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.
How far would you go to find The One?
A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner—the one you’re genetically made for.
That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love.
Now five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched.” They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking than others…
A word-of-mouth hit in the United Kingdom, The One is a fascinating novel that shows how even the simplest discoveries can have complicated consequences.
This showed up at my library and after seeing several of my friends’ rave reviews, I decided to go for it. Plus, the topic is controversial.
Luisa “Lu” Brant is the newly elected—and first female—state’s attorney of Howard County, Maryland, a job in which her widower father famously served. Fiercely intelligent and ambitious, she sees an opportunity to make her name by trying a mentally disturbed drifter accused of beating a woman to death in her home. It’s not the kind of case that makes headlines, but peaceful Howard county doesn’t see many homicides.
As Lu prepares for the trial, the case dredges up painful memories, reminding her small but tight-knit family of the night when her brother, AJ, saved his best friend at the cost of another man’s life. Only eighteen, AJ was cleared by a grand jury. Now, Lu wonders if the events of 1980 happened as she remembers them. What details might have been withheld from her when she was a child?
The more she learns about the case, the more questions arise. What does it mean to be a man or woman of one’s times? Why do we ask our heroes of the past to conform to the present’s standards? Is that fair? Is it right? Propelled into the past, she discovers that the legal system, the bedrock of her entire life, does not have all the answers. Lu realizes that even if she could learn the whole truth, she probably wouldn’t want to.
Yet another title that showed up at my library. The author states the story was inspired by To Kill a Mockingbird and that intrigues me.
Theo Decker might be the lead singer of Riven, but he hates being a rock star. The paparazzi, the endless tours, being recognized everywhere he goes—it all makes him squirm. The only thing he doesn’t hate is the music. Feeling an audience’s energy as they lose themselves in Riven’s music is a rush unlike anything else . . . until he meets Caleb Blake Whitman. Caleb is rough and damaged, yet his fingers on his guitar are pure poetry. And his hands on Theo? They’re all he can think about. But Caleb’s no groupie—and one night with him won’t be enough.
Just when Caleb is accepting his new life as a loner, Theo Decker slinks into it and turns his world upside-down. Theo’s sexy and brilliant and addictively vulnerable, and all Caleb wants is another hit. And another. That’s how he knows Theo’s trouble. Caleb can’t even handle performing these days. How the hell is he going to survive an affair with a tabloid superstar? But after Caleb sees the man behind the rock star, he begins to wonder if Theo might be his chance at a future he thought he’d lost forever.
My Goodreads friend Sandra @ Cross My Heart Writings & Reviews wrote a 5-star review some time ago and I’ve waited to see if my library would purchase the book. However, I’ve now got the audiobook for review!
Meet London police detective Max Wolfe. Insomniac. Dog lover. Coffee addict. Boxer. Single parent. And every murderer’s worst nightmare.
Someone has been violently killing members of London society. The killer is strong enough and smart enough to kill with a single knife stroke, and bold enough to kill in public. The victims span all levels of London society, and appear to have absolutely nothing in common. As Max begins following the killer’s bloody trail, it takes him from the bright lights and backstreets of London all the way to the corner offices in the corridors of power. But when Max realizes that the victims may have all crossed paths decades ago at their exclusive private school, the case changes. Suddenly, the murders look less random and more personal, and Max finds the killer’s reach getting closer to everything—and everyone—he loves.
Nicki @ Secret Library Book Blog reviewed the fourth book in this series, Die Last, and I liked the makings of this detective. So, I’m beginning at the beginning.
In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African-American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms.
Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.
This selection was a no brainer. I got the audio version so I could hear the story in her voice.
Cami Richardsonis good at chasing away the men in her life:first Gavin Kinkaid, a former classmate she’d helped to bully, and later, her husband who left her widowed and a single mom. Now all she wants is to bring a smile back to her eight-year-old son. What she doesn’t expect is for Gavin to become her new neighbor.
Gavin wants to settle down after serving in the Air Force and mend the separation between him and his dad. What he never counts on is his changing feelings when he sees Cami as a kind woman instead of his former adversary.
When Cami’s son blindsides them both during the Christmas season, is their reunion at risk or will it grow stronger?
I won this in a giveaway (can’t remember the blog!).
They look like an everyday family living an ordinary life. But beyond the edges of this peaceful farm, unimaginable forces of light and dark have been unleashed.
Fallon Swift, approaching her thirteenth birthday, barely knows the world that existed before—the city where her parents lived, now in ruins and reclaimed by nature since the Doom sickened and killed billions. Traveling anywhere is a danger, as vicious gangs of Raiders and fanatics called Purity Warriors search for their next victim. Those like Fallon, in possession of gifts, are hunted—and the time is coming when her true nature, her identity as The One, can no longer be hidden.
