Spring is in the air, and so are some excellent new books from queer authors old and new. Here are the releases we're most excited about this April. And if this doesn't whet your appetite, don't forget to check out the Indie Author Spring Festival hosted by Hayley Anderton, where you'll find thirty days of discounts and freebies from some fantastic indie authors!
On the 4th of April, we have what one might say is the most important release of the year. Our very own Rachel Bowdler is returning with Summer at the Scottish Castle, which is yet another contemporary romance novel filled with queer joy and acceptance, true parental love, and community.
A Scottish castle. A summer escape. A love story that could change her life forever...
Jess - aka Jessamine Byron, Countess of Cheshire - has just watched her perfect life go up in flames. After a messy divorce, she packs her bags and flees to her family's ancestral home, Rosemire Castle, in the remote Scottish Highlands.
When she runs into ruggedly handsome and surly gardener, Mac Douglas, in the castle grounds - accidentally messing up his flower beds, no less - Jess's summer takes an unexpected turn. Because Mac doesn't recognise her as the lady of the house. Meeting someone who has no idea who she is, or the mistakes she's made, feels like a breath of fresh air. So while Jess doesn't lie exactly, she isn't completely truthful about who she is...
As the summer unfolds, and Jess and Mac grow closer, will Jess discover you really can start afresh? Or will the things she's tried to escape finally catch up with her?
Dive into Juniper Lake Fitzgerald's adult gothic romance, The Modern Mythos Anomaly, on April 7th.
"Memory's haunt conjures the most arrant of ghosts..."
Python is a drifter, a vampire living his eternal life on the road and liking it that way. Beholden to nothing and certainly to no one. But such a lifestyle doesn’t come without creating enemies. Most notably, a pesky vampire hunter he can't seem to shake. When he stumbles upon a seemingly abandoned cabin in the woods, Python sees the perfect escape and a place to hide.
But what he didn’t expect was for someone to be home…
When recluse warlock Calysto’s peaceful life is upended by the arrival of a chaotic disaster in the form of a loudmouthed vampire, he and his teleporting house become the target of the hunter, too.
Calysto knows it’s all Python’s fault that he’s in this mess. That is, until Calysto makes a mistake, and in his hurry to flee transports them over one hundred years into the past.
Confronted with lives they both had hoped to forget, not to mention the memories they most definitely did, Calysto and Python must try to put aside their many differences and increasingly complicated feelings to learn to work together.
Or else they risk being stuck in the past -- and with each other -- forever.
Chloe Liese is coming out with another standalone romance novel in the Bergman Brothers series on April 11th. If Only You features bi and pan MCs in a fake friends-to-friends-to-lovers trope and also includes autistic and celiac rep.
I’m the youngest player on the National Soccer team, the baby of my family, and thoroughly sick of being underestimated, so I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands. Which is where my brother’s best friend and teammate, the infamous Sebastian Marchand, comes in.
Seb needs to rehab his reputation. I want to give mine an edge. So I propose a fake friendship with real benefits: spending time in the public eye, my good-girl image and his bad-boy notoriety rubbing off on each other. He’s my devious, dark-haired fantasy come to life, but his destructive ways make it easy to keep him in the (fake) friend zone. Or so I thought, until I start to see the heart of gold he’s been hiding beneath that sinister surface…
Like any self-respecting reprobate, I’ve been spiraling downward, and finally I’ve hit rock bottom. My hockey career and sponsorships are in jeopardy, and while I’m not ready to actually reform my ways, I’m happy to pretend that I have, to secure the life I’m on the brink of losing.
So when my best friend’s sister, Ziggy Bergman, proposes a public “friendship” to revamp our reputations, it’s an offer I can’t refuse. Up till now, I’ve stayed away from Ren’s sweet, shy little sister to avoid any risk of ruining my one good friendship. But I reassure myself there’s no risk in our scheme. I’ll fake a friendship with Ziggy, fix my reputation, and get back to hockey, the one and only thing I love. At least, it was, until what began as a transactional arrangement became the most loving relationship I’ve ever known.
Also on the 11th comes Falling for the Mark by Dominique Davis, a sapphic romance between a con artist and her mark.
A mother-daughter con artist duo have finally met their match.
Maya is the daughter of Nicole, a cunning grifter who has been deceiving people since she was a teenager. Together, they have perfected the art of scamming people out of their money without guilt.
Their most successful con sees Nicole duping affluent men into wedding her. But when the time is right, Maya lures the mark into her bed, getting them to break their prenuptial agreement. The duo then disappear with an impressive divorce settlement. Never to be heard from again. What should be another routine con soon turns out to be anything but.
