Top of the Stack: October 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 October. So work on enhancing the to-read piles and enjoy…

Tender with a Twist by Annabeth Albert

Tender with a Twist, by Annabeth Albert
Series: Rainbow Cove, Book #2
Release Day: October 2, 2017

Rafa: “Top of the Stack for me in October is Tender with a Twist by Annabeth Albert. Her Rainbow Cover series kicked off very, very promisingly with Trust with a Chaser, and I cannot wait to see what’s in store when a young chef and a kinky lumbersexual get it on in a small town!”

Pixie: “This is literally the only book I have on my TBR releasing in October so this is my pick as well!”

One kinky wood carver. One younger chef looking to try new things. A series of lessons that bring both men more than they bargained for…

Curtis Hunt has made a name for himself as a chainsaw wood carver, winning national competitions and operating a small business in Rainbow Cove, Oregon. As winter whittles away his tourist traffic, his goal is just to survive the season and try to not get lost in grief for his dead lover. It’s been two years, but he’s sure he’ll never be over the love of a lifetime. However, his body has a certain restlessness that he doesn’t quite know how to calm.

Logan Rosner knows a thing or two about restlessness. It’s what drove him to Rainbow Cove to be a chef at a bar and grill run by his friends. And it’s what drives him to a single sizzling encounter with the local legendary lumberjack. Both men get far more than they expected and learn that first impressions aren’t always accurate…

But when Logan proposes a series of sexy lessons, Curtis must decide how much he’s willing to risk. He knows he can’t afford to get attached to Logan’s good cooking, his easy smiles, or his caretaking, but he keeps going back for more, even as deeper emotions become involved. Soon, Curtis must decide whether to risk his heart again or risk losing Logan for good. 

Tender with a Twist is a 75,000 word stand-alone gay romance with a May/December theme, featuring a second chance at love, opposites attract, loads of sexy times with mild BDSM elements, and one emotionally-charged, guaranteed happy ending with no cliffhangers.

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An Unsuitable Heir, KJ CharlesAn Unsuitable Heir by KJ Charles
Series: Sins of the Cities, Book #3
Release Day: October 3, 2017

Gillian: “My top pick for October is An Unsuitable Heir by KJ Charles. This is the third book in the excellent Sins of the Cities series and it features an upstanding private detective and an aristocrat in hiding. I’ve loved Mark since book one and I’m super intrigued about Pen, so I’m hoping there will be a chance for some sparks to fly between trying to outwit a murderer and keeping Pen’s real identity on the down-low.”

Mel: “Oh you will love this. It is so sweet and just *hearty eyes*

A private detective finds passion, danger, and the love of a lifetime when he hunts down a lost earl in Victorian London.

On the trail of an aristocrat’s secret son, enquiry agent Mark Braglewicz finds his quarry in a music hall, performing as a trapeze artist with his twin sister. Graceful, beautiful, elusive, and strong, Pen Starling is like nobody Mark’s ever met—and everything he’s ever wanted. But the long-haired acrobat has an earldom and a fortune to claim.

Pen doesn’t want to live as any sort of man, least of all a nobleman. The thought of being wealthy, titled, and always in the public eye is horrifying. He likes his life now—his days on the trapeze, his nights with Mark. And he won’t be pushed into taking a title that would destroy his soul.

But there’s a killer stalking London’s foggy streets, and more lives than just Pen’s are at risk. Mark decides he must force the reluctant heir from music hall to manor house, to save Pen’s neck. Betrayed by the one man he thought he could trust, Pen never wants to see his lover again. But when the killer comes after him, Pen must find a way to forgive—or he might not live long enough for Mark to make amends.

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Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemoreWild Beauty, by Anna-Marie McLemore
Release Date: October 3, 2017

Natalie: “I am super stoked about Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore! A story with three generations of powerful women and the strength of their family bonds? Yes, please!”

Love grows such strange things.

For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.

The boy is a mystery to Estrella, the Nomeolvides girl who finds him, and to her family, but he’s even more a mystery to himself; he knows nothing more about who he is or where he came from than his first name. As Estrella tries to help Fel piece together his unknown past, La Pradera leads them to secrets as dangerous as they are magical in this stunning exploration of love, loss, and family.

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Sightlines by Santino HassellSightlines, by Santino Hassell
Series: The Community, Book #3
Release Date: October 9, 2017

Kristie: “When I started this series, I was excited. When I finished book one, I could not contain myself from wanting. I wanted more. More because when the series started, it introduced me to Chase. I had a feeling that I’d have to wait until book 3 to get his story, and wouldn’t you know, Hassell made me wait. And wait. And wait. Now that it is here I’m dying. The main story arch that binds the series together is going to be finished here. I’ll finally get to find all the answers to my questions. With that, I get to have the story I’ve wanted all along. Chase and Elijah… sweet sweet Elijah. I have the highest hopes for Sightlines and I’m positive that the wait will have been worth it. SO MUCH EXCITE!!! 

