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NEW RELEASE TUESDAY – NOVEMBER 22, 2022

Happy “where’d all my money go?” new release Tuesday, everyone!

As you know, the most exciting day of the week in this community is the day that follows the one we all dread (Mondays for the nope) and today we’re going to highlight some of the new books chipping away at our bank accounts — but each one is so worth it.


Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail by Ashely Herring Blake is the companion to the author’s Delilah Green Doesn’t Care, this time focusing Delilah’s stepsister, Astrid.

Two Wrongs Make a Right by Chloe Liese is an opposites become allies to fool their matchmaking friends in this swoony reimagining of Shakespeare’s beloved comedy, Much Ado About Nothing.



Are there any titles out today you’re excited for? Let us know in the comments below! 

THESE TWISTED BONDS by Lexi Ryan

After Abriella’s sister was sold to the fae, she thought life couldn’t get any worse. But when she suddenly finds herself caught in a web of lies of her own making ­- loving two princes and trusting neither – things are not quite as clear as she once thought.

As civil war wages in the Court of Darkness, Brie finds herself unable to choose a side. How can she know where she stands when she doesn’t even know herself anymore? In this darkly romantic thrill ride, the more Faerie is torn apart from the inside, the clearer it becomes that prophecies don’t lie and Brie has a role to play in the fate of this magical realm – whether she likes it or not.


Title : These Twisted Bonds
Author : Lexi Ryan
Series : These Hollow Vows #2
Format : eARC
Page Count : 427
Genre : Fantasy
Publisher : Hodderscape
Release Date : July 19, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

Headlines:
Thrones and shadows
Angsty ride
Three-way connections

I liked book one but I didn’t completely love it. I’m happy to report that These Twisted Bonds upped the stakes in my enjoyment and it was a gripping read. I think maybe I was more settled in this world of complex allegiances and I finally found where to set my loyalty to the characters and couple potentials.

The MC Ariella caught and kept my attention more. I liked her character development a lot, I found her more centered and more considered in her decisions. She dealt with the power bestowed on her much better than I thought she might at the end of book one.

The romance element of this duology is messy and yet I got into it a lot more with this second installment. I quickly knew where I wanted this to end up and I loved the angst involved in this relationship. I came to realise who these two potential love interests really were which was part of my frustration with book one. So…result!

I’m catching up on netgalley reads, so while this is a late arc review offering, it’s been worth going back to find this gem. A worthy finale.

Thank you to Hodderscape for the eARC.

FLYING SOLO by Linda Holmes

Smarting from her recently cancelled wedding and about to turn forty, Laurie Sassalyn returns to her Maine hometown of Calcasset to handle the estate of her great-aunt Dot, a spirited adventurer who lived to be ninety. Along with boxes of Polaroids and pottery, a mysterious wooden duck shows up at the bottom of a cedar chest. Laurie’s curiosity is piqued, especially after she finds a love letter to the never-married Dot that ends with the line, “And anyway, if you’re ever desperate, there are always ducks, darling.”

Laurie is told that the duck has no financial value. But after it disappears under suspicious circumstances, she feels compelled to figure out why anyone would steal a wooden duck–and why Dot kept it hidden away in the first place. Suddenly Laurie finds herself swept up in a righteous caper that has her negotiating with antiques dealers and con artists, going on after-hours dates at the local library, and reconnecting with her oldest friend and first love. Desperate to uncover her great-aunt’s secrets, Laurie must reckon with her past, her future, and ultimately embrace her own vision of flying solo.

A woman returns to her small Maine hometown, uncovering family secrets that take her on a journey of self-discovery and new love, in this warm and charming novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Evvie Drake Starts Over.


Title : Flying Solo
Author : Linda Holmes
Format : Physical
Page Count : 320
Genre : Contemporary Fiction
Publisher : Coronet Books
Release Date : June 14, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

Headlines:
Quirkily romantic
Eclectic plot
Easy reading, low drama

Flying Solo reminded me what it was I loved so much about this author’s first book…the ordinary igniting interest and endearing characters, all written in a relatable way. This is a story of second chances, working through the feelings of a fresh grief and a really funny mystery in amongst this.

At first, the story of the duck had me puzzled as to why it was a focus, but honestly it kept my attention and eventually became the cause of such hilarity. I really enjoyed where that light mystery ended up. This was a low drama stakes story and appreciated the gentle undulations of the story.

The couple had me rooting for them quickly, a second chance situation with Laurie, the protagonist being a complete commitment-phobe. I liked how her stance on romance, attachments and how not wanting to be a parent was written.

This read was all ease and distraction for a day.

