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 some upcoming 2023 releases on my TBR.
F: Fake Dates and Mooncakes by Sher Lee
Page Length: 272
Publication Date: May 16, 223
Synopsis: Heartstopper meets Crazy Rich Asians in this heartfelt, joyful paperback original rom-com that follows an aspiring chef who discovers the recipe for love is more complicated than it seems when he starts fake-dating a handsome new customer.
Dylan Tang wants to win a Mid-Autumn Festival mooncake-making competition for teen chefs—in memory of his mom, and to bring much-needed publicity to his aunt’s struggling Chinese takeout in Brooklyn.
Enter Theo Somers: charming, wealthy, with a smile that makes Dylan’s stomach do backflips. AKA a distraction. Their worlds are sun-and-moon apart, but Theo keeps showing up. He even convinces Dylan to be his fake date at a family wedding in the Hamptons.
In Theo’s glittering world of pomp, privilege, and crazy rich drama, their romance is supposed to be just pretend . . . but Dylan finds himself falling for Theo. For real. Then Theo’s relatives reveal their true colors—but with the mooncake contest looming, Dylan can’t risk being sidetracked by rich-people problems.
Can Dylan save his family’s business and follow his heart—or will he fail to do both?
E: Escaping Eleven by Jerri Chisholm
Series: Eleven Trilogy #3
Page Length: 400
Publication Date: March 6, 2023
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Synopsis: My name is Eve Hamilton.
Everyone in Compound Eleven thinks I was killed. But they’re dead wrong…
I spent my entire life in Compound Eleven as a fighter. Surviving in an underground city filled with violence, oppression, and tyranny. We were told the world above was scorched, an immediate death sentence. I should have died never knowing the truth. Instead, when I fought Wren—a boy from the top floor, a Preme—I fell for him. And eventually learned that my reality was an insidious lie.
Escaping Compound Eleven nearly killed me and Wren. Now we’re aboveground, where the world is anything but a toxic, burning wasteland. It’s green and lush, filled with sunshine, fresh water…and hope. All of which tastes bitter when I see what it’s cost me. Because something in Wren has changed. He’s broken—along with whatever it was between us.
Now the tides of violence in Compound Eleven are rising, threatening to spill out and shatter this peaceful place with brutality, corruption, and death.
But do I stop them…or join them?
B: Bring Me Your Midnight by Rachel Griffin
Page Length: 320
Publication Date: Au. 1, 2023
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Synopsis: Tana Fairchild’s fate has never been in question. Her life has been planned out since the moment she was born: she is to marry the governor’s son, Landon, and secure an unprecedented alliance between the witches of her island home and the mainlanders who see her very existence as a threat.
Tana’s coven has appeased those who fear their power for years by releasing most of their magic into the ocean during the full moon. But when Tana misses the midnight ritual—a fatal mistake—there is no one she can turn to for help…until she meets Wolfe.
Wolfe claims he is from a coven that practices dark magic, making him one of the only people who can help her. But he refuses to let Tana’s power rush into the sea, and instead teaches her his forbidden magic. A magic that makes her feel powerful. Alive.
As the sea grows more violent, her coven loses control of the currents, a danger that could destroy the alliance as well as her island. Tana will have to choose between love and duty, between loyalty to her people and loyalty to her heart. Marrying Landon would secure peace for her coven but losing Wolfe and his wild magic could cost her everything else.
R: The Rebel King by Gina Maxwell
Series: Deviant Kings #2
Page Length: 400
Publication Date: July 25, 2023
Synopsis: Return to the darkly sensual world of the Deviant Kings—and all their otherworldly pleasures—in this electric second book from New York Times bestselling author Gina L. Maxwell.
U: Unfortunately Yours by Tessa Bailey
Series: a Vine Mess #2
Page Length: 384
Publication Date: June 6, 2023
Synopsis: After losing her job and her fiancé in one fell swoop, Natalie Vos returned home to lick her wounds. A few months later, she’s sufficiently drowned her sorrows in cabernet and she’s ready to get back on her feet. She just needs her trust fund to finance her new business venture. Unfortunately, the terms require she marry before she can have the money. And well, dumped, remember? But Natalie is desperate enough to propose to a man who makes her want to kill him—and kiss him, in equal measure.
