Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough

“Everyone has secrets, Lou,” she says. “Everyone should be allowed their secrets. You can never know everything about a person. You’d go mad trying to.”
― Sarah Pinborough, Behind Her Eyes

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough had an ending that I did not see coming, one that I had never read before. That automatically makes this book at least one star better than I would have given a similar book.

Louise is stuck in a rut. A divorced mom of one working as a secretary for a local psychiatrist, Louise’s life trudges by the same every single day. Everything changes when she decides to go out for the night and meets a mysterious handsome man at the local pub. Sparks fly, the two kiss, he leaves, and Louise is finally happy.

The following Monday, Louise shows up to work to meet her new boss, David. Her heart drops when she realizes that he is the same man that she met at the bar. He’s very much married. David and Louise talk where he tells her that their kiss was a mistake. His eyes say a different tale though – he can’t stop watching her.

After this talk, Lousie happens to bump into Adele. She’s a lonely housewife who is new in town, desperate for friends. The two develop a quick friendship. Louise has always suffered from night terrors. Adele has a way to help her cope with those. They start working out together, helping Louise to shed her extra weight and get in shape.  One slight complication: Adele is David’s wife. Louise is living a double life: forming a friendship with Adele, while also continuing her affair with David. The longer she carries on with both, the more cracks begin to appear. Louise starts to wonder what exactly is happening in David and Adele’s marriage. Her curiosty is piqued. The more she digs, the more she realizes that she is unable to extricate herself from David and Adele. They are hiding something, but she’s not sure what. They will do anything to protect their marriage’s secrets.

This book is also available in the following formats:

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

“Just as when we come into the world, when we die we are afraid of the unknown. But the fear is something from within us that has nothing to do with reality. Dying is like being born: just a change”
― Isabel Allende, The House of the Spirits

Isabel Allende was born in Peru to Chilean parents and became an American citizen in 1993. Her first book, The House of the Spirits, was published in 1982. This book began as a letter to her dying grandfather. Since then she has sold more than 77 million books that have been translated into more than forty-two languages. Allende is an accomplished writer who devotes much time to human rights causes. She has also received fifteen honorary doctorates as well as more than 60 awards in over 15 countries, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2014. Allende has been on my radar for many years, but I had never read any of her books. After talking to another librarian, I decided to read The House of the Spirits. I’ll admit it took me some time to get involved in the story, but listening to the audiobook definitely helped (it’s over 19 hours though)! Let’s talk about this sweeping family generational novel.

Spanning four generations, The House of the Spirits weaves a story of triumphs and tragedies and all the small moments in-between. The patriarch of the family, Esteban, is a very proud man. His volatile attitude sets his tennants and family on edge. Over his entire life, Estaban’s political ambitions defined his actions and behaviors. His ambitions and explosive behavior are only softened by his deep love of his wife Clara. Clara is a delicate woman with a mysterious connection to the spirit world. Living in a world of her own, Clara floats through life, managing the family, their friends, and the two properties they rotate between.

Clara and Estaban have three children: one girl and two boys. Their eldest daughter Blanca proves to be a headache to her father when she starts a forbidden love affair with a man she has known since she was a small child. Estaban is vehemently against their relationship, threatening her lover with bodily harm. The result of their union is his granddaughter Alba. He adores her. She is a beautiful child, who proves to be just as strong-willed as her grandfather. Alba’s beliefs vary greatly from her elder family members. As she grows older, Alba begins to explore revolutionary ideas, which she introduces to her family in the hope that their beliefs will change.

This novel covers multiple individuals in the Trueba family, even venturing back to Esteban and Clara’s parents and various other family members. This is a sweeping generational family saga full of eccentric characters. In addition to learning about the family members, readers learn about the area’s history, politics, and the forces of nature behind the actions of others.

This book is also available in the following format:

“The point was not to die, since death came anyway, but to survive, which would be a miracle.”
― Isabel Allende, The House of the Spirits

Simply Held January Authors: Vince Flynn and RaeAnne Thayne

Want the hottest new release from your favorite author? Want to stay current with a celebrity book club? Love nonfiction and fiction? You should join Simply Held. Choose any author, celebrity pick, nonfiction and/or fiction pick and the Davenport Public Library will put the latest title on hold for you automatically. Select as many as you want! If you still have questions, please check out our list of FAQs.

New month means new highlighted authors from Simply Held. January’s authors are Vince Flynn for fiction and RaeAnne Thayne for romance.

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Our January fiction author is Vince Flynn. Flynn was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1966, as the fifth of seven children. After college he worked for Kraft General Foods as an account and sales marketing specialist. He then left Kraft to accept an aviation candidate slot with the United States Marine Corps. However, one week before he was supposed to leave for Officers Candidate School, he was medically disqualified due to concussions and seizures he had growing up. While attempting to obtain a medical waiver, he started thinking about writing a book, which was a shock because he was diagnosed with dyslexia in grade school and had trouble reading and writing.

After not getting anywhere with the Marine Corps, he took a job with a commercial real estate company. After two years of working with them, he quit his job, moved to Colorado, and started working full time on his first book, Term Limits. Flynn bartended at night and wrote during the day. He received more than sixty rejection letters and decided to self-publish his first novel after five years. After doing so, he signed a deal with Simon & Schuster. Flynn writes thrillers. Flynn died after a long battle with prostate cancer in 2013 when he was 47. His bestselling Mitch Rapp series was taken over by author Kyle Mills.

Flynn’s latest book is Oath of Loyalty, published in September 2022. This is book 21 in the Mitch Rapp series written by Kyle Mills.

Curious what this book is about? Check out the following description provided by the publisher:

With President Anthony Cook convinced that Mitch Rapp poses a mortal threat to him, CIA Director Irene Kennedy is forced to construct a truce between the two men. The terms are simple: Rapp agrees to leave the country and stay in plain sight for as long as Cook controls the White House. In exchange, the administration agrees not to make any moves against him.

