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. Today, I’m spotlighting books on my TBR. However, I only have one book that starts with “U,” so I included a favorite of mine for the second U in August.
A: Athena’s Child
Title: Athena’s Child
Author: Hannah Lynn
Series: The Grecian Women Trilogy #1
Page Length: 236
Publication Date: Sept. 26, 2023
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Synopsis: First, they loved her. Then, they abused her. Finally, they made her a villain.
Gifted and burdened with stunning beauty, young Medusa seeks sanctuary with the Goddess Athena. But when she catches the eye of the lecherous but mighty Poseidon, she is beyond protection. Powerful men rarely answer for their actions, after all.
Meanwhile, Perseus embarks on a seemingly impossible quest, equipped with only bravado and determination…Medusa and Perseus soon become pawns of spiteful and selfish gods. Faced with the repercussions of Athena’s wrath, blamed for her assault, Medusa has no choice but to flee and hide. But can she do so without becoming the monster they say she is?
Medusa’s truth has long been lost. History tells of conquering heroes, of men with hearts of gold. Now it is time to hear the story of how history treats women who don’t comply.
U: The Unmaking of June Farrow
Title: The Unmaking of June Farrow
Author: Adrienne Young
Page Length: 336
Publication Date: Oct. 17, 2023
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Synopsis: A woman risks everything to end her family’s centuries-old curse, solve her mother’s disappearance, and find love in this mesmerizing novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Spells for Forgetting.
In the small mountain town of Jasper, North Carolina, June Farrow is waiting for fate to find her. The Farrow women are known for their thriving flower farm—and the mysterious curse that has plagued their family line. The whole town remembers the madness that led to Susanna Farrow’s disappearance, leaving June to be raised by her grandmother and haunted by rumors.
It’s been a year since June started seeing and hearing things that weren’t there. Faint wind chimes, a voice calling her name, and a mysterious door appearing out of nowhere—the signs of what June always knew was coming. But June is determined to end the curse once and for all, even if she must sacrifice finding love and having a family of her own.
After her grandmother’s death, June discovers a series of cryptic clues regarding her mother’s decades-old disappearance, except they only lead to more questions. But could the door she once assumed was a hallucination be the answer she’s been searching for? The next time it appears, June realizes she can touch it and walk past the threshold. And when she does, she embarks on a journey that will not only change both the past and the future, but also uncover the lingering mysteries of her small town and entangle her heart in an epic star-crossed love.
With The Unmaking of June Farrow, Adrienne Young delivers a brilliant novel of romance, mystery, and a touch of the impossible—a story you will never forget.
Author: Nancy Crochiere
Page Length: 400
Publication Date: May 30, 2023
Synopsis: People-pleasing Hope Robinson can’t seem to please anyone lately–not her slogan-spewing boss, not her pink-haired teenage daughter, and especially not her mother, the flamboyant soap-star, Olivia Grant. Olivia loves Elvis more than Jesus, and now that she’s on oxygen, she insists Hope take her on a final trip to Graceland. Unfortunately, that’s the one place Hope can’t go. Eighteen years earlier, pregnant and distraught, Hope fled Tennessee with a secret agreement: to never reveal her baby’s father and never return to Memphis.
Olivia, though, has never learned the word no. After she wrangles Hope’s impulsive daughter, Dylan, to drive her from Boston to Memphis with the promise of meeting her mystery father, Hope has no choice but to chase after them. She must stop them before they ambush Dylan’s father, exposing Hope’s lies, breaking the NDA, and igniting a political and media firestorm.
Along the road to Memphis, as the women encounter former soap actors, free-range ferrets, and a trio of Elvis-impersonating frat boys, everyone’s long-held secrets begin to unravel. In order to become the family they long to be, Hope, Olivia, and Dylan must face hard truths about themselves and one another on the bumpy road to acceptance, forgiveness, and ultimately, grace.
U: Unfortunately Yours
Title: Unfortunately Yours
Author: Tessa Bailey
Series: A Vine Mess #2
Page Length: 384
Publication Date: June 6, 2023
Synopsis: A down-on-her-luck Napa heiress suggests a mutually beneficial marriage of convenience to a man she can’t stand… only to discover there’s a fine line between love and hate.
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
S: Sinner’s Isle
Title: Sinner’s Isle
Author: Angela Montoya
Page Length: 304
Publication Date: Oct. 31, 2023
Publisher: Random House
Synopsis: The fiery tale of a powerful witch who will do anything to escape the remote island she’s being held captive on, including blackmail an infamous, charming pirate who washes up on shore, from debut author Angela Montoya.
Rosalinda is trapped on Sinner’s Isle under the watchful eye of a power-hungry headmistress. And thanks to her vicious phantoms, Rosa is the most favored at this year’s Offering, where Majestics’ powers will be on full display so the wealthy may choose one to serve them for life.
For years, she has been kept under the watchful, calculating eye of Doña Lucia. Now eighteen, Rosa will be the prized commodity at this year’s Offering, a fiesta for the wealthy to engage in drink, damsels, and debauchery. That is why she must flee—before someone forces the vicious phantoms within her to destroy everything she touches.
Handsome, swashbuckling Mariano has long sailed the high seas as the Prince of Pirates. Then the king’s fleet attacks his father’s infamous ship, leaving him marooned on Sinner’s Isle with only an enchanted chain meant to lead him to his heart’s desire. Instead, he falls into the hands of a brazen (although) bewitching headache—Rosa.
Together they must outwit each other and their enemies before the Offering ends and it’s too late to escape the perils of Sinner’s Isle.
T: Tall, Dark, and Scandalous
Title: Tall, Duke, and Scandalous
Author: Amy Rose Bennett
Series: The Byronic Book Club #3
Page Length: 408
Publication Date: Aug. 23, 2023
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Synopsis: Miss Jane Delaney is no stranger to receiving curious glances from strangers, though she wishes it were by virtue of her character and mind and less about the scar on her face. Since being jilted by her fiancé after the accident that left her with the scar, Jane divides her time between her beloved grandfather’s antiquarian bookstore and writing newspaper columns. When Jane’s reputation and the future of Delaney’s Bookshop are threatened, she must act. She needs money, and fast. After an unexpected encounter with the debauched Duke of Roxby, an opportunity presents itself. The man might be London’s most notorious scoundrel, but he also makes Jane an offer she can’t refuse…