The Last Chance Library, by Freya Sampson
Librarian June Jones has never left the sleepy English village where she grew up. Shy and reclusive, the thirty-year-old would rather spend her time buried in books than venture out into the world. But when her library is threatened with closure, June is forced to emerge from behind the shelves to save the heart of her community and the place that holds the dearest memories of her mother.
Joining a band of eccentric yet dedicated locals in a campaign to keep the library, June opens herself up to other people for the first time since her mother died. It just so happens that her old school friend Alex Chen is back in town and willing to lend a helping hand. The kindhearted lawyer’s feelings for her are obvious to everyone but June, who won’t believe that anyone could ever care for her in that way.
To save the place and the books that mean so much to her, June must finally make some changes to her life. For once, she’s determined not to go down without a fight. And maybe, in fighting for her cherished library, June can save herself, too.
Always, in December, by Emily Stone
Every December, Josie posts a letter from her home in London to the parents she lost on Christmas night many years ago. Each year, she writes the same three words: Missing you, always. But this year, her annual trip to the postbox is knocked off course by a bicycle collision with a handsome stranger–a stranger who will change the course of Josie’s life.
Josie always thought she was the only one who avoided the Christmas season, but this year, Max has his own reasons for doing the same–and coincidence leads them to spending the holiday together. Aglow with new love, Josie thinks this might be the start of something special.
Only for Max to disappear without saying goodbye.
Over the course of the next year, Max and Josie will find that fate continues to bring them together in places they’d never expect. New York City. Edinburgh. The quiet English countryside. And it turns out, Max had every reason to leave and every reason to stay. But what does fate hold for Josie and Max as Christmas approaches again?
Yours Cheerfully (The Emmy Lake Chronicles #2), by A.J. Pearce
London, November 1941. Following the departure of the formidable Henrietta Bird from Woman’s Friend magazine, things are looking up for Emmeline Lake as she takes on the challenge of becoming a young wartime advice columnist. Her relationship with boyfriend Charles (now stationed back in the UK) is blossoming, while Emmy’s best friend Bunty, still reeling from the very worst of the Blitz, is bravely looking to the future. Together, the friends are determined to Make a Go of It.
When the Ministry of Information calls on Britain’s women’s magazines to help recruit desperately needed female workers to the war effort, Emmy is thrilled to be asked to step up and help. But when she and Bunty meet a young woman who shows them the very real challenges that women war workers face, Emmy must tackle a life-changing dilemma between doing her duty and standing by her friends.
Digging Up Trouble (Sweet Fiction Bookshop #1), by Kitt Crowe
Life is sweet when you live in Confection, Oregon. Or, at least, that’s how it’s supposed to be. But on a summer day, when tourists and locals alike gawk at the majestic mountains, quaint Craftsman houses, and lovely flowers–particularly the renowned Confection Rose–the last thing anyone has come to see is a dead body, unearthed from a shallow grave by a curious dog.
A bathrobe-clad Lexi rushes next door to her neighbor’s backyard to find her pooch, Cookie, stalwartly sitting watch over a body in the vegetable garden. Cookie, encrusted in dirt, grips a copper pipe between her teeth. Was this the murder weapon? And was Lexi the murderer? It sure looks that way, seeing as she was spotted squabbling with the victim just the day before. The case becomes all the more perplexing when the real murder weapon turns out to be a garden stake. Then where does the copper pipe fit in? And might a more likely suspect let Lexi off the hook?
All the volumes in the Sweet Fiction Bookshop, and all the specials at Eats n’ Treats, prove of little help in jogging Lexi’s brain to find a solution. Fortunately, Cookie is not finished digging up clues. As the fur flies, can this trusty border collie mix save sweet Lexi from a bitter end?
The Necklace, by Matt Witten
Susan Lentigo’s daughter was murdered twenty years ago—and now, at long last, this small-town waitress sets out on a road trip all the way from Upstate New York to North Dakota to witness the killer’s execution.
