Best New Books: Week of 6/18/2019

A little over halfway through 2019 and so far it has been shaping up to be another banner year for booklovers. And the steady stream of fantastic literature keeps moving right along this week, with several critical favorites coming out, along with a few titles by perennial crowd-pleasers. So whatever sort of book you enjoy, make sure to check out this week’s list to find your next favorite read!



FICTION



Fleishman is in Trouble by  Taffy Brodesser-Akner

fleishman is in troubleRecently separated Toby Fleishman is suddenly, somehow–and at age forty-one, short as ever–surrounded by women who want him: women who are self-actualized, women who are smart and interesting, women who don’t mind his height, women who are eager to take him for a test drive with just the swipe of an app. Toby doesn’t mind being used in this way; it’s a welcome change from the thirteen years he spent as a married man, the thirteen years of emotional neglect and contempt he’s just endured. Anthropologically speaking, it’s like nothing he ever experienced before, particularly back in the 1990s, when he first began dating and became used to swimming in the murky waters of rejection.

But Toby’s new life–liver specialist by day, kids every other weekend, rabid somewhat anonymous sex at night–is interrupted when his ex-wife suddenly disappears. Either on a vision quest or a nervous breakdown, Toby doesn’t know–she won’t answer his texts or calls.

Is Toby’s ex just angry, like always? Is she punishing him, yet again, for not being the bread winner she was? As he desperately searches for her while juggling his job and parenting their two unraveling children, Toby is forced to reckon with the real reasons his marriage fell apart, and to ask if the story he has been telling himself all this time is true.

Description from Goodreads.

“Everything you could wish for in a satisfying summer read… Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s page-turner doubles as a satirical take on modern relationships.” – Women’s Health

“A New York Times journalist known for her incisive, entertaining profiles, Brodesser-Akner proves herself also a master of startlingly true invention in her enthralling, affirming debut of midlife, marital, and existential despair. It asks and answers if there’s such a thing as fairness, in marriage or in life, and if the story of a marriage can ever be told from all sides—or the outside. Shrewd and delectable, this would be a novel to savor, if it were possible to put down.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“[Taffy Brodesser-Akner is] firing on all circuits, from psychological insight to cultural acuity to narrative strategy to very smart humor. Quite a debut!” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

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The Tenth Muse by  Catherine Chung

tenth museThe first thing I remember being said of me with any consistency was that I was intelligent—and I recognized even then that it was a comment leveled at me with as much disapproval as admiration. Still, I never tried to hide or suppress my mind as some girls do, and thank God, because that would have been the beginning of the end.

From childhood, Katherine knows she is different, and that her parents are not who they seem to be. But in becoming a mathematician, she must face the most human of problems—who is she? What is the cost of love, and what is the cost of ambition? 

On her quest to conquer the Riemann Hypothesis, the greatest unsolved mathematical problem of her time, she turns to a theorem with a mysterious history that holds both the lock and key to her identity, and to secrets long buried during World War II in Germany. Forced to confront some of the most consequential events of the twentieth century and rethink everything she knows of herself, she strives to take her place in the world of higher mathematics and finds kinship in the stories of the women who came before her—their love of the language of numbers connecting them across generations.

In The Tenth Muse, Catherine Chung offers a gorgeous, sweeping tale about legacy, identity, and the beautiful ways the mind can make us free.

Description from Goodreads.

“Chung’s impressive, poignant second novel (after Forgotten Country) explores the intersections of intellectual and familial legacies… Chung persuasively interweaves myths and legends with the real-world stories of lesser-known women mathematicians and of WWII… Chung’s novel boldly illustrates that truth and beauty can reside even amid the messiest solutions.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“A powerful and virtuosically researched story about the mysteries of the head and the heart.” – Kirkus Reviews, STARRED REVIEW

“Mathematics and its history, the legacy of WWII, and the struggles women face in pursuing academic success, especially in fields dominated by men, are woven into this novel that Chung renders in polished prose.” – Booklist

Available Formats:

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The Travelers by  Regina Porter

travelersA gripping new novel with a distinctly American edge, The Travelers highlights the lives of two families—meet James Samuel Vincent—an affluent New York attorney who shirks his modest Irish American upbringing but hews to his father’s wily nilly ways; and Agnes Miller Christie—a beautiful African American woman who encounters tragedy on a Georgia road that propels her to  a new life in the Bronx; Eddie Christie, a recently married sailor on an air craft carrier in Vietnam and the Tom Stoppard play that becomes his life anchor; an interracial couple, both academic scholars, who travel to far off Brittany to save their aching marriage; Eloise Delaney, the unapologetic lesbian starting life over again in 1970s’ Berlin; a black moving man stranded during a Thanksgiving storm in Portsmouth, New Hampshire; and two half-brothers who meet for the first time as adult men in a crayon factory. 

