Bachelor Franchise: HALF-BLOWN ROSE by Leesa Cross-Smith
Will you accept this Half-Blown Rose?
Vincent, having grown up as the privileged daughter of artists, has a lovely life in many ways. At forty-four, she enjoys strolling the streets of Paris and teaching at the modern art museum; she has a vibrant group of friends; and she’s even caught the eye of a young, charismatic man named Loup. But Vincent is also in Paris to escape a painful betrayal: her husband, Cillian, has published a bestselling book divulging secrets about their marriage and his own past, hinting that when he was a teenager, he may have had a child with a young woman back in Dublin—before he moved to California and never returned.
Now estranged from her husband, Vincent has agreed to see Cillian again at their son’s wedding the following summer, but Loup introduces new complications. Soon they begin an intense affair, and somewhere between dinners made together, cigarettes smoked in the moonlight, hazy evenings in nightclubs, and long, starry walks along the Seine, Vincent feels herself loosening and blossoming.
In a journey that is both transportive and intimate, Half-Blown Rose traverses Paris, art, travel, liminal spaces, and the messy complexities of relationships and romance, with excerpts from Cillian’s novel, playlists, and journal entries woven throughout. As Cillian does all he can to win her back, Vincent must decide what she wants . . . and who she will be.
Survivor: THE SURVIVOR by Iris Johansen
The tribe has spoken: you should read this book!
When archeologist Riley Smith comes to ask Eve Duncan for help, Eve has to say no. Traveling halfway around the world on a dangerous quest is not her expertise as a forensic sculptor. But Eve is intrigued by the prospect of an isolated island that holds a secret locked in time.
Traveling to Southeast Asia, Riley is aware of the threat from treasure hunters who are already searching and have no qualms about killing to get what they want. When she successfully evades them and finds the perfectly preserved body of a female warrior, it is just what she needs to entice Eve to help unlock the mystery.
As these two strong women seek answers about this extraordinary past life, Riley makes a living, breathing discovery that will change history. If she can escape the island and survive long enough to share it with the world.
RuPaul’s Drag Race: AND DON’T F&%K IT UP by Maria Elena Fernandez
For the queens who can’t get enough of the werk room.
Told over the first ten years of a television mainstay, And Don't F&%k It Up tells a cultural history through the stories of the people who lived it: the creators of the RuPaul's Drag Race, the contestants, the crew, the judges, and even some key (famous) fans. It begins with RuPaul's decades-long friendship and business relationship with World of Wonder Productions, the entertainment company that helped launch him into superstardom, and later talked him into giving a drag reality show a chance. From there, it follows the growth and evolution of the show—and its queens—through a decade of gag-worthy seasons, serving up all kinds of behind-the-scenes realness. With a history as shady and funny as it is dramatic and inspiring, And Don't F&%k It Up shows how RuPaul's Drag Race is a mirror reflecting the cultural and political mores of our time. Its meteoric rise to becoming a once-in-a-generation success story is explored here as never before, in intimate, exuberant, unfettered detail.
Great British Baking Show: PARIS DAILLENCOURT IS ABOUT TO CRUMBLE by Alexis Hall
Will this show-stopper romance be a recipe for disaster?
Paris Daillencourt is a recipe for disaster. Despite his passion for baking, his cat, and his classics degree, constant self-doubt and second-guessing have left him a curdled, directionless mess. So when his roommate enters him in Bake Expectations, the nation’s favourite baking show, Paris is sure he’ll be the first one sent home.
But not only does he win week one’s challenge—he meets fellow contestant Tariq Hassan. Sure, he’s the competition, but he’s also cute and kind, with more confidence than Paris could ever hope to have. Still, neither his growing romance with Tariq nor his own impressive bakes can keep Paris’s fear of failure from spoiling his happiness. And when the show’s vicious fanbase confirms his worst anxieties, Paris’s confidence is torn apart quicker than tear-and-share bread.
But if Paris can find the strength to face his past, his future, and the chorus of hecklers that live in his brain, he’ll realize it’s the sweet things in life that he really deserves.
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills: ADVIKA AND THE HOLLYWOOD WIVES by Kirthana Ramisetti
You should buy it, even if you already own it.
