If I Live by Terri BlackstockStarring: Casey Cox, who became a master of disguise after being framed for the murder of her best friend by two crooked cops, and Dylan Roberts, the PI who was originally trying to catch her but now wants to help.
What it is: an edge-of-your-seat romantic suspense story and the final book in Casey's journey (the first two are If I Run and If I'm Found).
What should you read next: If you want more compelling romantic suspense, pick up one of Dee Henderson or Dani Pettrey's books.
No One Ever Asked: A Novel by Katie GanshertFeaturing: Anaya, an African American first-year teacher; Camille, a white stay-at-home mom active in the PTA; and Jen, the white adoptive mother of a seven-year-old girl from Africa.
What happens: When a Missouri school district loses its accreditation, its students move to another one -- but the new area has wealthy white kids and the incoming students are less-affluent African Americans.
Why you should read it: It's a timely, affecting, thought-provoking look at racism, socioeconomic status, parenting, and more.
A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn GreenStarring: Vivienne, a lacemaker in France who must somehow flee before she's guillotined like her aunt; Liam, an Irish-American farmer and former Revolutionary War soldier who helps her make a new life in Pennsylvania; and young Henri, who becomes Vivienne's charge...and who some think is France's boy king in hiding.
Look for: evocative writing, a likable romantic duo, details about the Whiskey Rebellion, and cameos by Alexander and Eliza Hamilton.
The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla LaureanoWhat it's about: Denver chef Rachel Bishop's life revolves around her job. So after Alex Kanin's New Yorker essay unintentionally causes her to lose it, they are both upset. To make up for things, Alex hosts exclusive pop-up dinner parties catered by Rachel in his expensive apartment, hoping to restore her career.
Series alert: This richly described 1st in an engaging new series is a perfect treat for foodies and fans of Denise Hunter's The Wishing Season, which also features a female chef falling in love.
Focus on: Living with Mental Illness
Bride of a Distant Isle: A Novel by Sandra ByrdWhat it's about: In 1851 England, teacher Annabel Ashton, the illegitimate daughter of a woman who died in an asylum, questions her own sanity as she fights to save her seaside ancestral home, tries to avoid a marriage arranged by her duplicitous (and possibly worse) cousin, ponders strange occurrences, and falls in love.
Opening line: "I had no warning before evil befell me."
Series alert: This engaging book with gothic elements and a sweet romance is the 2nd entry in the Daughters of Hampshire trilogy.
The Feathered Bone by Julie CantrellFeaturing: Amanda Salassi, caring mom and chaperone for her daughter's sixth grade class field trip to New Orleans.
What happens: One of the girls -- Amanda's daughter's best friend -- disappears without a trace. Devastated by loss yet hoping for her return, those left behind face severe trials, including depression.
Is it for you? Dealing with difficult subject matter, this is a challenging but rewarding and faith-filled read.
The Painted Table by Suzanne FieldWhat it's about: Joann, a new wife and mother in the 1940s and 50s, raises her daughter, Saffee, while obsessively repainting a table from her own childhood. In the second half of the book, an adult Saffee -- who worries that she, too, will develop a mental illness -- inherits the table, which is ingrained with family memories she would rather forget.
Why you should read it: This lyrical tale shines a sensitive light on an important yet often ignored topic.
Her Brother's Keeper: An Amish Secrets Novel by Beth WisemanIntroducing: Charlotte Dolinsky, whose brother fell in love with a Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Amish woman...and then committed suicide.
What happens: Looking for answers about her brother, Charlotte masquerades as an Amish woman. As she gets closer to the truth, she becomes uncomfortable with her deceit.
Is it for you? Edgier than many Amish books, this is the thought-provoking 1st of three books telling Charlotte's story.
Contact your librarian for more great books!