Book Releases: February 2019

Hello from Paris!! Yes, I’m in the City of Love with my best friend so it’s a perfect time to highlight some books you are bound to love. Don’t you guys agree?

All the way back in December Charlotte and I already talked about a few books coming out this year that we’re excited about. But that post only had two books for February and today I’m here with… nineteen (19)!! You think that’s a lot? Wait till we post March (34) or May (36) releases!

If there’s one thing you need to know, it’s that there is a ton of LGBT books coming out this year!

Before we start, take a look at what got published in January.

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Spencer’s Cove

Missouri Vaun

Release date: 1st February
Goodreads
Rep: lesbian mc & li (ownvoices)

40879068

Successful mystery author Foster Owen hasn’t finished a manuscript in three years and her writer’s block shows no signs of retreating. When the bills start piling up, an unexpected offer to ghost write a memoir for an heiress on the west coast seems like too good an opportunity to ignore.

Painfully shy Abigail Spencer has just returned from studying abroad. The sprawling estate she inherited from her parents includes a crumbling mansion rumored to be haunted and a historic lighthouse nestled along the remote northern Pacific coast.

When the executor of the Spencer estate hires Foster to write the history of the family, Foster and Abby are drawn together as they peel back the layers of history and uncover a story of lives adrift, loves lost, and true love found. Can seeds from the past help love to blossom in the present?

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Diamond Heart

M. A. Hinkle

Release date: 4th February
Goodreads
Rep: mlm relationship

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Gareth has a problem. He got expelled. Now he and his twin brother, Morgan, have to start over at an artsy new private school, and it’s all Gareth’s fault. Not to mention Morgan’s crippling social anxiety and Gareth’s resting jerk face aren’t making them any friends, and their father is furious with him. Gareth could live with this, but Morgan’s mad at him too, and Morgan is the only person alive who can make Gareth feel guilty.

Good thing Gareth has a plan. Cute, bubbly Felix, a student at their new school, has a crush on Morgan, and they both want to act in their school’s production of Midsummer Night’s Dream. Gareth figures it’s the perfect way to help Morgan come out of his shell and set him up with Felix. Then, maybe Morgan will forgive him, and Gareth can go back to not caring about anything or anyone.

But Gareth has another problem. He’s been cast as Oberon, and Felix is Titania. Oh, and Morgan doesn’t like Felix back. And maybe Gareth is enjoying the play and making new friends and having a good time at his new school. And maybe—just maybe—he’s got a crush on Felix. Can Gareth keep up his tough-guy act long enough to repair his relationship with Morgan, or will Felix get caught in the fallout of Gareth’s dumb schemes? 

TW: physical violence, mentions of past secondary character’s suicide

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What Makes You Beautiful

Bridget Liang

Release date: 5th February
Goodreads
Rep: trans mc & side character (ownvoices), side mlm relationship

41160244

Logan Osborne knows he likes boys, but has not come out to his family or at school, and no one knows that he likes to sometimes wear girls’ clothes and makeup. When he starts at a school for the arts he finds a wider range of gender and orientation being accepted. Logan is attracted to Kyle, who has gay dads. But Kyle is straight. Logan finds he doesn’t like the way gay boys treat him, and a disturbing hookup with a boy who is fetishistic about Logan’s half-Asian background makes Logan even more confused about what he wants and who he is.

Encouraged and supported by his friends at school, Logan experiments with nail polish and more feminine clothes in public. Logan begins questioning his gender and decides to use they pronouns while trying to figure things out. Logan meets a classmate’s chosen mother, who is a transgender Chinese woman, and begins to come to terms with their gender identity. Realizing they are not a gay boy, but a transgender girl, Logan asks for people to call them Veronica. As a girl, does Veronica stand a chance with Kyle?

