Dances, by Nicole Cuffy
At twenty-two years old, Cece Cordell reaches the pinnacle of her career as a ballet dancer when she’s promoted to principal at the New York City Ballet. She’s instantly catapulted into celebrity, heralded for her “inspirational” role as the first Black ballerina in the famed company’s history. Even as she celebrates the achievement of a lifelong dream, Cece remains haunted by the feeling that she doesn’t belong. As she waits for some feeling of rightness that doesn’t arrive, she begins to unravel the loose threads of her past—an absent father, a pragmatic mother who dismisses Cece’s ambitions, and a missing older brother who stoked her childhood love of ballet but disappeared to deal with his own demons.
Soon after her promotion, Cece is faced with a choice that has the potential to derail her career and shatter the life she’s cultivated for herself, sending her on a pilgrimage to both find her brother and reclaim the parts of herself lost in the grinding machinery of the traditional ballet world.
Cold Silence (Cold Justice: Most Wanted #1), by Toni Anderson
FBI Hostage Rescue Team member Shane Livingstone is frustrated when an injury sidelines him during an operation to catch a sadistic killer. A killer who auctions off vicious ways to torture his victims and screens the events for money on the dark web. When a teammate dies during the op, a devastated Shane vows to track down the monster responsible—but to do so he’ll need access to specialized skills he doesn’t possess.
A bloody game of cat and mouse…
As a white-hat hacker at Alex Parker’s security firm, Yael Brooks knows how to track predators through the darkest recesses of cyberspace. She can’t say no to Shane’s request…even though she fears her own secrets may put her at risk.
With a serial killer who makes it personal…
Shane and Yael must work together as a team if they hope to stop this psychopath. As they begin to grow closer, Shane demands Yael’s complete trust, but trust is the one thing Yael is reluctant to give. As the chase intensifies and more people die, it becomes obvious that the killer knows exactly who Yael is and plans to make both her and Shane pay the ultimate price for getting in his way.
The Weight, by Jeff Boyd
Julian Strickland is seemingly the lone Black man in the hipster dreamland of Portland, Oregon. To his friends, he’s the coolest member of the scene: the soulful drummer from Chicago in an indie rock band that’s just about to break through. But to himself, he’s a sheltered Christian homeschool kid who used to write book reports on Leviticus. A virgin until the night of his marriage, divorced at twenty-four, he’s still in disarray two years later—pretending to fit in, wondering if any of his relationships are real, estranged from his family, and struggling to reconcile his relationship with God.
Then he meets Ida Blair, a Black painter at the start of a promising career. They begin a tentative relationship, and Ida seems to offer Julian relief from his confusion. But suddenly she stops responding to his texts. Things only get worse when Julian’s best friend mysteriously turns on him, his house burns down, and the band considers breaking up on the eve of their most important show yet. It seems the only thing Julian has left—the only thing he’s ever had, really—is the weight he is carrying.
Words We Lost (Fog Harbor #1), Nicole Deese
As a senior acquisitions editor for Fog Harbor Books in San Francisco, Ingrid Erikson has rejected many a manuscript for lack of defined conflict and dramatic irony–two elements her current life possesses in spades. In the months following the death of her childhood best friend and international bestselling author Cece Campbell, Ingrid has not only lost her ability to escape into fiction due to a rare trauma response, but she’s also desperate to find the closure she is convinced will come with Cece’s missing final manuscript.
After an editorial meeting jeopardizes Ingrid’s career, she fears her future will remain irrevocably broken. But when Joel Campbell–who shattered her belief in happily-ever-afters–offers her a sealed envelope from Cece, his late cousin, asking them to put their differences aside and retrieve a package in their coastal Washington hometown, Ingrid must confront a past riddled with secrets before she can discover the true healing she’s been searching for.
The Paper Man, by Billy O’Callaghan
930s Austria. Vienna is a bustling, cosmopolitan city on the brink of war. Matthias Sindelar is an internationally renowned soccer player known as “The Paper Man” because of his effortless weave across the field. When Sindelar speaks out against Hitler, his fame can’t protect him from being placed under Gestapo surveillance. Meanwhile, Sindelar falls in love with a young Jewish girl named Rebekah. As the atmosphere in Vienna darkens under the Nazi regime, Rebekah flees to relatives in Cork, Ireland. Only after she arrives there does she realize she is pregnant with Sindelar’s child. The following year, at the age of 35, The Paper Man is found dead in his apartment.
1980s Ireland. In the Jewish Quarter of Cork, Rebekah’s son Jack Shine discovers a bundle of German letters and newspaper clippings tied with a ribbon while sorting his mother’s belongings. With the help of his German-speaking father-in-law, Jack translates the letters and attempts to piece together his family history and, hopefully, solve the mystery of his father’s identity.
Based on real people and true events, The Paper Man is the story of twentieth-century Europe, the Holocaust, the cost of fame, and love against the odds.
The Metropolitan Affair (On Central Park #1), by Jocelyn Green
For years her explorer father promised Dr. Lauren Westlake she’d accompany him on one of his Egyptian expeditions. But as the empty promises mounted, Lauren determined to earn her own way. Now the assistant curator of Egyptology for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Lauren receives two unexpected invitations.
The first is her repentant father’s offer to finally bring her to Egypt as his colleague on a new expedition. The second is a chance to enter the world of New York’s wealthiest patrons who have been victims of art fraud.
With Egyptomania sweeping the city after the discovery of King Tut’s tomb, Detective Joe Caravello is on the hunt for a notorious forger preying on the open wallets of New York’s high society. Dr. Westlake is just the expert he needs to help him track the criminal. Together they search for the truth, and the closer Lauren and Joe get to discovering the forger’s identity, the more entangled they become in a web of deception and crime.
