January’s New Releases, Part Two

January 15, 2020

In case you missed it:

I know last Hide Your Wallet we instituted some changes. Well now we have more, thanks to the comment left by Katie C. A lot of you expressed wanting to keep the wide breadth of new releases and Katie’s suggestion was pretty great.

We’re still keeping our book maximums (five per person), but have added an extra HYW post per month, allowing another five books per person. The first HYW of the month will cover books that release from the 1st to the 14th. The second HYW will cover books released from the 15th to the end of the month.

We also think this will help us feature books from smaller publishers who don’t have buy links up as quickly as the big five.

Hope you like the new, new changes! And thanks again to this community for the feedback!

Headliners

Headliners by Lucy Parker

Author: Lucy Parker
Released: January 20, 2020 by Carina Press
Genre: ,
Series: London Celebrities #5

Sparks fly when two feuding TV presenters are thrown together to host a live morning show in Lucy Parker’s latest enemies-to-lovers contemporary romance.

He might be the sexiest man in London, according to his fan site (which he definitely writes himself), but he’s also the most arrogant man she’s ever met.

She might have the longest legs he’s ever seen, but she also has the sharpest tongue.

For years, rival TV presenters Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport have traded barbs on their respective shows. The public can’t get enough of their feud, but after Nick airs Sabrina’s family scandals to all of Britain, the gloves are off. They can barely be in the same room together—but these longtime enemies are about to become the unlikeliest of cohosts.

With their reputations on the rocks, Sabrina and Nick have one last chance to save their careers. If they can resurrect a sinking morning show, they’ll still have a future in television. But with ratings at an all-time low and a Christmas Eve deadline to win back the nation’s favor, the clock is ticking—and someone on their staff doesn’t want them to succeed.

Small mishaps on set start adding up, and Sabrina and Nick find themselves—quelle horreur—working together to hunt down the saboteur…and discovering they might have more in common than they thought. When a fiery encounter is caught on camera, the public is convinced that the reluctant cohosts are secretly lusting after one another.

The public might not be wrong.

Their chemistry has always been explosive, but with hate turning to love, the stakes are rising and everything is on the line. Neither is sure if they can trust these new feelings…or if they’ll still have a job in the New Year.

Ellen: Lucy Parker made me sort of like contemporary romance again. Love this series.

Sarah: I love this series immeasurably.

Elyse: LUCY PARKER OMG.

Claudia: Seconding (thirding?) what others have said, plus I’m secretly glad this series left the London theater milieu for something I’m more familiar with, which could go either way in terms of enjoyment.

Sneezy: I love the way Lucy Parker writes IMMENSELY, and this whole series has been a delight!

Catherine: Eeeeeeeeeee Lucy Parker!!!!!! Ahem. What I mean to say is, ah yes, I’m very much looking forward to reading this one again and again and again and giggling madly all the way through. I’ve already read the ARC, and it is DELIGHTFUL.

Lara: This is probably a little hyperbolic of me, but my vision is filled with the glory of Lucy Parker to the exclusion of all other things.

Susan’s pick!

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Malfunction

Malfunction by Nina Croft

Author: Nina Croft
Released: January 20, 2020 by Entangled: Amara
Genre: ,
Series: Dark Desires Origins #1

Investigator, Sergeant Logan Farrell, has never been convinced the human race deserves saving. But it looks like he’s got the job anyway.

It’s been five hundred years since we fled the remnants of a dying Earth in search of a new home. Twenty-four ships, each carrying ten thousand Chosen Ones. All sleeping peacefully…until people start dying in cryo.

Malfunction or murder? Hopefully, the former—a serial killer in the fleet would be drastic for morale. But Logan is determined to find the truth. Unfortunately, he’s got a new partner—and he works best alone.

Katia Mendoza, hot-shot homicide detective, has been woken from cryo to assist with the investigation. But is she really interested in solving the case, or does she have her own agenda?

