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.
After years of struggling in the Chicago theater scene, ambitious actress Kira Rascher finally lands the role of a lifetime. The catch? Starring in Temper means working with Malcolm Mercer, a mercurial director who’s known for pushing his performers past their limits—on stage and off.
Kira’s convinced she can handle Malcolm, but the theater’s co-founder, Joanna Cuyler, is another story. Joanna sees Kira as a threat—to her own thwarted artistic ambitions, her twisted relationship with Malcolm, and the shocking secret she’s keeping about the upcoming production. But as opening night draws near, Kira and Joanna both start to realize that Malcolm’s dangerous extremes are nothing compared to what they’re capable of themselves.
Mackenzie @ PhDiva strikes again! She featured this in her Saturday at the Café post last week and I wanted it bad. I’m hoping to get this on audio for review.
For three months, this humble fishing village will serve as the playground for New York City’s wealthy elite. Beatrice Bordeaux was looking forward to a summer of reigniting the passion between her and her husband, Harry. Instead, tasked with furthering his investment interest in Montauk as a resort destination, she learns she’ll be spending twelve weeks sequestered with the high society wives at The Montauk Manor—a two-hundred room seaside hotel—while Harry pursues other interests in the city.
College educated, but raised a modest country girl in Pennsylvania, Bea has never felt fully comfortable among these privileged women, whose days are devoted not to their children but to leisure activities and charities that seemingly benefit no one but themselves. She longs to be a mother herself, as well as a loving wife, but after five years of marriage she remains childless while Harry is increasingly remote and distracted. Despite lavish parties at the Manor and the Yacht Club, Bea is lost and lonely and befriends the manor’s laundress whose work ethic and family life stir memories of who she once was.
As she drifts further from the society women and their preoccupations and closer toward Montauk’s natural beauty and community spirit, Bea finds herself drawn to a man nothing like her husband –stoic, plain spoken and enigmatic. Inspiring a strength and courage she had almost forgotten, his presence forces her to face a haunting tragedy of her past and question her future.
Desperate to embrace moments of happiness, no matter how fleeting, she soon discovers that such moments may be all she has, when fates conspire to tear her world apart…
I received a request from the publisher to consider this book and fell in love with the cover and description. And, it will fit my 2019 Historical Fiction Challenge!
To the highest bidder goes…A friendship with benefits? When Tessa Noble takes the stage at a charity auction after a sexy makeover, her best friend, Ryan Bateman, must place the winning bid. It’s definitely not because he’s jealous. Their weekend getaway is a ploy for positive press…or so the rancher tells himself. But soon things take an unexpected turn from platonic to passionate, catapulting the couple far beyond the friend zone…/em>
The author is one of my favorites and I read anything she writes.
From the New York Times bestselling authors of America’s First Daughter comes the epic story of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton—a revolutionary woman who, like her new nation, struggled to define herself in the wake of war, betrayal, and tragedy. Haunting, moving, and beautifully written, Dray and Kamoie used thousands of letters and original sources to tell Eliza’s story as it’s never been told before—not just as the wronged wife at the center of a political sex scandal—but also as a founding mother who shaped an American legacy in her own right.
A general’s daughter…
Coming of age on the perilous frontier of revolutionary New York, Elizabeth Schuyler champions the fight for independence. And when she meets Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s penniless but passionate aide-de-camp, she’s captivated by the young officer’s charisma and brilliance. They fall in love, despite Hamilton’s bastard birth and the uncertainties of war.
A founding father’s wife…
But the union they create—in their marriage and the new nation—is far from perfect. From glittering inaugural balls to bloody street riots, the Hamiltons are at the center of it all—including the political treachery of America’s first sex scandal, which forces Eliza to struggle through heartbreak and betrayal to find forgiveness.
The last surviving light of the Revolution…
When a duel destroys Eliza’s hard-won peace, the grieving widow fights her husband’s enemies to preserve Alexander’s legacy. But long-buried secrets threaten everything Eliza believes about her marriage and her own legacy. Questioning her tireless devotion to the man and country that have broken her heart, she’s left with one last battle—to understand the flawed man she married and the imperfect union he could never have created without her…
I dragged my feet about adding this book until this week’s review by Marialyce @ yayareads. I’m in a fairly short library queue for the audiobook (23 hours long!).
