There’s a new wave of books coming in this March and I couldn’t be more enthused. Some of my most anticipated releases of the year are on here. No way you’ve already heard of all of these, if you have, can we please be friends? I wanna be as cool as you because I spent some time learning about some of these.
Nevertheless, I’ve persisted and here are 26 books to keep an eye out for this month!
1. Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert
Talia Hibbert is one of my favorite romance authors, no question. I already pre-ordered this dandy book in 2020. Yeah. 2020. So honestly I feel like you should just go and grab this baby no questions asked. Nevertheless, I’m a professional (sorta) so here’s what this book is about.
Eve Brown is what some (all) would call a hot mess. Everything in her life always goes left when she goes right and vice versa. So her solution? Stop trying. But after causing a minor kerfuffle at an expensive wedding, her parents decide it’s time she grows up and takes control of her life. Then there’s Jacob Wayne who is always in control. He is a B&B owner determined to take over the hospitality industry. So when a purple-haired disaster walks in to interview as a chef, he tells her hell no. Next thing he knows she’s accidentally hit him with her car. With his arm broken and his bed and breakfast already understaffed, Eve has infiltrated his work and his home to help. He should hate it but the more time they spend together, the less he can dismiss their electric chemistry.
As someone who is drafting her own Muslim contemporary romance (shameless self-promo, stay tuned for more!) this book has me so freaking excited. If you are a part of The Tempest Book Club, it’s no secret how much I love romance novels so this book is one I’ve been eager for.
Reena Manji isn’t a fan of her career and being single, but she’s definitely not a fan of her nosey family. However, when she focuses in the kitchen on her sourdough starters, everything about her life fades away. Until her father has Nadim, one of his employees, move across the hall from her, in hopes they get married.
While she has no plans of indulging her parents, it doesn’t hurt that hot, British accented Nadim loves her bread creations. Maybe a friendship would be okay, that won’t lead to marriage. But then when Reena’s career falls apart, she asks Nadim to fake an engagement (one of my favorite tropes) with her so they can enter a couples video cooking contest to win the artisan bread course of her dreams. But there’s nothing like cooking to bond two souls and when things start heating up Reena is fine because everything is totally fine as long as she keeps her heart protected. She’s not actually marrying the man.
Everyone is home and stuck with their thoughts more than usual. Being alone with your thoughts can lead to a lot of self-discovery and healing. Something I think everyone can never get too much of is learning more about loving themselves. Mary Jelkovsky hosts The Mary’s Podcast and is the founder of Retreats by Mary. She shares her stories about conquering her insecurities (after years of an eating disorder and intense, self-sabotaging work as a bikini fitness model) and finally learning to love herself exactly as she is. Her Instagram is all about self-love and remembering that your body is made for you. To say I’m excited for this interactive self-help book for women is an understatement.
4. I Think I Love You by Auriane Desombre
Emma is a die-hard romantic. She loves all the loves stories and keeps dreaming of her own gay rom-com for a festival competition she and her friends are entering. Then there’s drama when Sophia comes into the picture. She’s boycotting relationships, boy BO (only one of many reasons she’s lesbian), and Emma’s nauseating romance ideas. Sophia wants to make a film with a message. Their movie is doomed until a plot twist happens behind the scenes and the two start to see each other in a different light. The two girls start off as rivals but after a twist of events, end up falling for one another—at least they think so.
When Liam Murphy learns his inheritance is dependent on him being married, he knows the perfect person to solve his problem–Daisy Patel, his best friend’s little sister. She also happens to need a decoy fiancé to get her family off her back (can never get enough of this trope). As a software engineer, Daisy Patel is all about lists and logic, she doesn’t have time for love but with her family bearing down on this one thing, she doesn’t mind asking her childhood crush to fake being her fiancé. Of course, as with any romance, sparks fly as the two go on fake dates and try to make their relationship look real to everyone else… and maybe it’s not just looking real, but is real.
If you like historical fiction, buckle up for this novel about three female codebreakers at Bletchley Park as they try to figure who is the enemy spy at the end of World War II. Osla is beauty and wealth with the Prince of Greece sending her flowers. However, she wants to be more than just a pretty face and uses her German to decode enemy secrets. Then there is Mab, a product of east-end London poverty just doing her job and looking for a socially advantageous husband. The pair are quick to bring in village spinster Beth whose shyness conceals a brilliant mind capable of deciphering any puzzle as a cryptanalyst.
Fast forward seven years and the three friends are now enemies reunited by a mysterious letter that also happens to contain the answers to all the questions that originally tore them apart. With it, a mysterious traitor lurks in the shadows of their past and the three of them must once again put their wits together to crack one last code.