In this rich 1920s tale, bestselling author Jocelyn Green invites you into one of New York City’s most esteemed museums, where a young woman discovers secrets, betrayal, and romance.
The Peacock and the Sparrow, by I.S. Berry
Shane Collins, a world-weary CIA spy, is ready to come in from the cold. Stationed in Bahrain off the coast of Saudi Arabia for his final tour, he has little use for his mission—uncovering Iranian support for the insurgency against the monarchy. He certainly has no use for his naïve and ambitious twenty-eight-year-old station chief. Then Collins meets Almaisa, a beautiful and enigmatic artist, and his eyes are opened to a side of Bahrain most expats never experience, to questions he never thought to ask.
When his trusted informant becomes embroiled in a murder, Collins finds himself drawn deep into the conflict, his growing romance with Almaisa—and his loyalties—upended. In an instant, he’s caught in the crosshairs of a revolution. Drawing on all his skills as a spymaster, he must navigate a bloody uprising, earn Almaisa’s love, and uncover the murky border where Bahrain’s secrets end and America’s begin.
Clytemnestra, by Costanza Casati
You were born to a king, but you marry a tyrant. You stand by helplessly as he sacrifices your child to placate the gods. You watch him wage war on a foreign shore, and you comfort yourself with violent thoughts of your own. Because this was not the first offence against you. This was not the life you ever deserved. And this will not be your undoing. Slowly, you plot.
But when your husband returns in triumph, you become a woman with a choice.
Acceptance or vengeance, infamy follows both. So, you bide your time and force the gods’ hands in the game of retribution. For you understood something long ago that the others never did.
If power isn’t given to you, you have to take it for yourself.
The Say So, by Julia Franks
Edie Carrigan didn’t plan to “get herself” pregnant, much less end up in a Home for Unwed Mothers. In 1950s North Carolina, illegitimate pregnancy is kept secret, wayward women require psychiatric cures, and adoption is always the best solution. Not even Edie’s closest friend, Luce Waddell, understands what Edie truly wants: to keep and raise the baby.
Twenty-five years later, Luce is a successful lawyer, and her daughter Meera now faces the same decision Edie once did. Like Luce, Meera is fiercely independent and plans to handle her unexpected pregnancy herself. Digging into her mother’s past, Meera finds troubling evidence of Edie, and also of her own mother’s secrets. As the three women’s lives intertwine and collide, the story circles age-old questions about female awakening, reproductive choice, motherhood, adoption, sex, and missed connections.
The Secret Diaries of Charles Ignatius Sancho, by Paterson Joseph
It’s finally time for Charles Ignatius Sancho to tell his story, one that begins on a slave ship in the Atlantic and ends at the very center of London life. . . . A lush and immersive tale of adventure, artistry, romance, and freedom set in eighteenth-century England and based on a true story
It’s 1746 and Georgian London is not a safe place for a young Black man. Charles Ignatius Sancho must dodge slave catchers and worse, and his main ally―a kindly duke who taught him to write―is dying. Sancho is desperate and utterly alone. So how does the same Charles Ignatius Sancho meet the king, write and play highly acclaimed music, become the first Black person to vote in Britain, and lead the fight to end slavery? Through every moment of this rich, exuberant tale, Sancho forges ahead to see how much he can achieve in one short life: “I had little right to live, born on a slave ship where my parents both died. But I survived, and indeed, you might say I did more.”
You Are Here, by Karin Lin-Greenberg
The inhabitants of a small town have long found that their lives intersect at one focal point: the local shopping mall. But business is down, stores are closing, and as the institution breathes its last gasp, the people inside it dream of something different, something more. You Are Here brings this diverse group of characters vividly to life.
The only hair stylist at Sunshine Clips secretly watches YouTube primers on how to draw and paint, just as her awkward young son covertly studies new illusions for his magic act. His friend and magician’s assistant, a high school cashier in the food court, has attracted the unwanted attention of a strange boy at school. She tells no one except the mall’s chain bookstore manager, a failed academic living in the tiny house he built in his mother-in-law’s backyard. His family is watched over by the judgmental old woman next door, whose weekly trips to Sunshine Clips hide a complicated and emotional history and will spark the moment when everything changes for them all.
Exploring how the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves are inextricably bound to the places we call home, You Are Here is a keenly perceptive and deeply humane portrait of a community in transition, ultimately illuminating the magical connections that can bloom from the ordinary wonder of our everyday lives.
The Paris Deception: A Novel, by Bryn Turnbull
Sophie Dix fled Stuttgart with her brother as the Nazi regime gained power in Germany. Now, with her brother gone and her adopted home city of Paris conquered by the Reich, Sophie reluctantly accepts a position restoring damaged art at the Jeu de Paume museum under the supervision of the ERR—a German art commission using the museum as a repository for art they’ve looted from Jewish families.
Fabienne Brandt was a rising star in the Parisian bohemian arts movement until the Nazis put a stop to so-called “degenerate” modern art. Still mourning the loss of her firebrand husband, she’s resolved to muddle her way through the occupation in whatever way she can—until her estranged sister-in-law, Sophie, arrives at her door with a stolen painting in hand.
Soon the two women embark upon a plan to save Paris’s “degenerates,” working beneath the noses of Germany’s top art connoisseurs to replace the paintings in the Jeu de Paume with skillful forgeries—but how long can Sophie and Fabienne sustain their masterful illusion?