A Cosmopolitan Best Book of 2023 · Readheads Book Club pick
At age 26, Advika Srinivasan considers herself a failed screenwriter. To pay the bills and keep her mind off of the recent death of her twin sister, she’s taken to bartending A-list events, including the 2015 Governors Ball, the official afterparty of the Oscars. There, in a cinematic dream come true, she meets the legendary Julian Zelding—a film producer as handsome as Paul Newman and ten times as powerful—fresh off his fifth best picture win. Despite their 41-year age difference, Advika falls helplessly under his spell, and their evening flirtation ignites into a whirlwind courtship and elopement. Advika is enthralled by Julian’s charm and luxurious lifestyle, but while Julian loves to talk about his famous friends and achievements, he smoothly changes the subject whenever his previous relationships come up. Then, a month into their marriage, Julian’s first wife—the famous actress Evie Lockhart—dies, and a tabloid reports a shocking stipulation in her will. A single film reel and $1,000,000 will be bequeathed to “Julian’s latest child bride” on one condition: Advika must divorce him first.
Shaken out of her love fog and still-simmering grief over the loss of her sister—and uneasy about Julian’s sudden, inexplicable urge to start a family—Advika decides to investigate him through the eyes and experiences of his exes. From reading his first wife’s biography, to listening to his second wife’s confessional albums, to watching his third wife’s Real Housewives-esque reality show, Advika starts to realize how little she knows about her husband. Realizing she rushed into the marriage for all the wrong reasons, Advika uses the info gleaned from the lives of her husband’s exes to concoct a plan to extricate herself from Julian once and for all.
Below Deck: THE LION’S DEN by Katherine St. John
Sex, betrayal, and intrigue on a yacht? Say less.
Belle's dream vacation quickly devolves into a nightmare as she and the handful of other girls Summer invited are treated more like prisoners than guests by their controlling host—and in one terrifying moment, Belle comes to see Summer for who she truly is: a vicious gold digger who will stop at nothing to get what she wants.
Belle realizes she's going to have to keep her wits about her—and her own big secret closely hidden—if she wants to make it off the yacht alive.
Bad Girls Club: WHAT HAPPENED TO RUTHY RAMIREZ by Claire Jimenez
A Bad Girl knows what she wants: this book.
A powerful debut novel that’s “hilarious, heartbreaking, and ass-kicking” (Jamie Ford), of a Puerto Rican family in Staten Island who discovers their long‑missing sister is potentially alive and cast on a reality TV show, and they set out to bring her home.
A Most Anticipated Book of 2023 by Elle • USA Today • Today.com • Ms. Magazine • Good Housekeeping • Bustle • The Week • Goodreads • Bookriot • Pop Culturely • SheReads • Litreactor • Electric Lit • The Mary Sue • People Español • Zibby Mag • Debutiful • Her Campus
Best Books of March by Time • Shondaland • Ms. Magazine • Popsugar • Bookriot • Debutiful • Powell’s Book Blog
A March Indie Next Pick! Belletrist and Readers Digest book club pick!
The Ramirez women of Staten Island orbit around absence. When thirteen‑year‑old middle child Ruthy disappeared after track practice without a trace, it left the family scarred and scrambling. One night, twelve years later, oldest sister Jessica spots a woman on her TV screen in Catfight, a raunchy reality show. She rushes to tell her younger sister, Nina: This woman’s hair is dyed red, and she calls herself Ruby, but the beauty mark under her left eye is instantly recognizable. Could it be Ruthy, after all this time?
The years since Ruthy’s disappearance haven’t been easy on the Ramirez family. It’s 2008, and their mother, Dolores, still struggles with the loss, Jessica juggles a newborn baby with her hospital job, and Nina, after four successful years at college, has returned home to medical school rejections and is forced to work in the mall folding tiny bedazzled thongs at the lingerie store.
After seeing maybe‑Ruthy on their screen, Jessica and Nina hatch a plan to drive to where the show is filmed in search of their long‑lost sister. When Dolores catches wind of their scheme, she insists on joining, along with her pot-stirring holy roller best friend, Irene. What follows is a family road trip and reckoning that will force the Ramirez women to finally face the past and look toward a future—with or without Ruthy in it.
What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez is a vivid family portrait, in all its shattered reality, exploring the familial bonds between women and cycles of generational violence, colonialism, race, and silence, replete with snark, resentment, tenderness, and, of course, love.
