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Saturdays at the Café

Saturdays at the Café - Body

Saturdays at the Café is a weekly feature hosted here to talk about and discuss the books I’ve discovered during the past week, added to my shelf and am excited about reading. They may be new/scheduled releases I’ve seen on NetGalley, at the library, or from publishers or they may be older titles my friends have reviewed and shared on Goodreads or blogs.

 

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1873 –
Adam Gentry, heir to the celebrated Paradise Stables in Virginia, is haunted by the visions of his lost love. Feeling cursed by fate, he slips deeper into grief, shrouded in a cloud of liquor and depression, and neglects his duties and responsibilities. But when Adam is forced to accept that there’s nothing he can do to change his past, he knows he must move on.
And he accepts his own destiny: that he will never love again.
Emmaline Somerset finds herself in the worst possible position any unmarried woman can be in. She will have to abandon all of her plans, hopes, and dreams for an independence using her own talents. The only viable solution is to move to a distant relative’s home and reinvent herself as a widow with an infant. No one will ever be the wiser.
Adam, now determined to secure the Gentry legacy, plans to save longtime family friend Emmaline from her embarrassment with an offer of marriage. But what Adam didn’t plan on was how his unexpected attraction to her would stir something inside of him, something he’s kept locked deep within.
Can love finds its way between two troubled souls, one driven by duty, the other by honor, both determined to find their way home?

This is another of my favorite Indie authors who writes wonderful historical romances.

 

 

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Gracelyn Riley married a firefighter and she knew that came with some risks. But she never imagined herself widowed in her early thirties with two children to care for on her own. Even though she had asked her husband, Chad, for a trial separation the week before his death because she found out about an affair he was having, dealing with the last year without him has not been easy. Her brother-in-law, Matt, has been the rock that has kept her from collapsing.

As a fireman, Matt Riley had been at the scene when his brother was killed. Several other firefighters had to hold him back to keep him from going after his brother in the collapsing building. The last year has been difficult for Matt. He suffered greatly from survivor’s guilt and drank himself into oblivion on several occasions. His one saving grace has come in the form of his sister-in-law, Gracelyn. Her friendship has pulled him through time and time again.

With the year anniversary of Chad’s death upon them, Gracelyn and Matt turn to each for support and comfort. What they didn’t expect was to realize that their feelings for each other may go well beyond the solid friendship they share. Can they overcome the guilt and the scrutiny of their family and friends to find love together?

I was offered this for audio review by Caffeinated Services and jumped on it.

 

 

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Meet the tough, dedicated men of Boston Fire—and the women who turn their lives upside down.

Nursing a broken heart while everybody around him seems to be drowning in happiness has Grant Cutter wondering whether staying with Engine 59—or even Boston Fire—is in his future. It’s tempting as hell to pack up what fits in his Jeep and hit the road. But then a 911 call brings the woman who shattered his heart back into his life, and he knows he won’t ever be able to fully leave her in his rearview mirror.

For a few months, Wren Everett had thought the nightmare of her past was behind her and she might live happily ever after with Grant. Until she got the phone call letting her know the time her ex had spent in jail for assault hadn’t cooled his temper or determination that she belonged with him. Cutting ties with Grant was the hardest thing she’d ever had to do, but it was also the only way to keep him safe.

Now that Grant is back, he’s not letting Wren push him away again. And even with the trust issues between them, Wren dares to hope she and Grant might have a future together after all…if they’re willing to fight for it.

I’m just noticing I seem to have a firefighters thing going on. But, this series is where it started so I pounced on the 6th book, hopefully the audiobook for review.

 

 

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A moving novel about three people who find their way back from loss and loneliness to a different kind of happiness. Arthur, a widow, meets Maddy, a troubled teenage girl who is avoiding school by hiding out at the cemetery, where Arthur goes every day for lunch to have imaginary conversations with his late wife, and think about the lives of others. The two strike up a friendship that draws them out of isolation. Maddy gives Arthur the name Truluv, for his loving and positive responses to every outrageous thing she says or does. With Arthur’s nosy neighbor Lucille, they create a loving and unconventional family, proving that life’s most precious moments are sweeter when shared.

Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader reviewed the second book in this series, Night of Miracles, and I became intrigued by the character. So, I’m beginning at the beginning.

 

 

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#1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci introduces a remarkable new character: Atlee Pine, an FBI special agent assigned to the remote wilds of the western United States. Ever since her twin sister was abducted by a notorious serial killer at age five, Atlee has spent her life hunting down those who hurt others. And she’s the best at it. She could be one of the Bureau’s top criminal profilers, if she didn’t prefer catching criminals in the vast wilderness of the West to climbing the career ladder in the D.C. office. Her chosen mission is a lonesome one–but that suits her just fine.

