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April 2021 New Releases, Part One


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If you’re new to Hide Your Wallet, this is where we list new releases we’re pretty excited for in the coming month.

Each reviewer has a book maximum (five per person), but we’ve separated HYW into two parts. The first HYW of the month will cover books that release from the 1st to the 14th. The second HYW will cover books released from the 15th to the end of the month.

We also think this will help us feature books from smaller publishers who don’t have buy links up as quickly as the big five.

As always, if we missed any books that you’re particularly looking forward to, tell us all about them in the comments. 

Local Star

Local Star by Aimee Ogden

Author: Aimee Ogden
Released: April 5, 2021 by Interstellar Flight Press
Genre: LGBTQIA, Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Local Star is a polyamorous space opera with a fast-paced, action-packed adventure that’s sure to punch you in the feels. It follows guttergirl Triz as she saves her hub from invaders from the Cyberbionautic Alliance, all the while negotiating her rekindled romance with Kalo, her ex who’s returned from battle and won’t stop hanging around the wrenchworks.

Tara: The blurb had me at “Local Star is a polyamorous space opera with a fast-paced, action-packed adventure that’s sure to punch you in the feels.” Yes, please I want that.

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The Duke Undone

The Duke Undone by Joanna Lowell

Author: Joanna Lowell
Released: April 6, 2021 by Berkley
Genre: Historical: European, Romance

An artist stumbles upon a naked duke and an unlikely love story begins in this captivating Victorian historical romance.

When Royal Academy painting student Lucy Coover trips over a naked man passed out in an East End alley, she does the decent thing. She covers him up and fetches help. Trouble is, she can’t banish his muscular form from her dreams as easily. She finds herself compelled to put every detail down on canvas. What she doesn’t know is that she’s painting the infamous Duke of Weston, and that her life will never be the same.

A second son, Anthony Philby thought he could flee his brutal family legacy and become his own man. Forced back to London by his brother’s death, he inherits a fortune… with strings attached. One scandal will sink his bid for independence. It’s in his best interest to burn Lucy Coover’s shocking painting and pretend he never met the bewitching young artist. Instead, he finds himself offering a devil’s bargain. He’ll save her aunt’s dressmaking shop from ruin, if she’ll seek out his missing sister, Effie.

As they work together, an unexpected passion ignites between them. But the hunt for Effie leads to unexpected danger, and soon they find themselves risking everything… for a love that might destroy them both.

Amanda: A naked duke you say?!

Claudia: Just the title is too delicious.

Catherine: The opening scene is absolutely perfect, and I loved the ways in which the story subverted expectations.

Ellen: I am jumping on the bandwagon! Naked duke + lady artist = sounds like a great time.

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Hana Khan Carries On

Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin

Author: Uzma Jalaluddin
Released: April 13, 2021 by Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romance

From the author of Ayesha at Last comes a sparkling new rom-com for fans of “You’ve Got Mail,” set in two competing halal restaurants

Sales are slow at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, the only halal restaurant in the close-knit Golden Crescent neighbourhood. Hana waitresses there part time, but what she really wants is to tell stories on the radio. If she can just outshine her fellow intern at the city radio station, she may have a chance at landing a job. In the meantime, Hana pours her thoughts and dreams into a podcast, where she forms a lively relationship with one of her listeners. But soon she’ll need all the support she can get: a new competing restaurant, a more upscale halal place, is about to open in the Golden Crescent, threatening Three Sisters.

When her mysterious aunt and her teenage cousin arrive from India for a surprise visit, they draw Hana into a long-buried family secret. A hate-motivated attack on their neighbourhood complicates the situation further, as does Hana’s growing attraction for Aydin, the young owner of the rival restaurant—who might not be a complete stranger after all.

As life on the Golden Crescent unravels, Hana must learn to use her voice, draw on the strength of her community and decide what her future should be.

Amanda: I’ve been anticipating Jalaluddin’s sophomore book for so long! I was also able to interview her for BookPage and she is a delight.