Kennedy, the daughter of their new mark, is skeptical of the pair upon their arrival. She suspects they are after her father's money and she's determined to find proof of it. Matters are further complicated when Maya and Kennedy begin to develop feelings for each other. Though both have their reasons for why they shouldn't cross the line, their growing attraction is too strong to be denied.
But when the truth is revealed, both stand to lose more than they ever could have imagined.
If you don't fancy a contemporary romance, why not try Ladz's true crime fantasy noir, Ice Upon a Pier, also released on the 11th?
My warped sense of morality embarrasses me.
Ruta Pawlak is one of the most successful contract killers Pier-Upon-Pier City has ever seen. Convicted of five murders that landed her multiple life sentences, her kill count allegedly sits between fifteen and two hundred people. Some were just for practice, others for revenge, and others she executed for money to keep her potentially world-record setting reading collection going.
For the first time, a biographer sits down with the legendary killer to hear her story in her own words. Get the details on her relationship with her depraved bosses and her eclectic arsenal of murder weapons from ice magic to poison to even the sun itself. From her impoverished upbringing to her introduction to the Syndicates to her bizarre affair with fellow killer Frieda Masters to Ruta’s eventual downfall, this account goes beyond headlines and court proceedings, weaving a story of love, family, survival, and murder.
This novella is perfect for fans of true crime, fantasy, noir, The Last Podcast on the Left, and the interview portions of AMC’s Interview with the Vampire series.
Humans killing other humans wasn’t natural.
Humans killing monsters, however, might be.
Everybody owes a big 'thank you' to Alexandria Bellefleur, who is gifting us with The Fianceé Farce, a sapphic rom-com featuring the best trope known to woman – marriage of convenience – between a bookseller and a novel cover model, so don't forget to put April 18th into your calendars!
Tansy Adams’ greatest love is her family’s bookstore, passed down from her late father. But when it comes to actual romance… Tansy can’t get past the first chapter. Tired of her stepfamily’s questions about her love life, Tansy invents Gemma, a fake girlfriend inspired by the stunning cover model on a bestselling book. They’ll never actually meet, so what’s the harm in a little fib? Yet when real-life Gemma crosses Tansy’s path, her white lie nearly implodes.
Gemma van Dalen is a wild child, the outcast of her wealthy family, and now the latest heir to Van Dalen Publishing. But the title comes with one tiny condition: she must be married in order to inherit. When Gemma discovers a beautiful stranger has been pretending to date her for months, she decides to take the charade one step further—and announces their engagement.
Gemma needs a wife to meet the terms of her grandfather’s will and Tansy needs money to save her struggling bookstore. A marriage could be mutually beneficial, if they can fool everyone into thinking it’s a love match. Unexpected sparks fly as Tansy and Gemma play the role of affectionate fiancées, and suddenly the line between convenient arrangement and real feelings begins to blur. But the scheming Van Dalen family won’t give up the company without a fight, and Gemma and Tansy’s newfound happiness might get caught in the fallout…
On April 22nd, get ready for Book 2 of Hailey Piper's The Worm and His Kings series with this new queer cosmic horror novella, Even The Worm Will Turn.
Four years after the events of The Worm and His Kings, Donna Ashton ekes out a life far removed from her troubled past, only to be abducted one December night by a monster in man’s skin.
Held prisoner by operatives of a clandestine research facility and drugged into a sickened state, each day brings questioning and punishment. Escape should be possible when Donna faces only mortal hands this time, but the more she sees, the worse her mind splinters with horrific understanding.
This facility has punched a hole in space and time. Within it lie secrets mankind should never know of a darkness beyond the universe, the legacy of the almighty Worm, and revelations behind Donna’s ordeal four years ago which now might get her killed.
April 28th will bring us the second instalment of Hayley Anderton's The Last Girls on Earth, entitled Gluttony. This dystopian YA is perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent.
Only the strongest will survive.
The world is changing. Raven has a brother to protect, an old friend at her side and a chance at a new life. But since the rest of the world is happy to see her and her friends burn, seeing the enemy among her own ranks may prove impossible until it's too late.
Riley has earned her freedom. With money in her pocket and her fellow fighters at her side, luck finally seems to be with them. But every true gambler knows that luck only lasts so long.
Karissa has been chosen to rule, and she is destined to lead the way for Team Nine wherever their path takes them. But with a new obsession bubbling beneath the surface, Karissa must fight to figure out what her true purpose is.
Some more noteworthy titles we're excited about:
Bad News by Daniel Aegan, out 4th April (villainpunk)
Live It Out by Jenn Alexander, also out 4th (sapphic second-chance romance)
A Flame in the Night by Morgan Dante, releasing 11th (MMF poly rep, PNR)
Silence of the Moon by S.A. Pavlik, releasing 13th (MM, Book 2 of Secrets of the Moon)
The Day We Ate Grandad by C.M. Rosens, releasing 14th April (adult horror)