Hopefully the advent of April will bring with it some more Spring-like weather – in my part of the world, at least! – but even if it doesn’t, it DOES bring lots of great books for your consideration! Below is just a small selection of the new books coming out in April – click on the covers to find more details and remember, purchasing from our Amazon links generates a small amount of commission that goes towards helping AAR stay online.
We’d love to hear from you – which books are you dying to get your hands on, whether on our list or not – so do drop by and join the conversation in the comments.
Apart from Courtney Milan’s The Duke Who Didn’t and Talk Sweetly to Me I have not come across any other 19th century English romance novel that center people of color. English society was quite diverse even then, but one would not know reading the gazillion Regency/Victorian era novels churned out by the American publishing industry.
Ana Maria and the Fox, a debut novel by Leana De La Rosa, is a combination of historical romance and political fiction. What sets it apart from the thousand other Regency/Victorian novels is its principal cast of characters. The heroine, Anna Maria, and her two sisters, are Mexican. And, the hero, Gideon Fox, is a mixed race English politician. It is not just token diversity. Both hero and heroine have political agendas that are closely aligned with their racial and national origins, even though the setting is still Mayfair and all the action take place in ballrooms and country houses. It is their political meeting of minds that fuel their reluctant physical attraction. Anna Maria comes from a politically important Mexican family where she has been listening to many political conversations at the dining table. She is intelligent, well informed and appreciates Gideon’s commitment to passing a bill that will abolish slave trade in South America. Gideon in his turn gets a history lesson from Ann Maria on Mexico and its many struggles to be independent of Spain and France. The author adds memorable touches that provide emotional depth to what might have ended up a didactic romantic tale: There is a scene when Anna Maria is attending Darwin’s lecture on the Origin of Species and has an epiphany that evolution and adaptation are not just confined to finches and turtles and that human beings like her, an outsider in a foreign land, evolve and adapt too. (As an immigrant myself, at a personal level, I could relate to that sentiment.) As outsiders facing an insular, judgmental and colorist British society, the growing solidarity between the three sisters is also lovingly drawn. Surprisingly, away from the controlling, censorious presence of their father, Anna Maria actually feels freer in Victorian England (which is not free at all for its Englishwomen)!
Anna Maria and the Fox is Book 1 in the Luna Sisters series and there are hints as to how the stories about the remaining two sisters might develop. I greatly enjoyed reading this one: the story and characters are credible. Looking forward to reading books 2&3.
Susanna Hoffs is writing romance? That’s awesome! I have always loved her music – she has such a great voice.
The book has gotten rave reviews.
It’s really fun that it’s a romance about a pop star written by an actual pop star. I’ll be checking this one out.
Defying Logic by Nicky James is the book I most look forward to for April. I’m also excited about If Only You by Chloe Liese. I will probably get Annabeth Albert’s latest, although I am not that fond of age gap/father’s best friend tropes.
Books not on the list that I look forward to are:
The Summer We Fell by Elizabeth O’Roarke (M/F). It looks like enemies to lovers, which is one of my favorite tropes.
Foolish Puckboy by Eden Finley and Saxon James (M/M). 4th in the series about hockey players.
Fauxmance in the Falls by J.E. Birk (M/M). I liked both books that she wrote for the Vino & Veritas series (Booklover and Counterpoint), although I liked Booklover more. This book has a character from book 2 who needs some redeeming and features a small town lawyer-doctor pairing that I think I will like.
Return to Satterthwaite Court by Mimi Mathews (M/F historical). The main characters are the grown up children of the protagonists of The Work of Art and Gentleman Jim. The Work of Art is one of my favorite Mimi Matthews books so I’m excited about this.
I might check out the Birk – i didn’t read Counterpoint, but I liked Booklover.
I liked Booklover, but DNF’d Counterpoint. Nothing major wrong with it, it just wasn’t keeping my interest. I liked the blurb on the one you mentioned, so I put it on my TBR list. Thanks!
The Cuban Heiress by Chanel Cleeton is the only book I’m really looking forward to in April. Her Cuba series has been a total hit with me.
I read the first two and then ran out of steam while reading the third. I loved the first one especially.
I’ve been enjoying them, too!
I’ll be jumping into Defying Logic by Nicky James asap, although part of my brain keeps telling me I ought to just wait because I know I want it on audio.
I generally enjoy Annabeth Albert’s books, so at some point I’ll read Bring Me Home, too. I might wait until this is out on audio, though. She generally has good narrators.