Shana: Why isn’t there a poutine biryani restaurant in MY neighborhood? Also, I love a competing restaurants romance.

Sneezy: Who WOULDN’T want poutine biryani???

Catherine: You had me at rival restaurants.

Aarya: I had a couple worldbuilding inconsistency issues when I read the arc (hopefully fixed in the final copy!), but the voice is great and I recommend it. Content warning for Islamophobia and on-page hate crimes.

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House of Hollow

House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland

Author: Krystal Sutherland
Released: April 6, 2021 by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Genre: Gothic, Horror, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Young Adult

A dark, twisty modern fairytale where three sisters discover they are not exactly all that they seem and evil things really do go bump in the night.

Iris Hollow and her two older sisters are unquestionably strange. Ever since they disappeared on a suburban street in Scotland as children only to return a month a later with no memory of what happened to them, odd, eerie occurrences seem to follow in their wake. And they’re changing. First, their dark hair turned white. Then, their blue eyes slowly turned black. They have insatiable appetites yet never gain weight. People find them disturbingly intoxicating, unbearably beautiful, and inexplicably dangerous.

But now, ten years later, seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow is doing all she can to fit in and graduate high school on time–something her two famously glamourous globe-trotting older sisters, Grey and Vivi, never managed to do. But when Grey goes missing without a trace, leaving behind bizarre clues as to what might have happened, Iris and Vivi are left to trace her last few days. They aren’t the only ones looking for her though. As they brush against the supernatural they realize that the story they’ve been told about their past is unraveling and the world that returned them seemingly unharmed ten years ago, might just be calling them home.

Amanda: It’s always spooky season for me.

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The Intimacy Experiment

The Intimacy Experiment by Rosie Danan

Author: Rosie Danan
Released: April 6, 2021 by Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romance

Naomi and Ethan will test the boundaries of love in this provocative romance from the author of the ground-breaking debut, The Roommate.

Naomi Grant has built her life around going against the grain. After the sex-positive start-up she cofounded becomes an international sensation, she wants to extend her educational platform to live lecturing. Unfortunately, despite her long list of qualifications, higher ed won’t hire her.

Ethan Cohen has recently received two honors: LA Mag named him one of the city’s hottest bachelors and he became rabbi of his own synagogue. Taking a gamble in an effort to attract more millennials to the faith, the executive board hired Ethan because of his nontraditional background. Unfortunately, his shul is low on both funds and congregants. The board gives him three months to turn things around or else they’ll close the doors of his synagogue for good.

Naomi and Ethan join forces to host a buzzy seminar series on Modern Intimacy, the perfect solution to their problems–until they discover a new one–their growing attraction to each other. They’ve built the syllabus for love’s latest experiment, but neither of them expected they’d be the ones putting it to the test.

Claudia: Naomi’s story! She was the best in The Roommate.

Lara: Naomi! Naomi! Naomi!

Catherine: I just finished reading this and I am so delighted by it! Ethan is a perfect cinnamon roll of a hero, with his sweetness and sincerity and dad jokes, and I loved watching Naomi getting to go beyond tough and untouchable and reclaim parts of herself that she had lost access to. Also, the dialogue is hilarious.

Ellen: I reviewed this and I am so excited for other people to read it!!!

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Life’s Too Short

Life’s Too Short by Abby Jimenez

Author: Abby Jimenez
Released: April 6, 2021 by Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Series: The Friend Zone #3

A brilliant and touching romantic comedy from the USA Today bestselling author of The Friend Zone and The Happy Ever After Playlist.

Vanessa lives life on her own terms — one day at a time, every day to its fullest. She isn’t willing to waste a moment or miss out on an experience when she has no idea whether she shares the same fatal genetic condition as her mother. Besides, she has way too much to do, traveling the globe and showing her millions of YouTube followers the joy in seizing every moment.