August Cates may own a vineyard, but he doesn’t know jack about making wine. He’s determined to do his late best friend proud, no matter what it takes. Except his tasting room is empty, his wine is disgusting (seriously, he once saw someone gag), and his buddy’s legacy is circling the drain. No bank will give him the loan he needs to turn the business around… and then the gorgeous, feisty heiress knocks on his door. Natalie has haunted his dreams since the moment they met, but their sizzling chemistry immediately morphed into simmering insults.
Now, a quickie marriage could help them both. A sham wedding, a few weeks living under the same roof, and then they can go their separate ways—assuming they make it out alive. How hard could it be? There’s just one thing they didn’t account for: their unfortunate, unbearable, undeniable attraction.
A: Atalanta by Jennifer Saint
Page Length: 304
Publication Date: May 9, 2023
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Synopsis: From the beloved, bestselling author of Elektra and Ariadne, a reimagining of the myth of Atalanta, a fierce huntress raised by bears and the only woman in the world’s most famous band of heroes, the Argonauts
Princess, Warrior, Lover, Hero
When Princess Atalanta is born, a daughter rather than the son her parents hoped for, she is left on a mountainside to die. But even then, she is a survivor. Raised by a mother bear under the protective eye of the goddess Artemis, Atalanta grows up wild and free, with just one condition: if she marries, Artemis warns, it will be her undoing.
Although she loves her beautiful forest home, Atalanta yearns for adventure. When Artemis offers her the chance to fight in her name alongside the Argonauts, the fiercest band of warriors the world has ever seen, Atalanta seizes it. The Argonauts’ quest for the Golden Fleece is filled with impossible challenges, but Atalanta proves herself equal to the men she fights alongside. As she is swept into a passionate affair, in defiance of Artemis’s warning, she begins to question the goddess’s true intentions. Can Atalanta carve out her own legendary place in a world of men, while staying true to her heart?
Full of joy, passion, and adventure, Atalanta is the story of a woman who refuses to be contained. Jennifer Saint places Atalanta in the pantheon of the greatest heroes in Greek mythology, where she belongs.
R: A Rogue’s Rules for Seduction by Eva Leigh
Series: Last Chance Scoundrels #3
Page Length: 384
Publication Date: April 25, 2023
Synopsis: After Dominic Kilburn left Lady Willa Ransom at the altar, she vowed never to reveal how badly she was hurt. Following a year abroad, Willa wants to move on with her life, so she accepts an invitation to a house party. She’s determined to leave her humiliation behind, as well as the scorching attraction she still feels for the man who jilted her.
When dark secrets from his past surfaced right before his wedding, Dom knew he didn’t deserve Willa. So, he bolted. But he still burns for the only woman who ever claimed his heart. To escape the memories of all he lost, Dom heads to a friend’s estate on an isolated Scottish isle. Yet one of the other guests is the very woman who haunts his every thought and makes him wish for the impossible.
Thrown together by well-meaning family and friends, Willa and Dom try to resist the fiery pull between them. Soon the line between love and loathing begins to blur, and their attraction explodes. But Dom’s past lurks on the edge of their rekindled passion and Willa fears she’ll be devastated all over again. Can these star-crossed lovers find their happily ever after, or will everything detonate a second time?
Y: Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez
Page Length: 400
Publication Date: April 11, 2023
Synopsis: Dr. Briana Ortiz’s life is seriously flatlining. Her divorce is just about finalized, her brother’s running out of time to find a kidney donor, and that promotion she wants? Oh, that’s probably going to the new man-doctor who’s already registering eighty-friggin’-seven on Briana’s “pain in my ass” scale. But just when all systems are set to hate, Dr. Jacob Maddox completely flips the game . . . by sending Briana a letter.
And it’s a really good letter. Like the kind that proves that Jacob isn’t actually Satan. Worse, he might be this fantastically funny and subversively likeable guy who’s terrible at first impressions. Because suddenly he and Bri are exchanging letters, sharing lunch dates in her “sob closet,” and discussing the merits of freakishly tiny horses. But when Jacob decides to give Briana the best gift imaginable—a kidney for her brother—she wonders just how she can resist this quietly sexy new doctor . . . especially when he calls in a favor she can’t refuse.