December 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), and 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 early as the bigger trade houses.

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

Read Between the Lines

Author: Rachel Lacey
Released: December 1, 2021 by Montlake
Genre: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA, Romance
Series: Ms. Right #1

From award-winning author Rachel Lacey comes a playful romance about a Manhattan bookstore owner and a reclusive author who love to hate—and hate to love—each other.

Books are Rosie Taft’s life. And ever since she took over her mother’s beloved Manhattan bookstore, they’ve become her home too. The only thing missing is her own real-life romance like the ones she loves to read about, and Rosie has an idea of who she might like to sweep her off her feet. She’s struck up a flirty online friendship with lesbian romance author Brie, and what could be more romantic than falling in love with her favorite author?

Jane Breslin works hard to keep her professional and personal lives neatly separated. By day, she works for the family property development business. By night, she puts her steamier side on paper under her pen name: Brie. Jane hasn’t had much luck with her own love life, but her online connection with a loyal reader makes Jane wonder if she could be the one.

When Rosie learns that her bookstore’s lease has been terminated by Jane’s company, romance moves to the back burner. Even though they’re at odds, there’s no denying the sparks that fly every time they’re together. When their online identities are revealed, will Jane be able to write her way to a happy ending, or is Rosie’s heart a closed book?

Tara: I’ve read this and it’s super cute. Inspired by You’ve Got Mail, but minus all that gaslighting.

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A Navy SEAL for Christmas

Author: Zoe York
Released: December 7, 2021 by ZoYo Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romance

Navy SEAL Ben Simmons’ return from an overseas tour hasn’t gone exactly to plan. He surprises even himself by agreeing to be a model in a life-drawing art class, because the alternative is a lonely, boring holiday break.

For high school teacher Chelsea Doyle, who is spending Christmas alone for the first time in her life, the art class she’s signed up for should be a highlight. She isn’t prepared for the off-limits model to be drop-dead gorgeous, or to discover the next day that he’s her brand-new next door neighbor.

A Navy SEAL for Christmas is a lusty, joyful celebration of holiday magic for people who don’t usually believe in love-at-first-sight.

Aarya: The art model premise is one of my faves.

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Amor Actually

Released: December 7, 2021 by Adriana Herrera Publishing, LLC
Genre: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA, Romance

Nochebuena. One party. Nine Happily Ever Afters.

It’s Christmas Eve in New York City, when anything is possible. For these couples, it’s the season to find true love. From second-chances, big leaps, missed connections, and reconnections, this charming collection celebrates the spirit of the holidays and delivers nine perfect HEAs.

From seven acclaimed and bestselling Latina authors—Zoey Castile, Alexis Daria, Adriana Herrera, Diana Muñoz Stewart, Priscilla Oliveras, Sabrina Sol, and Mia Sosa—comes a holiday romance collection like never before.

Make the Yuletide Gay • Adriana Herrera

After a string of broken engagements, an international Latin Pop Star finds love in her sexy and constant manager. Days before her big live holiday special, Vivi wonders if the woman of her dreams could finally be hers.

Only Yours • Sabrina Sol

​​The Mayor of New York embarks on a Christmas Eve search to find the woman he loves before she gets away.

Meet Me Under the Mistletoe • by Priscilla Oliveras

Challenged by his friends to find a plus one to Nochebuena dinner or else, widower Hector Gutierrez isn’t sure he’s still got any good moves left. That is until he strikes the right chord with his son’s music teacher, Cristina.

All I Want for Nochebuena • Alexis Daria

When sparks fly between adult film stars Honey and Julie, Honey must work up the courage to invite Julie to her family’s holiday party or risk losing what she really wants for Nochebuena—a chance at true love.

Santa’s Eager Little Helper • by Mia Sosa

Sarita’s plan to confess her crush on a coworker goes awry when she’s tasked with playing the Sexy Elf to his grumpy Santa. Will she seize the opportunity to make Carlos’s naughty list, or will she spend another Nochebuena alone?

The Nochebuena Dating Dare • by Diana Muñoz Stewart

Eneida Lucero takes a second chance on love with the handsome musical director at her school—even if it means causing some Nochebuena drama with her ex-husband and familia.

Love in Spanglish • Zoey Castile

A heartbroken romance writer gets snowed in with a novel-worthy hero who may just make her believe in love again.

To Us, You Are Perfect • Alexis Daria & Adriana Herrera

Newlyweds Pasquale and Yamilette’s Christmas is just short of perfect. The missing piece is their best friend Marcelo, who has loved them from afar for years. This Nochebuena, they’ll finally complete their happily ever after.

