Summer reading is off to the races with our Favorite Indie eBooks of 2023 (So Far!). From thought-provoking narratives to imaginative tales, these indie gems are sure to spark your imagination and leave you craving for more.
Payback Jack by J.E. Trent
Retired Naval crime investigator, Jack Murphy, longs for nothing more than a quiet respite on his boat far from the maddening crowd. But then a small Hawaiian town becomes a breeding ground for ruthless murders. Seeking retribution for his fallen friend, Jack embarks on a relentless quest and must navigate the treacherous waters of a corrupt system. In this high-stakes battle against the untouchables, there are no other cards left to play. Jack must shed the trappings of law and order, embracing the role of a lone avenger, a force to reckon with. As the storm clouds gather and the tempest of vengeance brews, Jack Murphy prepares to unleash his own brand of justice upon the unsuspecting elite, no matter the cost.
What People Are Saying: “The beautiful setting of Hawaii contrasts sharply with the evil behind the mask of respectability. J. E. Trent writes a compelling story that grabs you early and won’t let go until the very end.” – catmom, B&N Reviewer
Goddess from the Lost Planet by Neal Roberts
New York, 2034. Professor David Schubert is a man adrift after the death of his beloved wife. Then, there is the sudden disappearance of a mosque from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, an event that threatens to bring the world to the brink of destruction. David recognizes this event as portending the return to Earth of the ancient gods of Sumeria. When the Pentagon enlists David in opposing the gods’ invasion plans, he finds himself drawn into a global crisis. As David is increasingly drawn to the beautiful intelligence officer assigned to guard and protect him, his fear grows that they may fail to keep a step ahead of the otherworldly forces determined to stop him. Can he puzzle out the truth of these long-departed gods before their return destroys the entire planet?
What People Are Saying: “A real page turner filled with adventure and imagination. The descriptions and dialogue are so vivid you’ll be watching this “action movie ‘in your head.'” – lawyeratleisure, B&N Reviewer
The Keeper of Stories by Sally Page
She can’t recall what started her collection. But before long people were telling her their stories. Cleaner Janice knows that it is in people’s stories that you really get to know them. From recently widowed Fiona and her son Adam to opera-singing Geordie, the quiet bus driver Euan, and the pretentious Mrs. “YeahYeahYeah” and her fox terrier, Decius. When Janice starts cleaning for shrewd Mrs. B, she finally meets someone who wants to hear her story. But Janice is the keeper of stories. She doesn’t have a story to tell… or want to share. Mrs. B is no fool and knows there is more to Janice than meets the eye. What is she hiding? After all, doesn’t everyone have a story to tell?
What People Are Saying: “This is definitely a neat book! … The stories and secrets she learns are amazing and this is just a very well told, interesting and warm novel!” – lauriern, B&N Reviewer
Down with Love by Kate Meader
If you ever get married, remember my name: Max Henderson. In my line of work, you acquire a certain perspective on supposedly everlasting unions… I guess some guys are willing to take a chance. Like my brother, who thinks he’s going to ride off into the sunset with the woman of his dreams. And the wedding planner—the green-eyed beauty Charlie Love—is not unlike me. We’re both cogs in the wedding-industrial complex. As the best man, I know her game—and I can play it better than her. But after one scorching, unexpected kiss, I’m thinking… I might just want to get played.
What People Are Saying: “This is a truly fantastic read. Filled with heat, heart and humor, this fun romance will sweep you off your feet… This is an amazing book that is poignant and passionate.” – moonfox1234, B&N Reviewer
Temple Commander by Paul J. Bennett
Newly promoted, Charlaine deShandria is sent to the borders of the mighty Halvarian Empire. There, she finds a beleaguered kingdom facing possible annihilation. Surprised to discover her new command filled with untested warriors, she struggles to prepare them before the war erupts. Reinforcements finally arrive, but they are led by an old adversary whose very presence bodes ill for the order. When Danica moves the Holy fleet westward, she brings them into direct conflict with the empire’s ships. Finding no friendly ports in which to seek shelter, they are forced to brave the storm-ravaged seas of the north. Can they stop the empire’s tide of tyranny, or will another kingdom fall to the relentless army of Halvaria?