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Prom Kings

Tony Correia

Release date: 5th February
Goodreads
Rep: mlm relationship (ownvoices)

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When the queer prom committee asks Charlie to join them, Charlie figures it’ll be a good way to get closer to cute new guy Andre — and maybe even ask him to be his prom date! The only problem is that Charlie has competition for Andre’s attention in rich, good-looking Chad, who Charlie can’t stand.

Charlie and his pal Luis come up with a plan to get Andre’s attention — to woo Andre as a secret admirer and then reveal Charlie’s true identity with a spectacular promposal that Andre can’t refuse. But when the promposal starts to go wrong, Charlie panics and says that he couldn’t possibly be Andre’s secret admirer, because he’s been dating Luis!

Luis, however, is offended by Charlie using him as a decoy. Charlie begins to realize how much fun he’s been having with Luis and thinks maybe he’s been going after the wrong guy. He apologizes to Luis and asks him to be his prom date instead. Luis accepts.

Meanwhile, Andre has decided to accept Charlie’s promposal. Now Charlie has two dates for prom! How will Charlie decide which guy to go with?

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A Love Story for Bewildered Girls

Emma Morgan

Release date: 7th February
Goodreads
Rep: wlw mcs

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Grace has what one might call a ‘full and interesting life’ which is code for not married and has no kids. Her life is the envy of her friends, who assume she doesn’t want that kind of commitment. But all this time she has been waiting in secret for a love that will take her breath away, like the way a wave in a rough sea knocks you over…

When Grace meets a beautiful woman at a party, she falls suddenly and desperately in love. At the same party, lawyer Annie finds the man of her dreams – the only man she’s ever met whose table manners are up to her mother’s standards. And across the city, Violet, who is mostly afraid of everything, is making another discovery of her own: that for the first time in her life she has fallen for another girl.

A Love Story for Bewildered Girls is a hilarious and heart-warming tale of female friendship and first love in all its guises – a novel to remind us that whatever we think our happy ending should be, life can have other, sometimes far better, plans.

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To Be Perfectly Honest

Jess Vallance

Release date: 7th February
Goodreads
Rep: wlw mc

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The second book in a brilliantly funny YA series featuring the trials and embarrassing tribulations of teenager Gracie Dart.

Uncovering a family secret, Gracie decides she’s had enough of lies and pledges to be completely honest to everybody she meets.

For fifty days, nothing but 100% brutal honesty at all times. But total honesty doesn’t always go down well when you’ve got a family dinner to go to, a job interview to get through and a new girlfriend to impress.

And when Gracie finally goes too far, she realises she’s going to have to think creatively if she’s going to put things right.

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Foreign to You

Jeremy Martin

Release date: 11th February
Goodreads
Rep: gay mc, mlm relationship (ownvoices)

41732287

The harmony between humans and fianna, a species of shape-shifting deer, begins to wither as racial tensions and deeply rooted resentment turns violent.

Ruthless hunter Finn Hail and prophesied liberator Adelaide may be heroes to their own species, but they are enemies to each other. With war on the horizon, the reluctant pair must team up to find the most elusive of prey: the god of the Forest.

As enemies press in from all sides, true intentions begin to show. For Finn to save the boy he cares for most, he might need to aim his gun at the very god he seeks. And Adelaide, with her festering hatred for mankind, will have to determine if peace holds true salvation for her people.

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Full English

Rachel Spangler

Release date: 12th February
Goodreads
Rep: wlw relationship (ownvoices), side lesbian character

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After a publicly humiliating divorce, best-selling author Emma Volant runs away to hide in the seaside English village of Amberwick, where she doesn’t know another living soul. She wants nothing more than to surrender to her broken heart in private. However, when the locals discover their newest resident is world famous, they gather at the local pub and hatch a plan to draw Emma out of her self-imposed isolation, hoping her celebrity status will elevate the village’s reputation to something more than a holiday hotspot. It doesn’t take long for them to try to rope their favorite bartender, Brogan, into the act.

