It’s that time of year again, the time where it’s socially acceptable for me to start posting about my most anticipated releases of the year to come. This won’t be my only list (I think I was up to 3 or 4 last year), but it’s definitely time I got started.
As usual, these books are organized in order of anticipated release date, and vary by genre from romance to fantasy and everything in between. Please comment below with any of your most anticipated new books of 2023!
Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo (anticipated release 1/10/23) – I’ve been excited about this sequel ever since Ninth House, one of my favorite books of 2019, came out. Dark academia is probably my favorite subgenre, and this sequel is quite a long time coming.
From Goodreads: Galaxy “Alex” Stern is determined to break Darlington out of hell—even if it costs her a future at Lethe and at Yale. But Alex is playing with forces far beyond her control, and when faculty members begin to die off, she knows these aren’t just accidents. Something deadly is at work in New Haven, and if Alex is going to survive, she’ll have to reckon with the monsters of her past and a darkness built into the university’s very walls.
Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawlett (anticipated release 1/10/23)
From Goodreads: Cambridge professor Emily Wilde is good at many things: She is the foremost expert on the study of faeries. She is a genius scholar and a meticulous researcher who is writing the world’s first encyclopaedia of faerie lore. But Emily Wilde is not good at people. She could never make small talk at a party–or even get invited to one. And she prefers the company of her books, her dog, Shadow, and the Fair Folk to other people.
So when she arrives in the hardscrabble village of Hrafnsvik, Emily has no intention of befriending the gruff townsfolk. Nor does she care to spend time with another new arrival: her dashing and insufferably handsome academic rival Wendell Bambleby, who manages to charm the townsfolk, get in the middle of Emily’s research, and utterly confound and frustrate her.
But as Emily gets closer and closer to uncovering the secrets of the Hidden Ones–the most elusive of all faeries–lurking in the shadowy forest outside the town, she also finds herself on the trail of another mystery: Who is Wendell Bambleby, and what does he really want? To find the answer, she’ll have to unlock the greatest mystery of all–her own heart.
“You Just Need to Lose Weight” and 19 Other Myths About Fat People by Aubrey Gordon (anticipated release 1/10/23) – Aubrey co-hosts my favorite podcast, and I learned a lot from her first nonfiction book What We Don’t Talk About When We Talk About Fat. She actually narrates the audio of this one!
From Goodreads: The co-host of the Maintenance Phase podcast and creator of Your Fat Friend equips you with the facts to debunk common anti-fat myths and with tools to take action for fat justice
The pushback that shows up in conversations about fat justice takes exceedingly predicable form. Losing weight is easy—calories in, calories out. Fat people are unhealthy. We’re in the midst of an obesity epidemic. Fat acceptance “glorifies obesity.” The BMI is an objective measure of size and health. Yet, these myths are as readily debunked as they are pervasive.
In “You Just Need to Lose Weight,” Aubrey Gordon equips readers with the facts and figures to reframe myths about fatness in order to dismantle the anti-fat bias ingrained in how we think about and treat fat people. Bringing her dozen years of community organizing and training to bear, Gordon shares the rhetorical approaches she and other organizers employ to not only counter these pernicious myths, but to dismantle the anti-fat bias that so often underpin them.
As conversations about fat acceptance and fat justice continue to grow, “You Just Need to Lose Weight” will be essential to ensure that those conversations are informed, effective, and grounded in both research and history.
Behind the Scenes by Karelia Stetz-Waters (anticipated release 1/31/23) – After really enjoying Satisfaction Guaranteed, this author’s previous F/F contemporary romance, I was excited to be approved for the eARC of this follow-up.
From Goodreads: Business consultant Rose Josten might not have officially reached “pug lady” middle age, but she’s already got the pugs—along with their little Gucci coats and trash-lovin’ appetites. Still, life is good, with her work, her sisters, and a secret hobby creating incredibly tactile (if surprisingly sexy) mindfulness videos. So why does it feel like it’s not quite enough? Which is exactly when former filmmaker Ash Stewart enters camera left, and Rose’s world suddenly goes full technicolor . . .