This fragile détente holds until Cook’s power-hungry security adviser convinces him that Rapp has no intention of honoring their agreement. To put him on the defensive, they leak the identity of his partner, Claudia Gould. As Rapp races to neutralize the enemies organizing against her, he discovers that a new type of assassin is on her trail.

Known only as Legion, the shadowy killer has created a business model based on double-blind secrecy. Neither the assassin nor the client knows the other’s identity. Because of this, Legion can’t be called off nor can they afford to fail. No matter how long it takes—weeks, months, years—they won’t stand down until their target is dead. Faced with the seemingly impossible task of finding and stopping Legion, Rapp and his people must close ranks against a world that has turned on them.

This book is also available in the following formats:

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Our January romance author is RaeAnne Thayne. Growing up, Thayne wanted to be an actress, teacher, or lawyer. After her mother made her take a journalism elective in high school, she realized that being a reporter was where she belonged. After college, Thayne took a job at the local daily newspaper where she rose from reporter to editor. While working there, she was writing romance stories in her head. She sold her first book in 1995 and now has written more than sixty books. Thayne writes full-time now while living in the northen Utah mountains. Thayne writes romance and romantic suspense.

Thayne’s newest book is All is Bright, published in September 2022. This is book 8 in the Hope’s Crossing series.

Curious what this book is about? Below is a description provided by the auhtor:

Return to Hope’s Crossing this Christmas in New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne’s latest heartwarming story of matchmaking at the holidays!

Sage McKnight is an ambitious young architect working at her father’s firm who takes on her most challenging client in Mason Tucker. The former pro baseball player is still healing from the physical and emotional scars after a plane crash left him a wheelchair-using single dad, and he’s determined not to let anyone breach his emotional defenses. Sage knows her work on Mason’s new home in Hope’s Crossing is her best work yet, and she won’t let her grumpy client prevent her from showcasing her work personally.

With Sage’s gift for taking broken things and making them better, the matchmaking talent of the quirky locals and a generous sprinkling of Christmas cheer, Mason doesn’t stand a chance against the power of this magical holiday season.

This book is also available in the following format:

January’s Simply Held Fiction Picks

We have rebranded our Best Sellers Club to now be called Simply Held! Have you joined Simply Held? If not, you’re missing out! Four times a year, we choose fiction titles for Simply Held members to read from multiple categories: Graphic Novel, Diverse Debuts, Rainbow Reads, Overcoming Adversity, Historical Fiction, Out of this World, Stranger Things, International Fiction, Young Adult Fiction, and Juvenile Fiction.

Below you will find information provided by the publishers and authors on the titles we have picked for January.

Diverse Debuts:

Diverse Debuts: Debut fiction novel by a BIPOC author.

Calling for a Blanket Dance by Oscar Hokeah

A moving and deeply engaging debut novel about a young Native American man finding strength in his familial identity, from a stellar new voice in fiction.

Oscar Hokeah’s electric debut takes us into the life of Ever Geimausaddle, whose family—part Mexican, part Native American—is determined to hold onto their community despite obstacles everywhere they turn. Ever’s father is injured at the hands of corrupt police on the border when he goes to visit family in Mexico, while his mother struggles both to keep her job and care for her husband. And young Ever is lost and angry at all that he doesn’t understand, at this world that seems to undermine his sense of safety. Ever’s relatives all have ideas about who he is and who he should be. His Cherokee grandmother, knowing the importance of proximity, urges the family to move across Oklahoma to be near her, while his grandfather, watching their traditions slip away, tries to reunite Ever with his heritage through traditional gourd dances. Through it all, every relative wants the same: to remind Ever of the rich and supportive communities that surround him, there to hold him tight, and for Ever to learn to take the strength given to him to save not only himself but also the next generation.

How will this young man visualize a place for himself when the world hasn’t made room for him to start with? Honest, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting, Calling for a Blanket Dance is the story of how Ever Geimausaddle finds his way home.

This book is also available in the following format:

Graphic Novel:

Graphic Novel: Fiction novel for adults of any subgenre with diverse characters depicted by color illustrations, sketches, and photographs.

Who Will Make the Pancakes: Five Stories by Megan Kelso

A suite of five brilliant comics stories united by themes of motherhood, family, and love.
Who Will Make the Pancakes collects five deeply social stories by the acclaimed cartoonist Megan Kelso, exploring the connective tissue that binds us together despite our individual, interior experience. These stories, created over the past 15 years — roughly contemporaneously with the author’s own journey as a mother— wrestle with the concept of motherhood and the way the experience informs and impacts concepts of identity, racism, class, love, and even abuse. The book opens with “Watergate Sue,” originally serialized in The New York Times Magazine over six months in 2007. Spanning two generations of mothers/daughters, Eve’s obsession with Richard Nixon’s Watergate scandal throughout 1973 heightens her self-doubt about whether she wants to raise more children (resonantly mirroring the anxiety many of us had while doom scrolling our way through the Trump administration). Some 30 years later, her daughter, Sue, is now grown and beginning her own family and attempting to reconcile her mother’s experience with her own.

“Cats in Service” is a contemporary fable about how a death in the family leads a young couple to adopt several cats who have been expertly trained to tend to their every need. “The Egg Room” profiles middle-aged Florence, caught between dreams of how her life might have unfolded and the shrunken reality. “The Golden Lasso” turns the focus to adolescence, using rock climbing as a set piece for a story about innocence lost, while “Korin Voss” chronicles a few months in the life of a single mother in the late 1940s.

Taken collectively, Who Will Make the Pancakes showcases Kelso’s unique voice in graphic fiction (one more in tune with writers such as Alice Munro, Sarah Waters, or Ann Patchett than most graphic novelists) and a stylistic command that tailors her approachable and warm cartooning style for each story’s needs.

