Top of the Stack: June 2017

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Welcome back to Top of the Stack!

Looking forward to the next book month? You’ve come to the right place then. Here are the top titles that we’re most excited about in June. So work on enhancing the to-read piles and enjoy…

small change roan parrishSmall Change, by Roan Parrish
Series: Small Change, Book #1
Release Day: June 1, 2017

Rita: There are so many great books coming out this month but this one is at the top of my must read list.

My crush on Ginger started when I read the first in Roan’s (m/m) Middle of Somewhere series. I liked her immediately and knew I’d jump at the chance to read her story if it were ever told. I stopped reading a lot of m/f romance because I couldn’t relate to the heroine but Ginger is a bisexual, smart and sassy tattoo artist, living in the city I call home – and that is totally my jam.

Kristie: I absolutely love Ginger, so I’m very excited for her to get her own story.

Ginger Holtzman has fought for everything she’s ever had—the success of her tattoo shop, respect in the industry, her upcoming art show. Tough and independent, she has taking-no-crap down to an art form. Good thing too, since keeping her shop afloat, taking care of her friends, and scrambling to finish her paintings doesn’t leave time for anything else. Which … is for the best, because then she doesn’t notice how lonely she is. She’ll get through it all on her own, just like she always does.

Christopher Lucen opened a coffee and sandwich joint in South Philly because he wanted to be part of a community after years of running from place to place, searching for something he could never quite name. Now, he relishes the familiarity of knowing what his customers want, and giving it to them. But what he really wants now is love.

When they meet, Christopher is smitten, but Ginger … isn’t quite so sure. Christopher’s gorgeous, and kind, and their opposites-attract chemistry is off the charts. But hot sex is one thing—truly falling for someone? Terrifying. When her world starts to crumble around her, Ginger has to face the fact that this fight can only be won by being vulnerable—this fight, she can’t win on her own.

Small Change is the first book in a series that will include M/F and M/M romances.


draakenwood whyborne griffin jordan hawkDraakenwood, by Jordan L Hawk
Series: Whyborne & Griffin, Book #9
Release Day: June 2, 2017
Publisher: Widdershins Press

Gillian: I’m super excited at the impending arrival of a new Whyborne and Griffin book. There are very few series’ that can go this long and still hold my attention. Plus, they just get better and better! Jordan L. Hawk writes the most interesting, fully developed, incredibly varied characters and I cannot wait to be reunited with them all in this book.


dmac: Same! I’ve been in love with this series from day one and I’m psyched the quality has been maintained

Someone is killing members of the old families…and the evidence points to Whyborne.

Widdershins has been unusually quiet for months. But now a mysterious creature from the Outside is on the loose, assassinating members of the town’s old families by draining their blood. Whyborne and Griffin set out to solve the mystery—but as the evidence piles up, the police begin to suspect Whyborne himself is the murderer.

Now Whyborne must both clear his name and stop the horrors the monster threatens to unleash. His only hope: an alliance with his old enemies the Endicotts.

Because something terrible lurks in the Draakenwood, and it will stop at nothing to seize control of the maelstrom itself.

Draakenwood is the ninth book in the Whyborne & Griffin series, where magic, mystery, and m/m romance collide with Victorian era America.


on point annabeth albertOn Point, by Annabeth Albert
Series: Out of Uniform, Book #3
Release Day: June 5, 2017
Publisher: Carina Press

Rafa:  Hands down at the top of my pile is On Point (Out of Uniform, Book 3) by Annabeth Albert. I’ve been blown away by the emotional intensity and beautifully developed characters in the series so far, and this “best friends to lovers” romance does not disappoint. Ben and Maddox’s story is gripping, tender, sexy and heartbreaking – and my new favorite.

Never fall for your best friend…

Pushing thirty, with his reenlistment looming, decorated navy sniper Maddox Horvat is taking a long look at what he really wants in life. And what he wants is Ben Tovey. It isn’t smart, falling for his best friend and fellow SEAL, but ten years with Ben has forged a bond so intimate Maddox can’t ignore it. He needs Ben by his side forever—heart and soul.

Ben admits he likes what he’s seen—his friend’s full lower lip and the perfect muscles of his ass have proved distracting more than once. But Ben’s still reeling from a relationship gone to hell, and he’s not about to screw up his friendship with Maddox, too.

Until their next mission throws Ben and Maddox closer together than ever before, with only each other to depend on.

