Here are the books I added to my already monstrous TBR pile in January:
Daisy Dooley Does Divorce by Anna Pasternak
THE ONLY THING MORE NERVE-WRACKING THAN BEING THIRTY-NINE AND STILL SINGLE IS BEING THIRTY-NINE AND FRESHLY DIVORCED. AND UNEMPLOYED. AND LIVING WITH YOUR MOTHER. (AND HER DOGS.)
Meet Daisy Dooley. Her life's no fairy tale, but she's determined to have her happy ending. With girlfriends Lucy (who has the perfect married life --- or does she?) and Jess (perfectly satisfied with her singledom) cheering her on (and refilling her wineglass), Daisy steps bravely out onto the dating scene once again. Beset by new flames, old beaux, and too many dachshunds to count, it's all Daisy can do to keep her head on straight, her feet moving forward, and her heart open to whatever fate has in store...
You Could Do Better by Stephanie Lehmann
How do you know he's the one?
Daphne Wells is way too busy watching television to start planning her wedding. She tells herself being glued to the boob tube counts as research for her job at the Museum of Television and Radio, but the truth is, as much as she's looking forward to a future with her fiancé, Charlie, their sex life just isn't ready for prime time. But then Daphne meets sexy, successful writer/ producer Jonathan Hill when he comes to the museum for inspiration. Daphne spends a week in the Hamptons at Jonathan's beach house-on business, of course-but the picture comes in loud and clear: this man can turn her on. She's more confused than ever about marrying Charlie. What if she can do better?
Possession by Jennifer Armintrout
GET POSSESSED. DON'T GET STAKED. FIGHT FOR YOUR LIFE. AGAIN.
My father always said fear was a weakness. Well, that's easy to say when you don't have to worry about vampire slayers or holy water. I hate fear, but undead life goes on. In the two months since I was attacked in the hospital morgue and turned into a vampire, I've killed my evil sire, Cyrus, fallen in love with my new sire, Nathan, and have even gotten used to drinking blood. Just when things are finally returning to normal--as normal as they can be when sunlight can kill you--Nathan becomes possessed. And then he slaughters an innocent human.
Now it's my job to find Nathan before the Voluntary Vampire Extinction Movement does, because they're just waiting for an excuse to terminate him--and anyone foolish enough to help him. But it gets worse. It turns out that Nathan's been possessed by one of the most powerful and wicked vampires alive--the Soul Eater. And who knows what vile plan he's concocted?
With the Soul Eater and my possessed sire on the loose, I have a lot to fear. Including being killed. Again.
Hex Marks The Spot by Madelyn Alt
Maggie O'Neill loves her job at Enchantments, Indiana's finest mystical antique shop. But something dark is brewing in Stony Mill --- and it's not just the fabulous coffee Maggie serves to browsing customers...
Looking for charming stock for the store, Maggie accompanies her boss --- and favorite witch --- Felicity Dow to the countrywide craft bazaar. Felicity falls hard for a beautiful armoire, intricately carved by an Amish craftsman, Maggie can't help noticing that though the clothes may be plain, he himself is more handsome than a man sporting a jawline-only-beard has any right to be. And he seems pretty aware that the ladies love his...furniture. But when the hunky craftsman turns up dead, with a strange hex symbol etched near his corpse, Maggie wonders if the craft involved is the witchy kind. Because Maggie knows that the dead man could well have been oversexed...but she has a strong suspicion that he was also overhexed.
Call Waiting by Michelle Cunnah
Emma Taylor knows the phone rules.
If he's going to call, he'll do it by Tuesday to ask you about Saturday ...
If it works out on Saturday, he'll want to see you Wednesday ...
And after over eight months of dating bliss, he should at least ask you to move in with him ...
But now Emma feels like she's been put "on hold." So what's a girl to do? Make a list, of course ...
1. Do not call lovely, lovely friends to whine incessantly about Claire Palmer, Jack's gorgeous, full-breasted boss.Must develop stiff upper lip.
2. Do something worthwhile and humanitarian to earn rest of inheritance from women's rights pioneering auntie. First part of inheritance: 9 1/2 long strong inches of fence post to which Auntie Alice chained herself ... I know! Join HUSSI -- Hoboken United Sisters Suffragette Institution. Perfection!
3. Do impress Jack with worthy, meaninful acts. Don't let on you've seen emerald ring in his top drawer. Do tempt him with new confident, sexy image. He will immediately fall on one knee and propose--won't he?
Brand New Friend by Mike Gayle
When Rob's girlfriend asks him to leave London and live with her in Manchester, it means leaving behind his best mate in the entire world. Believing that love conquers all and confident that he'll meet new mates, Rob takes the plunge.
Six months in, and yet to find even a drinking buddy, Rob realises that making friends in your thirties is not easy, so his girlfriend places an ad in the classifieds. Three excruciatingly embarrassing 'bloke dates' later, he's on the verge of despair...until his luck changes.
There's just one problem. Apart from knowing less than nothing about football and the vital statistics of supermodels, Rob's new friend has a huge flaw.
She's a girl...
Tales From The Crib by Jennifer Coburn
One baby bringing a family together...to drive each other crazy!
House in the 'burbs: check. Baby on the way: check. Rock-solid marriage: Can I get back to you on that one...?
