the Hollywood Canteen by Sarah James (7th)
Perhaps the best place in 1943 Hollywood to see the stars is the Hollywood Canteen, a club for servicemen staffed exclusively by those in show business. Murder mystery playwright Annie Laurence, new in town after a devastating breakup, definitely hopes to rub elbows with the right stars. Maybe then she can get her movie made.
But Hollywood proves to be more than tinsel and glamour. When despised film critic Fiona Farris is found dead in the Canteen kitchen, Annie realizes any one of the Canteen’s luminous volunteers could be guilty of the crime. To catch the killer, Annie falls in with Fiona’s friends, a bitter and cynical group―each as uniquely unhappy in their life and career as Annie is in hers―that call themselves the Ambassador’s Club.
Solving a murder in real life, it turns out, is a lot harder than writing one for the stage. And by involving herself in the secrets and lies of the Ambassador’s Club, Annie just might have put a target on her own back.
Tonight, I Burn by Katherine J. Adams (7th)
Thorns, Tides, Embers, Storms, and Ores. All five covens are bound in servitude to the tyrant High Warden of Halstett.
Penny Albright is a daughter of the thorn coven, forced to patrol the veil between the realms of Life and Death. Each night, one thorn witch—and only one—must cross the veil by burning at the stake. Each morning, that witch draws on their magic to return. Failure to follow the rules risks the veil and risks them all.
But one morning, Penny’s favorite sister Ella doesn’t return. And that night, determined to find her, Penny breaks the rules. She burns in secret. And she discovers that all isn’t as it seems in Life or Death.
Her journey leads her to Malin, a devastating lord with too many secrets; to Alice, a mysterious captive prophet; and to a rebellion brewing in the shadows beneath the city. And as Penny’s world splits, she’ll face a devastating choice. Because it’s not just her sister’s life that hangs in the balance. It’s the fate of all magic.
One Night in Hartswood by Emma Denny (7th)
When his sister’s betrothed vanishes the night before her politically arranged marriage, Raff Barden must track and return the elusive groom to restore his family’s honour.
William de Foucart ― known to his friends as Penn ― had no choice but to abandon his fiancé, and with it his own earldom, when he fled the night before his enforced marriage. But ill-equipped to survive on the run he must trust the kindness of a stranger, Raff, to help him escape.
Unaware their fates are already entwined, their unexpected bond deepens into a far more precious relationship, one that will test all that they hold dear. And when secrets are finally revealed, both men must decide what they will risk for the one they love…
The Manor House Governess by C.A. Castle (7th)
Orphaned young and raised with chilly indifference at an all-boys boarding school, Brontë Ellis has grown up stifled by rigid rules and social “norms,” forbidden from expressing his gender identity. His beloved novels and period films lend an escape, until a position as a live-in tutor provides him with a chance to leave St. Mary’s behind.
Greenwood Manor is the kind of elegant country house Bron has only read about, and amid lavish parties and cricket matches the Edwards family welcomes him into the household with true warmth. Mr. Edwards and the young Ada, Bron’s pupil, accept without question that Bron’s gender presentation is not traditionally masculine. Only Darcy, the eldest son, seems uncomfortable with Bron—the two of them couldn’t be more opposite.
When a tragic fire blazes through the estate’s idyllic peace, Bron begins to sense dark secrets smoldering beneath Greenwood Manor’s surface. Channeling the heroines of his cherished paperbacks, he begins to sift through the wreckage. Soon, he’s not sure what to believe, especially with his increasing attraction to Darcy clouding his vision.
Something About Her by Clementine Taylor (7th)
Aisling and Maya’s connection is unexpected. Maya has recently returned to the University of Edinburgh for her second year, confident in her place there and in her first proper relationship with her childhood best friend, Ethan. Finally, she is one of them, those happy couples, self-satisfied in the knowledge that they are one half of something solid.
Aisling is a first-year student from Ireland, ready to leave her controlling family behind. But despite the distance, she still feels claustrophobic, still feels watched. Reeling from her break-up with her ex-girlfriend, she struggles to make friends and finds herself isolated. That is, until Aisling joins the Poetry Society. That’s where she meets Maya, and everything changes.
Moving between Ireland, Scotland, and London, Something About Her is a story about the fragility and transformative power of first love. With vivid insight and tenderness, it exposes the fear, hope, and longing that can consume us, particularly when there’s so much you still don’t know about love, about life, and about yourself.
Happy Couple by Naoise Dolan (7th)
Meet Celine and Luke. For all intents and purposes, the happy couple.
Luke (a serial cheater) and Celine (more interested in piano than domestic life) plan to marry in a year.
Archie (the best man) should be moving on from his love for Luke and up the corporate ladder, but he finds himself utterly stuck.