The Great Holiday Escape • Zoey Castile

Gigi is always on the hustle, making sure her little sister has everything she needs including a big Christmas Eve fiesta with all their friends and family. That night, Gigi receives an all-expenses paid trip to a luxe South Beach weekend where not one, but two beautiful strangers steal her heart.

Aarya: Love the details in the cover. Particularly intrigued in the Daria, Oliveras, and Sosa blurbs.

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The Coldest Touch

Author: Isabel Sterling
Released: December 7, 2021 by Razorbill
Genre: LGBTQIA, Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

From the author of These Witches Don’t Burn comes another paranormal romance for fans of Richelle Mead and Stephenie Meyer.

Elise Beaumont is cursed. With every touch, she experiences exactly how her loved ones will die. And after her brother’s death—a death she predicted but was unable to prevent—Elise is desperate to get rid of her terrible gift, no matter the cost.

Claire Montgomery also has a unique relationship with death, mostly because she’s already dead. Technically, anyway. Claire is a vampire, and she’s been assigned by the Veil to help Elise master her rare Death Oracle powers.

At first, Elise is reluctant to work with a vampire, but when she predicts a teacher’s imminent murder, she’s determined to stop the violent death, even if it means sacrificing her own future to secure Claire’s help.

The trouble is, Claire and Elise aren’t the only paranormals in town—a killer is stalking the streets, and Claire can’t seem to shake the pull she feels toward Elise, a romance that could upend the Veil’s mission. But as Elise and Claire grow closer, Elise begins to wonder—can she really trust someone tasked with securing her loyalty? Someone who could so easily kill her? Someone who might hold the key to unraveling her brother’s mysterious death?

Sarah: An F/F YA with a vampire and person who can see death, working together to solving crime.

Tara: I’m reading this now and it’s a serious page turner!

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Internet Famous

Author: M.B. Guel
Released: December 7, 2021 by Bella Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA, Romance, Young Adult

Billie Alvarez is your average punk rock loving high school senior who just wants to hang out with her best friend, Rex, and get her ex-girlfriend back. In a half-baked attempt to impress her by auditioning for the lead part in the school musical, Billie gets turned down because she’s a girl trying out for a traditionally male part. When her online rant about the school being homophobic goes viral, she must navigate her newfound fame along with the typical drama that comes with getting through high school.

Between rehearsals, trying to get her band back together and an endless onslaught of online admirers, Billie must decide what’s important to her. Is it the fleeting happiness of getting attention online? Figuring out what she wants to do after high school? Or getting her ex back?

Then there’s her co-star in the school play, who’s getting much more interesting now that they’re spending more time rehearsing together.

Tara: I really enjoyed the first book from this author, so I’m looking forward to getting to know these characters.

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Show Up

Author: Renee Dahlia
Released: December 9, 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA, Romance
Series: Seraph’s Burlesque Club #1

A fake date … a real secret

An invitation to her ex’s wedding is the icing on a crappy cake for burlesque dancer Yolande. Her ex ghosted her just as they were about to take the stage for their neo-burlesque act. Yolande’s friends at Seraph’s Burlesque Club persuade her that attending will show her ex that she’s moved on. She just needs a date.

Shy bartender Reiko has a secret, or two. She can’t risk anyone discovering that her life as a penniless PhD student and bartender is a sham. And even though she’s been in love with Yolande since forever, when Yolande needs a plus-one to save face at her ex’s wedding, Reiko knows any fantasy of romance is just that – fantasy. Yolande will never notice the way Reiko looks at her.

When the drama of the wedding reveals a spark of attraction between them, Reiko will have to risk her fake identity for the hope of real love.

– found family
– fake dating
– friends to lovers
– only one bed
– lesbian romance

Tara: I’m a sucker for fake relationship romances where one of the characters has a crush on the other.

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Too Much Man

Author: Katy James
Released: December 7, 2021 by Carina Press
Genre: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA, Romance
Series: Firebirds #1

A grumpy former hockey player and a bisexual coffee-shop owner refuse to commit—to themselves or each other—in this fun, flirty debut.

Piper Welborn has created a warm, welcoming space for all in her queer-inclusive coffee shop, even if the long hours came at the cost of her love life. But she’s not ready to welcome one man in particular—a grumpy, muscular former hockey player. His smoldering presence is a temptation and a challenge to her long-standing vow not to date cis men.

Gavin Williams has no business starting a relationship, least of all with a woman he’s not sure even likes him. He can’t resist the Friendly Bean’s hot, pink-haired owner, but a casual fling is all he can commit to. He’s hoping to leave town for the next stage in his career…if he ever gets the call with the job offer.