Spanning the 1950s to Obama’s first year as President, The Travelers is both an intimate family portrait and a sweeping exploration of what it means to be American today. With its piercing humor, dialogue and sense of place, The Travelers introduces readers to a cast of characters destined to make a lasting impression.

Description from Goodreads.

“American history comes to vivid, engaging life in this tale of two interconnected families (one white, one black) that spans from the 1950s to Barack Obama’s first year as president… The complex, beautifully drawn characters are unique and indelible.” – Entertainment Weekly

“Porter’s fantastic debut novel is a whirl of characters spidering outward through time and space… Beautifully written and intricately plotted.” – Kirkus Reviews

“Porter’s electric debut is a sprawling saga that follows two interconnected American families… Readers will certainly be drawn in by Porter’s sharp writing and kept hooked by the black-and-white photographs interspersed throughout the book, which give faces to the evocative voices.” – Booklist

Available Formats:

Print Book


The Porpoise by  Mark Haddon

porpoiseMark Haddon’s breathtaking novel begins with a harrowing plane crash: Maja, the pregnant wife of the unimaginably wealthy Philippe, is killed, but their daughter Angelica survives. Philippe’s obsession with the girl’s safety morphs into something sinister and grotesque as she grows into a beautiful teen. A young man named Darius, visiting Philippe with a business proposition, encounters Angelica and intuits their secret — he decides to rescue her, but the attempt goes awry and he flees England by sea.

This contemporary story mirrors the ancient legend of Antiochus, whose love for the daughter of his dead wife was discovered by the adventurer Appolinus of Tyre. The tale appeared in many forms through the ages; Apollinus becoming the swashbuckling Pericles in Shakespeare’s eponymous play. In The Porpoise, as Angelique comes to terms with a life imprisoned on her father’s estate, Darius morphs into Pericles, voyaging through a mythic world. In a bravura feat of storytelling, Haddon recounts his many exploits in thrilling fashion, mining the meaning of the old legends while creating parallels with the monstrous modern world Angelica inhabits. The language is rich and gorgeous; the conjured worlds are perfectly imagined; the plot moves forward at a ferocious pace.

But as much as Haddon plays with myth and meaning, his themes speak deeply to the current moment. As profound as it is entertaining, The Porpoise is a major literary achievement by an author whose myriad talents are on full, vivid display.

Description from Goodreads.

“An artfully crafted story of layered lives… Haddon’s ambitious tale captures the ethos of tragic Shakespearean vibrations and the tangle of lives that magically intersect. The prose is exquisite and elevates this story that blends reality and mythology to great effect.” – Publishers Weekly

“…fantastic… terrifically exciting… so riveting that I found myself constantly pining to fall back into its labyrinth of swashbuckling adventure and feminist resistance. …a novel just as thrilling as it is thoughtful.” – Washington Post

“…a transcendent, transporting experience… Adrenaline-fuelled adventure meets Shakespeare in a serious contender for novel of the year.” – The Guardian

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook | eAudiobook


The Stationery Shop by  Marjan Kamali

stationery shopRoya is a dreamy, idealistic teenager living in 1953 Tehran who, amidst the political upheaval of the time, finds a literary oasis in kindly Mr. Fakhri’s neighborhood book and stationery shop. She always feels safe in his dusty store, overflowing with fountain pens, shiny ink bottles, and thick pads of soft writing paper.

When Mr. Fakhri, with a keen instinct for a budding romance, introduces Roya to his other favorite customer—handsome Bahman, who has a burning passion for justice and a love for Rumi’s poetry—she loses her heart at once. And, as their romance blossoms, the modest little stationery shop remains their favorite place in all of Tehran.

A few short months later, on the eve of their marriage, Roya agrees to meet Bahman at the town square, but suddenly, violence erupts—a result of the coup d’etat that forever changes their country’s future. In the chaos, Bahman never shows. For weeks, Roya tries desperately to contact him, but her efforts are fruitless. With a sorrowful heart, she resigns herself to never seeing him again.