Historical Fiction:

Historical Fiction: Historical fiction novel written by a BIPOC author with BIPOC main character(s).

Peach Blossom Spring by Melissa Fu

“Within every misfortune there is a blessing and within every blessing, the seeds of misfortune, and so it goes, until the end of time.”

It is 1938 in China and, as a young wife, Meilin’s future is bright. But with the Japanese army approaching, Meilin and her four year old son, Renshu, are forced to flee their home. Relying on little but their wits and a beautifully illustrated hand scroll, filled with ancient fables that offer solace and wisdom, they must travel through a ravaged country, seeking refuge.

Years later, Renshu has settled in America as Henry Dao. Though his daughter is desperate to understand her heritage, he refuses to talk about his childhood. How can he keep his family safe in this new land when the weight of his history threatens to drag them down? Yet how can Lily learn who she is if she can never know her family’s story?

Spanning continents and generations, Peach Blossom Spring is a bold and moving look at the history of modern China, told through the story of one family. It’s about the power of our past, the hope for a better future, and the haunting question: What would it mean to finally be home?

This book is also available in the following format:

International Fiction:

International Fiction: Fiction novel originally written in another language with BIPOC main character(s).

Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree, translated by Daisy Rockwell

In northern India, an eighty-year-old woman slips into a deep depression after the death of her husband, and then resurfaces to gain a new lease on life. Her determination to fly in the face of convention – including striking up a friendship with a transgender person – confuses her bohemian daughter, who is used to thinking of herself as the more ‘modern’ of the two.

To her family’s consternation, Ma insists on travelling to Pakistan, simultaneously confronting the unresolved trauma of her teenage experiences of Partition, and re-evaluating what it means to be a mother, a daughter, a woman, a feminist.

Rather than respond to tragedy with seriousness, Geetanjali Shree’s playful tone and exuberant wordplay results in a book that is engaging, funny, and utterly original, at the same time as being an urgent and timely protest against the destructive impact of borders and boundaries, whether between religions, countries, or genders.

Juvenile Fiction:

Juvenile Fiction: Fiction chapter book with diversity, equity, or inclusion subject matter written for children 7-11

Operation Sisterhood by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich

Fans of the Netflix reboot of The Babysitters Club will delight as four new sisters band together in the heart of New York City. Discover this jubilant novel about the difficulties of change, the loyalty of sisters, and the love of family from a prolific award-winning author.

Bo and her mom always had their own rhythm. But ever since they moved to Harlem, Bo’s world has fallen out of sync. She and Mum are now living with Mum’s boyfriend Bill, his daughter Sunday, the twins, Lili and Lee, the twins’ parents…along with a dog, two cats, a bearded dragon, a turtle, and chickens. All in one brownstone! With so many people squished together, Bo isn’t so sure there is room for her.

Set against the bursting energy of a New York City summer, award-winning author Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich delivers a joyful novel about a new family that hits all the right notes!

Out of this World:

Out of this World: Science fiction novel written by a BIPOC author with BIPOC main character(s).

Son of the Storm by Suyi Davies Okungbowa

In the ancient city of Bassa, Danso is a clever scholar on the cusp of achieving greatness—only he doesn’t want it. Instead, he prefers to chase forbidden stories about what lies outside the city walls. The Bassai elite claim there is nothing of interest. The city’s immigrants are sworn to secrecy.

But when Danso stumbles across a warrior wielding magic that shouldn’t exist, he’s put on a collision course with Bassa’s darkest secrets. Drawn into the city’s hidden history, he sets out on a journey beyond its borders. And the chaos left in the wake of his discovery threatens to destroy the empire.

Overcoming Adversity:

Overcoming Adversity: Fiction novel with diversity, equity, or inclusion subject matter written for people 14 and older.

Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens edited by Marieke Nijkamp

A YA fiction anthology showcasing stories in various genres, featuring disabled characters, and written by disabled creators. Contributors range from established NYT bestsellers to exciting debuts.

This anthology explores disability in fictional tales told from the viewpoint of disabled characters, written by disabled creators. With stories in various genres about first loves, friendship, war, travel, and more, Unbroken will offer today’s teen readers a glimpse into the lives of disabled people in the past, present, and future.

The contributing authors are awardwinners, bestsellers, and newcomers including Kody Keplinger, Kristine Wyllys, Francisco X. Stork, William Alexander, Corinne Duyvis, Marieke Nijkamp, Dhonielle Clayton, Heidi Heilig, Katherine Locke, Karuna Riazi, Kayla Whaley, Keah Brown, and Fox Benwell. Each author identifies as disabled along a physical, mental, or neurodiverse axis—and their characters reflect this diversity.

Rainbow Reads:

Rainbow reads: Fiction novel with LGBTQ+ main character(s).

Other Names for Love by Taymour Soomro

A charged, hypnotic debut novel about a boy’s life-changing summer in rural Pakistan: a story of fathers, sons, and the consequences of desire.

At age sixteen, Fahad hopes to spend the summer with his mother in London. His father, Rafik, has other plans: hauling his son to Abad, the family’s feudal estate in upcountry, Pakistan. Rafik wants to toughen up his sensitive boy, to teach him about power, duty, family—to make him a man. He enlists Ali, a local teenager, in this project, hoping his presence will prove instructive.

Instead, over the course of one hot, indolent season, attraction blooms between the two boys, and Fahad finds himself seduced by the wildness of the land and its inhabitants: the people, who revere and revile his father in turn; cousin Mousey, who lives alone with a man he calls his manager; and most of all, Ali, who threatens to unearth all that is hidden.

Decades later, Fahad is living abroad when he receives a call from his mother summoning him home. His return will force him to face the past. Taymour Soomro’s Other Names for Love is a tale of masculinity, inheritance, and desire set against the backdrop of a country’s troubled history, told with uncommon urgency and beauty.

