Every month I am more shocked that we’ve been moving so steadily towards the end of the year. Further proof that time stops for no one. This month we travel to some exotic, new adventures while learning the ins and outs of new relationships. I’ve got you covered from paranormal stories to contemporaries that will pull you out of any kind of funk.
A Cuban Girl’s Guide to Tea and Tomorrow by Laura Taylor Namey
For Lila Reyes, a summer in England was never part of the plan. The plan was 1) take over her abuela’s role as head baker at their panadería, 2) move in with her best friend after graduation, and 3) live happily ever after with her boyfriend. But then the Trifecta happened, and everything—including Lila herself—fell apart.
Worried about Lila’s mental health, her parents make a new plan for her: Spend three months with family friends in Winchester, England, to relax and reset. But with the lack of sun, a grumpy inn cook, and a small town lacking Miami flavor (both in food and otherwise), what would be a dream trip for some feels more like a nightmare to Lila…until she meets Orion Maxwell.
A teashop clerk with troubles of his own, Orion is determined to help Lila out of her funk, and appoints himself as her personal tour guide. From Winchester’s drama-filled music scene to the sweeping English countryside, it isn’t long before Lila is not only charmed by Orion, but England itself. Soon a new future is beginning to form in Lila’s mind—one that would mean leaving everything she ever planned behind.
This #ownvoices novel is a journey, Lila is wise beyond her young years. This is explained as Lila has always helped at her parent’s bakery and is groomed to be taking it over ever since she saved it at the age of 13. When tragedy strikes, she is sent to England to take a break and what she discovers leads her on a new path. As a Cuban American who is from Miami, I loved that I was finally able to read a book that I could identify with. I loved the spanglish, the introduction to Cuban food, and the family oriented side of Lila. It’s hard to leave Miami and Lila’s pull in two different directions was a fun journey to explore. Don’t worry there’s also romance in England and English fun. The best of both worlds
Little Lies by H. Hunting
I don’t want you.
You mean nothing to me.
I never loved you.
I turned my words into swords.
And I cut her down. Shoved the blade in and watched her fall.
I said I’d never hurt her and I did.
Years later I’m faced with all the little lies, the untruths, the false realities, the damage I inflicted when all I wanted was to indulge in my obsession.
Lavender Waters is the princess in the tower. Even her name is the thing fairy tales are made of.
I used to be the one who saved her.
Over and over again.
But I don’t want to save her anymore.
I just want to pretend the lies are still the truth.
Get ready for an angst fest, I was first introduced to Helena Hunting through her Clipped Wings series and I’ve been waiting for her ansty return. This time she brings it with the children of two of her beloved characters (Pucked and A Lie for A Lie). If you’ve read the series, you’ll know that Lavender has had a traumatic childhood. It’s explored in the story as well with major emphasis on Kodiak, our hero, who is Lavener’s rock. However, sometimes in order to grow things must be torn apart and put back together in a new, better way.
Bat Boy by Christina Lee
With a baseball scholarship to Easton University and awesome family and friends, my life is pretty golden. Except, things have never come together for me in the romance department. Until Kellan Crawford walks onto the field as the team’s newest bat boy. Bells and whistles go off in my body, and just like that, I’m totally crushing on a guy for the first time in my life. Too bad he’s the coach’s son and officially off-limits.
I’m working toward my statistics degree, so landing the bat-boy position with the Easton U Pirates is right up my alley. It keeps me close to the action on the field, even if that means hauling equipment, picking up sweaty jockstraps, and putting up with the players’ antics. My dad’s the coach, and his number-one rule is never to play favorites…which probably includes getting too friendly with the team captain. But Brady Donovan’s annoyingly perfect smile and protective nature are making that nearly impossible.
When something shifts between us at an away game, everything is thrown off-kilter. Donovan’s never been with a guy before, and I certainly don’t want to be his test case. But I can’t seem to help myself. He’s sweet and hot and somehow charms the baseball pants right off me. If Coach ever catches wind of this, he’ll bench us both. Disappointing my dad might kill me, but so would losing the guy who makes my heart pound harder than a home run in the bottom of the ninth.
So much for not playing favorites.
This book has the most precious couple that you want to wrap up and protect against the world. Friends to lovers, this is Brady’s first crush on a boy and it’s on the off- limits-coach’s son. When you’ve worked your whole life to get this baseball scholarship, you’re not going to do anything to jeopardize it. However, the more time they spend together, the harder it is to ignore. This is a feel good story that’s perfect for the season.
Bound by Forever by S. Young
Niamh Farren has been burdened by knowledge for most of her life. As one of seven fae children born into the human world with the ability to open the gate to Faerie, Niamh’s mission is to guide her fae brethren to do what’s right. Because Niamh has seen what will happen to the human world if she does not protect the gate. Throughout the years, she’s traveled the world with her brother Ronan, using her psychic visions to find the fae-borne and convince them to stay on the path that will keep the gate from opening. She has sacrificed much … but when she loses her brother to the mission, Niamh begins to lose herself.
For nearly one hundred and fifty years, werewolf Kiyo has wandered the planet as a lost soul. Cursed with immortality, he spends his awful eternity as a mercenary for hire. When the powerful Fionn Mór confides the truth about the existence of Faerie and hires Kiyo to protect one of the fae-borne, he accepts the challenge out of boredom, not heroism. Yet Niamh is unexpected in every way the werewolf can possibly imagine.
Guarding Niamh from her enemies is nowhere near as challenging as protecting the fae woman from herself. If Kiyo is to succeed, he must help Niamh find herself again, and not just for her sake. Ignoring the fierce connection between them may no longer be an option. A new enemy is rising and threatening to rip open the gate between worlds. To remind Niamh of who she really is, Kiyo must make the choice to lower his defenses and give into their bond. Or safeguard his own heart … and in doing so lead the human world to the brink of war.
This book shouldn’t be read as a standalone and I highly recommend it as it is a high octane ride of thrills and intricate plot. This installment of the series gives more insight to the “gate” and the fae borne children connection. My favorite part however, is the exploration of Japan. I think that’s a destination we don’t see too often. The intricacies of the plot lead to an intense spellbinding story that will keep you guessing. When you’re on the run for most of your life, it’s really hard to form relationships. Even if she could’ve, Niamh is wise beyond her young years and she was focused on using her powers of premonition to rid the world of evil. It’s a slow burn for our two main characters but I enjoyed how they discovered the ins and outs of each other before testing the romantic side of their frenemy status. I also love that it’s our heroines in the series who are leading the charge in this series and Niamh is the most powerful of them. I can’t wait to see how it all wraps up.
What are you reading this month?