Real Housewives of Potomac: THE ART OF SCANDAL by Regina Black
Potomac: an idyllic DMV enclave with scandal, secrets, and drama
Oasis Springs: “Hold my champagne flute.”
"Love would be so much easier if it were perfect…"
On the night of her husband Matt’s fortieth birthday, Rachel Abbott receives a sexy, explicit text from her husband that she quickly realizes was meant for another woman. Divorce is inevitable, and Rachel is determined not to leave her thirteen-year marriage empty handed. Meanwhile, Matt, a rising star mayor with his eye on the White House, can’t afford a messy split in the middle of his reelection campaign. They strike a deal: Rachel gets one million dollars and their lavish house in the wealthy DC suburb of Oasis Springs, as long as she keeps playing the ideal Black trophy wife until the election.
Then Rachel meets Nathan Vasquez, a very handsome, very lost twenty-six-year-old artist, and their connection makes Rachel forget about being the perfect politician’s wife. As Rachel reawakens Nathan’s long-dormant artistic aspirations, their attraction becomes impossible to resist. But secrets are hard to keep in a town like Oasis Springs, and Nathan has a few of his own. With the risk of scandal looming and their hearts on the line, they’ll have to decide whether the possibility of losing everything is worth taking a chance on love.
The Art of Scandal is a sizzling, conversation-starting debut about rekindling passion, the transformative power of art, and finding love in unexpected places.
Big Brother: DEVICE FREE WEEKEND by Sean Doolittle
Expect the unexpected in this thriller about a group of friends locked together in a billionaire’s house to play a game with deadly consequences.
Ryan Cloverhill, founder and CEO of the world’s most popular social media platform, invites his six best friends from college to his home on his private island near Puget Sound. For Stephen, Emma, Perry, Will, Beau, and Lainie, day one is just what the doctor ordered: amazing food, many drinks, lots of laughter, and a sunset cruise around the island aboard their host’s custom Van Dutch 55. Day Two, however, takes a bewildering turn when the six hungover guests wake up to find that their host has disappeared, along with all connection to the mainland. A touchscreen tablet of unknown make awaits them, blatantly defying the rules of the weekend with its on-screen challenge: Unlock Me! The passcode to the tablet is hidden somewhere in the group’s shared history. But what seems at first like just another silly game turns deadly serious when the group discovers what unlocking the tablet really means. Is it the key to their futures, a Pandora’s box none of them will ever be able to close, or both? Only one thing is clear: their old friend Ryan has something unthinkable planned. Now it’s up to the six of them to stop him. And when this weekend is over, the world will never be the same.
Real Housewives of Dubai: THE SUN SETS IN SINGAPORE by Kehinde Fadipe
To evoke fellow glamorous expat Chanel Ayan, the three friends at the center of this luxe novel are b*d b*tches in any language.
The Lion City has gone by many names and is famous for many things—its decadent street food, its world-class shopping, its lush gardens that burst with tropical blooms. But paradise is always hiding a snake.
For Dara, a workaholic lawyer from the UK, Singapore is opportunity. Every day, brokering deals for her firm’s wealthy clientele, she gets closer to her ultimate goal: making partner. For Amaka, a sharp-tongued banker from Nigeria, Singapore is extravagance. Gucci, Prada, Hermès—she loves nothing more than to luxuriate in the major department stores that call her name on Orchard Road. And for Lillian, a former pianist turned “trailing spouse” from the U.S., Singapore is reinvention. In a stunning apartment with 360° views, the island seems to glitter as far as the eye can see.
But complications are looming in the form of an enigmatic stranger, whose presence exposes cracks in Singapore’s beguiling façade. Dara’s ambitions mean she has no life outside the firm, and her insecurities are threatening to derail the promotion she’s spent the last six years striving for. Amaka is desperate to escape the chaos she left behind at home and hiding a spiraling shopping addiction that’s endangering her very sense of self. And while Lillian’s life may be the envy of outsiders, a new obsession is imperiling everything—and everyone—around her.
In The Sun Sets in Singapore, Kehinde Fadipe captures the richness of this metropolis through the eyes of three tenacious women, who are about to learn that unfinished history can follow you anywhere, no matter how far you run from home.