Happy Saturday, friends! It’s another rainy weekend here which is so frustrating because I really want to stain my back deck. One of these weekends we’ll have clear skies, and I’ll get that deck done! lol In the meantime, I can chill inside with a good book. Speaking of good books, let’s check out 20 highly anticipated book releases for May!
May 1st: Famous for a Living by Melissa Ferguson
Page Length: 320
Synopsis: With her millions of followers, Cat Cranwell is adored around the world. But when an app partnership goes very, very wrong, Cat suddenly finds herself shunned from the community that not only fed her soul all these years but paid her bills. When Cat’s closest living relative, Uncle Terry, offers her a position on his staff at a small national park in Montana to get away from the city, Cat hesitantly accepts the opportunity.
What she doesn’t realize is that as the new social media strategist her goal is to save Kannery National Park from being absorbed into Glacier National Park by boosting the number of visitors. And at least one of her new colleagues—namely, handsome and rugged ranger Zaiah Hudson—thinks social media is the root of everything that’s wrong with the world. Written with bestselling author Melissa Ferguson’s signature wit and charm, this romantic comedy of opposites attract is full of hilarious romp and a romance that will melt readers’ hearts.
May 2nd: Clytemnestra by Costanza Casati
Page Length: 448
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Synopsis: As for queens, they are either hated or forgotten. She already knows which option suits her best…
You were born to a king, but you marry a tyrant. You stand by helplessly as he sacrifices your child to placate the gods. You watch him wage war on a foreign shore, and you comfort yourself with violent thoughts of your own. Because this was not the first offence against you. This was not the life you ever deserved. And this will not be your undoing. Slowly, you plot.
But when your husband returns in triumph, you become a woman with a choice.
Acceptance or vengeance, infamy follows both. So, you bide your time and force the gods’ hands in the game of retribution. For you understood something long ago that the others never did.
If power isn’t given to you, you have to take it for yourself.
A blazing novel set in the world of Ancient Greece for fans of Jennifer Saint and Natalie Haynes, this is a thrilling tale of power and prophecies, of hatred, love, and of an unforgettable Queen who fiercely dealt out death to those who wronged her.
May 2nd: Fourth Wing by Rebecca Yarros
Series: The Empyrean #1
Page Length: 512
Synopsis: Twenty-year-old Violet Sorrengail was supposed to enter the Scribe Quadrant, living a quiet life among books and history. Now, the commanding general—also known as her tough-as-talons mother—has ordered Violet to join the hundreds of candidates striving to become the elite of Navarre: dragon riders.
But when you’re smaller than everyone else and your body is brittle, death is only a heartbeat away…because dragons don’t bond to “fragile” humans. They incinerate them.
With fewer dragons willing to bond than cadets, most would kill Violet to better their own chances of success. The rest would kill her just for being her mother’s daughter—like Xaden Riorson, the most powerful and ruthless wingleader in the Riders Quadrant.
She’ll need every edge her wits can give her just to see the next sunrise.
Yet, with every day that passes, the war outside grows more deadly, the kingdom’s protective wards are failing, and the death toll continues to rise. Even worse, Violet begins to suspect leadership is hiding a terrible secret.
Friends, enemies, lovers. Everyone at Basgiath War College has an agenda—because once you enter, there are only two ways out: graduate or die.
May 2nd: A Heart Worth Stealing by Joanna Barker
Page Length: 288
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Synopsis: Sowerby, England, 1802
Miss Genevieve Wilde—a magistrate’s daughter and independent heiress—is determined to meet life’s challenges all on her own, just as her late-father had taught her. So when her father’s pocket watch is stolen, she will do anything to get it back, especially when the local authorities prove incompetent.
Upon reading an advertisement in the paper, she takes a chance and contacts a thief-taker to find the watch. It’s a choice Ginny regrets when former Bow Street officer Jack Travers arrives on her doorstep. He is frustratingly flirtatious, irritatingly handsome, and entirely unpredictable, and Ginny wonders if she’ll be able to resist such a man.
But after Ginny discovers that the missing watch is just a small part of a larger, more frightening plot against her, she needs Jack’s help more than ever. To protect her home and her reputation, the two enter into a risky charade—pretending Jack is her cousin so he can begin his investigation, starting with the household staff. As they work together to unravel the mystery, Ginny finds herself falling fast for her charismatic thief-taker, leaving her heart in just as much danger as her life.
May 2nd: The Stolen Throne by Abigail Owen
Series: Dominions #2
Page Length: 460
Publisher: Entangled: Teen
Synopsis: My twin sister is the true queen of Aryd. She survives, hiding and clinging to life in the desert, while I reign as the false queen alongside the monstrous King Eidolon. There’s only one escape from this gilded prison: Reven. My Shadowraith. My heart. Only the shadows that he struggles to control are growing more sinister, more powerful.
