Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Godslayers by Zoe Hana Mikuta

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings where bloggers share which upcoming releases they’re most looking forward to. Join us every Wednesday and watch your TBR list multiply.

Zoe Hana Mikuta’s Gearbreakers was one of my favorite 2021 reads. Sapphic romance + mechas + found family made it an unforgettable read. I am highly anticipating the sequel, Godslayers, which concludes this action-packed sci-fi duology. If this series isn’t on your radar, what are you doing? Pick it up now! Cover is linked to Goodreads.

 alt=Title: Godslayers
Author: Zoe Hana Mikuta
Series: Gearbreakers, #2
Pages: 416
Publisher: Feiwel Friends
Publication Date: June 28, 2022

      “The only way to kill a god is from the inside…
      The Gearbreakers struck a devastating blow against Godolia on Heavensday, but the cost of victory has been steep. Months later, the few rebels who’ve managed to escape the tyrannical empire’s bloody retribution have fled to the mountains, hunted by the last Zenith–Godolia’s only surviving leader.
      Eris has been held prisoner since the attack on the capital city, which almost killed her. And she begins to wish it had when she discovers Sona–the girl she loves, the girl she would tear down cities for–also survived, only to be captured and Corrupted by the Zenith. The cybernetic brainwashing that Sona has forcibly undergone now has her believing herself a loyal soldier for Godolia, and Eris’ mortal enemy.
      With the rebellion shattered and Godolia moving forward with an insidious plan to begin inducting Badlands children into a new Windup Pilot program, the odds have never been more stacked against the Gearbreakers. Their last hope for victory will depend on whether Eris and Sona can somehow find their way back to each other from opposite sides of a war…”

Are you participating in Can’t-Wait Wednesday or Waiting on Wednesday? Is this book on your TBR? Be sure to leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll visit!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books on My Wishlist

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is Bookish Wishes.” I actually had to update my wishlist for this topic because it looked more or less the same since the last time we did this topic. But, of course, there is no shortage of books that I want. If you are interested in checking out my full list, you can do so here. Covers linked to Goodreads.

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1. Witch Hat Atelier #4 by Kamome Shirahama – I am so excited to continue this series after reading the first, but my order for this fourth one had a mix up and was sent back. I got a really good deal on it too.

2. Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao – I have a feeling that I am going to really like this one. The world building sounds pretty amazing and I have a soft spot for books with mechas.

3. Sal & Gabi Fix the Universe by Carlos Hernandez – I would love to complete my collection of this duology with this one.

4. Once Upon a K-Prom by Kat Cho – This one just sounds so cute, so I added it to my wishlist just because, haha.

5. Love Radio by Ebony LaDelle – Okay, fine, I’m a romantic at heart which is why this one also sounds absolutely perfect and I want it.

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6. A Pho Love Story by Joan Le – I listened to the audiobook of this one from my library and absolute loved it. I would love a physical copy of it as a result.

7. The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams –  Another library read I absolutely devoured. I would love to own this one as well.

8. The Lesbiana’s Guide to Catholic School by Sonora Reyes – Probably the one book at the top of my wishlist is this one. It’s my favorite read so far this year and I am honestly just waiting for a coupon or something to buy it myself.

9. Race to the Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse – This is one of the most fun and charming middle grade books I’ve read. I am obviously on my way to owning all of Roanhorse’s books at this point.

10. Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert – This is the only Brown Sisters book I don’t own. Boo.

Have you read any of these books? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit!

Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev

Title: Recipe for Persuasion
Author: Sonali Dev
Series: The Rajes, #2
Pages: 464
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Release Date: May 26th 2020

TW: suicide, death of parents, PTSD, panic attacks, alcoholism, abuse, marital rape resulting in pregnancy (a character learns this is how they were conceived)

      “From the author of Pride, Prejudice, and Other Flavors comes another , clever, deeply layered, and heartwarming romantic comedy that follows in the Jane Austen tradition—this time, with a twist on Persuasion.
      Chef Ashna Raje desperately needs a new strategy. How else can she save her beloved restaurant and prove to her estranged, overachieving mother that she isn’t a complete screw up? When she’s asked to join the cast of Cooking with the Stars, the latest hit reality show teaming chefs with celebrities, it seems like just the leap of faith she needs to put her restaurant back on the map. She’s a chef, what’s the worst that could happen?
      Rico Silva, that’s what.
      Being paired with a celebrity who was her first love, the man who ghosted her at the worst possible time in her life, only proves what Ashna has always believed: leaps of faith are a recipe for disaster.
      FIFA winning soccer star Rico Silva isn’t too happy to be paired up with Ashna either. Losing Ashna years ago almost destroyed him. The only silver lining to this bizarre situation is that he can finally prove to Ashna that he’s definitely over her.
      But when their catastrophic first meeting goes viral, social media becomes obsessed with their chemistry. The competition on the show is fierce…and so is the simmering desire between Ashna and Rico. Every minute they spend together rekindles feelings that pull them toward their disastrous past. Will letting go again be another recipe for heartbreak—or a recipe for persuasion…?
      In Recipe for Persuasion, Sonali Dev once again takes readers on an unforgettable adventure in this fresh, fun, and enchanting romantic comedy.”

