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. Let’s nerd out about language, especially when it comes to cults and brainwashing.
The boys of Huaxia dream of pairing up with girls to pilot Chrysalises, giant transforming robots that can battle the mecha aliens that lurk beyond the Great Wall. It doesn’t matter that the girls often die from the mental strain.
When 18-year-old Zetian offers herself up as a concubine-pilot, it’s to assassinate the ace male pilot responsible for her sister’s death. But she gets her vengeance in a way nobody expected—she kills him through the psychic link between pilots and emerges from the cockpit unscathed. She is labeled an Iron Widow, a much-feared and much-silenced kind of female pilot who can sacrifice boys to power up Chrysalises instead.
To tame her unnerving yet invaluable mental strength, she is paired up with Li Shimin, the strongest and most controversial male pilot in Huaxia. But now that Zetian has had a taste of power, she will not cower so easily. She will miss no opportunity to leverage their combined might and infamy to survive attempt after attempt on her life, until she can figure out exactly why the pilot system works in its misogynist way—and stop more girls from being sacrificed.
Amanda: The author said on twitter that there’s a poly romance.
Elyse: The amount of love this book has been getting on Twitter makes me so excited.
Four stories. Four couples. Three years of real life after graduation…
And a surprise pregnancy.
Can you guess which couple is which?
Come for the drama, stay for the laughs! Catch up with your favorite Off-Campus characters as they navigate the changes that come with growing up and discover that big decisions can have big consequences…and big rewards.
Aarya: This is a terrible place to start the series (considering there are four “where are they now?” novellas). It’ll likely be fantastic fan service for folks who are caught up.
The Other Merlin
Channeling the modern humor of A Knight’s Tale , bestselling author Robyn Schneider creates a Camelot that becomes the ultimate teen rom-com hotspot in this ultra-fresh take on the Arthurian legend.
Welcome to the great kingdom of Camelot. Prince Arthur’s a depressed botanist who would rather marry a library than a princess, Lancelot’s been demoted to castle guard after a terrible misunderstanding, and nothing is going according to plan. Then Arthur accidentally pulls the sword from the stone (in his defense, he was drunk and mostly kidding), and now everyone’s convinced he’s some prophesied hero.
Emry Merlin is stuck in her small town. Her father, the legendary court wizard, disappeared years ago, and Emry’s been peddling theater tricks to make ends meet. When a royal messenger arrives summoning her far less talented twin brother to serve as Prince Arthur’s right-hand wizard, Emry is understandably upset. But after Emmett becomes indisposed thanks to a bad spell, Emry disguises herself as her brother and travels to the royal court to impersonate him until they can switch.
Studying magic at the castle is everything Emry hoped for. But life in King Uther’s court is full of scandals, lies, and backstabbing courtiers. What’s a casually bisexual teen wizard masquerading as her twin brother to do? Other than fall for the handsome prince, stir trouble with the foppish Lord Gawain, offend Princess Guinevere, and make herself indispensable to the future of Camelot?
When the truth comes out with disastrous consequences, Emry has to decide whether she’ll risk everything for the boy she loves, or give up her potential to become the greatest wizard Camelot has ever known.
Aarya: I read this arc on a whim and it’s one of my favorite books of the year. It’s so… weird and cool. Think Galavant mixed with A Knight’s Tale mixed with Song of the Lioness. The anachronisms are the point! The lack of fidelity to the source material might annoy some Arthurian purists, but The Other Merlin made me so happy (I devoured Avalon High and Gerald Morris’s books as a kid). The humor won’t work for everyone, so definitely read an excerpt first.
Under the Whispering Door
When a reaper comes to collect Wallace Price from his own funeral, Wallace suspects he really might be dead.
Instead of leading him directly to the afterlife, the reaper takes him to a small village. On the outskirts, off the path through the woods, tucked between mountains, is a particular tea shop, run by a man named Hugo. Hugo is the tea shop’s owner to locals and the ferryman to souls who need to cross over.
But Wallace isn’t ready to abandon the life he barely lived. With Hugo’s help he finally starts to learn about all the things he missed in life.
When the Manager, a curious and powerful being, arrives at the tea shop and gives Wallace one week to cross over, Wallace sets about living a lifetime in seven days.
Under the Whispering Door is a contemporary fantasy about a ghost who refuses to cross over and the ferryman he falls in love with.
Tara: Well, this just sounds adorable.
Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku, Vol. 5
After years of butting heads and petty disagreements, Hanako and Taro begin to realize that the next stage of their relationship may be the most challenging one yet. Naoya faces his own hurdles in trying to understand his feelings toward Ko, whose quest for personal growth has led her farther out of his reach. Fortunately, big brother Hirotaka has some insight to share on the topic, which may bring to light a new perspective of what Narumi means to him…
Susan: Wotakoi is full of nerdery and love of fandom, which means it’s basically my comfort food!
