Top of the Stack: October

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Welcome to our still quite new monthly column here at Just Love: Top of the Stack!

We hope you enjoyed the post last month and are looking forward to the next book month. We always do!

All of us reviewers here at Just Love sat down together and talked about the books we are looking forward to in the upcoming month.

So have a look at the top titles that we’re most excited about in October, and enjoy!

Can't Hide From Me Cordelia KingsbridgeCan’t Hide From Me, by Cordelia Kingsbridge
Release Date: October 3, 2016

El:  I first discovered Cordelia through the novel Close Protection, which she originally published online for free. I fell in love with her writing, her characters, and her ability to combine drama and sexual tension. CAN’T HIDE FROM ME is, I believe, her first published novel, and I gasped aloud when I first learned about it. If it’s anything like her other incredible online works, it’s going to be action-packed and sexy, with characters I absolutely fall in love with!

Charles Hunter’s team is on a mission to extract an unidentified ATF agent from an undercover job gone wrong. All they’ve got to go on is the rendezvous location—until Charles recognizes the ex he hasn’t seen in years. Their “simple rescue mission” is about to get a lot more complicated.

For Ángel Medina, adjusting to life after his cartel nightmare is hard enough without confronting memories of a failed relationship. All he wants is a fresh start. But when a violent stalker lashes out from the shadows, Ángel realizes his nightmare is far from over.

As the stalker’s obsession escalates and bodies start dropping, Charles and Ángel are thrown together in a desperate search for the culprit. Tempers flare and old passions reignite, drawing them back into the same turbulent relationship that once ended in disaster.

But the stalker isn’t letting go—and the next strike might hit straight through the heart.

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the potent alchemy tess boweryThat Potent Alchemy, by Tess Bowery
Series: Treading the Books, Book #3 
Release Date: October 4, 2016

Michele:  I haven’t read any of previous titles in the Treading the Boards series, so I don’t know if this is a good place to start, but I’m excited by everything this book seems to offer – POC main characters in a Regency setting, science and theatre and *fluff*, what could be better? That gorgeous cover alone is making me eager with anticipation 😀

Is his love her safe place to land…or just smoke and mirrors?

Grace Owens danced her feet bloody to become the finest en pointe prodigy of her generation, but the only accolade she longed for—her father’s approval—never came. Finally, broken and defeated, she cut ties and fled to London to live life on her own terms.

Now, after four years as an actress in London’s smaller theatres, a last-minute production change lands her right where she never wanted to be again. Front and center in the ballet—and back in toe shoes.

From his perch on the catwalks, machinist and stagecraft illusionist Isaac Caird can’t take his eyes off Grace. A woman who wears men’s clothing, but not as a disguise. An exquisite beauty who doesn’t keep a lover. A skilled dancer who clearly hates every pirouette.

The perfect lines of her delicate body inspire him to create a new illusion—with her as the centerpiece—that will guarantee sold-out shows. Maybe even attract a royal’s patronage. But first he has to get her to look at him. And convince her the danger is minimal—especially within the circle of his arms.

Featuring a gender-fluid ballet dancer, an amateur chemist who only occasionally starts fires, and an old rivalry that could tear them apart.

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it was always you anthologyIt Was Always You Anthology
by Cardeno C., Ella Frank, Riley Hart, Lane Hayes, Christina Lee, Felice Stevens, N.R. Walker 
Release Date: October 4, 2016

Rita: I’m looking forward to It Was Always You because anthologies are the perfect way to get a taste of new-to-me authors and I can spend time with some old favorites too. I’m a sucker for friends-to-lovers books so the theme of finally seeing that person you’ve overlooked for so long is right up my alley.

What do you do when everything you’ve ever wanted was right there all along? 

Join these bestselling M/M authors as they bring you tales of love, lust, and laughter… between friends.

Featuring seven brand new novellas, each answering the question—what happens when the one meant for you was right there all along?

The book will be available for a LIMITED TIME only!

All money and proceeds for this anthology will be donated to the charity One.n.Ten.

divider-heartscertainly possibly you lissa reedCertainly, Possibly, You, by Lissa Reed
Series: Definitely, Maybe, Yours, Book #2 
Release Date: October 6, 2016

Rafa:  I just read the first book (Definitely, Maybe, Yours) and thought it was a really refreshing read. I’m halfway through the ARC for CPY right now and loving the 2 WOC (women of color) characters, one of whom is a ballroom dancer . Oh, and hello, it also contains delicious food things. YUM.

Rita: Oh this sounds awesome! I’m definitely adding it 🙂

Michele: I want to read both of these!

Sarita Sengupta is in her last semester of grad school and has finally realized she doesn’t have a career plan, a girlfriend, or a clear outlook on life. She works as a pastry shop’s head decorator, but is otherwise drifting without direction until a friend’s birthday party ends with her waking up in surprise next to Maritza Quiñones, a pretty ballroom dancer whose cheerful charm and laser focus sets Sarita on a path to making all of the choices she’s been avoiding.

