Welcome to my May TBR. I am carrying over some books from last month that I didn’t get finished before the month was over. Otherwise my TBR this month is a lot more manageable than what I had picked out last month.
The Selkie Scandal by Rosalie Oaks | (Lady Diviner #1.5) | Historical Fantasy | Add to Goodreads
A royal ransom, a dangerous rescue, and the famous Beresford jam…
England, 1804: the Earl of Beresford has his morning interrupted by naked selkie royalty. The seal-woman in question wants Beresford to find her brother, the High Prince of Skerry, who has been taken hostage for two thousand guineas.
Lord Beresford knows the coast better than he knows his own cravat—but his wits alone may not be enough to stop a war and save a selkie prince from death. Thankfully, he also has a whole case of the famous Beresford Jam.
Who stole the seal prince? How will Beresford find him? And what really happened at the royal birthday party?
The Audacious Miss Eliza by Laura Rollins | (Daughters of Courage #1) | Historical Romance, Regency Romance | Add to Goodreads
As it turns out, a London Season is the worst place to find love.
Eliza Mulgrave never expected to make her bows to society. Yet here she is, dancing at Almacks and riding through Hyde Park. It would be perfectly delightful if it weren’t for the whispers and scornful glances. She certainly never sought to quit her place in society as a tradesman’s daughter. At least then she had known who she was and how to act; now, she’s completely lost.
Adam Lambert has been raised to be a viscount and though the time has come sooner than expected he is confident stepping into this new life. Until he meets his Father’s best kept secret—a little girl. And now she’s Adam’s responsibility. Surely someone ought to have told him about her before now.
After stumbling through an initial meeting, Adam and Eliza both find in the other what they most need this Season—a sincere friend. But society is not often willing to grant two people room to learn for themselves who to be, or who to love.
As the first stand-alone novel in a new series by author Laura Rollins, The Audacious Miss Eliza begins the Daughters of Courage series. This charming story is a light-hearted, clean and wholesome romance set in the Regency era.
Admonition by Kathryn Amurra | (Soothsayer’s Path, #2) | Historical Romance | Add to Goodreads
Sabina is a young noblewoman who, based on her soothsayer aunt’s prediction, believes her words are dangerous and will hurt those she loves. Following the death of her beloved husband, she takes a vow of silence to protect others from suffering the same fate. Ignored and scorned by those around her, who believe her to be cursed by the gods who took her voice, she is content to live in the shadow of her former life, avoiding society as best she can and staying away from the politics and drama of Rome’s inner circles.
Lucius is an unwilling front-runner to inherit the title of Emperor from Rome’s childless leader, Trajan. Although the soothsayer warns him to steer clear of a pretty face that hides a cursed soul, Lucius cannot help but be drawn to the silent and beautiful Sabina. After learning her secret, he is as determined to help her shed her cloak of silence as she is to keep him at a safe distance. But when Lucius becomes the target of a political plot, Sabina must decide whether breaking her silence will save his life or merely seal his fate.
Admonition was winner of the Georgia Romance Writers’ 2020 Maggie Award for Excellence in the Unpublished Historical Romance category.
Temple of Ice by Christian Cura | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads
Meet Tama, an adept winter mage of Khione, a beautiful, dangerous land. Bloodthirsty monsters roam the frozen wilderness, and the unforgiving elements are a constant. Tama and her friends—Kachina and Masou—are on the cusp of completing their education at the temple where they have trained for the past four years. They need only to do one more thing: earn the Goddess Tira’s final anointing. But to do that, they must fight through hordes of corrupted creatures and endure the perplexing obstacles within Mount Orodani.
The road before them is long and bloody, and Tira’s evil sister, Malsumi, won’t stop sending her minions until she is strong enough to break free of her prison. Tama fights valiantly to defend herself and her people from these twisted monsters. But she will soon discover the real threat is much closer than she initially thought…
The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri | (Burning Kingdoms #1) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads
Author of Empire of Sand and Realm of Ash Tasha Suri’s The Jasmine Throne, beginning a new trilogy set in a world inspired by the history and epics of India, in which a captive princess and a maidservant in possession of forbidden magic become unlikely allies on a dark journey to save their empire from the princess’s traitor brother.
Imprisoned by her dictator brother, Malini spends her days in isolation in the Hirana: an ancient temple that was once the source of the powerful, magical deathless waters — but is now little more than a decaying ruin.
Priya is a maidservant, one among several who make the treacherous journey to the top of the Hirana every night to clean Malini’s chambers. She is happy to be an anonymous drudge, so long as it keeps anyone from guessing the dangerous secret she hides.
But when Malini accidentally bears witness to Priya’s true nature, their destinies become irrevocably tangled. One is a vengeful princess seeking to depose her brother from his throne. The other is a priestess seeking to find her family. Together, they will change the fate of an empire.
Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse | Classic, Philosophy, Spirituality | Add to Goodreads
One of the most widely read novels of the twentieth century, Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha explores the struggle of the soul to see beyond the illusions of humankind and achieve a deeper wisdom through spirituality.