A major literary event: a never-before-published work from the author of the American classic, Their Eyes Were Watching God, which brilliantly illuminates the horror and injustices of slavery as it tells the true story of the last known survivor of the Atlantic slave trade-illegally smuggled from Africa on the last “Black Cargo” ship to arrive in the United States.
In 1927, Zora Neale Hurston went to Plateau, Alabama, to interview ninety-five-year-old Cudjo Lewis. Of the millions of men, women, and children transported from Africa to America as slaves, Cudjo was then the only person alive to tell the story of this integral part of the nation’s history. Hurston was there to record Cudjo’s firsthand account of the raid that led to his capture and bondage fifty years after the Atlantic slave trade was outlawed in the United States.
In 1931, Hurston returned to Plateau, the African-centric community three miles from Mobile founded by Cudjo and other former slaves from his ship. Spending more than three months there, she talked in depth with Cudjo about the details of his life. During those weeks, the young writer and the elderly formerly enslaved man ate peaches and watermelon that grew in the backyard and talked about Cudjo’s past-memories from his childhood in Africa, the horrors of being captured and held in a barracoon for selection by American slavers, the harrowing experience of the Middle Passage packed with more than 100 other souls aboard the Clotilde, and the years he spent in slavery until the end of the Civil War.
Based on those interviews, featuring Cudjo’s unique vernacular, and written from Hurston’s perspective with the compassion and singular style that have made her one of the preeminent American authors of the twentieth-century, Barracoon brilliantly illuminates the tragedy of slavery and one life forever defined by it. Offering insight into the pernicious legacy that continues to haunt us all, black and white, this poignant and powerful work is an invaluable contribution to our shared history and culture.
I’ve waited forever for this audiobook and my number finally came up.
Investigator Will Trent and medical examiner Sara Linton must stop a mysterious group of domestic terrorists planning to unleash a deadly epidemic in this electrifying and all too plausible thriller.
On a serene summer Sunday, a routine admission for a run-of-the-mill surgery at Atlanta’s Emory Hospital goes tragically wrong, setting off a catastrophic wave of destruction that sends the facility and the surrounding area into lockdown. One of the city’s largest and most prestigious institutions, Emory is situated near the Centers for Disease Control, the FBI counter-terrorism headquarters, and a large children’s hospital. Anything that happens there has repercussions for the entire city, the state of Georgia, and possibly the entire nation.
A few miles away, medical examiner Sara Linton is enduring an awkward lunch with her mother, her aunt, and her boyfriend Will Trent, an agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. But the sudden wail of sirens blaring in the distance cuts the uncomfortable get-together short, drawing her and Will to the scene.
Both Sara and Will are seasoned public servants trained to help in an emergency. Dedicated and courageous, they run towards a crisis while others are running away. But on this warm summer day, that instinct will lead them into lethal danger. Within an hour the situation at Emory has spiraled out of control—Sara has been taken prisoner and Will forced undercover, on a case in which thousands of lives are at stake.
That “routine admission” at Emory was the opening maneuver in a perilous game of hunter and prey that leads him out of Atlanta into the Appalachians, to a remote compound where a radical group has hatched a diabolical plan for murder on a massive scale that will rock the nation if it isn’t stopped.
I’m reading this series with a Goodreads group and this month we’re reading the last released book. We were lamenting that it was released two years ago with no sign of a new one and then…voila! By the way, I absolutely love this series.
Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic…and then her bus drives away.
Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.
What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered. One Day in December is a joyous, heartwarming and immensely moving love story to escape into and a reminder that fate takes inexplicable turns along the route to happiness.
I just finally caved after the umpteenth friend posted a rave review!
If V. C. Andrews and Kate Morton had a literary love child, Emma Rous’ The Au Pair would be it.
Seraphine Mayes and her twin brother Danny were born in the middle of summer at their family’s estate on the Norfolk coast. Within hours of their birth, their mother threw herself from the cliffs, the au pair fled, and the village thrilled with whispers of dark cloaks, changelings, and the aloof couple who drew a young nanny into their inner circle.