Before he can answer that question, though, they become targets themselves.

Nothing like a few near misses with death to bring a couple together, and Logan finds himself falling for the alluring detective. But he doesn’t know that Katia is hiding a secret.

It’s not only humans who fled the dying Earth.

Amanda: MORE KISSING IN SPACE!

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A Queen in Hiding

A Queen in Hiding by Sarah Kozloff

Author: Sarah Kozloff
Released: January 21, 2020 by Tor Books
Genre:
Series: Nine Realms #1

Debut author Sarah Kozloff offers a breathtaking and cinematic epic fantasy of a ruler coming of age in A Queen in Hiding, and all four books will be published within a month of each other, so you can binge your favorite new fantasy series.

Orphaned, exiled and hunted, Cérulia, Princess of Weirandale, must master the magic that is her birthright, become a ruthless guerilla fighter, and transform into the queen she is destined to be.

But to do it she must win the favor of the spirits who play in mortal affairs, assemble an unlikely group of rebels, and wrest the throne from a corrupt aristocracy whose rot has spread throughout her kingdom.

Amanda: I’m always on the hunt for a new fantasy series.

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Nottingham

Nottingham by Anna Burke

Author: Anna Burke
Released: January 21, 2020 by Bywater Books
Genre: , , , ,

After a fateful hunting accident sends her on the run from the law, Robyn finds herself deep in the heart of Sherwood Forest. All she really wants to do is provide for her family and stay out of trouble, but when the damnable Sheriff of Nottingham levies the largest tax in the history of England, she’s forced to take matters into her own hands. Relying on the help of her merry band of misfits and the Sheriff’s intriguing—and off-limits—daughter, Marian, Robyn must find a way to pull off the biggest heist Sherwood has ever seen.

With both heart and freedom at stake, just how much is she willing to risk to ensure the safety of the ones she loves?

Nottingham is a delightful romp rife with bois bearing bows, transmen wielding quarterstaffs, noble ladies loving ladies bawdy bisexual musicians, naughty nonbinary outlaws, and saucy sapphic nuns—in other words, Robyn Hood like you’ve never seen her before.

Tara: I didn’t know I needed a lesbian retelling of Robin Hood until I learned that Anna Burke was writing one. I adored her retelling of Beauty and the Beast, so I’m beyond excited about Nottingham.

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Off Script

Off Script by Kate Watson

Author: Kate Watson
Released: January 21, 2020 by North Star Editions
Genre:
Series: Seeking Mansfield #3

Emma gets a Hollywood-tinged, feminist update in this funny and fierce retelling of Austen’s classic about a well-intentioned but tragically misguided matchmaker.

The summer after her first year of college, teen starlet Emma Crawford returns home to Manhattan to prepare for the role of a lifetime—and play career matchmaker to her friends. When Emma’s search for an assistant leads her to the wide-eyed Brittany Smith, Emma sees the big screen in the girl’s future. And because Emma knows best, she’s sure that steering Brittany onto the right path is all she needs to do to make her a star—even if Brittany doesn’t know it yet.

Emma’s plans start to unravel, however, when professional soccer player Liam Price re-enters her life. Not only is Liam her former best friend’s older brother, but he’s gorgeous, smart, and has no problem pointing out the (totally exaggerated) flaws in Emma’s plans. But as Emma comes in close contact with the darker side of Hollywood, she starts to question the glamorous world she’s always known and realizes her role in it needs to change—if she can find the courage to go off script.

Elyse: This is a retelling of Emma with a Hollywood twist. I love celebrity romance and I love Austen so it’s a win-win.

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Rogue Princess

Rogue Princess by B.R. Myers

Author: B.R. Myers
Released: January 21, 2020 by Swoon Reads
Genre: ,

A princess fleeing an arranged marriage teams up with a snarky commoner to foil a rebel plot in B. R. Myers’ Rogue Princess, a gender-swapped sci-fi YA retelling of Cinderella.

