Best Books

January 2022 New Releases, Part Two

If you’re new to Hide Your Wallet, this is where we list new releases we’re pretty excited for in the coming month.

Each reviewer has a book maximum (five per person), and we’ve separated HYW into two parts. The first HYW of the month will cover books that release from the 1st to the 14th. The second HYW will cover books released from the 15th to the end of the month.

We also think this will help us feature books from smaller publishers who don’t have buy links up as early as the bigger trade houses.

As always, if we missed any books that you’re particularly looking forward to, tell us all about them in the comments.

Love & Other Diasters

Love & Other Diasters by Anita Kelly

Author: Anita Kelly
Released: January 18, 2022 by Forever
Genre: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA, Romance

The first openly nonbinary contestant on America’s favorite cooking show falls for their clumsy competitor in this delicious romantic comedy debut “that is both fantastically fun and crack your heart wide open vulnerable.” (Rosie Danan, author of The Roommate)

Recently divorced and on the verge of bankruptcy, Dahlia Woodson is ready to reinvent herself on the popular reality competition show Chef’s Special. Too bad the first memorable move she makes is falling flat on her face, sending fish tacos flying—not quite the fresh start she was hoping for. Still, she’s focused on winning, until she meets someone she might want a future with more than she needs the prize money.

After announcing their pronouns on national television, London Parker has enough on their mind without worrying about the klutzy competitor stationed in front of them. They’re there to prove the trolls—including a fellow contestant and their dad—wrong, and falling in love was never part of the plan.

As London and Dahlia get closer, reality starts to fall away. Goodbye, guilt about divorce, anxiety about uncertain futures, and stress from transphobia. Hello, hilarious shenanigans on set, wedding crashing, and spontaneous dips into the Pacific. But as the finale draws near, Dahlia and London’s steamy relationship starts to feel the heat both in and outside the kitchen—and they must figure out if they have the right ingredients for a happily ever after.

Aarya: Excited to read this after enjoying Kelly’s self-published novellas.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

The Missing Page

The Missing Page by Cat Sebastian

Author: Cat Sebastian
Released: January 18, 2022
Genre: Historical: European, LGBTQIA, Mystery/Thriller, Romance
Series: Page & Sommers #2

England, 1948: Semi-retired spy Leo Page and country doctor James Sommers team up to solve a decades-old mystery.

When James learns that an uncle he hasn’t heard from in ages has left him something in his will, he figures that the least he can do is head down to Cornwall for a weekend to honor the old man’s parting wishes. He finds the family home filled with half-remembered guests and unwanted memories, but more troubling is that his uncle has tasked his heirs with uncovering the truth behind a woman’s disappearance twenty years earlier.

Leo doesn’t like any of it. He’s just returned from one of his less pleasant missions and maybe he’s slightly paranoid about James’s safety, but he’s of the opinion that rich people aren’t to be trusted where wills are concerned. So he does what any sensible spy would do and infiltrates the house party.

Together they unravel a mystery that exposes long-standing family secrets and threatens to involve James more than either of them would like.

Aarya: For fans of romantic detective fiction.

Susan: Hither Page was excellent – queer historical crime-solving, my weakness! – and I am so excited for the second book in the series.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

A Letter to Three Witches

A Letter to Three Witches by Elizabeth Bass

Author: Elizabeth Bass
Released: January 25, 2022 by Kensington Books
Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Science Fiction/Fantasy

From acclaimed author Elizabeth Bass, an bubbly, quirky paranormal rom-com set in the sleepy college town of college town of Zenobia, New York, a place where witches have been banned from practicing their magic…until romance problems among the great-granddaughters of the witch whose destructive spells invoked the edict cause their long-suppressed inner witches to go berserk…

In the sleepy college town of Zenobia, New York, the only supernatural trace on display is the name of Gwen Engel’s business—Abracadabra Odd Job Service. But Gwen’s family has some unusual abilities they’ve been keeping under wraps—until one little letter spells big trouble…

