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’m spotlighting recent romantasy and paranormal romances I’ve enjoyed. Let’s check them out!
O: One Dark Window by Rachel Gillig
Title: One Dark Window
Author: Rachel Gillig
Page Length: 432
Publication Date: Sept. 27, 2022
Publisher: Orbit Books
Synopsis: Elspeth Spindle needs more than luck to stay safe in the eerie, mist-locked kingdom of Blunder—she needs a monster. She calls him the Nightmare, an ancient, mercurial spirit trapped in her head. He protects her. He keeps her secrets.
But nothing comes for free, especially magic.
When Elspeth meets a mysterious highwayman on the forest road, her life takes a drastic turn. Thrust into a world of shadow and deception, she joins a dangerous quest to cure Blunder from the dark magic infecting it. And the highwayman? He just so happens to be the King’s nephew, Captain of the most dangerous men in Blunder…and guilty of high treason.
Together they must gather twelve Providence Cards—the keys to the cure. But as the stakes heighten and their undeniable attraction intensifies, Elspeth is forced to face her darkest secret yet: the Nightmare is slowly taking over her mind. And she might not be able to stop him.
C: Castles in Their Bones by Laura Sebastian
Title: Castles in Their Bones
Author: Laura Sebastian
Series: Castles in Their Bones #1
Page Length: 528
Publication Date: Feb. 1, 2022
Synopsis: Empress Margaraux has had plans for her daughters since the day they were born. Princesses Sophronia, Daphne, and Beatriz will be queens. And now, age sixteen, they each must leave their homeland and marry their princes.
Beautiful, smart, and demure, the triplets appear to be the perfect brides—because Margaraux knows there is one common truth: everyone underestimates a girl. Which is a grave mistake. Sophronia, Daphne, and Beatriz are no innocents. They have been trained since birth in the arts of deception, seduction, and violence with a singular goal—to bring down monarchies— and their marriages are merely the first stage of their mother’s grand vision: to one day reign over the entire continent of Vesteria.
The princesses have spent their lives preparing, and now they are ready, each with her own secret skill, and each with a single wish, pulled from the stars. Only, the stars have their own plans—and their mother hasn’t told them all of hers.
Life abroad is a test. Will their loyalties stay true? Or will they learn that they can’t trust anyone—not even each other?
T: This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede
Title: This Vicious Grace
Author: Emily Thiede
Series: The Last Finestra
Page Length: 448
Publication Date: June 28, 2022
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Synopsis: Three weddings. Three funerals. Alessa’s gift from the gods is supposed to magnify a partner’s magic, not kill every suitor she touches.
Now, with only weeks left until a hungry swarm of demons devours everything on her island home, Alessa is running out of time to find a partner and stop the invasion. When a powerful priest convinces the faithful that killing Alessa is the island’s only hope, her own soldiers try to assassinate her.
Desperate to survive, Alessa hires Dante, a cynical outcast marked as a killer, to become her personal bodyguard. But as rebellion explodes outside the gates, Dante’s dark secrets may be the biggest betrayal. He holds the key to her survival and her heart, but is he the one person who can help her master her gift or destroy her once and for all?
Emily Thiede’s exciting fantasy debut, This Vicious Grace, will keep readers turning the pages until the devastating conclusion and leave them primed for more!
O: On These Wicked Shores by Katherine Quinn
Title: On These Wicked Shores
Author: Katherine Quinn
Series: The Azantian Trilogy #2
Publication Date: May 31, 2022
Publisher: City Owl Press
Synopsis: A king chased by the demons of his past. A merciless god seeking redemption through bloodshed. And the woman whose very existence defies possibility.
It’s been three months since Margrete Wood defeated her depraved father and saved the mystical island of Azantian. But the monstrous creatures released that night have hidden themselves in the human realm, and Margrete and her king set sail to hunt them down.
When disaster strikes on the high seas, Margrete and the crew find themselves stranded on the shores of a new and dangerous island. It’s there that they come across an ancient coin, one that legend claims belonged to a powerful goddess. It signifies the first of three deadly trials that must be completed. If they fail these tests, they forfeit their lives to the very place that traps them.
As Margrete and Bash struggle to survive gruesome horrors lurking around every turn, a mighty god watches. He’s waited centuries for this moment, and in Margrete, he sees the queen he’s been searching for.
Once the third and final coin is found, Margrete and Bash will discover if their love can conquer all… even death itself.
B: The Ballad of Never After by Stephanie Garber
Title: The Ballad of Never After
Author: Stephanie Garber
Series: Once Upon a Broken Heart #2
Page Length: 416
Publication Date: Sept. 13, 2022
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Synopsis: Not every love is meant to be.
After Jacks, the Prince of Hearts, betrays her, Evangeline Fox swears she’ll never trust him again. Now that she’s discovered her own magic, Evangeline believes she can use it to restore the chance at happily ever after that Jacks stole away.
But when a new terrifying curse is revealed, Evangeline finds herself entering into a tenuous partnership with the Prince of Hearts again. Only this time, the rules have changed. Jacks isn’t the only force Evangeline needs to be wary of. In fact, he might be the only one she can trust, despite her desire to despise him.
Instead of a love spell wreaking havoc on Evangeline’s life, a murderous spell has been cast. To break it, Evangeline and Jacks will have to do battle with old friends, new foes, and a magic that plays with heads and hearts. Evangeline has always trusted her heart, but this time she’s not sure she can. . . .
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: The Raven and the Rush by Sarah M. Cradit
Title: The Raven and the Rush
Author: Sarah M. Cradit
Series: The Book of All Things #1
Publication Date: Dec. 14, 2021
Synopsis: One raven. One boy. One destiny.
From the USA Today and International Bestselling Author of Kingdom of the White Sea comes a new series set in the same vibrant world: The Book of All Things. Escape into this story of destiny and forbidden love weaving together a fate bigger than man, bigger than magic.
Evrathedyn Blackrook whiles his days away at university, blissfully oblivious to the horrors afflicting his homeland. He escapes into dusty books, content as a second son.
Rhosynora Ravenwood spends her sleepless nights fantasizing of ways to escape her icy, suffocating dynasty. To flee her birthright is to invite a traitor’s penance. To stay is another kind of death.
But time and fate have a way of mending all mistakes.
Evra soon finds himself the new Lord Blackrook. His inheritance is a plague-ridden land, the pyres from his late father’s campaign against magic still smoldering.
His realm’s future in the balance, he travels beyond his borders to a remote northern hamlet, where he meets Rhosyn. The spark between them is immediate; the suspicion even stronger. In Rhosyn, Evra sees her rare magic as the perfect answer to his troubles. In Evra, Rhosyn sees everything wrong with the depraved world of men.
But Evra is out of options. And Rhosyn is out of time.
As they resist the undeniable, forbidden bond growing between them, Evra’s dawning horror of Rhosyn’s fate brings him to an impossible choice.
His home, or her?