Happy March! While you’re waiting for spring to show up, check out some new releases. (All synopses are from Goodreads.)
Seduced by Mr. Right (The Morretti Millionaires) by Pamela Yaye (Romance — Harlequin Kimani Romance, March 1, 2015) — A lesson in love? His life shattered by tragedy, Emilio Morretti stunned the world when he walked away from his fabulous career. The reclusive Atlanta race car legend isn’t looking for redemption or romance when he meets Sharleen Nichols. But the life coach’s infectious zeal for life is starting to make him feel like a winner again. Haunted by her own painful secret, Sharleen can’t let her attraction to her celebrity client affect her professional judgment—or her heart. But with his charm and dashing good looks, Emilio is impossible to resist. And a weekend getaway to Miami only fuels the flames of their passion. Are they ready to trust their feelings and put the past behind them? Or will an exploding media scandal and an enemy’s vengeful agenda destroy the happiness finally within their reach?
Dead Boys by Gabriel Squailia (Fantasy — Talos, March 3, 2015) — A decade dead, Jacob Campbell is a preservationist, providing a kind of taxidermy to keep his clients looking lifelike for as long as the forces of entropy will allow. But in the Land of the Dead, where the currency is time itself and there is little for corpses to do but drink, thieve, and gamble eternity away, Jacob abandons his home and his fortune for an opportunity to meet the man who cheated the rules of life and death entirely. According to legend, the Living Man is the only adventurer to ever cross into the underworld without dying first. It’s rumored he met his end somewhere in the labyrinth of pubs beneath Dead City’s streets, disappearing without a trace. Now Jacob’s vow to find the Living Man and follow him back to the land of the living sends him on a perilous journey through an underworld where the only certainty is decay. Accompanying him are the boy Remington, an innocent with mysterious powers over the bones of the dead, and the hanged man Leopold l’Eclair, a flamboyant rogue whose criminal ambitions spark the undesired attention of the shadowy ruler known as the Magnate.
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro (Fantasy — Knopf, March 3, 2015) — “You’ve long set your heart against it, Axl, I know. But it’s time now to think on it anew. There’s a journey we must go on, and no more delay…” The Buried Giant begins as a couple set off across a troubled land of mist and rain in the hope of finding a son they have not seen in years. Sometimes savage, often intensely moving, Kazuo Ishiguro’s first novel in nearly a decade is about lost memories, love, revenge, and war.
The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1) by Jodi Meadows (YA — Katherine Tegen Books, March 10, 2015) — Wilhelmina has a hundred identities. She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne. She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone. She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others. Jodi Meadows introduces a vivid new fantasy full of intrigue, romance, dangerous magic, and one girl’s battle to reclaim her place in the world.
Don’t Deny Me: A Novel (Don’t Deny Me #1-3) by Megan Hart (Romance — St. Martin’s Griffin, March 10, 2015) — Alice and Mick had it all: the happy days, the heartfelt evenings, the hot, slow nights. Mick knew she was too much, too good, more than he deserved…and when Mick couldn’t give her what she needed, in a moment of crisis, they lost everything. Torn apart, Alice tries to pry him out of her life and move on—until a not-so-chance meeting at an old friend’s party brings them face-to-face once more. Now they’re talking again, Alice can’t escape the burning in her chest whenever he’s near, the way his eyes still follow her around the room…but she won’t repeat the mistakes of her past. Because people, and relationships, can’t really ever change. But if Alice does decide to let him back into her heart—and into her bed—will Mick be ready to show her the man that he’s become…and take a chance on love? And can Alice ever trust him again?
Persona by Genevieve Valentine (Sci-fi — Saga Press, March 10, 2015) — An acerbic thriller from a Nebula award finalist, set against the backdrop of a near-future world of celebrity ambassadors and assassins who manipulate the media to the point where the only truth seekers left are the paparazzi. When Suyana, Face of the United Amazonia Rainforest Confederation, secretly meets Ethan of the United States for a date that can solidify a relationship for the struggling UARC, the last thing she expects is an assassination attempt. Daniel, a teen runaway-turned-paparazzi out for his big break, witnesses the first shot hit Suyana, and before he can think about it, he jumps into the fray, telling himself it’s not altruism, it’s the scoop. Just like that, Suyana and Daniel are now in the game of Faces. And if they lose, they’ll die.
The Fire Sermon (The Fire Sermon #1) by Francesca Haig — (Sci-fi — Gallery Books, March 10, 2015) — When Zach and I were born our parents must have counted and recounted: limbs, fingers, toes. We were perfect. They would have been disbelieving: nobody dodged the split between Alpha and Omega. Nobody. They were born together and they will die together. One strong Alpha twin and one mutated Omega; the only thing they share is the moment of their death. The Omegas live in segregation, cast out by their families as soon as their mutation becomes clear. Forced to live apart, they are ruthlessly oppressed by their Alpha counterparts. The Alphas are the elite. Once their weaker twin has been cast aside, they’re free to live in privilege and safety, their Omega twin far from their thoughts. Cass and Zach are both perfect on the outside: no missing limbs, no visible Omega mutation. But Cass has a secret: one that Zach will stop at nothing to expose. The potential to change the world lies in both their hands. One will have to defeat the other to see their vision of the future come to pass, but if they’re not careful both will die in the struggle for power.
