New Adult Corner: Top Picks for May

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Summer is here and I can tell with the plethora of books being released for summer reading! I’m ready for the sun on my face and a book in my hand, socially distanced in my own seat. This month we are traveling from the USA to Tokyo to far off Elven lands. I greatly enjoyed exploring new worlds and hope you do too!

Spells Trouble by P.C Cast & Kristin Cast 

Hunter and Mercy Goode are twin witches, direct descendants of the founder of their town of Goodeville. As their ancestors have done before them, it is now time for the twins to learn what it means to be Gatekeepers–the protectors of the Gates to different underworlds, ancient portals between their world and realms where mythology rules and nightmares come to life.

When their mother becomes the first victim in a string of murders, the devastated sisters vow to avenge her death. But it will take more than magic to rein in the ancient mythological monsters who’ve infected their peaceful town.

Now Hunter and Mercy must come together and accept their destiny or risk being separated for good. 

This is a new trilogy from these much loved authors. Twin witches are bound to be  gatekeepers to the underworld. What ensues is a witchy adventure with plenty of girl power and angst. As Mercy and Hunter’s world’s are turned upside, we dive into this new world at a feverish pace while trying to solve the biggest mystery they’ve ever had to solve. 

Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean 

Izumi Tanaka has never really felt like she fit in—it isn’t easy being Japanese American in her small, mostly white, northern California town. Raised by a single mother, it’s always been Izumi—or Izzy, because “It’s easier this way”—and her mom against the world. But then Izumi discovers a clue to her previously unknown father’s identity…and he’s none other than the Crown Prince of Japan. Which means outspoken, irreverent Izzy is literally a princess.

In a whirlwind, Izumi travels to Japan to meet the father she never knew and discover the country she always dreamed of. But being a princess isn’t all ball gowns and tiaras. There are conniving cousins, a hungry press, a scowling but handsome bodyguard who just might be her soulmate, and thousands of years of tradition and customs to learn practically overnight.

Izumi soon finds herself caught between worlds, and between versions of herself—back home, she was never “American” enough, and in Japan, she must prove she’s “Japanese” enough. Will Izumi crumble under the weight of the crown, or will she live out her fairy tale, happily ever after?

Ok, I looooove a Royal story and one set in Japan?! I’m in. This is a whirlwind of a story from California to Japan, Izzy must discover how to balance her two worlds. She’s never felt like she fit in but can’t find her footing in Japan either. Straddling these two cultures is not an easy task and add a crown to that. If you’re a fan of The Princess Diaries, this is perfect for you. 

Dream Spinner by Kristen Ashley 

Hattie Yates has finally met the man of her dreams. Yet years of abuse from her demanding father have left her petrified of disappointment. She’s already failed to reach her goal of becoming a professional ballerina—she can’t handle the terrible consequences of another dream becoming a nightmare. But when a stalker sets their sights on Hattie, there’s only one man she dares to hope can help . . . 

Axl Pantera knows Hattie is the only woman for him. Yet despite the attraction burning between them, Hattie refuses to let him in. The former soldier is determined to woo her into letting down her walls. And when danger comes calling, he’s up against more than her wary and bruised heart. Axl will do anything to prove to Hattie that they’re meant to be, but first, he’ll need to keep her safe. 

Continuing in her typical style, Axl and Hattie are in emotional turmoil. Hattie is dealing with emotional issues left over from years of abuse and has shuttered herself against all her friends. Axl is not happy about this but when Hattie starts receiving creepy calls, he’s ready to protect her against all costs. Get ready for an emotional ride with plenty of KA style alpha dialogue, we continue the Dream Men series with an extremely swoony hero and sweet heroine. 

A Fate of Wrath and Flame by KA Tucker 

Gifted thief Romeria has flourished from her days as a street kid pilfering wallets to survive. Now she thrives, stealing jewels from the rich under the involuntary employ of New York City’s most notorious crime boss. But when an enigmatic woman secures her services at swordpoint, Romeria is plunged into a startling realm of opposing thrones, warring elven, and elemental magic she cannot begin to fathom. 

Her quest is straightforward: Steal a stone from Islor’s sacred garden without anyone discovering her true identity, which would earn her certain death. But the identity she has inexplicably assumed is that of the captured Ybarisan princess—an enemy to Islor after she poisoned their beloved king and queen on the day she was to marry the prince. 