Princess Delia knows her duty: She must choose a prince to marry in order to secure an alliance and save her failing planet. Yet she secretly dreams of true love, and feels there must be a better way. Determined to chart her own course, she steals a spaceship to avoid the marriage, only to discover a handsome stowaway.

All Aidan wanted was to “borrow” a few palace trinkets to help him get off the planet. Okay, so maybe escaping on a royal ship wasn’t the smartest plan, but he never expected to be kidnapped by a runaway princess!

Sparks fly as this headstrong princess and clever thief battle wits, but everything changes when they inadvertently uncover a rebel conspiracy that could destroy their planet forever.

Aarya: Why am I not reading this RIGHT NOW? I cut my romance-loving teeth on princesses falling in love with thieves/criminals/smugglers (hello, Han and Leia. I don’t know who else will get this reference, but I shipped Skif and Elspeth for an embarrassingly long time).

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Vacation People

Vacation People by Cheri Ritz

Author: Cheri Ritz
Released: January 21, 2020 by Bella Books
Genre: , ,

Successful Chicago-based artist Lauren Hansen is on a layover in Las Vegas before heading to what was supposed to be the vacation of a lifetime with her partner. Until, that is, that partner became an ex.

Recovering from a nasty break-up herself, workaholic Penny Rothmor agrees to meet Lauren for dinner, but only out of a sense of obligation to her mother.

One thing leads to another, and soon Penny finds herself on a plane, jetting off to meet Lauren for a week on the beautiful island of Hawaii—but strictly as friends, of course.

As the bikini-clad duo relaxes and gets to know each other better, they begin to realize that there’s more to enjoy in Hawaii than just sun and sand—and that king-size bed is looking awfully inviting. What is it about the words “no strings attached” that are sure to create a tangled mess of desire, mind-blowing pleasure, and the pain of separation

Tara: I almost didn’t even read the blurb because the cover is so un-enticing, but I do love the idea of two new friends, both licking their post-breakup wounds, going on vacation and falling in love on a beach.

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What’s Your Pronoun?

What’s Your Pronoun? by Dennis Baron

Author: Dennis Baron
Released: January 21, 2020 by Liveright
Genre:

Addressing one of the most pressing cultural questions of our generation, Dennis Baron reveals the untold story of how we got from he and she to zie and hir and singular-they.

Like trigger warnings and gender-neutral bathrooms, pronouns are sparking a national debate, prompting new policies in schools, workplaces, even prisons, about what pronouns to use. Colleges ask students to declare their pronouns along with their majors; corporate conferences print name tags with space to add pronouns; email signatures sport pronouns along with names and titles. Far more than a by-product of the culture wars, gender-neutral pronouns are, however, nothing new. Pioneering linguist Dennis Baron puts them in historical context, noting that Shakespeare used singular-they; women invoked the generic use of he to assert the right to vote (while those opposed to women’s rights invoked the same word to assert that he did not include she); and people have been coining new gender pronouns, not just hir and zie, for centuries. Based on Baron’s own empirical research, What’s Your Pronoun? chronicles the story of the role pronouns have played—and continue to play—in establishing both our rights and our identities. It is an essential work in understanding how twenty-first-century culture has evolved.

Sneezy: A brief history of pronouns, how people have been coming up with new ones for ages, the power dynamics they’ve been and continue to be entwined in, and their roles in “establishing both our rights and our identities.” Yes, yes the fuck please to ALL this!!!!

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The Lord I Left

The Lord I Left by Scarlett Peckham

Author: Scarlett Peckham
Released: January 27, 2020 by NYLA
Genre: ,
Series: The Secrets of Charlotte Street #3

He’s a minister to whores… She’s a fallen woman…

Lord Lieutenant Henry Evesham is an evangelical reformer charged with investigating the flesh trade in London. His visits to bawdy houses leave him with a burning desire to help sinners who’ve lost their innocence to vice—even if the temptations of their world test his vow not to lose his moral compass…again.