Until, more than sixty years later, an accident of fate leads her back to Bahman and offers her a chance to ask him the questions that have haunted her for more than half a century: Why did he leave? Where did he go? How was he able to forget her?

The Stationery Shop is a beautiful and timely exploration of devastating loss, unbreakable family bonds, and the overwhelming power of love.

Description from Goodreads.

“The unfurling stories in Kamali’s sophomore novel will stun readers as the aromas of Persian cooking wafting throughout convince us that love can last a lifetime. For those who enjoy getting caught up in romance while discovering unfamiliar history of another country.” – Library Journal

“Kamali paints an evocative portrait of 1950s Iran and its political upheaval, and she cleverly writes the heartbreak of Roya and Bahman’s romance to mirror the tragic recent history of their country. Simultaneously briskly paced and deeply moving, this will appeal to fans of Khaled Hosseini and should find a wide audience.” – Booklist

“A beautiful, emotionally honest story about first love, deep family bonds, and fate.” – Pop Sugar

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook


FKA USA by  Reed King

fka usaIn Reed King’s wildly imaginative and possibly prescient debut, the United States has dissolved in the wake of environmental disasters and the catastrophic policies of its final president.

It is 2085, and Truckee Wallace, a factory worker in Crunchtown 407 (formerly Little Rock, Arkansas, before the secessions), has no grand ambitions besides maybe, possibly, losing his virginity someday.

But when Truckee is thrust unexpectedly into the spotlight he is tapped by the President for a sensitive political mission: to deliver a talking goat across the continent. The fate of the world depends upon it.

The problem is—Truckee’s not sure it’s worth it.

Joined on the road by an android who wants to be human and a former convict lobotomized in Texas, Truckee will navigate an environmentally depleted and lawless continent with devastating—and hilarious—parallels to our own, dodging body pickers and Elvis-worshippers and logo girls, body subbers, and VR addicts.

Elvis-willing, he may even lose his virginity.

FKA USA is the epic novel we’ve all been waiting for about the American end of times, with its unavoidable sense of being on the wrong end of the roller coaster ride. It is a masterwork of ambition, humor, and satire with the power to make us cry, despair, and laugh out loud all at once. It is a tour de force unlike anything else you will read this year.

Description from Goodreads.

“Cunning… Outrageous… Apocalyptic fiction with a hearty serving of weird.” – Booklist, STARRED REVIEW

“Eminently readable… fantastic characters… An epically concocted apocalyptic vision of America in all its faded glory.” – Kirkus Reviews

“[An] absurdist depiction of the US on the verge of collapse, complete with talking goats and narcissistic billionaire presidents―okay, maybe it isn’t that absurd.” – Entertainment Weekly

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook


Summer of ’69 by  Elin Hilderbrand

summer of '69Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century! It’s 1969, and for the Levin family, the times they are a-changing. Every year the children have looked forward to spending the summer at their grandmother’s historic home in downtown Nantucket: but this year Blair, the oldest sister, is marooned in Boston, pregnant with twins and unable to travel. Middle sister Kirby, a nursing student, is caught up in the thrilling vortex of civil rights protests, a passion which takes her to Martha’s Vineyard with her best friend, Mary Jo Kopechne. Only son Tiger is an infantry soldier, recently deployed to Vietnam. Thirteen-year-old Jessie suddenly feels like an only child, marooned in the house with her out-of-touch grandmother who is hiding some secrets of her own. As the summer heats up, Teddy Kennedy sinks a car in Chappaquiddick, a man flies to the moon, and Jessie experiences some sinking and flying herself, as she grows into her own body and mind.

In her first “historical novel,” rich with the details of an era that shaped both a country and an island thirty miles out to sea, Elin Hilderbrand once again proves her title as queen of the summer novel.

Description from Goodreads.

“An engrossing tale of an iconic American summer.” – People Magazine

“Superb… Hilderbrand hits all the right notes about life in a tightly knit family, and this crowd-pleaser is sure to satisfy both her fans and newcomers alike.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“Hilderbrand’s first foray into historical fiction will rouse curiosity in new readers as well as devotees of her annual summer smashes.” – Booklist

Available Formats:

Print Book | PlayawayeBook | eAudiobook


The Burning Chambers by  Kate Mosse

burning chambersFrance, 1562: Nineteen-year-old Minou Joubert receives an anonymous letter at her father’s bookshop. Sealed with a distinctive family crest, it contains just five words: SHE KNOWS THAT YOU LIVE.

