Books for April

This month’s new releases that I’ve been anticipating…

Teresa Grant‘s “Vienna Waltz” (historical mystery): Technically a March 29 release, this book has been a long time in coming.  I won’t go into the slightly convoluted history of why I’ve been waiting for this book for ages (mainly because it is of no interest to anyone but myself), but if this is in the same vein as her previous two books, it promises to be an excellent mix of historical intrigue and suspense, with some rather complicated romance.

Blurb:

Nothing is fair in love and war. . .

Europe’s elite have gathered at the glittering Congress of Vienna–princes, ambassadors, the Russian tsar–all negotiating the fate of the continent by day and pursuing pleasure by night. Until Princess Tatiana, the most beautiful and talked about woman in Vienna, is found murdered during an ill-timed rendezvous with three of her most powerful conquests…

Suzanne Rannoch has tried to ignore rumors that her new husband, Malcolm, has also been tempted by Tatiana. As a protégé of France’s Prince Talleyrand and attaché for Britain’s Lord Castlereagh, Malcolm sets out to investigate the murder and must enlist Suzanne’s special skills and knowledge if he is to succeed. As a complex dance between husband and wife in the search for the truth ensues, no one’s secrets are safe, and the future of Europe may hang in the balance…

Out now (excerpt)

 

Erin McCarthy‘s “The Chase” (contemporary romance): I can’t remember the last time I’ve been waiting impatiently for a contemporary romance to be released.  But I was completely captivated by her previous three Fast Track novels last year and am very much looking forward to this one.  I’ll be the first to admit that not all of Erin McCarthy’s books have worked for me (there have even been some DNFs), but I loved how she brings together the testosterone atmosphere of stock car racing with some very steamy romance.

Blurb:

Kendall Holbrook is determined to make it to the top, even with the challenge of being a woman on the male-dominated racing circuit. She doesn’t have time for romance- especially not with racing rival Evan Monroe, the man who nearly crushed her dreams years ago. Forced into meeting up with him, Kendall is experiencing all those old feelings again- and she can’t deny that they still have more than enough chemistry to set fire to the track.

After getting dropped by his biggest sponsor, Evan is watching his racing season go up in flames. Now, the only replacement available is completely humiliating: a co-sponsorship for his-and-her deodorant with Kendall Holbrook- the girl who once broke his heart. Acting like Kendall doesn’t still get him all hot and bothered is bad enough, but the biggest challenge awaits him on the track- where Evan has to decide if a second chance at love is more important than making it to the finish line…

Out April 5 (excerpt)

 

Julia Spencer-Fleming‘s “One Was A Soldier” (mystery): I won (and actually reviewed) the previous book in this series, “I Shall Not Want”, when Keishon hosted a giveaway back in 2008.  I loved how the mystery was set against the backdrop of Clare’s faith and the small-town setting, and was also intrigued by the rather complicated relationship between Clare and Russ – and this book sounds as though things aren’t getting any easier.  It’s been quite a long gap in between books, but this may be worth the wait judging from the online buzz.

Goodreads blurb:

Julia Spencer-Fleming’s debut novel, In the Bleak Midwinter, burst onto the mystery scene like a wild fire, snatching up almost every award imaginable. Since then, the series has only been picking up speed, the characters only digging deeper into our hearts. One Was a Soldier takes the suspense and heart-tugging to the next level, making for a truly devastating read.

At the Millers Kill Community Center, five veterans gather to work on adjusting to life after war. Reverend Clare Fergusson has returned from Iraq with a head full of bad memories she’s using alcohol to wipe out. Dr. George Stillman is denying that the head wound he received has left him with something worse than simple migraines. Officer Eric McCrea is battling to keep his constant rage from affecting his life as a cop, and as a father.

High school track star Will Ellis is looking for some reason to keep on living after losing both legs to an IED. And down-onher- luck Tally McNabb has brought home a secret—a fatal one. Police Chief Russ Van Alstyne just wants Clare to settle down and get married—to him. But when he rules Tally McNabb’s death a suicide, Clare sides with the other vets against him. Russ and Clare’s unorthodox investigation will uncover a trail of deceit that runs from their tiny Adirondack town to the upper ranks of the Army, and from the waters of the Millers Kill to the unforgiving streets of Baghdad.

Fans of the series have been waiting for Russ and Clare to get together, and now that burgeoning relationship is threatened in this next tantalizing novel by Julia Spencer-Fleming.

Out April 12 (excerpt)

 

Holly Black‘s “Red Glove” (YA urban fantasy): I’ve been meaning to read Holly Black’s faerie urban fantasy books for years, but never quite got around to it.  Then last year, I read her first Curse Workers book, “White Cat”, which sucked me into a very cool and inventive world – so I’m all excited about the second book now.

