Highly Anticipated Books: Winter Edition

The normal disclaimer that the seasons I am using does not follow exactly with the actual calendar, which would tell you that December 21, 2017 begins winter this year, applies. Winter is here! Sort of. I mean, North Carolina is just weird, you know? We do our seasons oddly. Anyway, here are the ten books I am most looking forward to in the final month of 2017 and the beginning of 2018!

1. Roomies by Christina Lauren

I’ve already read this book and absolutely loved it, but I really want a completed copy for my shelves because I think this is a book I could re-read again and again. And it’s already been long enough since I read it so I’m pretty sure I could go for a re-read already. This book is a modern day marriage of convenience and I love it! Here’s the Goodreads synopsis:

Rescued by Calvin McLoughlin from a would-be subway attacker, Holland Bakker pays the brilliant musician back by pulling some of her errand-girl strings and getting him an audition with a big-time musical director. When the tryout goes better than even Holland could have imagined, Calvin is set for a great entry into Broadway—until he admits his student visa has expired and he’s in the country illegally.

Holland impulsively offers to wed the Irishman to keep him in New York, her growing infatuation a secret only to him. As their relationship evolves from awkward roommates to besotted lovers, Calvin becomes the darling of Broadway. In the middle of the theatrics and the acting-not-acting, what will it take for Holland and Calvin to realize that they both stopped pretending a long time ago?

Release Day: December 5, 2017

2. After the Wedding by Courtney Milan

My December book of the month, After the Wedding is a book I’ve been looking forward to for ages and I am so happy that it’s finally here! Well, almost here, but you know what I mean. This is the second book in the Worth Saga and I highly recommend the series. Well, at least, I recommend the first book. Probably the novella too, but I haven’t read it quite yet. Gotta get on that. Here’s the Goodreads synopsis:

Adrian Hunter has concealed his identity and posed as a servant to assist his powerful uncle. He’s on the verge of obtaining the information he needs when circumstances spiral out of his control. He’s caught alone with a woman he scarcely knows. When they’re discovered in this compromising circumstance, he’s forced to marry her at gunpoint. Luckily, his uncle should be able to obtain an annulment. All Adrian has to do is complete his mission…and not consummate the marriage, no matter how enticing the bride may be.

Lady Camilla Worth has never expected much out of life—not since her father was convicted of treason and she was passed from family to family. A marriage, no matter how unfortunate the circumstances under which it was contracted, should mean stability. It’s unfortunate that her groom doesn’t agree. But Camilla has made the best of worse circumstances. She is determined to make her marriage work. All she has to do is seduce her reluctant husband.

Release Date: December 12, 2017

3. Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet

Now, unlike many romance novel series, you really need to have read this particular series in order. The Kingmaker Chronicles is a fantasy romance series that is absolutely amazing. The first book was my favorite and I didn’t think the second necessarily lived up to how great the first was, but I’m hooked to the story and absolutely need to know how it wraps up. I will note that this book cover confuses me because it is so different from the other two books in the series. So is this the final cover? I don’t know. I’m so confused! Anyway, I’m providing you with the synopsis of A Promise of Fire, book one in the series here:

Catalia “Cat” Fisa is a powerful clairvoyant known as the Kingmaker. This smart-mouthed soothsayer has no interest in her powers and would much rather fly under the radar, far from the clutches of her homicidal mother. But when an ambitious warlord captures her, she may not have a choice…

Griffin is intent on bringing peace to his newly conquered realm in the magic-deprived south. When he discovers Cat is the Kingmaker, he abducts her. But Cat will do everything in her power to avoid her dangerous destiny and battle her captor at every turn. Although up for the battle, Griffin would prefer for Cat to help his people willingly, and he’s ready to do whatever it takes to coax her…even if that means falling in love with her.

Release Date: January 2, 2018

4. Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

Another book in a series, I’m so sorry, but if you haven’t given The Wayward Children’s series, you absolutely should. Mini reviews for the first two are in the August Wrap Ups linked on the side. This series is incredible and so fun and fantastical. Now, you can’t read Beneath the Sugar Sky unless you’ve read the other two, so again, I’m going to provide for you the Goodreads synopsis for the first one, Every Heart a Doorway below:

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

Release Date: January 9, 2018

5. Love, Hate, and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

I’m trying to read more books that have difficult subject matter instead of using books as escapism. I think I read enough that I should be able to strike the appropriate balance and Love, Hate, and Other Filters is absolutely a book that I think is a must read. It’s an Own Voices book about a Muslim, Asian-American, who has to deal with Islamaphobia after a suicide bomber who shares Maya’s last name strikes in America. Such an important topic and I’m really excited to read the book! Here’s the Goodreads synopsis:

Maya Aziz is torn between futures: the one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter (i.e.; staying nearby in Chicago and being matched with a “suitable” Muslim boy), and the one where she goes to film school in New York City–and maybe, just maybe, kisses a guy she’s only known from afar. There’s the also the fun stuff, like laughing with her best friend Violet, making on-the-spot documentaries, sneaking away for private swimming lessons at a secret pond in the woods. But her world is shattered when a suicide bomber strikes in the American heartland; by chance, he shares Maya’s last name. What happens to the one Muslim family in town when their community is suddenly consumed with hatred and fear?

