The new year is off to a great start thanks to lots of great new releases. Check out these books that were published in January 2023.
Delilah always keeps her messy, gooey insides hidden behind a wall of shrugs and yeah, whatevers. She goes with the flow—which is how she ends up singing in her friends’ punk band as a favor, even though she’d prefer to hide at the merch table.
Reggie is a D&D Dungeon Master and self-declared Blerd. He spends his free time leading quests and writing essays critiquing the game under a pseudonym, keeping it all under wraps from his disapproving family.
These two, who have practically nothing in common, meet for the first time on New Year’s Eve. And then again on Valentine’s Day. And then again on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s almost like the universe is pushing them together for a reason.
Delilah wishes she were more like Reggie—open about what she likes and who she is, even if it’s not cool. Except . . . it’s all a front. Reggie is just role-playing someone confident. The kind of guy who could be with a girl like Delilah.
As their holiday meetings continue, the two begin to fall for each other. But what happens once they realize they’ve each fallen for a version of the other that doesn’t really exist?
The Urban Promise Prep School vows to turn boys into men. As students, J.B., Ramón, and Trey are forced to follow the prestigious “program’s” strict rules. Extreme discipline, they’ve been told, is what it takes to be college bound, to avoid the fates of many men in their neighborhoods. This, the Principal Moore Method, supposedly saves lives.
But when Moore ends up murdered and the cops come sniffing around, the trio emerges as the case’s prime suspects. With all three maintaining their innocence, they must band together to track down the real killer before they are arrested. But is the true culprit hiding among them?
She can’t resist the temptation of her brother’s forbidden best friend in this installment of The Eddington Heirs series from Zuri Day.
“No lights. Keep on your mask. Take off your clothes.”
Jake Eddington isn’t the type to be tied down—until he meets her at a masquerade party. But then, the best night of his life becomes the worst when their masks come off. His temptress is none other than Sasha McDowell—his best friend’s sister. The woman Jake’s supposed to protect!
Away from her controlling family, Sasha’s determined to explore her wild side. But that spectacular night with Jake is unexpectedly complicated, for his business and her reputation. Yet their connection can’t be ignored—even if their tryst ignites a scandal…
Will two little matchmakers give them a second chance?
Jillian Adams and Miles Montgomery grew up the best of friends and eventually became lovers—until Jillian got a breakup speech instead of a proposal! Jillian left town, and Miles married—and divorced. Then a chance reunion in Aspen Creek brings them face-to-face, along with their children. As their kids become inseparable, Miles and Jillian struggle to overcome the mistakes of their past. And when Miles asks Jillian to be his valentine—for real—she’ll have to decide whether she can trust her love and her daughter with the man who had stolen her heart so long ago…
Nova Albright, the first Black homecoming queen at Lovett High, is dead. Murdered the night of her coronation, her body found the next morning in the old slave cemetery she spent her weekends rehabilitating.
Tinsley McArthur was supposed to be queen. Not only is she beautiful, wealthy, and white, it’s her legacy—her grandmother, her mother, and even her sister wore the crown before her. Everyone in Lovett knows Tinsley would do anything to carry on the McArthur tradition.
No one is more certain of that than Duchess Simmons, Nova’s best friend. Duchess’s father is the first Black police captain in Lovett. For Duchess, Nova’s crown was more than just a win for Nova. It was a win for all the Black kids. Now her best friend is dead, and her father won’t face the fact that the main suspect is right in front of him. Duchess is convinced that Tinsley killed Nova—and that Tinsley is privileged enough to think she can get away with it. But Duchess’s father seems to be doing what he always does: fall behind the blue line. Which means that the white girl is going to walk.
Duchess is determined to prove Tinsley’s guilt. And to do that, she’ll have to get close to her.
But Tinsley has an agenda, too.
Everyone loved Nova. And sometimes, love is exactly what gets you killed.
Mahalia Harris wants.
She wants a big Sweet Sixteen like her best friend, Naomi.
She wants the super-cute new girl Siobhan to like her back.
She wants a break from worrying—about money, snide remarks from white classmates, pitying looks from church ladies . . . all of it.