Stranger Things:

Stranger Things: Horror novel written by a BIPOC author with BIPOC main character(s).

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Carlota Moreau: A young woman growing up on a distant and luxuriant estate, safe from the conflict and strife of the Yucatán peninsula. The only daughter of a researcher who is either a genius or a madman.

Montgomery Laughton: A melancholic overseer with a tragic past and a propensity for alcohol. An outcast who assists Dr. Moreau with his experiments, which are financed by the Lizaldes, owners of magnificent haciendas and plentiful coffers.

The hybrids: The fruits of the doctor’s labor, destined to blindly obey their creator and remain in the shadows. A motley group of part human, part animal monstrosities.

All of them live in a perfectly balanced and static world, which is jolted by the abrupt arrival of Eduardo Lizalde, the charming and careless son of Dr. Moreau’s patron, who will unwittingly begin a dangerous chain reaction.

For Moreau keeps secrets, Carlota has questions, and, in the sweltering heat of the jungle, passions may ignite.

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau is both a dazzling historical novel and a daring science fiction journey.

This book is also available in the following format:

Young Adult Fiction:

Young Adult Fiction: Fiction chapter book with diversity, equity, or inclusion subject matter written for children 14 and older.

Bitter by Akwaeke Emezi

From National Book Award finalist Akwaeke Emezi comes a companion novel to the critically acclaimed PET that explores both the importance and cost of social revolution–and how youth lead the way.

After a childhood in foster care, Bitter is thrilled to have been chosen to attend Eucalyptus, a special school where she can focus on her painting surrounded by other creative teens. But outside this haven, the streets are filled with protests against the deep injustices that grip the city of Lucille.

Bitter’s instinct is to stay safe within the walls of Eucalyptus . . . but her friends aren’t willing to settle for a world that’s so far away from what they deserve. Pulled between old friendships, her artistic passion, and a new romance, Bitter isn’t sure where she belongs—in the studio or in the streets. And if she does find a way to help the revolution while being true to who she is, she must also ask: at what cost?

This timely and riveting novel—a companion to the National Book Award finalist Pet—explores the power of youth, protest, and art.

Join Simply Held to have the newest Fiction picks automatically put on hold for you every quarter.

The Setup by Lizzy Dent

‘There are two men in my life. But this is not a love triangle.’ – Lizzy Dent, The Setup

The Setup by Lizzy Dent is a romance novel with an interesting twist: the main character, Mara, relies on her horoscope to help guide her in all of her decisions. Mara’s life goals all revolve around her horoscope, but fate, and other people, have other plans for her.

Mara Williams works as a bookkeeper for a crumbling beachside pool club in the English seaside town of Broadgate. Desperate for an escape, Mara and her best friend plan a vacation away. When her best friend backs out at the last minute, Mara decides to go anyway. After a chance meeting with a very pregnant fortune teller, Mara soon finds herself impersonating said fortune teller when Josef, a gorgeous Austrian cellist, walks into the shop for a reading. Convinced that Josef is the one, Mara tells him that his destiny will be in a pub in Broadgate on the last Friday of August. Oh, and her name is Mara.

After coming back home to Broadgate, Mara starts a new project: Project Mara. She has three months to turn herself into the gorgeously stylish and confident woman she has always wanted to be. After all, Josef is her destiny, as proven by her horoscopes. The more she works woards that goal however, the more the universe intervenes. The pool club where Mara works is under threat, so she and her colleagues must work together to save it. Mara’s new flatmate Ash also volunteers to help. He turns out to be funny, kind, and incredibly sexy. Mara starts to doubt whether or not Josef is ‘the one’, but feels as if she must stick to her plan and go to meet Josef at the end of August. The closer she gest to her deadline, the more confused she gets. Will Mara be able to recognize her destiny?

Winners of the 2022 Goodreads Choice Awards

The winners of the 2022 Goodreads Choice Awards have been announced! We’ve gathered up the winners and listed them below. We would love to hear your thoughts on the winners in the comments! Summaries of the books have been provided by the publishers and authors.

Best Fiction: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

On a bitter-cold day, in the December of his junior year at Harvard, Sam Masur exits a subway car and sees, amid the hordes of people waiting on the platform, Sadie Green. He calls her name. For a moment, she pretends she hasn’t heard him, but then, she turns, and a game begins: a legendary collaboration that will launch them to stardom. These friends, intimates since childhood, borrow money, beg favors, and, before even graduating college, they have created their first blockbuster, Ichigo. Overnight, the world is theirs. Not even twenty-five years old, Sam and Sadie are brilliant, successful, and rich, but these qualities won’t protect them from their own creative ambitions or the betrayals of their hearts.

Spanning thirty years, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, to Venice Beach, California, and lands in between and far beyond, Gabrielle Zevin’s Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is a dazzling and intricately imagined novel that examines the multifarious nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive possibilities in play, and above all, our need to connect: to be loved and to love. Yes, it is a love story, but it is not one you have read before.

This title is also available in the following formats:

Best Mystery & Thriller: The Maid by Nita Prose

Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.

Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection.

But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had unite with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?

A Clue-like, locked-room mystery and a heartwarming journey of the spirit, The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different—and reveals that all mysteries can be solved through connection to the human heart.

This title is also available in the following formats:

Best Historical Fiction: Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular. But by the time she retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Grand Slam titles. And if you ask Carrie, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father, Javier, as her coach. A former champion himself, Javier has trained her since the age of two.

But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning player named Nicki Chan.

At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record. Even if the sports media says that they never liked “the Battle-Axe” anyway. Even if her body doesn’t move as fast as it did. And even if it means swallowing her pride to train with a man she once almost opened her heart to: Bowe Huntley. Like her, he has something to prove before he gives up the game forever.

In spite of it all, Carrie Soto is back, for one epic final season. In this riveting and unforgettable novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid tells her most vulnerable, emotional story yet.