What People Are Saying: “Paul J. Bennett’s ‘Temple Commander’ is another extraordinary addition to his ‘Power Ascending‘ series. He is a master storyteller who always leaves you wanting more. I did not want this book to end.” – BarryEC, B&N Reviewer
Beach View Lane by Jan Moran
April Raines is facing the end of her long-term marriage after her husband begins another family. Eager for a fresh start, she returns home to Crown Island, just off the coast of Southern California. When Ryan Kingston acquires the historical Majestic Hotel, he is determined to bring the vintage Victorian beach resort back to life. But it could come at a steep cost to him and his carefully guarded privacy. Especially when April Raines, head of the new Crown Island Historical Society, captures his attention. Will they both get a second chance at life? If you love clean romance and women’s fiction with fun characters you’ll want as friends, this series is for you.
What People Are Saying: “As with her other books, Jan has brought us all the things we like in a contemporary fiction – romance, intrigue, new love, heartbreak, family issues and much more. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the next ones!” – Books4me!!!, B&N Reviewer
The Other Empress by Amanda Roberts
Zhenxiu was trained from a young age to become the wife of a very powerful man. Soon, teenage Zhenxiu is thrust into the bed of the cruel Prince Yizhu and the center of the Qing Court, a court still reeling from the Opium War. Zhenxiu finds solace in the friendship of Lanhua, and she does her best to help her friend rise in the emperor’s estimation. When the emperor dies and leaves only Lanhua’s young son as his heir, Zhenxiu finds herself as the de facto ruler of China, a position she was never trained to occupy. As she leans more and more on Lanhua for help, she slowly comes to realize that Lanhua’s ambition has no bounds. An ambition that could get them both killed.
What People Are Saying: “Wow! What a read. I was totally immersed in this historical book on Royal China and the fall of the Qing Dynasty. Riveting, captivating – this not a book to be missed.” – vievie2, B&N Reviewer
Big Trouble on Sullivan’s Island by Susan M. Boyer
Charleston, SC. Hadley Cooper gets a request from a new friend to stake out her husband’s extramarital activities. Immediately, she begins surveillance. And when Hadley discovers her client’s lifeless body on her kitchen floor, the Southern spitfire becomes certain that the cheater is the culprit… even though he possesses the perfect alibi: Hadley herself. Flustered, the determined PI desperately searches for clues to tie him to the crime. But when her ex-boyfriend, who happens to be the lead detective on the case, arrests a handy suspect, Hadley fears a guilty man is about to walk free. Can this Palmetto State sleuth make an impossible connection to prevent a miscarriage of justice?
What People Are Saying: “I LOVED this book. Hadley is a strong female lead and I really enjoyed getting to know her. The story was captivating, and the descriptions of Sullivan Island made me wish I could visit to experience the location myself.” – Stacey R., B&N Reviewer
From The Grave by Kresley Cole
To defeat the Emperor and Fortune, Evie, the great Empress of Arcana, must repair her bond with Death, despite the earth-shattering developments between them. Their allies—a sea witch, a band of roving warriors, and more than a couple of rogues—overcome terrifying obstacles to help them. But when Jack makes a shocking discovery, the fallout threatens to tear their alliance apart. If the Empress and her friends can remain united, will their powers be enough to defeat a catastrophic curse on the world, or will hellfire reign forever? The end looms for us all until the best hand wins. . . . This is the spectacular and fiery conclusion in the Arcana Chronicles Series.
What People Are Saying: “Wonderfully written, wrapped up everything so nicely with a pretty red ribbon. So sad it’s over but I have waited 5 years for this. Worth all of it.” – Kaci, B&N Reviewer
Seed Money by B.E. Baker
Seren Colburn has experienced nothing but bad luck, so it comes as no surprise when Dave, a potential buyer for her family mansion, mistakes her for a vagrant squatting in the unfurnished home. If she wasn’t about to lose her grandmother’s house to the bank, she wouldn’t even be selling it. But Dave has an idea. He suggests they work together to turn the mansion into an inn, capitalizing on her grandmother’s graceful and timeless image. Seren really doesn’t want to, but she’s out of options. Dave quickly realizes he wants her as more than just a business partner, but can he convince Seren that her luck’s about to change. . .if only she’ll take a chance on him?
What People Are Saying: “This book had so much heart and emotion in it. I was crying and laughing and then crying some more but that is my favorite kind of book. And I want to be able to connect with the characters and put myself in their shoes and I was able to do just that. I loved it and I can’t wait to see what shenanigans happen in book two.” – Bekah H., B&N Reviewer
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