Then inspiration strikes: It’s too late for a Sweet Sixteen, but what if she had a coming-out party? A singing, dancing, rainbow-cake-eating celebration of queerness on her own terms.
The idea lights a fire beneath her, and soon Mahalia is scrimping and saving, taking on extra hours at her afterschool job, trying on dresses, and awkwardly flirting with Siobhan, all in preparation for the coming out of her dreams. But it’s not long before she’s buried in a mountain of bills, unfinished schoolwork, and enough drama to make her English lit teacher blush. With all the responsibility on her shoulders, will Mahalia’s party be over before it’s even begun?
Love is a dish best served unconditionally
What would you do if you had six months left to live? Initially Kellen Turner plans to live as normally as possible then go peacefully into the night. But when his longtime crush waitress Wendy Bell finally works up the nerve to ask him out, he realizes that he just may have something to live and fight for after all.
It’s time for me to confess. I, Indigo Monroe, have been keeping a naughty secret about Odysseus Hood. He may be my youngest brother’s best friend, but facts are facts. He once rocked my world in a way I never saw coming. Not only have the men in his family always been on my do-not-date list, but he’s too young for me and way too tempting. I can never go there with him again.
Until I do.
And now, I’m hooked.
This Black Lush short story is a quick flame, fast burn, best friends older sister kind of love that’s part of Naughty Season series. It can be read as a standalone. Get ready! Naughty Season is upon us.
Bradley Graeme is pretty much perfect. He’s a star football player, manages his OCD well (enough), and comes out on top in all his classes . . . except the ones he shares with his ex-best friend, Celine.
Celine Bangura is conspiracy-theory-obsessed. Social media followers eat up her takes on everything from UFOs to holiday overconsumption—yet, she’s still not cool enough for the popular kids’ table. Which is why Brad abandoned her for the in-crowd years ago. (At least, that’s how Celine sees it.)
These days, there’s nothing between them other than petty insults and academic rivalry. So when Celine signs up for a survival course in the woods, she’s surprised to find Brad right beside her.
Forced to work as a team for the chance to win a grand prize, these two teens must trudge through not just mud and dirt but their messy past. And as this adventure brings them closer together, they begin to remember the good bits of their history. But has too much time passed . . . or just enough to spark a whole new kind of relationship?
Christina C. Jones
After a rejection from a long-time crush throws him off his game, Brandon Jensen decides that maybe it’s time to start a new one, with the beautiful Nadia Clark on his team.
She’s just right for what he has in mind. Quiet and laid back, while still being undeniably energetic and appealing. But there’s a reason behind Nadia’s reserved nature. She’s starting over, and while something casual with Brandon seems like a nice distraction…it’s just that. A distraction.
Neither of them went into this thing—whatever it is—looking for the type of unspoken connection that they find. Nadia is just trying to a build a life, and Brandon isn’t interested in chasing a commitment…until it starts to slip away.
Christina C. Jones
After her latest ill-fated attempt to find a forever relationship of her own, Tori Kennedy is content with connecting the dots for others, bringing them together in pursuit of lifetime love. Fresh off of the demise of her marriage, she decides to take advantage of an opportunity to do something a little—okay, a lot—crazy, and heavily fueled by an overload of emotions.
Thinking that her impulsive decision and its disastrous results are behind her, Tori moves forward with her pursuit of a happily single existence, until her best friend contacts her with a request that places a constant reminder in her life: Avery.
Avery Anderson is the epitome of “the kind of guy your momma warned you about.” Handsome, successful, charming…and not at all interested in being roped into anything that resembles love. Tori ending up in his bed doesn’t surprise him at all—it’s just what he does—but his feelings afterwards? That’s another story. An ultimatum placed on him by his little sister puts him back in arm’s reach of the pretty matchmaker that he can’t get off of his mind, but she’s not taking the bait this time.
Tori just wants to be rid of him so that she can move on with her life, and it’s not Avery’s style to chase someone who doesn’t want to be caught. When both parties are content to let the spark flicker out, can love—or something like that—still lead the way to forever?
After a public and very messy divorce nearly drained his bank account, Cole Howard is too focused on trying to save his basketball career to even think about shooting his shot outside of the arena, especially with women like his uptight neighbor, Bella Barnes. Despite being beautiful and intelligent, she’s no stranger to drama, one thing he’s desperate to avoid.