Born into wealth and privilege, Siddhartha renounces his place among India’s nobility to wander the countryside in search of meaning. He learns suffering and self-denial among a group of ascetics before meeting the Buddha and coming to realize that true peace cannot be taught: It must be experienced. Changing his path yet again, Siddhatha reenters human society and earns a great fortune. Yet over time this life leaves Siddhartha restless and empty. He achieves enlightenment only when he stops searching and surrenders to the oneness of all.
Rika Lesser’s new translation deftly evokes the lyricism and quiet beauty of Hesse’s novel, which first appeared in German in 1922. At once personal and universal, Siddhartha stands outside of time, resonating in the hearts of truth-seekers everywhere.
The Ikessar Falcon by K.S. Villoso | (Chronicles of the Bitch Queen #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads
The spiral to madness begins with a single push. Abandoned by her people, Queen Talyien’s quest takes a turn for the worst as she stumbles upon a plot deeper and more sinister than she could have ever imagined, one that will displace her king and see her son dead. The road home beckons, strewn with a tangled web of deceit and impossible horrors that unearth the nation’s true troubles – creatures from the dark, mad dragons, and men with hearts hungry for power. To save her land, Talyien must confront the myth others have built around her: Warlord Yeshin’s daughter, symbol of peace, warrior and queen, and everything she could never be. The price of failure is steep. Her friends are few. And a nation carved by a murderer can only be destined for war.
An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington | (The Licanius Trilogy #2) | Fantasy | Add to Goodreads
Davian has won a victory for the Augurs, but treachery surrounds him and his allies on all sides in the second book of the acclaimed Licanus Trilogy, in which “fans of Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson will find much to admire.” (The Guardian)
Following a devastating attack, an amnesty has been declared for all Augurs–finally allowing them to emerge from hiding and openly oppose the dark forces massing against the land of Andarra.
The Augur Davian and his new allies hurry north toward the ever-weakening Boundary, but fresh horrors along their path suggest that their reprieve may have come far too late.
The new Northwarden, his ally in the Capital, contends with assassins and politicians and uncovers a dangerous secret. Meanwhile, their compatriot Asha begins a secret investigation into the disappearance of the Shadows.
And Caeden races against time to fulfill a treacherous bargain, but as more and more of his memories return, he begins to realize that the two sides in this ancient war may not be as clear-cut as they first seemed…
Geisha: A Unique World of Tradition, Elegance and Art by John Gallagher | Nonfiction, History, Cultural, Japan, Geisha | Add to Goodreads
Take a fascinating peek into the geisha’s world of tradition and ritual with the help of a most unique book. Four see-through vellum sections, of four layers each, begin with a “naked” geisha; they show, stage by stage, how her distinctive costume and make-up are assembled. You’ll view the subtle changes of appearance through the round of seasonal events, and the elaborate array of equipment in the geisha’s wardrobe, as well as everything she needs to do her demanding jobs. Equally revealing is the incredibly detailed information about the women’s training, lives, and history.
See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt | Historical Fiction, Crime, Mystery | Add to Goodreads
In this riveting debut novel, See What I Have Done, Sarah Schmidt recasts one of the most fascinating murder cases of all time into an intimate story of a volatile household and a family devoid of love.
On the morning of August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden calls out to her maid: Someone’s killed Father. The brutal ax-murder of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts, leaves little evidence and many unanswered questions. While neighbors struggle to understand why anyone would want to harm the respected Bordens, those close to the family have a different tale to tell—of a father with an explosive temper; a spiteful stepmother; and two spinster sisters, with a bond even stronger than blood, desperate for their independence.
As the police search for clues, Emma comforts an increasingly distraught Lizzie whose memories of that morning flash in scattered fragments. Had she been in the barn or the pear arbor to escape the stifling heat of the house? When did she last speak to her stepmother? Were they really gone and would everything be better now? Shifting among the perspectives of the unreliable Lizzie, her older sister Emma, the housemaid Bridget, and the enigmatic stranger Benjamin, the events of that fateful day are slowly revealed through a high-wire feat of storytelling.
The Last Days of John Lennon by James Patterson, Casey Sherman, and Dave Wedge | Biography, Nonfiction, Historical | Add to Goodreads
The greatest true-crime story in music history, as only James Patterson can tell it.
With the Beatles, John Lennon surpasses his youthful dreams, achieving a level of superstardom that defies classification. “We were the best bloody band there was,” he says. “There was nobody to touch us.” Nobody except the original nowhere man, Mark David Chapman. Chapman once worshipped his idols from afar—but now harbors grudges against those, like Lennon, whom he feels betrayed him. He’s convinced Lennon has misled fans with his message of hope and peace. And Chapman’s not staying away any longer.
By the summer of 1980, Lennon is recording new music for the first time in years, energized and ready for it to be “(Just Like) Starting Over.” He can’t wait to show the world what he will do.
Neither can Chapman, who quits his security job and boards a flight to New York, a handgun and bullets stowed in his luggage.
The greatest true-crime story in music history, as only James Patterson can tell it. Enriched by exclusive interviews with Lennon’s friends and associates, including Paul McCartney, The Last Days of John Lennon is the thrilling true story of two men who changed history: One whose indelible songs enliven our world to this day—and the other who ended the beautiful music with five pulls of a trigger.
What are you hoping to read this month?