My Exploding TBR (I went shopping…)

May has been hectic. I’ve been writing and revising my booty off, and my reading has fallen by the wayside. By which I mean, I will take breaks and reread comfort books I’ve nearly memorized over the years, but I haven’t set aside the time to read much that is new. However, not having time to read new books never did stop me from loading up my Kindle with them! So now that I’m getting a little breathing room, here’s what I’ve got waiting for me…

FOR REAL by Alexis Hall ~ Alexis Hall wrote a kinky book? That’s really all I needed to hear. I read the excerpt on the Riptide website. And then went back and read it again. And again. And then Alexis wrote a Wonko post about this book and he said this: “…there’s something pretty fragile about the notion that dominance can admit no uncertainty, humanity or passion.” Uncertainty gets me every time. My Monday is all about reading this book.

THE LIKELIHOOD OF LUCY by Jenny Holiday ~ This is part of the Regency Reformers series, and I’ve actually got both this and book one of the series, The Miss Mirren Mission (about an abolitionist), lined up. I love it when historical romances take me into parts of society I haven’t explored before.

KICK AT THE DARKNESS by Keira Andrews ~ I’m always telling people that I never liked anything zombie before Charlotte Stein’s post-zombie apocalypse ménage romance, Reawakening. But Charlotte converted me! I’m a big fan now, even if I have to work my way super slowly through The Walking Dead, because there’s only so much intestine a girl can handle at one time. A college student and the TA who just gave him a terrible grade are on the run in this one. Can’t. Wait.

SIGNAL BOOST by Alyssa Cole ~ Another post-apocalyptic book! No zombies this time, just the loss of all technology, an idea that makes my hyperventilate. The first book in this series, Radio Silence, was a m/f romance, and this one is m/m. I am all about the crossover series lately, so this is at the top of my list. Also, imminent doom is clearly my thing.

SWEET AGONY by Charlotte Stein ~ Speaking of Charlotte Stein, this is her latest release. I don’t even know what it’s about, but it’s Charlotte, so I know I’ll love it. Plus, on Facebook she said something about “a cold, aloof, Sherlockian hero and a heroine who delights in breaking all of his rules.” WORKS. FOR. ME.

DUENDE by E.E. Ottoman ~ I actually bought the entire Mechanical Universe trilogy of novellas a while back when they were on sale. I read the first one, A Matter of Disagreement, last month and it was absolutely charming. Elisabeth Lane at Cooking Up Romance called AMoD “A sexy, brainy, trans*, steampunk romance with a unique academic conflict.” That’s spot on and captures damn near everything I loved about that book.

THE PREACHER’S PROMISE by Piper Huguley ~ I don’t normally pick up Christian romances, but Piper’s books are so well-done and the idea of an African-American historical romance was so appealing to me (plus, I’ve met her and she’s super nice, which is always a bonus), that I recently jumped in. I’ve only just started this book, breaking my own rule about not beginning new things when I’m in crunch writing time, but it is fascinating me. This is book one of the Home to Milford College series, and I’m loving this heroine whose recently deceased father was an abolitionist who believed in women’s education. I’m hooked.

DELIVERED FAST by Annabeth Albert ~ Annabeth’s Portland Heat series is all about baristas and bakers and restaurateurs and that kind of foodie romance is right up my alley. The first book in this series was sweet and I’m looking forward to catching up on the other two.

HALF-RESURRECTION BLUES by Daniel José Older ~ I loved Older’s ghost noir stories in Salsa Nocturna, and I’ve had this one on my radar since I first heard it was releasing this winter. But it slipped past my radar in the chaos of my stepfather’s death, and I missed picking it up. When I was reminded of it last week, I jumped on it. Fascinating author.

BEHIND THE MASK by Carolyn Crane ~ The Associates series kicks ass. All of my friends loved Into the Shadows best (so good, I do agree), but I was a total sucker for the linguist-turned-Jason-Bourne hero of Off the Edge. That book was an action movie with a hot romance and I loved it. When I opened Carolyn’s newsletter a few weeks ago and learned the new book was coming, I literally squealed out loud at my computer. Oh, and the first book in the series, Against the Dark, is free right now!

THE DEMON YOU KNOW by Barbara Elsborg ~ Angels and demons. Sign me up. Also, I’m in love with this cover. (Which you can’t see, because I’m doing this post at 2am and I’m way too lazy to upload all of these covers…my apologies! Trust me, it’s awesome. Or go look!) I reread Barbara’s With or Without Him recently and was reminded that although I always remember how hot that book is (hot, hot, so hot), I forget how damn funny the characters are too. Delighted to check out this new (and very different from the contemporaries of hers I’ve read) story.

RIDE ME HARD by Shari Slade ~ Dirty talking biker and a waitress? Sounds like a story I would have wished for in my waiting/bartending days. This is a serial in progress and I’m not normally a huge serial fan, but I’m a Shari Slade fan. Her book, The Opposite of Nothing, is one of my favorite NA reads, and I love the Rock Star series too. So I’m in!