As apprentice to London’s most notorious whipping governess, Alice Hull is on the cusp of abandoning her quiet, rural roots for the city’s swirl of provocative ideas and pleasures—until a family tragedy upends her dreams and leaves her desperate to get home. When the handsome, pious Lord Lieutenant offers her a ride despite the coming blizzard, she knows he is her best chance to reach her ailing mother—even if she doesn’t trust him.

He has the power to destroy her… She has the power to undo him…

As they struggle to travel the snow-swept countryside, they find their suspicion of each other thawing into a longing that leaves them both shaken. Alice stirs Henry’s deepest fantasies, and he awakens parts of her she thought she’d foresworn years ago. But Henry is considering new regulations that threaten the people Alice holds dear, and association with a woman like Alice would threaten Henry’s reputation if he allowed himself to get too close.

Is falling for the wrong person a test of faith …or a chance at unimagined grace?

Ellen: I’m so excited for this book I don’t even know what I could say that would coherently express my excitement!!!

Claudia: Third and likely final book in a series I’ve very much enjoyed, and I’m interested in seeing what the author does with “fallen woman” and stuffy hero pairing. Plus it’s Georgian and I don’t get not even close to as many books set in Georgian times as I’d like! They seemed to have way more fun then than in the Regency.

Shana; A religious zealot and a dominatrix? This has so much delicious potential.

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A Castle in the Clouds

A Castle in the Clouds by Kerstin Geir

Author: Kerstin Geir
Released: January 28, 2020 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Genre:

A Castle in the Clouds follows a girl as she navigates secrets, romance, and danger in an aging grand hotel.

Way up in the Swiss mountains, there’s an old grand hotel steeped in tradition and faded splendor. Once a year, when the famous New Year’s Eve Ball takes place and guests from all over the world arrive, excitement returns to the vast hallways.

Sophie, who works at the hotel as an intern, is busy making sure that everything goes according to plan. But unexpected problems keep arising, and some of the guests are not who they pretend to be. Very soon, Sophie finds herself right in the middle of a perilous adventure–and at risk of losing not only her job, but also her heart.

Amanda: This sounds so charming!

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Don’t Read the Comments

Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith

Author: Eric Smith
Released: January 28, 2020 by Inkyard Press
Genre:

Divya Sharma is a queen. Or she is when she’s playing Reclaim the Sun, the year’s hottest online game. Divya—better known as popular streaming gamer D1V—regularly leads her #AngstArmada on quests through the game’s vast and gorgeous virtual universe. But for Divya, this is more than just a game. Out in the real world, she’s trading her rising-star status for sponsorships to help her struggling single mom pay the rent.

Gaming is basically Aaron Jericho’s entire life. Much to his mother’s frustration, Aaron has zero interest in becoming a doctor like her, and spends his free time writing games for a local developer. At least he can escape into Reclaim the Sun—and with a trillion worlds to explore, disappearing should be easy. But to his surprise, he somehow ends up on the same remote planet as celebrity gamer D1V.

At home, Divya and Aaron grapple with their problems alone, but in the game, they have each other to face infinite new worlds…and the growing legion of trolls populating them. Soon the virtual harassment seeps into reality when a group called the Vox Populi begin launching real-world doxxing campaigns, threatening Aaron’s dreams and Divya’s actual life. The online trolls think they can drive her out of the game, but everything and everyone Divya cares about is on the line…

And she isn’t going down without a fight.

Aarya: I will read any and every romantic novel with a South Asian heroine.

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Forever Strong

Forever Strong by Piper Drake

Author: Piper Drake
Released: January 28, 2020 by Forever
Genre: ,
Series: True Heroes #6

On the beautiful Hawaiian Islands, not all is paradise in this high-stakes, action-packed romantic suspense.

