Staff Picks by Tag

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Even Though I Knew the End By C. L. Polk Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781250849458
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Tordotcom - November 8th, 2022

This novella went in directions I didn't see coming.

Part sapphic love story, part hardboiled detective crime novel, CL Polk imbues 1940s Chicago with magic and intrigue. I want more of this world and I'm also wholly satisfied. 

 


Review by Danielle

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Alone with You in the Ether: A Love Story By Olivie Blake Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250888167
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Tor Books - November 29th, 2022

We often hear that we must love ourselves before we can be loved by someone else. In this character-driven, unconventional romance, Regan and Aldo challenge the idea that a person dealing with mental illness or trauma must become completely healed and whole before pursuing a healthy relationship. They quickly turn from strangers into each other's obsessions, and struggle to find ways to love well while not always being well. It is ultimately a love story, a very messy and beautiful one that provokes conversation and introspection in equal measure.


Review by Jess

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Lore Olympus: Volume One By Rachel Smythe Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780593356074
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Random House Worlds - November 2nd, 2021

I'd seen how popular this series was online for years, and I'm so mad I didn't read it sooner! When I finally sat down to read it, I stayed up till 5am, and ended up reading 4+ years of content in a 48-hour period. Perfect for any Greek mythology fans, this series is a romantic retelling of Hades and Persephone. It has the most beautiful art, heart-wrenching twists, and the yearning is off the charts. I cried, laughed, squealed, and screamed. READ IT!!!

Content Warning from the author: Lore Olympus regularly deals with themes of physical and mental abuse, sexual trauma, and toxic relationships. Some of the interactions in this series may be distressing for some readers. Please exercise discretion, and seek out the support of others if you require it.


Review by Mia

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The Dead Romantics By Ashley Poston Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593336489
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Berkley - June 28th, 2022

Think "While You Were Sleeping"... but replace the coziness of Christmas with the spookiness of fall; finding a new family with putting an old one back together; a fake engagement with death itself. 

 Never seen that movie? Then pick this book up just for the buckets of yearning and emotional growth! 

 


Review by Katelynn

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Kiss Her Once for Me: A Novel By Alison Cochrun Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781982191139
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Atria Books - November 1st, 2022

This is not a "read for the holidays" romance. This is a "read anytime you need heartwarming, queer, neurodiverse, steamy romance where you end up rooting for every. single. character. romance". I didn't know I liked marriage of convenience tropes, but Ellie and Andrew had conflicts and fears that made all the implausible, plausible. Add in some snow magic and wild familial dynamics -- this book is just brimming with delights.


Review by Danielle

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The Charm Offensive: A Novel By Alison Cochrun Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781982170714
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Atria Books - September 7th, 2021

This ALMOST made me want to watch reality dating shows but something tells me I'll be disappointed after reading this. It's quite sweet and, as you can imagine, quite charming. Charlie and Dev are both sweethearts in their own ways, with a handful of strong women surrounding them. If you're looking for a queer love story shining a light on the impact of mental illness in relationships and the everyday, look no further! 


Review by Sofia B.

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Out of the Blue By Jason June Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780063015203
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: HarperTeen - May 31st, 2022

I'm not much of a YA reader, I couldn't say they last time I read one. That said, I very much so enjoyed this! A tender, sweet and often times hilarious story of young queer love. I recommend this to anyone looking for a light, heartwarming read to sit in the sun with.


Review by Zack

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The Undertaking of Hart and Mercy By Megan Bannen Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780316394215
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Orbit - August 23rd, 2022

Is a Fantasy? A Romance? Maybe a western? A treatise on death and dying? A manual for grief? What if I told you it's all these things? It's You've Got Mail meets the Walking Dead meets Justified. 

I'll wait while you get your wallet. 

Sure it sounds silly, but man, does Megan Bannen sell it, with gorgeous world building, witty and charming dialogue, and not a little bit of steam. I laughed, and cried. Like ugly cried. Hands down my favorite fantasy romance of the year. 


Review by Erin

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The Roughest Draft By Emily Wibberley, Austin Siegemund-Broka Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780593201930
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Berkley - January 25th, 2022

I wanted to be in the room, inside the story, while writing partners-turned-adversaries Katrina and Nathan write their next novel. The tension is excruciating and captivating. You don't know what broke up their partnership but you learn the rumors. You discover, slowly, their history. The writing is propulsive and cinematic.

If you want the emotional turmoil of a Sally Rooney novel paired with the satisfying ending of an Emily Henry romance, The Roughest Draft should be your next read. 


Review by Danielle

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Love on the Brain By Ali Hazelwood Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780593336847
Availability: On our shelves now at one or more of our stores
Published: Berkley - August 23rd, 2022

Hazelwood's sophomore novel is an absolute delight! Nerdy STEM jokes abound, as do jabs at academia and higher education. Readers, like me, who aren't brain or rocket scientists will grasp the scope of the BLINK project which forces Bee to work with her grad school nemesis, Levi.

Love on the Brain stole my breath and, when I caught it, had me giggling at cat puns and facts about human remains. The tension, the conflict, the stakes, the resolution--all of it shines, no, *glitters*.  So, what would Marie Curie do? Buy this book. From this independent bookstore, hopefully. And read it while basking in a tub of radium, probably. 


Review by Danielle

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