But after her half-sister suddenly leaves Vanessa in custody of her infant daughter, she is housebound, on mommy duty for the foreseeable future, and feeling totally out of her element.

The last person she expects to show up offering help is the unbelievably hot lawyer who lives next door, Adrian Copeland. After all, she barely knows him. But as they get closer, Vanessa realizes that her carefree ways and his need for a structured plan could never be compatible for the long term. Then again, she should know better than anyone that life’s too short to fear taking the biggest risk of all. . .

Elyse: The heroine of this novel is potentially battling a deadly illness which definitely ramps up the emotional impact.

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To Love and to Loathe

To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters

Author: Martha Waters
Released: April 6, 2021 by Atria Books
Genre: Historical: European, Romance
Series: The Regency Vows #2

The author of the “hilarious…joyful, elegant” (Publishers Weekly, starred review) To Have and to Hoax returns with an effervescent, charming, and swoon-worthy novel about a man and woman who never agree on anything—until they agree to a no-strings-attached affair in this Regency-era romp.

The widowed Diana, Lady Templeton and Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham are infamous among English high society as much for their sharp-tongued bickering as their flirtation. One evening, an argument at a ball turns into a serious wager: Jeremy will marry within the year or Diana will forfeit one hundred pounds. So shortly after, just before a fortnight-long house party at Elderwild, Jeremy’s country estate, Diana is shocked when Jeremy appears at her home with a very different kind of proposition.

After his latest mistress unfavorably criticized his skills in the bedroom, Jeremy is looking for reassurance, so he has gone to the only woman he trusts to be totally truthful. He suggests that they embark on a brief affair while at the house party—Jeremy can receive an honest critique of his bedroom skills and widowed Diana can use the gossip to signal to other gentlemen that she is interested in taking a lover.

Diana thinks taking him up on his counter-proposal can only help her win her wager. With her in the bedroom and Jeremy’s marriage-minded grandmother, the formidable Dowager Marchioness of Willingham, helping to find suitable matches among the eligible ladies at Elderwild, Diana is confident her victory is assured. But while they’re focused on winning wagers, they stand to lose their own hearts.

With Martha Waters’s signature “cheeky charm and wonderfully wry wit” (Booklist, starred review), To Love and to Loathe is another clever and delightful historical rom-com that is perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Evie Dunmore.

Catherine: I adored To Have and To Hoax, so this is an instabuy for me.

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Twice Shy

Twice Shy by Sarah Hogle

Author: Sarah Hogle
Released: April 6, 2021 by G.P. Putnam's Sons
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romance

Can you find real love when you’ve always got your head in the clouds?

Maybell Parish has always been a dreamer and a hopeless romantic. But living in her own world has long been preferable to dealing with the disappointments of real life. So when Maybell inherits a charming house in the Smokies from her Great-Aunt Violet, she seizes the opportunity to make a fresh start.

Yet when she arrives, it seems her troubles have only just begun. Not only is the house falling apart around her, but she isn’t the only inheritor: she has to share everything with Wesley Koehler, the groundskeeper who’s as grouchy as he is gorgeous–and it turns out he has a very different vision for the property’s future.

Convincing the taciturn Wesley to stop avoiding her and compromise is a task more formidable than the other dying wishes Great-Aunt Violet left behind. But when Maybell uncovers something unexpectedly sweet beneath Wesley’s scowls, and as the two slowly begin to let their guard down, they might learn that sometimes the smallest steps outside one’s comfort zone can lead to the greatest rewards.

Aarya: I loved Hogle’s debut and was excited to read her sophomore novel. Twice Shy is a fluffy, gentle hug of a book and I think a lot of SBTB readers would love it.