Release Date: January 16, 2018

6. Still Meby Jojo Meyes

And another in a series, woo! This is the third book in the Me Before You series, which is problematic af, but also I’m in love with it. Fortunately, we’ve moved past Will and… well, we’ve moved past him, so hopefully this book will be just good and not also problematic. Anyway, Lou is off to New York in this one, leaving behind everything in London, including… Dang, you cannot discuss the third book in a series without spoiling things. So yeah, we’ll just leave it at I’m excited for this book and go from there. Here’s the movie trailer for Me Before You for a nice change of pace:

Release Date: January 30, 2018

7. American Panda by Gloria Chao

I am so excited for this book! It sounds like it’s going to be super cute and funny, which is always a win and it’s about a character who sounds pretty unlike me (except for our mutual distaste of the requirements for becoming a doctor). So I’m very excited! And this cover is absolutely adorable. Here is the Goodreads synopsis:

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth–that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?

Release Date: February 6, 2018

8. The Bellesby Dhonielle Clayton

The buzz about this book has me super hyped for it and I’m really hoping it lives up to my extra high expectations. And now the release date has been moved up! Here’s the Goodreads synopsis:

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.

Release Date: February 6, 2018

9. A Princess in Theoryby Alyssa Cole

By now, you all know that I’ve fallen in love with Alyssa Cole and I am beyond excited for this new series she’s started! This is the first contemporary I’ve read from her, though I’m not sure if it’s her first contemporary… Anyway, the cover is beautiful (seriously, great job, Avon, you’re killing it lately!) and the synopsis is so intriguing. I just can’t wait! Here’s the Goodreads blurb:

Between grad school and multiple jobs, Naledi Smith doesn’t have time for fairy tales…or patience for the constant e-mails claiming she’s betrothed to an African prince. Sure. Right. Delete! As a former foster kid, she’s learned that the only things she can depend on are herself and the scientific method, and a silly e-mail won’t convince her otherwise.

Prince Thabiso is the sole heir to the throne of Thesolo, shouldering the hopes of his parents and his people. At the top of their list? His marriage. Ever dutiful, he tracks down his missing betrothed. When Naledi mistakes the prince for a pauper, Thabiso can’t resist the chance to experience life—and love—without the burden of his crown.

The chemistry between them is instant and irresistible, and flirty friendship quickly evolves into passionate nights. But when the truth is revealed, can a princess in theory become a princess ever after?

Release Date: February 27, 2018

10. Hello Strangerby Lisa Kleypas

One of my favorite romance authors ever (and basically half of America’s romance readers, I think) has a new book out in her latest historical romance series and I am beyond excited. We’re getting the story of Dr. Garrett Gibson, the first and only at the time female doctor in England. Kleypas is such a fun writer, I think she blends plot and witty banter well, so I’m really excited for this one. And again, Avon did such an amazing job on the cover! Here’s the Goodreads blurb:

A woman who defies her time

Dr. Garrett Gibson, the only female physician in England, is as daring and independent as any man—why not take her pleasures like one? Yet she has never been tempted to embark on an affair, until now. Ethan Ransom, a former detective for Scotland Yard, is as gallant as he is secretive, a rumored assassin whose true loyalties are a mystery. For one exhilarating night, they give in to their potent attraction before becoming strangers again.

A man who breaks every rule

As a Ravenel by-blow spurned by his father, Ethan has little interest in polite society, yet he is captivated by the bold and beautiful Garrett. Despite their vow to resist each other after that sublime night, she is soon drawn into his most dangerous assignment yet. When the mission goes wrong, it will take all of Garrett’s skill and courage to save him. As they face the menace of a treacherous government plot, Ethan is willing to take any risk for the love of the most extraordinary woman he’s ever known.

There you have it! Except I had to whittle this list down from 15 so here are five honorable mentions: Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kahn, a book with a beautiful cover and a black, asexual heroine, out on January 23, 2018; A Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi, a story of a Syrian refugee that sounds like it’s going to be heartbreaking and amazing, out on January 23rd as well; Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia, a contemporary YA about a girl escaping an abusive relationship that I am super excited about, out on February 6, 2018; A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena, which I really just need you to read the synopsis of because there’s so much going on there, out February 27, 2018; and finally, The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta, a middle grade story about a girl whose parents go missing, a demon is involved, and oh yeah, she’s an Indian princess, out on February 27th as well.

So now, for real, I will leave you with books I am SO excited about and very much looking forward to. What books are you looking forward to in the next three months? Did I miss something that I’m definitely going to want to read? Let me know!


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