Ash never looks at anyone. Not since her ex ripped her heart from her chest in Spielberg-esque style, crushing Ash’s reputation, dreams, and directorial career in one brutal blow. But Rose is altogether different. She’s curvy, beautiful, and just so damn put together. And her business expertise might be Ash’s best bet for getting her last film—and her last chance—financed. Now if they can just keep their attraction under wraps, Ash’s lost dream could finally come true. But are they creating movie magic . . . or setting the stage for disaster?
The Disenchantment by Celia Bell (anticipated release 2/2/23) – This F/F historical fiction might help me get over my aversion to historical fiction.
From Goodreads: Everyone connected to the court of Louis XIV has something to hide. The noblemen and women consort with fortune tellers in the dark confines of their salons, servants practice witchcraft and black magic, and the titled must brave accusations of poisoning family members to obtain inheritance. But for the Baroness Marie Catherine, the only thing she wishes to hide is how unhappy she is in her marriage, and the pleasures she seeks outside of it. When her husband is present, the Baroness spends her days tending to her children and telling them elaborate fairytales, but when he’s gone, Marie Catherine indulges in a more liberated existence, one of decadent salons at grand houses, forward-thinking discussions with writers and scholars, and at the centre of her freedom: Victoire Rose de Bourbon, Mademoiselle de Conti, the androgynous, self-assured countess who steals Marie Catherine’s heart and becomes her lover.
Victoire possesses everything Marie Catherine does not, confidence in her love, and a brazen fearlessness in all that she’s willing to do for it. But when Victoire’s passion results in a shocking act of murder to save Marie Catherine, the pair must escape from the tight clutches of Paris’ overzealous chief of police. As they attempt to outwit him, they are led to the darkest corners of Paris and Versailles. What they discover is a city full of lies, mysticism, and people who have secrets they too would kill to keep.
Radiant Sin by Katee Robert (anticipated release 2/7/23) – I continue to love Katee Robert’s loosely Greek Mythology-inspired Dark Olympus romance series, and I pre-order every installment.
From Goodreads: There’s nowhere more dangerous than Olympus…and no one more captivating than its golden god: Apollo. Keeper of secrets, master of his shining realm…and the only man I am powerless to deny.
*A scorchingly hot modern retelling of Apollo and Cassandra that’s as sinful as it is sweet.*
As a disgraced member of a fallen house, Cassandra Gataki has seen firsthand what comes from trusting the venomous Thirteen. But when the maddeningly gorgeous and kind Apollo asks her to go undercover as his plus-one at a week-long party hosted by a dangerous new power player…Cassandra reluctantly agrees to have his back.
On one condition: when it’s all over, and Apollo has the ammunition he needs to protect Olympus, she and her sister will be allowed to leave. For good.
Apollo may be the city’s official spymaster, but it’s his ability to inspire others that keeps him at the top. Despite what the rest of Olympus says, there’s no one he trusts more than Cassandra. Yet even as their fake relationship takes a wicked turn for the scaldingly hot, a very real danger surfaces… threatening not only Cassandra and Apollo, but the very heart of Olympus itself.
Best Served Hot by Amanda Elliot (anticipated release 2/21/23) – My goal to read all of the chef/food-inspired contemporary romances continues with this new release from the author of Sadie on a Plate, which I really enjoyed reading earlier in the year.
From Goodreads: By day, Julie Zimmerman works as an executive assistant. After hours, she’s @JulieZeeEatsNYC, a social media restaurant reviewer with over fifty thousand followers. As much as she loves her self-employed side gig, what Julie really wants is to be a critic at a major newspaper, like the New York Scroll. The only thing worse than the Scroll’s rejection of her application is the fact that smarmy, social-media-averse society boy Bennett Richard Macalester Wright snagged her dream job.
While at the Central Park Food Festival, Julie confronts the annoyingly handsome Bennett about his outdated opinions on social media and posts the resulting video footage. Julie’s follower count soars—and so does the Scroll’s. Julie and Bennett grudgingly agree to partner up for a few reviews to further their buzz. Online buzz, obviously.
Over tapas, burgers, and more, Julie and Bennett connect over their shared love of food. But when the competitive fire between them turns extra spicy, they’ll have to decide how much heat their relationship can take.