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Afro-Nostalgia

Afro-Nostalgia by Badia Ahad-Legardy

Author: Badia Ahad-Legardy
Released: April 12, 2021 by University of Illinois Press
Genre: Nonfiction

The past as a building block of a more affirming and hopeful future

As early as the eighteenth century, white Americans and Europeans believed that people of African descent could not experience nostalgia. As a result, black lives have been predominately narrated through historical scenes of slavery and oppression. This phenomenon created a missing archive of romantic historical memories. Badia Ahad-Legardy mines literature, visual culture, performance, and culinary arts to form an archive of black historical joy for use by the African-descended. Her analysis reveals how contemporary black artists find more than trauma and subjugation within the historical past. Drawing on contemporary African American culture and recent psychological studies, Ahad-Legardy reveals nostalgia’s capacity to produce positive emotions. Afro-nostalgia emerges as an expression of black romantic recollection that creates and inspires good feelings even within our darkest moments.

Original and provocative, Afro-Nostalgia offers black historical pleasure as a remedy to contend with the disillusionment of the present and the traumas of the past.

Sneezy: Doesn’t all of this sound amazing???

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A Fae Tale

A Fae Tale by Genevieve  McCluer

Author: Genevieve McCluer
Released: April 13, 2021 by Bold Strokes Books
Genre: Fantasy/Fairy Tale Romance, LGBTQIA, Romance

When Dovana was a child in Lithuania, Roze saved her life. Roze is a Laume, a type of Lithuanian fae. The two became fast friends, staying in touch by leaving a letter and a present for the other every year.

Now, Dovana is in college in Toronto, and while those letters still mean the world to her, she wants to see Roze again. She investigates everything she can think of to learn more about the fae and stumbles upon a hidden society of fiends.

Meanwhile, Roze has been focusing on her duties of saving children in danger, while trying to prevent the fate that she knows Dovana is destined for, but nothing she does seems to change it. When she has to come to Toronto to save Dovana from her own investigation, she finds that she can’t avoid destiny…or love any longer.

Sneezy: A supernatural hottie as into you as you’re into them who ISN’T A MANIPULATIVE AND POSSESSIVE FUCK? Why yes, that decentLY CATNIPTASTIC!!!

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Bombshells

Bombshells by Sarina Bowen

Author: Sarina Bowen
Released: April 13, 2021 by Tuxbury Publishing LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romance
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #8

The women’s league is in the house! And Brooklyn will never be the same again for Anton Bayer and the team…

This is my last chance to ditch my playboy reputation and finally fulfill my potential. So I’ve made three rules for our biggest season yet: no boozing, no women, and no scandals.

Especially that last thing.

So who do I befriend on the very first day back at the rink? An amazing female hockey player. I want Sylvie in a way that’s more than just friendly. I crave her. But I have a championship to win, and so does she.

Then she gets her heart broken by my teammate, and I make the foolish mistake of comforting her in the best way I know how. Our night together sets off a string of sins.

Nobody can know about our affair, especially my overprotective teammate. I can’t let anyone see into my greedy little heart. Not even her.

The things I want from her, and the things we’ve already done? If anyone knew, there’d be bombshells.

Contains: a defenseman with dreamy blue eyes, a female goalie with bad ideas, a major battle of the sexes and a swimming pool scene…

Catherine: I have never watched a game of ice hockey in my life and yet I am completely addicted to ice hockey romances. It’s a mystery. Anyway, I’m definitely looking forward to this one.

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Broderick

Broderick by Katee Robert

Author: Katee Robert
Released: April 13, 2021 by Trinkets and Tales LLC
Genre: Erotica/Erotic Romance, Romance
Series: Sabine Valley #2

Seven Brothers. Seven Brides. A revenge seven years in the making.

I never wanted any part of my family’s revenge, but no one asked my opinion when my oldest brother handed out the Brides during Lammas. Now I’m saddled with Monroe, heir to the Amazon clan. She’s as deadly as she is sarcastic, and nothing like the woman I really want. Shiloh. My best friend.

The night Monroe and I consummate our handfasting is like nothing I’ve experienced before. It’s dark and brutal and intoxicating in a way I’m not prepared for. Which means it can never happen again.

But now, every time I turn around, I find Monroe and Shiloh together. She’s spitefully seducing my best friend, the woman I truly want, and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it.