His only escape is an online culinary covert persona he uses to share his passion for all things food with a stranger who’s only interested in what he can do in the kitchen and not on the court.
After having a problematic entanglement with a very famous and still married celebrity aired out on a nationally syndicated radio show, being unceremoniously fired, and moving in with her sister, Bellamy Barnes is too focused on trying to get her life back together to even think about getting herself entangled with another emotionally unavailable man. This especially includes men like her sister’s annoying neighbor, Cole Howard.
Despite being gorgeous and charming– though she wishes he would stop calling her Bella because he knows she hates it—he’s exactly the kind of rich, thinks-he’s-God’s-gift to women player (on and off the court) she’d spent her entire life avoiding.
Her only refuge is visually indulging in the culinary masterpieces cooked up by her online crush and confidante.
Cole and Bellamy have sworn off love IRL but on Beyoncé’s internet, cupid plays by a different set of rules.
Kristen R. Lee
B’onca always knew how to get by. And then her daughter is born. She wouldn’t trade Mia for anything, but there is never enough cash to go around. When their gentrifying Memphis neighborhood results in higher prices and then an eviction notice, B’onca’s already fragile world spirals. Desperate to make things right, B’onca forges a risky plan to help pay the bills. But one wrong move could cost B’onca—and her family—everything.
Sworn off love, they’ll soon discover
As valentines, they’re into each other!
When radio personalities Selena Cartwright and Trent Moon share their Valentine’s Day trauma stories and why they’ve sworn off love, the gala celebrating singlehood is born! Planning the event has Trent and Selena seeing—and wanting—each other more than just professionally. But if they’re found out, it could ruin their reputations and careers. As the gala approaches, can they overcome past heartache and possibly discover that Trent + Selena = True Love 4-Ever?
The Davenports are one of the few Black families of immense wealth and status in a changing United States, their fortune made through the entrepreneurship of William Davenport, a formerly enslaved man who founded the Davenport Carriage Company years ago. Now it’s 1910, and the Davenports live surrounded by servants, crystal chandeliers, and endless parties, finding their way and finding love—even where they’re not supposed to.
There is Olivia, the beautiful elder Davenport daughter, ready to do her duty by getting married . . . until she meets the charismatic civil rights leader Washington DeWight and sparks fly. The younger daughter, Helen, is more interested in fixing cars than falling in love—unless it’s with her sister’s suitor. Amy-Rose, the childhood friend turned maid to the Davenport sisters, dreams of opening her own business—and marrying the one man she could never be with, Olivia and Helen’s brother, John. But Olivia’s best friend, Ruby, also has her sights set on John Davenport, though she can’t seem to keep his interest . . . until family pressure has her scheming to win his heart, just as someone else wins hers.
Little Caribbean, Brooklyn, New York: Lyndsay Murray is opening Spice Isle Bakery with her family, and it’s everything she’s ever wanted. The West Indian bakery is her way to give back to the community she loves, stay connected to her Grenadian roots, and work side-by-side with her family. The only thing getting a rise out of Lyndsay is Claudio Fabrizi, a disgruntled fellow bakery owner who does not want any competition.
On opening day, he comes into the bakery threatening to shut them down. Fed up, Lyndsay takes him to task in front of what seems to be the whole neighborhood. So when Claudio turns up dead a day later—murdered—Lyndsay is unfortunately the prime suspect. To get the scent of suspicion off her and her bakery, Lyndsay has to prove she’s innocent—under the watchful eyes of her overprotective brother, anxious parents, and meddlesome extended family—what could go wrong?
Whimsy is back in the hospital for treatment of clinical depression. When she meets a boy named Faerry, she recognizes they both have magic in the marrow of their bones. And when Faerry and his family move to the same street, the two start to realize that their lifelines may have twined and untwined many times before.
They are both terrified of the forest at the end of Marsh Creek Lane.
The Forest whispers to Whimsy. The Forest might hold the answers to the part of Faerry he feels is missing. They discover the Forest holds monsters, fairy tales, and pain that they have both been running from for 11 years.