Other than that I’m thinking about trying the new Night Huntress books by Jeaniene Frost. My husband and I enjoyed the original series, although that was years ago. The new ones go over each original book from Bone’s (male protagonists) POV.
Not much on the April TBR, but two of the books are my most highly anticipated books of the year.
Since January, I’ve been squeeing like a fan-girl over KD Casey’s m/m baseball romances, and Casey’s DIAMOND RING (April 11) is my most anticipated book of 2023 so far. DIAMOND RING, the third in Casey’s Unwritten Rules series, is a second-chance romance between two players who blame each other for a bad pitch/bad catch that cost their team the World Series ten years ago.
HERO WORSHIP (April 11) by Amelia Wilde appears to be a “next generation” book about the now-adult children of characters from an earlier Wilde series where characters & storylines were loosely inspired by Greek mythology. The MCs of HERO WORSHIP are cousins—but the hero was adopted later in life, so they’re not technically related and didn’t grow up together; still, I’ll be interested to see how Wilde handles that aspect of the storyline.
REBEL AT HEART (April 23) by Zoe York is, after DIAMOND RING, my second-most anticipated book of 2023. It’s the fifth and final installment of York’s Kinkaid Brothers series and features one of my favorite (and, in my opinion, most underutilized) tropes: a couple, long divorced, discover their divorce was never finalized and “Ooops, we’re still married!” Is the spark still there? You know it!
KING OF PRIDE (April 27) is the second book in Ana Huang’s Kings of Sin series of New Adult romances. This one includes the opposites-attract trope. I usually don’t care much for N/A, but Huang’s books feature MCs (especially heroines) who are just that little bit older, often with more life experience, than most MCs of N/A.
I didn’t like KD Casey’s first book (I gave it a C-) but I just read (and have written a review for) Diamond Ring, which was a big improvement, IMO.
I love the oops we’re still married trope too. I’ll have to check out the York!
I’m very much looking forward to Finding Mr Fabulous by Con Riley, due on 26th April. It features Rex Helligan as one of the leads, who has been an interesting side character in a few of her previous books.
I’ve also got Something Spectacular by Alexis Hall and The Old Wheel by Gregory Ashe preordered as I enjoyed the previous books in both of their series.
KJ Charles’ A Pocketful of Lies is a paperback collection of some of her short stories that have been available digitally for some time. I don’t think it has any new content.
I didn’t know about the new Con Riley book. Unfortunately, she has decided she no longer wants her books reviewed here and has removed me from her mailing list and FB group – which are my main sources of information about upcoming books from self-publishing authors.
That is such a shame and seems very strange given that you have never given her less than a B and in fact the majority of your reviews are A- and you gave Charles an A. It was you who introduced me to her books and your recommendation was the reason I started reading M/M romance.
Oh, I’m so glad to know that – thank you for telling me.
And yes, it’s very strange, especially as she’s well aware I’ve been nothing but supportive. I feel like I’ve been kicked in the teeth – and I’ve lost an author to enjoy (because I don’t think I’ll be in the right mindset to read anything of hers for quite some time – if ever again.)
So very strange when you’ve given her books such positive reviews.
I’m another one who found her books through your reviews of the His… series, either here or at Audiogals.
I too am really sorry to hear this, Caz. I think AAR has been very generous in its coverage of Riley’s work in recent years. I began reading her before AAR started reviewing her work – I found her in paperbook form in an LGBT library in Seattle – but I think a lot of people have given her work a try based on your reviews.
What an odd choice for an author to make. You’d think they’d be happy with the attention the site has given them, and thrilled with such high marks. They don’t even have two thousand Twitter followers. I’m assuming AAR’s reach is much deeper than that.
I’m assuming AAR’s reach is much deeper than that.
Quite a bit more, yes :) It makes no sense to me either – I’ve been fair and mostly complementary, because I really did enjoy those books. I can honestly say that I’ve never had anything like this happen before. I’ve had authors say “sorry you didn’t like that one” but nobody has just ‘locked me out’ like this before. Worse, I’ve lost an author to enjoy.
The only possible reason I can think for anyone not wanting their books reviewed on blogs like AAR is that the blogs allow a much better opportunity for discussion via comments, and therefore allows a wider range of (possibly negative) opinions. Reviews in places like GR and Amazon rarely get a real discussion going in the comments, but blogs often do.
Nail. Head. smack!