But before Minou can decipher the mysterious message, a chance encounter with a young Huguenot convert, Piet Reydon, changes her destiny forever. For Piet has a dangerous mission of his own, and he will need Minou’s help if he is to stay alive.

As the religious divide deepens, and old friends become enemies, Minou and Piet both find themselves trapped in Toulouse, facing new dangers as tensions ignite across the city.

All the while, the shadowy mistress of Puivert Château—obsessed with uncovering the secrets of a long-hidden document—strengthens her power and waits for the perfect time to strike…

Description from Goodreads.

“For fans of juicy historical fiction, this one might just develop into their next obsession.” – Entertainment Weekly

“Mosse’s fans will relish this tale of secrets, love, and treachery.” – The Times

“Impressively bold and ambitious, [The Burning Chambers] features betrayals, broken friendship, family secrets, and the horrors of fanaticism. Fans will love it.” – Daily Mail

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook



SUSPENSE



Her Daughter’s Mother by  Daniela Petrova

her daughter's motherLana Stone has never considered herself a stalker–until the night she impulsively follows a familiar face through the streets of New York’s Upper West Side. Her target? The “anonymous” egg donor she’d selected through an agency, the one who’s making motherhood possible for her. Hungry to learn more about her, Lana plans only to watch her from a distance. But when circumstances bring them face-to-face, an unexpected friendship is born.

Katya, a student at Columbia, is the yin to Lana’s yang, an impulsive free spirit who lives life at the edge. And for pragmatic Lana, she’s a breath of fresh air and a welcome distraction from her painful breakup with her baby’s father. Then, just as suddenly as Katya entered Lana’s life, she disappears–and Lana might have been the last person to see her before she went missing. Determined to find out what became of the woman to whom she owes so much, Lana digs into Katya’s past, even as the police grow suspicious of her motives. But she’s unprepared for the secrets she unearths, and their power to change everything she thought she knew about those she loves best…

Description from Goodreads.

“Beyond the beautiful cover, Daniela Petrova’s debut novel is absolutely dreamy and suspenseful.” – OThe Oprah Magazine

“Petrova has written a consummate page-turner that also manages incredible layers of emotional depth. This is one of the year’s most provocative and eye-opening novels.” – Crime Reads

“I haven’t read a story that’s kept me guessing like this one has in a while… This is a unique page-turner that will have readers speculating how it’ll end from the beginning.” – Ms. Magazine

Available Formats:

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The Perfect Fraud by  Ellen LaCorte

perfect fraudIS IT EVER TOO LATE TO SEE THE TRUTH? 

Motherhood is tough. But then, so is daughterhood. When we first meet Claire, she’s living in Sedona, Arizona with her boyfriend Cal and ducking calls from her mother. Her mom is a world class psychic on the East Coast and Claire doesn’t want her to discover the truth. Claire works in the family business and calls herself a psychic, but she doesn’t really have “the gift” and hasn’t for a long time. She’s a fraud.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, Rena, a young mother, has family issues of her own. She’s divorced and her four-year-old daughter, Stephanie, suffers from mysterious, seemingly incurable stomach problems. No matter how many specialists Rena drags her to, no matter how many mommy-blog posts she makes about her child’s health issues, trying to get help and support from her online community, Stephanie only gets sicker.

When Claire and Rena meet by chance on an airplane, their carefully constructed lives begin to explode. Can these two women help each other and can they help Stephanie before it’s too late?

Description from Goodreads.

“Mysticism and medicine intersect with dramatic results in LaCorte’s accomplished page-turning debut… Those who like a dash of the supernatural in their thrillers will be well satisfied.” – Publishers Weekly

“LaCorte’s debut novel combines a darkly twisted plot with excellent character building, and the eerily realistic setting nicely supports the haunting narrative. This is psychological suspense with a gut-clenching finale, perfect for readers of Gillian Flynn and Brandon Massey.” – Booklist

“LaCorte’s debut is the kind of thriller that ratchets up the suspense so slowly you don’t realize until somewhere in the middle how skillfully she’s plotted the novel…a compelling and well executed thriller.” – Crime Reads

Available Formats:

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The Cutting Room by  Ashley Dyer

cutting roomWhile Britain is obsessed with the newest hit true-crime television show, Fact, or Fable? detectives Ruth Lake and Greg Carver are tormented by a fiendish flesh-and-blood killer on the loose.