CELESTIAL by M.D. Lachlan

1977.
THE SPACERACE IS FAR FROM OVER.

Ziggy Da Luca is a linguist recruited by NASA for reasons she can’t quite fathom. After seeing the video they’ve intercepted, it becomes clear her work is far more central to their plans than she realised.

Sent to the moon to investigate a hatch discovered by the Russians, Ziggy faces challenges she’s never trained for. Seen by some as a liability, she must contend with her own crew as well as the Russian cosmonauts, as everyone races to uncover the hatch’s mystery.

What she finds there is beyond anything she could imagine. The future of humankind could be changed for ever. The only question is whether she’ll make it home to tell her story.

Title : Celestial
Author : M.D. Lachlan
Format : Physical ARC
Page Count : 324
Genre : Sci-Fi
Publisher : Gollancz
Release Date : November 3, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

Headlines:
Conceptually fascinating
Space race tensions
Somewhat whacky

Celestial was a historically set sci-fi adventure set in 1977 with the political cold war tensions between the US and the then Soviet Union you’d expect of that era. In some ways this book gave me an initial vibe of Sylvain Neuvel’s writing but it did diverge from that feeling as the book progressed. The context for this story was some strange happenings on the moon with a buddist language and linguist sent to investigate (the buddist element became important).

I found the first third of the book the most exciting part of the plot, the second third was a ‘let’s just go with it’ experience and the final third was somewhat esoteric where I had to trust the process. Sci-fi has a solid history in taking us places that seek to explore the existential and this book definitely took that direction.

Ziggy was a worthy lead for this book and you can imagine the misogyny she experienced in the 1970s as a female mixed race linguist amongst white male scientists and soldiers. I had one moment where I had to close the book in ire at one comment she received, but I’m sure that’s pretty realistic. This book is peppered with racist (micro)agressions from one vile character to a range of other characters but Ziggy did have some champions alongside, not least herself.

Kovac was a really odd character, pretty unfathomable to the last. I can’t say I liked her and I feel like my gut bore me out on this one. Toog was a great character and some of the Russians were endearing and yet odd.

I do recommend this one even though it does go strange places in the plot.

Thank you to Gollancz for the review copy.

3.75 stars rounded up.

NEW RELEASE TUESDAY – NOVEMBER 15, 2022

Happy “where’d all my money go?” new release Tuesday, everyone!

As you know, the most exciting day of the week in this community is the day that follows the one we all dread (Mondays for the nope) and today we’re going to highlight some of the new books chipping away at our bank accounts — but each one is so worth it.


Before I Let Go by Kennedy Ryan is likely to be full of angst and feels and we expect nothing less from this beloved author. Also, that cover? sTUNNING.

Ship Wrecked by Olivia Dade is the latest rom-com from this author featuring two co-stars and a one-night stand they couldn’t forget.

Undercover by Tamsyn Muir is a novella (under sixty pages) about newcomer to town who hires on to be a bodyguard for a ghoul.. and is also a revenge story? Honestly we didn’t read much further because we were sold at Tamsyn Muir. But also this is book five in a seven story Amazon Original collection with other instalments told by other well known authors all featuring characters who venture in where others fear to tread. Intrigued!

Heart of the Sun Warrior by Sue Lynn Tan released in the UK last week (our review is here!) but is now out inn US/CAN.



Are there any titles out today you’re excited for? Let us know in the comments below! 

BEFORE I LET GO by Kennedy Ryan

Their love was supposed to last forever. But when life delivered blow after devastating blow, Yasmen and Josiah Wade found that love had its limits . . it couldn’t save their marriage.

Yasmen wasn’t prepared for how her life fell apart, but she’s finally starting to find joy again. She and Josiah have found a new rhythm: co-parenting their two kids and running a thriving business together. Yet, like magnets, they’re always drawn back to each other, and now they’re beginning to wonder if they’re truly ready to let go of everything they once had.

One stolen kiss leads to another . . . and then more. It’s hot. It’s illicit. It’s good – until it starts to hurt again. As old wounds reopen, Yasmen and Josiah wonder if it is too late for them to find forever.

Or could they be even better, the second time around?


Title : Before I Let Go
Author : Kennedy Rynan
Format : eARC
Page Count : 401
Genre : Contemporary Romance
Publisher : Piatkus
Release Date : November 15, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 5 star review

Headlines:
Crazy investment
Feelings on overdrive
Married couple, second chances

First I just need to start off with the how stunning this cover is. This is hands down my favourite romance cover of the year. Now to the delectable inside…

Before I Let Go gave me the kind of heart on the page feelings I got from Ryan’s Grip series. In fact there was a slight similarity in one of the themes but it felt completely fresh in this story. This author has the unusual talent of being able to write romance amongst the worst kind hurt and still bring such palpable chemistry that you’re getting all warm under the collar.

