I’ve totally failed at blogging this summer. I generally post much less frequently during summer – it’s that fatal combination of long summer evenings, the tennis (following Roland Garros/Queens/Wimbledon basically takes over my life for a few weeks), holidays, and ah, just summer being summer. But I have to admit this year has been pretty abysmal blogging-wise, even by my low standards.
But enough self-flagellation – here are the new releases for July that I’ll be reading (or have read, in a few cases).
JL Merrow’s SPUN! (contemporary romance): I love the ever-so-British feel of JL Merrow’s and this one promises to be a fun summer read.
With friends like these . . .
An ill-advised encounter at the office party leaves David Greenlake jobless and homeless in one heady weekend. But he quickly begs work from his ex-boss and takes a room in Shamwell with easygoing postman Rory Deamer. David doesn’t mean to flirt with the recently divorced Rory—just like he doesn’t consciously decide to breathe. After all, Rory’s far too nice for him. And far too straight.
Rory finds his new lodger surprisingly fun to be with, and what’s more, David is a hit with Rory’s troubled children. But while Rory’s world may have turned upside down in the last few years, there’s one thing he’s sure of: he’s straight as a die. So he can’t be falling for David . . . can he?
Their friends and family think they know all the answers, and David’s office party hookup has his own plans for romance. Rory and David need to make up their minds and take a stand for what they really want—or their love could be over before it’s even begun.
Kate Elliott’s BURIED HEART (YA fantasy): I’m so excited for this conclusion to her Court of Fives trilogy, and the book just appeared on my Kindle today. Hurrah for pre-ordering magic.
The explosive finale to World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s captivating, New York Times bestselling young adult series
In this third book in the epic Court of Fives series, Jessamy is the crux of a revolution forged by the Commoner class hoping to overthrow their longtime Patron overlords. But enemies from foreign lands have attacked the kingdom, and Jes must find a way to unite the Commoners and Patrons to defend their home and all the people she loves. Will her status as a prominent champion athlete be enough to bring together those who have despised one another since long before her birth? Will she be able to keep her family out of the clutches of the evil Lord Gargaron? And will her relationship with Prince Kalliarkos remain strong when they find themselves on opposite sides of a war? Find all the answers in this beautifully written and exciting conclusion to World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s debut New York Times bestselling young adult trilogy!
Elizabeth Peters and Joan Hess’s THE PAINTED QUEEN (historical mystery): Speaking of being excited. The very last Amelia Peabody book! While there had been rumours of a final book, I had pretty much given up hope after several years, so confirmation of this was incredibly thrilling. Joan Hess finished writing the novel based on a partially-written manuscript by Elizabeth Peters, so it may not be quite like the original, but I don’t really care… I’m glad we see Amelia one last time.
Egypt, 1912—Amelia Peabody and her dashing archaeologist husband, Radcliffe Emerson, are once again in danger as they search for a priceless, stolen bust of legendary Queen Nefertiti and Amelia finds herself the target of assassins in this long-awaited, eagerly anticipated final installment of Elizabeth Peters’s bestselling, beloved mystery series
Arriving in Cairo for another thrilling excavation season, Amelia Peabody is relaxing in a well-earned bubble bath in her elegant hotel suite in Cairo, when a man with knife protruding from his back staggers into the bath chamber and utters a single word—“Murder”—before collapsing on the tiled floor, dead. Among the few possessions he carried was a sheet of paper with Amelia’s name and room number, and a curious piece of pasteboard the size of a calling card bearing one word: “Judas.” Most peculiarly, the stranger was wearing a gold-rimmed monocle in his left eye.
It quickly becomes apparent that someone saved Amelia from a would-be assassin—someone who is keeping a careful eye on the intrepid Englishwoman. Discovering a terse note clearly meant for EmersonWhere were you?”—pushed under their door, there can be only one answer: the brilliant master of disguise, Sethos.
But neither assassins nor the Genius of Crime will deter Amelia as she and Emerson head to the excavation site at Armana, where they will witness the discovery of one of the most precious Egyptian artifacts: the iconic Nefertiti bust. In 1345 B.C. the sculptor Thutmose crafted the piece in tribute to the great beauty of this queen who was also the chief consort of Pharaoh Akhenaten and stepmother to King Tutankhamun.
For Amelia, this excavation season will prove to be unforgettable. Throughout her journey, a parade of men in monocles will die under suspicious circumstances, fascinating new relics will be unearthed, a diabolical mystery will be solved, and a brilliant criminal will offer his final challenge . . . and perhaps be unmasked at last.
