Hi there! It’s time for another Spell the Month in Books. This was originally created by Reviews from the Stacks, and the idea is to spell the month using the first letter of book titles. This month, I decided to use books that are on my fall TBR. Some of these are ARCs I received, and others are part of my Beat the Backlist Challenge. Let’s check them out!
S: A Spark of Death and Fury by Nicole Bailey
Title: A Spark of Death and Fury
Author: Nicole Bailey
Series: Apollo Ascending #4
Publication Date: Sept. 27, 2022
Synopsis: The world is on fire.
But one thing burns hotter.
The high gods have fallen.
The spark is gone.
And chaos is the new king.
Amidst a scrabble to survive, gods step up to steal Zeus’ place. The treachery they cause pushes characters’ moral boundaries and forces them into one last fight for survival.
A blaze of wrath may save them all or finally lead to their ruin.
A Spark of Death and Fury is the riveting fourth installment of the Apollo Ascending series, full of love, heartbreak, and unexpected turns wrapped in an explosive finale.
E: Electric Idol by Katee Robert
Title: Electric Idol
Author: Katee Robert
Series: Dark Olympus #2
Page Length: 375
Publication Date: Jan. 18, 2022
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Synopsis: He was the most beautiful man alive.
And if I wasn’t careful, he was going to be my death.
*A scorchingly hot modern retelling of Psyche and Eros that’s as sinful as it is sweet.*
In the ultra-modern city of Olympus, there’s always a price to pay. Psyche knew she’d have to face Aphrodite’s ire eventually, but she never expected her literal heart to be at stake…or for Aphrodite’s gorgeous son to be the one ordered to strike the killing blow.
Eros has no problem shedding blood. But when it comes time to take out his latest target, he can’t do it. Confused by his reaction to Psyche, he does the only thing he can think of to keep her safe: he marries her. Psyche vows to make Eros’s life a living hell until they find a way out of this mess. But as lines blur and loyalties shift, she realizes he might take her heart after all…and she’s not sure she can survive the loss.
P: Pandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman
Author: Susan Stokes-Chapman
Page Length: 432
Publication Date: Jan. 27, 2023
Publisher: Harvill Secker
Synopsis: A pure pleasure of a novel set in Georgian London, where the discovery of a mysterious ancient Greek vase sets in motion conspiracies, revelations and romance.
Perfect for readers who loved The Binding and The Essex Serpent.
London, 1799. Dora Blake is an aspiring jewellery artist who lives with her uncle in what used to be her parents’ famed shop of antiquities. When a mysterious Greek vase is delivered, Dora is intrigued by her uncle’s suspicious behaviour and enlists the help of Edward Lawrence, a young antiquarian scholar. Edward sees the ancient vase as key to unlocking his academic future. Dora sees it as a chance to restore the shop to its former glory, and to escape her nefarious uncle.
But what Edward discovers about the vase has Dora questioning everything she has believed about her life, her family, and the world as she knows it. As Dora uncovers the truth she starts to realise that some mysteries are buried, and some doors are locked, for a reason.
T: A Taste of Poison by Tessonja Odette
Title: A Taste of Poison
Author: Tessonja Odette
Series: Entangled with Fae #4
Page Length: 412
Publication Date: Aug. 10, 2022
Publisher: Crystal Moon Press
Synopsis: A runaway princess wanted for murder.
A deadly huntsman who’s after her heart…
Half-fae Astrid Snow is used to being disliked. With magic that makes her mirror back one’s worst qualities, she has more enemies than friends. And when she’s accused of poisoning her father, her stepmother—the formidable Spring Queen—becomes her greatest enemy yet. Forced into hiding, she finds solace at the Seven Sins Hotel. It provides the perfect subterfuge she needs. For who could ever find an outlaw in a hotel famed for sin?
Bear shifter Torben Davenport lost everything to the gambling halls. To pay off his debts, he serves the fae royals as their personal Huntsman, locating hard-to-find fugitives with his scent-based magic. When the Spring Queen offers him a bargain that will erase his debts for good, he’s willing to do what it takes—even if it means finding the queen’s runaway stepdaughter and cutting out her heart.
Astrid won’t go down without a fight, even if her assailant is a strikingly handsome Huntsman. If she can evade the bear-shifter’s claws, maybe she can make him an ally. It’s easier said than done, especially after she accidentally gets herself handcuffed to her infuriating captor.
Can Astrid cut through Torben’s icy demeanor and convince him to help her find the real killer? Or will she lose her heart in more ways than one?
E: Echoes and Empires by Morgan Rhodes
Series: Echoes and Empires #1
Page Length: 400
Synopsis: A snarky seventeen-year-old must team up with an enigmatic criminal to cure herself of dangerous forbidden magic in the first book of a new fantasy duology from Morgan Rhodes, the New York Times bestselling author of the Falling Kingdoms series.
Josslyn Drake knows only three things about magic: it’s rare, illegal, and always deadly. So when she’s caught up in a robbery gone wrong at the Queen’s Gala and infected by a dangerous piece of magic—one that allows her to step into the memories of an infamously evil warlock—she finds herself living her worst nightmare. Joss needs the magic removed before it corrupts her soul and kills her. But in Ironport, the cost of doing magic is death, and seeking help might mean scheduling her own execution. There’s nobody she can trust.