Grief is a grind. It is the work of breathing and waking and rising and moving through a world that feels emptier.

I adore second chances done well and this second chance for Yasmen and Josiah was all consuming. The place these two started in and the journey they took was utterly mesmerising with angst and frustration, then possibility. I have to mention how I adored how Kennedy Ryan wrote Yasmen’s body, a normal woman’s body, appreciatively, sexily and that confidence oozed down the page to me the reader. Pretty powerful stuff! I also found Josiah to be such a man surpassing the average contemporary romance lead that he’s unforgettable.

I lived for this book over the couple of days I read it, it dominated my thoughts and had I not been distracted by family, I could have happily read from front to back. This book is one I’ll re-read, enjoy living the hurt and the triumphs. I remain a huge fan of this author’s talent.

There is only one letter of difference between love and lose, and somewhere along the way, for me they became synonymous.

There are content warnings and these are rightly in the opening pages, as they be raw issues for some.

Thank you to Piatkus books for the eARC.

GLEANINGS by Neal Shusterman et al

The New York Times bestselling Arc of a Scythe series continues with thrilling stories that span the timeline. Storylines continue. Origin stories are revealed. And new Scythes emerge…

There are still countless tales of the Scythedom to tell. Centuries passed between the Thunderhead cradling humanity and Scythe Goddard trying to turn it upside down. For years humans lived in a world without hunger, disease, or death with Scythes as the living instruments of population control.

Neal Shusterman – along with collaborators David Yoon, Jarrod Shusterman, Sofía Lapuente, Michael H. Payne, Michelle Knowlden, and Joelle Shusterman – returns to the world throughout the timeline of the Arc of a Scythe series. Discover secrets and histories of characters you’ve followed for three volumes and meet new heroes, new foes, and some figures in between.

Gleanings shows just how expansive, terrifying, and thrilling the world that began with the Printz Honor-winning Scythe truly is.


Title : Gleanings
Author : Neal Shusterman
Series : Arc of a Scythe #3.5
Format : Physical
Page Count : 432
Genre : Dystopian
Publisher : Walker Books
Release Date : November 10, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

Gleanings offers:
Thunderhead insights
Characters connected to beloved and infamous scythes we know
Goddard’s beginnings
Trixie the dog (hilarious)
Unsavouries
Insights into the Cirrus ships future

I absolutely ate up this collection of short stories which is a dream for any fan of the series. The stories were of sufficient length and depth that I felt satisfied with each. They were easy to get into and many of them were unexpected insights with wit, drama and deadish happenings.

The Thunderhead is a favourite character for me, so all things that being fascinated me and I think I’d have liked a full story about them. Trixie the dog had me in agog stitches. Other stories were more serious and I appreciated that too.

These stories were mostly Neal Shusterman but a few were collaborations with other authors but they all felt to have the same narrative voice. I do hope this isn’t the end of this world and that we’ll get future bits and pieces.

Thank you to Walker Books for the review copy.

THE ATLAS PARADOX by Olivie Blake

Six magicians. Two rivalries. One researcher. And a man who can walk through dreams. All must pick a side: do they wish to preserve the world—or destroy it? In this electric sequel to the viral sensation, The Atlas Six, the society of Alexandrians is revealed for what it is: a secret society with raw, world-changing power, headed by a man whose plans to change life as we know it are already under way. But the cost of knowledge is steep, and as the price of power demands each character choose a side, which alliances will hold and which will see their enmity deepen?


Title : The Atlas Paradox
Author : Olivie Blake
Series : The Atlas (book two)
Format : eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 400
Genre : fantasy
Publisher : Tor Books
Release Date : October 25, 2022

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating :


Hollis’ 2 star review

Boy did this drag.

Look, I know I wasn’t out on the rooftops shouting about book one to begin with but I saw the potential, saw how many directions were open for intrigue and secrets and manoeuvrings, etc, for the books to come but I feel like this one both went off in a bunch of directions but also spun it’s wheels. Where things went, for the most part, felt tedious. Any potential spark? Fizzled. Dead.

Also maybe it’s just me and how I don’t really love mess but there were a few times I just felt tired from all the shifting dynamics and convoluted feelings everyone was having about this person, that person, and on. Maybe it’s supposed to muddle up the end games and keep you guessing but honestly it just headbutts me out of the story. Which is also how I felt every time we had a Reina POV. Talk about a buzzkill character.

Also, I’m now convinced when I reread The Atlas Six I must’ve not actually read the changed up/traditionally published version (and would track considering I was skeptical there had been any changes when I did that reread) because some things were just outright stated in this one, early on, and I felt it came totally out of left field. So either that was done on purpose, for some bizarre reason, or I legitimately missed something (example, Callum and the pain).

