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.
Tahira in Bloom
When seventeen-year-old aspiring designer Tahira Janmohammad’s coveted fashion internship falls through, her parents have a Plan B. Tahira will work in her aunt’s boutique in the small town of Bakewell, the flower capital of Ontario. It’s only for the summer, and she’ll get the experience she needs for her college application. Plus her best friend is coming along. It won’t be that bad.
But she just can’t deal with Rowan Johnston, the rude, totally obsessive garden-nerd next door with frayed cutoffs and terrible shoes. Not to mention his sharp jawline, smoldering eyes, and soft lips. So irritating. Rowan is also just the plant-boy Tahira needs to help win the Bakewell flower-arranging contest—an event that carries clout in New York City, of all places. And with designers, of all people. Connections that she needs!
No one is more surprised than Tahira to learn that floral design is almost as great as fashion design. And Rowan? Turns out he’s more than ironic shirts and soil under the fingernails. Tahira’s about to find out what she’s really made of—and made for. Because here in the middle of nowhere, Tahira is just beginning to bloom.
Aarya: Excited to try out Farah Heron’s first young adult romance.
A Certain Appeal
A sparkling contemporary retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in the tantalizing world of New York City burlesque, perfect for fans of The Kiss Quotient and The Roommate.
After a betrayal derailed her interior design career, Liz Bennet found a fresh start in New York. Now an executive assistant by day and stage kitten by night, she’s discovered a second home with the performers at Meryton, Manhattan’s top-tier burlesque venue. Love’s the last thing on her mind when she locks eyes with Will Darcy across the crowded club. The spark between them is undeniable–that is, until she overhears the uptight wealth manager call her merely “tolerable.”
Bennet is determined to write Darcy off, but once their besties fall head-over-heels, they’re thrown into each other’s orbit again and again. Each encounter begins to feel more heated than the last, but is their chemistry enough to topple that terrible first impression? What’s more, when a charming newcomer arrives on the scene with accusations against Darcy, his claims leave Bennet torn. And when a sudden development leaves Meryton’s fate in jeopardy, she will have to decide who to trust in time to salvage her design dreams, her heart, and the stage she shares with her found family…
Amanda: Pride & Prejudice but make it burlesque!
Ellen: A lot of P&P adaptations are bad but I really can’t resist one set in the world of BURLESQUE!
Dreams Lie Beneath
A curse plagues the realm of Azenor—during each new moon, magic flows from the nearby mountain and brings nightmares to life. Only magicians, who serve as territory wardens, stand between people and their worst dreams.
Clementine Madigan is ready to take over as the warden of her small town, but when two magicians challenge her, she is unwittingly drawn into a century-old conflict. She seeks revenge, but as she secretly gets closer to Phelan, one of the handsome young magicians, secrets begin to rise. Clementine must unite with her rival to fight the realm’s curse, which seems to be haunting her every turn.
Amanda: The cover is, of course, beautiful and I love anything with rivals and magic.
The Donut Trap
ulie Tieu sparkles in this debut romantic comedy, which is charmingly reminiscent of the TV show Kim’s Convenience and Frankly in Love by David Yoon, about a young woman who feels caught in the life her parents have made for her until she falls in love and finds a way out of the donut trap.
Jasmine Tran has landed herself behind bars—maple bars that is. With no boyfriend or job prospects, Jasmine returns home to work at her parents’ donut shop. Jasmine quickly loses herself in a cyclical routine of donuts, Netflix, and sleep. She wants to break free from her daily grind, but when a hike in rent threatens the survival of their shop, her parents rely on her more than ever.
Help comes in the form of an old college crush, Alex Lai. Not only is he successful and easy on the eyes, to her parents’ delight, he’s also Chinese. He’s everything she should wish for, until a disastrous dinner reveals Alex isn’t as perfect as she thinks. Worse, he doesn’t think she’s perfect either.
With both sets of parents against their relationship, a family legacy about to shut down, and the reappearance of an old high school flame, Jasmine must scheme to find a solution that satisfies her family’s expectations and can get her out of the donut trap once and for all.
Aarya: I enjoyed this, but the parent-daughter relationship is far more interesting/nuanced than the romantic arc.
USA Today bestselling author Jenny Holiday follows A Princess for Christmas with another delightful contemporary Christmas romance between a playboy baron and a woman who has said goodbye to love.
There’s a royal wedding on, and things are about to get interesting.
Meet the man of honor
Maximillian von Hansburg, Baron of Laudon and heir to the Duke of Aquilla, is not having a merry Christmas. He’s been dumped by a princess, he’s unemployed, and his domineering father has sent him to New York to meet a prospective bride he has no interest in. In the city, he meets Dani Martinez, a smart (and gorgeous) professor he’s determined to befriend before their best friends marry in the Eldovian wedding of the century.