This title is also available in the following formats:

Best Fantasy: House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas

Sarah J. Maas’s sexy, groundbreaking CRESCENT CITY series continues with the second installment.

Bryce Quinlan and Hunt Athalar are trying to get back to normal-they may have saved Crescent City, but with so much upheaval in their lives lately, they mostly want a chance to relax. Slow down. Figure out what the future holds.

The Asteri have kept their word so far, leaving Bryce and Hunt alone. But with the rebels chipping away at the Asteri’s power, the threat the rulers pose is growing. As Bryce, Hunt, and their friends get pulled into the rebels’ plans, the choice becomes clear: stay silent while others are oppressed, or fight for what’s right. And they’ve never been very good at staying silent.

In this sexy, action-packed sequel to the #1 bestseller House of Earth and Blood, Sarah J. Maas weaves a captivating story of a world about to explode-and the people who will do anything to save it.

This title is also available in the following format:

Best Romance: Book Lovers by Emily Henry

One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn’t see coming…

Nora Stephens’ life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.

Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away—with visions of a small town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.

If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again—in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow—what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.

This title is also available in the following formats:

Best Science Fiction: Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal—an experience that shocks him to his core.

Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She’s traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony, a place of white stone, spired towers, and artificial beauty. Within the text of Olive’s best-selling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him.

When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the black-skied Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended: The exiled son of an earl driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.

A virtuoso performance that is as human and tender as it is intellectually playful, Sea of Tranquility is a novel of time travel and metaphysics that precisely captures the reality of our current moment.

This title is also available in the following formats:

Best Horror: Hidden Pictures by Jason Rekulak

Mallory Quinn is fresh out of rehab when she takes a job as a babysitter for Ted and Caroline Maxwell. She is to look after their five-year-old son, Teddy.

Mallory immediately loves it. She has her own living space, goes out for nightly runs, and has the stability she craves. And she sincerely bonds with Teddy, a sweet, shy boy who is never without his sketchbook and pencil. His drawings are the usual fare: trees, rabbits, balloons. But one day, he draws something different: a man in a forest, dragging a woman’s lifeless body.

Then, Teddy’s artwork becomes increasingly sinister, and his stick figures quickly evolve into lifelike sketches well beyond the ability of any five-year-old. Mallory begins to wonder if these are glimpses of a long-unsolved murder, perhaps relayed by a supernatural force.

Knowing just how crazy it all sounds, Mallory nevertheless sets out to decipher the images and save Teddy before it’s too late.

This title is also available in the following formats:

Best Humor: The Office BFFs by Jenna Fischer and Angela Kinsey

An intimate, behind-the-scenes, richly illustrated celebration of beloved The Office co-stars Jenna Fischer & Angela Kinsey’s friendship, & an insiders’ view of Pam Beesly, Angela Martin, & the unforgettable iconic TV show. Featuring Jenna and Angela’s many personal photos.

Receptionist Pam Beesly and accountant Angela Martin had very little in common when they toiled together at Scranton’s Dunder Mifflin Paper Company. But, in reality, the two bonded in their very first days on set and, over the nine seasons of the series’ run, built a friendship that transcended the show and continues to this day. Sharing everything from what it was like in the early days as the show struggled to gain traction, to walking their first red carpet—plus exclusive stories on the making of milestone episodes and how their lives changed when they became moms — The Office BFFs is full of the same warm and friendly tone Jenna and Angela have brought to their Office Ladies podcast.

This title is also available in the following format:

Best Nonfiction: Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown

In Atlas of the Heart, Brown takes us on a journey through eighty-seven of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances—a universe where we can share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heartbreaking moments with one another in a way that builds connection.

Over the past two decades, Brown’s extensive research into the experiences that make us who we are has shaped the cultural conversation and helped define what it means to be courageous with our lives. Atlas of the Heart draws on this research, as well as on Brown’s singular skills as a storyteller, to show us how accurately naming an experience doesn’t give the experience more power—it gives us the power of understanding, meaning, and choice.

Brown shares, “I want this book to be an atlas for all of us, because I believe that, with an adventurous heart and the right maps, we can travel anywhere and never fear losing ourselves.”

This title is also available in the following formats:

Best Memoir & Autobiography: I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

A heartbreaking and hilarious memoir by iCarly and Sam & Cat star Jennette McCurdy about her struggles as a former child actor—including eating disorders, addiction, and a complicated relationship with her overbearing mother—and how she retook control of her life.

Jennette McCurdy was six years old when she had her first acting audition. Her mother’s dream was for her only daughter to become a star, and Jennette would do anything to make her mother happy. So she went along with what Mom called “calorie restriction,” eating little and weighing herself five times a day. She endured extensive at-home makeovers while Mom chided, “Your eyelashes are invisible, okay? You think Dakota Fanning doesn’t tint hers?” She was even showered by Mom until age sixteen while sharing her diaries, email, and all her income.

In I’m Glad My Mom Died, Jennette recounts all this in unflinching detail—just as she chronicles what happens when the dream finally comes true. Cast in a new Nickelodeon series called iCarly, she is thrust into fame. Though Mom is ecstatic, emailing fan club moderators and getting on a first-name basis with the paparazzi (“Hi Gale!”), Jennette is riddled with anxiety, shame, and self-loathing, which manifest into eating disorders, addiction, and a series of unhealthy relationships. These issues only get worse when, soon after taking the lead in the iCarly spinoff Sam & Cat alongside Ariana Grande, her mother dies of cancer. Finally, after discovering therapy and quitting acting, Jennette embarks on recovery and decides for the first time in her life what she really wants.

Told with refreshing candor and dark humor, I’m Glad My Mom Died is an inspiring story of resilience, independence, and the joy of shampooing your own hair.

