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Welcome to the second week in May!

There are lots of books this week to talk about! There’s horror, a fantasy novella, queer witches, and even a historical romance. Next week is even more jam-packed!

Which books are you excited for this week? Let us know in the comments!

  • A Crane Among Wolves

    A Crane Among Wolves by June Hur

    June Hur, bestselling author of The Red Palace, crafts a devastating and pulse-pounding tale that will feel all-too-relevant in today’s world, based on a true story from Korean history.

    Hope is dangerous. Love is deadly.

    1506, Joseon. The people suffer under the cruel reign of the tyrant King Yeonsan, powerless to stop him from commandeering their land for his recreational use, banning and burning books, and kidnapping and horrifically abusing women and girls as his personal playthings.

    Seventeen-year-old Iseul has lived a sheltered, privileged life despite the kingdom’s turmoil. When her older sister, Suyeon, becomes the king’s latest prey, Iseul leaves the relative safety of her village, traveling through forbidden territory to reach the capital in hopes of stealing her sister back. But she soon discovers the king’s power is absolute, and to challenge his rule is to court certain death.

    Prince Daehyun has lived his whole life in the terrifying shadow of his despicable half-brother, the king. Forced to watch King Yeonsan flaunt his predation through executions and rampant abuse of the common folk, Daehyun aches to find a way to dethrone his half-brother once and for all. When staging a coup, failure is fatal, and he’ll need help to pull it off—but there’s no way to know who he can trust.

    When Iseul’s and Daehyun’s fates collide, their contempt for each other is transcended only by their mutual hate for the king. Armed with Iseul’s family connections and Daehyun’s royal access, they reluctantly join forces to launch the riskiest gamble the kingdom has ever

    Save her sister. Free the people. Destroy a tyrant.

    Amanda: We love Hur’s books here and look at that cover!

    Aarya: June Hur is incredible at historical worldbuilding and the romantic storyline is delicious.

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  • The Honey Witch

    The Honey Witch by Sydney Shields

    The Honey Witch of Innisfree can never find true love. That is her curse to bear. But when a young woman who doesn’t believe in magic arrives on her island, sparks fly in this deliciously sweet debut novel of magic, hope, and love overcoming all.

    Twenty-one-year-old Marigold Claude has always preferred the company of the spirits of the meadow to any of the suitors who’ve tried to woo her. So when her grandmother whisks her away to the family cottage on the tiny Isle of Innisfree with an offer to train her as the next Honey Witch, she accepts immediately. But her newfound magic and independence come with a price: No one can fall in love with the Honey Witch.

    When Lottie Burke, a notoriously grumpy skeptic who doesn’t believe in magic, shows up on her doorstep, Marigold can’t resist the challenge to prove to her that magic is real. But soon, Marigold begins to care for Lottie in ways she never expected. And when darker magic awakens and threatens to destroy her home, she must fight for much more than her new home—at the risk of losing her magic and her heart.

    Sarah: I really hope the story matches the vibes of the cover, because that cover is lush.

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  • My Darling Dreadful Thing

    My Darling Dreadful Thing by Johanna van Veen

    Author: Johanna van Veen
    Released:
    May 14, 2024 by
    Poisoned Pen Press
    Genre:
    Gothic, Horror, LGBTQIA

    In a world where the dead can wake and walk among us, what is truly real?

    Roos Beckman has a spirit companion only she can see. Ruth—strange, corpse-like, and dead for centuries—is the only good thing in Roos’ life, which is filled with sordid backroom séances organized by her mother. That is, until wealthy young widow Agnes Knoop attends one of these séances and asks Roos to come live with her at the crumbling estate she inherited upon the death of her husband. The manor is unsettling, but the attraction between Roos and Agnes is palpable. So how does someone end up dead?

    Roos is caught red-handed, but she claims a spirit is the culprit. Doctor Montague, a psychologist tasked with finding out whether Roos can be considered mentally fit to stand trial, suspects she’s created an elaborate fantasy to protect her from what really happened. But Roos knows spirits are real; she’s loved one of them. She’ll have to prove her innocence and her sanity, or lose everything.