Recipe for Persuasion, Sonali Dev’s second novel in The Rajes series, inspired by Austen’s Persuasion, finds a balance between heavy topics and a touching second-chance romance. Ashna Rajes’s entire life revolves around her late father’s restaurant, Curried Dreams. With its future in the balance, Ashna agrees to take part in a new show, “Cooking with the Stars”, which pairs chefs with celebrities. What she doesn’t anticipate is being paired with Rico Silva, international soccer star and the first boy Ashna ever loved. Their meeting sets off a series of events that forces Ashna to confront her relationship with each of her parents, the choices she’s made, and the things she’s given up in order to satisfy the ghosts of her past.

Ashna carries a lot of guilt stemming from her parents’ unhappy marriage and her father’s suicide. She’s built walls around herself to protect herself from the hurt, but this also keeps her from truly experiencing happiness. Ashna has spent years bottling her emotions and though she freely shows the people she loves kindheartedness, she keeps the darker parts of herself hidden. She has sacrificed her present and her future in order to make amends, but can never really do so when the one she is trying to make it up to has already passed. The one and only time she truly let herself be selfish was with Rico. They learned to be vulnerable with one another and found solace in each other, but after Ashna’s father discovered their relationship, everything fell apart.

All of Rico’s soccer dreams have come true, but an injury has forced him into an early retirement. A friend’s impending nuptials has him reflecting on how he’s been approaching romantic relationships. He’s been unable to fully commit and this realization brings him back to Ashna. He seeks closure, but finds this new Ashna to be far different than the one he left behind. The more time he spends with her, the more the memories and feelings from the past begin to resurface. And suddenly, he finds himself desperate for Ashna to let him in again. Ashna and Rico’s reunion is tension-filled. They are both angry at how things ended and every interaction is weighed down with unsaid things. Dev writes angst so well, the amount of tortured longing is just enough to make the reader beg to see these two make their way back to each other, but not too much where it begins to get too frustrating.

Recipe for Persuasion deals with a lot of trauma (see trigger warnings). These characters have not had easy lives and so much of who they’ve become is the result of tragedy and abuse. Navigating all kinds of different relationships can be extremely difficult when so many past experiences have changed the way they emotionally engage with others. One pleasant surprise though is that the novel’s true love story is actually centered around Ashna and her mother, Shobi. These two have long been alienated from one another. Shobi’s choice to leave her daughter and pursue her passion might have been the only way for her to survive her marriage, but it left Ashna with a controlling parent who never could meet her needs. There is a lot of resentment, regret, and secrets between Ashna and her mother. They have to learn to overcome these things and allow the other to truly see them before their relationship can be mended. I feel like I should address that this isn’t a light-hearted romance by any stretch of the imagination. The book deals with a lot of trauma and while I do think it handles these well, I wish I had known how heavy it was going to be going in.

Sonali Dev’s delivers one of the most emotionally complex books I’ve ever read with Recipe for Persuasion, the second novel in The Rajes series. If you enjoy second-chance romance and complicated mother-daughter relationships, Recipe for Persuasion is a must.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
(5/5)

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Juniper & Thorn by Ava Reid

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings where bloggers share which upcoming releases they’re most looking forward to. Join us every Wednesday and watch your TBR list multiply.

One of my favorite debuts last year was Ava Reid’s The Wolf and the Woodsman, so as soon as I saw that Juniper & Thorn was in the same universe, I had to add it to my TBR. Then I learned that it was gothic fantasy book and there was no hope for me. Definitely one of my most anticipated releases of all of 2022. Please note that this one deals with sexual assault. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

 alt=Title: Juniper & Thorn
Author: Ava Reid
Series: N/A
Pages: 368
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Publication Date: June 21, 2022

      “From highly acclaimed bestselling author Ava Reid comes a gothic horror retelling of The Juniper Tree, set in another time and place within the world of The Wolf and the Woodsman, where a young witch seeks to discover her identity and escape the domination of her wizard father, perfect for fans of Shirley Jackson and Catherynne M. Valente.
      A gruesome curse. A city in upheaval. A monster with unquenchable appetites.
      Marlinchen and her two sisters live with their wizard father in a city shifting from magic to industry. As Oblya’s last true witches, she and her sisters are little more than a tourist trap as they treat their clients with archaic remedies and beguile them with nostalgic charm. Marlinchen spends her days divining secrets in exchange for rubles and trying to placate her tyrannical, xenophobic father, who keeps his daughters sequestered from the outside world. But at night, Marlinchen and her sisters sneak out to enjoy the city’s amenities and revel in its thrills, particularly the recently established ballet theater, where Marlinchen meets a dancer who quickly captures her heart.
      As Marlinchen’s late-night trysts grow more fervent and frequent, so does the threat of her father’s rage and magic. And while Oblya flourishes with culture and bustles with enterprise, a monster lurks in its midst, borne of intolerance and resentment and suffused with old-world power. Caught between history and progress and blood and desire, Marlinchen must draw upon her own magic to keep her city safe and find her place within it.”

Are you participating in Can’t-Wait Wednesday or Waiting on Wednesday? Is this book on your TBR? Be sure to leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll visit!