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pansies alexis hallPansies, by Alexis Hall
Series: A Spires Story
Release Date: October 10, 2016

Mel:  Ahhhhhhhh. A new Alexis book. All the heart eyes. (Hopes someone else will be more eloquent here.) Ok, now, serious mode is on: Alexis’s books touch me on a very deep and personal level. His beautiful words connect me to myself and the world.

El: Alexis is the rare author that I respect and treasure immensely, even when I don’t especially love the book he’s written. That said, I am anticipating PANSIES more than anything else he’s ever written. It hits every single checkbox on my ideal romance, and the excerpt on the publisher’s site has me craving more and literally counting down the days until it releases!

Gillian: I can’t wait for Pansies. Alexis Hall writes the most poetic and delicious prose and you have to savour each word because nothing he writes is filler. His words have made me laugh and cry and I think Pansies will be a gorgeous story that should not be missed.

Michele: What can I add to this that hasn’t already been said? Alexis Hall writes achingly beautiful prose for his emotionally compelling stories, and I’m nearly breathless with anticipation for the novel that he’s called his most personal yet.

Rita:  I’m stingy when it comes to choosing favorites but Alexis has become a one-click author that I know is always a sure bet. His gorgeous writing is full of vivid detail and emotion, and stays with me long after I’ve finished reading.

Alfie Bell is . . . fine. He’s got a six-figure salary, a penthouse in Canary Wharf, the car he swore he’d buy when he was eighteen, and a bunch of fancy London friends.

It’s rough, though, going back to South Shields now that they all know he’s a fully paid-up pansy. It’s the last place he’s expecting to pull. But Fen’s gorgeous, with his pink-tipped hair and hipster glasses, full of the sort of courage Alfie’s never had. It should be a one-night thing, but Alfie hasn’t met anyone like Fen before.

Except he has. At school, when Alfie was everything he was supposed to be, and Fen was the stubborn little gay boy who wouldn’t keep his head down. And now it’s a proper mess: Fen might have slept with Alfie, but he’ll probably never forgive him, and Fen’s got all this other stuff going on anyway, with his mam and her flower shop and the life he left down south.

Alfie just wants to make it right. But how can he, when all they’ve got in common is the nowhere town they both ran away from.

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wolf in league henleyWolf in League, by A.F. Henley
Series: Wolf, Book #3
Release Date: October 11, 2016

Gillian:  This series just gets better with every book and I’m really curious to see where Henley will be taking the story next. I highly recommend reading the first two books before the third one comes out, especially if you love PNR. You will not be disappointed.

 

It’s been months since anyone at the Committee has had any contact from the O’Connell family or their pack members, and they are not happy. Suspicious of the activities that took place in D.C. and determined to find out what the wolves are up to, the Committee recruits one of their newest residents, Doctor Matthew Dietrich, to play the part of neighbor and infiltrate the family.

Matthew has always been a keep-to-himself kind of person. Though idealistic and optimistic, he prefers to work in solitude, at night, while he researches the findings that he hopes will one day change the world. When he’s approached by the executives of the Center, he has no idea why they’d choose him. And to say he is skeptical over the concept of men that can shift into wolves would be an understatement. Until he meets his new partner, the man that will play the part of his “husband” in the Committee’s scheme, Doctor Gavin Strauss.

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Suddenly Yours Jacob FloresSuddenly Yours, by Jacob Z. Flores
Series: One Fine Day 
Release Date: October 15, 2016

DMac:  This is the second in the series that started with Undercover Boyfriend. I loved that book so I am excited for this one!

 

 

 

A One Fine Day Novel

What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas.

Cody Hayes is having one epic morning-after. The hangover following a Vegas bachelor party is nothing new to him, and neither is the naked man in his bed.

His apparent marriage is a different story.

Carefully plotting every detail of his life carried Julian Canales to a Senate seat as an openly gay man. A drunken night of Truth or Dare isn’t like him… and neither is marrying a man he just met. He’d get an annulment, but the media has gotten wind of his hasty nuptials. If Julian’s political career is going to survive, he has to stay married to a man who’s his opposite in every way.

Now he must convince Cody that all they need to do is survive a conservative political rival, a heartbroken ex, their painful pasts… and an attraction neither man can fight.

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slave hunt ja rockSlave Hunt, by J.A. Rock
Series: Subs Club, Book #5
Release Date: October 17, 2016

Kristie:  I want people to read this series so badly, if only to get to this book. It’s filled with so much hilarity, love, tenderness, and friendship.

 

 

Thirty people. Two hours. Only the strong will survive.

