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Happy Tuesday!

We have a crop of brand new book releases, from some buzzy titles to self-published and novella length reads. There is lots of variety this week!

What books are you excited for? Let us know in the comments!

  • Books & Broadswords, Volume One

    Books & Broadswords, Volume One by Jessie Mihalik

    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.

    Amanda: Jessie Mihalik is giving fantasy a try!

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  • Everyone I Kissed Since You Got Famous

    Everyone I Kissed Since You Got Famous by Mae Marvel

    An actress home for the holidays makes a bet with her former best friend-turned-online sensation.

    Katie Price is known in every living room in America. A small-town Wisconsin girl who became an A-list star, she rarely makes it home, but this year is different… Little does she know it will lead her straight into the piercing blue-eyed gaze of Wil Greene.

    A lot has happened in the decade since those cold Wisconsin nights when Wil and Katie drove around in Wil’s Bronco senior year. Since then, Wil’s law career hasn’t taken off. Her father passed away. And what started as a personal challenge―kissing a new person twice a week, every week―has made her a growing sensation, but her life is still stuck in phase one. Through the years, the two have never left each other’s thoughts and desires, but now suddenly, they are back in each others’ lives. Their reconnection is instantaneous and the passion is palpable… but can it stand the test of time?

    Witty, emotional, and steamy, Everyone I Kissed Since You Got Famous is an unforgettable romantic read for everyone who almost kissed their best friend. And then finally did.

    Aarya: Mae Marvel is a pseudonym for Ruthie Knox (About Last Night) and Mary Ann Rivers (The Story Guy) writing together; Rivers now goes by Annie Mare.

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  • The Ghost of Us

    The Ghost of Us by James Sutter

    Eighteen-year-old ghost hunter Cara is determined to escape life as a high school outcast by finding proof of the supernatural. Yet when she stumbles upon the spirit of Aiden, a popular upperclassman who died the previous year, she learns that ghosts have goals of their own. In the wake of his death, Aiden’s little sister, Meredith, has become a depressed recluse, and Aiden can’t pass on into the afterlife until he knows she’ll be okay. Believing that nothing pulls someone out of a slump like romance, he makes Cara a seduce Meredith out of her shell and take her to prom, and Aiden will give Cara all the evidence she needs for fame. If not, well―no dates, no ghost.

    Wooing the standoffish Meredith isn’t going to be easy, however. With Aiden’s coaching, Cara slowly manages to win Meredith over―but finds herself accidentally falling for her in the process. Worse as Meredith gets happier and Aiden’s mission nears completion, his ghost begins to fade. Can Cara continue to date Meredith under false pretenses, especially if it means Aiden will vanish forever? Or should she tell Meredith the truth, and risk both of them hating her? And either way, will she lose her only shot at proving ghosts are real?

    Dahlia: I really liked Sutter’s debut, Darkhearts, which was an m/m romance about music and grief, so I’m excited to see what he does with a haunting Sapphic relationship in this next one.

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  • Heartwaves

    Heartwaves by Anita Kelly

    Mae Kellerman is content. After forty years of ups and downs, she has a meaningful job at a queer community center in Portland, Oregon. She has an apartment full of plants, a ride-or-die group of friends.

    Until the day her best friend and mentor actually does up and die. Leaving Mae with a hole in her heart—and a shocking amount of money from his inheritance.

    Before she can think about the cash, she has to focus on throwing his perfect death party, followed by spreading his ashes on the Oregon coast. Only then does she take a breath, and in the process, stumbles upon an empty storefront for sale in the tiny whale-watching town of Greyfin Bay. Overnight, an old dream surfaces…and her newfound inheritance could make it possible.

    If only Dell McCleary didn’t stand in her way.

    Real estate agent and owner of said storefront, Dell only sells property to the folks actually invested in the best interests of Greyfin Bay. Not some Portlander with pink hair who breezes in on a whim. A Portlander who, irritatingly, refuses to take no for an answer.

    As Mae upends her life for the pursuit of opening a queer-owned bookstore in a conservative coastal town, she and Dell are forced to work together, navigating prejudices and past traumas along the way. But as opening day of Bay Books grows nearer, Mae’s heart grows increasingly tangled with her landlord’s—even if his own heart might already belong to someone else.

    Heartwaves is a contemporary queer romance that explores the risks and rewards of life in any landscape, and the freedom to lift the limitations we put on love.

    Aarya: This author packs an emotional wallop in novellas.

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  • I’m Mostly Here to Enjoy Myself

    I’m Mostly Here to Enjoy Myself by Glynnis MacNicol

    Author: Glynnis MacNicol
    June 11, 2024 by
    Penguin Life
    Memoir, Nonfiction

    When you’re a woman smack in so-called “middle age” you are not promised anything at all other than that everything will get worse. But what if everything you’ve been told is a lie.

