Top of the Stack: July 2017

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JLR Top of the Stack

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 July. So work on enhancing the to-read piles and enjoy…

Pixie’s Pick!

Spa Weekend, by Tamryn Eradani
Series: Daniel and Ryan, Book #6
Release Day: July 3, 2017

Daniel and Ryan take their first trip as a couple, traveling to Daniel’s favorite spa resort, a place he’s never taken anyone before. The significance isn’t lost on Ryan, but it takes longer for Daniel to realize there are feelings encroaching on their arrangement. 

Top of the Stack

The Ruin of a Rake, by Cat Sebastian
Release Day: July 4, 2017

Rafa: Top of my stack for July is Cat Sebastian’s The Ruin of a Rake. The author reignited my love for historical romance (this time M/M) with her previous two releases, and The Ruin of a Rake is another home run. A cheeky, steamy opposites attract romance with intelligently developed characters and an absorbing plot, it’s also worth noting that the author continues to represent marginalized people in her works superbly. It’s a standalone (just like the previous two) but If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend you start from the beginning and read them all.

Rogue. Libertine. Rake. Lord Courtenay has been called many things and has never much cared. But after the publication of a salacious novel supposedly based on his exploits, he finds himself shunned from society. Unable to see his nephew, he is willing to do anything to improve his reputation, even if that means spending time with the most proper man in London.

Julian Medlock has spent years becoming the epitome of correct behavior. As far as he cares, if Courtenay finds himself in hot water, it’s his own fault for behaving so badly—and being so blasted irresistible. But when Julian’s sister asks him to rehabilitate Courtenay’s image, Julian is forced to spend time with the man he loathes—and lusts after—most.

As Courtenay begins to yearn for a love he fears he doesn’t deserve, Julian starts to understand how desire can drive a man to abandon all sense of propriety. But he has secrets he’s determined to keep, because if the truth came out, it would ruin everyone he loves. Together, they must decide what they’re willing to risk for love.

Top of the Stack

Heart of the Steal, by Avon Gale and Roan Parrish
Release Date: July 11, 2017

Gillian: I cannot – CAN NOT – wait for Heart of the Steal by Avon Gale and Roan Parrish. I mean, c’mon, two of my favourite authors writing a book together? YES PLEASE!! And it’s about an FBI agent and a thief? TAKE MY MONEY!

Rafa: I am really looking forward to this release! I mean, JUST LOOK AT THAT COVER

Responsible, disciplined William Fox channeled his love for art and his faith in the rules into being an FBI Art Crimes agent. Right and wrong, justice and injustice—the differences are clear, and Will has spent his career drawing a line between them. Maybe his convictions have cost him relationships, but he’s not willing to compromise what he knows is right. Until the night he meets Amory Vaughn.

As the head of his family’s philanthropic foundation, Vaughn knows very well that being rich and powerful can get him almost anything he wants. And when he meets endearingly grumpy and slightly awkward William Fox, he wants him more than he’s wanted anything. Vaughn is used to being desired for his name and his money, but Will doesn’t care about either.

When Vaughn falls back on old habits and attempts to impress Will by stealing a painting Will admires, their nascent bond blows up in his face. But Vaughn isn’t willing to give up on the glimpse of passion he saw the night he took Will apart. Before Will knows it, he’s falling for the man he should have arrested, and Vaughn has to realize that some things can’t be bought or stolen. Love has to be given freely. But can a man who lives by the rules, and a man who thinks the rules don’t apply to him, ever see eye to eye?

Heart of the Steal is a standalone romance with a happy ending. It features a Southern gentleman who thinks he’s always right, a buttoned-up FBI agent who secretly likes his buttons unbuttoned, and wall sex. And desk sex. And picnic blanket sex.

Top of the Stack

Escaping Indigo, by Eli Lang
Series: Escaping Indigo, book #1
Release Date: July 17, 2017

Rita: From the moment I first read the blurb I knew I had to read this book. Music is everything to me and I love books that focus on the dynamics of a band and their crew as they travel from gig to gig. From what I’ve seen of Lang’s writing, I feel confident that she’ll have me swooning and crooning my love for this story.

Kristie: Oh, me too! I mean, musicians/rock stars… you can’t go wrong.

Micah thought he’d always be in a band. All he ever wanted was to play drums and make great music, but when his best friend and bandmate passes away, Micah is left adrift. The thing that’s always lifted him up is now a reminder of everything he’s lost.

In an attempt to put his life back together, Micah takes a job as roadie for his favorite band, Escaping Indigo. He’s always admired the lead singer, Bellamy. On stage, Bellamy is confident, glittery, and radiant. But as the two grow closer, Micah realizes that in person, Bellamy is quiet, introspective, and a little uncertain. And that’s the person Micah is falling for.

Micah is determined to know all of Bellamy, both the rock star side and the side hidden from the audience, the side that creates music that touches Micah’s heart. Bellamy has secrets of his own, though, things he doesn’t want to share with anyone. And trying to uncover Bellamy’s truths might be the thing that ends up pushing him away.

Top of the Stack

Bearly a Lady, by Cassandra Khaw
Release Date: July 18, 2017

El: My July top pick is “Bearly a Lady” by Cassandra Khaw. I mean, bearshifter lady heroine? HELL YES, sign me up! Add in a vampire roommate, a love triangle, and a “devilishly charming fae nobleman”, and I am counting down the days (nay, the *minutes*!) until this one comes out!

Rafa: All the YES! I was completely taken (for reasons best kept to myself ha!) when I read the blurb and that was before I learned the author is a fellow Malaysian. I need this book in my life.