In a mysterious shelter in the forest, her training is about to begin under the guidance of Mallick, whose skills have been honed over centuries. She will learn the old ways of healing; study and spar; encounter faeries and elves and shifters; and find powers within herself she never imagined. And when the time is right, she will take up the sword, and fight. For until she grows into the woman she was born to be, the world outside will never be whole again.
This is the second book in Nora Roberts’ Chronicles of the One series. I loved the first and will have this for audio review.
One hot summer’s afternoon, five-year-old Ava Sawyer went to a party. She never came home …
When five-year-old Ava Sawyer goes missing from a birthday party at a local garden centre, the police are bewildered by the lack of leads. That is until two years later, when Ava’s body is found and another little girl, Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party …
Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward. A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that ended very badly.
Natalie soon discovers that Ava’s mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she’s sure Ava’s father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre Elsa see that day? Something that she’s not telling Natalie …
Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn’t come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken?
Yvo @ It’s All About Books reviewed the second book in the series, Last Lullaby, and I was drawn into the lead character in the series, Detective Natalie Ward.
When Ella wakes up in a hospital following a hit-and-run incident, she is scared and confused. Close to tears, her eyes fall on a get-well-soon card on the window sill and the nurse reassures her that her loving husband will be back soon…
But Ella has never been married.
In fact, she has lived alone her whole adult life; working hard, rarely socialising, quietly harbouring a terrible secret from her past.
Fear sweeps through Ella when she instantly recognises the man who enters the ward. He is not her husband, but she knows that she must do as he says and play the part of dutiful wife.
What choice does she have? He was there the night of the fire, he knows her secret too…
Mackenzie @ PhDiva Blog’s review tipped the scales for this one after seeing so many of my friends rave about it. I caved, especially when I learned it was only $.99!
And here are my Kindle freebies for the week
A brand new sinfully sexy standalone romantic comedy from bestselling authors Lauren Blakely and Lili Valente!
When you think about how easy it is to lose keys, phones, sunglasses and your dignity on social media, you might figure it’d be a cinch for me to ditch my V Card.
You’d be wrong.
At 25, I run a successful business, live in a fantastic apartment, and have fabulous friends to go out with any night of the week. And yet I’m still a card-carrying member of a club I don’t want to belong to anymore. Good thing I know just the man for the deflowering job—my brother’s business partner and best friend.
Graham Campbell is charming, smart, and, I’m told, oh-so-skilled in the sack. As long as I keep my eyes on the prize, there’s no way this pluck-the-flower project could possibly complicate matters.
Work and pleasure. As the CEO of a fast-growing company, I’ve been enjoying both to the fullest. What do I do when the board throws me for an unexpected loop so I can keep my business in my hands? I enlist the help of my best friend’s little sister since she holds a big stake in the company. But then I learn there’s another big stake she wants.
The one between my legs.
I can do this. Seven nights to teach her everything I know in the bedroom. There’s no way I’ll fall for her, even though she’s earning top grades in every single lesson. And turns out I’m learning something too. The trouble is I don’t have the answer key to what to do when I fall hard for her.
And that throws a whole new hitch in my plans.
He needs the kind of rescue only she can provide…
Glass artist Savannah Smith expected a marriage proposal for Thanksgiving—just not from her strong, silent, super-hot neighbor. But when misplaced mail and a wayward can of paint lands them in a compromising position right as her family arrives for dinner, they assume he’s “The One” she’s been talking about.
Then his family shows up.
Fate dealt a crippling blow to paramedic Beau Montgomery’s heart, and he isn’t about to put it at risk again. Except, with his mother crying tears of joy over his surprise engagement to the sexy little blonde next door, he can’t bring himself to ruin her “Christmas miracle.”
Somewhere between the paint can to the head and the chaotic family trip to the ER, Beau manages to talk Savannah into being his fake fiancée long enough to survive the holidays.
If, of course, they don’t fall in love first…
The greatest gift anyone can give is a love worth fighting for.
Jennifer McClendon’s world has been turned upside down—twice. First by her unfaithful boyfriend, then by the handsome software engineer she meets while vacationing on a sun-drenched tropical island.
After a passionate night of lovemaking, he extracts a promise from her to keep in touch. But when her post-vacation emails and calls go unanswered, she resolves to pick up the pieces and get on with her life.
Simeon Baker meant to make good on his promise to reconnect with the sultry, quick-witted hairstylist. Two years after a tragic car accident landed him in the hospital for several months, he’s resigned himself to never hearing from her again.
Until a chance encounter offers him a second opportunity to make this a Christmas to remember—for Jennifer, and the something extra she took home from that fateful trip.
If she’ll trust him enough to say yes…