Lured to a “crime scene” by a mysterious digital invitation, Ruth Lake is horrified by what she finds: a bizarre and gruesome tableau surrounded by a crowd of gawkers. The deadly work is the latest “art installation” designed by a diabolical criminal dubbed the Ferryman. Not only is this criminal cold-blooded; he’s a narcissistic exhibitionist desperate for an audience. He’s also clever at promoting his deadly handiwork. Exploiting England’s current true-crime craze, he uses social media to titillate and terrorize the public.

Ruth is joined in the investigation by her partner Greg Carver, who is slowly regaining his strength after a run-in with another sadistic criminal. But Greg can’t seem to shake the bewildering effects of the head wound that nearly ended him. Are the strange auras blurring his vision an annoying side effect of his injury, or could they be something more… a tool to help him see a person’s true nature?

In this utterly engrossing and thrilling tale of suspense, a pair of seasoned detectives face off against a wickedly smart and inventive psychopath in a tense, bloody game that leads to a shocking end.

Description from Goodreads.

“A well-written, complex, and harrowing tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat… Highly recommended.” – Suspense Magazine

“Addictive… the material is fresh enough to keep readers turning the pages. Fans of British police procedurals will be well satisfied.” – Publishers Weekly

“A riveting investigation… a grimly authentic narrative and deeply defined characters.” – Booklist

Available Formats:

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Girl in the Rearview Mirror by  Kelsey Rae Dimberg

girl in the rearview mirrorThey are Phoenix’s First Family: handsome Philip Martin, son of the sitting Senator, an ex-football player who carries himself with an easy grace and appears destined to step into his father’s seat when the time is right; his wife Marina, the stylish and elegant director of Phoenix’s fine arts museum; and their four-year-old daughter Amabel, beautiful and precocious and beloved.

Finn Hunt is working a dull office job to pay off her college debt when she meets Philip and charms Amabel. She eagerly agrees to nanny, thinking she’s lucked into the job of a lifetime. Though the glamour of the Martins’ lifestyle undeniably dazzles Finn, her real pleasure comes from being part of the family: sharing quick jokes with Philip in the kitchen before he leaves for work; staying late when Marina needs a last-minute sitter; and spending long days with Amabel, who is often treated more like a photo op than a child.

But behind every façade lurks a less attractive truth. When a young woman approaches Finn, claiming a connection with Philip and asking Finn to pass on a message, Finn becomes caught up in a web of deceit with the senate seat at its center. And Finn isn’t exactly innocent herself: she too has a background she has kept hidden, and under the hot Phoenix sun, everything is about to be laid bare…

Description from Goodreads.

“…almost dizzyingly twisty… the plot speeds to [a] bombshell final betrayal. Dimberg’s evocative prose and affecting characters flag her as a writer to watch.” – Publishers Weekly

“A great debut novel from an up and coming author. Twists and turns throughout the story made me want to keep reading and not put the book down.” – Red Carpet Crash

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook



MYSTERY



The Last House Guest by  Megan Miranda

last house guestLittleport, Maine is like two separate towns: a vacation paradise for wealthy holidaymakers and a simple harbour community for the residents who serve them. Friendships between locals and visitors are unheard of – but that’s just what happened with Avery Greer and Sadie Loman.

Each summer for a decade the girls are inseparable – until Sadie is found dead. When the police rule the death a suicide, Avery can’t help but feel there are those in the community, including a local detective and Sadie’s brother Parker, who blame her. Someone knows more than they’re saying, and Avery is intent on clearing her name before the facts get twisted against her.

Description from Goodreads.

“This searing small-town thriller from bestseller Miranda (The Perfect Stranger) explores the complexities of female friendship and the picturesque fictions that money can buy… Sharply drawn characters both ground and elevate the bombshell-laden plot, while evocative prose heightens tension and conjures place. Miranda delivers a clever, stylish mystery that will seize readers like a riptide.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

“The narrative, which flips between 2017 and 2018, grows increasingly tense as Avery, who is a surprisingly reliable narrator, gets closer to the truth… Most compelling are the class tensions between Littleport’s year-round residents and the seasonal, moneyed tourists as well as the elusive nature of memory and the intricacies of friendship. An evocative… thriller.” – Kirkus Reviews

“The vivid description of this isolated town sets the stage for the revelation of Littleport’s secrets… Miranda’s exploration of how Avery’s and Sadie’s lives intertwine give the story its depth. Fans of Michele Campbell and Mary Kubica, who like family drama supporting their suspense, will enjoy.” – Booklist

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook | eAudiobook


Conviction by  Denise Mina

convictionThe day Anna McDonald’s quiet, respectable life explodes starts off like all the days before: packing up the kids for school, making breakfast, listening to yet another true crime podcast. Then her husband comes downstairs with an announcement, and Anna is suddenly, shockingly alone. 