Now, in the lonely, desperate hours awaiting rescue, the real challenge—confronting themselves, their future and their desires—begins. Man to man, friend to friend, lover to lover.


an unnatural vice k j charlesAn Unnatural Vice, by KJ Charles
Series: Sins of the Cities, Book #2
Release Day: June 6, 2017
Publisher: KJC Books

Mel:  I was so lucky as to be able to read an ARC for this second book in Charle’s new series and I can whole-heartedly recommend it to everyone. An Unnatural Vice is an enemies-to-lovers story at its best. Romance, mystery, and historical setting are excellent and this was just a wonderful reading experience for me.

Michele: I’m giddy with anticipation for everyone to meet (and adore) the deliciously sly, beguiling, and oh so snarky knave Justin Lazarus

In the sordid streets of Victorian London, unwanted desire flares between two bitter enemies. Crusading journalist Nathaniel Roy is determined to expose spiritualists who exploit the grief of bereaved and vulnerable people. First on his list is the so-called Seer of London, Justin Lazarus. Nathaniel expects him to be a cheap, heartless fraud. He doesn’t expect to meet a man with a sinful smile and the eyes of a fallen angel—or that a shameless swindler will spark his desires for the first time in years.

Justin feels no remorse for the lies he spins during his séances. His gullible clients simply bore him. Hostile, disbelieving, utterly irresistible Nathaniel is a fascinating challenge. And as their battle of wills and wits heats up, Justin finds he can’t stop thinking about the man who’s determined to ruin him.

But Justin and Nathaniel are linked by more than their fast-growing obsession with one another. They are both caught up in an aristocratic family’s secrets, and Justin holds information that could be lethal. As killers, fanatics, and fog close in, Nathaniel is the only man Justin can trust—and, perhaps, the only man he could love.


tash hearts tolstoy kathryn ormsbeeTash Hearts Tolstoy, by Kathryn Ormsbee
Release Day: June 6, 2017
Publisher: Siman & Schuster

El: Tash Hearts Tolstoy is my most anticipated June release for two reasons: it’s a YA novel about an asexual girl, and it’s from a Big 6 publisher. These two things combined means education and awareness… a publisher with the ability to get this book in school libraries, on lists, in the hands of teenagers who may be lost and seeking a way to describe themselves. I can’t wait for this book to come out, because it’s the kind of book I wish existed when I was in high school.

Caissa: Tash Hearts Tolstoy just looks adorable.

After a shout-out from one of the Internet’s superstar vloggers, Natasha “Tash” Zelenka finds herself and her obscure, amateur web series, Unhappy Families, thrust into the limelight: She’s gone viral.

Her show is a modern adaptation of Anna Karenina—written by Tash’s literary love Count Lev Nikolayevich “Leo” Tolstoy. Tash is a fan of the forty thousand new subscribers, their gushing tweets, and flashy Tumblr GIFs. Not so much the pressure to deliver the best web series ever.

And when Unhappy Families is nominated for a Golden Tuba award, Tash’s cyber-flirtation with Thom Causer, a fellow award nominee, suddenly has the potential to become something IRL—if she can figure out how to tell said crush that she’s romantic asexual.

Tash wants to enjoy her newfound fame, but will she lose her friends in her rise to the top? What would Tolstoy do?


grrrls on the side carrie packGrrrls on the Side, by Carrie Pack
Release Day: June 8, 2017
Publisher: Interlude Press

Natalie: This is an easy one this month: Grrrls on the Side by Carrie Pack. This one comes with a dose of nostalgia (’90s punk bands! zines! Riot Grrrl!) plus amazing characters who feel real in both their good sides and their flaws. Tabitha is a main character I won’t be forgetting anytime soon.

Rita: I hadn’t heard of this one until now but everything about it makes it sound like it’s the perfect book for me. And that cover is badass!

The year is 1994 and alternative is in. But not for alternative girl Tabitha Denton; she hates her life. She is uninterested in boys, lonely, and sidelined by former friends at her suburban high school. When she picks up a zine at a punk concert, she finds an escape—an advertisement for a Riot Grrrl meet-up.