It’s just a matter of time before they turn on him…and on me.
Even escape doesn’t mean true freedom, though, when we’re still on the run from Eidolon’s unstoppable armies. And when we discover there’s a traitor among us, I have no choice…I must become the queen I was never meant to be.
Because as one evil hunts me, the other loves me more than himself.
And my fate lies with both.
May 2nd: The Last Word by Katy Birchall
Page Length: 384
Publication Date: May 2, 2023
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Synopsis: Harper Jenkins is at the top of her game. A brilliant, determined journalist with a well-known knack for getting tight-lipped Hollywood stars to open up to her, Harper loves her job as Celebrity Editor at a newspaper’s glossy weekend magazine and has the best contacts in the business.
But when her awful boss hires talented reporter Ryan to be the new Features Editor, Harper is furious. Because the two have met before: a decade ago, they were interns at the same publication, where they fell into a whirlwind romance…until Ryan betrayed Harper, and they never spoke again.
Thrown together in a busy newsroom, their dynamic is a disaster from the start. They can’t agree on anything and bicker constantly—Ryan can’t bear how chaotic and messy Harper is; Harper finds Ryan’s condescending nature infuriating. They clash over who’s writing what article, and fight over who’s going to which event.
Yet as they’re forced to spend more and more time together, Harper realizes she may have misjudged Ryan and can’t help but feel a spark growing between them. Long-buried feelings start to resurface and, when they’re thrown together on a romantic press trip abroad, their chemistry comes to a head.
But all is fair in love and magazines, and with the news that layoffs across the department are imminent, Harper is left to wonder: who will get the last word?
May 2nd: Practice Makes Perfect by Sarah Adams
Page Length: 352
Synopsis: Annie Walker is on a quest to find her perfect match-someone who nicely compliments her happy, quiet life running her flower shop in Rome, Kentucky. Unfortunately, she worries her goal might be too far out of reach when she overhears her date saying she is “sounbelievably boring.” Is it too late to become flirtatious and fun like the leading ladies in her favorite romance movies? Maybe she only needs a little practice…and Annie has the perfect person in mind to become her tutor: Will Griffin.
Will–the flirtatious, tattooed, and absolutely gorgeous bodyguard–is temporarily back in Rome, providing security for Amelia Rose as excitement grows for her upcoming marriage to Noah Walker. He has one personal objective during his time in town: stay away from Annie Walker. But no sooner than he gets settled, Will soon finds himself not only breaking his rule, but tasked with far more than simply providing security.
Will wants no part in changing the sweet and lovely Annie, but he can’t bring himself to say no to her request, so he officially agrees to teach her how to be the next leading lady of Rome, Kentucky, and find the love of her life-even if he doesn’t believe in love himself. Between faking a relationship so the meddling town doesn’t catch on to what’s really happening on their practice dates, and tutoring lessons that convince Annie to add passion to her list of must-haves in a mate, it doesn’t take long for the lines of their friendship to blur…
May 9th: The Boyfriend Candidate by Ashley Winstead
Publisher: Graydon House
Synopsis: As a shy school librarian, Alexis Stone is comfortable keeping out of the spotlight. But when she’s dumped for being too meek—in bed!—the humiliation is a wake-up call. She decides she needs to change, and what better way to kick-start her new more adventurous life than with her first one-night stand?
Enter Logan, the gorgeous, foul-mouthed stranger she meets at a hotel bar. Logan is audacious and filterless, making him Alexis’s opposite—and boy, do opposites attract! Just as she’s about to fulfill her hookup wish, the hotel catches fire in a freak lightning storm—and in their rush to escape, Logan is discovered carrying her into the street, where people are waiting with cameras. Cameras Logan promptly—and shockingly—flees.
Alexis is bewildered until breaking news hits: pictures of her and Logan escaping the fire are all over the internet. It turns out Logan is none other than Logan Arthur, the hotshot politician challenging the Texas governor’s seat. The salacious images are poised to sink his career—and jeopardize Alexis’s job—until a solution is proposed: to squash the scandal, he and Alexis could pretend to be in a relationship until election day…in two months. What could possibly go wrong?
May 9th: Beauty Reborn by Elizabeth Lowham
Page Length: 208
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Synopsis: Yes, I went to the woods to save my father. But I also went hoping I would be eaten by the Beast. Because I didn’t think anything else could save me.