He’ll risk his life for her . . . but will he risk his heart?

Jiang Ying Yue assumed her kidnapping was random, that she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. After all, who would want to harm her? But then her rescuer—a charismatic former soldier who takes her breath away—uncovers a traitor in her father’s organization. Now, Ying Yue realizes that she’s become a pawn in a dangerous game, and her kidnapper won’t be satisfied until she disappears for good.

Zu Anyanwu’s work with Search and Protect and his canine partner Buck have always been his first priority . . . until he’s tasked with keeping Ying Yue safe. To him, the brave and resilient investment expert is more than just another client. But with danger closing in, Zu can’t let his emotions get in the way of the most important job he’s ever had—protecting the woman he loves.

Shana: I’m not usually a suspense fan, but I’m reading an ARC of this now and loving the protective but not alphahole hero. Plus, doggies!

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Her Scandalous Pursuit

Her Scandalous Pursuit by Candace Camp

Author: Candace Camp
Released: January 28, 2020 by HQN Books
Genre: ,
Series: The Mad Morelands

The long-awaited prequel to the Mad Morelands series—the story of Thisbe, the oldest Moreland daughter.

Thisbe Moreland is used to men not taking her seriously. As a scientist, she’s accustomed to being the only woman at lectures and meetings, her presence met with scorn and derision. So it comes as a pleasant surprise when she sits next to a handsome young man who is actually interested in having a conversation about science.

Desmond Harrison cannot believe his good fortune when he sits next to Thisbe—she’s intelligent and incredibly beautiful. He longs to see her again—but he’s ashamed of his low birth. Not to mention his employment with the infamous Professor Gordon, a formerly respected scientist who turned to spiritualism and is now deeply scorned.

When Professor Gordon demands that Desmond recover an artifact for him—an ancient object reputed to have terrible power, known as the Eye of Annie Blue—Desmond realizes that only Thisbe holds the key. Desmond must choose between his love for Thisbe and his loyalty to his mentor…but humanity’s very future will depend on his choice.

Susan’s pick!

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Never Kiss a Duke

Never Kiss a Duke by Megan Frampton

Author: Megan Frampton
Released: January 28, 2020 by Avon
Genre: ,
Series: Hazards of Dukes #1

A disinherited duke and a former lady are courting much more than business in the first novel in Megan Frampton’s newest titillating series, Hazards of Dukes.

Everything he had ever known was a lie…

Sebastian, Duke of Hasford, has a title, wealth, privilege, and plenty of rakish charm. Until he discovers the only thing that truly belongs to him is his charm. An accident of birth has turned him into plain Mr. de Silva. Now, Sebastian is flummoxed as to what to do with his life—until he stumbles into a gambling den owned by Miss Ivy, a most fascinating young lady, who hires him on the spot. Working with a boss has never seemed so enticing.

Everything tells her he’s a risk she has to take

Two years ago, Ivy gambled everything that was precious to her—and won. Now the owner of London’s most intriguing gambling house, Ivy is competent, assured, and measured. Until she meets Mr. de Silva, who stirs feelings she didn’t realize she had. Can she keep her composure around her newest employee?

They vow to keep their partnership strictly business, but just one kiss makes them realize that with each passing day—and night—it becomes clear to them both that there’s nothing as tempting as what is forbidden…

Amanda: Is this on my list because I love the cover so much? Yes.

Aarya: The series name made me snort with laughter, not gonna lie. Also, I’m 100% here for this trend of heroines managing gambling houses (Joanna Shupe had a book last month, I believe).

Catherine: Like Aarya, I’m here for that series title. Also, my God, it’s dangerous coming to this list after so many other reviewers have already been here, because now I’m taking notes on all of their recommendations and this is not going to end well.

