Most Anticipated: March 2022
So we’re already, uh, two release days into March, but I figured I’d put this out here anyway! It’s been a couple of rough months (kid surgery, PT for my ankle, increased migraines) so I’m basically behind on everything, but better late than never I guess? Plus, there are so many amazing books coming out this month that I just wanted to share!
Here’s my whopping list of 14 books I’m looking forward in March!
A Brush with Love – Mazey Eddings (March 1)
Harper is anxiously awaiting placement into a top oral surgery residency program when she crashes (literally) into Dan. Harper would rather endure a Novocaine-free root canal than face any distractions, even one this adorable.
A first-year dental student with a family legacy to contend with, Dan doesn’t have the same passion for pulling teeth that Harper does. Though he finds himself falling for her, he is willing to play by Harper’s rules.
So with the greatest of intentions and the poorest of follow-throughs, the two set out to be “just friends.” But as they get to know each other better, Harper fears that trading fillings for feelings may make her lose control and can’t risk her carefully ordered life coming undone, no matter how drool-worthy Dan is.
Blood, gore, and extra-long roots? No problem. The idea of falling in love? Torture.
WHY?: I can’t think of many professions I find less romantic than dentistry, but the cover seems cute!
A Far Wilder Magic – Allison Saft (March 8)
When Margaret Welty spots the legendary hala, the last living mythical creature, she knows the Halfmoon Hunt will soon follow. Whoever is able to kill the hala will earn fame and riches, and unlock an ancient magical secret. If Margaret wins the hunt, it may finally bring her mother home. While Margaret is the best sharpshooter in town, only teams of two can register, and she needs an alchemist.
Weston Winters isn’t an alchemist–yet. Fired from every apprenticeship he’s landed, his last chance hinges on Master Welty taking him in. But when Wes arrives at Welty Manor, he finds only Margaret and her bloodhound Trouble. Margaret begrudgingly allows him to stay, but on one condition: he must join the hunt with her.
Although they make an unlikely team, Wes is in awe of the girl who has endured alone on the outskirts of a town that doesn’t want her, in this creaking house of ghosts and sorrow. And even though Wes disrupts every aspect of her life, Margaret is drawn to him. He, too, knows what it’s like to be an outsider. As the hunt looms closer and tensions rise, Margaret and Wes uncover dark magic that could be the key to winning the hunt – if they survive that long.
In A Far Wilder Magic, Allison Saft has written an achingly tender love story set against a deadly hunt in an atmospheric, rich fantasy world that will sweep you away.
WHY?: That cover is GORGEOUS! Plus, a fantasy forced-proximity romance? Yep, can’t resist!
Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments – T.L. Huchu (March 8)
Ropa Moyo’s ghostalking practice has tanked, desperate for money to pay bills and look after her family she reluctantly accepts a job to look into the history of a coma patient receiving treatment at the magical private hospital Our Lady of Mysterious Ailments. The patient is a teenage schoolboy called Max Wu, and healers at the hospital are baffled by the illness which has confounded medicine and magic.
Ropa’s investigation leads her to the Edinburgh Ordinary School for Boys, one of only the four registered schools for magic in the whole of Scotland (the oldest and only one that remains closed to female students).
But the headmaster there is hiding something and as more students succumb Ropa learns that a long-dormant and malevolent entity has once again taken hold in this world.
She sets off to track the current host for this spirit and try to stop it before other lives are endangered.
WHY?: The Library of the Dead was one of my unexpected favorites of last year. I adored Ropa and was absolutely entranced by the world building and storytelling, so of course I’m ridiculously excited for this one!
The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories anthology (March 8)
From an award-winning team of authors, editors, and translators comes a groundbreaking short story collection that explores the expanse of Chinese science fiction and fantasy.
In The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories, you can dine at a restaurant at the end of the universe, cultivate to immortality in the high mountains, watch roses perform Shakespeare, or arrive at the island of the gods on the backs of giant fish to ensure that the world can bloom.