People say my timing with a wisecrack is flawless, but my real-life "special moments" sensor is clearly on the blink. Then again, so is Jack's, and this whole thing is his fault. I know...it takes two to make a baby. But it only takes one to ask for a divorce. And Jack was the one who asked - ten minutes before I announced my pregnancy. But Jack had a plan. We would raise the baby together and stay married in name only, free to see other people while still providing a stable home for our child. Co-parenting, Jack called it. My label for it was something slightly less sophisticated. So why did I find myself agreeing?
I could blame any number of things, including hormones, panic, and the prospect of moving back in with my complete diva of a mother. In any case, here am I, Lucy Klein, cuddling my adorable son while my sort-of-husband cuddles his adorable...girlfriend. Okay, fine - it's a totally bizarre arrangement. Still, this may not be the weirdest thing that happens in my life this year. Between trying to maintain my city-girl attitude while languishing in New Jersey, surviving children's parties featuring Barney and bloodshed, making it through my cousin Kimmy's wedding to herself, and trying to get at least one date (just to prove that I can), my hands are pretty full. But if there's one thing I'm determined to learn from all of this, it's how to be a great mom without losing myself in the process...
Prior Bad Acts by Tami Hoag
It was a crime so brutal, it changed the lives of even the most hardened homicide cops. The Haas family murders left a scar on the community nothing can erase, but everyone agrees that convicting the killer, Karl Dahl, is a start. Only Judge Carey Moore seems to be standing in the way. Her ruling that Dahl’s prior criminal record is inadmissible raises a public outcry–and puts the judge in grave danger.
When an unknown assailant attacks Judge Moore in a parking garage, two of Minneapolis’s top cops are called upon to solve the crime and keep the judge from further harm. Detective Sam Kovac is as hard-boiled as they come, and his wisecracking partner, Nikki Liska, isn’t far behind. Neither one wants to be on this case, but when Karl Dahl escapes from custody, everything changes, and a seemingly straightforward case cartwheels out of control.
The stakes go even higher when the judge is kidnapped–snatched out of her own bed even as the police sit outside, watching her house. Now Kovac and Liska must navigate through a maze of suspects that includes the stepson of a murder victim, a husband with a secret life, and a rogue cop looking for revenge where the justice system failed.
With no time to spare, the detectives are pulled down a strange dark trail of smoke and mirrors, where no one is who they seem and everyone is guilty of Prior Bad Acts.
The Reluctant Miss Van Helsing by Minda Webber
Before there was Buffy, there was...
Having lived long amongst London's ton, Ethel Jane Van Helsing is an astute female who well knows her faults. She has a face unremarkable in its plainness. And yet, at a masquerade ball, anything can happen. There, even an ugly duckling can become a swan.
But tonight is not for fowl play. You see, plain or not, Jane comes from distinguished stock: Van Helsings. And Van Helsings are slayers. Her father, the Major, showed her very early on how to use the sharp end of a stick. Tonight, everything is at stake. Something is going to get driven very deep into a heart, or she isn't... THE RELUCTANT MISS VAN HELSING.
Hannah alredy has her hands full trying to dodge her mother's attempts to marry her off while running The Cookie Jar, Lake Eden's most popular bakery. But once Ron LaSalle, the beloved delivery man from the Cozy Cow Dairy, is found murdered behind her bakery with Hannah's famous Chocolate Chip Crunchies scattered around him, her life just can't get any worse. Determined not to let her cookies get a bad reputation, she sets out to track down a killer. But if she doesn't watch her back, Hannah's sweet life may get burned to a crisp.
Confessions of a Vampire's Girlfriend
I used to think all I wanted was to have a normal life. You know, where I could be one of the crowd and blend in, so no one would know just how different I am. But now I'm stuck in the middle of Hungary with my mom, working for a traveling fair with psychics, magicians, and other really weird people, and somehow, blending in with this crowd doesn't look so good.
Fortunately, there's Benedikt. Yeah, he may be a vampire, but he has a motorcycle, he likes the mysterious horse I suddenly acquired, and best of all, he doesn't think I'm the least bit freaky. So I'm supposed to redeem his soul - if his kisses are anything to go by, my new life may not be quite as bad as I imagined.
This holiday, spend quality time with family and loved ones—living and dead . . .
There's no place like home for the horrordays—unless you'd prefer a romantic midnight walk through a ghost-infested graveyard . . . or a haunted house candlelight dinner with the sexy vampire of your dreams. The (black) magical season is here—and whether it's a solstice séance gone demonically wrong with the incomparable Kim Harrison, a grossly misshapen Christmas with the remarkable Lynsay Sands, a blood-chilling-and-spilling New Year's with the wonderful Marjorie M. Liu, or a super-powered Thanksgiving with the phenomenal Vicki Pettersson, one thing is for certain: in the able hands of these exceptional dark side explorers, the holidays are going to be deliciously hellish!
Celebrate...If You Dare!
Kim Harrison's Two Ghosts For Sister Rachel introduces us to a younger Rachel Morgan --- an under-graduate witch-in-training --- who naively resurrects a spirit and sparks a terrifying showdown with a deadly undead adversary.
Lynsay Sands's Run, Run Rudolph serves up a scrumptious stew of Yuletide suspense when, in order to escape from a determined stalker, a beautiful, reluctant shape-shifter must assume different forms.
Marjorie M. Liu's Six keeps a petite but powerful government agent's hands full when she must join forces with a hunky necromancer to prevent an unholy brotherhood of terrorists and vampires from ringing in the New Year with blood.
Vicki Pettersson's The Harvest brings a former superhero --- an elite Zodiac warrior --- back to the mortal world for a Thanksgiving reunion with her equally hated and beloved enemy to do battle for the lives of her imperiled children.