Something Wild & Wonderful by Anita Kelly (anticipated release 3/7/23) – Another contemporary romance follow-up from a new-to-me favorite author; I was also approved for the eARC of this one.
From Goodreads: When Alexei Lebedev finally comes out to his conservative community, it does not go well. That’s how he ended up on the rugged Pacific Crest Trail, hoping he can figure out a new life plan in the thousands of miles it’ll take to walk the famed hike. He’s prepared for rattlesnakes, blisters, and months of solitude. What he’s not prepared for is the ray of sunshine named Ben Caravalho.
Charismatic and outgoing, Ben’s personality and infectious laughter is a stark opposite to Alexei’s quiet, reserved demeanor. But no matter how determined Alexei is to hike the trail alone, it seems he and Ben can’t avoid being drawn to each other. Through snow crossings and close calls with coyotes, Alexei inches closer to letting Ben in. As Alexei learns of Ben’s loving family and supportive friends, he begins to get a taste of what found family and belonging could truly feel like. But just as Alexei starts to let down his defenses, a sudden change in plans reawakens his fears—and he must discover if he has the courage to face something even scarier than the trail less traveled: letting himself fall.
One for My Enemy by Olivie Blake (anticipated release 4/4/23) – Everything Olivie Blake writes will continue to make my most anticipated lists. Because she is amazing.
From Goodreads: In modern-day Manhattan where we lay our scene, two rival witch families fight to maintain control of their respective criminal ventures.
On one side of the conflict are the Antonova sisters — each one beautiful, cunning, and ruthless — and their mother, the elusive supplier of premium intoxicants, known only as Baba Yaga. On the other side, the influential Fedorov brothers serve their father, the crime boss known as Koschei the Deathless, whose community extortion ventures dominate the shadows of magical Manhattan.
After twelve years of tenuous co-existence, a change in one family’s interests causes a rift in the existing stalemate. When bad blood brings both families to the precipice of disaster, fate intervenes with a chance encounter, and in the aftershocks of a resurrected conflict, everyone must choose a side. As each of the siblings struggles to stake their claim, fraying loyalties threaten to rot each side from the inside out.
If, that is, the enmity between empires doesn’t destroy them first.
The Fiancee Farce by Alexandria Bellefleur (anticipated release 4/18/23) – LOOK AT THIS COVER. Also, LOOK AT THIS SYNOPSIS.
From Goodreads: Tansy Adams’ greatest love is her family’s bookstore, passed down from her late father. But when it comes to actual romance… Tansy can’t get past the first chapter. Tired of her stepfamily’s questions about her love life, Tansy invents Gemma, a fake girlfriend inspired by the stunning cover model on a bestselling book. They’ll never actually meet, so what’s the harm in a little fib? Yet when real-life Gemma crosses Tansy’s path, her white lie nearly implodes.
Gemma van Dalen is a wild child, the outcast of her wealthy family, and now the latest heir to Van Dalen Publishing. But the title comes with one tiny condition: she must be married in order to inherit. When Gemma discovers a beautiful stranger has been pretending to date her for months, she decides to take the charade one step further—and announces their engagement.
Gemma needs a wife to meet the terms of her grandfather’s will and Tansy needs money to save her struggling bookstore. A marriage could be mutually beneficial, if they can fool everyone into thinking it’s a love match. Unexpected sparks fly as Tansy and Gemma play the role of affectionate fiancées, and suddenly the line between convenient arrangement and real feelings begins to blur. But the scheming Van Dalen family won’t give up the company without a fight, and Gemma and Tansy’s newfound happiness might get caught in the fallout…
The Thick and the Lean by Chana Porter (anticipated release 4/18/23)
From Goodreads: In the quaint religious town of Seagate, abstaining from food brings one closer to God.
But Beatrice Bolano is hungry. She craves the forbidden: butter, flambé, marzipan. As Seagate takes increasingly extreme measures to regulate every calorie its citizens consume, Beatrice must make a choice: give up her secret passion for cooking or leave the only community she has known.
Elsewhere, Reiko Rimando has left her modest roots for a college tech scholarship in the big city. A flawless student, she is set up for success…until her school pulls her funding, leaving her to face either a mountain of debt or a humiliating return home. But Reiko is done being at the mercy of the system. She forges a third path—outside of the law.