Written, edited, and translated by a female and nonbinary team, these stories have never before been published in English and represent both the richly complicated past and the vivid future of Chinese science fiction and fantasy.
Time travel to a winter’s day on the West Lake, explore the very boundaries of death itself, and meet old gods and new heroes in this stunning new collection.
WHY?: I’ve read several works of Chinese SF in translation, and this collection of work by female and nonbinary authors sounds pretty amazing.
Holding a Witch – Lauren Connolly (March 16)
He will always wait for her…
Denton fell for Cordelia before he knew how much loving her would hurt. Every time the traveling witch disappears through a portal into another realm, he never knows when or if she’ll return. All the bear shifter can do is wait.
On the sunrise of the spring equinox, Denton and his sister set up a magical altar in hopes of guiding Cordelia home. But when the witch arrives, she has a new companion in tow and shadows in her eyes. As the holiday of Ostara unfolds, the bear shifter attempts to discover the root of Cordelia’s pain, while hiding the depths of his love for her.
Because on the day she inevitably leaves again, he only wants one heart to break.
WHY?: I loved this author’s previous paranormal series, and I’m definitely in the mood for some spring-themed paranormal romance!
The Bone Orchard – Sara A. Mueller (March 22)
Charm is a witch, and she is alone. The last of a line of conquered necromantic workers, now confined within the yard of regrown bone trees at Orchard House, and the secrets of their marrow.
Charm is a prisoner, and a survivor. Charm tends the trees and their clattering fruit for the sake of her children, painstakingly grown and regrown with its fruit: Shame, Justice, Desire, Pride, and Pain.
Charm is a whore, and a madam. The wealthy and powerful of Borenguard come to her house to buy time with the girls who aren’t real.
Except on Tuesdays, which is when the Emperor himself lays claim to his mistress, Charm herself.
now—Charm is also the only person who can keep an empire together, as the Emperor summons her to his deathbed, and charges her with choosing which of his awful, faithless sons will carry on the empire—by discovering which one is responsible for his own murder.
If she does this last thing, she will finally have what has been denied her since the fall of Inshil—her freedom. But she will also be betraying the ghosts past and present that live on within her heart.
Charm must choose. Her dead Emperor’s will or the whispers of her own ghosts. Justice for the empire or her own revenge.
WHY?: I’m not exactly sure what exactly is going on in that blurb, but it definitely sounds like some dark fantasy with a bunch of political intrigue, which, yes, please.
The City of Dusk – Tara Sim (March 22)
Set in a gorgeous world of bone and shadow magic, of vengeful gods and defiant chosen ones, The City of Dusk is the first in a dark epic fantasy trilogy that follows the four heirs of four noble houses—each gifted with a divine power—as they form a tenuous alliance to keep their kingdom from descending into a realm-shattering war.
The Four Realms—Life, Death, Light, and Darkness—all converge on the city of dusk. For each realm there is a god, and for each god there is an heir.
But the gods have withdrawn their favor from the once vibrant and thriving city. And without it, all the realms are dying.
Unwilling to stand by and watch the destruction, the four heirs—Risha, a necromancer struggling to keep the peace; Angelica, an elementalist with her eyes set on the throne; Taesia, a shadow-wielding rogue with rebellion in her heart; and Nik, a soldier who struggles to see the light— will sacrifice everything to save the city.
But their defiance will cost them dearly.
WHY?: More dark fantasy political intrigues! More seriously awesome looking covers! Yes!
Conjuring Moonlight – Jasmine Silvera (March 22)
Evie Acaz turned her back on magic when it failed to save her family fourteen years ago. Now, it’s her ability to manipulate numbers and people that make her indispensable to a power-hungry businessman with ties to the mob. She may not want glimpses of tragic futures, but she knows better than to ignore them. All that remains for Evie in Prague is one final trick: vanishing into thin air.
Hooking up with an enchanting stranger in the woods and running into him again at the club was not part of the plan.
