January 2023 Book Releases

I've embraced the picky reader in me and chosen seven January book releases that I deem worthy of reading in the future. Two of the books have the same plot but as a person who after reading an amazing book or watching a tv series want that same plot somewhere else this is my dream come true. One high fantasy even though I know it'll take me ages to get to it. And all the rest are lighthearted and better bring me some joy. Let me know what January releases are catching your eye.

The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff  

(Release Date: January 3rd)

Five years ago, Geeta lost her no-good husband. As in, she actually lost him--he walked out on her and she has no idea where he is. But in her remote village in India, rumor has it that Geeta killed him. And it's a rumor that just won't die.

It turns out that being known as a "self-made" widow comes with some perks. No one messes with her, harasses her, or tries to control (ahem, marry) her. It's even been good for business; no one dares to not buy her jewelry.

Freedom must look good on Geeta, because now other women are asking for her "expertise," making her an unwitting consultant for husband disposal.

And not all of them are asking nicely.

With Geeta's dangerous reputation becoming a double-edged sword, she has to find a way to protect the life she's built--but even the best-laid plans of would-be widows tend to go awry. What happens next sets in motion a chain of events that will change everything, not just for Geeta, but for all the women in their village.

Filled with clever criminals, second chances, and wry and witty women, Parini Shroff's The Bandit Queens is a razor-sharp debut of humor and heart that readers won't soon forget.

The Bandit Queens sound like another take on Finlay Donovan is Killing It and I absolutely love that series. I'm expecting hijinks, laughter, and generally an all around good time. I find the idea of women in the village coming to Geeta for advice hilarious because there is much that can go wrong. It also has queens in the title meaning she probably goes into some weird side hustle advice business with someone else which can add an extra layer to the story. Finlay has a friend that helps her out and that relationship is intriguing to watch because of that person's past influencing the storyline. We'll see how it all comes together but for now I am expecting great things.

Lunar Love by Lauren King Jessen

(Release Date: January 10th)

Always a matchmaker, never a match...

Olivia Huang Christenson is excited-slash-terrified to be taking over her grandmother’s matchmaking business. But when she learns that a new dating app has made her Pó Po’s traditional Chinese zodiac approach all about “animal attraction,” her emotions skew more toward furious-slash-outraged. Especially when L.A.’s most-eligible bachelor Bennett O’Brien is behind the app that could destroy her family’s legacy . . .

Liv knows better than to fall for any guy, let alone an infuriatingly handsome one who believes that traditions are meant to be broken. As the two businesses go head to head, Bennett and Liv make a deal: they’ll find a match for each other—and whoever falls in love loses. But Liv is dealing with someone who’s already adept at stealing business ideas . . . so what’s stopping him from stealing her heart too?

Honestly, I put this on my tbr because when I looked up closed door romance it came up on a list. I hope that's correct because I really want to love romance books but the graphic scenes and little romance aren't doing it for me. I'm hoping for a slowburn. Knowing this is enemies to lovers has me hyped because that's the best trope other than slow burn.

Cookie Monsters by Erika J. Kendrick

(Release Date: January 17th)

Twelve-year-old Brooklyn Ace is ready to take the Valentine World Scouts by storm and build her own cookie empire. She nearly won the top cookie selling spot last year and is determined to make her mom—who recently passed away—proud by coming in first this time around. With her fabulous best friends by her side, Brooklyn knows she’ll become Santa Monica’s District Cookie Queen. The crown is practically in the bag. 
Then Piper Parker arrives. 
Piper has a rich dad, a fancy hotel, and a drive to steal the cookie crown right off Brooklyn’s head. Before long, most of the seventh grade is under Piper’s spell. But Brooklyn is in it to win the biggest cookie war the school has ever seen. With the help of her cookie squad, her rockstar grandmother, her super cool therapist, and a lot of self-love and inner growth, maybe—just maybe—Brooklyn can end up a winner after all.
This cover sold me. As soon as I saw it I knew it must be read. I love the colors of the cover and the concept of a Girl Scouts rivalry. It would be great to get duo perspectives because I doubt Piper is loving the perfect life that I'm sure Brooklyn is envisioning.

Godkiller by Hannah Kaner

(Release Date: January 19th)

Kissen kills gods for a living, and she enjoys it. That is until she finds a god she cannot kill: Skediceth, god of white lies, who is connected to a little noble girl on the run.

Elogast fought in the god war, and helped purge the city of a thousand shrines before laying down his sword. A mysterious request from the King sends him racing back to the city he destroyed.

