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 some of my favorite 2022 reads!
D: A Darkness at the Door by Intisar Khanani
Title: A Darkness at the Door
Author: Intisar Khanani
Series: The Dauntless Path
Page Length: 486
Publication Date: July 21, 2022
Publisher: Snowy Wings Pub.
Synopsis: Only Rae knows the extent of the corruption at the heart of the kingdom of Menaiya, from the noble lord who betrayed her, to the Circle of Mages whose wards protect the slavers from discovery. Injured and imprisoned on a slave ship, Rae’s options are quickly running out. When a desperate escape attempt goes terribly wrong, she finds herself indebted to a terrifying Fae sorceress.
Now Rae will not rest until she has rescued her fellow prisoners and freed her land from the darkness that has taken hold. To succeed, she’ll need every ally she can find—including Bren, the thief who may have stolen her heart. But Bren is hiding his own bloody secrets, and the curses that encircle Rae have sunk their claws into her mind. With her debts coming due and time running short, all the truths in the world may not be enough to save her kingdom, or herself.
E: Esperance by Heather Frost
Author: Heather Frost
Series: Esperance Trilogy #1
Publication Date: Nov. 18, 2022
Synopsis: Twelve strangers. Six marriages. One year in Esperance.
Amryn has many reasons to hate the empire. Her latest is her forced marriage to General Carver Vincetti, also known as the Butcher. If he learns even one of her secrets, he will kill her. And Amryn has many secrets. Not only is she an empath with forbidden magic, she’s also a newly recruited rebel intent on destroying the empire—starting at Esperance.
Carver knows the rebels have infiltrated the remote temple of Esperance. His job is to find them before they can wreck the emperor’s new peace. Despite the demons that haunt him, Carver thinks he’s ready for this new mission—but he’s not prepared for Amryn. From her fiery red hair to her surprising wit, his new wife has captured his attention. Now he just has to determine if she’s the enemy.
When the newly married couples become targets in a violent game, Esperance becomes more dangerous than anyone anticipated. Carver and Amryn are about to discover that no one is exactly who they appear to be—especially each other.
C: A Crown of Hopes and Sorrows by Nicole Bailey
Title: A Crown of Hopes and Sorrows
Author: Nicole Bailey
Series: Apollo Ascending #2
Publication Date: June 22, 2022
Synopsis: Two souls bound together.
But one thing threatens to tear them apart.
While tensions build and fates shift, Hyacinth and Apollo seek Zephyrus.
God of the West Wind.
Well connected among low deities.
And Hyacinth’s previous lover.
Amid political schemes and personal struggles, Apollo and Hyacinth tumble through a world verging on war.
But as jealousy flares and secrets come to light, all their careful planning may burn to ash.
This fast-paced sequel to A Veil of Gods and Kings is full of romance and twists and turns set in a dark, magical world.
E: Elektra by Jennifer Saint
Author: Jennifer Saint
Page Length: 400
Publication Date: April 28, 2022
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Synopsis: The House of Atreus is cursed. A bloodline tainted by a generational cycle of violence and vengeance. This is the story of three women, their fates inextricably tied to this curse, and the fickle nature of men and gods.
The sister of Helen, wife of Agamemnon – her hopes of averting the curse are dashed when her sister is taken to Troy by the feckless Paris. Her husband raises a great army against them, and determines to win, whatever the cost.
Princess of Troy, and cursed by Apollo to see the future but never to be believed when she speaks of it. She is powerless in her knowledge that the city will fall.
The youngest daughter of Clytemnestra and Agamemnon, Elektra is horrified by the bloodletting of her kin. But, can she escape the curse, or is her own destiny also bound by violence?
M: Maggie Moves On by Lucy Score
Title: Maggie Moves On
Author: Lucy Score
Page Length: 416
Publication Date: June 21, 2022
Publisher: Forever Pub.
Synopsis: Can these opposites turn up the heat… without burning down the house?