LITTLE WOLF by R. Cooper ~ Here’s another book of a subgenre I don’t often read. I’m not really into shifter books, although I’ve read some by authors I like. But R. Cooper could seriously write the menu to my favorite Thai takeout joint and I’d buy it. Her UST (Unresolved Sexual Tension, one of my favorite acronyms ever) is off the charts in this book. The entire Beings in Love series is terrific. And I totally cheated with this one and read it the day it came out because I’m obsessed with everything Cooper right now.

ONE WEEK IN HAWAII by Alexis Anne, Audra North, Julia Kelly, Alexandra Haughton ~ This is the follow-up to One Week in Wyoming, only it’s about 40 degrees in Chicago right now, so I’m all about the idea of a week in Hawaii, thank you. Contemporary romance novellas by some of my favorite women.

EPITAPH: A NOVEL OF THE O.K. CORRAL by Mary Doria Russell ~ Russell’s The Sparrow is one of my deserted island books. You know, if I only get to take five books with me to read for the rest of my life? She’s on the list. She’s brilliant and writes gripping stories and never, ever fails to break my heart. Her novels are stunning. They are epic. They are intimate. She’s one of the best novelists working today. Love her.

WORKING WITH HEAT by Anne Calhoun ~ Anne Calhoun is one of my favorite authors. Her books are so intelligently erotic, and with such a vivid sense of place, I am always mesmerized by them. Plus, this book is about a glassblower, which is an art form I love and reminds me of one of my favorite Nora Roberts books growing up, Born in Fire. Artists who sweat when they work. Yum.

BEYOND INNOCENCE by Kit Rocha ~ Here’s the thing about the Beyond books: I read the first one, and I liked it. Then I read the second and liked it even more. When the third book came out, I reread the first two in preparation and was totally hooked again. By the time I hit book four, I was dying with eagerness to get my hands on Rachel and Ace and Cruz’s story. I’m not even getting into the novellas here. Just saying, the more I read this series, the more I enjoy it. Terrific fun, hot sex, amazing worldbuilding. It totally works for me.

UPROOTED by Naomi Novik ~ I love Novik’s Temeraire series, which is the Napoleonic Wars with dragons. It’s like reading Austen mixed with Patrick O’Brian, basted in Anne McCaffrey. So good. This new book is not a part of that series and is rooted more in old myths and legends. I’m eager to see what it’s like, and hoping I love it as much as I do the rest of her stories.

THE SHAMELESS HOUR by Sarina Bowen ~ Sarina’s Ivy Year series is hands down one of my favorites of the past year. I got to read an ARC of this book (man, I really did break my own rule all over the place, didn’t I?) and I loved it. Sex-positive and anti-slut shaming, Bella’s story is an important one in all sorts of ways, and the more people that read this book, the better.

WINTER KILL by Josh Lanyon ~ Lanyon was one of the first authors I discovered in m/m romance and his books are some of my favorite reads. (The Parting Glass, The Dickens With Love and Come Unto These Yellow Sands are particular faves.) I’m a reader who gloms an author’s backlist when I am obsessed, so pulling up “Lanyon” on my Kindle gives me 52 results. Still as excited as ever to pick up a new release.

TRAINING COMPLEX by Leta Blake ~ I actually still need to read book one in this series. But Leta wrote some blog posts with sex scenes she’d ended up cutting from this book and, um… well… that was all I really needed to one-click. *fans self* Ahem. I’ll be reading this immediately.

Okay, that’s what I’ve got. And I’m absolutely sure I’ve forgotten a bunch of new releases that will show up when I have the nerve to look at my Kindle’s To Read folder and see how much shopping I did while writing LEVEL HANDS this spring. Whooee. I’m going to need to have a no-books June, maybe. But, but…KJ  Charles and Cara McKenna and a ton of other authors have June releases I’m dying to read… I’m so screwed.

All right. Give it to me. What did I miss? What should I go buy immediately? Comment with any great new releases that got lost in my shuffle!

As usual, some of these authors are friends, many of them are people I chat with on social media, and others are total strangers.


My Exploding TBR (I went shopping…) — 6 Comments

  1. Okay, so you bought E.E. Ottoman’s Winters Bees too, right? Because Duende was great, but WB was the perfect bookend for AMoD. It’s a TOTALLY different story, about two people who like each other TOO MUCH to get married. It’s just great to see that kind of versatility from an author. And it’s a super delicious, emotional book. Maybe my favorite of the series? By a smidge? I should probably review it…

    And I read the first ten pages of Off Base this morning before going out for brunch. DARN FUNNY and a virgin hero. YES PLEASE.

    • Yes! I got all three in the series when LT3 was having a sale. SCORE. And Off Base is the Tessa Bailey book, yes? All my friends are reading that one right now. Virgin hero? I’m sunk. *adds it to the pile*

  2. Ooh, thanks for this list! I’ve read quite a few of these (the Charlotte Stein is awesome), but it’s always nice to have recommendations for new authors from like-minded readers. Can’t wait for the next book, btw! 🙂

    • Thank you! So glad you’re enjoying them. 🙂 And I’m so eager to read Charlotte’s new book. I just finished her Intrusion a couple of weeks ago. She’s just brilliant with anxiety and awkwardness. I love her!

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