Meet the best woman
Newly single, no-nonsense New Yorker Dani is done with love—she even has a list entitled “Things I Will Never Again Do for a Man”—which is why she hits it off with notorious rake Max. He’s the perfect partner for snow angels in Central Park and deep conversations about the futility of love.
It’s all fun and games until their friendship deepens into attraction and, oops…
Falling in love was never part of the plan.
Elyse: A royalty themed holiday romance sounds perfect for a cozy day.
The Fastest Way to Fall
Britta Colby works for a lifestyle website, and when tasked to write about her experience with a hot new body-positive fitness app that includes personal coaching, she knows it’s a major opportunity to prove she should write for the site full-time.
As CEO of the FitMe app, Wes Lawson finally has the financial security he grew up without, but despite his success, his floundering love life and complicated family situation leaves him feeling isolated and unfulfilled. He decides to get back to what he loves—coaching. Britta’s his first new client and they click immediately.
As weeks pass, she’s surprised at how much she enjoys experimenting with her exercise routine. He’s surprised at how much he looks forward to talking to her every day. They convince themselves their attraction is harmless, but when they start working out in person, Wes and Britta find it increasingly challenging to deny their chemistry and maintain a professional distance.
Wes isn’t supposed to be training clients, much less meeting with them, and Britta’s credibility will be sunk if the lifestyle site finds out she’s practically dating the fitness coach she’s reviewing. Walking away from each other is the smartest thing to do, but running side by side feels like the start of something big.
Shana: This sounds adorable!
Lore Olympus: Volume One
Experience the propulsive love story of two Greek gods—Hades and Persephone—brought to life with lavish artwork and an irresistible contemporary voice.
Scandalous gossip, wild parties, and forbidden love—witness what the gods do after dark in this stylish and contemporary reimagining of one of mythology’s most well-known stories from creator Rachel Smythe. Featuring a brand-new, exclusive short story, Smythe’s original Eisner-nominated web-comic Lore Olympus brings the Greek Pantheon into the modern age with this sharply perceptive and romantic graphic novel.
This volume collects episodes 1-25 of the #1 WEBTOON comic, Lore Olympus.
Amanda: AHHHH! Can’t wait to hold this in my hands. The pub date was already pushed once, so fingers crossed it doesn’t move again.
A Marvellous Light
Robin Blyth has more than enough bother in his life. He’s struggling to be a good older brother, a responsible employer, and the harried baronet of a seat gutted by his late parents’ excesses. When an administrative mistake sees him named the civil service liaison to a hidden magical society, he discovers what’s been operating beneath the unextraordinary reality he’s always known.
Now Robin must contend with the beauty and danger of magic, an excruciating deadly curse, and the alarming visions of the future that come with it—not to mention Edwin Courcey, his cold and prickly counterpart in the magical bureaucracy, who clearly wishes Robin were anyone and anywhere else.
Robin’s predecessor has disappeared, and the mystery of what happened to him reveals unsettling truths about the very oldest stories they’ve been told about the land they live on and what binds it. Thrown together and facing unexpected dangers, Robin and Edwin discover a plot that threatens every magician in the British Isles—and a secret that more than one person has already died to keep.
Sarah: Magical Fantasy where the Cold One and the Unprepared One have to work together.
Ellen: I love Johnathan Strange and Mr. Norrell but always felt it needed more romance so this sounds superb.
Miss Moriarty, I Presume?
A most unexpected client shows up at Charlotte Holmes’s doorstep: Moriarty himself. Moriarty fears that tragedy has befallen his daughter and wants Charlotte to find out the truth.
Charlotte and Mrs. Watson travel to a remote community of occult practitioners where Moriarty’s daughter was last seen, a place full of lies and liars. Meanwhile, Charlotte’s sister Livia tries to make sense of a mysterious message from her beau Mr. Marbleton. And Charlotte’s longtime friend and ally Lord Ingram at last turns his seductive prowess on Charlotte–or is it the other way around?
But the more secrets Charlotte unravels about Miss Moriarty’s disappearance, the more she wonders why Moriarty has entrusted this delicate matter to her of all people. Is it merely to test Charlotte’s skills as an investigator, or has the man of shadows trapped her in a nest of vipers?
Sarah: New Charlotte Holmes! New Charlotte Holmes!
Skin of the Sea
An unforgettable fantasy debut inspired by West African mythology, this is Children of Blood and Bone meets The Little Mermaid, in which a mermaid takes on the gods themselves.
A way to survive.
A way to serve.
A way to save.
Simi prayed to the gods, once. Now she serves them as Mami Wata–a mermaid–collecting the souls of those who die at sea and blessing their journeys back home.
But when a living boy is thrown overboard, Simi does the unthinkable–she saves his life, going against an ancient decree. And punishment awaits those who dare to defy it.