Nearly a century ago, Gwen Engel’s great-great-grandfather cast a spell with catastrophic side-effects. As a result, the Grand Council of Witches forbade his descendants from practicing witchcraft. The Council even planted anonymous snitches called Watchers in the community to report any errant spellcasting…

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Yet magic may still be alive and not so well in Zenobia. Gwen and her cousins, Trudy and Milo, receive a letter from Gwen’s adopted sister, Tannith, informing them that she’s bewitched one of their partners and will run away with him at the end of the week. While Gwen frets about whether to trust her scientist boyfriend, currently out of town on a beetle-studying trip, she’s worried that local grad student Jeremy is secretly a Watcher doing his own research.

Cousin Trudy is so stressed that she accidentally enchants her cupcakes, creating havoc among her bakery customers—and in her marriage. Perhaps it’s time the family took back control and figured out how to harness their powers. How else can Gwen decide whether her growing feelings for Jeremy are real—or the result of too many of Trudy’s cupcakes?

Sarah: Rom com with Witches? Yes please!

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D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding

D’Vaughn and Kris Plan a Wedding by Chencia Higgins

Author: Chencia Higgins
Released: January 25, 2022 by Carina Adores
Genre: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA, Romance

D’Vaughn and Kris have six weeks to plan their dream wedding.

Their whole relationship is fake.

Instant I Do could be Kris Zavala’s big break. She’s right on the cusp of really making it as an influencer, so a stint on reality TV is the perfect chance to elevate her brand. And $100,000 wouldn’t hurt, either.

D’Vaughn Miller is just trying to break out of her shell. She’s sort of neglected to come out to her mom for years, so a big splashy fake wedding is just the excuse she needs.

All they have to do is convince their friends and family they’re getting married in six weeks. If anyone guesses they’re not for real, they’re out. Selling their chemistry on camera is surprisingly easy, and it’s still there when no one else is watching, which is an unexpected bonus. Winning this competition is going to be a piece of wedding cake.

But each week of the competition brings new challenges, and soon the prize money’s not the only thing at stake. A reality show isn’t the best place to create a solid foundation, and their fake wedding might just derail their relationship before it even starts.

Carina Adores is home to highly romantic contemporary love stories where LGBTQ+ characters find their happily-ever-afters. Discover a new Carina Adores book every month!

Shana: I feel like I’ve been waiting for this book for YEARS. If it’s half as good as the blurb, I’ll be very happy.

Tara: I’m always down for a reality show romance, but throwing the fake relationship on top? *chef’s kiss*

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

Faux Queen

Faux Queen by Monique Jenkinson

Author: Monique Jenkinson
Released: January 25, 2022 by Amble Press
Genre: LGBTQIA, Nonfiction

Faux Queen: A Life in Drag is the memoir of a ballet-obsessed girl who moves to San Francisco from the suburbs and finds her people at the drag club.

It joyously chronicles Monique Jenkinson’s creation of her drag persona Fauxnique, the people and cultural practices that crash her identity into being, her journey through one of the most experimental moments in queer cultural history, and her rise through the nightlife underground to become the first cisgender woman crowned as a major pageant-winning drag queen.

Jenkinson finds authenticity through the glee of drag artifice and articulation through the immediacy of performing bodies. She pens a valentine to gay men and their culture while relaying the making of an open-minded feminist and queer ally. Faux Queen finds deep healing in irreverence and posits that it might be possible for us to come together in fabulous difference on the dance floor.