Fans of Sex Education will love this. Darcy Phillips can do a lot of things including give great relationship advice, despite the fact her love life is tremendously flailing since she’s in love with her best friend. And Brooke is definitely in love with someone else. But, knowing this, she uses locker 89 as her drop box for all the romantic woes her classmates have so she can answer them anonymously, and for a fee of course. Unfortunately, Brougham sees her collecting the letters and blackmails her into helping him win his ex-girlfriend back. Darcy isn’t impressed with being blackmailed but he’s paying her, and he’s just trying to win over a girl who’s already fallen for him once before. How hard could helping him be?
Honestly, the synopsis leaves me a little speechless. I love a good Peter Pan and Wendy spinoff. In this version, Wendy and her brothers had been missing. She luckily returned, but no one is fully sure what happened to her siblings. When children go missing again, they turn to Wendy, which opens old wounds. As she tries to bury the past, a boy named Peter claims that if they don’t work together, all the children will meet the same fate as her brothers. With no other choice, Wendy must confront what is waiting for her in the woods.
Ambrosia Wellington receives an invitation to her ten-year college reunion with an anonymous note saying, “We need to talk about what we did that night.” It becomes clear the past is not to be ignored and the secrets she thought she’d left there aren’t as buried as she’d thought. She can’t forget what she did, nor her partner in crime, Slone “Sully” Sullivan. Sully used to be her best friend but they haven’t spoken in years.
At the reunion, it becomes clear that a person wants more than just to expose the duo. They want revenge and to repay the damage they did. A damage that only now Amb is fully realizing. This thriller is all about the lengths girls can go to to get what they think they are owed and just how dangerous a turn their games can take. If you follow my articles or @thetempestbooks you’ll know I reach out more for fluffy happy stories, but I’ve seen the claws of college peers and I’m terribly curious to read this novel.
I know we shouldn’t judge books by their cover but can we take a moment to appreciate just how lush this cover is? On top of a fire (pun intended) cover, this YA thriller is part eclectic romance as two girls Veronica and Nico try to balance falling in love with the same delicate muse, Mick, and also: One fire. Two murders. Three drowning bodies. One suspect… one stalker. The summer was supposed to be winding down but the two artists might not make it to the end of summer.
The synopsis is describing a queer YA thriller inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray, do you really need me to say anything more?
This historical fiction is set in 1906 San Francisco which has been leveled by quake and fire. Vera Johnson is the illegitimate daughter of a notorious proprietor of San Francisco’s most legendary bordello and ally to the city’s corrupt politicians, Rose. At fifteen, Vera is unsurprisingly resourceful having grown up straddling two worlds–tickets to the opera, surly henchmen, and the debt-ridden life of the family paid to raise her.
On the morning of the great earthquake, both her worlds collide, and Vera and her sister Pie are cast adrift. Rather than fall into despair, Vera lets go of what is expected of her and imagines a new kind of life.
If you liked Sorcery of Thorns and Girls of Paper and Fire, then this story will be lots of fun for you. It’s about a witch who meets a girl hiding her own dangerous magic. The two strike a dangerous bargain to save their queendom. Tamsin, though the most powerful witch of her generation, is exiled and cursed to never love for committing the worst magical sin you can imagine. The only way to get love back is to steal it from others.
Then there is Wren, a woman made of magic, a source of magic despite her inability to use it. She should have gone to the Coven as soon as she knew, but she hid to stay and care for her ailing father. However, Wren’s father falls victim to a magical plague that ravages the queendom. So Wren bargains with Tamsin. If Tamsin helps her catch the dark witch that created the plague, Wren will give Tamsin her lover for her father. Despite this, love bargains are a fickle thing and the pair have a long journey ahead.
Anna has been plagued by grief from the loss of her fiancé. Deciding she needs a change, she goes to sea on the sailboat the pair of them were supposed to use for a trip they had planned. However, the sea is no easy feat and she hires Keane, a professional sailor, to help. Keane is also coming to terms with the way his life has been unfolding with unprecedented plans. Together they learn it’s never too late to chart a new course. I think this story has so much potential as it’s about balancing your past with the uncertainty of your future, and about letting new people into your life, so I’m definitely curious to see (pun intended) how it goes.
I think most of us, if not all, have seen a reality show, but what about a wedding reality show? In this witty novel, Luna Rossi and Alec Baxter clash on The Wedding Game, a “do-it-yourself” TV show looking for the Top DIY Wedding Expert. Luna Rossi is a crafting genius, her Etsy site is one of the hottest in the world. She doesn’t hesitate to convince her brother and his husband-to-be to compete. Meanwhile, Alec Baxter is a jaded divorce lawyer, but his recently engaged brother insists he participate. Now, as a team they must agree on color swatches and mood boards as they attempt to ignore their growing mutual attraction.