Zelda McCartney (almost) has it all: a badass superhero name, an awesome vampire roommate, and her dream job at a glossy fashion magazine (plus the clothes to prove it). The only issue in Zelda’s almost-perfect life? The uncontrollable need to transform into a werebear once a month. Just when Zelda thinks things are finally turning around and she lands a hot date with Jake, her high school crush and alpha werewolf of Kensington, life gets complicated. Zelda receives an unusual work assignment from her fashionable boss: play bodyguard for devilishly charming fae nobleman Benedict (incidentally, her boss’s nephew) for two weeks. Will Zelda be able to resist his charms long enough to get together with Jake? And will she want to? Because true love might have been waiting around the corner the whole time in the form of Janine, Zelda’s long-time crush and colleague. What’s a werebear to do?

Top of the Stack

Taking Sides, by Kathleen Knowles
Release Date: July 18, 2017

Caissa: In this age of politics, this looks like a fun read – and a break from the madness that politics can bring.

When campaign organizer Trevor Connelly comes to Indianapolis to help local advocates fight their Republican state government’s religious freedom law, she finds that’s not her only challenge. Librarian Gail Thorpe would rather avoid both politics and romance, but with Trevor, she finds it hard to resist either.

Can two women from different worlds overcome their misgivings and find true love?

Top of the Stack

Less, by Andrew Sean Greer
Release Date: July 18, 2017

dmac: Less by Andrew Sean Greer looks super promising. Avoiding awkward situations by getting into even awkwarder situations? Yes please!

Who says you can’t run away from your problems?

You are a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: your boyfriend of the past nine years is engaged to someone else. You can’t say yes–it would be too awkward–and you can’t say no–it would look like defeat. On your desk are a series of invitations to half-baked literary events around the world.

QUESTION: How do you arrange to skip town?

ANSWER: You accept them all.

What would possibly go wrong? Arthur Less will almost fall in love in Paris, almost fall to his death in Berlin, barely escape to a Moroccan ski chalet from a Saharan sandstorm, accidentally book himself as the (only) writer-in-residence at a Christian Retreat Center in Southern India, and encounter, on a desert island in the Arabian Sea, the last person on Earth he wants to face. Somewhere in there: he will turn fifty. Through it all, there is his first love. And there is his last.

Because, despite all these mishaps, missteps, misunderstandings and mistakes, LESS is, above all, a love story.

A scintillating satire of the American abroad, a rumination on time and the human heart, a bittersweet romance of chances lost, by an author The New York Times has hailed as “inspired, lyrical,” “elegiac,” “ingenious,” as well as “too sappy by half,” LESS shows a writer at the peak of his talents raising the curtain on our shared human comedy.

Top of the Stack

You Never Know, by Mary Calmes
Release Date: July 21, 2017

Kristie: I’m excited for Mary Calmes’ You Never Know… because it’s Mary. And because I love her books. But seriously, because I love the whole second chance at love trope. It gives me life.

Hagen Wylie has it all figured out. He’s going to live in his hometown, be everybody’s friend, explore new relationships, and rebuild his life after the horrors of war. No muss, no fuss is the plan. He’s well on his way—until he finds out his first love has come home too. Hagen says it’s no big deal, but a chance encounter with Mitch Thayer’s two cute sons puts him directly in the path of the only guy he’s never gotten out of his head.

Mitch returned for three reasons: to raise his sons where he grew up, to move his furniture business and encourage it to thrive, and to win Hagen back. Years away made it perfectly clear the young man he loved in high school is the only one for him. The problem? He left town and they have not talked since.

If Hagen’s going to trust him again, Mitch needs to show him how he’s grown up and isn’t going to let go. They could have a new chance at love… but Hagen is insistent he’s not reviving a relationship with Mitch. Then again, you never know.

Top of the Stack

Mel’s Pick!

Daughter of the Burning City, by Amanda Foody
Release Date: July 25, 2017

Reality is in the eye of the beholder…

Even among the many unusual members of the travelling circus that has always been her home sixteen-yea-old Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years.

This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all of their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that illusions, and not truly real.

Or so she always believed until one of them is murdered.
Now she must unravel the horrifying truth before all her loved ones disappear.

Top of the Stack

Honorable Mentions

Spun! (The Shamwell Tales #4), by J.L. Merrow, July 3
House of Cards (Porthkennack #4), by Garrett Leigh, July 17
Chasing Destiny (Silver Tip Pack #2), by Megan Erickson, July 21

Top of the Stack
Now it’s your turn:

What are you excited to read in July?

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5 thoughts on “Top of the Stack: July 2017

  1. After several months of really looking forward to new releases, this month I’m a little meh. Which is good for my budget.

    I’m moderately interested in the new Cat Sebastian – I really enjoyed book 1 but was meh on book 2.

    I’m using the ripped bodice’s summer book bingo as an excuse to work through my TBR and to read books I’ve been meaning to read. Which is more fun than I thought it would be.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I keep hearing such great things about the Cat Sebastian series. Rafa’s review for it went live for Ruin of a Rake today and she really loved it.

      Those bingo cards are a lot of fun and a great way to introduce yourself to books you might not have otherwise picked up. Glad to hear you’re having fun with it!


  2. Aside from the utterly tasty Spa Weekend, I’m (so far) only snagging Ruin of a Rake, Escaping Indigo, and Megan Erickson’s second entry into the Silver Too series (M/M paranormal.)

    OTOH, my wallet’s relieved (I deffo went over my book budget in June.) OTOH, it’s strange that I’m so disinterested in so many of the books listed. *Hands*

    Liked by 1 person

    • I go through periods like that too when we’re supposed to pick our most anticipated for the month and I’m like “uh, nothing?” lol. It is a great relief on the budget since some other months can be like…$$$$ whoa


      • LOL, for reals! At least my TBR won’t grow too quickly (for now.)

        (Also, that was supposed to be Silver Tip and NOT Silver Too. #Ughautocorrect)


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