Beauty’s life is the stuff of fairy tales. The youngest in her family, Beauty isn’t trying to catch Stephan’s eye. He is the lord baron’s heir, well above her family’s modest station, but when he kisses her hand at a party, Beauty is swept away by his charm, his wit, and his passionate declarations of love.
Hearts can be untamable creatures, especially when touched by the fires of first love, and Beauty doesn’t see the truth of Stephan’s intentions until it is too late. Until he stops asking for Beauty’s love—and simply takes it from her one night despite her refusal.
Beauty locks away the secret of what happened to her, and when her father emerges from the enchanted forest with a stolen rose in his hand and the tale of a vicious beast on his breath, Beauty seizes the chance to run as far from Stephan as possible.
She has some experience with beasts, after all. Certainly the one in the forest couldn’t be any worse than the one she’s already encountered.
Breaking the Beast’s curse might be the key to discovering her own path to healing—and finding the courage to allow herself to feel reborn.
May 9th: A Crown of Ivy and Glass by Claire Legrand
Series: The Middlemist Trilogy #1
Page Length: 560
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Synopsis: Lady Gemma Ashbourne seemingly has it all. She’s young, gorgeous, and rich. Her family was Anointed by the gods, blessed with incredible abilities. But underneath her glittering façade, Gemma is deeply sad. Years ago, her sister Mara was taken to the Middlemist to guard against treacherous magic. Her mother abandoned the family. Her father and eldest sister, Farrin—embroiled in a deadly blood feud with the mysterious Bask family—often forget Gemma exists.
Worst of all, Gemma is the only Ashbourne to possess no magic. Instead, her body fights it like poison. Constantly ill, aching with loneliness, Gemma craves love and yearns to belong.
Then she meets the devastatingly handsome Talan d’Astier. His family destroyed themselves, seduced by a demon, and Talan, the only survivor, is determined to redeem their honor. Intrigued and enchanted, Gemma proposes a bargain: She’ll help Talan navigate high society if he helps her destroy the Basks. According to popular legend, a demon called The Man With the Three-Eyed Crown is behind the families’ blood feud—slay the demon, end the feud.
But attacks on the Middlemist are increasing. The plot against the Basks quickly spirals out of control. And something immense and terrifying is awakening in Gemma, drawing her inexorably toward Talan and an all-consuming passion that could destroy her—or show her the true strength of her power at last.
May 9th: A Bargain with a Beast by Tammy Andresen
Series: Lords of Temptation #4
Page Length: 151
Publication Date: May 9, 2023
Synopsis: What’s a man to do when a tiny baby is dropped at his door?
Lord Griswold Smith isn’t exactly genteel, despite his title. Gris is a hard hitting, gin making, gaming hell running, cursing and spitting giant of a man. Who would even leave a baby in his care? He’ll find her mother, return her from whence she came, and go back to his derelict life. Until he can track down the fool of a woman who dropped tiny Rose off to begin with, he’ll need help. A temporary nanny should do the trick.
Her new employer is an absolute beast….
But she’s as desperate as a woman can be. Which is why Miss Violet Chase accepts the nanny position even though Lord Griswold is as large and imposing as a man comes. With her father’s imprisonment, she has no alternative. And besides, the first time she sees Gris’s massive arms wrapped around a tiny little baby, something deep inside her shifts.
And when the demons of her father’s past come knocking, suddenly a large and intimidating man is exactly what she needs. Is he strong enough to beat back the demons that chase her all while holding a tiny babe in his arms? And how might it feel to be held in that same way? She’d like to find out…
May 9th: Atalanta by Jennifer Saint
Page Length: 304
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.
May 16th: Songs of Sacrament by Nicole Bailey
Series: The Siren’s Call #2
Synopsis: A fake marriage. A prince full of regret. And two kingdoms on the brink of war.
Forced into marriage vows, Lira is determined to keep her distance from Sai. But as tensions rise between the fairy courts, they must work together to uncover a lost treasure that could change the course of history.
While Lira and Sai brave dangers, Lennox confronts a secret from his history that forces him to leave the safety of his world to face the wrongs of his past.
Full of magic, adventure, and unforgettable characters, this thrilling sequel to Songs of Vice will leave you eagerly awaiting the next installment in the series.
May 16th: Summer Reading by Jenn McKinlay
Page Length: 480
Synopsis: For Samantha Gale, a summer on Martha’s Vineyard at her family’s tiny cottage was supposed to be about resurrecting her career as a chef, until she’s tasked with chaperoning her half-brother, Tyler. The teenage brainiac is spending his summer at the local library in a robotics competition, and there’s no place Sam, who’s dyslexic, likes less than the library. And because the universe hates her, the library’s interim director turns out to be the hot-reader guy whose book she accidentally destroyed on the ferry ride to the island.