Blurb (note this has SPOILERS FOR FIRST BOOK):

Curses and cons. Magic and the mob. In Cassel Sharpe’s world, they go together. Cassel always thought he was an ordinary guy, until he realized his memories were being manipulated by his brothers. Now he knows the truth—he’s the most powerful curse worker around. A touch of his hand can transform anything—or anyone—into something else.

That was how Lila, the girl he loved, became a white cat. Cassel was tricked into thinking he killed her, when actually he tried to save her. Now that she’s human again, he should be overjoyed. Trouble is, Lila’s been cursed to love him, a little gift from his emotion worker mom. And if Lila’s love is as phony as Cassel’s made-up memories, then he can’t believe anything she says or does.

When Cassel’s oldest brother is murdered, the Feds recruit Cassel to help make sense of the only clue—crime-scene images of a woman in red gloves. But the mob is after Cassel too—they know how valuable he could be to them. Cassel is going to have to stay one step ahead of both sides just to survive. But where can he turn when he can’t trust anyone—least of all, himself?

Love is a curse and the con is the only answer in a game too dangerous to lose.

Out April 5 (though June 16 for the UK edition – sigh) – book site (I’m linking to the News page as opposed to the frontpage as video starts playing automatically)

 

Lisa Lutz and David Hayward‘s “Heads You Lose” (mystery): I am a BIG fan of Lisa Lutz’s Spellman Files books.  They’re slightly loopy and incredibly funny, but leave you with a big smile on your face at the end of it.  And while this is not a Spellman book and may have a bit of a gimmick-y concept (okay, very), I’m curious and do know that Ms Lutz, at least, does good comedy, so I’ll be getting it.

Blurb:

From New York Times–bestselling author Lisa Lutz and David Hayward comes a hilarious and original tag-team novel that reads like Weeds meets Adaptation.

Meet Paul and Lacey Hansen: orphaned, pot-growing, twentysomething siblings eking out a living in rural Northern California. When a headless corpse appears on their property, they can’t exactly dial 911, so they move the body and wait for the police to find it. Instead, the corpse reappears, a few days riper … and an amateur sleuth is born. Make that two.

But that’s only half of the story. When collaborators Lutz and Hayward—former romantic partners—start to disagree about how the story should unfold, the body count rises, victims and suspects alike develop surprising characteristics (meet Brandy Chester, the stripper with the Mensa IQ), and sibling rivalry reaches homicidal intensity. Will the authors solve the mystery without killing each other first?

Out April 5 (excerpt)

 

And finally, two maybes for the month: Kelley Armstrong‘s “The Gathering” (out April 12), the first in her new YA trilogy and Alison Goodman‘s “Eona: The Last Dragoneye” (out April 19).

As much as I like Kelley Armstrong’s books, I’ve not fallen in love with her YA writing, and this may be a library borrow for me.  As for Alison Goodman’s sequel to “Eon”, I liked the first (and love the cover of this one!), but may wait for the UK paperback release in August.

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8 thoughts on “Books for April

    • Good to know I’m not the only one, though I’m not quite sure why… It may have been the characters in the first trilogy, so we’ll see what happens with a new cast!

  1. re JSF I hope it’s worth the long wait. I have it but just haven’t read it yet. The series has been consistently strong though so I’m sure it’s good. Red Glove by Holly Black looks interesting. I have the first book in the series yet to read but will get to it hopefully one day.

    • It has been a very long while, hasn’t it! I’m with you, I’d be surprised if it wasn’t a strong installment.

      And I liked the twisty-ness of White Cat, though the ending was a bit cliffhanger-ish – there is something to be said for standalone books, instead of duologies/trilogies.

  2. Hmmm, the Holly Black books sound convoluted ^_^; Years ago, Ames sent me the fairies books, but you know me and fairies ^_^; Never got into… but this actually sounds quite interesting.

    I enjoyed the first book in the Fast Track series. The second was good, but not as good as the first one and the third, just disappointing 😦 Now, I’m going to give The Chase a chance – I read a few pages at the bookstore and what I read, I liked… However, I’m going to try to wait till RWA and perhaps get my copy there… so that’s a few months to wait, sigh.

    Hmmm, I still haven’t finished the Spellman series ^_^;

    Do you think you would have enjoyed Kelley Armstrong YA series better if you’ve read all three books at once? Instead of waiting a year between each?

    • I actually read the Erin McCarthy books out of order – 3rd, 1st, and 2nd, IIRC. I liked the third best funnily enough 😉

      And come to think of it, possibly yes on the Kelley Armstrong question. I hate cliffhangers with a passion, so that didn’t help. And reading them in a go may have helped me connect more with the characters. Interesting question!

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