This title is also available in the following formats:

Best History & Biography: Bad Guys by Huw Lemmey and Ben Miller

We all remember Oscar Wilde, but who speaks for Bosie? What about those ‘bad gays’ whose unexemplary lives reveal more than we might expect? Many popular histories seek to establish homosexual heroes, pioneers, and martyrs but, as Huw Lemmey and Ben Miller argue, the past is filled with queer people whose sexualities and dastardly deeds have been overlooked despite their being informative and instructive.

Based on the hugely popular podcast series of the same name, Bad Gays asks what we can learn about LGBTQ+ history, sexuality and identity through its villains, failures, and baddies. With characters such as the Emperor Hadrian, anthropologist Margaret Mead and notorious gangster Ronnie Kray, the authors tell the story of how the figure of the white gay man was born, and how he failed. They examine a cast of kings, fascist thugs, artists and debauched bon viveurs. Imperial-era figures Lawrence of Arabia and Roger Casement get a look-in, as do FBI boss J. Edgar Hoover, lawyer Roy Cohn, and architect Philip Johnson.

Together these amazing life stories expand and challenge mainstream assumptions about sexual identity: showing that homosexuality itself was an idea that emerged in the nineteenth century, one central to major historical events.

Bad Gays is a passionate argument for rethinking gay politics beyond questions of identity, compelling readers to search for solidarity across boundaries.

Best Graphic Novels & Comics: Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

Charlie and Nick are at the same school, but they’ve never met … until one day when they’re made to sit together. They quickly become friends, and soon Charlie is falling hard for Nick, even though he doesn’t think he has a chance.

But love works in surprising ways, and Nick is more interested in Charlie than either of them realised.

By Alice Oseman, winner of the YA Book Prize, Heartstopper is about love, friendship, loyalty and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie’s lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us.

Best Poetry: Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman

The breakout poetry collection by #1 New York Times bestselling author and presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman

Formerly titled The Hill We Climb and Other Poems, the luminous poetry collection by #1 New York Times bestselling author and presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman captures a shipwrecked moment in time and transforms it into a lyric of hope and healing. In Call Us What We Carry, Gorman explores history, language, identity, and erasure through an imaginative and intimate collage. Harnessing the collective grief of a global pandemic, this beautifully designed volume features poems in many inventive styles and structures and shines a light on a moment of reckoning. Call Us What We Carry reveals that Gorman has become our messenger from the past, our voice for the future.

This book is also available in the following formats:

Best Debut: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute takes a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel–prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with—of all things—her mind. True chemistry results.

But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo.

Laugh-out-loud funny, shrewdly observant, and studded with a dazzling cast of supporting characters, Lessons in Chemistry is as original and vibrant as its protagonist.

This title is also available in the following formats:

Best Young Adult Fiction: The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Avery’s fortune, life, and loves are on the line in the game that everyone will be talking about.

To inherit billions, all Avery Kylie Grambs has to do is survive a few more weeks living in Hawthorne House. The paparazzi are dogging her every step. Financial pressures are building. Danger is a fact of life. And the only thing getting Avery through it all is the Hawthorne brothers. Her life is intertwined with theirs. She knows their secrets and they know her.

But as the clock ticks down to the moment when Avery will become the richest teenager on the planet, trouble arrives in the form of a visitor who needs her help—and whose presence in Hawthorne House could change everything. It soon becomes clear that there is one last puzzle to solve, and Avery and the Hawthorne brothers are drawn into a dangerous game against an unknown and powerful player.

Secrets upon secrets. Riddles upon riddles. In this game, there are hearts and lives at stake—and there is nothing more Hawthorne than winning.

This title is also available in the following formats:

Best Young Adult Fantasy: Gallant by V.E. Schwab

Olivia Prior has grown up in Merilance School for Girls, and all she has of her past is her mother’s journal—which seems to unravel into madness. Then, a letter invites Olivia to come home to Gallant. Yet when Olivia arrives, no one is expecting her. But Olivia is not about to leave the first place that feels like home; it doesn’t matter if her cousin Matthew is hostile, or if she sees half-formed ghouls haunting the hallways.

Olivia knows that Gallant is hiding secrets, and she is determined to uncover them. When she crosses a ruined wall at just the right moment, Olivia finds herself in a place that is Gallant—but not. The manor is crumbling, the ghouls are solid, and a mysterious figure rules over all. Now Olivia sees what has unraveled generations of her family, and where her father may have come from.

Olivia has always wanted to belong somewhere, but will she take her place as a Prior, protecting our world against the Master of the House? Or will she take her place beside him?

New York Times–bestselling author V. E. Schwab crafts a vivid and lush novel that grapples with the demons that are often locked behind closed doors. An eerie, stand-alone saga about life, death, and the young woman beckoned by both. Readers of Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, Melissa Albert, and Garth Nix will quickly lose themselves in this novel with crossover appeal for all ages.

This title is also available in the following formats:

Best Middle Grade & Children’s: I Am Quiet by Andie Powers and Betsy Petersen

Emile is not shy—he is quiet.

Emile may seem timid and shy on the outside, but on the inside he is bustling with imagination. While grownups and even other kids may see Emile as the shy kid who doesn’t raise his hand in class, we know that Emile is actually a high-seas adventurer, a daring explorer, and a friend to wild beasts.

This story honors and encourages the beauty of knowing ourselves for exactly who we are. Emile’s world shows us that the mind of a quiet child can be as rich, expansive, and bold as that of any other (more extroverted) child.

Simply Held December Authors: Daniel Silva and Linda Lael Miller

Want the hottest new release from your favorite author? Want to stay current with a celebrity book club? Love nonfiction and fiction? You should join Simply Held. Choose any author, celebrity pick, nonfiction and/or fiction pick and the Davenport Public Library will put the latest title on hold for you automatically. Select as many as you want! If you still have questions, please check out our list of FAQs.

New month means new highlighted authors from Simply Held. December’s authors are Daniel Silva for fiction and Linda Lael Miller for romance.