Born and raised in Amberwick, Brogan McKay has built a comfortable life by never overreaching. Part-time jobs and short-term flings have always been good enough for her, but when she meets her beautiful and wounded new neighbor, Brogan realizes Emma has the potential to wreck the carefully controlled expectations she uses to protect her heart.

Despite their obvious attraction and growing friendship, both Emma and Brogan are in firm agreement that neither of them is in a position to look for love, but how long can they fight their fears and desires as the events and people around them all conspire to create a full English love story?

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Crown of Feathers

Nicki Pau Preto

Release date: 12th February
Goodreads
Rep: pan mc, mlm relationship

35715518

I had a sister, once…

In a world ruled by fierce warrior queens, a grand empire was built upon the backs of Phoenix Riders—legendary heroes who soared through the sky on wings of fire—until a war between two sisters ripped it all apart.

I promised her the throne would not come between us.

Sixteen years later, Veronyka is a war orphan who dreams of becoming a Phoenix Rider from the stories of old. After a shocking betrayal from her controlling sister, Veronyka strikes out alone to find the Riders—even if that means disguising herself as a boy to join their ranks.

But it is a fact of life that one must kill or be killed. Rule or be ruled.

Just as Veronyka finally feels like she belongs, her sister turns up and reveals a tangled web of lies between them that will change everything. And meanwhile, the new empire has learned of the Riders’ return and intends to destroy them once and for all.

Sometimes the title of queen is given. Sometimes it must be taken.

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Bloom

Kevin Panetta (writer) & Savanna Ganucheau (artist)

Release date: 12th February
Goodreads
Rep: mlm relationship, Greek-American mc, Samoan li

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Now that high school is over, Ari is dying to move to the big city with his ultra-hip band―if he can just persuade his dad to let him quit his job at their struggling family bakery. Though he loved working there as a kid, Ari cannot fathom a life wasting away over rising dough and hot ovens. But while interviewing candidates for his replacement, Ari meets Hector, an easygoing guy who loves baking as much as Ari wants to escape it. As they become closer over batches of bread, love is ready to bloom . . . that is, if Ari doesn’t ruin everything.

Writer Kevin Panetta and artist Savanna Ganucheau concoct a delicious recipe of intricately illustrated baking scenes and blushing young love, in which the choices we make can have terrible consequences, but the people who love us can help us grow.

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Perfect Partners

Maggie Cummings

Release date: 12th February
Goodreads
Rep: wlw relationship (ownvoices)

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Sara Wright knows better than to fall for a cop.

For Sara, an elite police dog trainer for the federal government, attractive women in uniform are an occupational hazard. But she gave her heart to a coworker once before and the battle scars from that failed relationship are still fresh. She dodges every chance at romance with the officers she trains, focusing her energy on turning out the finest handler-canine teams in the country. But when annoyingly perky, unfairly sexy Isabel Marquez arrives at Homeland Security’s Northeast Regional Training facility brimming with excitement, and a surprising desire to succeed, Sara’s good intentions start to falter. She can’t help being drawn to Isabel’s enthusiasm, and, okay, her long dark hair and brilliant smile don’t hurt either. Keeping their contact limited to friendship is harder than she thought. When it comes to enforcing her own rules of the heart, Sara might need to break a few for a chance at forever.

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The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried

Shaun David Hutchinson

Release date: 19th February
Goodreads
Rep: gay mc (ownvoices), trans li

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A good friend will bury your body, a best friend will dig you back up.

Dino doesn’t mind spending time with the dead. His parents own a funeral home, and death is literally the family business. He’s just not used to them talking back. Until Dino’s ex-best friend July dies suddenly—and then comes back to life. Except not exactly. Somehow July is not quite alive, and not quite dead.

As Dino and July attempt to figure out what’s happening, they must also confront why and how their friendship ended so badly, and what they have left to understand about themselves, each other, and all those grand mysteries of life.