With the guidance of a mysterious cookbook written by a kitchen maid centuries ago, Beatrice and Reiko each grasp for a life of freedom—something more easily imagined than achieved in a world dominated by catastrophic corporate greed.
A startling fable of the entwined perils of capitalism, body politics, and the stigmas women face for appetites of every kind, Chana Porter’s profound new novel explores the reclamation of pleasure as a revolutionary act.
Happy Place by Emily Henry (anticipated release 4/25/23) – Henry’s fourth adult contemporary romance is guaranteed to be a hit–but will it live up to her previous 3? I’ve always said previously that I don’t like second chance romance, but after reading a few in 2022 that worked for me, I’m less skeptical of this one.
From Goodreads: Harriet and Wyn have been the perfect couple since they met in college—they go together like salt and pepper, honey and tea, lobster and rolls. Except, now—for reasons they’re still not discussing—they don’t.
They broke up six months ago. And still haven’t told their best friends.
Which is how they find themselves sharing the largest bedroom at the Maine cottage that has been their friend group’s yearly getaway for the last decade. Their annual respite from the world, where for one vibrant, blue week they leave behind their daily lives; have copious amounts of cheese, wine, and seafood; and soak up the salty coastal air with the people who understand them most.
Only this year, Harriet and Wyn are lying through their teeth while trying not to notice how desperately they still want each other. Because the cottage is for sale and this is the last week they’ll all have together in this place. They can’t stand to break their friends’ hearts, and so they’ll play their parts. Harriet will be the driven surgical resident who never starts a fight, and Wyn will be the laid-back charmer who never lets the cracks show. It’s a flawless plan (if you look at it from a great distance and through a pair of sunscreen-smeared sunglasses). After years of being in love, how hard can it be to fake it for one week…in front of those who know you best?
Just As You Are by Camille Kellogg (anticipated release 4/25/23) – Sapphic Price & Prejudice retelling!!!
From Goodreads: Equal parts witty and steamy, this debut rom-com brings a healthy dose of queerness and a whole lot of heart to a Pride and Prejudice-inspired enemies to lovers romance.
The only thing worse for Liz than hating her unpleasant, standoffish new boss? Being incurably attracted to her.
Liz Baker and her three roommates work at The Nether Fields, a queer magazine in New York that’s on the verge of shutting down—until it’s bought at the last minute by two wealthy lesbians. Even though Liz is eager to leave listicles behind for more meaningful writing, she knows that she’s lucky to still have a paycheck. But it’s hard to feel grateful with minority investor Daria Fitzgerald slashing budgets, cancelling bagel Fridays, and password protecting the color printer to prevent “frivolous use.” When Liz overhears Daria scoffing at her articles, she knows that it’s only a matter of her time before her impulsive mouth tells Daria off and gets herself fired.
But as Liz and Daria get thrown together more and more, Liz starts to see a softer side to Daria—she’s funny, surprisingly helpful, and actually seems to like that Liz’s gender presentation varies between butch and femme. Even as the evidence that Liz can’t trust Daria piles up, it starts getting harder and harder to keep hating Daria—and harder and harder to resist her.
This page-turning, sexy, and delightfully funny rom-com celebrates queer culture, chosen family, coming of age, and falling in love against your better judgment.
A Sleight of Shadows by Kat Howard (anticipated release 4/25/23) – An Unkindness of Magicians is a really underrated and great fantasy book, and I’m very interested to see where Kat Howard goes in this sequel.
From Goodreads: After taking down the source of the corruption of the Unseen World, Sydney is left with almost no magical ability. Feeling estranged from herself, she is determined to find a way back to her status as one of the world’s most dangerous magicians. Unfortunately, she needs to do this quickly: the House of Shadows, the hell on earth that shaped her into who she was, the place she sacrificed everything to destroy, is rebuilding itself.
“The House of shadows sits on bones. All of the sacrifices, all of the magicians who died in Shadows, they’re buried beneath the foundations. Bones hold magic.”
The magic of the Unseen World is acting strangely, faltering, bleeding out from the edges. Determined to keep the House of Shadows from returning to power and to defeat the magicians who want nothing more than to have it back, Sydney turns to extremes in a desperate attempt to regain her sacrificed magic. She is forced to decide what she will give up and what she will lose and whether what must be destroyed is not only the House of Shadows, but the Unseen World itself.