Sienna Ingram is determined to marry a man with money. Living in Forest Hills her entire life and planning upscale events for the rich and famous residents have exposed her to the best that money can buy. Her older sisters have all married wealthy Bennett men. She’s not interested in becoming another Bennett wife, but she does want one of Forest Hills richest citizens.
Mason Jones has settled in Forest Hills invested money from his inheritance in a new business venture. No one knows he’s a Bennett including Sienna, the woman who captured his attention and made him plant roots. When he hires her to plan a party, forcing proximity to work with him, he doesn’t expect her to steal his heart and break shortly after.
Sienna has fallen for him too, but he’s not wealthy, so she quickly buries her feelings for him. Mason is determined to win her over, but will it be too late for them once he realizes why she rejected him in the first place?
Stephanie Nicole Norris
You met them in the Valentine and Rose series. In this prelude, I will formally introduce you to Malik Anthony Clark, Tristian Neil Clark, and Langston Jamal Clark.
*You met Derek James Clark, who married a Rose in Her Naughty Suitor.*
Stephanie Nicole Norris
As an emerging star with her girl group Genesis Rising, lead singer Tina Braddon’s career elevates at every turn. She has the best of friends and her close family she cherishes more than anything. Beautiful, healthy, and a lover at heart, Tina absorbs all the goodness life has to offer–including her healthy competitiveness to win. But the man of her dreams is the one person who remains out of her reach. He’s here today and gone tomorrow, and Tina can’t help but wonder if it’s for the best.
CIA operative Malik Anthony Clark has a jones in his bones for the stunning lead singer of Genesis Rising. But his top secret missions keep him in the shadows—only able to watch her from afar while longing for her like a figment of his imagination. However, when an opportunity arises for Malik to give Tina his undivided attention, Malik never looks back, taking a chance on love that he hopes will last an eternity.
It’s Saturday, past midnight, and thick fog rolls in from the river like smoke. Link Williams is standing on the dock when he hears quick footsteps approaching, and the gasp of a woman too terrified to scream. After chasing off her pursuer, he takes the woman to a nearby bar to calm her nerves, and as they enter, it’s as if the oxygen has left the room: they, and the other patrons, see in the dim light that he’s Black and she’s white.
Link is a brilliant Dartmouth graduate, former athlete and soldier who, because of the lack of opportunities available to him, tends bar; Camilo is a wealthy married woman dissatisfied with and bored of her life of privilege. Thrown together by a chance encounter, both Link and Camilo secretly cross the town’s racial divide, defying the social prejudices of their times.
Cameron Carson, member of the Geeks and Nerds United (GANU) club, has been secretly hooking up with student council president, cheerleader, theater enthusiast, and all-around queen bee Karla Ortega since the summer. The one problem—what was meant to be a summer fling between coffee shop coworkers has now evolved into a clandestine senior-year entanglement, where Karla isn’t intending on blending their friend groups anytime soon, or at all.
Enter Mackenzie Briggs, who isn’t afraid to be herself or wear her heart on her sleeve. When Cameron finds himself unexpectedly bonding with Mackenzie and repeatedly snubbed in public by Karla, he starts to wonder who he can truly consider a friend and who might have the potential to become more…
Clean Slate Series: With the New Year comes hope for a better one. A clean slate, if you will, to leave the past behind and start fresh. For these characters, that’s exactly what they intend to do. They’re not running away; they’re running toward something new.♥
♥♥♥Carlie Rose Long is in need of a clean slate…
Left behind to carry on with life after losing her husband, Felton, Carlie is drowning.
Losing the will to live, Carlie finds letters from Felton with specific instructions.
These letters will send Carlie on a journey that leads her into the arms of Hunter Shaw.
And so is Hunter Shaw.♥♥♥
Hunter drops off the radar after the love of his life dies by moving to the island where they met.
His plan is to mend his heart and learn to live again; But love was never in the plan.
When he learns of Felton’s death, he remembers his vow to his friend. Never open the two letters unless he dies, and one with Carlie Rose was in his presence.
Will this scavenger hunt present both Carlie and Hunter with a clean slate? Or will beginning again be too painful?