I can’t have one without the other, but letting Monroe close might mean I lose myself completely.

Aarya: This series is an erotic Seven Brides for Seven Brothers retelling and I am dying of curiosity to read it!

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Call of the Night, Volume 1

Call of the Night, Volume 1 by Kotomaya

Author: Kotomaya
Released: April 13, 2021 by VIZ Media: Shonen Sunday
Genre: Manga

Antisocial, dorky boy seeks fun-loving, sexy vampire for blood-sucking and transforming into her minion.

One night, sleepless Yamori slips out of his home to walk the streets of his town. Life after dark is a revelation! Especially when he meets flirtatious Nanakusa… She’s a lot more fun to share the night with than old drunks on park benches. When she invites him to spend the night at her place in an abandoned building, he’s stoked! But then he awakens to kisses on his neck with a little too much bite to them…

Now that Yamori knows Nanakusa is a vampire, the question remains—is it just the delicious taste of his blood that makes her meet him night after night for late-night adventures, conversation and…naps? Or something else? Then, when a cute girl from Yamori’s past shows up and competes for his attention, his budding relationship with the undead is truly put to the test!

Ellen: This series sounds like it may involve some comedy paranormal shenanigans which I personally love.

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Hot Copy

Hot Copy by Ruby Barrett

Author: Ruby Barrett
Released: April 13, 2021 by Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romance

orinne Blunt knows what people think of her—she’s an icy, unapproachable executive. It’s the price she’s had to pay to get to the top. But there’s knowing you have a reputation in the office, and there’s hearing your new intern laugh when someone calls you “Blunt the C*nt” in the elevator on his first day.

She’d hoped to finally find an ally in Wesley Chambers, but she’s not about to let him off the hook for joining the office boys’ club. Taking refuge in the professional boundaries between them, she relegates Wes to assistant work—which would do the trick, if he weren’t so eager to prove he’s a decent human being.

Wes is sincerely apologetic, insisting it was a misunderstanding, and to her surprise, Corinne believes him. Being forced to work together was one thing, but long hours at the office with what turns out to be a kind, thoughtful man soon has their business relationship turning personal, and things get complicated—fast. Could this be something more serious than either of them dared to hope for? Or is their relationship just playing into the harmful power dynamics Corinne’s had to endure her entire career?

Aarya: I’ve seen rave reviews for this debut and am excited to try it (even if the boss-intern enmity premise gives me a little pause).

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Love in Color

Love in Color by Bolu Babalola

Author: Bolu Babalola
Released: April 13, 2021 by William Morrow
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Fantasy/Fairy Tale Romance, Romance

A high-born Nigerian goddess, who has been beaten down and unappreciated by her gregarious lover, longs to be truly seen.

A young businesswoman attempts a great leap in her company, and an even greater one in her love life.

A powerful Ghanaian spokeswoman is forced to decide whether she should uphold her family’s politics or be true to her heart.

In her debut collection, internationally acclaimed writer Bolu Babalola retells the most beautiful love stories from history and mythology with incredible new detail and vivacity. Focusing on the magical folktales of West Africa, Babalola also reimagines Greek myths, ancient legends from the Middle East, and stories from long-erased places.

With an eye towards decolonizing tropes inherent in our favorite tales of love, Babalola has created captivating stories that traverse across perspectives, continents, and genres.

Shana’s pick!

Sneezy: I can’t tell you how badly I want this book.

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Malice

Malice by Heather Walter

Author: Heather Walter
Released: April 13, 2021 by Del Rey
Genre: LGBTQIA, Science Fiction/Fantasy

A princess isn’t supposed to fall for an evil sorceress. But in this darkly magical retelling of “Sleeping Beauty,” true love is more than a simple fairy tale.

Once upon a time, there was a wicked fairy who, in an act of vengeance, cursed a line of princesses to die. A curse that could only be broken by true love’s kiss.