Now an adult, Seraphine mourns the recent death of her father. While going through his belongings, she uncovers a family photograph that raises dangerous questions. It was taken on the day the twins were born, and in the photo, their mother, surrounded by her husband and her young son, is beautifully dressed, smiling serenely, and holding just one baby.
Who is the child and what really happened that day? One person knows the truth, if only Seraphine can find her.
Mackey @ Macsbooks posted a wonderful review this week and I just have to have this. Another audiobook review hopeful.
On a dark midwinter’s night in an ancient inn on the river Thames, an extraordinary event takes place. The regulars are telling stories to while away the dark hours, when the door bursts open on a grievously wounded stranger. In his arms is the lifeless body of a small child. Hours later, the girl stirs, takes a breath and returns to life. Is it a miracle? Is it magic? Or can science provide an explanation? These questions have many answers, some of them quite dark indeed.
Those who dwell on the river bank apply all their ingenuity to solving the puzzle of the girl who died and lived again, yet as the days pass the mystery only deepens. The child herself is mute and unable to answer the essential questions: Who is she? Where did she come from? And to whom does she belong? But answers proliferate nonetheless.
Three families are keen to claim her. A wealthy young mother knows the girl is her kidnapped daughter, missing for two years. A farming family reeling from the discovery of their son’s secret liaison, stand ready to welcome their granddaughter. The parson’s housekeeper, humble and isolated, sees in the child the image of her younger sister. But the return of a lost child is not without complications and no matter how heartbreaking the past losses, no matter how precious the child herself, this girl cannot be everyone’s. Each family has mysteries of its own, and many secrets must be revealed before the girl’s identity can be known.
Once Upon a River is a glorious tapestry of a book that combines folklore and science, magic and myth. Suspenseful, romantic, and richly atmospheric, the beginning of this novel will sweep you away on a powerful current of storytelling, transporting you through worlds both real and imagined, to the triumphant conclusion whose depths will continue to give up their treasures long after the last page is turned.
This was yet another book that if finally caved and added after so many friends posted their love for the title. Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra (my astrological buddy) posted a review that was the final straw.
When the handsome but dissolute young gentleman Lord Ashworth is found brutally murdered, Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, is called in by Bow Street magistrate Sir Henry Lovejoy to help catch the killer. Just seven months before, Sebastian had suspected Ashworth of aiding one of his longtime friends and companions in the kidnapping and murder of a string of vulnerable street children. But Sebastian was never able to prove Ashworth’s complicity. Nor was he able to prevent his troubled, headstrong young niece Stephanie from entering into a disastrous marriage with the dangerous nobleman.
Stephanie has survived the difficult birth of twin sons. But Sebastian soon discovers that her marriage has quickly degenerated into a sham. Ashworth abandoned his pregnant bride at his father’s Park Street mansion and has continued living an essentially bachelor existence. And mounting evidence–ranging from a small bloody handprint to a woman’s silk stocking–suggests that Ashworth’s killer was a woman. Sebastian is tasked with unraveling the shocking nest of secrets surrounding Ashworth’s life to keep Stephanie from being punished for his death.
This is another series I read with a Goodreads group until we finally got caught up. We love the series so much that we still hold a group book discussion with each new release. We will have to wait until April for this one.
If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?
It’s 1969 in New York City’s Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.
The prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in ’80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.
A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds.
This was selected as the book of the month in one of my Goodreads groups. I’d decided to take a pass on it until I had to describe it in the newsletter😏 Read the first sentence in the description and you’ll see what lured me in.
It’s so easy being best friends with a gorgeous, talented, charming guy. Said no woman ever. Except me. My friendship with Miller is a sure thing — he’s my plus one, my emergency contact, and my shoulder to lean on. He’s also been by my side helping me raise one helluva awesome kid who’s the center of my world. Nothing will change our easy breezy friendship. Until I have the bright idea to convince him to start a new band with me. Trouble is, our sizzling chemistry in the recording studio is getting harder to ignore, no matter how risky it might be.