At the meeting, Tabitha finds girls who are more like her and a place to belong. But just as Tabitha is settling in with her new friends and beginning to think she understands herself, eighteen-year-old Jackie Hardwick walks into a meeting and changes her world forever. The out-and-proud Jackie is unlike anyone Tabitha has ever known. As her feelings for Jackie grow, Tabitha begins to learn more about herself and the racial injustices of the punk scene, but to be with Jackie, she must also come to grips with her own privilege and stand up for what’s right.-


where love leads erin mckenzieWhere Love Leads, by Erin McKenzie
Release Day: June 20, 2017
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

Caissa: The cover itself drew me in right away, and I was even more intrigued when I read the book’s description. It follows high school counselor Sarah, who is learning how to take care of herself four years after the death of her wife. Lauren, who just moved back to her hometown with her daughter, might be that answer. We need more books about older women finding love, so i’m hopeful for this one.

Sarah O’Shaughnessy, a high school counselor, is very good at taking care of others. What she hasn’t mastered is how to take better care of herself. Four years after the death of her wife, Sarah’s life has settled into a safe, solitary rut. That is, until the arrival of a new student and her mom.

Lauren Emerson and her teen daughter, Kat, move back to Lauren’s hometown in Central New York, fleeing her unsupportive husband and Kat’s traumatic bullying experience. Lauren is determined to create a better life for them both. She soon discovers that the compassionate Ms. O’Shaughnessy is someone in whom she can confide.

The newly forged friendship between Sarah and Lauren provides support and encouragement, yet neither is prepared for the undeniable attraction that ignites between them. When the future looks like nothing they had planned, will they find the courage to go where love leads?


Please note this book was reviewed prior to the revelation of author’s identity and actions. Please read this statement from Riptide Publishing for more information. 

oversight santino hassellOversight, by Santino Hassell
Series: The Community, Book #2
Release Day: June 26, 2017
Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Kristie:  Proof that Santino Hassell can write any genre and do it well came to us via Insight, the first book in The Community series. And while I know this book will have it’s own couple and plot, we’ll also undoubtedly come to some conclusions about everything else that’s going on. This series is like a freaking onion. Layer up on layer of plot that I’m dying to dig into. Also, given the photographic inspiration I’ve seen for Holden Payne and Sixtus Rossi, I can already imagine just how hot these two will be on the page. I’m SO EXCITED!

Spoiler Alert! The following blurb contains spoilers for Insight, book one of The Community.

Holden Payne has it all . . . or so he thinks. As heir to the founder of the Community—an organization that finds, protects, and manages psychics—he’s rich, powerful, and treated like royalty. But after a series of disappearances and murders rock the Community, he’s branded the fall guy for the scandal and saddled with a babysitter.

Sixtus Rossi is a broad-shouldered, tattooed lumbersexual with a man-bun and a steely gaze. He’s also an Invulnerable—supposedly impervious to both psychic abilities and Holden’s charms. It’s a claim Holden takes as a challenge. Especially if sleeping with Six may help him learn whether the Community had more to do with the disappearances than they claimed.

As Holden uncovers the truth, he also finds himself getting in deep with the man sent to watch him. His plan to seduce Six for information leads to a connection so intense that some of Six’s shields come crashing down. And with that comes a frightening realization: Holden has to either stand by the Community that has given him everything, or abandon his old life to protect the people he loves.


Honorable Mentions

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

Mature Content (Cyberlove #4), by Erikson & Hassell, Jun 2 (M/M, Contemporary) — Please note this book was chosen prior to the revelation of author’s identity and actions. Please read this statement from Riptide Publishing for more information.
Kith and Kin
, by Kris Ripper, Jun 20 (Contemporary, Family)
Patron, by C.B. Lewis, Jun 21 (M/M, Historical, Myth)
Abroad, by Liz Jacobs, Jun 27 (M/M, Contemporary, NA, Immigration)
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, by M. Lee, Jun 27 (M/M, Bi, Historical, YA) 


Now it’s your turn:

What are you excited to read in June?

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7 thoughts on “Top of the Stack: June 2017

  1. June is going to be hell on my book budget.

    I’m most excited about the KJ Charles and after that Mature Content and the Annabeth Albert. And then so many more. I hope my library gets some of these.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Curious to know whether you have The Lauras on your upcoming list. I haven’t reviewed it yet, but it is the first novel I’ve read that features a teen that refuses to identify as male or female, and a mother that is in her kid’s corner. I really liked this one; it comes out August 1.


  3. Pingback: Advanced Review by Caissa: Where Love Leads, by Erin McKenzie | Just Love: Queer Book Reviews

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