A Reckless Match
The first in a new regency romance series about two feuding families and reunited childhood enemies whose hatred turns to love.
Maddie Montgomery’s family is in debt, and her hope rests on the rival Davies clan missing their yearly “pledge of goodwill,” ceding the land that separates their estates. With Maddie’s teenage nemesis, Gryffud “Gryff” Davies, Earl of Powys, away, hope is in reach.
But then, Gryff shows up and is stunned that the tomboy he once teased is now a woman. When Gryff and Maddie discover contraband on their land, they realize it can benefit both families. But they’ve also uncovered a dangerous plot, and they need to work together to get out alive. Soon, their hatred for each other starts to feel more like attraction.
Kate Bateman brings crackling banter, steamy romance, and a dash of adventure into the first book in the Ruthless Rivals series.
Amanda: I’m really loving Kate Bateman’s books. Most of them have been B range grades or higher for me personally.
A lush gothic fantasy about monsters and magic, set on the banks of a cursed lake. Perfect for fans of Naomi Novik and Brigid Kemmerer.
There are monsters in the world.
When Violeta Graceling arrives at haunted Lakesedge estate, she expects to find a monster. She knows the terrifying rumors about Rowan Sylvanan, who drowned his entire family when he was a boy. But neither the estate nor the monster are what they seem.
There are monsters in the woods.
As Leta falls for Rowan, she discovers he is bound to the Lord Under, the sinister death god lurking in the black waters of the lake. A creature to whom Leta is inexplicably drawn…
There’s a monster in the shadows, and now it knows my name.
Now, to save Rowan—and herself—Leta must confront the darkness in her past, including unraveling the mystery of her connection to the Lord Under.
Amanda: Is this a monster smooching book just for me?!
Light from Uncommon Stars
Good Omens meets The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet in this defiantly joyful adventure set in California’s San Gabriel Valley, with cursed violins, Faustian bargains, and queer alien courtship over fresh-made donuts.
Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six.
When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka’s ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. She’s found her final candidate.
But in a donut shop off a bustling highway in the San Gabriel Valley, Shizuka meets Lan Tran, retired starship captain, interstellar refugee, and mother of four. Shizuka doesn’t have time for crushes or coffee dates, what with her very soul on the line, but Lan’s kind smile and eyes like stars might just redefine a soul’s worth. And maybe something as small as a warm donut is powerful enough to break a curse as vast as the California coastline.
As the lives of these three women become entangled by chance and fate, a story of magic, identity, curses, and hope begins, and a family worth crossing the universe for is found.
Amanda: Look, it’s compared to both Becky Chambers and Good Omens. I’m sold. Warning, though, as Sarah said there is an assault against a trans character in this book and it’s very painful to read.
Sarah: Queer found family and donuts. I’m in!
Tara: I have to second Sarah on this one. I hope it gives all the squishy good feels that the first Wayfarer book gave me.
The Lights on Knockbridge Lane
Can one man’s crowded, messy life fill another man’s empty heart?
Raising a family was always Adam Mills’ dream, although solo parenting and moving back to tiny Garnet Run certainly were not. After a messy breakup, Adam is doing his best to give his young daughter the life she deserves—including accepting help from their new, reclusive neighbor to fulfill her Christmas wish.
Though the little house may not have “the most lights ever,” the Mills home begins to brighten as handsome Wes Mobray spends more time there and slowly sheds his protective layers. But when the eye-catching house ends up in the news, Wes has to make a choice: hide from the darkness of his unusual past or embrace the light of a future—and a family—with Adam.
From Harlequin Special Edition: Believe in love. Overcome obstacles. Find happiness.
Aarya: I’ve heard that the hero’s pets (tarantulas and other critters) feature heavily, so be warned if that’s not your jam.
Seducing the Sorcerer
Homeless and jobless, Fenn Todd has nearly run out of hope. All he has left is his longing for horses and the strength of his own two hands. But when he’s cheated into accepting a very ugly sackcloth horse, he’s catapulted into a world of magic, politics and desire.
Fenn’s invited to stay at the black tower, home of the most terrifying man in the realm: Morgrim, the court sorcerer. Morgrim has a reputation as a scheming villain, but he seems surprisingly charming—and sexy—and Fenn falls hard for him.
However, nothing is as it seems and everyone at the tower is lying about something. Beset by evil hexes, violent political intrigue and a horse that eats eiderdowns, Fenn must make the hardest choices of his life.
Can a plain man like Fenn ever find true love with a scheming sorcerer?
Aarya: Welch’s Salt Magic, Skin Magic is one of my favorite PNR/historical romances ever. I freaked out after seeing the announcement for the upcoming book.