On her journey she discovers shocking new evidence that leads her to suspect the condemned man is innocent—and the real killer is still free. Even worse, her prime suspect has a young daughter who’s at terrible risk. With no money and no time to spare, Susan sets out to uncover the truth before an innocent man gets executed and another little girl is killed.
But the FBI refuses to reopen the case. They—and Susan’s own mother—believe she’s just having an emotional breakdown. Reaching deep, Susan finds an inner strength she never knew she had. With the help of two unlikely allies—a cynical, defiant teenage girl and the retired cop who made the original arrest—Susan battles the FBI to put the real killer behind bars. Will she win justice for the condemned man—and her daughter—at last?
The Brightest Star in Paris, by Diana Biller
Amelie St. James, prima ballerina of the Paris Opera Ballet and the people’s saint, has spent seven years pretending. In the devastating aftermath of the Siege of Paris, she made a decision to protect her sister: she became the bland, sweet, pious “St. Amie” the ballet needed to restore its scandalous reputation. But when her first love reappears, and the ghosts of her past come back to haunt her, all her hard-fought safety is threatened.
Dr. Benedict Moore has never forgotten the girl who helped him embrace life again after he almost lost his. Now, he’s back in Paris after twelve years for a conference. His goals are to recruit promising new scientists, and, maybe, to see Amelie again. When he discovers she’s in trouble, he’s desperate to help her—after all, he owes her.
When she finally agrees to let him help, they disguise their time together with a fake courtship. But reigniting old feelings is dangerous, especially when their lives are an ocean apart. Will they be able to make it out with their hearts intact?
In Every Mirror She’s Black, by Lola Akinmade Åkerström
Three Black women are linked in unexpected ways to the same influential white man in Stockholm as they build their new lives in the most open society run by the most private people.
Successful marketing executive Kemi Adeyemi is lured from the U.S. to Sweden by Jonny von Lundin, CEO of the nation’s largest marketing firm, to help fix a PR fiasco involving a racially tone-deaf campaign. A killer at work but a failure in love, Kemi’s move is a last-ditch effort to reclaim her social life.
A chance meeting with Jonny in business class en route to the U.S. propels former model-turned-flight-attendant Brittany-Rae Johnson into a life of wealth, luxury, and privilege—a life she’s not sure she wants—as the object of his unhealthy obsession.
And refugee Muna Saheed, who lost her entire family, finds a job cleaning the toilets at Jonny’s office as she works to establish her residency in Sweden and, more importantly, seeks connection and a place she can call home.
Told through the perspectives of each of the three women, In Every Mirror She’s Black is a fast-paced, richly nuanced yet accessible contemporary novel that touches on important social issues of racism, classism, fetishization, and tokenism, and what it means to be a Black woman navigating a white-dominated society.
Where All the Dead Lie (Taylor Jackson #7), by J.T. Ellison
In her showdown with the murderous Pretender, a bullet taken at close range severed the connection between Taylor’s thoughts and speech. Effectively mute, there’s no telling if her voice will ever come back. Trapped in silence, she is surrounded by ghosts—of the past, of friendships and trusts lost…of a lost faith in herself and her motives that night.
When Memphis Highsmythe offers Taylor his home in the Scottish Highlands to recuperate, her fiancé can’t refuse her excitement, no matter his distrust of the man. At first, Memphis’s drafty and singularly romantic castle seems the perfect place for healing. But shortly the house itself surrounds her like a menacing presence. As Taylor’s sense of isolation and vulnerability grows, so, too, does her grip on reality.
Crossed Lines (Love Along the Wires #2), by Jennifer Delamere
Emma Sutton knows she should be satisfied with her position at London’s Central Telegraph Office. But ever since she was orphaned young, she’s longed for a family of her own. Things look up when a handsome engineer is thrown into her orbit and he sends Emma the love note of her dreams.
Mitchell Harris’s sharp wit and facility with a pen have enabled him to thrive despite serious obstacles. That the woman of his dreams works just one floor above his should make life perfect. But a childhood accident has left Mitchell convinced he’ll never draw a woman like Emma Sutton’s attention. When his best friend–who once saved his life–falls in love with Emma, too, and asks for help writing her love letters, Mitchell is torn between desire and loyalty.