Born to lead the pack, Mark Vogel’s responsibility for his family has always come before the dreams of his business. But when a job for the owner of the city’s most prominent gentleman’s club comes his way, he leaps at the chance to get his fledgling construction company business off the ground. Keeping his eyes off the bevy of scantily clad women is easy. Overlooking corruption is harder. And pretending not to recognize the bookkeeper who makes his wolf’s nose twitch is impossible.
Evie is the first person who doesn’t want or need Mark’s help, but his wolf refuses to let her go. And she can’t pretend she isn’t intrigued that his is the one death she can’t see. As forbidden passion turns to something more, neither wolf nor witch divines the danger that awaits them. Will their combined powers be enough to evade those who would use or destroy them, or will escape require the ultimate gamble: trusting love to save them?
WHY?: I adored Binding Shadows (which had a heroine with seriously the best power ever) and I can’t wait to see how this series continues!
Shake Things Up – Skye Kilaen (March 22)
Three people, one road trip, and so many queer feelings. A polyamorous romance about changing your life.
Allie and Matt’s happy open relationship means they’re both free to find hookups. When Allie gets duped by a date, though, she’s found with someone else’s cheating boyfriend. Ugh!
Meeting Noelle by helping her leave the guy isn’t the night Allie expected, but after the women bond over drinks and a seriously dysfunctional tape gun, Allie’s hesitant to say goodbye. It’s weird; she doesn’t normally like-like people who aren’t Matt.
Matt’s questioning whether he’s entirely straight, and he hopes to find answers on his and Allie’s impending road trip. But he’s cool with bringing her new maybe-crush along, especially since he and Noelle keep finding things in common. And staring into each other’s eyes.
Noelle lost her demanding job right before her boyfriend cheated, and she’s looking for the next one—preferably back home. Allie’s fumbling charm and Matt’s flirtatious humor, however, make her wonder if her life compass needs fixing.
Late-night talks on Texas highways, first kisses, and hotel confessions might change a lot… if there’s a next step for Noelle that isn’t leaving.
WHY?: I loved the first book in this series and I’ve loved this author’s other polyam romances, so I’m very much looking forward to this one!
I’ll Come Back for You – Charish Reid (March 24)
When a hurricane destroys Whitney Beck’s chances to run a Miami resort, a bed and breakfast inheritance from her eccentric grandmother saves her and her sister, Helen. Unfortunately, within months, the Beck sisters run into paranormal problems: missing objects and bumps in the night. Helen reaches out to her favorite ghost-hunting show for help, but Whitney can only feel dread. Her high school crush is the lead camera operator for Ghost Punters. And after years of missed chances, she doesn’t want to meet him again under these circumstances.
Reality television has helped Deon Grant carve a path toward his dream of directing films, but he feels guilty about the fake stunts along the way. His crew uses cheap parlor tricks to create good TV but those methods won’t work at the Bordeaux B&B. While battling an actual ghost, Deon gets to know Whitney again. She’s different from the girl he knew years ago, but their bond is still powerful enough to reveal his true feelings.
The past doesn’t stay in the past, and the dead don’t stay dead.
Whitney will have to confront her trauma and family secrets before she can succeed in business or love. Deon will have to slow down and finally see the truth standing before him: Ghosts are real, and so is his love for Whitney.
WHY?: Second chance… with ghosts! The idea of a bunch of “reality” TV folks running into a real ghost makes me giggle.
The Harpy and the Dragon – Marie Lipscomb (March 29)
When feisty chambermaid Annora is imprisoned in a dungeon for striking her noble lord and master, she wastes no time in formulating a plan to escape. Unfortunately, that plan involves bringing her odious, yet undeniably handsome fellow prisoner, Henry Percille, along with her. Before long, desire overcomes irritation and the cracks in Henry’s armor begin to expose the man he truly is. He may be a monster, but it would take nothing less to tempt her.