You’ve heard this before, haven’t you? The handsome prince. The happily-ever-after.

Utter nonsense.

Let me tell you, no one in Briar actually cares about what happens to its princesses. Not the way they care about their jewels and elaborate parties and charm-granting elixirs. I thought I didn’t care, either.

Until I met her.

Princess Aurora. The last heir to Briar’s throne. Kind. Gracious. The future queen her realm needs. One who isn’t bothered that I am Alyce, the Dark Grace, abhorred and feared for the mysterious dark magic that runs in my veins. Humiliated and shamed by the same nobles who pay me to bottle hexes and then brand me a monster. Aurora says I should be proud of my gifts. That she . . . cares for me. Even though it was a power like mine that was responsible for her curse.

But with less than a year until that curse will kill her, any future I might see with Aurora is swiftly disintegrating—and she can’t stand to kiss yet another insipid prince. I want to help her. If my power began her curse, perhaps it’s what can lift it. Perhaps, together, we could forge a new world.

Nonsense again.

Because we all know how this story ends, don’t we? Aurora is the beautiful princess. And I—

I am the villain.

Aarya: I can’t promise a HEA because I haven’t read it, but I hope this f/f Sleeping Beauty retelling has a significant romantic arc!

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Near the Bone

Near the Bone by Christina Henry

Author: Christina Henry
Released: April 13, 2021 by Berkley
Genre: Horror

A woman trapped on a mountain attempts to survive more than one kind of monster, in a dread-inducing horror novel from the national bestselling author Christina Henry.

Mattie can’t remember a time before she and William lived alone on a mountain together. She must never make him upset. But when Mattie discovers the mutilated body of a fox in the woods, she realizes that they’re not alone after all.

There’s something in the woods that wasn’t there before, something that makes strange cries in the night, something with sharp teeth and claws.

When three strangers appear on the mountaintop looking for the creature in the woods, Mattie knows their presence will anger William. Terrible things happen when William is angry.

Amanda: An isolated, possible creature feature type horror from Christina Henry! I’m digging all of these things.

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Second First Impressions

Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne

Author: Sally Thorne
Released: April 13, 2021 by William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romance

From the USA Today  bestselling author of The Hating Game and 99 Percent Mine comes the clever, funny, and unforgettable story of a muscular, tattooed man hired as an assistant to two old women—under the watchful eye of a beautiful retirement home manager.

Distraction (n): an extreme agitation of the mind or emotions.

Ruthie Midona has worked the front desk at the Providence Luxury Retirement Villa for six years, dedicating her entire adult life to caring for the Villa’s residents, maintaining the property (with an assist from DIY YouTube tutorials), and guarding the endangered tortoises that live in the Villa’s gardens. Somewhere along the way, she’s forgotten that she’s young and beautiful, and that there’s a world outside of work—until she meets the son of the property developer who just acquired the retirement center.

Teddy Prescott has spent the last few years partying, sleeping in late, tattooing himself when bored, and generally not taking life too seriously—something his father, who dreams of grooming Teddy into his successor, can’t understand. When Teddy needs a place to crash, his father seizes the chance to get him to grow up. He’ll let Teddy stay in one of the on-site cottages at the retirement home, but only if he works to earn his keep. Teddy agrees—he can change a few lightbulbs and clip some hedges, no sweat. But Ruthie has plans for Teddy too.

Her two wealthiest and most eccentric residents have just placed an ad (yet another!) seeking a new personal assistant to torment. The women are ninety-year-old, four-foot-tall menaces, and not one of their assistants has lasted a full week. Offering up Teddy seems like a surefire way to get rid of the tall, handsome, unnerving man who won’t stop getting under her skin.

Ruthie doesn’t count on the fact that in Teddy Prescott, the Biddies may have finally met their match. He’ll pick up Chanel gowns from the dry cleaner and cut Big Macs into bite-sized bits. He’ll do repairs around the property, make the residents laugh, and charm the entire villa. He might even remind Ruthie what it’s like to be young and fun again. But when she finds out Teddy’s father’s only fixing up the retirement home to sell it, putting everything she cares about in jeopardy, she’s left wondering if Teddy’s magic was all just a façade.