Chase Payne is a walking contradiction. He’s the most powerful psychic in the Community, but the least respected. He’s the son of the Community’s founder, but with his tattoo sleeves and abrasive attitude, he’s nothing like his charismatic family. No one knows what to make of him, which is how he wound up locked in a cell on the Farm yet again. But this time, the only man he’s ever loved is there too.

Elijah Estrella was used to being the sassy sidekick who fooled around with Chase for fun. But that was before he realized the Community wasn’t the haven he’d believed in and Chase was the only person who’d ever truly tried to protect him. Now they’re surrounded by people who want to turn them against their friends, and the only way out is to pretend the brainwashing works.

With Chase playing the role of a tyrant’s second-in-command, and Elijah acting like Chase’s mindless sex toy, they risk everything by plotting a daring escape. In the end, it’s only their psychic abilities, fueled by their growing love for each other, that will allow them to take the Community down once and for all.

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A Line in the Dark by Malinda LoA Line in the Dark, by Malinda Lo
Release Date: October 17, 2017

Mel: “I have yet to read a book with a female villain. I mean a real one, not the kind of does-bad-but-is-good-at-heart. That might not be desirable to everyone but, to me, equality means that, yes, a women is allowed to be evil. And smart about it, and maybe we like her despite it all. Although or maybe because she is not the nice guy (<<— and this right here shows that I am right; the nice woman? the nice girl? That is not even in our vocabulary). I have high hopes that Malinda Lo will give me this. The blurb sounds like it will. Fingers crossed it is so.”

The line between best friend and something more is a line always crossed in the dark.
 
Jess Wong is Angie Redmond’s best friend. And that’s the most important thing, even if Angie can’t see how Jess truly feels. Being the girl no one quite notices is OK with Jess anyway. If nobody notices her, she’s free to watch everyone else. But when Angie begins to fall for Margot Adams, a girl from the nearby boarding school, Jess can see it coming a mile away. Suddenly her powers of observation are more a curse than a gift. 
 
As Angie drags Jess further into Margot’s circle, Jess discovers more than her friend’s growing crush. Secrets and cruelty lie just beneath the carefree surface of this world of wealth and privilege, and when they come out, Jess knows Angie won’t be able to handle the consequences. 
 
When the inevitable darkness finally descends, Angie will need her best friend.
                                
“It doesn’t even matter that she probably doesn’t understand how much she means to me. It’s purer this way. She can take whatever she wants from me, whenever she wants it, because I’m her best friend.”
 
A Line in the Dark is a story of love, loyalty, and murder.

Top of the Stack

Off the Ice by Avon Gale & Piper VaughnOff the Ice, by Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn
Series: Hat Trick, Book #1
Release Date: October 30, 2017

DMac: “Off the Ice (Hat Trick #1) by Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn. I love [Avon’s] hockey books and I’m excited for this new series!”

Tristan Holt is nothing if not pragmatic. Despite a flourishing career as a defenseman for the Atlanta Venom, Tristan knows he can’t play hockey forever. One day he’ll retire—if an injury doesn’t force him to hang up his skates first. His backup plan? Finishing his business degree. But he doesn’t count on a very inappropriate attraction to his standoffish sociology professor, Sebastian Cruz.

Sebastian is on the bottom rung of the Sociology Department at Georgia State. He has his sights set on tenure, and he can’t afford to be distracted, especially not by a sexy student with a body straight out of Sebastian’s dreams. No matter how much Tristan tempts him, that’s one line Sebastian won’t cross. At least not until summer classes end. After that, everything is fair game.

But Sebastian lives loud and proud, and Tristan is terrified of being the first out player in the NHL. Neither of them can afford to risk their hearts when they can’t imagine a happily ever after. The problem is, unlike hockey, when it comes to love, there are no rules.

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Honorable Mentions

Cover Up (Skin Deep Inc. #3), by LA Witt, October 3
27 Hours, by Tristina Wright, October 3
The Tiger’s Daughter,  by K. Arsenault Rivera, October 3
The Long Past & Other Stories, by Ginn Hale, October 3
Hexslayer (Hexworld #3), by Jordan L. Hawk, October 6
Nocturne (Hours of the Night #2), by Irene Preston & Liv Rancourt, October 12
City of Betrayal (City of Spires #2), by Claudie Arseneault, October 22
Changing Colors (Seasons of Love #4), by Elyse Springer, October 23
Late in the Day, by Mary Calmes, October 31

Top of the Stack

Now it’s your turn:

What are you excited to read in October?

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