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Owner of a Broken Heart

Owner of a Broken Heart by Cheris Hodges

Author: Cheris Hodges
Released: January 28, 2020 by Dafina
Genre: ,
Series: Richardson Sisters #1

For the three very different Richardson sisters, continuing their family’s renowned bed-and-breakfast legacy is already a formidable job. But unexpected desire will challenge them in ways they never imagined . . .
 
Sportswriter Nina Richardson had the perfect life away from her family’s famous shadow. But a social media blowup and rejection by her boyfriend brought her back to their peaceful Charleston, South Carolina B&B to figure out what went wrong. So there’s no way she’s going to trust the crazy-hot sparks flying between her and handsome new employee Clinton Jefferson. It’s just reckless, rip-his-clothes-off, one-night-and-forget-it lust—right?

Fresh from working for the Richardsons’ biggest rival, Clinton wants to show his modernization ideas aren’t sabotage or a gimmick. Getting involved with the rebellious Nina means trouble for sure—but he can’t resist showing this stubborn, fiery woman how she should be loved. But false accusations and Nina’s returned ex shake their passion—and fragile trust—to the core.  Now between cascading obstacles and conflicting loyalties, can Clinton and Nina untangle what they really want in time?

Aarya: I love one-night stands. So much angst and lust!

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Seven Deadly Shadows

Seven Deadly Shadows by Courtney Alameda

Author: Courtney Alameda
Released: January 28, 2020 by HarperTeen
Genre: ,

Kira Fujikawa has always been a girl on the fringe. Bullied by her peers and ignored by her parents, the only place Kira’s ever felt at home is at her grandfather’s Shinto shrine, where she trains to be a priestess.

But Kira’s life is shattered on the night her family’s shrine is attacked by a vicious band of yokai demons. With the help of Shiro—the shrine’s gorgeous half-fox, half-boy kitsune—Kira discovers that her shrine harbors an ancient artifact of great power . . . one the yokai and their demon lord, Shuten-doji, will use to bring down an everlasting darkness upon the world.

Unable to face the Shuten-doji and his minions on her own, Kira enlists the aid of seven ruthless shinigami—or death gods—to help stop the brutal destruction of humankind. But some of the death gods aren’t everything they initially seemed, nor as loyal to Kira’s cause as they first appeared.

With war drawing nearer by the day, Kira realizes that if this unlikely band of heroes is going to survive, they’re going to have to learn to work together, confront their demons, and rise as one to face an army of unimaginable evil.

Amanda: This book is marketed as being influenced by the Seven Samurai, which is a favorite movie of mine. RIP to Samurai Saturdays on the Independent Film Channel.

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Whiteout

Whiteout by Adriana Anders

Author: Adriana Anders
Released: January 28, 2020 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: ,
Series: Survival Instincts #1

Angel Smith is finally ready to leave Antarctica for a second chance at life. But on what was meant to be her last day, the remote research station she’s been calling home is attacked. Hunted and scared, she and irritatingly gorgeous glaciologist Ford Cooper barely make it out with their lives…only to realize that in a place this remote, there’s nowhere left to run.

Isolated with no power, no way to contact the outside world, and a madman at their heels, Angel and Ford must fight to survive in the most inhospitable—and beautiful—place on earth. But what starts as a partnership born of necessity quickly turns into an urgent connection that burns bright and hot. They both know there is little chance of making it out alive, and yet they are determined to survive against the odds—and possibly, the world.

Aarya: I’ve been fascinated with Antarctica ever since Madeleine L’Engle’s Troubling a Star. Gimme on-the-verge-of-starvation-backs-on-ice-next-to-peeping-penguins sex. I feel like this is a reasonable request for an Antarctica survival romance.

Sarah: I am so SO curious about the very forced proximity/closed room (sort of) mystery/thriller elements here – where there’s this expanse of ice and cold that will easily kill the characters, PLUS the person(s) who also want to kill the characters.

Elyse: This romantic suspense is set in Antarctica and has elements of wilderness survival in it. All my catnip!

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