Top Off Your TBR: October 2023

[fa icon="calendar"] Oct 8, 2023 7:46:07 PM / by Suzanne

Copy of Top Off Your TBR Sept. 2023October is packed with books I'm excited to read and I can't wait to dive in. As usual, I only highlighted three, but there are so many more I could have rambled about. Gargoyles and Shakespeare and a mid-century gay detective... An embarrassment of riches this month.

There are also lots more Christmas romances this month and I've again opted to leave them off my list, with the exception of Julie Murphy and Sierra Simone's A Holly Jolly Ever After because I'm really enjoying that series. (My list, my rules.)

That's enough intro, I'm off to read!

This post contains affiliate links.

iris-kelly-doesnt-dateIris Kelly Doesn't Date, by Ashley Herring Blake - October 24

A fake relationship after a horrible one-night stand is anything but an act in this witty and heartfelt new romantic comedy by Ashley Herring Blake.

Everyone around Iris Kelly is in love. Her best friends are all coupled up, her siblings have partners that are perfect for them, and her parents are still blissfully married. And she’s happy for all of them, truly. Iris doesn’t want any of that—dating, love, romance. She’ll stick to her commitment-free hookups, thanks very much, except no one in her life will just let her be. Everyone wants to see her settled down, but she holds firmly to her no dating rule. There’s only one problem—Iris is a romance author facing an imminent deadline for her second book, and she’s completely out of ideas.
Perfectly happy to ignore her problems as per usual, Iris goes to a bar in Portland and meets a sexy stranger, Stefania, and a night of dancing and making out turns into the worst one-night stand Iris has had in her life. To get her mind off everything, Iris tries out for the lead role in a local play, a queer retelling of Much Ado About Nothing, but comes face-to-face with Stefania, whose real name turns out to be Stevie. Desperate to save face in front of her friends, Stevie asks Iris to play along as her girlfriend. Iris is shocked, but when she realizes the arrangement might provide her with some much-needed romantic content for her book, she agrees. As the two women play the part of a happy couple, lines start to blur, and they’re left wondering who will make the real first move....


Why I Want to Read It - I've loved this series so far and Iris, the brash third in the central friend group, deserves a partner worthy of her. I recently read another "terrible one night stand turned fake dating" book and it was great, so I'm interested to read if AHB does this in a different way. It seems like a really niche plotline, but Rachel Lynn Solomon did it and honestly, I'll read it again and again.

Buy a copy:  Amazon


a-dish-best-served-hotA Dish Best Served Hot, by Natalie Caña - October 31

  Santiago "Saint" Vega gets a second shot at love with Lola León, but when duty to his family forces him to do something she'll never forgive, will everything he's built come crumbling down? 

Years ago, Saint walked away from the girl he loved to fulfill his duty. Now he’s struggling to build bridges between his drifting family, take on more responsibilities at his uncle’s construction company, figure out why his daughter refuses to talk at school and curtail his mischievous abuelo’s escalating pranks. Then she walks back into his life.

Social justice advocate Lola León has returned to Humboldt Park for two reasons: to help care for her dear abuelo and to serve the community center she loved, particularly the shelter for unhoused LGBTQIA+ youths. When she finds out that the Vegas are responsible for endangering both, she is more than ready to go to war—even if the boy she never forgot is standing at the front of the battlefield.

Neither of them expects to become allies in saving the shelter, helping Saint’s daughter or ending the decades-long feud between their grandfathers. They definitely don’t expect all of their old feelings to come rushing back. As Saint and Lola enter combat, they can’t help but wonder where the other’s true allegiance lies, and whether they’ll win these battles only to lose each other.


Why I Want to Read It - The grandfathers in this series are the best! I really liked the first of the Vega family's books and while I know this one won't necessarily have two meddling grandpas, I'll take whatever I get.

Buy a copy:  Amazon


Books I've Read Early:

Disclosure: I received copies of these books from the publisher for review.

the-hurricane-warsThe Hurricane Wars (Hurricane Wars #1), by Thea Guanzon - This is Reylo fic in a Philippines-inspired fantasy setting. I couldn't stop reading it.

