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  • Writer's pictureThe Bossy Bookworm

Three Books I'm Reading Now, 7/10/23 Edition

The Books I'm Reading Now

I'm reading the second in Leigh Bardugo's Alex Stern series, Hell Bent, in which grumpy, tough, magical, irresistible Alex assembles a ragtag group of loyal allies to try to save her mentor from the clutches of hell; I'm listening to Wendy Walker's newest thriller, about a detective with a dangerous stalker; and I'm reading Katherine Center's upcoming (to be published tomorrow) Hello Stranger, light fiction about an artist with temporary face blindness.

What are you reading these days, bookworms?


01 Hell Bent (Alex Stern #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Alex Stern is determined to save Darlington from the clutches of hell, even if it costs her her precarious position as a student at Yale and her role at Lethe as an overseer of the university's secret society's magical goings-on.

Alex and Dawes must work secretly, as their activities are unsanctioned, and the outcome seems to have little hope of being anything but deadly.

Yet they assemble an oddball group of allies that just might be able to pull off the impossible.

Ninth House, a book for adults whose story line is not connected to the Grishaverse, is the first in Bardugo's Alex Stern series. I love returning to Alex's creative, irresistibly unorthodox approach to life and her grumpy, undying loyalty to her small group of trusted loved ones.

I mentioned Leigh Bardugo's Shadow and Bone series in the Greedy Reading List Six Royally Magical Young Adult Series. She also wrote the King of Scars duology (you can find my review of book two, Rule of Wolves, here).

Leigh Bardugo's Grishaverse is made up of her Shadow and Bone trilogy, the Six of Crows duology, and the King of Crows duology discussed here, which is expected to be the end of the interconnected series.


02 What Remains by Wendy Walker

When Detective Elise Sutton stumbles into a crime--a gunman is wandering a big-box store, shooting--she draws her gun for the first time in her career and takes down the shooter, saving at least one bystander's life.

But when guilt and self-doubt lead her to track down the almost-victim, Wade Austin, he assures her that her actions saved him. But then he insinuates himself into Elise's life in odd and alarming ways.

It becomes clear that he has been learning from the online notes of a class Elise once taught on getting away with murder in order to evade detection and make sure Elise knows he's in control of her destiny.

In order to keep her husband, young daughters, and partner safe, Elise may have to keep some crucial secrets and take unimaginable risks in an attempt to outsmart her stalker.

The story is told with alternating chapters focused on a chilling crime that feels connected to the Elise-Wade situation, and it doesn't bode well for Elise's future.

I received an audiobook edition of this title, narrated by Gabra Zackman and Peter Ganim, courtesy of and Blackstone Publishing.


03 Hello Stranger by Katherine Center

Sadie Montgomery thought she was at a high point in her life. She was a finalist in the North American Portrait Society competition...then she wakes up unable to recognize faces as anything more than a jumble of features.

The doctors tell her it's likely temporary, but she can't help but panic. Meanwhile she's got family issues to cope with--and she's falling for two different men.

I received a prepublication edition of this book courtesy of NetGalley and St. Martin's Press. Hello Stranger is scheduled for publication July 11.

Katherine Center is also the author of What You Wish For, Things You Save in a Fire, The Bodyguard, How to Walk Away, Happiness for Beginners, and other books.

If this book sounds intriguing, you might also be interested in the books on my Greedy Reading Lists Six Rom-Coms Perfect for Summer Reading, Six Great Light Fiction Stories Perfect for Summer Reading, and Six More Great Light Fiction Stories.


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