Believing the writer of the letters is the answer to her prayers, but confused over her growing attraction to Mitchell, Emma’s heart must decide where to call home.
The Moon, the Stars, and Madame Burova: A Novel, by Ruth Hogan
Madame Burova—beloved Tarot reader, palmist, and clairvoyant—is retiring and leaving her booth on the Brighton seafront.
After inheriting her mother’s fortune-telling business as a young woman, Imelda Burova has spent her life on the Brighton pier practicing her trade. She and her trusty pack of Tarot cards have seen the lovers and the liars, the angels and the devils, the dreamers and the fools. Now, after a lifetime of keeping other people’s secrets, Madam Burova is ready to have a little piece of life for herself. But she still has one last thing to do—to fulfill a promise made in the 1970s, when she and her girlfriends were carefree, with their whole lives still before them.
In London, it is time for another woman to make a fresh start. Billie has lost her university job, her marriage, and her place in the world when a sudden and unlikely discovery leaves her very identity in question. Determined to find answers, she must follow a trail…which leads to Brighton, the pier, and directly to Madame Burova’s door.
The House of Ashes, by Stuart Neville
Sara Keane’s husband, Damien, has uprooted them from England and moved them to his native Northern Ireland for a “fresh start” in the wake of her nervous breakdown. Sara, who knows no one in Northern Ireland, is jobless, carless, friendless—all but a prisoner in her own house. When a blood-soaked old woman beats on the door, insisting the house is hers before being bundled back to her care facility, Sara begins to understand the house has a terrible history her husband never intended for her to discover.
Through the counterpoint voices of two women—one modern Englishwoman, one Northern Irish farmgirl speaking from half a century earlier—Stuart Neville offers a chilling and gorgeous portrait of violence and resilience in this truly haunting narrative.
The Corpse Flower (Kaldan og Schäfer #1), by Anne Mette Hancock
A Danish journalist digs deep to uncover a web of lies that stretches back to a grisly murder, but knowing the truth might put an end to her story.
It’s early September in Copenhagen, the rain has been coming down for weeks, and 36-year-old journalist Heloise Kaldan is in the middle of a nightmare. One of her sources has been caught lying, and she could lose her job over it. And then she receives the first in a series of cryptic and ominous letters from an alleged killer.
Wanted in connection with the fatal stabbing of a young lawyer three years earlier, Anna Kiel hasn’t been seen by anyone since she left the crime scene covered in blood. The police think she’s fled the country and have zero clues as to her motive. But homicide detective Erik Scháfer comes up with the first lead when the reporter who first wrote about the case is found murdered in his apartment. Has Anna Kiel struck again, or is there more than one killer at large? And why does every clue point directly to Heloise Kaldan?
Meanwhile, the letters keep coming, and they hint at a connection between Anna and Heloise. As Heloise starts digging deeper, she realizes that, to tell Anna’s story, she will have to revisit the darkest parts of her own past–confronting someone she swore she’d never see again.
The Eternal Audience of One, by Rémy Ngamije
This coming-of-age tale follows a young man who is forced to flee his homeland of Rwanda during the Civil War and make sense of his reality.
Nobody ever makes it to the start of a story, not even the people in it. The most one can do is make some sort of start and then work toward some kind of ending.
One might as well start with Séraphin: playlist-maker, nerd-jock hybrid, self-appointed merchant of cool, Rwandan, stifled and living in Windhoek, Namibia. Soon he will leave the confines of his family life for the cosmopolitan city of Cape Town, in South Africa, where loyal friends, hormone-saturated parties, adventurous conquests, and race controversies await. More than that, his long-awaited final year in law school promises to deliver a crucial puzzle piece of the Great Plan immigrant: a degree from a prestigious university.
But a year is more than the sum of its parts, and en route to the future, the present must be lived through and even the past must be survived.