It’s Tuesday, so that means we’ve got some new books for you! This week brings us plenty of romance and a few domestic fiction reads. There is also some historical fiction in there. Here are the new book releases for June 13, 2023.
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The First Bright Thing
by J. R. Dawson
Genre: Historical Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
If you knew how dark tomorrow would be, what would you do with today?
“This is the magic circus book that I have been looking for all my life.”―Seanan McGuire, New York Times bestselling author of Every Heart A Doorway
Ringmaster ― Rin, to those who know her best ― can jump to different moments in time as easily as her wife, Odette, soars from bar to bar on the trapeze. And the circus they lead is a rare home and safe haven for magical misfits and outcasts, known as Sparks.
With the world still reeling from World War I, Rin and her troupe ― the Circus of the Fantasticals ― travel the midwest, offering a single night of enchantment and respite to all who step into their Big Top.
But threats come at Rin from all sides. The future holds an impending war that the Sparks can see barrelling toward their show and everyone in it. And Rin’s past creeps closer every day, a malevolent shadow she can’t fully escape.
It takes the form of another circus, with tents as black as midnight and a ringmaster who rules over his troupe with a dangerous power. Rin’s circus has something he wants, and he won’t stop until it’s his.
The Five-Star Weekend
by Elin Hilderbrand
Genre: Domestic Fiction
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Hotel Nantucket: After tragedy strikes, food blogger Hollis Shaw gathers four friends from different stages in her life to spend an unforgettable weekend on Nantucket.
Hollis Shaw’s life seems picture-perfect. She’s the creator of the popular food blog Hungry with Hollis and is married to Matthew, a dreamy heart surgeon. But after she and Matthew get into a heated argument one snowy morning, he leaves for the airport and is killed in a car accident. The cracks in Hollis’s perfect life—her strained marriage and her complicated relationship with her daughter, Caroline—grow deeper.
So when Hollis hears about something called a “Five-Star Weekend”—one woman organizes a trip for her best friend from each phase of her life: her teenage years, her twenties, her thirties, and midlife—she decides to host her own Five-Star Weekend on Nantucket. But the weekend doesn’t turn out to be a joyful Hallmark movie.
The husband of Hollis’s childhood friend Tatum arranges for Hollis’s first love, Jack Finigan, to spend time with them, stirring up old feelings. Meanwhile, Tatum is forced to play nice with abrasive and elitist Dru-Ann, Hollis’s best friend from UNC Chapel Hill. Dru-Ann’s career as a prominent Chicago sports agent is on the line after her comments about a client’s mental health issues are misconstrued online. Brooke, Hollis’s friend from their thirties, has just discovered that her husband is having an inappropriate relationship with a woman at work. Again! And then there’s Gigi, a stranger to everyone (including Hollis) who reached out to Hollis through her blog. Gigi embodies an unusual grace and, as it happens, has many secrets.
The Five-Star Weekend is a surprising and captivating story about friendship, love, and self-discovery set on Nantucket. It will be a weekend like no other.
by Dahlia Adler
Genre: YA Rom-Com
Publisher: Wednesday Books
“This is what it looks like when a brilliant high concept is executed to perfection. It’s got all the Dahlia Adler trademarks―romance, wry humor, specificity, and genuine emotional depth.” – Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author of Kate in Waiting and Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda
A queer Sliding Doors YA rom-com in which a girl must choose between summer in NYC with her dad (and the girl she’s always wanted) or LA with her estranged mom (and the guy she never saw coming).
In Dahlia Adler’s Going Bicoastal, there’s more than one path to happily ever after.
Natalya Fox has twenty-four hours to make the biggest choice of her life: stay home in NYC for the summer with her dad (and finally screw up the courage to talk to the girl she’s been crushing on), or spend it with her basically estranged mom in LA (knowing this is the best chance she has to fix their relationship, if she even wants to.) (Does she want to?)
How’s a girl supposed to choose?
She can’t, and so both summers play out in alternating timelines – one in which Natalya explores the city, tries to repair things with her mom, works on figuring out her future, and goes for the girl she’s always wanted. And one in which Natalya explores the city, tries to repair things with her mom, works on figuring out her future, and goes for the guy she never saw coming.
A Love Catastrophe
by Helena Hunting
The fur is about to fly between a cheerful cat sitter and a grumpy hockey nerd in this hilarious and charming rom-com by the New York Times bestselling author of Meet Cute.
Kitty Hart has become internet famous as the Kitty Whisperer for her expertise on all things feline, and as a result, her cat-sitting business is booming. But lately, she has a terrible feeling that maybe her life isn’t quite going where it’s supposed to—especially after falling face-first into her newest client. Not exactly the best first impression.
Fortunately, Miles Thorn is just as bad at first impressions. Strike one: he doesn’t like cats, especially Prince Francis, the haughty and mischievous Sphynx his mom left in his care. Strike two: tackling Kitty to the floor in a misguided attempt to save the pet he continually calls “the gremlin.”