To protect the other Mami Wata, Simi must journey to the Supreme Creator to make amends. But something is amiss. There’s the boy she rescued, who knows more than he should. And something is shadowing Simi, something that would rather see her fail. . . .
Danger lurks at every turn, and as Simi draws closer, she must brave vengeful gods, treacherous lands, and legendary creatures. Because if she doesn’t, then she risks not only the fate of all Mami Wata, but also the world as she knows it.
Shana: I’m reading this right now, and I’ve never wanted to be a mermaid more.
The After Party
Three women form an unbreakable bond in a sexy, suspenseful, and adventurous novel about empowerment and sisterhood through thick and thin.
Venus McGee, Draya Carter, and Jackie Benson are coworkers with a lot in common. They’re smart, independent, driven, and deserving of recognition—certainly more than they’ve been handed by a demoralizing boss. He’s the topic of conversation at their impromptu get-together after the company holiday party, where the threesome fantasizes about a life without him. There has to be an alternative to taking a deep breath and sucking it up. There is. It’s just not the one they expected.
When morning comes, Venus, Draya, and Jackie are blindsided by murder—a twist of fate that brings a startling new challenge to the table and forces them to navigate a hair-raising detour they never saw coming. For better and (unless they can help it) for worse, it’s going to turn their world upside down. What starts as a necessary bond of mutual trust soon morphs into an empowering and galvanizing friendship that Venus, Draya, and Jackie need now more than ever.
Sarah: A contemporary murder mystery caper inspired heavily by the movie 9-to-5.
Just Haven’t Met You Yet
From the New York Times bestselling author of This Time Next Year comes a heartwarming and hilarious tale that asks: what if you pick up the wrong suitcase in an airport, only to fall head over heels for its unseen owner?
Laura’s business trip to the Channel Islands isn’t exactly off to a great start. After unceremoniously dumping everything in her bag in front of the most attractive man she’s ever seen in real life, she arrives at her hotel only to realize she’s grabbed the wrong suitcase from the airport. Her only consolation? The irresistibly appealing contents of the case: a copy of her favorite book; piano music; and a rugged, heavy knit fisherman sweater only a Ryan Gosling lookalike could pull off. The owner of this suitcase is Laura’s dream man–she’s sure of it. Now, all she has to do is find him.
The mix-up seems written in the stars. After all, what are the odds that she’d find The One on the same remote island where her mom and dad had first fallen in love, especially as she sets out to write an article about their epic romance? Commissioning surly cab driver Ted to ferry her around seems like her best bet in both tracking down the mystery suitcase owner and retracing her parents’ footsteps. And if beneath Ted’s gruffness lies a wit that makes their cab rides strangely entertaining, so much the better. But as Laura’s long-lost luggage soulmate proves difficult to find–and as she realizes that the love story she’s held on a pedestal all her life might not have been that perfect–she’ll have to rethink her whole outlook on love to discover what she really wants.
Sarah: Contemporaries have been hit or miss for me lately, but I’m really curious about this “I grabbed the wrong suitcase and who ARE you with this stuff” vacation story.
The Tyrant Alpha’s Rejected Mate
He rejected me, and then he realized I’m the center of his world. Bummer.
I keep my head down. In this backwards pack, females rank low, and my bad leg makes me damaged goods. It doesn’t help that I’ve never shifted. I don’t mind the late twenties single life, though. No one’s paying any attention as I build an illicit farmer’s market empire.
My roomies and I are doing it for ourselves, and if life under Killian Kelly is stifling, at least it’s predictable. We can deal.
But when biology finally kicks in, I lose my mind. I claim our alpha as my mate. And he rejects me in front of the whole pack.
It’s all good. It only hurts when I breathe. I’ll survive. That’s what I do.
Who wants an arrogant jerk for a mate, anyway? I’ve got a business to run.
To lead this pack out of the dark ages, I’ve had to be hard. Merciless. I don’t flinch, and I don’t make mistakes.
Una Hayes isn’t my mate.
My wolf might have some kind of strange infatuation, but if she were mine, I’d know it. And I can walk away, can’t I?
And if I keep coming back? If she starts living in my head?
I’m the strongest male in five generations. My pack scrambles to do my bidding. I can bring one quiet female back in line. No one can possibly be as stubborn as I am.
There’s no way I’ve ruined the best thing that’s ever happened to me.
I’m the Quarry pack alpha. I don’t lose.
Aarya: Cate C. Wells’s writing is wildly addictive and I would trust this (potentially very messy/problematic) power dynamic/rejection trope from her in a way I wouldn’t with other authors. The hero seems like A LOT (read: an alphahole) from the blurb, but I am willing to read for an awesome heroine. This won’t be everyone’s cup of tea (definitely avoid if you don’t like domineering heroes).