When Riddle decides to put on a slave hunt, the Subs Club is on board. Tops hunting bottoms in the woods with paintball guns? Yes. Captives strung up on whipping posts, at the mercy of their captors? Hell yes. But on the morning of the hunt, nothing’s going according to plan. Miles and Drix are at odds over Miles’s reluctance to move in together. Dave is determined to show up D, who thinks Dave won’t last two minutes in the woods. Gould finds himself torn between obeying his master’s orders and living out a longtime fantasy. And Kamen inadvertently becomes a double agent when he aligns himself with two different parties.

By the end of the hunt, alliances will be forged and broken, loyalties will be tested, relationships will be strengthened…and someone will barrel roll. Narrated by ten different characters, Slave Hunt tells the story of two hours in the woods that will change everyone forever. Or at least, remind them that love is the greatest victory of all.

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interborough santino hassellInterborough, by Santino Hassell
Series: Five Boroughs, Book #4
Release Date: October 24, 2016

Mel: I can’t wait to read more about Raymond and David. While I feared this was going to be a huge angst fest (which is not my thing), my mind was eased by hearing Santino talk about his plans for the book and reading the first chapter. I am super excited about this.

Kristie: Interborough, for sure. I’ve read this and I fell in love with David and Ray all over again. Growth in a relationship… deep and meaningful. Also, the tension throughout is visceral. Felt it in my bones. High tension, like waiting for something to snap. There were also huge tears at the end. Huge, happy tears.

Rafa: I’m in the middle of reviewing this for the blog and I have mixed feelings about this book. Only because it really hurts to see two of my favorite people (that’s right I said PEOPLE lol) go through the wringer like that. Brace yourself, Rayvid fans! BRACE YOURSELF.

Mel: Ahhhhhh *pulls hair* I am not sure I will survive this.

Gillian: I can’t wait to read more about Rayvid in Interborough. Those two are combustible and so sweet – a very addicting combination. Although if things are about to get complicated between the two of them, someone may need to hold my hand and talk me down while I read. Any takers?

Rita: They say good things come to those who wait so I’m impatiently holding out for this release because I’ve no doubt it’ll be nothing short of amazing. At this point Raymond and David feel like old friends so I can’t wait for them to get the happily ever after they so deserve.

The Raymond Rodriguez from a few years ago wouldn’t recognize the guy he is today. He’s left his slacker ways far behind him and is now juggling two jobs and school. But the balancing act doesn’t allow much time for the man he loves.

David is doing his best to be supportive, but problems at work and his own insecurity leave him frustrated—in more ways than the obvious—whenever he goes to bed before Raymond gets home. The heat and affection between them is still there, but they barely have the time or energy to enjoy it. And it doesn’t help that Raymond is still hiding David from his colleagues.

The stress mounts so high that a vacation in paradise is filled with turmoil instead of harmony, and culminates on their return to the five boroughs with broken promises and heartache. They have to figure out how to stop allowing their differences to overshadow their love. It’s the only way they’ll make it to forever.

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the queer and the restless kris ripperThe Queer and the Restless, by Kris Ripper
Series: Queers of La Vista, Book #3
Release Date: October 31, 2016

Mel:   This book of the Queers of La Vista series is my favourite so far – like, all the stars perfect. The characters and their relationship are amazing and relatable, and the investigation of the murder cases is becoming more central. Cannot recommend enough!

 

Ed Masiello has been on testosterone for a year, is working his dream job as a reporter, and is finally passing as a man (so long as you don’t ask his abuela). But the investigation of a murder case is starting to take over his life. Afraid he’s becoming obsessed, he goes to the local club to relax, and meets the flighty, whimsical Alisha.

Alisha is a free spirit who’s tossed aside ambition for travel and adventure. Her approach to life is a far cry from Ed’s, and while Ed has always assumed that meeting his goals would make him happy, Alisha is much more content than him—despite all the plans she can’t yet fulfill.

As their relationship heats up, so does the murder case. Alisha thinks Ed needs a break, but someone’s got to find this killer, and he wants to be there when it all goes down. Besides, taking off into the great unknown with Alisha is crazy. But opting for what’s safe is just another way of living in fear, and Ed vowed to stop living like that a long time ago.

This book can be read on its own, or enjoyed as the third book in the Queers of La Vista series.

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Honorable Mentions

(aka Mel only let us choose one each, but none of us listened…)

Bitter Legacy, by Dal Maclean, October 4 (M/M, Contemporary, Murder Mystery)
Hexmaker (Hexworld #2), by Jordan L. Hawk, October 14 (M/M, Paranormal)
Hold, by Rachel Davidson Leigh, October 20 (M/M, Young Adult, Paranormal)
Change of Address, by Jordan S. Brock, October 24 (M/M, Contemporary)
A Taste of Honey
, by Kai Ashante Wilson, October 25 (M/M, High Fantasy)
Murmuration, by TJ Klune, October 28 (M/M, Historical Paranormal)

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Now it’s your turn:

What are you excited to read in October?

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