Reeling and desperate for distraction, Anna returns to the podcast. Other people’s problems are much better than one’s own–a sunken yacht, a murdered family, a hint of international conspiracy, but this case actually is Anna’s problem. She knows one of the victims from an earlier life, a life she’s taken great pains to leave behind, and she is convinced that she knows what really happened.

Then an unexpected visitor arrives on her front stoop; a meddling neighbor intervenes; and life as Anna knows it is well and truly over. The devils of her past are awakened–and in hot pursuit. Convinced she has no other options, she goes on the run, and in pursuit of the truth, with a washed-up musician at her side and the podcast as her guide.

Description from Goodreads.

“This thoroughly au courant thriller from a master of tartan noir is a page-turner with depth and soul, and proves the truth that a lie never lives to be old.” – O, the Oprah Magazine

“An incredibly original book… A jet-setting thriller about an ordinary life suddenly turned electric.” – Refinery29

“Spellbinding… A metafictional marvel that both endorses and exemplifies the power of storytelling.” – Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

Available Formats:

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ROMANCE



The Lemon Sisters by  Jill Shalvis

lemon sistersBrooke Lemon has always led the life she wanted, wild adventures—and mistakes—included, something her perfect sister, Mindy, never understood. So when Mindy shows up on Brooke’s doorstep in the throes of a break-down with her three little kids in tow, Brooke’s shocked.

Wanting to make amends, Brooke agrees to trade places, taking the kids back to Wildstone for a few days so Mindy can pick up the pieces and put herself back together. What Brooke doesn’t admit is she’s just as broken… Also how does one go home after seven years away? It doesn’t take long for Brooke to come face-to-face with her past, in the form of one tall, dark, sexy mistake. But Garrett’s no longer interested. Only his words don’t match his actions, leaving Brooke feeling things she’d shoved deep.

Soon the sisters begin to wonder: Are they lemons in life? In love? All they know is that neither seems to be able to run far enough to outpace her demons. And when secrets surface, they’ll have to learn that sometimes the one person who can help you the most is the one you never thought to ask.

Description from Goodreads.

The Lemon Sisters is full of Shalvis’ signature verve and wit; it touches on sisterhood and forgiveness while also serving up plenty of romance. The perfect beach read for any romance reader.” – Booklist

“…a wonderfully written story about family, forgiveness, healing, and second chances… readers both new and old of Jill Shalvis will enjoy this latest installment of the Wildstone series.” – Harlequin Junkie

“Flawed, believable characters and plenty of sizzling love scenes make this an enjoyable outing.” – Publishers Weekly

Available Formats:

Print Book | eBook



SCI-FI & FANTASY



The Lesson by  Cadwell Turnbull

lessonAn alien ship rests over Water Island. For five years the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands have lived with the Ynaa, a race of super-advanced aliens on a research mission they will not fully disclose. They are benevolent in many ways but meet any act of aggression with disproportional wrath. This has led to a strained relationship between the Ynaa and the local Virgin Islanders and a peace that cannot last. A year after the death of a young boy at the hands of an Ynaa, three families find themselves at the center of the inevitable conflict, witness and victim to events that will touch everyone and teach a terrible lesson.

Description from Goodreads.

The Lesson is thrilling, moving and thought-provoking. This may be Turnbull’s debut, but it reads like the work of a seasoned writer. It’s also proof that science fiction is more than entertaining, it’s a vital genre that lays bare the perils of the age and the boundlessness of the human spirit.” – Shelf Awareness

”Remarkable… Turnbull’s writing is affecting and intelligent, dropping wisdom like cherry bombs… A daring and thoughtful book.” – Locus

”A parable of cultural conflict, conflicting moralities, colonialism, and the costs of being a decent person in the midst of desperate times… This is one of those books in which the setting becomes almost a character in itself. The Virgin Islands and their people are drawn in vibrant detail… Turnbull has been compared to Octavia Butler, and in his case I think the observation is a valid one. The Lesson isn’t just a serious, important book–it’s also a fun and rewarding one.” – Analog Science Fiction and Fact

Available Formats:

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