Phoebe (the bridesmaid and Celine’s sister) just wants to get to the bottom of Luke’s frequent unexplained disappearances.
And Vivian (a wedding guest) is the only one with any emotional distance and observes her friends like ants in a colony.
As the wedding approaches and their five lives intersect, these characters will each look for a path to the happily ever after—but does it lie at the end of an aisle?
Hunt on Dark Waters by Katee Robert (7th)
Evelyn is a witch with a perfect storm of impulses: terrible taste in bed partners, sticky fingers, and a lust for danger. After she steals from her vampire ex and falls through a portal to another realm, she’s fished out of the waters by a band of seafarers and their telekinetic captain. She’s immediately given a choice—join their ship’s crew or die.
Bowen has no memory of his life before he became one of the Cŵn Annwn. He and his band of pirates are bound by vow to patrol through Threshold, the magical sea in between realms, keeping the portals to other worlds safe. When he rescues Evelyn, he doesn’t expect to be attracted to the unflappably brassy pickpocket. The longer he spends in her presence, the more he begins to question if his heart is the next thing she’ll steal.
But as tension heats up between Bowen and Evelyn, the danger at sea escalates as well. Because Evelyn has no intention of keeping her vows to the Cŵn Annwn, and if she betrays the crew, both she and Bowen will pay the ultimate price….
Bookshops and Bonedust by Travis Baldree (7th)
Viv’s career with the notorious mercenary company Rackam’s Ravens isn’t going as planned.
Wounded during the hunt for a powerful necromancer, she’s packed off against her will to recuperate in the sleepy beach town of Murk―so far from the action that she worries she’ll never be able to return to it.
What’s a thwarted soldier of fortune to do?
Spending her hours at a beleaguered bookshop in the company of its foul-mouthed proprietor is the last thing Viv would have predicted, but it may be both exactly what she needs and the seed of changes she couldn’t possibly imagine.
Still, adventure isn’t all that far away. A suspicious traveler in gray, a gnome with a chip on her shoulder, a summer fling, and an improbable number of skeletons prove Murk to be more eventful than Viv could have ever expected.
Touching the Art by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore (7th)
A mixture of memoir, biography, criticism, and social history, Touching the Art is queer icon and activist Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore’s interrogation of the possibilities of artistic striving, the limits of the middle-class mindset, the legacy of familial abandonment, and what art can and cannot do.
Taking the form of a self-directed research project, Sycamore recounts the legacy of her fraught relationship with her late grandmother, an abstract artist from Baltimore who encouraged Mattilda as a young artist, then disparaged Mattilda’s work as “vulgar” and a “waste of talent” once it became unapologetically queer.
As she sorts through her grandmother Gladys’s paintings and handmade paperworks, Sycamore examines the creative impulse itself. In fragments evoking the movements of memory, she searches for Gladys’s place within the trajectories of midcentury modernism and Abstract Expressionism, Jewish assimilation and white flight, intergenerational trauma and class striving.
Sycamore writes, “Art is never just art, it is a history of feeling, a gap between sensations, a safety valve, an escape hatch, a sudden shift in the body, a clipboard full of flowers, a welcome mat flipped over and back, over and back, welcome.”
Refusing easy answers in search of an embodied truth, Sycamore upends propriety to touch the art and feel everything that comes through.
Fighting for Control by J.J. Arias (11th)
Lola Barros is a rising talent agent burning with ambition in Miami’s glitzy entertainment world. Carmen Vargas is a dedicated lawyer poised to conquer the legal field, anchored by her family’s prestigious firm. Their shared high-rise is the only thing these two powerhouses have in common—until a trivial parking mishap snowballs into a full-blown feud.
Facing eviction from their quirky billionaire landlord, Lola and Carmen are thrust into unconventional anger management sessions led by the landlord’s eccentric spiritual guide. Amidst a storm of unexpected encounters, their fiery rivalry give way to smoldering desire.
But yielding to desire isn’t straightforward. Between the shadows of demanding careers and familial expectations, their love is tested. Can Lola and Carmen find a balance between ambition and affection?
Buy it: Amazon
Wishing on Winter by Brenna Bailey (13th)
The aspiring novelist. The retired drummer. The fake relationship that will warm up their winter.
Evvie Adler never thought she’d find love again. Then the recent pair-ups of her two best friends make the queer septuagenarian realize she doesn’t want to be alone for Christmas. Besides, she needs fodder for her romance novel, and what better research than the real thing? But one disastrous date later, and Evvie’s ready to give up on love once and for all.