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The Afterward

E.K. Johnston

Release date: 19th February
Goodreads
Rep: wlw relationship

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It has been a year since the mysterious godsgem cured Cadrium’s king and ushered in what promised to be a new golden age. The heroes who brought the gem home are renowned in story and song, but for two fellows on the quest, peace and prosperity do not come easily.

Apprentice Knight Kalanthe Ironheart wasn’t meant for heroism this early in life, and while she has no intention of giving up the notoriety she has earned, her reputation does not pay her bills. With time running out, Kalanthe may be forced to betray not her kingdom or her friends, but her own heart as she seeks a stable future for herself and those she loves.

Olsa Rhetsdaughter was never meant for heroism at all. Beggar, pick pocket, thief, she lived hand to mouth on the city streets until fortune–or fate–pulled her into Kalanthe’s orbit. And now she’s quite reluctant to leave it. Even more alarmingly, her fame has made her recognizable, which makes her profession difficult, and a choice between poverty and the noose isn’t much of a choice at all.

Both girls think their paths are laid out, but the godsgem isn’t quite done with them and that new golden age isn’t a sure thing yet.

In a tale both sweepingly epic and intensely personal, Kalanthe and Olsa fight to maintain their newfound independence and to find their way back to each other. 

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Empire of Light

Alex Harrow

Release date: 25th February
Goodreads
Rep: gay mc, mlm relationship, pan characters, bi characters

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Damian Nettoyer is the Empire’s go-to gun. He kills whoever they want him to kill. In exchange, he and his rag-tag gang of crooks get to live, and Damian’s psychokinetic partner and lover, Aris, isn’t issued a one-way ticket to an Empire-sanctioned lobotomy.

Then Damian’s latest mark, a suave revolutionary named Raeyn, kicks his ass and demands his help. The first item on the new agenda: take out Damian’s old boss—or Raeyn will take out Damian’s crew.

To protect his friends and save his own skin, Damian teams up with Raeyn to make his revolution work. As the revolution gains traction, Damian gets way too close to Raeyn, torn between the need to shoot him one moment and kiss him the next. But Aris slips further away from Damian, and as Aris’ control over his powers crumbles, the Watch catches on.

With the Empire, Damian had two policies: shoot first and don’t ask questions. But to save the guy he loves, he’ll set the world on fire.

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The Priory of the Orange Tree

Samantha Shannon

Release date: 26th February
Goodreads
Rep: wlw relationship

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A world divided.
A queendom without an heir.
An ancient enemy awakens.

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

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We Set the Dark on Fire

Tehlor Kay Mejia

Release date: 26th February
Goodreads
Rep: wlw relationship (ownvoices), Latinx characters (ownvoices)

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At the Medio School for Girls, distinguished young women are trained for one of two roles in their polarized society. Depending on her specialization, a graduate will one day run a husband’s household or raise his children, but both are promised a life of comfort and luxury, far from the frequent political uprisings of the lower class. Daniela Vargas is the school’s top student, but her bright future depends upon no one discovering her darkest secret—that her pedigree is a lie. Her parents sacrificed everything to obtain forged identification papers so Dani could rise above her station. Now that her marriage to an important politico’s son is fast approaching, she must keep the truth hidden or be sent back to the fringes of society, where famine and poverty rule supreme.

On her graduation night, Dani seems to be in the clear, despite the surprises that unfold. But nothing prepares her for all the difficult choices she must make, especially when she is asked to spy for a resistance group desperately fighting to bring equality to Medio. Will Dani cling to the privilege her parents fought to win for her, or to give up everything she’s strived for in pursuit of a free Medio—and a chance at a forbidden love?

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The Raven Tower

Ann Leckie

Release date: 26th February
Goodreads
Rep: trans mc

39395857

Gods meddle in the fates of men, men play with the fates of gods, and a pretender must be cast down from the throne in this breathtaking first fantasy novel from Ann Leckie, New York Times bestselling author and winner of the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C. Clarke Awards.

