The Kiss Quotient
RECOMMENDED: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang is $1.99! I’m not sure this has ever been on sale, so grab this one while you can. We had a wonderful guest squee of this and it was my favorite read of 2018:
I truly loved this book. Loved. It made me feel like a champagne bubble – all fizzy and light. When I think of all the magical feelings romance gives its readers, I will forever think of this book.
A heartwarming and refreshing debut novel that proves one thing: there’s not enough data in the world to predict what will make your heart tick.
Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases–a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.
It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice–with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan–from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…
Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but crave all of the other things he’s making her feel. Their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…
Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson is $2.99! This is a fantastic YA mystery. Readers love the setting and whodunnit setup, but warn that the ending is a cliffhanger. Thankfully, the second book is out and the third comes out later this month.
Something is wrong at Ellingham Academy: Its murderous past won’t stay in the past.
Ellingham Academy is an American institution. Students can’t buy admission, they have to earn it: these are the brightest of their generation, the thinkers, inventors, artists, dreamers, and schemers who will change the world. Ellingham is the brainchild of philanthropist and tycoon Edward J. Ellingham, who happened on a remote, idyllic spot outside of Burlington, Vermont in the 1920s, the perfect setting for his “dream school of the future.” For Ellingham, the dream ended a decade later, when his wife and child were kidnapped, then murdered, in what would become the crime of the century. Ellingham pledged everything to find the killer—he ended up giving his life.
It was an empty sacrifice: For years, the killer remained at large. He taunted the police, signing his letters Truly, Devious. Eventually, someone was caught, found guilty, and executed for the heinous crimes… but questions lingered. Why, for example, did Ellingham write these words on the day he died?
Where do you look for someone
who’s never really there?
Always on a staircase
but never on a stair.
Every institution has its ghost stories; every school imagines itself haunted. Ellingham Academy is, officially, beyond such silliness: it is devoted to greatness, and everyone accepted achieves it.
This includes Stevie Bell, who gained her fame by solving a murder when she was thirteen years old. Clever murders don’t happen along very often, and Stevie has been struggling to find her place in the competitive atmosphere of Ellingham. Then she finds out about the decades-old Ellingham riddle: Problem solved. She’ll solve the riddle, name the real killer, and prove herself exceptional. True Ellingham material.
Her investigation into the cold case is interrupted by a fresh one. When one of her classmates, internet superstar Hayes Major, turns up dead, Stevie is the first to question the official explanation. An accident? Really? Everyone else is convinced that Ellingham’s murderous past is just that, which leaves justice up to Stevie.
Some Like It Scandalous
Some Like It Scandalous by Maya Rodale is $1.99! This is the second book in Rodale’s historical romance series set in Gilded Age New York. Aarya gave this one a C-, but notes your mileage may vary depending on how you feel about certain tropes.
They are sworn enemies…
Theodore Prescott the Third, one of Manhattan’s Rogues of Millionaire Row, has really done it this time. The only way to survive his most recent, unspeakably outrageous scandal is marry someone respectable. Someone sensible. Someone like Daisy Swan. Of all the girls in Gilded Age Manhattan, it had to be her.
Pretending to be lovers…
Daisy Swan has plans and they do not involve a loveless marriage with anyone. But when a devastating family secret threatens to destroy her standing in society, suddenly a fake engagement with Theo is just the thing to make all her dreams come true.
And now it’s time to kiss and make up…
Daisy Swan aspires to sell cosmetics that she has created, but this brainy scientist needs a smooth talking charmer’s flair for words and eye for beauty to make it a success. Before long, Daisy and Theo are trading kisses. And secrets. And discovering that despite appearances, they might be the perfect couple after all.
Pride by Ibi Zoboi is $1.99! This is a Pride & Prejudice retelling. Carrie read it and gave it a B-:
I found the ending to be frustrating and I was never invested in the romance. However, I loved the celebration of family, of Afro-Latino culture, and of place.
Pride and Prejudice gets remixed in this smart, funny, gorgeous retelling of the classic, starring all characters of color, from Ibi Zoboi, National Book Award finalist and author of American Street.
Zuri Benitez has pride. Brooklyn pride, family pride, and pride in her Afro-Latino roots. But pride might not be enough to save her rapidly gentrifying neighborhood from becoming unrecognizable.
When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri wants nothing to do with their two teenage sons, even as her older sister, Janae, starts to fall for the charming Ainsley. She especially can’t stand the judgmental and arrogant Darius. Yet as Zuri and Darius are forced to find common ground, their initial dislike shifts into an unexpected understanding.
But with four wild sisters pulling her in different directions, cute boy Warren vying for her attention, and college applications hovering on the horizon, Zuri fights to find her place in Bushwick’s changing landscape, or lose it all.
In a timely update of Pride and Prejudice, critically acclaimed author Ibi Zoboi skillfully balances cultural identity, class, and gentrification against the heady magic of first love in her vibrant reimagining of this beloved classic.