Henry Percille, the disgraced champion once known as the Dragon, sat in a dungeon for ten years, haunted by his crimes. But when a foul-tempered chambermaid is thrown into the opposite cell, he finds not only freedom, but also his match. Annora is beautiful, grumpy, and vicious, yet he can’t seem to convince himself to be rid of her no matter how hard he tries. When danger closes in, Henry becomes all that stands between her and the nobleman who wants them both dead. He must choose between vengeance or his glorious harpy- the woman he burns for.
WHY?: I’ve been a big fan of the rest of the series! While I’m apprehensive about the bad guy from the earlier books getting his HEA, I’m willing to give it a try!
A Magic Steeped in Poison – Judy I. Lin (March 29)
I used to look at my hands with pride. Now all I can think is, “These are the hands that buried my mother.”
For Ning, the only thing worse than losing her mother is knowing that it’s her own fault. She was the one who unknowingly brewed the poison tea that killed her—the poison tea that now threatens to also take her sister, Shu.
When Ning hears of a competition to find the kingdom’s greatest shennong-shi—masters of the ancient and magical art of tea-making—she travels to the imperial city to compete. The winner will receive a favor from the princess, which may be Ning’s only chance to save her sister’s life.
But between the backstabbing competitors, bloody court politics, and a mysterious (and handsome) boy with a shocking secret, Ning might actually be the one in more danger.
WHY?: THAT COVER! Plus I’m a sucker for fantasy competitions.
A Sweep of Stars – Maurice Broaddus (March 29)
Maurice Broaddus’s Sweep of Stars is the first in a trilogy that explores the struggles of an empire. Epic in scope and intimate in voice, it follows members of the Muungano empire – a far-reaching coalition of city-states that stretches from O.E. (original earth) to Titan – as it faces an escalating series of threats.
“The beauty in blackness is its ability to transform. Like energy we are neither created nor destroyed, though many try.” – West African Proverb
The Muungano empire strived and struggled to form a utopia when they split away from old earth. Freeing themselves from the endless wars and oppression of their home planet in order to shape their own futures and create a far-reaching coalition of city-states that stretched from Earth and Mars to Titan.
With the wisdom of their ancestors, the leadership of their elders, the power and vision of their scientists and warriors they charted a course to a better future. But the old powers could not allow them to thrive and have now set in motion new plots to destroy all that they’ve built.
In the fire to come they will face down their greatest struggle yet.
Amachi Adisa and other young leaders will contend with each other for the power to galvanize their people and chart the next course for the empire.
Fela Buhari and her elite unit will take the fight to regions not seen by human eyes, but no training will be enough to bring them all home.
Stacia Chikeke, captain of the starship Cypher, will face down enemies across the stars, and within her own vessel, as she searches for the answers that could save them all.
The only way is forward.
WHY?: An Afro-futuristic epic space trilogy? Yes please! Plus it seems to feature three women as the protagonists, which is always an easy sell for me!
Savage City – L. Penelope (March 31)
For Talia, death is only the beginning of survival…
When a tragic accident cuts my lonely life short, instead of heaven or hell, I’m stolen away to a terrifying city of warring shifter clans—the Nimali and the Fai. The Nimali mistake me for their missing princess. Her father, the dragon king, is identical to my own. But in this world, he dotes on me with the love and affection I always craved. And in a land with no tolerance for outsiders, feigning amnesia and impersonating shifter royalty may be the only way to survive.
For Ryin, falling in love is the worst kind of betrayal…
As a Fai warrior in captivity, I’m forced to serve my enemy even as I plot their destruction. The lost princess returned much changed, now the heat between us crackles irresistibly. While helping her heal using my magical talents, I begin to question what I thought I knew about the Nimali. She remains as forbidden as ever, but she also might be the key to freedom for me and my people.
Caught between two enemy factions balancing on the knife-blade of annihilation, our lies are the only thing keeping us alive, but they just might be our undoing.
WHY?: I’m a big fan of this author, and this sounds all sorts of interesting. Impersonating a princess? Shifter clans? Forbidden love? Oooooh.
And that’s my list for the month. What books are you looking forward to?