Heading into July, it’s time to take a look at what’s looking good in the next batch of upcoming releases. Staffers have selected a couple of historicals as the most highly anticipated releases of the month, closely followed by the conclusion to Ilona Andrews’ Hidden Legacy series and the latest from Jennifer Probst. We’ve got our normal, fairly eclectic mix of the various sub-genres in our list of what we’re looking forward to next month; are any of these on your Wish List? Or have we missed out on something awesome that you’re just dying to tell us about?
Scandalous Ever After by Theresa Romain (4 July)
I’m a big fan of Theresa Romain’s and despite knowing absolutely nothing about horse racing have thoroughly enjoyed the books in the Romance of the Turf series so far. The plotline of this sounds intriguing – a mysterious death, a handsome antiques expert (there really should be more of those in romance novels!), and race meets at Newmarket… Ms. Romain always delivers splendidly written, sensual, character-driven romances and I can’t wait to read this one. – Caz
I’m a bit late to the Theresa Romain party, but lately I’ve been glomming her books big time. I love a great friends-to-lovers story, and I’m intrigued by the backdrop of the series – horse racing – which I know next to nothing about. I can’t wait for this one! – Em
I’m fascinated by the Regency horse-racing world of Newmarket and Ireland, and the author’s first book was well-received and set up the horse-mad world very well. Lady Kate Whelan’s husband dies under mysterious circumstances in a steeplechase, and Kate tries to solve the enigma with the help of Evan Rhys, an antiquities expert and her husband’s delicious friend. Horses, secrets, and a hot romance — what an intriguing package indeed. – Keira
The Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian (4 July)
Cat Sebastian made a huge impression on me with her début male/male historical, The Soldier’s Scoundrel, and her follow up, The Lawrence Browne Affair was every bit as well-written, strongly characterised and enjoyable. The Ruin of a Rake features a favourite trope – starchy and proper vs. laid-back and devil-may-care – and I can’t wait to see how Ms. Sebastian redeems the louche Lord Courtenay in this story of a rake in need of reforming and the man who takes on that seemingly impossible job! – Caz
Both of Ms. Sebastian’s previous books have made my ‘best of’ lists, and I expect no less from this one. Historical, queer and it features a rake who needs rehabilitating – it’s the perfect combination of all my most favorite genres and tropes. I have VERY high expectations for this story and I plan to enjoy every moment of it. – Em
The Lawrence Browne Affair was my gateway to this fabulous m/m historical romance series and this one looks equally interesting. The plot involves a PR disaster for Lord Courtenay who must rehabilitate his image with the equivalent of a historical Emily Post (of the male variety). It sounds like quite the fun read! – Maria Rose
Wildfire by Ilona Andrews (25 July)
Anything by this writing team attracts my attention and as this is the third book in the Hidden Legacy series I am already deeply invested in what happens to Rogan and Nevada. Their relationship has taken a while to evolve, with lots of stops and starts so it will be nice to see if that gets resolved here. The stories are great even without the romantic aspect; combining magic and mayhem with mystery and action/adventure, these books are always a thrill ride. – Maggie
I’m so excited for the conclusion of Ilona Andrews’ Hidden Legacy trilogy. The worldbuilding is original and the romantic pairing of Nevada and Rogan is pretty close to perfect. This is one of the best urban fantasy/paranormal series out there! – Shannon
The Pirate and I by Katharine Ashe (11 July)
Something new from Katharine Ashe is always more than welcome – and this will tide me over nicely until the release of The Duke in the autumn! – Caz
Katharine Ashe is one of my favorite historical romance authors and I love everything she writes. I enjoyed every book in the Falcon Club series, and so far, the Devil’s Duke series is even better. The Pirate and I takes a minor secondary character and spins off his story somehow making a pirate out of an otherwise unassuming London bookmaker. His love interest, Miss Esme Astell, is in training to become a perfumer. I’m curious how Ms. Ashe spins this friends-to-lovers novella but confident she can pull it off. – Em
A Momentary Marriage by Candace Camp (25 July)
I was smitten with the witty, enigmatic James de Vere in Ms. Camp’s A Perfect Gentleman and was pleased to discover that he’d be getting a story of his own. Marriages of Convenience are my catnip, and I can’t wait to read this one. – Caz
One of my favorite authors of all time, Camp does well with meetings of the minds, and this story features a doctor’s daughter being swept off her feet by well-meaning nobility. Sounds sweet to me! – Lisa
The Wicked Heir by Elizabeth Michels (4 July)
Ms Michaels has done a good job with this series thus far, and the third volume feels like it could be a bit of suspenseful fun. – Lisa
Historical romances and secret gentlemen’s clubs go hand in hand, usually with one man above all holding onto everyone’s confidences. It’s great fun to read stories where the person pulling the strings gets himself all tied up because of a woman. This third entry in the Spare Heirs series brings the man in the shadows out into the light to save the virtue of the only lady he’s ever loved. – Sara
All or Nothing at All by Jennifer Probst (25 July)
I really dug the first two installments of this series, and with this one being a second-chance romance (my trope of choice), I’ll be bumping this to the top of the TBR as soon as it lands on my Kindle. – Kristen
I’ve enjoyed the first two books in this series, and I feel like I already know the protagonists of All or Nothing at All. I also have a hunch where their story will go, and it is one of my favorite romance tropes. – Mary D.