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Our December fiction author is Daniel Silva. Silva debuted in 1997 with the thriller, The Unlikely Spy, a story about love and deception during the Allied invasion of France in World War II. However, Silva’s fourth novel, The Kill Artist, really set his career in motion by introducing Gabriel Allon to the world. Gabriel is an art restorer and sometimes Israeli secret agent, whose book series is still being written today. Silva always knew that he wanted to be a writer, but what set his career off was his work as a journalist. Born in Michigan, Silva was raised and educated in California. He was working on his master’s degree in international relations when he began working for United Press International in 1984 to help cover teh Democratic National Convention in San Francisco. He left his studies later that year to work for UPI fulltime, first in San Francisco, then Washington, and then in Cairo and the Persian Gulf. He met Jamie Gangel, NBC Today National Correspondent, in 1987 and they married later that year. He then began to work as an Executive Producer for CNN in Washington. In 1995, Silva confessed to his wife that he wanted to be a novelist. He left CNN in 1997 and began writing full time. All of his books since then have been New York Times and international bestsellers. They have also been translated into more than 30 languages and have been published around the world.

Silva’s newest book is Portrait of an Unknown Woman, book 22 in the Gabriel Allon series. This book was published in July 2022.

Curious what this book is about? Check out the following description provided by the author:

In a spellbinding new masterpiece by #1 New York Times–bestselling author Daniel Silva, Gabriel Allon undertakes a high-stakes search for the greatest art forger who ever lived.

Legendary spy and art restorer Gabriel Allon has at long last severed ties with Israeli intelligence and settled quietly in Venice, the only place he has ever truly known peace. His beautiful wife, Chiara, has taken over day-to-day management of the Tiepolo Restoration Company, and their two young children are clandestinely enrolled in a neighborhood scuola elementare. For his part, Gabriel spends his days wandering the streets and canals of the watery city, parting company with the demons of his tragic, violent past.

But when the eccentric London art dealer Julian Isherwood asks Gabriel to investigate the circumstances surrounding the rediscovery and lucrative sale of a centuries-old painting, he is drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse where nothing is as it seems.

Gabriel soon discovers that the work in question, a portrait of an unidentified woman attributed to Sir Anthony van Dyck, is almost certainly a fiendishly clever fake. To find the mysterious figure who painted it—and uncover a multibillion-dollar fraud at the pinnacle of the art world—Gabriel conceives one of the most elaborate deceptions of his career. If it is to succeed, he must become the very mirror image of the man he seeks: the greatest art forger the world has ever known.

Stylish, sophisticated, and ingeniously plotted, Portrait of an Unknown Woman is a wildly entertaining journey through the dirty side of the art world—a place where unscrupulous dealers routinely deceive their customers, and deep-pocketed investors treat great paintings as though they were just another asset class to be bought and sold at a profit. From its elegant opening passage to the shocking twists of its climax, the novel is a tour de force of storytelling and among the finest pieces of heist fiction ever written. And it is still more proof that, when it comes to international intrigue and suspense, Daniel Silva has no equal.

This book is also available in the following formats:

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Our December romance author is Linda Lael Miller. Linda is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 100 historical and contemporart novels. Linda was raised in Northport, Washington. She traveled the world, lived in London and Arizona as well, before returning to Washington to live on a horse property outside Spokane. Linda sold Fletcher’s Woman in 1983 to Pocket Books, but before she did that, she went through much rejection. Linda has published historicals, contemporaries, paranormals, mysteries, and thrillers, before she finally decided to concentrate on novels with a more Western flair. She was awarded the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007 by the Romance Writers of America.

Miller’s newest book is Country Born, book three in the Painted Pony Creek series. This book was published in April 2022. 

Curious what this book is about? Below is a description provided by the author.

Rancher and military veteran J.P. McCall loves simple pleasures. The satisfaction of working his family’s land. The freedom to come and go as he pleases. But ever since his two closest friends have married and started families of their own, J.P. realizes what he’s been missing. He’s known plenty of women, but now he craves finding The One. And then Sara Worth comes crashing back into his life. She’s his buddy’s sister, the woman who was always out of reach.

Single mom Sara Worth has her hands full. After a disastrous early marriage, she is now writing bestselling books by day and caring for her two teenagers by night. That doesn’t leave a lot of me time. But when an innocent request for J.P.’s help leads to an unforgettable kiss, she’s intrigued—and unsure. Giving love a second chance feels impossible. But when the man from Sara’s past resurfaces, threatening everything she holds dear, J.P. will do whatever it takes to protect the woman who’s stealing his heart.

This book is also available in the following format:

A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger

Darcie Little Badger came to my attention in 2020 with her debut book, Elatsoe (haven’t read this title yet, but it’s on my list to read in 2022). While I was searching Libby for a new book to read, I found A Snake Falls to Earth written by Darcie Little Badger as well and decided to give that title a try.

I wondered how anyone found each other in a place where it was so easy to become lost.
― Darcie Little Badger, A Snake Falls to Earth

A Snake Falls to Earth is Darcie Little Badger’s second young adult speculative fiction title. The themes in this book are relevant to adults as well. This magical novel is full of Apache mythology and shapeshifting as a young Lipan Indian girl works to figure out the history of her family.

Nina has always felt like more exists outside of our world. As a Lipan girl, she has felt like she’s straddling different cultures for her entire life. Listening to the old stories told to her by family proves to solidify her feelings. After an older female relative tells one last story before she passes away, Nina sets out to translate what she was told. This task proves difficult as her translation app mangled the recording, but she persists. She hopes that through this translation, she will find out more about her family history.

