Happy Saturday and happy last day of 2022! With January upon us, I thought it would be a great day to spotlight some of the amazing books releasing. 2023 is starting out with a bang with some amazing-sounding contemporary and historical romances, historical fiction, YA fantasy, and more. Let’s check them out!
Jan. 3rd: A Ruinous Fate by Kaylie Smith
Title: A Ruinous Fate
Author: Kaylie Smith
Series: Heartless Fates #1
Publication Date: Jan 3, 2023
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Synopsis: Fate does not choose the weak. Fate chooses the ready.
Calliope Rosewood is a witch with a long streak of bad luck. Like all witches in Illustros, her fate is directly tied to Witch’s Dice—powerful artifacts that have blessed her kind with limitless magic but also set them on a path toward destruction. Cursed with unspeakable powers that terrify even the most dangerous witches and fae, Calla deserted her coven four years ago and has been in hiding with her two best friends since. But Calla is also hiding a grave secret: She is only three Rolls away from becoming the last Blood Warrior and starting the Final War that will decimate her people and eradicate their magic.
After a betrayal from her ex leads her one step closer to fulfilling that age-old prophecy, Calla is desperate to do whatever it takes to reset her fate . . . even if that means journeying into the deadly Neverending Forest with said ex and his enticing, yet enigmatic older brother to find the one being who can help her forge her own path. As Calla ventures farther into the enchanted woods, she finds her heart torn between her past desires and the alluring new possibilities of her future and learns that choosing your own destiny may come with deadly consequences.
Featuring a charming and chaotic ensemble cast of characters, this first book in a planned series by debut author Kaylie Smith will sweep readers away with its utterly immersive world building, swoon-worthy romance, and action-packed storytelling.
Jan. 3rd: The Claw and the Crowned by Sarah M. Cradit
Title: The Claw and the Crowned
Author: Sarah M. Cradit
Series: The Book of All Things
Release Date: January 3, 2023
Synopsis: Freedom is her desire. Vengeance is his price.
Slip into this scintillating tale of a young royal whose loyalty is torn between the prince she was sold to and the tempestuous knight determined to ruin her.
Imryll is unfit to be a princess. Everyone has always told her so. So when the king stuns everyone by crowning her the prince’s consort, her life is completely upended, crushing any lingering dreams of a future away from the suffocating Rhiagain court.
Still reeling from the news, she meets Drazhan, the formidable, mercurial knight who wins the right to be her personal guard. But when he defiantly refuses any show of respect, a dangerous spark ignites between them, one she doesn’t know how to extinguish. Worse, she’s not sure she wants to.
The dark knight’s licentious midnight whispers linger over her, commands she feels inexplicably called to obey. His dangerous promises spread their tendrils over her desperate, failed attempts to embrace life with the prince, her childhood best friend. They take her apart and put her back together, piece by agonizing piece.
Yet she can’t shake the sense Drazhan is hiding something important. He refuses to explain why he surrendered a life of privilege to become her guard. The roaring vengeance burning in his heart, scorching him from the inside out, is a painful mystery Imryll can’t solve.
But she will.
Because Drazhan’s revenge doesn’t just start with Imryll.
It ends with her.
Jan. 3rd: Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert
Title: Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute
Author: Talia Hibbert
Page Length: 336
Publication Date: Jan. 3, 2023
Publisher: Joy Revolution
Synopsis: From the New York Times bestselling author of the Brown Sisters trilogy, comes a laugh-out-loud story about a quirky content creator and a clean-cut athlete testing their abilities to survive the great outdoors–and each other.
Bradley Graeme is pretty much perfect. He’s a star football player, manages his OCD well (enough), and comes out on top in all his classes . . . except the ones he shares with his ex-best friend, Celine.
Celine Bangura is conspiracy-theory-obsessed. Social media followers eat up her takes on everything from UFOs to holiday overconsumption–yet, she’s still not cool enough for the popular kids’ table. Which is why Brad abandoned her for the in-crowd years ago. (At least, that’s how Celine sees it.)
These days, there’s nothing between them other than petty insults and academic rivalry. So when Celine signs up for a survival course in the woods, she’s surprised to find Brad right beside her.
Forced to work as a team for the chance to win a grand prize, these two teens must trudge through not just mud and dirt but their messy past. And as this adventure brings them closer together, they begin to remember the good bits of their history. But has too much time passed . . . or just enough to spark a whole new kind of relationship?
Jan. 10th: Exes and O’s by Amy Lea
Title: Exes and O’s
Author: Amy Lea
Page Length: 400
Publication Date: Jan. 10, 2023
Publisher: Berkley Books
Synopsis: A romance novel–obsessed social media influencer revisits her exes on her hunt for true love in this romantic comedy from the author of Set On You.