House-flipping sensation and YouTube star Maggie Nichols can’t wait to dig into her next challenge. Arriving in tiny Kinship, Idaho, with only a cot and a coffeemaker, Maggie is prepared to restore a crumbling Victorian mansion in four months or less. She has her to-do lists, her blueprints, and her team. What she doesn’t have is time for sexy, laid-back landscaper Silas Wright.
The man takes flirtation to a whole new level. And he does it shirtless…sometimes pants-less. He and his service school-dropout dog are impressively persistent. But she’s not interested in putting down roots. Not when fans tune in to watch her travel the country turning dilapidated houses into dream homes. A short-term fling on the other hand could fit nicely into her calendar. After all, Maggie remembers what fun is like. Vaguely.
As their summer gets downright steamy, Silas manages to demolish the emotional walls she’s spent years building, sending Maggie into a panic. He’s the wrench in her carefully constructed plans. With the end of the project looming, she has a decision to make. But how can she stay when her entire career is built on moving on?
B: Blood Scion by Deboray Falaye
Title: Blood Scion
Author: Deborah Falaye
Series: Blood Scion
Page Length: 432
Publication Date: March 8, 2022
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Mythology
Synopsis: This is what they deserve. They wanted me to be a monster. I will be the worst monster they ever created.
Fifteen-year-old Sloane can incinerate an enemy at will—she is a Scion, a descendant of the ancient Orisha gods.
Under the Lucis’ brutal rule, her identity means her death if her powers are discovered. But when she is forcibly conscripted into the Lucis army on her fifteenth birthday, Sloane sees a new opportunity: to overcome the bloody challenges of Lucis training, and destroy them from within.
Sloane rises through the ranks and gains strength but, in doing so, risks something greater: losing herself entirely, and becoming the very monster that she ahbors.
E: Ericksen by Sarah Westill
Author: Sarah Westill
Series: Gen-Heirs: The Guardians of Sziveria
Page Length: 282
Publication Date: Nov. 3, 2022
Synopsis: Wintervail will bring more than gifts and snow…
Evidence of an assassin has gone missing, along with a teenage girl. The only witness to the crime refuses to answer any of Melody’s questions, instead hiring Vayden Dossett, a reward seeker, to recover his daughter. The problem? Months ago, Melody rejected a matchmaking recommendation with Vayden. If Melody allows their past to interfere, she’ll lose the chance to prove she’s capable of handling a tough case.
Vayden is used to the prejudice and scorn his gen-common genetics bring out in people. He wanted Melody to be different. She wasn’t, and he refuses to waste time proving himself to her. Personal emotions have no place when a child has been kidnapped. Finding the girl is Vayden’s only priority, regardless of who he must work with to accomplish the goal.
Setting aside their differences isn’t as easy as setting aside their attraction they soon discover. And while Vayden learns Melody has been lied to about her genetic gift, Melody realizes Vayden isn’t at all what she’s been led to believe. Dark secrets soon to come to light, and with winter creeping in, they’re in a race against arctic winds to find answers…
R: Rise of the Vicious Princess by C.J. Redwine
Title: Rise of the Vicious Princess
Author: C.J. Redwine
Page Length: 400
Publication Date: June 14, 2022
Synopsis: The first in a YA political fantasy duology about a fierce princess determined to bring lasting peace to her kingdom regardless of the cost to her heart.
Princess Charis Willowthorn is the dutiful sword of Calera. Raised to be ruthless and cunning, her only goal is to hold her war-torn kingdom together long enough to find a path toward peace with their ancient foe, Montevallo, even if the cost is her own heart.
When violence erupts in the castle itself and an unseen enemy begins sinking Calera’s ships, Charis realizes a threat much greater than Montevallo is coming for her people. So she forms a plan. By day, she is Calera’s formidable princess intent on forging an alliance with Montevallo. By night, she disguises herself as a smuggler and roams the sea with a trusted group of loyalists, hunting for their new enemies. And through it all, there’s the one boy she can’t have—who guards her life but steals her heart.
But her enemies are much closer than Charis realizes, and her heart isn’t the only thing she has left to lose.