Her betrothed, the newly crowned King Zander, detests her with every grain of his handsome being. Fortunately for Romeria, she is more valuable to him alive than dead. Zander gives her a choice: life in a cell, or an acquittal of all charges in exchange for her help in exposing the growing plot against him.

Romeria sees no other option and embraces the tricky role of smitten queen-to-be until she can escape, a ruse that brings her far closer to the king than she anticipated and threatens more than her safety. As she digs deeper into this sacred garden and the ancient feud between Ybaris and Islor, she discovers monstrous truths that could spell ruin for all.

Romy is dumped in the middle of a centuries long battle between gods and their servants, in a land with two moons. It takes some time for the novel to find its footing but as the first book in a series it sets up the premise of a battle of epic proportions. Romy who was a 21 year old thief on “earth”, has no idea who to trust, everything she’s known has been undone and as she further descends into this mythical land, she uncovers truths to herself that could destroy her. The king in this story, Zander, is so easy to hate with his gruff exterior and constant threats to kill Romy. However, as time progresses we learn much about the pressure to rule an Elven country and we learn to better understand him and love him. I know, so much stuff happens but it’s action packed and everything you need in a fantasy novel. 

Here with Me by Samantha Young 

Settled in the tranquil remoteness of the Scottish Highlands, Ardnoch Estate caters to the rich and famous. It is as unattainable and as mysterious as its owner —ex-Hollywood leading man Lachlan Adair—and it’s poised on the edge of a dark scandal.

After narrowly escaping death, police officer Robyn Penhaligon leaves behind her life in Boston in search of some answers. Starting with Mac Galbraith, the Scottish father who abandoned her to pursue his career in private security. To re-connect with Mac, Robyn will finally meet a man she’s long resented. Lachlan Adair. Hostility instantly brews between Robyn and Lachlan. She thinks the head of the Adair family is high-handed and self-important. And finding closure with Mac is proving more difficult than she ever imagined. Robyn would sooner leave Ardnoch, but when she discovers Mac is embroiled in a threat against the Adairs and the exclusive members of the estate, she finds she’s not yet ready to give up on her father. 

Determined to ensure Mac’s safety, Robyn investigates the disturbing crimes at Ardnoch, forcing her and Lachlan to spend time together. Soon it becomes clear a searing attraction exists beneath their animosity, and temptation leads them down a perilous path.

While they discover they are connected by something far more addictive than passion, Lachlan cannot let go of his grip on a painful past: a past that will destroy his future … if the insidious presence of an enemy lurking in the shadows of Ardnoch doesn’t do the job first.

I spent most of this novel mesmerized by the many mysteries that are presented. It literally starts with a bang and then throws us to Scotland. I had many theories and ideas and I’m shook that I guessed wrong. This was a long introduction to the Adair series and it sets up enough intrigue that I cannot wait to see where this family takes us. Lachlan, our gruff alpha Scottish hero, is the oldest of the family and definite caregiver and Robyn, our heroine,  is the daughter of his best friend. Their romantic development is very much a slow burn and is mixed in among many other family and murderous issues. However, I was on the edge of my seat! Highly recommend for romantic suspense

Heart and Seoul by Jen Frederick

As a Korean adoptee, Hara Wilson doesn’t need anyone telling her she looks different from her white parents. She knows. Every time Hara looks in the mirror, she’s reminded that she doesn’t look like anyone else in her family—not her loving mother, Ellen; not her jerk of a father, Pat; and certainly not like Pat’s new wife and new “real” son.

At the age of twenty-five, she thought she had come to terms with it all, but when her father suddenly dies, an offhand comment at his funeral triggers an identity crisis that has her running off to Seoul in search of her roots.

What Hara finds there has all the makings of a classic K-drama: a tall, mysterious stranger who greets her at the airport, spontaneous adventures across the city, and a mess of familial ties, along with a red string of destiny that winds its way around her, heart and soul. Hara goes to Korea looking for answers, but what she gets instead is love—a forbidden love that will either welcome Hara home…or destroy her chance of finding one.

K-dramas are all the rage right now and this fits right in. A soapy story of family and love, Hara travels to Korea to finally get the answers that she’s wanted. But like most things, not is all as it seems. As she dives deeper into her roots, she discovers more of herself than ever before. A novel of deep changes and great character development, it hits all the right spots for a summer feel good story. 

What are you reading this month?

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