    Amanda: I love creepy books when you aren’t sure of what’s real and what isn’t.

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  • The Paradise Problem

    The Paradise Problem by Christina Lauren

    Christina Lauren, returns with a delicious new romance between the buttoned-up heir of a grocery chain and his free-spirited artist ex as they fake their relationship in order to receive a massive inheritance.

    Anna Green thought she was marrying Liam “West” Weston for access to subsidized family housing while at UCLA. She also thought she’d signed divorce papers when the graduation caps were tossed, and they both went on their merry ways.

    Three years later, Anna is a starving artist living paycheck to paycheck while West is a Stanford professor. He may be one of four heirs to the Weston Foods conglomerate, but he has little interest in working for the heartless corporation his family built from the ground up. He is interested, however, in his one-hundred-million-dollar inheritance. There’s just one catch.

    Due to an antiquated clause in his grandfather’s will, Liam won’t see a penny until he’s been happily married for five years. Just when Liam thinks he’s in the home stretch, pressure mounts from his family to see this mysterious spouse, and he has no choice but to turn to the one person he’s afraid to introduce to his one-percenter parents—his unpolished, not-so-ex-wife.

    But in the presence of his family, Liam’s fears quickly shift from whether the feisty, foul-mouthed, paint-splattered Anna can play the part to whether the toxic world of wealth will corrupt someone as pure of heart as his surprisingly grounded and loyal wife. Liam will have to ask himself if the price tag on his flimsy cover story is worth losing true love that sprouted from a lie.

    Amanda: If it’s by CLo, I’m reading it.

    Dahlia: The pairing of chaotic messy girl with straitlaced guy who can barely contain himself around her is my catnip, and my fave romance duo absolutely nails it in this tropical charmer. I devoured it in a single day.

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  • Unladylike Rules of Attraction

    Unladylike Rules of Attraction by Amita Murray

    From the author of Unladylike Lessons in Love comes the second spectacular novel in the Marleigh Sisters series, following Anya as she must marry in order to inherit a fortune…and fight her attraction to the man who stands in her way.

    Anya Marleigh is a singer and sitar player in Queen Charlotte’s court. She is left a fortune by Dowager Countess Budleigh, one of her elderly clients who used to hire her for musical evenings. But there is a condition attached. Anya must marry before her next birthday if she wants to see any of the fortune. The executor of the will is an insufferably conceited man who must consent to her marriage—if he doesn’t give his consent, the fortune reverts to him.

    But Damian Ashton is only part of the problem. The Budleigh family see Anya as a usurper. They believe the fortune is rightfully theirs, and they will do all in their power—including accusing Anya of murder and Damian of some dubious and criminal dealings—to get their hands on the fortune. Now Anya must do everything she can to thwart their efforts, save herself from the gallows, and at the same time, resist the powerful attraction she feels towards Damian—who surely is only interested in keeping the Budleigh money.

    Can Anya sort out the tangle—or must she lose her heart to find her fortune?   

    Sarah: Truly gorgeous cover, and I’m very intrigued by the description, too. Poor Anya has a lot going on!

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  • When Among Crows

    When Among Crows by Veronica Roth

    Step into a city where monsters feast on human emotions, knights split their souls to make their weapons, and witches always take more than they give.

    Pain is Dymitr’s calling. To slay the monsters he’s been raised to kill, he had to split his soul in half to make a sword from his own spine. Every time he draws it, he gets blood on his hands.

    Pain is Ala’s inheritance. When her mother died, a family curse to witness horrors committed by the Holy Order was passed onto her. The curse will claim her life, as it did her mother’s, unless she can find a cure.

    One fateful night in Chicago, Dymitr comes to Ala with a her help in finding the legendary witch Baba Jaga in exchange for an enchanted flower that just might cure her. Desperate, and unaware of what Dymitr really is, Ala agrees.

    But they only have one day before the flower dies . . . and Ala’s hopes of breaking the curse along with it.

    Amanda: Roth’s adult books always sound so interesting but I never get around to reading them. Maybe a novella will help!

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