As awkwardness slides into attraction and things start to turn purr-sonal, will these two complete opposites ever be able to find their furry-tail ending?
by Ali Hazelwood
“The reigning queen of STEM romance.”—The Washington Post
An Indie Next and Library Reads Pick!
Rival physicists collide in a vortex of academic feuds and fake dating shenanigans in this delightfully STEMinist romcom from the New York Times bestselling author of The Love Hypothesis and Love on the Brain.
The many lives of theoretical physicist Elsie Hannaway have finally caught up with her. By day, she’s an adjunct professor, toiling away at grading labs and teaching thermodynamics in the hopes of landing tenure. By other day, Elsie makes up for her non-existent paycheck by offering her services as a fake girlfriend, tapping into her expertly honed people-pleasing skills to embody whichever version of herself the client needs.
Honestly, it’s a pretty sweet gig—until her carefully constructed Elsie-verse comes crashing down. Because Jack Smith, the annoyingly attractive and arrogant older brother of her favorite client, turns out to be the cold-hearted experimental physicist who ruined her mentor’s career and undermined the reputation of theorists everywhere. And he’s the same Jack Smith who rules over the physics department at MIT, standing right between Elsie and her dream job.
Elsie is prepared for an all-out war of scholarly sabotage but…those long, penetrating looks? Not having to be anything other than her true self when she’s with him? Will falling into an experimentalist’s orbit finally tempt her to put her most guarded theories on love into practice?
by Peace Adzo Medie
Genre: Domestic Fiction
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Peace Adzo Medie, author of Reese’s Book Club pick His Only Wife, returns with a moving novel about the unbreakable power of female friendship.
When Selasi and Akorfa were young girls in Ghana, they were more than just cousins; they were inseparable. Selasi was exuberant and funny, Akorfa quiet and studious. They would do anything for each other, imploring their parents to let them be together, sharing their secrets and desires and private jokes.
Then Selasi begins to change, becoming hostile and quiet; her grades suffer and she builds a space around herself, shutting Akorfa out. Meanwhile, Akorfa is accepted to an American university with the goal of becoming a doctor. Although hopeful that she can create a fuller life as a woman in America, she discovers the insidious ways that racism places obstacles in her path once she leaves Ghana. It takes a crisis to bring the friends back together, with Selasi’s secret revealed and Akorfa forced to reckon with her role in their estrangement.
A riveting depiction of class and family in Ghana, a compelling exploration of memory, and an eye-opening story of life as an African-born woman in the United States, Nightbloom is above all a gripping and beautifully written novel attesting to the strength of female bonds in the face of societies that would prefer to silence women.
Sally Brady’s Italian Adventure
by Christina Lynch
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
“Richly evocative of the charms and contradictions of Italy. Brava!” ―Chris Pavone, New York Times bestselling author
What if you found yourself in the middle of a war armed only with lipstick and a sense of humor? Abandoned as a child in Los Angeles in 1931, dust bowl refugee Sally Brady convinces a Hollywood movie star to adopt her, and grows up to be an effervescent gossip columnist secretly satirizing Europe’s upper crust. By 1940 saucy Sally is conquering Fascist-era Rome with cheek and charm.
A good deed leaves Sally stranded in wartime Italy, brandishing a biting wit, a fake passport, and an elastic sense of right and wrong. To save her friends and find her way home through a land of besieged castles and villas, Sally must combat tragedy with comedy, tie up pompous bureaucrats in their own red tape, force the cruel to be kind, and unravel the mystery, weight, and meaning of family.
Heir to Odysseus’s wiles and Candide’s optimism, Sally Brady is a heroine for the 21st century.
by Fiona Davis
Genre: Historical Fiction
From the New York Times Bestselling Author of The Magnolia Palace: A thrilling story about love, sacrifice, and the pursuit of dreams, set amidst the glamour and glitz of Radio City Music Hall in its mid-century heyday.
New York City, 1956: Nineteen-year-old Marion Brooks knows she should be happy. Her high school sweetheart is about to propose and sweep her off to the life everyone has always expected they’d have together: a quiet house in the suburbs, Marion staying home to raise their future children. But instead, Marion finds herself feeling trapped. So when she comes across an opportunity to audition for the famous Radio City Rockettes—the glamorous precision-dancing troupe—she jumps at the chance to exchange her predictable future for the dazzling life of a performer.
Meanwhile, the city is reeling from a string of bombings orchestrated by a person the press has nicknamed the “Big Apple Bomber,” who has been terrorizing the citizens of New York for sixteen years by planting bombs in popular, crowded spaces. With the public in an uproar over the lack of any real leads after a yearslong manhunt, the police turn in desperation to Peter Griggs, a young doctor at a local mental hospital who espouses a radical new technique: psychological profiling.
As both Marion and Peter find themselves unexpectedly pulled in to the police search for the bomber, Marion realizes that as much as she’s been training herself to blend in—performing in perfect unison with all the other identical Rockettes—if she hopes to catch the bomber, she’ll need to stand out and take a terrifying risk. In doing so, she may be forced to sacrifice everything she’s worked for, as well as the people she loves the most.