Tara: One of my pandemic indulgences was catching up on everything in the RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise. I was glad to see an AFAB (assigned female at birth) queen on the last season of RPDR UK and I’m equally interested in this memoir about about an AFAB drag queen.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

The Map to You

The Map to You by Rachel Stockbridge

Author: Rachel Stockbridge
Released: January 25, 2022 by Rachel Stockbridge
Genre: Contemporary Romance, LGBTQIA, Romance
Series: Next Stop Love #2

Sasha Deforest always seems to fall hardest for girls she can’t have. And she’s never fallen harder than she has for her tough, stubborn best friend Kinsey. Sasha can’t help all the outrageously flirty things that come out of her mouth when they’re together, even if Kinsey always plays it off as a running joke. Sasha doesn’t really mind, though. She likes that they’re just friends. It’s easy. Uncomplicated. And it means she has an excuse not to open up about her troubled family life back home.

Kinsey Han has been nursing one hell of a crush on sweet, sarcastic Sasha for the better part of the last year. Not that she’d ever let Sasha know it. Kinsey tends to express herself by frowning and ordering her loved ones around. Even if she thought Sasha meant all the flirty nonsense she’s always coming up with, Kinsey could never be the kind of cheerful, outgoing woman Sasha deserves to be with. It’s better for everyone if Kinsey keeps her true feelings to herself.

But when Sasha drops everything to drive Kinsey 600 miles to deal with a family emergency, things get complicated. The more time they spend together, the harder it is for Kinsey to keep her feelings for Sasha buried—and the harder it is for Sasha to remember why it’s so important to keep Kinsey at arm’s length. If they continue to conceal the depths of their feelings for each other, they’d be missing out on falling in love with the one person who could truly get them. But taking that chance also means opening themselves up to heartbreak. And neither is sure they’re willing to risk losing the other forever.

Tara: This sounds adorable. Best friends who have mutual crushes but haven’t admitted it! Plus a road trip!

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

Munro

Munro by Kresley Cole

Author: Kresley Cole
Released: January 25, 2022 by Valkyrie Press
Genre: Paranormal, Romance
Series: Immortals After Dark #18

A human monster huntress. An immortal werewolf. Could any passion be more forbidden?

The next stand-alone installment in the electrifying Immortals After Dark series by #1 New York Times best-selling author Kresley Cole. Venture deeper into the Lore, fierce realm of the immortals—if you dare. . . .

TORMENTED IN UNIMAGINABLE WAYS

Coming off torture at the hands of his warlock captors, Munro MacRieve never expected to find his mate, or to lose her just as abruptly. Driven to desperation, the ruthless warrior uses his enemies’ own powers to reunite with her—in the distant past.

STOLEN FROM HER TIME

When a crazed werewolf crashes her wedding, Kereny “Ren” Codrina does what any cunning huntress would do: she captures him. Yet she finds herself softening toward the wounded beast—until he turns the tables and forces her into an incomprehensible future.

CAN A HUMAN AND AN IMMORTAL UNITE IN ORDER TO SURVIVE?

As danger mounts, Munro will do anything to make her undying, even sell his soul to an evil sorceress. But first he must convince his fiery mate that she belongs with him. If seduction means her survival, Munro will use every weapon in his arsenal to possess her—forever.

Amanda: Will this pub on time? Who knows, but I am ready and waiting!

Aarya: I love the Lykae (hello, wolves!) and I can’t believe we’re finally getting Munro’s story after such a long wait!

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

On a Night Like This

On a Night Like This by Lindsey Kelk

Author: Lindsey Kelk
Released: January 18, 2022 by HarperCollins
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romance

Within days of wishing she could change her life, Fran Cooper is leaving rainy England to become acting assistant to a famous singer, on a yacht in the Mediterranean. Their destination is a tiny Italian island that’s hosting the biggest celebrity gala of the season—the Crystal Ball.

And while not everything about her new role goes precisely to plan, when she – quite literally – bumps into tall, dark and handsome Evan, a man able to keep his cool in the face of chaos, the magic really begins.

Evan makes her a promise: no last names, no life stories, just one unforgettable night. Wearing a designer dress and drinking champagne, Fran is soon a million miles away from life back in the UK.