I normally give the synopsis of each book a ~twist~, but this contemporary novel is already worded so lovely that I can’t bring myself to change it.
Celia Fairchild, known as advice columnist ‘Dear Calpurnia’, has insight into everybody’s problems – except her own. Still bruised by the end of a marriage she thought was her last chance to create a family, Celia receives an unexpected answer to a “Dear Birthmother” letter. Celia throws herself into proving she’s a perfect adoptive mother material – with a stable home and income – only to lose her job. Her one option: sell the Charleston house left to her by her recently departed, estranged Aunt Calpurnia. Arriving in Charleston, Celia learns that Calpurnia had become a hoarder, the house is a wreck, and selling it will require a drastic, rapid makeover. The task of renovation seems overwhelming and risky. But with the help of new neighbors, old friends, and an unlikely sisterhood of strong, creative women who need her as much as she needs them, Celia knits together the truth about her estranged family — and about herself.
Emily helps struggling college students as a psychologist at NYU. She even hopes to start a family with her amazing husband, Ezra. Until events of her present collide with her past. She used to be a young woman in love with music and a boy named Rob. The same Rob who she hears on the radio fifteen years later. His voice and his song about the one who got away have Emily wondering who she is meant to be and who she is meant to be with?
It’s always interesting to read books that have the main character considering all their different life paths. It makes one wonder, how do we ever know if the road we’re on is the right one?
For Daya Wijesinghe, there’s a lot about life she can’t control, like her parents dying in an accident she survived. However, bruises, she can control and they have become her outlet. Bruises let the pain stay surface level and help Daya ignore the pain in her heart. It only makes sense that when Daya walks into a roller derby bout, she’s hooked. The rules are confusing, and the sport does require teamwork which isn’t her forte, but at the start of a game, she’s guaranteed to leave with bruises. The more Daya falls into the world of roller derby, the more she learns the game is not just about the simple pain she was hoping for. I don’t know much about derby, but this seems like an interesting novel about love, loss, and acceptance.
Mary H.K. Choi has blessed her fans with a story about Jayne and June Baek. Jayne is broke and barely making it through fashion school. She’s surrounded by clout-chasing friends, her deadbeat boyfriend, and haunted by her own eating disorder. But, hey, that’s the cost of living in New York City, right? Then there’s June who is living her best life as a rich high-flying financier in her massive apartment. Until she’s diagnosed with uterine cancer. Suddenly, these two sisters who have been estranged for years are living together. Because sisterly obligations are kind of important when one of you is dying.
Lilla Baxter-Willoughby doesn’t lie but she is careful with her words. She doesn’t voice how much she hates going back and forth between her parents’ houses and she doesn’t say anything about how apprehensive she is about going to the elite high school her parents seem adamant about. Lilla doesn’t tell her best friend, Vivi, that she got the camp councilor job Vivi had wanted. She also doesn’t tell the boy that’s always been in her life that she now finds his freckles adorable.
But now Vivi dares Lilla to start being completely honest as part of their “Summer of Brave”. But is she voices all her thoughts and feelings she might lose so much… but also, maybe, she’ll gain things she never thought of.
When Aubrey Cash is stood up by her summer crush, Webster Casey, at the homecoming dance, she learns it’s best not to rely on love. On top of that, her parents’ marriage is also crumbling and her best friend keeps finding “the one” in a new boy every day. Next thing she knows though, Webster Casey is her lab partner for the rest of senior year and interestingly enough, sparks start to fly between her and his cousin. Rather than try love again, she decides to hold fast on her commitment to stay single. But that proves hard as Aubrey has to navigate her interactions with her breaking family, crumbling relationship with her bestie, and her consistent feelings for Webster. Why did he stand her up? If there are five ways to fall out of love, maybe there are at least five ways to fall back in?
I don’t want y’all to miss a thing so again I’m just giving you the original synopsis but wow. This novel is full of so much and I just hope everyone at least gives it a chance. There’s something amazing about stories that can talk about so much and put us in a fictional world that makes us reflect about the one we live in.
A community in the Piedmont of North Carolina rises in outrage as a county initiative draws students from the largely Black east side of town into predominantly white high schools on the west. For two students, Gee and Noelle, the integration sets off a chain of events that will tie their two families together in unexpected ways over the span of the next twenty years.
On one side of the integration debate is Jade, Gee’s steely, ambitious mother. In the aftermath of a harrowing loss, she is determined to give her son the tools he’ll need to survive in America as a sensitive, anxious, young Black man. On the other side is Noelle’s headstrong mother, Lacey May, a white woman who refuses to see her half-Latina daughters as anything but white. She strives to protect them as she couldn’t protect herself from the influence of their charming but unreliable father, Robbie.