Martha Wells’s THE HARBORS OF THE SUN (fantasy): This is the final book in her Three Worlds Raksura series, which is a bit bittersweet. I’m glad that we get an ending to Moon’s story, but I’m going to miss this world.
A former friend has betrayed the Raksura and their groundling companions, and now the survivors must race across the Three Worlds to rescue their kidnapped family members. When Moon and Stone are sent ahead to scout, they quickly encounter an unexpected and potentially deadly ally, and decide to disobey the queens and continue the search alone. Following in a wind-ship, Jade and Malachite make an unlikely alliance of their own, until word reaches them that the Fell are massing for an attack on the Reaches, and that forces of the powerful Empire of Kish are turning against the Raksura and their groundling comrades.
But there may be no time to stage a rescue, as the kidnapped Raksura discover that their captors are heading toward a mysterious destination with a stolen magical artifact that will cause more devastation for the Reaches than anything the lethal Fell can imagine. To stop them, the Raksura will have to take the ultimate risk and follow them into forbidden territory.
The Harbors of the Sun, from celebrated fantasy author Martha Wells, is the thrilling follow-up to The Edge of Worlds, and the conclusion of a new Three Worlds duology of strange lands, uncanny beings, dead cities, and ancient danger.
Ilona Andrews’s WILDFIRE (paranormal romance): I don’t love this Hidden Legacy series as much as other people, but the books are fun reads, and I’m looking forward to this one.
Just when Nevada Baylor has finally come to accept the depths of her magical powers, she also realizes she’s fallen in love. Connor “Mad” Rogan is in many ways her equal when it comes to magic, but she’s completely out of her elements when it comes to her feelings for him. To make matters more complicated, an old flame comes back into Rogan’s life…
Rogan knows there’s nothing between him and his ex-fiance, Rynda Sherwood. But as Nevada begins to learn more about her past, her power, and her potential future, he knows she will be faced with choices she never dreamed of and the promise of a life spent without him.
As Nevada and Rogan race to discover the whereabouts of Rynda’s kidnapped husband and are forced to confront Nevada’s grandmother, who may or may not have evil motives, these two people must decide if they can trust in each other or allow everything to go up in smoke.
Rachel Caine’s ASH AND QUILL (YA fantasy): I have mixed feelings on this one. I enjoyed the first couple of books (alt-world fantasy centred around libraries and books – what’s not to like?), and was looking forward to the conclusion of the trilogy. Then it was announced that the series would be extended to five books, and well, it kind of showed here. Not enough story IMO, and drama for the sake of drama got a bit tiring after a while. But I’m invested in the world and the characters, so I’ll still get the next book…
Held prisoner by the Burner forces in Philadelphia, Jess and his friends struggle to stay alive in the face of threats from both sides … but a stunning escape guarantees worse is coming. The Library now means to stop them by any means necessary, and they’ll have to make dangerous allies and difficult choices to stay alive.
They have only two choices: face the might of the Great Library head on, or be erased from life, and the history of the world, for ever.
Win or die.
Maybes for the month:
Rachel Aaron’s A DRAGON OF A DIFFERENT COLOR (UF): I loved the first Heartstrikers book, but have stalled with the third book. It’s sitting half-read on my Kindle, so I’m not sure when (or if) I’ll buy this fourth installment in the series.
Miranda Kenneally’s COMING UP FOR AIR (YA romance): A bit of a trend here. Sport romances are my weakness and I loved the first few books in her Hundred Oaks series (also, her BREATHE, ANNIE, BREATHE was one of my favourite books of 2014), but I haven’t really connected with her more recent releases. I’ll still get this at some point though.
Kalayna Price’s GRAVE RANSOM (UF): I don’t think this series has quite recovered from the long break between the third and fourth books yet. I suspect I’d be a lot more invested in the characters if I started this series today.
Suzanne Brockman’s SOME KIND OF HERO (romantic suspense): Ah, I really don’t know here. I loved her Troubleshooters books, but her recent spin-offs have not worked for me at all, and I regretted shelling out for hardcovers. Now that she’s back to her Troubleshooters world, just maybe the old magic’s back? I’ll probably wait for a price drop.
Sarina Bowen’s HELLO FOREVER (contemporary romance): Normally Sarina Bowen’s an autobuy for me, but the first book in this duology didn’t really work for me. It was all a bit too neat and tidy, with the end conflict feeling rather manufactured. I’ll hold fire for now, but will probably buy at some point.
Kylie Scott’s TRUST (NA romance): I’m feeling a bit burnt out on NA romance at the moment, but I do like Kylie Scott’s writing.