Here we are at the end of 2020 and I, for one, am ready to ring in 2021! That being said, 2020 was a F A B U L O U S year for books. I’m a few books away from my reading goal of 130 books and I am so excited to say that I read some amazing books by some of my favorite authors as well as a bunch of great debuts that make me so excited for what they have next.
Part of my job as Editorial Manager for Fresh Fiction means I get to find out about—and read—books months before they are out in the world. There are so many intriguing and innovative titles for us to enjoy… here are a few that I am particularly excited about!
SCANDAL IN THE VIP SUITE by Nadine Gonzalez
When a decadent suite at an exclusive Miami hotel is double-booked, a movie star and author decide to share the suite for the next few days until another room opens. While they spend time together, they discover there’s more to the other person than they initially thought. Then, they decide to work on a passion project together… while things turn passionate between them, too!
PERSEPHONE STATION by Stina Leicht
This dark and gritty space opera is unapologetically queer, rooted in feminism, and unexpectedly emotional. I was drawn in by the world-building–which takes a bit of time, but is truly worth it to understand this world–and had to know how these unexpected allies would figure out how to work together to beat an unfathomable common enemy and save the planet in the process.
A TASTE FOR LOVE by Jennifer Yen
When I think of this book, I think: the food from The Great British Baking Show + the situational hijinks from The Bachelorette + the push and pull of tradition from Crazy Rich Asians + high school drama. It was an absolute delight and I wanted to eat baked goods the entire time I was reading it. It’s honestly a delicious dream.
WILD RAIN by Beverley Jenkins
Can it be an anticipated books list without the new Beverly Jenkins? The heroine of this novel, Spring, has been one of my favorite characters of Ms. Bev’s ever since I saw her as a side character on the pages of TEMPEST. Also, the hero writes for a Black newspaper on the East coast traveling to Wyoming to write about Black doctors in the West, so there’s tons of history to learn about.
ACT YOUR AGE, EVE BROWN by Talia Hibbert
My reward for completing NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year was to read this book. Since that initial read over the weekend of Thanksgiving, I have read it again, and I will hope there’s a new Talia Hibbert novel to motivate me to write 50,000 words in one month every year. This is the third book in the Brown Sisters series, and Eve Brown might be my favorite sister yet. She’s a bit of a hot mess and somehow ends up working for Jacob, a starchy straight-laced B&B owner (after she hits him with her car). Shenanigans ensue!
WILD WOMEN AND THE BLUES by Denny S. Bryce
This is definitely my favorite cover of 2021 so far and the 1920s Chicago setting is both unusual and exciting. There’s a dual timeline aspect to this book as well, about a formidable woman who found herself and more than she bargained for in the tumultuous jazz scene of Chicago, rife with bootleggers, gangsters, and stolen dreams. . .
THE GIRL WITH STARS IN HER EYES by Xio Axelrod
Rock star romances are always tons of fun, and the fact that this is focused on an indie girl group is awesome. But the fact that there’s a second-chance romance between the lead guitarist and the band’s manager is the twist I didn’t know I needed.
THE INTIMACY EXPERIMENT by Rosie Danan
Rosie Dana’s THE ROOMMATE was perhaps my favorite debut of 2020, and this book is a wonderful follow-up. Everyone’s favorite porn star turned sex-positive startup co-founder wants to expand her business to empower people to embrace their sexuality. She partners up with a hot rabbi who wants to bring a younger demographic to his synagogue. What could possibly happen? 😉
I know, I know–this list is full of books that aren’t available yet! But here’s something to look forward to: the next Boozy Book Broads chat. This Friday, December 18 at 7pm CT/8pm ET, Melonie Johnson, Angelina M. Lopez, and yours truly will be chatting with Stacey Agdern about her new Hannukah romance, MIRACLES AND MENORAHS, holiday traditions, and having a spiked hot chocolate for the evening’s festivities! You can sign up for a (free) ticket for a reminder on LSA’s Eventbrite page, and the fun will be streamed live on the LSA YouTube page. Hope to see you there!
Fresh Fiction Editorial Manager Danielle Dresser is an aspiring author, an avid reader, lackluster-yet-mighty crafter, and accomplished TV binge-watcher. Once upon a time, she was a publisher publicist and continues to cultivate her love of books and reading by chatting with the best authors in the business. She lives in Chicagoland with her very own romance hero husband, darling daughter, and two tempestuous cats. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @dj_dresser.