A friends-with-benefits arrangement is perfect for them both—but neither is ready for the feelings that hit. When the post-hockey life Gavin always dreamed of is suddenly within his grasp, they’ll both have to make a choice: hold tight to what they thought life should look like, or work together to build something new.

Lara: Ignore the stupid title and the even worse cover, this book is lovely!

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The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation, Vol. 1

Author: Mò Xiāng Tóng Xiù
Released: December 14, 2021 by Seven Seas
Genre: Historical: Other, LGBTQIA, Manga, Science Fiction/Fantasy

Wei Wuxian was once one of the most outstanding men of his generation, a talented and clever young cultivator who harnessed martial arts, knowledge, and spirituality into powerful abilities. But when the horrors of war led him to seek a new power through demonic cultivation, the world’s respect for his skills turned to fear, and his eventual death was celebrated throughout the land.

Years later, he awakens in the body of an aggrieved young man who sacrifices his soul so that Wei Wuxian can exact revenge on his behalf. Though granted a second life, Wei Wuxian is not free from his first, nor the mysteries that appear before him now. Yet this time, he’ll face it all with the righteous and esteemed Lan Wangji at his side, another powerful cultivator whose unwavering dedication and shared memories of their past will help shine a light on the dark truths that surround them.

Susan: I am trying to be restrained and not screech about all of the MXTX series getting translated, but I’m basically going to be staking out my letterbox until my pre-orders arrive. The Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation is the webnovel that inspired fantasy drama The Untamed, which I hope gives you a clue about how much pining, drama, and creatures I’m expecting.

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Author: Amanda Radley
Released: December 14, 2021 by Bold Strokes Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA, Romance

Ellie Pearce adores Christmas so much she celebrates all year round, earning herself the nickname Christmas Girl. If only she liked her job as much as eggnog lattes and mistletoe. Stuck as a marketing analyst for London-based recruitment company Caldwell & Atkinson, Ellie is desperate for a career change but afraid to take a chance.

CEO Rosalind Caldwell needs a new personal assistant after the last one quit, putting the extremely important corporate Christmas party in jeopardy. Christmas Girl is just the holiday miracle Rosalind needs, and Ellie is quickly promoted to the top floor of the Canary Wharf skyscraper.

Ellie isn’t a PA, has never planned a party in her life, and is terrified of heights. If things weren’t bad enough, she then goes and develops a ridiculous crush on her totally intimidating new boss. With the festive season fast approaching, what could possibly go wrong?

Tara: I know boss/employee relationship romances aren’t for everyone, but this sounds adorable.

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The Love Con

Author: Seressia Glass
Released: December 14, 2021 by Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romance

He’s cosplaying as her boyfriend but their feelings for each other are real in this romantic comedy from Seressia Glass.

Sometimes Kenya Davenport believes she was switched at the hospital–how else could a lover of anime, gaming, and cosplay come from STEM parents? Still, Kenya dreams of being able to turn her creative hobby into a career. She finally has a chance to make it big when she joins the reality show competition Cosplay or No Way.

There’s just one catch: the challenge for the final round is all about iconic pairs, and the judges want the contestants’ significant others to participate. Unfortunately, Kenya is as single as can be at the moment. Luckily her best friend, Cameron Lassiter, agrees to be her fake boyfriend for the show.

Roleplaying a couple in love will force them to explore what they’re hiding under the mask of friendship. Can Kenya and Cam fake it until she makes it, or will she be real about her feelings, knowing it could cost her the best friend she’s ever had?

Aarya: For lovers of fandom, cosplay, and cons!

Shana: This has all the markers of a “break glass in case of emergency” comfort read.

Elyse: I love a fake dating story.

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Twelve Naughty Days

Released: December 14, 2021 by K.A. Linde Inc.
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Erotica/Erotic Romance, Romance

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me… TWELVE NAUGHTY DAYS

Cancel your plans, because twelve of the hottest romance authors have teamed up to bring you a delicious holiday treat: a series of never-before-seen short stories inspired by the 12 Days of Christmas.

Each of the authors will have an unforgettable, steamy story. Set to one of the twelve days in the popular Christmas song, it will be perfect for you to sink your teeth into this holiday season.

Including original works by New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors:

K.A. Linde
Skye Warren
Fiona Cole
Nana Malone
Claire Contreras
Nikki Sloane
Giana Darling
Sierra Simone
CD Reiss
Laurelin Paige
M. Malone
Angelina M. Lopez

On sale for a very limited time at just $3.99! All proceeds benefit suicide prevention and will be donated to the Trevor Project.

Aarya: I haven’t read most of these authors, but am interested in the Sierra Simone and Angelina M. Lopez contributions.

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