Romance-novel connoisseur Tara Chen has had her heart broken ten times by ten different men–all of whom dumped her because of her “stage-five clinger” tendencies. Nevertheless, Tara is determined to find The One. The only problem? Classic meet-cutes are dead thanks to modern dating apps. So Tara decides to revisit her exes in hopes of securing her very own trope-worthy second-chance romance.
Boston firefighter Trevor Metcalfe will be the first to rush into a burning building but the last to rush into a relationship. Love just isn’t his thing. When his new roommate Tara enlists him to help her reconnect with her exes, he reluctantly agrees. But Tara’s journey is leading him to discover his own new chapter.
The more time they spend together, the more Tara realizes Trevor seems to be the only one who appreciates her authentic, dramatic self. To claim their happily-ever-after, can Tara and Trevor read between the lines of their growing connection?
Jan. 10th: The Rom-Com Agenda by Jayne Denker
Title: The Rom-Com Agenda
Author: Jayne Denker
Page Length: 320
Publication Date: Jan. 10, 2023
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Synopsis: You know how the story’s supposed to go…but love makes its own plans.
STEP 1: Find yourself
Leah Keegan is used to being alone, especially after taking care of her sick foster mother for the past year. But now there’s nothing keeping her in the sweet town of Willow Cove. It’s time to move on. Again.
STEP 2: Win back the one who got away
Eli Masterson thought he and Victoria were meant to be together until she decided to jet off to Rome for a year. Eli is determined to win her back. But how?
STEP 3: Become a romantic hero
Changing Eli’s physical appearance is easy, but to turn Eli into the sophisticated-yet-vulnerable ideal man, his girl pals force him to watch classic rom-coms. And take notes.
STEP 4: Fall in love?
Inadvertently drawn into the makeover scheme, Leah ends up being Eli’s guide through the wild world of meet-cutes and grand gestures. Even though she believes Eli doesn’t need to change a thing about himself. Even though she just might be falling for Eli . . . and Eli falling for her.
Jan. 17th: Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao
Title: Song of Silver, Flame Like Night
Author: Amélie Wen Zhao
Series: Song of Silver, Flame Like Night #1
Page Length: 512
Publication Date: Jan. 17, 2023
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Synopsis: In a fallen kingdom, one girl carries the key to discovering the secrets of her nation’s past—and unleashing the demons that sleep at its heart. An epic fantasy series inspired by the mythology and folklore of ancient China.
Once, Lan had a different name. Now she goes by the one the Elantian colonizers gave her when they invaded her kingdom, killed her mother, and outlawed her people’s magic. She spends her nights as a songgirl in Haak’gong, a city transformed by the conquerors, and her days scavenging for what she can find of the past. Anything to understand the strange mark burned into her arm by her mother in her last act before she died.
The mark is mysterious—an untranslatable Hin character—and no one but Lan can see it. Until the night a boy appears at her teahouse and saves her life.
Zen is a practitioner—one of the fabled magicians of the Last Kingdom. Their magic was rumored to have been drawn from the demons they communed with. Magic believed to be long lost. Now it must be hidden from the Elantians at all costs.
When Zen comes across Lan, he recognizes what she is: a practitioner with a powerful ability hidden in the mark on her arm. He’s never seen anything like it—but he knows that if there are answers, they lie deep in the pine forests and misty mountains of the Last Kingdom, with an order of practitioning masters planning to overthrow the Elantian regime.
Both Lan and Zen have secrets buried deep within—secrets they must hide from others, and secrets that they themselves have yet to discover. Fate has connected them, but their destiny remains unwritten. Both hold the power to liberate their land. And both hold the power to destroy the world.
Now the battle for the Last Kingdom begins.
Jan. 17th: The Fraud Squad by Kyla Zhao
Title: The Fraud Squad
Author: Kyla Zhao
Page Length: 368
Publication Date: Jan. 17, 2023
Publisher: Berkley Books
Synopsis: A working-class woman who infiltrates Singapore’s high society to fulfill her dreams risks losing everything in the process—including herself—in this propulsive novel by debut author Kyla Zhao.
For as long as she can remember, Samantha Song has dreamed of writing for a high-society magazine—and she’d do anything to get there. But the constant struggle to help her mom make ends meet and her low social status cause her dream to feel like a distant fantasy.
Now Samantha finds herself working at a drab PR firm. Living vicariously through her wealthy coworker and friend, Anya Chen, is the closest she’ll get to her ideal life. Until she meets Timothy Kingston: the disillusioned son of one of Singapore’s elite families—and Samantha’s one chance at infiltrating the high-society world to which she desperately wants to belong.