Bennett Reynolds is on a quest to find his father, whose identity he’s never known. He’s taken the temporary job on the island to research the summer his mother spent there when she got pregnant with him. Ben tells himself he isn’t interested in a relationship right now. Yet as soon as Sam knocks his book into the ocean, he can’t stop thinking about her.
An irresistible attraction blossoms when Ben inspires Sam to create the cookbook she’s always dreamed about and she jumps all in on helping him find his father, and soon they realize their summer fling may heat up into a happily ever after.
May 19th: Desert Island Duke by Kate Bateman
Page Length: 133
Synopsis: Shipwrecked on a tropical isle, Caroline ‘Caro’ Montgomery is furious to discover that her sole fellow castaway is her brother’s infuriating best friend, Maximillian Cavendish, the fourteenth duke of Hayworth.
Max might be the most handsome man she’s ever met, but he’s teased her ever since they were children. So when Max claims to have lost his memory, Caro seizes the opportunity for revenge—and informs him he’s a lowly stable hand.
As they work together to survive, attraction flares hot between them. But should Caro reveal her deception? And what will happen if Max finally remembers he’s a duke?
May 23rd: The Dueling Duchess by Minerva Spencer
Series: The Wicked Women of Whitechapel #2
Synopsis: Regency-era England may be a man’s world, but a lady boss is about to show them how it’s done . . .
In the newest of her witty, Regency-set, feminist romances exploring the roles of women in a rigidly patriarchal society, acclaimed author Minerva Spencer hits the mark with expert sharpshooter, London circus attraction, and French expat Cecile Tremblay. A new generation of readers and Bridgerton fans will delight in the rapier sharp wit, sexual fireworks, and thought-provoking entertainment of The Dueling Duchess.
When Cecile Tremblay lost everyone and everything in the French Revolution, she never imagined that she’d earn her living as a markswoman in a London circus. But Farnham’s Fantastical Female Fayre has become her home, her family, and her future. Another thing Cecile never imagined was becoming entangled with the man gossip columns call The Darling of the Ton. But mere weeks after her rejection of his insulting carte blanche—and his infuriating engagement to an heiress—Darlington is back, this time to beg Cecile for help. And help him she will, by teaching him about honest work—and the right way to treat a woman.
Gaius Darlington has always led a charmed life. Until now. Suddenly, a long-lost heir has appeared to claim his title, possessions, and property, Not only that, but Guy’s fiancée has jilted him to marry the usurper! Yet there is a silver lining: it’s no longer Guy’s duty to marry an heiress to save the dukedom. He’s free to wed the woman he loves—if only he can earn her forgiveness.
They say hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. But fury is just a step away from passion, and Guy knows just how to arouse Cecile’s. . .
May 23rd: Her Unforgettable Knight by Melissa Oliver
Series: Protectors of the Crown #3
Page Length: 288
Publication Date: May 23, 2023
Publisher: Harlequin Historical
Synopsis: Danger abounds in this dramatic medieval romance
She never forgot him…
Can she ever forgive him?
Marguerite never expected to see Savaric again—let alone to have to help him when she finds him outnumbered in a fight. He’s the brooding knight she fell for two years ago…until he left her unexpectedly. Now Marguerite is a hardened spy and wary of trusting him again. But how long can she resist their connection when they must work together to protect the Crown?
May 23rd: Four Weddings and a Duke by Michelle McLean
Page Length: 416
Publication Date: May 23, 2023
Publisher: Entangled: Amara
Synopsis: As the middle—and least marriageable—sister in a bevy of swans, Lavinia Wynnburn is quite content being the odd duck out. This way, she’s free to commit social faux pas without anyone much noticing. Until the Duke of Beaubrooke turns up the morning after a ball, asking for her hand in marriage.
Alexander Reddington doesn’t particularly care for social niceties, nor is he particularly good at them. But now that the spare has become the heir, he must marry…and soon. When he stumbles into the same corner as a socially awkward wallflower, he knows he’s found the perfect wife: one who won’t bother him to attend every simpering event of the season.
Only, Alexander’s shy and pretty new wife is finding her new position surprisingly exciting and keeps accepting every invitation that flutters past their door. And worse luck, he might even be falling for her. Now he must hide the truth about why he really proposed…before his unexpectedly happy marriage is dashed to pieces.