    Come to Paris, August 2021, when the City of Lights was still empty of tourists, and a thirst for long overdue pleasure gripped those who wandered its streets.

    After New York City emptied out in March 2020, Glynnis MacNicol, aged 46, unmarried with no children, spent 16 months alone in her tiny Manhattan apartment. The isolation was punishing. A year without touch. Women are warned of invisibility as they age, but this was an extreme loneliness no one can prepare you for. When the opportunity to sublet a friend’s apartment in Paris arose, MacNicol jumped on it. Leaving felt like less of a risk than a necessity.

    What follows is a decadent, unexpected journey into one woman’s pursuit of radical enjoyment.

    The weeks in Paris are filled with friendship and food and sex. There is dancing on the Seine; a plethora of gooey cheese; midnight bike rides through empty Paris; handsome men; afternoons wandering through the empty Louvre; nighttime swimming in the ocean off a French island. And yes, plenty of nudity.

    In the spirit of Deborah Levy and Annie Ernaux, I’m Mostly Here to Enjoy Myself is an intimate, insightful, powerful, and endlessly pleasurable memoir of an intensely lived experience whose meaning and insight expands far beyond the personal narrative. MacNicol is determined to document the beauty, excess, and triumph of a life that does not require permission.

    The pursuit of enjoyment is a political act, both a right and a responsibility. Enjoying yourself—as you are—is not something the world tells you is possible, but it is.

    Here’s the proof.

    Sarah: Memoir about pleasure and enjoyment – Yes please! I learned of it on BluSky where publishing folks were exclaiming over the cover, because it’s extremely hot.

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  • Not in Love

    Not in Love by Ali Hazelwood

    A forbidden, secret affair proves that all’s fair in love and science.

    Rue Siebert might not have it all, but she has enough: a few friends she can always count on, the financial stability she yearned for as a kid, and a successful career as a biotech engineer at Kline, one of the most promising start-ups in the field of food science. Her world is stable, pleasant, and hard-fought. Until a hostile takeover and its offensively attractive front man threatens to bring it all crumbling down.

    Eli Killgore and his business partners want Kline, period. Eli has his own reasons for pushing this deal through—and he’s a man who gets what he wants. With one burning exception: Rue. The woman he can’t stop thinking about. The woman who’s off-limits to him.

    Torn between loyalty and an undeniable attraction, Rue and Eli throw caution out the lab and the boardroom windows. Their affair is secret, no-strings-attached, and has a built-in deadline: the day one of their companies will prevail. But the heart is risky business—one that plays for keeps.

    Amanda: Hazelwood so far has had more misses for me than hits, but this one is speaking to me.

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  • The Rom-Commers

    The Rom-Commers by Katherine Center

    She’s rewriting his love story. But can she rewrite her own?

    Emma Wheeler desperately longs to be a screenwriter. She’s spent her life studying, obsessing over, and writing romantic comedies—good ones! That win contests! But she’s also been the sole caretaker for her kind-hearted dad, who needs full-time care. Now, when she gets a chance to re-write a script for famous screenwriter Charlie Yates—The Charlie Yates! Her personal writing god!—it’s a break too big to pass up.

    Emma’s younger sister steps in for caretaking duties, and Emma moves to L.A. for six weeks for the writing gig of a lifetime. But what is it they say? Don’t meet your heroes? Charlie Yates doesn’t want to write with anyone—much less “a failed, nobody screenwriter.” Worse, the romantic comedy he’s written is so terrible it might actually bring on the apocalypse. Plus! He doesn’t even care about the script—it’s just a means to get a different one green-lit. Oh, and he thinks love is an emotional Ponzi scheme.

    But Emma’s not going down without a fight. She will stand up for herself, and for rom-coms, and for love itself. She will convince him that love stories matter—even if she has to kiss him senseless to do it. But . . . what if that kiss is accidentally amazing? What if real life turns out to be so much . . . more real than fiction? What if the love story they’re writing breaks all Emma’s rules—and comes true?

    Katherine Center’s latest!

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  • The Stardust Grail

    The Stardust Grail by Yume Kitasei

    Save one world. Doom her own.

    Maya Hoshimoto was once the best art thief in the galaxy. For ten years, she returned stolen artifacts to alien civilizations—until a disastrous job forced her into hiding. Now she just wants to enjoy a quiet life as a graduate student of anthropology, but she’s haunted by persistent and disturbing visions of the future.

    Then an old friend comes to her with a job she can’t find a powerful object that could save an alien species from extinction. Except no one has seen it in living memory, and they aren’t the only ones hunting for it.

    Maya sets out on a breakneck quest through a universe teeming with strange life and ancient ruins. But the farther she goes, the more her visions cast a dark shadow over her team of friends new and old. Someone will betray her along the way. Worse yet, in choosing to save one species, she may condemn humanity and Earth itself.

    Amanda: They had me at “anti-colonial space heist.”

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