The bond between two best friends is put to the test when one of them gets pregnant in this contemporary teen novel inspired by MTV’s iconic reality show.
Erykah was looking forward to junior year at East Prep High. She has a cute boyfriend, gets good grades, and has the best bestie. Money is tight, though that’s nothing new in her world. But everything changes when she gets pregnant. Having a baby at sixteen was definitely not part of the plan.
Kelly’s plan was to dominate junior year—grade-wise and on the basketball court—and eventually get an athletic scholarship. It did not include helping her best friend through a pregnancy. But that’s what best friends do, right? Besides, Kelly has every intention of being a good auntie.
As the two girls navigate the pregnancy, they’ll learn some harsh realities about the world and be forced to make some huge decisions. They’ll also discover a deep reserve of strength and compassion…for each other and themselves.
Seneca Roberts is a man to approach with caution. He’s from the streets, and that’s the only way he knows to be until he is forced to be different. No other woman can control him like Kaysyn Anderson, and he is smitten from their first encounter. The moment she steps into his life emotionally, something inside of him changes. He no longer craves various women. He only wants one… her.
Life has taken a toll on Kaysyn Anderson. She’s experienced the upheaval and is doing her best to recover from the trauma. Her heart is in turmoil, and she doesn’t know which way to turn. At one moment it’s pulling her one way, and the next it’s pulling her the other. Both directions seem to be toxic to her well-being, but there is one that she can’t seem to resist. Seneca Roberts. He’s who her body craves and who her heart wants.
Seneca’s lifestyle is a determining factor in his relationship status, and he refuses to change who he is until he realizes what he could miss out on. Kaysyn is battling the risk of pursuing something more with him because of what and who she perceives him to be. Can they come to a common ground to get what they both long for, or will any effort toward a relationship be a waste of time?
Five years ago, Orlando Duncan created the perfect drug in HEAT. It made the Duncans more than two hundred and fifty million dollars and was on its way to making them billionaires. However, they abruptly stopped manufacturing the drug when it was proven to cause cancer in rats. Yes, even as drug distributors, they still had a moral compass, placing lives over profit despite the overwhelming demand.
When Orlando is awakened by an alarm in his old lab, he discovers that not only have all his computers, equipment, and notes been stolen, but the robbers have also taken over a million tabs of HEAT that he’d left behind for future experiments—tabs that he had sworn to his family he would destroy.
Dr. Brandi Richardson is one of the most brilliant research chemists in the world, but her propensity for cutting corners led to her firing from both Dow Chemicals and Dupont. She’s now working at CVS as a clerk, but things are about to change for her in a big way.
Billionaire Alexander Cora is known as the Moor by business associates and enemies. His company, Cora International, is a publicly traded EU defense contractor. It is also a front for one of the largest weapons, drugs, and illegal contraband smuggling rings in the world. For some reason, he has set his sights on the Duncan family. That can’t be good, because Alexander plays for keeps, and he has not been known to lose.
Niles Monroe, the handsome hit man and Paris Duncan’s one true love, is back from the dead, and it’s only a matter of time before he comes looking for her.
These rich and powerful people are on a collision course. When the dust settles, who will still be alive, and who will be on top?
The Breakfast Club meets Can’t Hardly Wait with an unforgettable ensemble cast in another swoony YA contemporary from award-winning author Julian Winters!
Seventeen-year-old Theo Wright has it all figured out. His plan (well, more like his dad’s plan) is a foolproof strategy that involves exceling at his magnet school, getting scouted by college recruiters, and going to Duke on athletic scholarship. But for now, all Theo wants is a perfect prom night. After his best friend Jay dares Theo to prompose to his crush at Chloe Campbell’s party, Theo’s ready to throw caution to the wind and take his chances.
But when the promposal goes epically wrong, Theo seeks refuge in an empty bedroom while the party rages on downstairs. Having an existential crisis about who he really is with and without his so-called best friend wasn’t on tonight’s agenda. Though, as the night goes on, Theo finds he’s not as alone as he thinks when, one by one, new classmates join him to avoid who they’re supposed be outside the bedroom door. Among them, a familiar acquaintance, a quiet outsider, an old friend, and a new flame . . .