Books of the Month January 2023
Whether your new years’ resolution was to start reading, read more, or catch up on your backlog, there’s been no shortage of great books to choose from. From romance to fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, and everything in between, here are the books that kept our readers hooked the most during January 2023.
by Nina Lane
Arouse is the first book in The Spiral Series by Nina Lane. The story follows a married couple, Dean and Olivia, who has been married for three years. The two met when Olivia was a quiet college girl hiding from a tormented past and Dean an enigmatic professor with demons he couldn’t outrun. Despite this hot and reckless start to their relationship, they managed to make it work. However, cracks begin to form when one discovers the other has been keeping something from them.
Best Action & Adventure
by Wayne Stinnett
Fallen Out kicks off the Caribbean Adventure series of books by Wayne Stinnett. The protagonist, Jesse McDermitt, is at a loss about what to do with the rest of his life after leaving the Marine Corps. Since his specialty was killing people from a mile away, he knows it is a skill that isn’t precisely transferable to civilian life. Fortunately, he also knows his way around boats, which leads him to start a part-time charter business. Unfortunately, while everything goes smoothly at first, Jesse encounters some unsavory characters who are up to no good. When the true extent of their dirty deeds becomes apparent, Jesse intervenes only to become the target of someone seeking revenge on him.
Best Mystery & Thriller
Blood in the Bayou
by C. M. Sutter
Blood in the Bayou is the first book in the FBI Agent Jade Monroe Live or Die series by C. M. Sutter. The story sees Jade Monroe take on her first assignment since her promotion to SSA status in the Serial Crimes Unit of the FBI. Along with her new partner, Lorenzo DeLeon, Jade is tasked with investigating some disturbing discoveries that have been made in southern Louisiana. While the locals are not very happy with outsiders poking about, Jade enlists the assistance of a local hunter as a go-between. But, unfortunately, Jade might find herself being the hunted instead of the hunter after a bone-chilling blindside.
Best Children’s Book
by Jyoti Gupta
Different DIfferenter by Jyoti Gupta is a beautifully-illustrated activity book that takes on the challenging topic of everyday skin color consciousness. It is written in an easy-to-understand manner that is great for children. At the same time, the topics range from biology about skin to culturally-related aspects, colorism’s social impact, and solutions. Different Differenter is aimed at children aged 3 to 8 and can be used to set the context for self-awareness, color, discrimination, identity, and other hard conversations.
Best Young Adult
Falling for the First Time
by Jordan Ford
Falling for the First Time is a collection of seven full-length young adult romance novels by Jordan Ford. As the title of the collection suggests, each of the couples falls in love for the first time. However, despite the shared theme, there is still plenty of variety with everything from forbidden love, enemies-to-lovers, friends-to-romance, protective book boyfriends, and much more on offer.
The Gifts of Pandora
by Matt Larkin
The Gifts of Pandora is the first book in the Tapestry of Fate series by Matt Larkin. It is a retelling of Pandora’s myth set in the last days of the Silver Age. As the tyrant god Zeus takes whatever and whomever he wants with impunity Pandora flees with the Titan Prometheus. She finds a friendship she never imagined possible, but unfortunately, Zeus is not done with Prometheus either. When Zeus binds Prometheus, Pandora swears to use her own considerable gifts to bring the tyrant god down and save her one true companion.
Best Historical Fiction
by Yael Politis
Olivia, Mourning is the first book in the Olivia series by Yael Politis. It is set in 1841, where a seventeen-year-old girl named Olivia wants the 80 acres in far-off Michigan that her father left to whichever of his offspring stakes a claim. She plans to work on the farm with her childhood friend, Mourning Free, who is the orphaned son of runaway slaves. Oliva has complete trust in Mourning as he knows how to work a farm, but the time period means it will not be an easy task for either of them.
Best Literary Fiction
The Gift at Sugar Sand Inn
by Leigh Duncan
The Gift at Sugar Sand Inn is the first book in the Sugar Sand Beach series by Leigh Duncan. The protagonist, Michelle, is a forty-five-year-old with a husband who loves her, two children on the fast track to success, a beautiful home, and three of the best friends a girl could ever want. However, her future looks a lot bleaker after the sudden death of her husband, which forces her to sell their forever home. Thankfully, a fresh opportunity for life, love, and happiness turns up after an unexpected inheritance leads Michelle to Sugar Sand Beach.
Best Science Fiction
The Black Heart of the Station
by Jay Allan Storey
The Black Heart of the Station is the first book in the Black Heart series by Jay Allan Storey. The protagonist is a teenager named Josh Driscoll, a resident of The Station, a city buried beneath the surface of a frozen, lifeless earth. Although the origins of The Station are lost in the mists of time, Josh is determined to figure out how it got there. In his attempt to find answers, he steals a space suit and escapes to the surface to explore. As punishment, Josh is forcibly enrolled as a novice monk at the Station’s resident monastery, but as he is drawn into the monastery’s ancient texts, he makes some startling discoveries.
by Robyn Peterman
Fashionably Dead is the first book in the Hot Damned series by Robyn Peterman. The protagonist, Astrid, attempts to quit smoking only to end up as a “Vampyre.” Unfortunately, while being undead has plenty of perks, Astrid is also stuck with an obscenely profane Guardian Angel, an attraction to a killer rogue Vampyre, and other Vampyres who think she’s some sort of Chosen One.
Slow Down Time
by Jean Paul Zogby
Slow Down Time by Jean Paul Zogby is a book aimed at teaching people how the mind works and how they can slow down time, enjoy life and make the most out of it. The author explains how famous athletes use their super focus to perceive time in slow motion and how anyone can learn how to make time for all the things they’ve always wanted to do. This makes it an excellent read for anyone who wants to take control of their life and learn how to make time work for them.