The Cemetery Boys by Heather Brewer (YA — Harper Collins, March 30, 2015) — When Stephen is forced to move back to the nowhere town where his father grew up, he’s already sure he’s not going to like it. Spencer, Michigan, is like a town straight out of a Hitchcock movie, with old-fashioned people who see things only in black-and-white. But things start looking up when Stephen meets the mysterious twins Cara and Devon. They’re total punks–hardly the kind of people Stephen’s dad wants him hanging out with–but they’re a breath of fresh air in this backward town. The only problem is, Cara and Devon don’t always get along, and as Stephen forms a friendship with the charismatic Devon and something more with the troubled Cara, he starts to feel like he’s getting caught in the middle of a conflict he doesn’t fully understand. And as Devon’s group of friends, who hang out in a cemetery they call The Playground, get up to increasingly reckless activities to pass the summer days, Stephen worries he may be in over his head. Stephen’s fears prove well-founded when he learns of Spencer’s dark past. It seems the poor factory town has a history of “bad times,” and many of the town’s oldest residents attribute the bad times to creatures right out of an urban legend. The legend goes that the only way the town will prosper again is if someone makes a sacrifice to these nightmarish creatures. And while Stephen isn’t one to believe in old stories, it seems Devon and his gang might put a lot of faith in them. Maybe even enough to kill for them. Now, Stephen has to decide what he believes, where his allegiances lie, and who will really be his friend in the end.
The Closer You Come (The Original Heartbreakers #1) by Gena Showalter (Romance — Harlequin, March 31, 2015) — Just released from prison, Jase Hollister has only one goal: stay out of trouble. Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma, sounds like the perfect place for him and his two brothers-by-circumstance to settle down and live a nice, simple life. Model citizen isn’t exactly this rugged bachelor’s default setting—especially when it comes to a certain hot-blooded Southern beauty—but he’s determined to play by the rules. Brook Lynn Dillon has always been the responsible type. Not that it’s done her much good. The down-on-her-luck waitress is broke, single and wouldn’t know fun if it bit her. Or so she thinks. Jase makes bad look oh, so good. Dangerous, sexy and tempting as sin, he is everything she never knew she wanted. Passion sizzles between them, but is it enough to melt his resistance? After all, the right kind of trouble might be just what he needs…
The Shadows (Black Dagger Brotherhood #13) by J.R. Ward (Paranormal/Fantasy — NAL, March 31, 2015) — Trez “Latimer” doesn’t really exist. And not just because the identity was created so that a Shadow could function in the underbelly of the human world. Sold by his parents to the Queen of the S’Hsibe as a child, Trez escaped the Territory and has been a pimp and an enforcer in Caldwell, NY for years- all the while on the run from a destiny of sexual servitude. He’s never had anyone he could totally rely on… except for his brother, iAm. iAm’s sole goal has always been to keep his brother from self-destructing- and he knows he’s failed. It’s not until the Chosen Serena enters Trez’s life that the male begins to turn things around… but by then it’s too late. The pledge to mate the Queen’s daughter comes due and there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, and no negotiating. Trapped between his heart and a fate he never volunteered for, Trez must decide whether to endanger himself and others- or forever leave behind the female he’s in love with. But then an unimaginable tragedy strikes and changes everything. Staring out over an emotional abyss, Trez must find a reason to go on or risk losing himself and his soul forever. And iAm, in the name of brotherly love, is faced with making the ultimate sacrifice…
The Dead Play On (Cafferty and Quinn #3) by Heather Graham — (Fantasy — Harlequin MIRA, March 31, 2015) — Musicians are being murdered in New Orleans. But Arnie Watson apparently died by his own hand. When Tyler Anderson plays the saxophone he inherited from Arnie, a soldier and musician who died soon after his return, he believes he sees visions of his friend’s life—and death. He becomes convinced Arnie was murdered and that the instrument had something to do with whatever happened, and with whatever’s happening all over the city… Tyler knows his theory sounds crazy to the police, so he approaches Danni Cafferty, hoping she and Michael Quinn will find out what the cops couldn’t. Or wouldn’t. After all, Cafferty and Quinn have become famous for solving unusual crimes. They’re partners in their personal lives, too. Quinn’s a private investigator and Danni works with him. When they look into the case, they discover a secret lover of Arnie’s and a history of jealousies and old hatreds that leads them back to the band Arnie once played with—and Tyler plays with now. They discover that sometimes, for some people, the line between passion and obsession is hard to draw. Only in uncovering the truth can they hope to save others—and themselves—from the deadly hands of a killer.
At the Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen — (Historical Fiction — March 31st 2015 by Spiegel & Grau) — After embarrassing themselves at the social event of the year in high society Philadelphia on New Year’s Eve of 1942, Maddie and Ellis Hyde are cut off financially by Ellis’s father, a former army Colonel who is already embarrassed by his son’s inability to serve in WWII due to his being colorblind. To Maddie’s horror, Ellis decides that the only way to regain his father’s favor is to succeed in a venture his father attempted and very publicly failed at: he will hunt the famous Loch Ness monster and when he finds it he will restore his father’s name and return to his father’s good graces (and pocketbook). Joined by their friend Hank, a wealthy socialite, the three make their way to Scotland in the midst of war. Each day the two men go off to hunt the monster, while another monster, Hitler, is devastating Europe. And Maddie, now alone in a foreign country, must begin to figure out who she is and what she wants. The novel tells of Maddie’s social awakening: to the harsh realities of life, to the beauties of nature, to a connection with forces larger than herself, to female friendship, and finally, to love.