To Samantha’s surprise, Timothy and Anya both agree to help her make a name for herself on Singapore’s socialite scene. But the borrowed designer clothes and plus-ones to every glamorous event can only get her so far. The rest is on Samantha, and she’s determined to impress the editor in chief of Singapore’s poshest magazine. But the deeper Samantha wades into this fraud, the more she fears being exposed—especially with a mysterious gossip columnist on the prowl for dirt—forcing her to reconcile her pretense with who she really is before she loses it all.
Jan. 17th: A Love by Design by Elizabeth Everett
Title: A Love By Design
Author: Elizabeth Everett
Series: The Secret Scientists of London #3
Page Length: 336
Publication Date: Jan. 17, 2023
Synopsis: You couldn’t design a better hero than the very eligible and extremely charming Earl Grantham. Unless, of course, you are Margaret Gault, who wants nothing to do with the man who broke her youthful heart.
Widowed and determined, Margaret Gault has returned to Athena’s Retreat and the welcoming arms of her fellow secret scientists with an ambitious plan in mind: to establish England’s first woman-owned engineering firm. But from the moment she sets foot in London her plans are threatened by greedy investors and–at literally every turn–the irritatingly attractive Earl Grantham, a man she can never forgive.
George Willis, the Earl Grantham, is thrilled that the woman he has loved since childhood has returned to London. Not as thrilling, however, is her decision to undertake an engineering commission from his political archnemesis. When Margaret’s future and Grantham’s parliamentary reforms come into conflict, Grantham must use every ounce of charm he possesses–along with his stunning good looks and flawless physique, of course–to win Margaret over to his cause.
Facing obstacles seemingly too large to dismantle, will Grantham and Margaret remain forever disconnected or can they find a way to bridge their differences, rekindle the passion of their youth, and construct a love built to last?
Jan. 19th: Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett
Title: Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries
Author: Heather Fawcett
Series: Emily Wilde #1
Page Length: 336
Publication Date: January 19, 223
Synopsis: A curmudgeonly professor journeys to a small town in the far north to study faerie folklore and discovers dark fae magic, friendship, and love in the start of a heartwarming and enchanting new fantasy series.
Cambridge professor Emily Wilde is good at many things: She is the foremost expert on the study of faeries. She is a genius scholar and a meticulous researcher who is writing the world’s first encyclopaedia of faerie lore. But Emily Wilde is not good at people. She could never make small talk at a party–or even get invited to one. And she prefers the company of her books, her dog, Shadow, and the Fair Folk to other people.
So when she arrives in the hardscrabble village of Hrafnsvik, Emily has no intention of befriending the gruff townsfolk. Nor does she care to spend time with another new arrival: her dashing and insufferably handsome academic rival Wendell Bambleby, who manages to charm the townsfolk, get in the middle of Emily’s research, and utterly confound and frustrate her.
But as Emily gets closer and closer to uncovering the secrets of the Hidden Ones–the most elusive of all faeries–lurking in the shadowy forest outside the town, she also finds herself on the trail of another mystery: Who is Wendell Bambleby, and what does he really want? To find the answer, she’ll have to unlock the greatest mystery of all–her own heart.
Jan. 24th: Her Lessons in Persuasion by Megan Frampton
Title: Her Lessons in Persuasion
Author: Megan Frampton
Series: School for Scoundrels #1
Page Length: 384
Publication Date: Jan. 24, 2023
Publisher: Avon Books
Synopsis: To Lady Wilhelmina Bettesford, the “game” of finding a husband is a competitive sport she wants no part of…until her much-younger step mama forces her to play it. So when her stepmother asks sexy barrister Bram Townsend to pretend to woo the amateur astronomer to boost Wilhelmina’s popularity, it’s up to Wilhelmina to navigate a fake courtship that will keep the family from forcing her into a marriage–any marriage–before she finally receives the inheritance that will allow her to live as she wants.
The trouble is every time Bram takes her in his arms she has a most difficult time remembering theirs is an act…the make-believe passion feels very real indeed.
Bram Townsend is a man on the way up: living for his books and his beliefs. Squiring Lady Wilhelmina through London’s dusk-to-dawn social whirl is hardly an ordeal–she’s beautiful, bright, and bold, everything he finds tempting in a woman. Their deal means he can meet the “best” people while she keeps her family at bay. The challenge is he quickly finds himself wanting her to say “yes” when she’s so determined to say “no.” She persuaded him to make this impetuous bargain, but how can he convince her to make it real?
Jan. 24th: One Duke Down by Anna Bennett
Title: One Duke Down
Author: Anna Bennett
Series: Rogues to Riches #2
Page Length: 352
Publication Date: Jan. 24, 2023
Publisher: St. Martin’s Pub
Synopsis: A FISHERMAN’S DAUGHTER
Miss Poppy Summers is determined to keep her family’s fishing business afloat. Her poor widowed father has fallen ill, and her foolhardy brother has moved to London, leaving her precious little time to read or pursue her own dreams. But she’ll do anything for her family, so she cheerfully spends mornings in her rowboat, casting her nets. The very last thing Poppy expects or wants to find tangled in them is a dangerously attractive man. Especially one with a head wound—who’s convinced he’s a duke.