When Gee and Noelle join the school play meant to bridge the divide between new and old students, their paths collide, and their two seemingly disconnected families begin to form deeply knotted, messy ties that will shape the trajectory of their adult lives. And their mothers-each determined to see her child inherit a better life-will make choices that will haunt them for decades to come.
As love is built and lost, and the past never too far behind, What’s Mine and Yours is a vibrant tapestry that moves between the years, from the foothills of North Carolina, to Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Paris. It explores the unique organism that is every family: what breaks them apart and how they come back together.
I’m sure men are tired of the “women hate men” trope, but really I’m tired of them being tired. In this novel we have a female apothecary that helps other women who have been wronged by men. How? She secretly gives out poison to these women, but she has rules.
Rule #1: The poison must never be used to harm another woman.
Rule #2: The names of the murderer and her victim must be recorded in the apothecary’s register.
Nella used to be a respected healer, but times have changed. On a cold February evening in 1791, a twelve-year-old named Eliza Fanning walks into Nella’s apothecary shop for her well-disguised poisons. The two of them form an unexpected friendship that places Nella’s work at risk and also potentially exposes many of the women whose names are written in her register.
Readers are also shown present-day London, where we meet aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell. She finds an old apothecary vial near the river Thames, while mourning her husband’s infidelity. Unable to stop herself, she keeps digging and finds a link to the unsolved “apothecary murders” that haunted London over two centuries ago. As she continues her search for more information, Caroline’s life intertwines with Nella’s and Eliza’s in a fascinating twist of fate, but not everyone will be lucky enough to survive.
There is never a bad time to start reading a Young Adult Fantasy. This tale is The Cruel Prince meets City of Bones as we follow four queer teens navigate the magical underworld of Toronto for a serial killer.
The Eight Courts of Folk have been living among humans in peace for centuries. Until Toronto becomes the location of a gruesome and ritualistic string of murders. This is where a half-fae outcast by her royal family, a Fury exiled to earth from the Immortal Realm, a fae prince determined to earn his place on the throne, and the prince’s moody guardian who carries a secret come into play. The four teens each hold a piece of the truth that will lead to the murder and must form a tenuous alliance in hopes of tracking down the killer. Their success will help end the brewing war between the Mortal and Immortal Realms. The only issue? Where do they even start?
This debut novel is about Carey Parker, full of hope to be a diva who brings down the house with their singing. However, despite their talents, homophobic classmates and their grandmother’s spiraling dementia make it much harder for Carey to use their voice to its full potential.
In comes Cris, a singer and guitarist who makes Carey feel heard for the first time ever and the high of new love gives Carey the confidence to audition for the role of Elphaba for the school play. Unfortunately, this isn’t met with cheers and support from their peers. Instead, Carey’s bully and the school itself is determined to roadblock them. Carey, Cris, and their friends refuse to be silenced and unite their voices to finally be heard–once and for all.
This book seems like a novel that has it all: love, activism, and self-discovery. Sign me up!
I am a huge fan of more diverse books. This story is a YA thriller about a biracial Native teen trying to save her community from corruption. Daunis Fontaine is the product of a scandal and she’s never fit in her hometown nor the Ojibwe reservation. Life has been looking quite gloomy especially when her mother falls sick.
When Daunis sets her eyes on Jamie, a new recruit on her brother’s hockey team, she starts to notice inconsistencies that have her questioning what the star hockey player is hiding. Then Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, placing her at the center of an investigation as she agrees to go undercover. Not one to shy away from answers, she also decides to start an investigation of her own. Threats, secrets, and deaths keep piling up. Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how much she’s willing to risk to protect her community–even if it means exposing all its secrets.
Isda does not exist. At least not beyond the opulent walls of the opera house. A magical retelling of The Phantom of the Opera, in which a young woman born with the ability to manipulate memories through song must fight against both the outside world that fears her and the inner darkness that tempts her in order to save the young man she loves.
In this version of the story, the Phantom is a teenage girl. The book is an exploration of gender and beauty that questions why we so often see unlikeable male protagonists whose stories are valued, while unlikable female characters are criticized. I can already tell I’m going to love this one, and all Broadway fans will too!
I can’t wait to read all of these amazing books, what about you? If you want some company while reading, check out The Tempest Book Club on Instagram to see what March’s pick will be (and take part in many awesome giveaways and live events with authors!). If you’re more of a lone reader and want even more book suggestions, check out our list of exciting 2021 releases.
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Let us know which books you pick and what you’re reading this month by tagging @TheTempestBooks on Instagram so we can feature you!