With so much tedium, hardly any stakes, and the characters now halfway scattered in various directions, I have no clue what is to actually be expected from book three. I will read it but I have a feeling this instalment may turn out to have been rather unnecessary in the grand scheme of things. That or it’s just typical book two syndrome. Womp.

THE HIDDEN BASE by A.E. Warren

She wants to escape the past. Is she doomed to repeat it? In the spectacular sequel to Subject Twenty-One, Elise and her friends have unearthed the truth that has been kept from them their whole lives and escaped the Museum of Evolution – but at what cost?

After a perilous escape, Elise and her companions have made it to the safety of the secret fifth base, Uracil, but her family is still in danger. Desperate to secure them passage and a safe place to live, she makes a deal with the leaders of Uracil – she’ll become their spy, jeopardising her own freedom in the process.

But first she has to help rescue the next Neanderthal, Subject Twenty-Two.

Twenty-Two has never left the confines of the steel walls that keep her separated from the other exhibits. She has no contact with the outside world and no way of knowing why she has been abandoned. With diminishing deliveries of food and water, she has to start breaking the museum’s rules if she wants a second chance at living.

One belongs to the future and the other to the past, but both will need to adapt – or neither will survive.


Title : The Hidden Base
Author : A.E. Warren
Series : Tomorrow’s Ancestors #2
Format : Physical
Page Count : 340
Genre : Dystopian
Publisher : DelRey UK
Release Date : July 1, 2021

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

Headlines:
Freedom doesn’t last
Prejudices & plotting
Utopia or Dystopian life in Uracil

I’m still rather enamoured by this dystopian world in the Tomorrow’s Ancestors series. While Elise remained central to this story, Subject Twenty-Two was introduced and these two characters had pretty much alternate chapters.

Uracil remained an oasis in this world but perhaps not as shiny as it was first thought. This story saw the crew travel across the plains to different bases in what turned out to be an incredibly messy mission. Seeing Twenty-Two develop then meeting Kit was interesting, I hope to see more of their friendship develop. I definitely want to see more Elise and Samuel.

There lots of twists and nefariousness in this story. Potiors and those similar just aren’t worthy of trust, the rest of the species seem to have the potential for decency. I’m really looking forward to seeing where book three goes.

If you fancy a really unique YA dystopian world, I highly recommend this series.

HEART OF THE SUN WARRIOR by Sue Lynn Tan

The stunning sequel to Daughter of the Moon Goddess delves deeper into beloved Chinese mythology, concluding the epic story of Xingyin—the daughter of Chang’e and the mortal archer, Houyi—as she battles a grave new threat to the realm, in this powerful tale of love, sacrifice, and hope. 

After winning her mother’s freedom from the Celestial Emperor, Xingyin thrives in the enchanting tranquility of her home. But her fragile peace is threatened by the discovery of a strange magic on the moon and the unsettling changes in the Celestial Kingdom as the emperor tightens his grip on power. While Xingyin is determined to keep clear of the rising danger, the discovery of a shocking truth spurs her into a perilous confrontation.

Forced to flee her home once more, Xingyin and her companions venture to unexplored lands of the Immortal Realm, encountering legendary creatures and shrewd monarchs, beloved friends and bitter adversaries. With alliances shifting quicker than the tides, Xingyin has to overcome past grudges and enmities to forge a new path forward, seeking aid where she never imagined she would. As an unspeakable terror sweeps across the realm, Xingyin must uncover the truth of her heart and claw her way through devastation—to rise against this evil before it destroys everything she holds dear, and the worlds she has grown to love . . . even if doing so demands the greatest price of all.


Title : Heart of the Sun Warrior
Author : Sue Lynn Tan
Series : The Celestial Kingdom #2
Format : eARC
Page Count : 480
Genre : Fantasy
Publisher : Harper Voyager
Release Date : November 10, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

Headlines:
Changing allegiances
Family, friends, love & grief
Epically-sized triangle

I feel like my whole reader’s heart has been invested in this duology. I’ve loved the world and it’s complexity, the characters good and bad have been written so well and Xingyin has been a worthy main character.

Heart of the Sun Warrior was a fast-paced sequel that had me on the edge of my seat. Xingyin’s brief status quo with her mother was turned upside down and in an insidious way with a rather evil villain. The cast of characters in this story were full of depth and the nasty charaters were developed as well as the beloved characters. The factions and rulers of this world sure were an egotistical lot in the main, trust was not an option.

This was an emotive story, tense, full of hurt, loss and grief and yet Tan brought those chinks of light and joy that kept you on the right side of hope. I read much of the second half with my heart in my mouth right until the final pages.

Talking of the final pages, I did struggle a little with that ending…I just wanted something more.

Thank you to Harper Voyager for the eARC.