Now, Atlee is called in to investigate the mutilated carcass of a mule found in the Grand Canyon–and hopefully, solve the disappearance of its rider. But this isn’t the only recent disappearance. In fact, it may be just the first clue, the key to unraveling a rash of other similar missing persons cases in the canyon. . .

I’m a Baldacci fan and as soon as I learned he had a new series for release, I recommended this for library purchase. I’m in the queue for the audio version of Atlee Pine #1.

 

 

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In this gripping debut procedural, a young London policewoman must probe dark secrets buried deep in her own family’s past to solve a murder and a long-ago disappearance.

Your father is a liar. But is he a killer?
Even liars tell the truth… sometimes.

Twenty-six-year-old Cat Kinsella overcame a troubled childhood to become a Detective Constable with the Metropolitan Police Force, but she’s never been able to banish these ghosts. When she’s called to the scene of a murder in Islington, not far from the pub her estranged father still runs, she discovers that Alice Lapaine, a young housewife who didn’t get out much, has been found strangled.

Cat and her team immediately suspect Alice’s husband, until she receives a mysterious phone call that links the victim to Maryanne Doyle, a teenage girl who went missing in Ireland eighteen years earlier. The call raises uneasy memories for Cat–her family met Maryanne while on holiday, right before she vanished. Though she was only a child, Cat knew that her charming but dissolute father wasn’t telling the truth when he denied knowing anything about Maryanne or her disappearance. Did her father do something to the teenage girl all those years ago? Could he have harmed Alice now? And how can you trust a liar even if he might be telling the truth?

Determined to close the two cases, Cat rushes headlong into the investigation, crossing ethical lines and trampling professional codes. But in looking into the past, she might not like what she finds…

Michelle @ Books on the Bookshelf reviewed this a few weeks ago and I finally reached #1 in the library queue.

 

 

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Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighborhoods in Bristol, England. It’s the sort of place where doctors and lawyers and old-money academics live. It’s not the sort of place where people get stabbed in the back thirty times with a kitchen knife in their own homes.

Someone must have seen something.

Newlywed Joey Mullen, for example, recently returned from four years working in Ibiza. She and her husband Alfie are eager to find a place of their own in her hometown. But Joey finds herself distracted by the man next door, Tom Fitzwilliam. He’s the principal of the local high school, twice her age, and devastatingly attractive. What starts as an innocent infatuation soon escalates into fixation, and before long, Joey can’t keep her eyes off of Tom.

Or the principal’s son, Freddie, who dreams of working as a spy, and has been developing his surveillance skills by keeping meticulous logs of the coming and goings in the area. And, as he approaches his fifteenth birthday, his attention—and his lens—are turning more and more towards the local women.

Or perhaps single mother Frances Tripp, who has long been convinced she is being stalked. Her teenage daughter Jenna is worried these delusions are signs of her mother’s deteriorating mental health, particularly now that her paranoia has found a specific target: Tom Fitzwilliam. Frances is determined to keep an eye on him until she can prove that he is behind her persecution.

Twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam.

Nobody knows why this horrific murder was committed, but someone in Melville Heights knows who did it. As the community’s fearful eyes turn on each other, the question remains:

Who else is watching?

Marialyce @ yaya reads reviewed the book this week and I’m finally going for my first Lisa Jewel read. Hoping to get this on audio for review.

 

 

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From the New York Times bestselling author of Good Luck with That comes a new novel about a blue-blood grandmother and her black-sheep granddaughter who discover they are truly two sides of the same coin.

Emma London never thought she had anything in common with her grandmother Genevieve London. The regal old woman came from wealthy and bluest-blood New England stock, but that didn’t protect her from life’s cruelest blows: the disappearance of Genevieve’s young son, followed by the premature death of her husband. But Genevieve rose from those ashes of grief and built a fashion empire that was respected the world over, even when it meant neglecting her other son.

When Emma’s own mother died, her father abandoned her on his mother’s doorstep. Genevieve took Emma in and reluctantly raised her–until Emma got pregnant her senior year of high school. Genevieve kicked her out with nothing but the clothes on her back…but Emma took with her the most important London possession: the strength not just to survive but to thrive. And indeed, Emma has built a wonderful life for herself and her teenage daughter, Riley.

So what is Emma to do when Genevieve does the one thing Emma never expected of her and, after not speaking to her for nearly two decades, calls and asks for help?

If Higgins writes it, I will read it.