Oli is also trying to figure out more about his family. He is a cottonmouth kid, living in the reflective world of spirits and monsters. Like his many brothers and sisters, Oli was forced to leave home and sent searching for a new home. After many trials and tribulations, Oli found a new home on the banks of the bottomless lake. He has also found a best friend. Life seems to be going pretty well until a strange sickness hits Oli’s best friend. The healers tell Oli that it’s probably due to a catastrophic event that has happened on Earth. On a quest to help his best friend, Oli sets off on a journey that will lead to his world and Nina’s world crashing together. Outside forces will stop at nothing to keep those two apart.

This book is also available in the following formats:

Cult Classic by Sloane Crosley

Sloane Crosley’s Cult Classic is witty, self-aware, and eloquently rendered. The novel follows Lola, a woman in her late thirties, as she maneuvers her half-hearted engagement, eccentric collection of colleagues from a psychology magazine, and the seemingly endless slew of ex-flames that she keeps running into. Lola’s smart–too smart to consider these run-ins with old boyfriends a coincidence. What she failed to predict, however, was who was behind these interactions and why they placed so much weight (and currency) in her past romantic escapades. 

The plot gains more and more momentum the farther we delve into the cultish endeavors of Clive, the self-appointed psychology guru that Lola cannot help but be entranced by. Like all cult-leaders, Clive denies that his group, the Golconda, the abundance of infatuated followers, or the synagogue-disguised secret headquarters are attributes of a full-on cult. But the true nature of his secret society resides somewhere between meditative groupthink and the layers of social media that petrify the what-ifs of our expired relationships.

 I, unfortunately, found the ending to leave a little to be desired. The majority of the narrative was incredibly engrossing and ultimately deserved a better finale. The plot plunges into the mysterious cosmic alignments between Lola and her exes, which we discover is a product of Clive and his followers’ mind-control. In the end, though, the climax flat lines. 

Crosley’s originality in story conception almost makes up for some of the gaps in narrative substance. The story especially shines in its focus on our main character and the mental aerobics she performs to work through her underdeveloped emotional tendencies. Crosley’s underlining commentary on social media and how it has altered modern dating is sharp but forgivingly nuanced. Her contribution to the overarching conversation about human connection in the age of online relationships alone makes Cult Classic worth a read.

Also available as a CD audiobook.

Simply Held November Authors: Clive Cussler and Kat Martin

Want the hottest new release from your favorite author? Want to stay current with a celebrity book club? Love nonfiction and fiction? You should join Simply Held. Choose any author, celebrity pick, nonfiction and/or fiction pick and the Davenport Public Library will put the latest title on hold for you automatically. Select as many as you want! If you still have questions, please check out our list of FAQs.

New month means new highlighted authors from Simply Held. November’s authors are Clive Cussler for fiction and Kat Martin for romance.

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Our November fiction author is Clive Cussler. Clive passed away in 2020, but works continue being written bearing his name with the help of many other authors. He has five best-selling series including Dirk Pitt, NUMA Files, Oregon Files, Isaac Bell, and Fargo. In addition to his fiction works, Clive has also written numerous nonfiction books. His books have been published in more than 40 languages in more than 100 countries. Clive writes primarily thrillers. In addition to writing, Clive is considered an internationally recognized authority on shipwrecks. He was also the founder of the National Underwater Marine Agency, (NUMA), a nonprofit organization that works to preserve American maritime and naval history, searching for lost shops of historic significance. They have discovered over sixty historically significant underwater wreck sites.

Cussler’s newest book is The Sea Wolves, published in November 2022. This is book thirteen in the Isaac Bell Adventure series written by Jack Du BRul.

Curious what this book is about? Check out the following description provided by the author:

Detective Isaac Bell battles foreign spies, German U-boats, and an old nemesis to capture a secret technology that could alter the outcome of World War I in the latest adventure in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Clive Cussler.

As New England swelters in the summer of 1914, Detective Isaac Bell is asked to investigate a cache of missing rifles—only to discover something much more sinister. Whoever broke into this Winchester Factory wasn’t looking to take weapons, they wanted to leave something in the shipping crates: a radio transmitter, set to summon a fleet of dreaded German U-boats. Someone is trying to keep American supplies from reaching British shores, and if Bell doesn’t crack the conspiracy in time, the Atlantic Ocean will run red with blood.

Bell must hunt down a new piece of technology that is allowing the Germans to rule the seas from New York to England. With the outcome of the war at stake and Franklin Roosevelt’s orders on the line, Bell will risk everything to stop the U-Boats before they strike again.

This book is also available in the following formats:

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Our November romance author is Kat Martin. Kat has written over sixty historical and contemporary romantic suspense novels. More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print. She has been published in over twenty countries. Kat currently lives in Missoula, Montana with her husband, L.J. Martin, who writes westerns. Kat writes romantic suspense, historical romance, and paranormal romance.

Martin’s newest book is One Last Chance, published in November 2022. This is book three in Blood Ties, The Logans series.

Curious what this book is about? Below is a description provided by the publisher:

New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin mixes high-octane adventure with sizzling romance for an explosive thriller featuring a dangerous cult, an ex Green Beret, and a female private investigator who will stop at nothing to rescue her missing sister and unmask the high-stakes conspiracy at the heart of the Children of the Sun…

Former Green Beret Edge Logan has made a new life for himself at Nighthawk Security in Denver, using his finely honed skills to neutralize threats of all kinds. When he overhears friend and fellow agent Skye Delaney discussing a new case involving her missing sister and a mysterious cult, he offers himself as backup. With her own military background, Skye is gutsy and more than capable, but a cult like Children of the Sun is too risky for anyone to investigate alone.

Skye is grateful for Edge’s experience, even though she is aware of the attraction simmering between them. Her battle scars make her reluctant to get involved with anyone, much less a coworker—even a warrior like Edge. But infiltrating the cult’s compound is more complicated than expected—and something much more sinister than worship is clearly going on behind its walls. As the pair works against the clock to unearth high-stakes secrets, the personal barriers between them begin to crumble. Together, can they unmask the face of evil before their time runs out?