The Selector’s Selections: March 2024

For whatever reason, all my books this time feature romances. I say whatever reason, but obviously “romantasy” is huge right now, and publishers are paying attention to that. So if you enjoy romance, read on! And if you don’t, I promise I’ll try to include non-romances next month.

coverWhat Monstrous Gods” by Rosamund Hodge

This fantasy starts with Sleeping Beauty vibes, but quickly dives deep into political and divine machinations. 500 years ago, the sorcerer Ruven placed the entire royal family under an enchanted sleep, and raised up impenetrable briars around the palace. The royal family were the kingdom’s connection to the gods, so now the gods are silent and no longer working miracles through their human saints. Lia was born with magic, and has been raised to kill the sorcerer and break the enchantment. Once she does, the gods will be able to save the kingdom from plague and neighboring enemies. But Lia’s reward for saving the royal family is an unwanted betrothal, and the assignment to travel the kingdom and restore shrines to the old gods. As she travels with her prince fiancé, she learns that the gods aren’t at all what she expected, and that Ruven may have made the right choice in silencing them 500 years ago. At least, that’s what Ruven says, as he’s also traveling with them in the form of an annoyingly attractive ghost that only Lia can see. Lia navigates faith, obedience, lies and love in this compelling standalone fantasy.

coverPromchanted” by Morgan Matson

This is another Sleeping Beauty-inspired option, but it’s a much fluffier contemporary rom-com. Stella has been excitedly planning the perfect prom night itinerary, centered around a Disneyland double date before prom. Getting dumped three weeks before the big day could have crushed her dreams, but Stella is determined to enjoy herself. Her bestie invites a new guy named Reece so Stella won’t feel like such a third wheel, but unfortunately, Reece was the waiter who witnessed her very public breakup. Stella and Reece do their best to ignore each other, but as they’re all exploring Sleeping Beauty’s castle, things take a turn for the magical. The two of them find a hidden door that transports them straight into Aurora’s universe. They’ll need to work together to find their way home, and make sure that they don’t disrupt Aurora and Philip’s happily ever after in the process.

coverThe No-Girlfriend Rule” by Christen Randall

Hollis is determined to make her relationship with her boyfriend Chris last beyond senior year. In an effort to be closer with him, she learns to play his favorite tabletop role-playing game, Secrets & Sorcery—only to be told that his group has a strict “No Girlfriends at the Table” rule. She tries to find another group, but encounters fat-shaming and misogynistic comments. She’s about to give up when she sees a flyer for a girl-friendly, LGBTQIA+ friendly group. The gamers warmly welcome her and Hollis thrives in their camaraderie. As she becomes more confident through her newfound friendships, she has to examine her relationship with Chris and decide what she really wants. Especially when an in-game flirtation with out and proud Aini starts to feel more and more real. Queer, fat and neurodivergent, this debut novel provides a refreshing perspective on girls in gaming.

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