Nobody, that is, except wanted criminal Jericho Nox, who offers her a deal: his help extracting the magic in exchange for the magic itself. And though she’s not thrilled to be working with a thief, especially one as infuriating (and infuriatingly handsome) as Jericho, Joss is desperate enough to accept.
But Jericho is nothing like Joss expects. The closer she grows with Jericho and the more she sees of the world outside her pampered life in the city, the more Joss begins to question the beliefs she’s always taken for granted—beliefs about right and wrong, about power and magic, and even about herself.
In an empire built on lies, the truth may be her greatest weapon.
M: My Dearest Duke by Kristen Vayden
Title: My Dearest Duke
Author: Kristin Vayden
Series: The Cambridge Brotherhood #2
Page Length: 312
Publication Date: Oct. 25, 2022
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Synopsis: A reluctant duke who’d rather be writing scholarly papers
A lady with a unique and scandalous secret
The tempting chemistry between them they can no longer deny
And a truth that will either set them free or tear them apart…
Lord Rowles Haywind has always shied away from the spotlight of his brother’s dukedom, worried it would bring too much attention to the family secret. His mother suffers from mental illness, and he dreads that he may turn out to have it to, or worse, that any children he may have will inherit her disability. Now that the title of Duke belongs to him, he has more responsibility than he ever dreamed of. He needs help, but he’s not sure he can trust anyone enough. Until he reconnects with Lady Joan Morgan…
Lady Joan’s penetrating insights reassure Rowles as no one ever has. But she has a secret of her own that would cause a terrible scandal. She longs to tell Rowles the truth about her work for the war office, but she’s afraid it’ll ruin the connection they’ve kindled. But the longer she waits to tell him, the worse the outcome could be for them both once the truth is out…
B: Blood Moon Prophecy by Dilani Kahawala
Title: Blood Moon Prophecy
Author: Dilani Kahawala
Series: Legend of the Nyx
Publication Date: Oct. 11, 222
Publisher: Cedar Street Press
Synopsis: Eleven years ago, Tilly Nyx did something she wasn’t supposed to. As a result, her mother was killed. Her village was destroyed. Her sister disappeared. An ancient horror sent her into hiding.
Now sixteen and undercover in New York City, she has waited eleven years to go home, even though she doesn’t know where home is or how to get there. All she has is the map that her mother made her swear to protect with her life. And the promise that a man called the Time Keeper is supposed to rescue her, if she can just hold on long enough for him to arrive.
But when the Time Keeper is found dead in his hotel room, with a message to contact Tilly inked on his skin, her world is upended once again. Now someone is hunting for her and the map, and if they find her, the consequences will be deadly.
Tilly soon finds herself plunged into the world where her story began—a world of oceans and sailing ships, of feuds between ancient magical families. She joins a fleet in search of the secret her map holds, which has been guarded by her family for four thousand years.
As Tilly learns how to cast sprites and make potions, she and her three friends must follow the trail of murky, disturbing clues left by her ancestors before time runs out. But the closer they get to their destination, the more Tilly discovers that nothing is what it seems…not even herself.
E: Eternal Rider by Larissa Ione
Title: Eternal Rider
Author: Larissa Ione
Series: Lords of Deliverance #1
Page Length: 416
Publication Date: Aug. 9, 2022
Synopsis: His name is Ares, and the fate of mankind rests on his powerful shoulders. If he falls to the forces of evil, the world falls, too. As one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, he is far stronger than any mortal, but even he cannot fight his destiny forever. Not when his own brother plots against him.
Yet there is one last hope. Gifted in a way other humans can’t—or won’t—understand, Cara Thornhart is the key to both his safety and his doom. But involving Cara will prove treacherous, even beyond the maddening, dangerous desire that seizes them the moment they meet.
For staving off eternal darkness requires a staggering cost: Cara’s life.
R: Revelle by Lisa Mia Smith
Author: Lisa Mia Smith
Page Length: 464
Publication Date: Feb. 14, 2023
Publisher: Blazer & Bray
Synopsis: A stunning debut YA fantasy full of dazzling magic and mystery inspired by the lush decadence and tragic romance of Moulin Rouge!
On the island of Charmant, magic flows like bootlegged champagne and fantasies can be bought for the price of a gemstone.
Luxe Revelle, star of her family’s fantastical show, knows the splendor is just an illusion. With Prohibition threatening their livelihood, her family struggles to make a living, watering down champagne and patching holes in their sequined costumes. So when the son of Charmant’s wealthiest family makes her an offer—all the liquor the Revelles need to stay in business in exchange for posing as his girl and helping him become mayor—she can’t refuse.
The moment Jamison Port sets foot in Charmant, he can’t shake the feeling of familiarity. An orphan with as few memories as gemstones, he’s desperate to learn what happened to his parents. But as he delves into the island’s secrets, he risks angering the wrong person and discovering a truth that just make break his heart.
When Luxe and Jamison accidentally meet, the sparks that fly are more than her magical enchantments. But keeping secrets from powerful people is a dangerous game…one that could destroy them both.