AND A DUKE OUT OF WATER
Andrew Keane is the Duke of Hawking, but he’s having the devil of a time convincing his wary, fiery-haired rescuer of that fact. The truth is he came to the seaside resort of Bellehaven Bay to escape his life in London. Unfortunately, someone in Bellehaven wants to kill him—and he intends to find out who. He implores Poppy to tend to his injuries and hide him on her beach, reasoning it will be easier to find his attacker if that man assumes Keane is already dead. She wants no part of the scheme but can’t refuse the generous sum he offers in exchange for food and shelter while he recovers. It’s a mutually beneficial business arrangement…nothing more.
ARE ABOUT TO MAKE WAVES
Under Poppy’s care, Keane regains his strength—and a sense of purpose. As they work together to solve the puzzle of his would-be murderer, he’s dazzled by her rapier wit and adventurous spirit; she’s intrigued by his mysterious air and protective streak. Though Poppy’s past gives her every reason to mistrust someone like Keane, the seawalls around her heart crumble in the storm of their passion. But when clues hint at the prime suspect in Keane’s attempted murder, Poppy must decide where her loyalties lie. Torn between the world she’s always known and the one she’s always dreamed of, she’ll need true love for a shot at her fairytale ending.
Jan. 24th: Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim
Title: Spice Road
Author: Maiya Ibrahim
Series: Spice Road Trilogy #1
Page Length: 464
Publication Date: January 24, 2023
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Synopsis: In the hidden desert city of Qalia, there is secret spice magic that awakens the affinities of those who drink the misra tea. Sixteen-year-old Imani has the affinity for iron and is able to wield a dagger like no other warrior. She has garnered the reputation as being the next great Shield for battling djinn, ghouls, and other monsters spreading across the sands.
Her reputation has been overshadowed, however, by her brother, who tarnished the family name after it was revealed that he was stealing his nation’s coveted spice–a telltale sign of magical obsession. Soon after that, he disappeared, believed to have died beyond the Forbidden Wastes. Despite her brother’s betrayal, there isn’t a day that goes by when Imani doesn’t grieve him.
But when Imani discovers signs that her brother may be alive and spreading the nation’s magic to outsiders, she makes a deal with the Council that she will find him and bring him back to Qalia, where he will face punishment. Accompanied by other Shields, including Taha, a powerful beastseer who can control the minds of falcons, she sets out on her mission.
Imani will soon find that many secrets lie beyond the Forbidden Wastes–and in her own heart–but will she find her brother?
Jan. 27th: 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.
Jan. 31st: The Second You’re Single by Cara Tanamachi
Title: The Second You’re Single
Author: Cara Tanamachi
Page Length: 288
Publication Date: Jan. 31, 2023
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Synopsis: Cheerfully irreverent, bitingly funny, and filled with romantic charm, Cara Tanamachi’s The Second You’re Single is all about navigating the most romantic month of the year, and how love always seems to arrive when you least expect it.
Freelance writer Sora Reid believes in inertia. She’s the odd one out in a close-knit family of go-getters, including her Japanese-American mom, who hints about her need to lose weight, and her soon-to-be married, overachieving younger sister, who needs her to have a date for the wedding, since a wedding party couples’ dance with their Scottish great uncle Bob simply won’t do. For Sora, minimal input, minimal expectations is the way to go. She’d rather stay at home with her insufferable neighbor and her adorable pitbull.
The one thing that disrupts her inertia: an intense dislike for Valentine’s Day. What is it with the commercial love machine? Why do we pin our hopes on one romantic day, when staying home with a package of bacon and a bottle of tequila would be way better? Sora’s been betrayed and disappointed more than once and her heart is starting to feel like her Grandma Mitsuye’s antique Japanese ceramic bowl, with its many gold-filled cracks.
When her pledge to stay single in February inspires readers to #gosolo, Sora has a responsibility to empower her readers. But relationships aren’t built to last, so it shouldn’t be that hard. Right?
Enter Jack Mann. A muscle-bound baker who looks like he lifts logs on the weekends, Sora hasn’t thought of Jack since they were in elementary school together. When they see each other at the local grocery store and the attraction hits hard, Sora knows she has to shut it down, quick. She can’t #gosolo AND get the guy. She can’t let down her readers. And relationships always end, so why should Jack be any different–even though he’s confounding all her long-held expectations of love?
Which books are you excited for? Comment below!