For centuries, the kingdom of Iraden has been protected by the god known as the Raven. He watches over his territory from atop a tower in the powerful port of Vastai. His will is enacted through the Raven’s Lease, a human ruler chosen by the god himself. His magic is sustained via the blood sacrifice that every Lease must offer. And under the Raven’s watch, the city flourishes.

But the power of the Raven is weakening. A usurper has claimed the throne. The kingdom borders are tested by invaders who long for the prosperity that Vastai boasts. And they have made their own alliances with other gods.

It is into this unrest that the warrior Eolo–aide to Mawat, the true Lease–arrives. And in seeking to help Mawat reclaim his city, Eolo discovers that the Raven’s Tower holds a secret. Its foundations conceal a dark history that has been waiting to reveal itself…and to set in motion a chain of events that could destroy Iraden forever. 

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Chicken Girl

Heather Smith

Release date: 26th February
Goodreads
Rep: trans side character (possible li), gay side character (mc’s twin)

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Everybody has a story that will break your heart; a poignant coming-of-age YA for fans of David Arnold, from the author of the acclaimed The Agony of Bun O’Keefe, a Kirkus Best of the Year selection.

Poppy used to be an optimist. But after a photo of her dressed as Rosie the Riveter is mocked online, she’s having trouble seeing the good in the world. As a result, Poppy trades her beloved vintage clothes for a feathered chicken costume and accepts a job as an anonymous sign waver outside a restaurant. There, Poppy meets six-year-old girl Miracle, who helps Poppy see beyond her own pain, opening her eyes to the people around her: Cam, her twin brother, who is adjusting to life as an openly gay teen; Buck, a charming photographer with a cute British accent and a not-so-cute mean-streak; and Lewis a teen caring for an ailing parent, while struggling to reach the final stages of his gender transition. As the summer unfolds, Poppy stops glorifying the past and starts focusing on the present. But just as she comes to terms with the fact that there is good and bad in everyone, she is tested by a deep betrayal.

TW: rape

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Buying Gay: How Physique Entrepreneurs Sparked a Movement

David K Johnson

Release date: 26th February
Goodreads
Rep: non-fiction, gay history

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In 1951, a new type of publication appeared on newsstands–the physique magazine produced by and for gay men. For many men growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, these magazines and their images and illustrations of nearly naked men, as well as articles, letters from readers, and advertisements, served as an initiation into gay culture. The publishers behind them were part of a wider world of “physique entrepreneurs” men as well as women who ran photography studios, mail-order catalogs, pen-pal services, book clubs, and niche advertising for gay audiences. Such businesses have often been seen as peripheral to the gay political movement. In this book, David K. Johnson shows how gay commerce was not a byproduct but rather an important catalyst for the gay rights movement.

Offering a vivid look into the lives of physique entrepreneurs and their customers, and presenting a wealth of illustrations, Buying Gay explores the connections–and tensions–between the market and the movement. With circulation rates many times higher than the openly political “homophile” magazines, physique magazines were the largest gay media outlets of their time. This network of producers and consumers helped foster a gay community and upend censorship laws, paving the way for open expression. Physique entrepreneurs were at the center of legal struggles, especially against the U.S. Post Office, including the court victory that allowed full-frontal male nudity and open homoeroticism. Buying Gay reconceives the history of the gay rights movement and shows how consumer culture helped create community and a site for resistance.

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Okay, that took a while, but I’m done!

Did you see any books you’re excited about here?

What are you favourites so far?

anna

5 Replies to “Book Releases: February 2019”

    1. anna loved bloom (her review is up on her blog), and i’m rly excited for crown of feathers, the afterward and the priory of the orange tree! we use ownvoices in a strict sense so the author represents the exact rep they’re writing, and we look mostly on an author’s twitter or website to see how they identify or if they say anything.

      – charlotte

      Liked by 1 person

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