Happy December! I hope that you have a warm, happy book-filled holiday season! For me, I want to participate in a Christmas Book Flood, a tradition of book gift giving that started in Iceland during World War II when shipping gifts was restricted due to what could be imported into the country. So I want to give books as gifts this year and maybe, even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, you’ll want to as well! Here are some ideas of new releases you might want to give this month!
Witcha Gonna Do? by Avery Flynn
Even though we’re into December and far from the lure of Halloween romances, I’ll admit I’m intrigued about Avery Flynn’s witchy rom-com. Early reviews promise “hot as hell chemistry” and magic, so I’m excited to try this one out and possibly give as a gift to my romance loving friends this holiday season.
Synopsis: Could it possibly get any worse than having absolutely no magical abilities when you’re a member of the most powerful family of witches ever? It used to be that I’d say no, but then I keep getting set up on dates with Gil Connolly whose hotness is only matched by his ego. Seriously. I can’t stand him. Even if I also can’t stop thinking about him (specifically kissing him) but we’re going to pretend I never told you that part.
So yeah, my life isn’t the greatest right now, but then it goes straight to the absolute worst hell when I accidentally make my sister’s spell glitch and curse my whole family. And the only person who can help non-magical me break the spell? You guessed it. Gil the super hot jerk.
Now we have to work together to save my family and outmaneuver some evil-minded nefarious forces bent on world domination. Oh yeah, and we have to do all that while fighting against the attraction building between us because I may not be magical, but what’s happening between Gil and I sure feels like it.
Release Date: December 6, 2022, via Berkley. Order Here.
The Spice Master at Bistro Exotique by Samantah Vérant
A charming book set in a restaurant in Paris? A promised romance between two chefs? My foodie romantic heart is soaring in anticipation of this book. And with a cover as so beautifully decorated, I imagine that readers browsing bookstores this holiday season won’t be able to resist picking it up!
Synopsis: Kate Jenkins has finally achieved her lifelong dream: after years of studying to become a chef, and meticulous financial planning, she is just about to open her very own restaurant. Bistro Exotique is set to be the chicest spot in Paris, if Kate has anything to do with it – until it all goes wrong. Within a matter of days, a series of catastrophes derail Kate’s plans, and all her staff quits.
But just as Kate is down on her luck, she meets Garrance, the self-proclaimed Spice Master of Paris. And this chance encounter may be just the thing to jumpstart Kate’s new business.
Garrance establishes a partnership between Kate and her moody, yet totally sexy, son, who also happens to be a chef. Sparks fly in and out of the kitchen, and that’s before Garrance gifts Kate some of her herbs and spices, which seem to transport anyone who eats them, literally…. When Kate and her customers taste the dishes infused with Garrance’s spices, they are whisked away on their wildest fantasies. Will a bit of magic be enough to keep Bistro Exotique afloat?
Release Date: December 6, 2022, via Berkley. Order Here.
In It To Win It by Sharon C. Cooper
Sparks fly when two rival entrepreneurs (and exes) compete for the same real estate property. If you loved Set It Up, The Hating Game, or really just about anything with enemies-to-lovers or second chance romances, you’ll love this romance novel.
Synopsis: Spoiled, fickle, and prissy are only a few of the adjectives that have been used to describe Morgan Redford. Though she’s never had to worry about money, she’s determined to make a name for herself on her own terms. Her new venture won’t be an epic fail like her former professional cuddling service or the short-lived pet hotel. This time, through the nonprofit she cofounded, Morgan is doing something meaningful—helping teens who are aging out of foster care—and she’s got her eye on a property that could house these kids. But the competition is steep, and one of the bidders is someone she never expected. . . .
When real estate developer Drake Faulkner learns that his ex—the one who ghosted him years ago—is a potential buyer for the property his eccentric mentor is selling, his competitive streak amps up. No way is he letting her win the property he wants. Bitter? Yes. Petty? Probably. But his mentor has a stipulation: potential buyers must participate in an Ironman competition of sorts for the property. Drake refuses to play along with this ridiculous demand, until he discovers Morgan has signed up. If Little Miss Can’t Run a Block Without Gasping for Air is doing it, he will too. But as the gauntlet of games heats up and forces them to face the past, they are met with a pull that feels all too familiar.
Now, if only they could keep their eyes on the prize instead of on each other—but who’s to say they can’t do both?
Release Date: December 13, 2022, via Berkley. Order Here.
I Love You, Cockatoo! by Sarah Aspinall
Say “I Love You” to the little readers in your life with this adorably hilarious picture book! With its bright colors and silly, feel-good message, this is a book you might not mind reading again and again this holiday season.
Synopsis: I love you, Cockatoo! says Mama, Papa, and Aunt P. But little Cockatoo isn’t so sure. What about when he disturbs Mama’s morning bath, or wakes Papa up from a nap, or gets breakfast all over Aunt P’s clean kitchen floor? Some might consider Cockatoo a little bit naughty, but moms and dads will see a familiar concern: a need for reassuring love. Perfectly capturing the energy and humor of an active child, I Love You, Cockatoo is for families who seek to strengthen a child’s understanding of unconditional love through an entertaining and fun-to-read-aloud story.
Release Date: December 20, 2022, via Viking Books For Young Readers. Order Here.
The Lost Witch by Paige Crutcher
Time-traveling stories are so enchanting and a must-read topic for me. I love when a character finds herself out of time and has to acclimate to the customs and culture of a whole near time period. This one, about a witch who must work with her magical descendants to stop a siege on her small town, sounds delightful. And I can’t wait to listen to the audio version!
Synopsis: 1922. Brigid Heron is a powerful witch and healer in the seemingly lost, but charming small town of Evermore on a forgotten isle in Ireland. However, there is one thing that she longs for above all else: a child of her own. She is even willing to be seduced by the mysterious Luc Knightly, head of the Knightly coven, whose pull is potent and impossible to resist. When their child is born and falls ill, Brigid will risk anything to save her daughter-even tap into the forbidden magic of the Lough of Brionglóid. But when the wild magic takes her daughter from her, Brigid is swept away as well.
2022. Evermore is under siege. The witches of Knight have been using their chaos magic to widen the rift between the island and the Otherworld. Creatures from folklore prey on the villagers, consuming their very humanity. Brigid awakens in this world with no memory of how she traveled into the future, but she learns that she helped unleash this curse on Evermore. To seal the lough and stop the witches of Knight, she must work with her magical descendants, Ophelia and Finola. But the knowledge she seeks lies with Luc Knightly himself–mysterious, handsome, and powerful. To save Evermore, Brigid may have to lose everything once again.
Release Date: December 27, 2022, via St. Martin’s Griffin. Order Here.
Images Courtesy of St. Martin’s Griffin, Viking Books for Young Readers, and Berkley.