After years on the road, drummer Matthias Vogel is settling down in Juniper Creek to focus on family-and to finish the band memoir he has no idea how to start. When he literally bumps into an aspiring novelist, his sister suggests they collaborate. But how could he trust a stranger with his secrets, let alone immortalize them in ink?
When Evvie proposes they fake date to give her material while she helps Matthias finish his memoir, it seems like the perfect solution-until feelings get real and insecurities, presumptions, and a meddling bandmate interfere. With a lifetime of baggage to unpack, will Evvie and Matthias take a chance on love and make this the best holiday season ever?
Buy it: Amazon
Only She Came Back by Margot Harrison (14th)
On July 28 at 6:30 p.m., Kiri Dunmore walks out of the desert wearing her boyfriend’s sweatshirt, covered in his blood. Dazed and on the verge of unconsciousness, she tells a cashier that he’s still out there and most likely dead. The disappearance of Callum Massey, a “survival guru” with hundreds of thousands of YouTube followers, rocks the nation. And Kiri is a prime suspect.
Back in Kiri’s hometown, true-crime fanatic Sam is completely hooked on the case—especially now that she recognizes the suspect as shy Katie from high school. Although they didn’t know each other well, that doesn’t stop Sam from reaching out to befriend her old classmate.
But when Kiri starts to confide in her, Sam realizes there’s more to the story than she had imagined. Can she keep Kiri’s secrets even though revealing them could put her where she’s always longed to be—at the center of the story?
Pritty by Keith F. Miller Jr. (14th)
On the verge of summer before his senior year, Jay is a soft soul in a world of concrete. While his older brother is everything people expect a man to be—tough, athletic, and in charge—Jay simply blends into the background to everyone, except when it comes to Leroy.
Unsure of what he could have possibly done to catch the eye of the boy who could easily have anyone he wants, Jay isn’t about to ignore the surprising but welcome attention. But as everything in his world begins to heat up, especially with Leroy, whispered rumors over the murder of a young Black journalist and long-brewing territory tensions hang like a dark cloud over his neighborhood. And when Jay and Leroy find themselves caught in the crossfire, Leroy isn’t willing to be the reason Jay’s life is at risk.
Dragged into the world of the Black Diamonds—whose work to protect the Black neighborhoods of Savannah began with his father and now falls to his older brother—Leroy knows that finding out who attacked his brother is not only the key to protecting everyone he loves but also the only way he can ever be with Jay. Wading through a murky history of family trauma and regret, Leroy soon discovers that there’s no keeping Jay safe when Jay’s own family is in just as deep and fighting the undertow of danger just as hard.
Now Jay and Leroy must puzzle through secrets hiding in plain sight and scramble to uncover who is determined to eliminate the Black Diamonds before someone else gets hurt—even if the cost might be their own electric connection.
Leather, Lace, and Locs by Anne Shade (14th)
Melissa Hart is a shy, mousy introvert, afraid to step out of her comfort zone until she dons a mask and leather as the dominatrix persona Mistress Heart. Living a double life, she develops an intimate relationship with a mysterious client who chips away the wall separating Ms. Hart from Mistress Heart to show Melissa the woman she really is.
Golden Hughes had one goal, to turn her passion for dance into a professional career. Then tragedy strikes and Golden sets her dreams aside for a regular job and steady paycheck. Now that she has everything she needs, her passion for dance is reignited in burlesque performance, putting her in the path of two unique and sexy women.
Zoe Grant has spent most of her adult life putting her wants and needs on the back burner to focus on raising her daughter, her career as a beautician, and expanding her family’s natural hair care products business. When a woman running from a painful past comes to the salon for a life-changing haircut, Zoe finds what she wants and needs in the most unexpected way.
Three friends, each on their own path, discover love could lead to happily ever after.
Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon
Delay of Game by Ari Baran (14th)
Nate Singer is one of the good guys.
As team captain, Nate’s whole deal is sticking to the playbook, supporting his team and keeping his own issues buried. Especially since the team is finally winning, due in no small part to his chemistry with one particular hotshot teammate.
Zach Reed has a bad boy reputation.
And it’s cost him. Zach’s past exploits landed him on the worst team in the league. But that also gave him the best friend he’s ever had. For three years, his friendship with Nate has grown, making them an intimidating duo on the ice—and forming an intense bond off of it as well.
When the team hits a skid, Zach and Nate go out with one thing in mind: finding someone for a quick roll in the sheets to get back to their winning ways. Only they end up in each other’s arms—and each other’s heart.
And realize that could be exactly what they’ve always needed to win it all.
Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon
A Talent Ignited by Suzanne Lenior (14th)
Evelyne, a disowned noblewoman, and Annika, a peasant girl with unusual powers, made the choice to be together in a kingdom where men make the rules. Now the Temple elders want Annika for murder and mercenaries want Evelyne for theft. But when Evelyne is abducted and Annika believes she has been abandoned, they must risk everything to find each other again.
