We’ve got a nicely varied lot of tastes here at AAR, as is reflected in our choices of the books we’re most looking forward to reading each month; but sometimes there’s one book that tops the list as being the one most staffers are looking forward to, and in October, that book is undoubtedly by A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas, which kicks off her new series of historical mysteries starting Charlotte Holmes. And as things gear up for the holiday season, you’ll see a couple of seasonal titles on the list, as well as a variety of contemporaries, historicals and mysteries. It’s a great selection, so hold onto your wallets!
A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas.
A new book from Sherry Thomas is ALWAYS cause for celebration, and this kicks off her new historical mystery series featuring Charlotte Holmes. Oh, yes – the game is afoot! – Caz
Whatever she writes turns to DIK. I trust her with my time and my money. – Caroline
Just. Can’t. Wait. –Dabney
I LOVE Sherry Thomas and her books. The premise of this one is a bit different from her traditional romances – and I’m curious where these stories will go. I’m a new convert to historical mystery/romances and happy to find authors I know and love writing in this romance genre. – Emily
I’ve been playing catch up with Ms. Thomas’ back catalogue recently and so I’m really excited to start a new series with the rest of the world! Her prose is gorgeous and her characters dazzling, and I cannot wait to be introduced to this world. – Kristen
I LOVE Ms. Thomas’s historical stories and as this is the start of a new series, I’m very happy. – Lee
While I don’t read the author’s historical romances, a historical mystery series featuring Charlotte Holmes sounds too delicious to resist. – LinnieGayl
The Earl by Katherine Ashe.
At last, we discover the identity of the mysterious Lady Justice and watch what happens when she finally meets up with her nemesis, Peregrine, aka Colin Gray. If the correspondence we have glimpsed between them in previous books is anything to go by, the the sparks are going to fly! – Caz
If Ms. Ashe writes it, I will read it. We don’t know much about the Earl (aka Peregrine) and the identity of Lady Justice remains a mystery (I have a pretty good guess) – but I think when these two finally meet, sparks will fly. Based on their correspondence alone, these two have terrific chemistry. I CAN’T WAIT. – Emily
Also Eagerly Awaited by – Janet
Mistletoe Games by Jaci Burton
Mistletoe Games features three novellas in the Play by Play series. Although they have all three been published before, it is nice to have them together. Ms. Burton writes smoking hot sports romances, and I am excited to get three stories in one book. – Janet
I am ready to start reading about the holiday season (even though it’s barely autumn in my neck of the woods) and there’s not a lot of better ways to kick off my wintery reading binge than with a trio of novellas from Jaci Burton. Sexy sports stories that are part of a larger universe, but I can read as standalones? Yes, please! – Kristen
A Most Extraordinary Pursuit by Juliana Gray
Ms. Gray writes smart, slightly different from the norm romances – and she has yet to write a story that I would grade lower than a B. I like her unique characters, settings and strong heroines; I’m happy to hear this is the start of a new series – I will be reading each and every one as soon as they’re released. – Emily
A mystery set on a Mediterranean cruise and archaeological dig in Crete in 1906. I’m so there. – Lee
Also Eagerly Awaited by – Caz
A Terrible Beauty by Tasha Alexander.
This is the 11th in the Lady Emily historical mystery series. I’ve loved the entire series and this one sounds particularly intriguing, set primarily in Greece, and with a reappearance of her presumed dead first husband (or is it really her first husband). I love Lady Emily and her dashing second husband Colin and hope all works out for them in this book. – LinnieGayl
Christmas at Eden Manor by Noelle Adams
This is a linking story between three of the author’s series – Heirs of Damon, Beaufort Brides and Eden Manor. I’ve read all the books in these series, and can’t wait to see Cyrus Damon, the patriarch of the Damon family meet his match! – Maria Rose
The Weeping Ash by Joan Aiken
Joan Aiken has not been forgotten! Not only that, but Sourcebooks Casablanca is reissuing her Regencies. I’ve never had a chance to read those. Now let’s hope someone reissues her Gothic romances we well. – Anne
Waves of Mercy by Lynn Austin
I love this author and am so excited to see her doing one of her multi-generational historical novels, which I love. This story is about a shipwreck, an anniversary and about finding love in unexpected places.- Maggie
A Raven’s Heart by K.C. Bateman.
I adored Ms. Bateman’s début earlier this year (To Steal a Heart) – she achieved the perfect blend of mystery, adventure and romance and the chemistry between the central couple was off the charts. Needless, to say, I’m hoping for more of the same here. – Caz
Also Eagerly Awaited by – Emily
Make Me Stay by Rebecca Brooks
The hero is a former Olympic skier. That’s enough to lure me in. – Maria Rose
Going Deep by Anne Calhoun
I’m a big fan of Ms. Calhoun’s work and I enjoyed the last book in this series a lot. Ms. Calhoun makes her environment vivid and the suspense part of this series reads as taken from real life. Her heroines are sexually confident women who are more than equal to the complex men they fall for. The heroine here is a pop star who’s home for a few months between tours; the hero, a cop assigned to be her bodyguard. – Dabney
These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly
Ms. Donnelly is hit or miss for me and I am really hoping for a hit on this story of a young, would be reporter investigating her own father’s mysterious death. – Maggie
Hero in the Highlands by Suzanne Enoch.