Hilarious, warm, and romantic, Sally Thorne’s novel delivers an irrepressibly joyous celebration of love and community for fans of 99% Mine and The Hating Game.

Amanda: Loved The Hating Game, was iffy on 99 Percent Mine. Let’s see how this one will split the difference.

Claudia: What Amanda said.

Lara: Agreed!

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The Secret Poet

The Secret Poet by Georgia Beers

Author: Georgia Beers
Released: April 13, 2021 by Bold Strokes Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA, Romance

Morgan Thompson likes her life just fine. She has a tight-knit family, two opinionated cats, and her job as office manager for her brother Perry’s medical practice. Perry’s an eligible bachelor, but his divorce left him gun-shy, so Morgan has fun tweaking his responses to potential dates online, using her affinity for words to make him sound impressive. When new pharmaceutical rep Zoe Blake walks into his office, though, he’s smitten, and he needs Morgan more than ever.

Zoe is beautiful and a little mysterious and doesn’t seem terribly interested in Perry. Morgan decides she’ll need to get to know Zoe before she plays matchmaker. But soon, she’s talking books and movies and writing to her as Perry, and the more she knows, the more she wants to know, until she begins to wonder: is she wooing Zoe for her brother? Or for herself?

Tara: This is giving me f/f Cyrano vibes and I’m into it.

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Victories Greater Than Death

Victories Greater Than Death by Charlie Jane Anders

Author: Charlie Jane Anders
Released: April 13, 2021 by Tor Teen
Genre: LGBTQIA, Science Fiction/Fantasy, Young Adult
Series: Universal Expansion #1

THE UNIVERSE IS CALLING—and time is running out.

Tina has always known her destiny is outside the norm—after all, she is the human clone of the most brilliant alien commander in all the galaxies (even if the rest of the world is still deciding whether aliens exist). But she is tired of waiting for her life to begin.

And then it does—and maybe Tina should have been more prepared. At least she has a crew around her that she can trust—and her best friend at her side. Now, they just have to save the world.

From internationally bestselling author Charlie Jane Anders (All the Birds in the Sky) comes a thrilling adventure set against an intergalactic war—Anders’s long-awaited YA debut.

Tara: This whole premise is working for me! I’m hopeful that it’ll have some found family as part of the whole “Oh what? It all rests on me? Good thing I have friends.”

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When the Stars Go Dark

When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain

Author: Paula McLain
Released: April 13, 2021 by Ballantine Books
Genre: Mystery/Thriller

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Wife comes an atmospheric novel of intertwined destinies and heart-wrenching suspense: A detective hiding away from the world. A series of disappearances that reach into her past. Can solving them help her heal?

Anna Hart is a seasoned missing persons detective in San Francisco with far too much knowledge of the darkest side of human nature. When tragedy strikes her personal life, Anna, desperate and numb, flees to the Northern California village of Mendocino to grieve. She lived there as a child with her beloved foster parents, and now she believes it might be the only place left for her. Yet the day she arrives, she learns that a local teenage girl has gone missing.

The crime feels frighteningly reminiscent of the most crucial time in Anna’s childhood, when the unsolved murder of a young girl touched Mendocino and changed the community forever. As past and present collide, Anna realizes that she has been led to this moment. The most difficult lessons of her life have given her insight into how victims come into contact with violent predators. As Anna becomes obsessed with saving the missing girl, she must accept that true courage means getting out of her own way and learning to let others in.

Weaving together actual cases of missing persons, trauma theory, and a hint of the metaphysical, this propulsive and deeply affecting novel tells a story of fate, necessary redemption, and what it takes, when the worst happens, to reclaim our lives—and our faith in one another.

Elyse: This is a cold case mystery and I love those.

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