Annika discovers the Temple has imprisoned children with abilities like hers, and she alone stands between them and death. She’s forced to face her fear of her own powers and soon learns to use them with the help of Zuri, a former slave who is also gifted with magic. Evelyne, no longer entitled to the favors and respect bestowed on the nobility, must convince her beautiful captor to help her return to Annika.
Doubt and questions plague them both, but one thing is for certain. The Temple has a long memory, and a familiar foe is coming for them.
Buy it: Bookshop | Amazon
Godly Heathens by H.E. Edgmon (28th)
Gem Echols is a nonbinary Seminole teen living in the tiny town of Gracie, Georgia. Known for being their peers’ queer awakening, Gem leans hard on charm to disguise the anxious mess they are beneath. The only person privy to their authentic self is another trans kid, Enzo, who’s a thousand long, painful miles away in Brooklyn.
But even Enzo doesn’t know about Gem’s dreams, haunting visions of magic and violence that have always felt too real. So how the hell does Willa Mae Hardy? The strange new girl in town acts like she and Gem are old companions, and seems to know things about them they’ve never told anyone else.
When Gem is attacked by a stranger claiming to be the Goddess of Death, Willa Mae saves their life and finally offers some answers. She and Gem are reincarnated gods who’ve known and loved each other across lifetimes. But Gem – or at least who Gem used to be – hasn’t always been the most benevolent deity. They’ve made a lot of enemies in the pantheon—enemies who, like the Goddess of Death, will keep coming.
It’s a good thing they’ve still got Enzo. But as worlds collide and the past catches up with the present, Gem will discover that everyone has something to hide.
Gwen & Art Are Not in Love by Lex Croucher (28th)
It’s been hundreds of years since King Arthur’s reign. His descendant, Arthur, a future Lord and general gadabout, has been betrothed to Gwendoline, the quick-witted, short-tempered princess of England, since birth. The only thing they can agree on is that they despise each other.
They’re forced to spend the summer together at Camelot in the run up to their nuptials, and within 24 hours, Gwen has discovered Arthur kissing a boy and Arthur has gone digging for Gwen’s childhood diary and found confessions about her crush on the kingdom’s only lady knight, Bridget Leclair.
Realizing they might make better allies than enemies, they make a reluctant pact to cover for each other, and as things heat up at the annual royal tournament, Gwen is swept off her feet by her knight and Arthur takes an interest in Gwen’s royal brother.
A Grim and Sunken Vow by Ashley Shuttleworth (28th)
This is the third book in the Hollow Star Saga
The die is cast.
The era of Spring is over.
Riadne’s bloody coup on the Summer Solstice changed Arlo’s life forever. In one fell swoop and a fool’s bargain, she lost both her family and free will to the newly crowned High Queen. Now, with Arlo forced to use her powers as Luck’s Hollow Star to help summon the rest of the seven deadly sins, Riadne stands closer than ever to achieving her dark goals.
And Arlo isn’t the only one trapped in a frightening new role. Her ex-Fury girlfriend, Nausicaä, is determined to do whatever it takes to stay by Arlo’s side, even if that means becoming Riadne’s pet assassin. Aurelian and Vehan, torn apart, struggle to survive on their own.
Meanwhile, Celadon has been revealed as Riadne’s illegitimate son—and heir to both Spring and Summer, the ultimate offense in the faerie world. But the High Prince has secret plans of his own, plans made all the more complicated when the beautiful and deadly immortal Hunter Lethe takes an interest in him…
Five budding legacies will need more than luck if they hope to stand a chance against the greatest adversary the Courts have faced. For nothing’s more dangerous than a faerie tale… except the one who tells it, and maybe what they’re going to need is no longer that story’s hero but its villain.
Consort of Fire by Kit Rocha (28th)
For three thousand years, an ancient dragon god has protected the borders of the Sheltered Lands. In return, he makes only one demand: every one hundred years, the mortal ruler must send their heir to serve as his consort…for as long as they can survive.
Sachielle of House Roquebarre is the thirty-first consort to be sacrificed to the monster who guards the mountain passes. She is young, beautiful—and she has three secrets.
First: she’s a disposable orphan trained in seduction.
Second: her handmaid, Zanya, is an assassin and the only person she has ever loved.
Third—and most dangerous: she’s cursed. Sachi and Zanya have five weeks to murder the Dragon in his bed. If they fail, the mortal king’s curse will steal not just Sachi’s life, but her very soul.
The Dragon has only one secret: he is nothing like what they have been told. And he will do whatever it takes to possess them both.