May 23rd: His Study in Scandal by Megan Frampton
Series: School for Scoundrels #2
Page Length: 352
Synopsis: Alexandra, Duchess of Chelmsworth, is tired of pretending to mourn a husband who squandered a fortune and never bothered to give her the time of day, much less any attentions at night. So, the still-beautiful duchess cuts up her mourning gowns, deciding to experience the pleasures long denied her by daringly visiting the Garden of Hedon. It is there the ton anonymously gives in to their deepest desires, and where Alexandra finds herself in the arms of a mysterious man. She willingly gives in to the passion he offers her, fully believing she would never see him again.
But she is shocked to soon discover he is none other than Theo Osborne, who is continually being pushed forward as a husband–for Alexandra’s own stepdaughter! While his wealth would save the family from financial ruin, his intentions are clear: he has no interest in anyone but Alexandra. And though he tempts and teases her, she is determined not to give her heart to any man. But what started as a sensuous game turns into something much more…
May 30th: That Summer Feeling by Bridget Morrissey
Page Length: 336
Synopsis: Turns out you’re never too old for a summer camp romance. Or a change of heart. When a divorced woman attends a sleepaway camp for adults only, she reconnects with a man from her past–only to catch feelings for his sister instead.
Garland Moore used to believe in magic, the power of optimism, and signs from the universe. Then her husband surprised her with divorce papers over Valentine’s Day dinner. Now Garland isn’t sure what to believe anymore, except that she’s clearly never meant to love again. When new friends invite her to spend a week at their reopened sleepaway camp, she and her sister decide it’s an opportunity to enjoy the kind of summer getaway they never had as kids. If Garland still believed in signs, this would sure seem like one. Summer camp is a chance to let go of her past and start fresh.
Nestled into the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains, Camp Carl Cove provides the exact escape Garland always dreamed of, until she runs into Mason–the man she had a premonition about after one brief meeting years ago. No matter how she tries to run, the universe appears determined to bring love back into Garland’s life. She even ends up rooming with Mason’s sister Stevie, a vibrant former park ranger who is as charming as she is competitive. The more time Garland spends with Stevie, the more the signs confuse her. The stars are aligning in a way Garland never could have predicted.
Amid camp tournaments and moonlit dances, Garland continues to be pulled toward the beautiful blonde outdoorswoman who makes her laugh and swoon. Summer camp doesn’t last forever, but if Garland can learn to trust her heart, the love she finds there just might.
LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon
May 30th: The Benevolent Society of Ill-Mannered Ladies by Alison Goodman
Page Length: 464
Publisher: Berkley Books
Synopsis: Lady Augusta Colebrook, “Gus,” is determinedly unmarried, bored by society life, and tired of being dismissed at the age of forty-two. She and her twin sister, Julia, who is grieving her dead betrothed, need a distraction. One soon presents itself: to rescue their friend’s goddaughter, Caroline, from her violent husband.
The sisters set out to Caroline’s country estate with a plan, but their carriage is accosted by a highwayman. In the scuffle, Gus accidentally shoots and injures the ruffian, only to discover he is Lord Evan Belford, an acquaintance from their past who was charged with murder and exiled to Australia twenty years ago. What follows is a high adventure full of danger, clever improvisation, heart-racing near misses, and a little help from a revived and rather charming Lord Evan.
Back in London, Gus can’t stop thinking about her unlikely (not to mention handsome) comrade-in-arms. She is convinced Lord Evan was falsely accused of murder, and she is going to prove it. She persuades Julia to join her in a quest to help Lord Evan, and others in need–society be damned! And so begins the beguiling secret life and adventures of the Colebrook twins.
Are you looking forward to any of these? What other releases are you excited about? Comment below!
9 thoughts on “May 2023: 21 Highly Anticipated Book Releases”
There are so many great books coming out in May. I really want to read Fourth Wing and The Last Word
I just finished The Last Word and enjoyed it! I’ll have a review up tomorrow!
So many of these are new to me but I’m definitely interested in checking out quite a few of them! Thanks for putting them on my radar 😃 The one on here that I’m super excited for is Fourth Wing! I’ve heard sooo many great things about it. I hope you enjoy all of these, Julie!
Thanks, Dini! I just finished The Last Word and enjoyed it. And I preordered Fourth Wing. Can’t wait to read it!!!
Woo Fourth Wing! I can’t wait to get my copy in the mail.
I am not anticipating a May book, but looking forward to a May book event
Annually, at my church through a women’s group, Park Road Books (one of my favorite independent bookstores), brings a speaker to our church to advertise about 10-15 or so books—-this is how I was able to buy Spinning Silver, Last Bookshop in London, and House on Vesper Sands (bought them all through this event- meaning been to the event for 3 years)
That’s so cool! You’ll have to keep me posted on which books they advertise this year!