 

 

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One bright spring morning in London, Diana Cowper – the wealthy mother of a famous actor – enters a funeral parlor. She is there to plan her own service.

Six hours later she is found dead, strangled with a curtain cord in her own home.

Enter disgraced police detective Daniel Hawthorne, a brilliant, eccentric investigator who’s as quick with an insult as he is to crack a case. Hawthorne needs a ghost writer to document his life; a Watson to his Holmes. He chooses Anthony Horowitz.

Drawn in against his will, Horowitz soon finds himself a the center of a story he cannot control. Hawthorne is brusque, temperamental and annoying but even so his latest case with its many twists and turns proves irresistible. The writer and the detective form an unusual partnership. At the same time, it soon becomes clear that Hawthorne is hiding some dark secrets of his own.

Nicki @ Secret Library Book Blog reviewed the second book in this series and I’m excited to have a new detective series to listen to!

 

 

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Clare Cassidy is no stranger to murder. As a literature teacher specialising in the Gothic writer RM Holland, she teaches a short course on it every year. Then Clare’s life and work collide tragically when one of her colleagues is found dead, a line from an RM Holland story by her body. The investigating police detective is convinced the writer’s works somehow hold the key to the case.
Not knowing who to trust, and afraid that the killer is someone she knows, Clare confides her darkest suspicions and fears about the case to her journal. Then one day she notices some other writing in the diary. Writing that isn’t hers…

Beth @ Bibliobeth put this on my radar.

 

 

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Briggs,
Remember when we parted ways in Germany? It was the day I broke your heart. What you didn’t know was that I was breaking mine too.

I thought they’d be enough-my husband and my son. That I’d get home and everything would go back to the way it was . . .

Before the war.
Before the ambush.
Before you.

But, no matter how hard I try, I can’t erase the trauma we shared. I can’t seem to forget the way my heart beat in time with yours.

The truth is I’m lost without you.

I thought the nightmare was over when they pulled us from that hole in the ground, but nothing could have prepared me for the war I’d face at home.
I know it’s selfish of me to ask, but, please, I have to see you one last time. . .

All my love,
Scottie

You have GOT to read Daisy Gal @ DG Book Blog’s review of this book and then tell me you can resist adding this to your shelf.

 

 

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Jackie Speier was twenty-eight when she joined Congressman Leo Ryan’s delegation to rescue defectors from cult leader Jim Jones’s Peoples Temple in Jonestown, Guyana. Ryan was killed on the airstrip tarmac. Jackie was shot five times at point-blank range. While recovering from what would become one of the most harrowing tragedies in recent history, Jackie had to choose: Would she become a victim or a fighter? The choice to survive against unfathomable odds empowered her with a resolve to become a vocal proponent for human rights.
From the formative nightmare that radically molded her perspective and instincts to the devastating personal and professional challenges that would follow, Undaunted reveals the perseverance of a determined force in American politics. Deeply rooted in Jackie’s experiences as a widow, a mother, a congresswoman, and a fighter, hers is a story of true resilience, one that will inspire other women to draw strength from adversity in order to do what is right—no matter the challenges ahead.

I remember Jonestown and when I watched a recent interview with Congresswoman Speier, I wanted to read her complete story.

 

 

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Crush: a strong and often short-lived infatuation, particularly for someone beyond your reach…

… If Darcy Barrett hadn’t met her dream man when she was eight years old, the rest of the male population wouldn’t be such a let-down. No one measures up to Tom Valeska, aka the best man on Earth, not in looks, brain or heart. Even worse is the knowledge that her twin brother Jamie saw him first, and claimed him forever as his best friend.

Tom’s off limits and loyal to her brother, 99%. One percent of Tom has had to be enough for Darcy, and her adoration has been sustained by his shy kindness. And if she’s honest, his tight t-shirts.

Now Darcy’s got three months left to get her life together before her twin insists on selling the tumble-down cottage they inherited from their grandmother. By night, she’s working in a seedy bar, shooting down lame pickups from bikers. By day, she’s sewing underwear for her best friend and wasting her award-winning photography skills on website shots of pens and novelty mugs. She’s enjoying living the messy life, and a glass of wine or ten… until that one night, when she finds a six-foot-six perfect package on her porch.

Tom’s here, he’s bearing power tools—and he’s single for the first time in a decade.

As a house flipper extraordinaire, Tom has been dispatched by Jamie to give the cottage a drastic facelift that will result in a ton of cash. Darcy doesn’t appreciate Tom’s unsentimental approach to knocking down walls, and he really, really doesn’t approve of her current burnout boyfriend. They can’t be in the same room together without sparks flying- and it’s not the faulty wiring. One bedroom wall separates them at night, and even that’s looking flimsy.