On the way he meets a godkiller, a little girl and a littler god, who cannot find out about his quest.

Okay, so I haven't read a high fantasy book in forever and it's not a goal for me to do so this year but Godkiller just sounds so cool. Gorgeous cover as well. Mythology, mystery, a quest - it's all there. I like the vagueness of the summary too. It gives you a taste of what's to come but not the whole story.

The Wicked Ones by Robin Benway

(Release Date: January 20th)

"Blood is blood...and one way or another, we all bleed."

Drizella and Anastasia only know one thing for certain: they will never end up like their mother, Lady Tremaine. When their father left them as young girls, he took what was left of their family’s fortune and their mother’s dignity with him. A few years and one deceased stepfather later, the only version of Lady Tremaine that Drizella and Anastasia know is a bitter and cruel head of house. Anastasia and Drizella have promised themselves—and each other—that they'll be different. They'll find love, see the world, and never let their hearts go cold.

But both sisters are all too aware of what it can mean when cast into disfavor with their mother, and fueled by Lady Tremaine’s tendencies to pit the daughters against one another, Drizella and Anastasia are locked into a complicated waltz of tenuous sisterhood. On the cusp of the royal debut party—their one chance to impress the Prince and live up to their mother’s expectations—the sisters at last get a glimpse of what life could be like outside of Lady Tremaine’s intentions: Drizella discovering a love of science and Anastasia sparking a secret romance. But never underestimate the power a mother whose greatest talents lie in manipulation, and the sisters may learn that even the cruelest of hearts can spill blood.

I just read this synopsis moments ago. From the cover I knew this was a retelling of the stepsisters perspective and I am all for it. This is the start of a series as well so I'm looking forward to what I can assume is more side villains perspectives. I kind of want a happy ending for the sisters based on the summary and it might happen because it's Disney. I don't know what to really expect which has me delighted.

Against the Currant by Olivia Matthews

(Release Date: January 24th)

Little Caribbean, Brooklyn, New York: Lyndsay Murray is opening Spice Isle Bakery with her family, and it’s everything she’s ever wanted. The West Indian bakery is her way to give back to the community she loves, stay connected to her Grenadian roots, and work side-by-side with her family. The only thing getting a rise out of Lyndsay is Claudio Fabrizi, a disgruntled fellow bakery owner who does not want any competition.

On opening day, he comes into the bakery threatening to shut them down. Fed up, Lyndsay takes him to task in front of what seems to be the whole neighborhood. So when Claudio turns up dead a day later—murdered—Lyndsay is unfortunately the prime suspect. To get the scent of suspicion off her and her bakery, Lyndsay has to prove she’s innocent—under the watchful eyes of her overprotective brother, anxious parents, and meddlesome extended family—what could go wrong?

Do you know how difficult it is to find a cozy foodie mystery with a decent cover? Very. 

I'm interested to read about all of the Grenadian foods which I know nothing about but I'm sure will make me hungry. The mystery itself sounds like every other cozy mystery with family involved but I am ready to see what the author brings to the genre and hopefully fall in love with a new series.

Finlay Donovan Jumps the Gun by Elle Cosimano

(Release Date: January 31st)

Author and single mom Finlay Donovan has been in messes before―after all, she's a pro at removing bloodstains for various unexpected reasons―but none quite like this. When Finlay and her nanny/partner-in-crime Vero accidentally destroyed a luxury car that they had "borrowed" in the process of saving the life of Finlay's ex-husband, the Russian mob did her a favor and bought the car for her. And now Finlay owes them.

Mob boss Feliks is still running the show from behind bars, and he has a task for Finlay: find and identify a contract killer before the cops do. The problem is, the killer might be an officer themself.

Luckily, hot cop Nick has just been tasked with starting up a citizen's police academy, and combined pressure from Finlay's looming book deadline and Feliks is enough to convince Finlay and Vero to get involved. Through firearm training and forensic classes (and some hands-on research with a tempting detective), Finlay and Vero use their time in police academy to sleuth out the real contract killer to free themselves from the mob's clutches―all the while dodging spies, confronting Vero's past, and juggling the daily trials of parenthood.

This is one of my most anticipated reads and I will be reading it as soon as the library provides me with a copy. I'll have to hurry up fast because my mom will be pestering me because we both got into this series at the same time. I am really looking forward to reading more about Nick and Finlay because I'm all about the romance. I also want more backstory into Vero. Ultimately, I just want this book in my hands as soon as possible even with it's atrocious cover.

What books are you anticipating this January?