Curious what the NetGalley team is reading? Wish you could steal a peek at our bookshelves? You’ve come to the right place. Check out the books we’re recommending this month, and share your favorite recent reads in the comments!
American Dreamer by Adriana Herrera
American Dreamer follows Nesto Vasquez, who is bringing his Afro-Caribbean food to upstate New York in search of new business opportunities. There he meets Jude Fuller, a librarian who is tempting enough to convince this workaholic to step out of his truck and start building a life for himself beyond his job. These characters won me over so quickly—Nesto is fighting with everything in him to achieve his dream, but still learning that it can’t come at the expense of the other great things in his life. Meanwhile, Jude’s journey is emotional and intense as he reckons with his homophobic family. The ways these two supported each other, and found ways to heal in moments they failed to, won me over so completely. Being familiar with Herrera’s style it was fun to dive into her debut and to note all of the trademarks I’ve come to recognize in her work: strong familial bonds, found families, lifelong friendships, and (always) delicious food descriptions (seriously I need one of Nesto’s burritos). Now onto book two!
The Echo Wife by Sarah Gailey, narrated by Xe Sands
Sarah Gailey’s books have been on my TBR list for far too long, and this month I decided to finally dive in with their newest release: The Echo Wife. This sci-fi and thriller blend follows the increasingly complicated relationship between Dr. Evelyn Caldwell and Martine, the clone her ex-husband Nathan created of Evelyn. When Nathan’s killed, the two women work together to cover up what happened, and in the process discover the other secrets Nathan’s been hiding. This is such an incredibly well-crafted book, and I loved Gailey’s use of cloning as an exploration of the way women are conditioned to behave, dream, and live the way society wants them to. Xe Sands did a great job with the audio—revealing through both emotion and a lack of it just how deeply Evelyn’s impacted by all that’s happening around her.
Her Wicked Marquess by Stacy Reid
Her Wicked Marquess by Stacy Reid follows Lady Maryann, who wants to publicly ruin herself to avoid marriage to a horrific suitor. When the scandal papers report that the notorious Nicolas St. Ives, the Marquess of Rothbury, was seen climbing out of an innocent lady’s bedroom window, she claims it was her he was visiting. She doesn’t expect for him to show up ready to collect on the passionate kiss she claimed they exchanged. Reid is a new-to-me author, but one I am eager to read more from! The heroine is fighting for the right to have agency over her own life, while the hero is trying to correct a grievous injustice done to a woman he used to know. Reid perfectly captures their individual struggles, while bringing them closer together. I cannot wait to read more in this series.
Last Chance Books by Kelsey Rodkey
This was such a fun book! Kelsey Rodkey’s Last Chance Books is a young adult contemporary novel, clearly inspired by the rom-com You’ve Got Mail. There’s a fierce rivalry between Madeline, who works at her family’s struggling bookstore, and Jasper, who works at the competing chain bookstore just across the street. And Jasper isn’t the only one in Madeline’s way as she scrambles to save her bookstore from shutting down for good—even her brother and her aunt seem to have given up. To make things more complicated, Madeline’s flighty mother comes back into the picture, determined to prove that she’s changed. Last Chance Books is a really fun and engaging read. I especially like that this book is about books and the characters were big fans of reading too. That’s always fun to read!
The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner
This book scratched all kinds of itches for me: historical fiction (18th-century London), revenge (via poison), crossing the borders of time (to present-day London and an American protagonist who is rediscovering who she is), and friendships between women who lean on one another at their most vulnerable moments! It’s fast-paced and suspenseful—no wonder it was an instant New York Times bestseller.
Tools of Engagement by Tessa Bailey, narrated by Charlotte North
Tessa Bailey’s Hot & Hammered series is one of my favorites. In this third installment, we see Bethany Castle, the last of the Castle siblings, get her HEA with Wes Daniels, a Texas cowboy taking care of his niece. I adored Bethany and Wes, who both had their own personal struggles that they needed to work on throughout the book. There was delightful workplace drama as Wes started working for Bethany, whose new venture involved leaving the family construction business. Their relationship was funny, sexy, and really sweet. Plus there was a reality TV show that allowed beloved characters from the past two books (such as the Just Us League!) to make appearances. Tessa Bailey is an author I can always depend on for a great balance of heat, humor, and heart.
This Is Me written and narrated by Chrissy Metz
This memoir from This Is Us actress Chrissy Metz was an incredible listen on audiobook. Narrated by Metz, the reader gets a deep and raw look at her childhood, struggles with weight, self-confidence, and her acting career journey. Metz’s humor and bright personality shines through this whole book as she recounts impactful times in her life. Interspersed are philosophical moments of wisdom and ways the reader can be more introspective and react to what life throws your way. One aspect I really appreciated was how nonjudgmental she was in recounting moments from her own life. I got the sense that she understood that while people may have hurt her, they too were dealing with their own pain during those moments.
Wild Rain by Beverly Jenkins
Beverly Jenkins’ writing is so easy to get swept up in and Wild Rain felt like a total comfort read. This is the second book in the Women Who Dare series, and the heroine also appears in Tempest, the third book in Jenkins’ Old West series. This historical romance follows a Black rancher named Spring Lee, who has hardened herself to the idea of love after the abuse of men. Her hero is Garret McCray, who has come to Wyoming to interview Spring’s brother. Spring was incredible, perfectly crafted by Jenkins as a woman with strong convictions of what she wants for own life and a refusal to compromise them. Garrett was a perfect hero to complement Spring. Jenkins’ prose is so smooth and the plot was really tight—focusing on this couple getting to know each other. I can’t wait to meet the next heroine of this series.
How We Fight White Supremacy edited by Akiba Solomon and Kenrya Rankin
This collection of interviews, essays, short stories, and art themed around Black resistance was incredible. How We Fight White Supremacy shares varied perspectives on how individuals fight for equality and justice. It shows the importance of pushing back against white supremacy both through activism and in daily lives, while also exploring the different facets it impacts in a Black person’s life. I highly recommend the audiobook because all of the contributors narrate their pieces and it helps bring this work to life.
The Other Mother by Matthew Dicks
There are times when I identify with a fictional character because we have things in common. A truly skilled writer, though, can make me identify with a character with whom I have nothing in common. That was definitely the case in The Other Mother. Thirteen-year-old Michael is struggling with the death of his father, problems at school, his strangely demanding stepfather, the responsibility of caring for two younger siblings, and the fact that his mother seems to be an imposter. His situation bears no resemblance to my own life, and yet this book gutted me. Author Matthew Dicks made me feel Michael’s feelings, and that’s a rare gift for a book to give a reader.
Slouching Towards Bethlehem by Joan Didion, narrated by Diane Keaton
Diane Keaton’s performance of my favorite Didion book is flawless, deepening the widescreen sense of America in the midst of astonishing change. By its end, I felt bereft. It’s the kind of performance that can convert even the biggest skeptic to the artistic value of audiobooks.