Will Tom ever see Darcy as anything other than a little-sister obstacle to get around? And can she stand up to her most formidable opponent—her twin? This time around, she’s determined to make Tom Valeska 99 percent hers, and he’s never managed to say no to her yet…

If you’ve read The Hating Game, then you already know why I added this to my shelf.

 

 

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When firefighter and single dad Steve Springfield moved his four kids to a Colorado Christmas tree ranch, he intended for it to be a safe haven. But he never expected danger to follow them to his childhood home…
Or that he would come face-to-face with the one girl he could never forget.

Folk artist Camille Brandt lives a quiet life. As the town’s resident eccentric, she’s used to being lonely–until Steve freaking Springfield changes everything. Brave and kind, he’s always had a piece of her heart, and it doesn’t take long before she’s in danger of falling for him and his rambunctious kids. But as mysterious fires break out across the sleepy Colorado town, Steve and Camille will have to fight if they want their happy family to survive until Christmas…

I’ve resisted most of the lovely holiday stories so far…until I read Anne @ Books of My Heart’s review. *sigh*

 

 

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An emotionally riveting debut novel about war, family, and forbidden love—the unforgettable saga of two ill-fated lovers in Korea and the heartbreaking choices they’re forced to make in the years surrounding the civil war that still haunts us today.
When the communist-backed army from the north invades her home, sixteen-year-old Haemi Lee, along with her widowed mother and ailing brother, is forced to flee to a refugee camp along the coast. For a few hours each night, she escapes her family’s makeshift home and tragic circumstances with her childhood friend, Kyunghwan.

Focused on finishing school, Kyunghwan doesn’t realize his older and wealthier cousin, Jisoo, has his sights set on the beautiful and spirited Haemi—and is determined to marry her before joining the fight. But as Haemi becomes a wife, then a mother, her decision to forsake the boy she always loved for the security of her family sets off a dramatic saga that will have profound effects for generations to come.

 

Jennifer @ Tar Heel Reader reviewed this book a few months ago and I finally rose to the top of the library queue!

What books did you add to your shelves this week?

37 thoughts on “Saturdays at the Café”

  1. Lovely group of books, Jonetta! I have added the new Anthony Horowitz book, Forever And A Day from my library, as well as News of our Loved Ones from edelweiss. I am just about ready to give up on Barbara Kingsolver’s Unsheltered. What an enormous disappointment! Have a super weekend!
    I know you will like Watching You, The Word is Murder, and The Arthur Truluv book. Happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Undaunted sounds fascinating. I read the book about Jonestown that came out last year but haven’t read anything specifically by a survivor. She sounds like a tough one. Excited to hear your thoughts on it!

    I’m so impressed with how eclectic your reading is!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’ve known of Speier for awhile now and had no idea she was on that ill-fated trip. She’s remarkable.

      I’ve benefited from having a diverse group of reading friends who’ve exposed me to and recommended some wonderful books. They’ve helped broadened the scope of my reading so much it’s now best described as eclectic.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t think I’d heard of her before! I really can’t remember if she came up in the Jonestown book I read. Will be on the lookout for that one.

        It so helps to have reading friends with diverse interests, it’s too easy to stick with our favorite subjects over and over…for me, at least!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I look forward to this every week, Jonetta! I have 99 Percent Mine pending on EW. They approved me but then had a problem with the ARC, so hopefully I’ll get it again! 😊 I just received copy of the new Baldacci, and I’m ecstatic to have a new series by him and with a female MC. I hope we both love it. I also hope you love the two books I recommended- definitely two of my favorites! Happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great additions! I just added Long Road To Mercy to my kindle as well and a lot of these are on my wishlist.I didn’t realize Sally Thorne had a new book coming out, so I’m definitely adding that one as well. I hope you will enjoy these!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What a great selection. As usual I want them all. The firefighter thing is a great theme – I’ve been enjoying the Shannon Stacey series but didn’t realize the next one was on deck yet. The cover for If You Leave Me is beautiful. I sincerely hope you enjoy the Rocky Mountain Christmas Cowboy as much as I loved it. Anne – Books of My Heart

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sooo many good titles here! My January is swamped, but that hasn’t kept me from adding….sigh…. I’ve never reviewed an audio book for a publisher, is it much harder?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I write all my reviews the same way no matter how I got the book. The only thing added for an audio review are comments about the narrator’s performance. I’m not reviewing for the publisher…they just provide me with a complimentary copy as a normal reviewer. It’s only tough when I didn’t enjoy it, but those are always hard for me to write regardless.

      Liked by 1 person

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