Sing sexy songs with the woman you’ve been lusting after? Get up close and personal as you croon to the woman you’ve wanted for years? Piece of cake. NOT. Performing with the sweet, sassy and insanely wonderful Ally is like one gigantic obstacle course of challenges for my libido. And my libido is one sexy love song away from kissing her senseless and taking her home.Except that’d be crossing all kinds of lines. I’m not a serious kind of guy, and she’s not a one-night-stand kind of woman. And there’s more at stake here than our harmonies clashing. Instead of making beautiful music together we could end up as a bad love song – or worse, out-of-tune forever.
Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer posted reviews of the second & third books in the series and they caught my fancy. And! They’re narrated by two of my favorites, Sebastian York and Andi Arndt. Of course, I must begin at the beginning.
After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity-and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution.
Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba’s high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country’s growing political unrest-until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary …
Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa’s last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth.
Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba’s tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she’ll need the lessons of her grandmother’s past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.
I’ve wanted this book forever and waited patiently for weeks for the audiobook to reach me in the library queue.
As Chief Official White House Photographer, Pete Souza spent more time alongside President Barack Obama than almost anyone else. His years photographing the President gave him an intimate behind-the-scenes view of the unique gravity of the Office of the Presidency–and the tremendous responsibility that comes with it.
Now, as a concerned citizen observing the Trump administration, he is standing up and speaking out.
Shade is a portrait in Presidential contrasts, telling the tale of the Obama and Trump administrations through a series of visual juxtapositions. Here, more than one hundred of Souza’s unforgettable images of President Obama deliver new power and meaning when framed by the tweets, news headlines, and quotes that defined the first 500 days of the Trump White House.
What began with Souza’s Instagram posts soon after President Trump’s inauguration in January 2017 has become a potent commentary on the state of the Presidency, and our country. Some call this “throwing shade.” Souza calls it telling the truth.
In Shade, Souza’s photographs are more than a rejoinder to the chaos, abuses of power, and destructive policies that now define our nation’s highest office. They are a reminder of a President we could believe in, and a courageous defense of American values.
I’ve loved Souza’s capture of the White House families and this popped up at my library. His Obama/Trump photographic comparisons made news so I thought I’d check this out.
A serial killer murdering for kicks. A detective seeking revenge. When the body of a snatched schoolgirl is found in an abandoned biosciences building, the case is first treated as a kidnapping gone wrong.
But Detective Kay Hunter isn’t convinced, especially when a man is found dead with the ransom money still in his possession. When a second schoolgirl is taken, Kay’s worst fears are realised. With her career in jeopardy and desperate to conceal a disturbing secret, Kay’s hunt for the killer becomes a race against time before he claims another life.
For the killer, the game has only just begun…
Eva @ Novel Deelights posted a cover reveal for the next book in this series and she was crazy excited about it. So much so that I decided to check out the series and ended up adding the first book. If a cover can get a reader that gaga I’ve no choice but to go with it.
An important story for our era: How the American Dream went wrong for two immigrants, and the nightmare that resulted.
The facts of the tragedy are established: On April 15, 2013, two homemade bombs fashioned from pressure cookers exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding 264 others. The elder of the brothers suspected of committing this atrocity, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died in the ensuing manhunt; Dzhokhar will stand trial in January 2015. What we don’t know is why. How did such a nightmare come to pass?
This is a probing and powerful story of dislocation, and the longing for clarity and identity that can reach the point of combustion. Bestselling Russian-American author Masha Gessen is uniquely endowed with the background, access, and talent to tell it. She explains who the brothers were and how they came to do what they appear to have done. From their displaced beginnings, as descendants of ethnic Chechens deported to Central Asia in the Stalin era, Gessen follows them as they are displaced again, from strife-ridden Kyrgyzstan to war-torn Dagestan, and then, as émigrés to the United States, into an utterly disorienting new world. Most crucially, she reconstructs the struggle between assimilation and alienation that ensued for each of the brothers, fueling their apparent metamorphosis into a new breed of homegrown terrorist, with their feet on American soil but their loyalties elsewhere—a split in identity that seems to have incubated a deadly sense of mission. Like Dave Cullen’s Columbine, this will be the enduring account of an indelible tragedy.