Hockey Girl Loves Drama Boy, by Faith Erin Hicks - Read my thoughts on this YA romance graphic novel here.

Starling House, by Alix E. Harrow - This contemporary gothic fantasy/romance was too slow for my taste, but Harrow crafted something of a revenge fantasy against the wealthy coalmine owners who care nothing for the humans and land they destroy. The pacing is slow enough that it feels longer than 312 pages, but YMMV. Deals a lot with grief. FMC has a biracial sibling. Bi MMC and sapphic secondary characters.

Also out this month:

All titles in red are links to Amazon. Check out the full list here.

throne-of-the-fallenOctober 3 - Wildfire (The Maple Hills Series), by Hannah Grace

October 3 - Throne of the Fallen, by Kerri Maniscalco

October 3 - Hockey Girl Loves Drama Boy, by Faith Erin Hicks (Graphic Novel)

October 3 - The Hurricane Wars (Hurricane Wars #1), by Thea Guanzon

October 3 - Starling House, by Alix E. Harrow

October 3 - The Spells We Cast, by Jason June

October 3 - The Scarlet Alchemist, by Kylie Lee Baker

October 3 - Night of the Witch (Witch and Hunter, #1), by Sara Raasch and Beth Revis

the-gargoyle-from-general-managementOctober 3 - The Gargoyle from General Management, by Kate Prior

October 3 - Curious Tides (The Drowned Gods Duology), by Pascale Lacelle

October 3 - Shield Maiden, by Sharon Emmerichs

October 10 - Sword Catcher, by Cassandra Clare

October 10 - A Dawn of Onyx (Sacred Stones, #1), by Kate Golden (Berkley re-release)

October 10 - The Night Hunt, by Alexandra Christo

October 10 - Stars in Your Eyes, by Kacen Callender

stars-in-your-eyesOctober 10 - Better Hate than Never (Wilmot Sisters, #2), by Chloe Liese

October 10 - Bittersweet in the Hollow, by Kate Pearsall

October 10 - The Bell in the Fog (Evander Mills #2), by Lev A.C. Rosen

October 12 - A Fire Born of Exile (Xuya Universe), by Aliette de Bodard

October 17 - Unholy Terrors, by Lyndall Clipstone

October 17 - Flower and Thorn, by Rati Mehrotra

October 17 - Dragged to the Wedding, by Andrew Grey

two-twisted-crownsOctober 17 - Two Twisted Crowns (The Shepherd King #2), by Rachel Gillig

October 17 - Sweeten the Deal, by Katie Shepard

October 17 - 10 Things That Never Happened, by Alexis Hall

October 17 - The Marquis who Musn't (Wedgeford Trials #2), by Courtney Milan

October 17 - Friends Don't Fall in Love, by Erin Hahn

October 17 - Let's Get Quizzical, by Kelly Ohlert

October 24 - A Curse for True Love (Once Upon a Broken Heart #3), by Stephanie Garber

October 24 - Bound to the Shadow Prince, by Ruby Dixon (audiobook only for now)

secret-heir-for-christmasOctober 24 - Secret Heir for Christmas, by LaQuette and Tempted by the Bollywood Star, by Sophia Singh Sasson (Harlequin Desire double feature)

October 24 - Iris Kelly Doesn't Date, by Ashley Herring Blake

October 24 - When You Are Mine (Bennett Series #1), by Kennedy Ryan

October 24 - The Vet's Shelter Surprise, by Elle Douglas

October 31 - A Dish Best Served Hot (Vega Family #2), by Natalie Caña

October 31 - Sinner's Isle, by Angela Montoya

October 31 - A Fire in the Flesh, by Jennifer L. Armentrout

October 31 - A Castle in the Air (A Stitch in Time #4), by Kelley Armstrong

Reminder: all of these books are collected in a list over at Amazon for your convenience.


That's a wrap! Hope this list helps and, as always, I'd love to hear what you're picking up this month!


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Topics: new releases