We’re also looking forward to…
The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters (25 July)
This is my most anticipated book of the month, and it is the last story of the acclaimed Amelia Peabody series. Set in Egypt in 1912, Amelia and her dashing archaeologist husband, Emerson, are searching for a priceless, stolen bust of Queen Nefertiti, while Amelia fends off assassins. What role will the master of disguises, Sethos, play in their excavation of the 1345 B.C. work of the sculptor Thutmose? And will Sethos be unmasked at long last? Ms. Peters has held me spellbound through all the books in her long series, and this promises to be the best yet.
The Life She Was Given by Ellen Marie Wiseman (25 July)
Ms. Wiseman writes such carefully crafted books full of emotional intensity and historical accuracy and I have loved all her previous work, especially The Plum Tree. The Life She Was Given is a dual-timeline story, one thread set in the 1930s and one in the 1950s of two women, Lilly and Julia, haunted by their oppressive, forbidding home, Blackwood Manor. Lilly is reputed to discover friendship and strength at The Barlow Brothers’ Circus thanks to elephants Pepper and JoJo – this totally sold the book to me.
The Dream Keeper’s Daughter by Emily Colin (25 July)
I’m fascinated by the premise of this story. Isabel Griffin’s long-lost boyfriend, Max Adair, calls her while while she’s on an archeological dig and tells her to guard their daughter Finn – and Isabel is horrified. Is Finn really in danger or is it someone else posing as Max out to harm Isabel? I’m looking forward to finding out.
The Lying Game by Ruth Ware (25 July)
I don’t know what it is about summer and suspense novels, but I find myself packing them in my pool bag alongside my requisite Harlequins. Ruth Ware hasn’t let me down yet, and I don’t believe she will on this one either.
Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai (25 July)
I have a thing for Ms. Rai’s writing. She’s one of those authors where I don’t need to read the synopsis before I get excited, because I want to go wherever she takes me. This one sounds like Romeo and Juliet if the two had lived, didn’t get married, but secretly kept seeing each other, and sounds like an absolute joy.
Maiden From the Mist by Tanya Ann Crosby
The latest in her series of mythology-laden celtic fantasy romances. I have a fondness for Celtic romance and this sounds divine.
Don’t Close Your Eyes by Holly Seddon (4 July)
Ms. Seddon’s debut novel Try Not to Breathe blew me away with its combination of utterly fascinating narrator and intriguing mystery, so I am equally anxious to read this story of two sisters with some big secrets.
Wicked Kiss by Rebecca Zanetti (4 July)
I’ve been enjoying the Realm Enforcers novels, spinoffs to the author’s Dark Protectors series. They are paranormal romances which combine a variety of supernatural characters including witches, vampires and animal shifters. The world building is well crafted and the stories are sexy and entertaining. My favorite so far is Wicked Ride (one of my top 10 reads in 2015!) and I hope this one is just as good!
Famous by Jenny Holiday (11 July)
Jenny Holiday tells the story of a runaway pop star who finds solace in her old college town with an art history Professor. That’s an intriguing pairing and I’m already picturing a Kevin Kline type as the hero – with glasses and rolled up shirt sleeves. I’ve no idea if that will translate to the book, but I’m sticking with the image for now.
When I Need You by Lorelei James (25 July)
I loved the most recent book in the Need You series about the Lund family, All You Need. I’ll happily devour any books in the series based on that experience so I’m ready for this one. Like the previous story in the series it’s a sports romance, as the hero Jensen Lund is a football player for the Minnesota Vikings. The heroine is a single mom and an athletic trainer, as well as being Jensen’s new neighbor. I’m betting sparks will fly quickly between these two!
Beautiful Mistake by Vi Keeland (17 July)
Vi Keeland is an auto-buy for me. I cannot wait to read anything she writes. Enough said. – Mary D.
Spellbinder by Thea Harrison (18 Jul)
After reading the book Moonshadow I never expected evil mage Morgan le Fae to be anything but the main villain for the whole series. Turning a character perceived as the bad guy into a hero takes skill and I have every confidence in Thea Harrison to make me fall in love with Morgan while exploring his tragic tale of love and magic gone wrong.
Wired by Julie Garwood (4 July)
I’m a huge fan of Ms. Garwood’s writing, whether it’s historical romance or romantic suspense. The latest book in her Buchanan/FBI series looks like the perfect blend of romance and mystery. I’ve been waiting for Liam to find his true love for quite some time now. – Shannon
Down A Dark Road by Linda Castillo (11 July)
Police Detective Kate Burkholder is one of my very favorite suspense heroines. I love the way she bridges the gap between the Amish and English in her small Ohio town. Ms. Castillo crafts action-packed mysteries with a touch of romance thrown in, making the ninth installment in the series an autobuy for me.
The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson (11 July)
No one writes fiction set in the southern part of the United States like Joshilyn Jackson. Her stories are honest and heartwarming without being overly sappy. I adore the depth of emotion she brings to her characters’ lives. This is a book I’ve been anticipating for months now.
Those are (some) of our choices – what are yours? Drop by and let us know in the comments.
Please note that links are provided for ebook editions of these titles, and some may not be available from all retailers. Where no link is given, an ebook is not available from that retailer.