World Fantasy Award finalist Kat Howard has written a sequel that asks how you have a happily ever in a world that doesn’t want it, where the cost of that happiness may be too much to bear.
Grim and Bear It by Juliette Cross (anticipated release 5/9/23) – Tragically, the last book in the Stay a Spell series, but I still can’t wait to read it. A pre-order for sure.
From Goodreads: Clara Savoie is so confused. She is absolutely positive that Henry Blackwater is practically in love with her. But for some strange reason, he won’t even ask her on a single date. Time to take matters into her own hands.
When Clara shows up on his doorstep with an unusual invitation, tempting cupcakes, and naughty innuendo, Henry has no choice but to say yes. Now he’s the newest member of the High Tea Romance Book Club. While Clara learns the haunting secrets of her broody grim, Henry shows her what commitment from a necromancer truly means.
But when his father is arrested for murder, Henry is dragged back into the nightmare he’s been avoiding all his life. When he steps back into his father’s world, he isn’t just endangering himself but also the bright, beautiful woman he can no longer live without. But he just might have to.
Love, Theoretically by Ali Hazelwood (anticipated release 6/13/23) – I loved both of Hazelwood’s full-length contemporary romances (and disliked her novellas) so hopefully this one continues the streak.
From Goodreads: 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 broody 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 that same Jack who now sits on the hiring committee at MIT, 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?
Immortal Longings by Chloe Gong (anticipated release 7/25/23)
From Goodreads: #1 New York Times bestselling YA author Chloe Gong’s adult epic fantasy debut, inspired by Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra, is a fiery collision of power plays, spilled blood, and romance amidst a set of deadly games.
Every year, thousands in the kingdom of Talin will flock to its capital twin cities, San-Er, where the palace hosts a set of games. For those confident enough in their ability to jump between bodies, competitors across San-Er fight to the death to win unimaginable riches.
Princess Calla Tuoleimi lurks in hiding. Five years ago, a massacre killed her parents and left the palace of Er empty…and she was the one who did it. Before King Kasa’s forces in San can catch her, she plans to finish the job and bring down the monarchy. Her reclusive uncle always greets the victor of the games, so if she wins, she gets her opportunity at last to kill him.
Enter Anton Makusa, an exiled aristocrat. His childhood love has lain in a coma since they were both ousted from the palace, and he’s deep in debt trying to keep her alive. Thankfully, he’s one of the best jumpers in the kingdom, flitting from body to body at will. His last chance at saving her is entering the games and winning.
Calla finds both an unexpected alliance with Anton and help from King Kasa’s adopted son, August, who wants to mend Talin’s ills. But the three of them have very different goals, even as Calla and Anton’s partnership spirals into something all-consuming. Before the games close, Calla must decide what she’s playing for—her lover or her kingdom.
Codename Charming by Lucy Parker (anticipated release 8/15/23) – This second installment in Parker’s Palace Insiders series promises her signature delightful style (and one of my favorite audio narrators).
From Goodreads: Petunia De Vere enjoys being the personal assistant to lovable, bumbling Johnny Marchmont. But the job has its share of challenges, including the royal’s giant, intimidating bodyguard, Matthias. Pet and Matthias are polar opposites—she’s spontaneous and enthusiastic, he’s rigid and stoic—but she can sense there’s something softer underneath that tough exterior…
For Matthias Vaughn, protecting others is the name of the game. But keeping his royal charge out of trouble is more difficult than he imagined because everywhere Johnny goes, calamity ensues, and his petite, bubbly assistant is often caught in the fray. Matthias hates the idea of Pet getting hurt and he’s determined to keep everyone safe, even if it means clashing with his adorable new coworker.
When a clumsy moment leads to a questionable tabloid photo, the press begins to speculate that Pet is romantically involved with Johnny. To put an end to the rumors, the royal PR team asks Pet and Matthias to stage a fake relationship and the two reluctantly agree. But as they spend more time together outside of work, they begin to wonder what real emotions this pretend connection might uncover. Especially when a passionate kiss leaves both of their heads spinning…