And that’s the problem: Evan belongs at the Crystal Ball and Fran is a gatecrasher. They may be soulmates, but their homes are an ocean apart, their lives a world apart. They’ll never meet again – unless, on a night like this, everything can change forever…

Elyse: Kelk’s rom-coms always work for me.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

The Red Palace

The Red Palace by June Hur

Author: June Hur
Released: January 25, 2022 by Feiwel & Friends
Genre: Historical: Other, Mystery/Thriller, Young Adult

June Hur, critically acclaimed author of The Silence of Bones and The Forest of Stolen Girls, returns with The Red Palace—a third evocative, atmospheric historical mystery perfect for fans of Courtney Summers and Kerri Maniscalco.

To enter the palace means to walk a path stained in blood…

Joseon (Korea), 1758. There are few options available to illegitimate daughters in the capital city, but through hard work and study, seventeen-year-old Hyeon has earned a position as a palace nurse. All she wants is to keep her head down, do a good job, and perhaps finally win her estranged father’s approval.

But Hyeon is suddenly thrust into the dark and dangerous world of court politics when someone murders four women in a single night, and the prime suspect is Hyeon’s closest friend and mentor. Determined to prove her beloved teacher’s innocence, Hyeon launches her own secret investigation.

In her hunt for the truth, she encounters Eojin, a young police inspector also searching for the killer. When evidence begins to point to the Crown Prince himself as the murderer, Hyeon and Eojin must work together to search the darkest corners of the palace to uncover the deadly secrets behind the bloodshed.

Aarya: It’s only January and I know this is one of my favorite books of 2022. Excellent romantic arc for those interested in this YA historical.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

Shady Hollow

Shady Hollow by Juneau Black

Author: Juneau Black
Released: January 25, 2022 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
Genre: Mystery/Thriller, Science Fiction/Fantasy
Series: A Shady Hollow Mystery #1

Deep in the forest is a place where woodland creatures live together in harmony. Moose and mice, owls and bears, and many more call the charming village of Shady Hollow home. All is well, until a toad is found floating facedown in the millpond. It’s something these folks haven’t seen before: a murder.

Foxy reporter Vera Vixen is new in town. She has a nose for news and catches the scent of a story, one that leads her to dark places. As she stirs up the still waters, the fox exposes more than one mystery, and the folks in Shady Hollow learn that some of their neighbors are shifty, while others are downright dangerous.

Vera finds more to this shady town than she ever suspected. Someone in the Hollow will do anything to keep her from solving the murder. It will take all of Vera’s cunning and quickness to come out alive.

Sarah: A murder mystery with talking animals? Huh! This was previously published, I think.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

Something Fabulous

Something Fabulous by Alexis Hall

Author: Alexis Hall
Released: January 25, 2022 by Montlake
Genre: Historical: European, LGBTQIA, Romance
Series: Something Fabulous #1

From the acclaimed author of Boyfriend Material comes a delightfully witty romance featuring a reserved duke who’s betrothed to one twin and hopelessly enamoured of the other.

Valentine Layton, the Duke of Malvern, has twin problems: literally.

It was always his father’s hope that Valentine would marry Miss Arabella Tarleton. But, unfortunately, too many novels at an impressionable age have caused her to grow up…romantic. So romantic that a marriage of convenience will not do and after Valentine’s proposal she flees into the night determined never to set eyes on him again.

Arabella’s twin brother, Mr. Bonaventure “Bonny” Tarleton, has also grown up…romantic. And fully expects Valentine to ride out after Arabella and prove to her that he’s not the cold-hearted cad he seems to be.

Despite copious misgivings, Valentine finds himself on a pell-mell chase to Dover with Bonny by his side. Bonny is unreasonable, overdramatic, annoying, and…beautiful? And being with him makes Valentine question everything he thought he knew. About himself. About love. Even about which Tarleton he should be pursuing.

Shana’s pick!

Aarya: Thrilled to report that the audiobook narrator is Nicholas Boulton.

Add to Goodreads To-Read List →

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