I am a Suzanne Enoch fangirl and love her books set in the Highlands. This one is the beginning of a new series and pits an alpha English soldier against a fierce highland lass, which sounds just like my cup of tea. – Janet
Pansies by Alexis Hall
Part of the Spires universe – Two men meet again when one revisits the northern town of his childhood, and all the heartache and trouble that entails. – BJ
This next book in the Five Boroughs series revisits the pairing of David and Raymond as they address the problems of being in a long term relationship. – BJ
The Discerning Gentleman’s Guide by Virginia Heath
Ms. Heath impressed me with her enemies-to-lovers romance, Her Enemy at the Altar and I’ve got her marked down as an author to watch. – Caz
Can’t Help Falling in Love by Kara Isaac.
The author’s first book, Close to You, which came out earlier this year, was about a Lord of the Rings tour guide in New Zealand. It was funny and sweet and even though I’m not a huge fan of the books or movies, the book was excellent. This new story seems to be about C.S. Lewis stories and it’s set in Oxford, England. Very eager to read it. – Lee
A Kind of Justice by Renee James
Against all odds, Bobbi Logan, a statuesque transgender woman, has become one of Chicago’s most celebrated hair stylists and the owner of one of the city’s poshest salons. She is finally comfortable with who she is, widely admired in her community, about to enjoy the success she deserves. Then her impossibly perfect life falls apart.
This book has received a lot of praise both for the story and the writing. Not sure if it is a romance or has romantic elements, but we shall see. – BJ
While the Duke Was Sleeping by Sophie Jordan
A young woman is mistaken for the fiancé of a lord in a coma and only his younger brother seems suspicious. The premise of this story is based on my all-time favorite movie so I’m excited to see a historical spin. – Sara
Also Eagerly Awaited by – Emily
A Country Christmas (anthology) by Carla Kelly, Josi S. Kilpack and Jennifer Moore.
Let’s be honest: I’m here for Carla Kelly. Her Christmas stories are as much a part of the season for me as hanging the wreath and swearing at the tangled-up lights. This anthology says it’s “Clean Romance,” so this should be a gentle read to put me in the holiday spirit. Which I will need after getting out those lights. – Caroline
The White Spell by Lynn Kurland
I’ve loved Lynn Kurland’s Nine Kingdoms fantasy series and its ever expanding magical world. Here she introduces her first antihero in a wicked mage forced to live a year without his powers while helping a young woman meet her destiny.- Sara
I’m Not Your Pixie Dream Girl by Gretchen McNeil
This sounds like something different in the young adult romance arena. The heroine tries to become the perfect “manic pixie dream girl” to win back a guy. Of course, her “experiment” backfires, and the trope is subverted. On top of that, there’s a nerdy heroine, and a plotline about being bullied. – Anne
The Queen’s Accomplice by Susan Eliah MacNeal.
This is the latest in the historical mystery series featuring mathematician and spy, Maggie Hope. I’ve enjoyed this series set in the early years of World War II. The title of this one interests me: Will Maggie be working for the Queen this time? – LinnieGayl
The Many Lives of Fitzwilliam Darcy by Beau North and Brooke West
I finally ended up reading Pride and Prejudice after so many attempts because the P&P sequels looked so cool. OK, I’ll admit it, because of Colin Firth. Seeing a new Darcy-centric one intrigued me. When I learned it was “Groundhog Day” meets “Pride and Prejudice,” well, I was doomed to click the Buy link. – Anne
Sold Short by Ainslie Paton – I really enjoyed her unconventional romance Damaged Goods and I’m looking forward to this next in the Sidelined series (and it’s a friends to lovers trope, which is one of my favourites). – Maria Rose
Baron by Joanna Shupe.
I have enjoyed the first two books – Magnate and Tycoon – in Ms. Shupe’s Knickerbocker series, because it has been a fun change of pace to explore the Gilded Age in American in a historical romance. The hero William was introduced in the previous book, and I am intrigued to see how his story plays out when he clashes with a female con artist masquerading as a psychic. – Janet
Also Eagerly Awaited by – Caz
Shutter by Laurie Faria Stolarz
I am looking forward to this because it sounds like a very intriguing mystery. Day Connor is not excited to meet Julian Roman a sixteen year old escapee from the Fairmount County Juvenile Detention Facility. But the more she gets to know him the more interested she becomes in learning the truth of his case. Is Julian a charming con – or an innocent victim. She’ll have to figure it out soon or her next question regarding his case just might be her last. – Maggie
Marry Me Mad by Kate Regnery
Call it a little guilty pleasure but this ever expanding series feels like the best daytime soap opera with its family dramas and interweaving characters. This book potentially pits sister against sister when an ex-lover gets thrown into the mix. Oh the drama! –Sara
Also Eagerly Awaited by – Dabney
Also on our radar this month…
What are you looking forward to reading in October? Stop by and tell us in the comments.