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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.

 


The Glass Woman

Rósa has always dreamed of living a simple life alongside her Mamma in their remote village in Iceland, where she prays to the Christian God aloud during the day, whispering enchantments to the old gods alone at night. But after her father dies abruptly and her Mamma becomes ill, Rósa marries herself off to a visiting trader in exchange for a dowry, despite rumors of mysterious circumstances surrounding his first wife’s death.

Rósa follows her new husband, Jón, across the treacherous countryside to his remote home near the sea. There Jón works the field during the day, expecting Rósa to maintain their house in his absence with the deference of a good Christian wife. What Rósa did not anticipate was the fierce loneliness she would feel in her new home, where Jón forbids her from interacting with the locals in the nearby settlement and barely speaks to her himself.

Seclusion from the outside world isn’t the only troubling aspect of her new life—Rósa is also forbidden from going into Jón’s. When Rósa begins to hear strange noises from upstairs, she turns to the local woman in an attempt to find solace. But the villager’s words are even more troubling—confirming many of the rumors about Jón’s first wife, Anna, including that he buried her body alone in the middle of the night.

Rósa’s isolation begins to play tricks on her mind: What—or who—is in the attic? What happened to Anna? Was she mad, a witch, or just a victim of Jón’s ruthless nature? And when Jón is brutally maimed in an accident a series of events are set in motion that will force Rósa to choose between obedience and defiance—with her own survival and the safety of the ones she loves hanging in the balance.

I read Eva @ Novel Deelights’ review and was won over. The US version releases in September.

 


A Stranger on the Beach

There is a stranger outside Caroline’s house.

Her spectacular new beach house, built for hosting expensive parties and vacationing with the family she thought she’d have. But her husband is lying to her and everything in her life is upside down, so when the stranger, Aiden, shows up as a bartender at the same party where Caroline and her husband have a very public fight, it doesn’t seem like anything out of the ordinary.

As her marriage collapses around her and the lavish lifestyle she’s built for herself starts to crumble, Caroline turns to Aiden for comfort…and revenge. After a brief and desperate fling that means nothing to Caroline and everything to him, Aiden’s obsession with Caroline, her family, and her house grows more and more disturbing. And when Caroline’s husband goes missing, her life descends into a nightmare that leaves her accused of her own husband’s murder.

A Stranger on the Beach is Strangers on a Train meets Fatal Attraction in Michele Campbell’s edge-of your-seat story of passion and intrigue.

This new book by Campbell is scheduled for release in July. The description hooked me immediately.

 


The Only Living Witness

Ted Bundy was America’s first celebrity serial killer, and one of the most chilling enigmas in criminal history. Handsome, boyish and well-spoken, a law student with bright political prospects, Bundy was also a predator and sexual deviant who murdered and mutilated at least thirty young women and girls, many of them college coeds but at least two as young as twelve.

Years ago, I read Ann Rules’s The Stranger Beside Me but this one is from the investigators perspective and was recommended by Ren @ What’s Nonfiction? and I’ve already watched the Netflix docuseries.

 


Crimson Lake

12.46: 13-year-old Claire Bingley stands alone at a bus stop

12.47: Ted Conkaffey parks his car beside her

12.52: The girl is missing . . .Six minutes – that’s all it took to ruin Detective Ted Conkaffey’s life. Accused but not convicted of Claire’s abduction, he escapes north, to the steamy, croc-infested wetlands of Crimson Lake.

Amanda Pharrell knows what it’s like to be public enemy no.1. Maybe it’s her murderous past that makes her so good as a private investigator, tracking lost souls in the wilderness. Her latest target, missing author Jake Scully, has a life more shrouded in secrets than her own – so she enlists help from the one person in town more hated than she is: Ted Conkaffey.

But the residents of Crimson Lake are watching the pair’s every move. And for Ted, a man already at breaking point, this town is offering no place to hide . . .

Inge @ The Belgian Reviewer reviewed a later book in the series that I really want but I need to begin at the beginning. And, I can get it from my library.

 


A Study in Scarlet Women

With her inquisitive mind, Charlotte Holmes has never felt comfortable with the demureness expected of the fairer sex in upper class society. But even she never thought that she would become a social pariah, an outcast fending for herself on the mean streets of London.

When the city is struck by a trio of unexpected deaths and suspicion falls on her sister and her father, Charlotte is desperate to find the true culprits and clear the family name. She’ll have help from friends new and old—a kind-hearted widow, a police inspector, and a man who has long loved her.

But in the end, it will be up to Charlotte, under the assumed name Sherlock Holmes, to challenge society’s expectations and match wits against an unseen mastermind.

I love historical mysteries and when Anne @ Books of My Heart reviewed a later audiobook in the series, I decided to add this one. I’ve also read so many positive comments about the author.

 


The Girlfriend

Laura Cavendish can’t wait to meet the woman who’s won her son’s affection. Despite a successful career in television and a long, prosperous marriage, Laura’s world revolves around kind, talented Daniel. She pictures his new girlfriend, Cherry, becoming a close friend and confidante . . . one day, even a daughter-in-law.

But although Cherry is beautiful and amiable, Laura can’t warm to her. There’s something about the possessive way she touches Daniel, the little lies Laura detects. Cherry seems to resent Laura, driving a wedge between mother and son—until one day Daniel is injured in a terrible accident. Six months later, with Daniel still in a coma and facing death, Laura makes a fateful decision—and carries out an astonishing deceit.

A handsome doctor for a husband, with a trust fund and a family villa in St. Tropez—it was all supposed to be Cherry’s. Now, instead of living with Daniel in his impeccable home, she’s jobless and broke. And then Cherry discovers Laura’s stunning deception. But Cherry is too clever, too ambitious to let her get away with it. She’s already transformed herself into Daniel’s dream woman. Now she’ll become Laura’s worst nightmare.

Berit @ Audio Killed the Bookmark reeled me in like a hooked fish. It was her reference to a “crazy turn” midway through this slow burn. Music to my ears.

 


The Secretary

Renée Knight follows up her international sensation Disclaimer with this shivery tale of psychological suspense, featuring a character as disturbing and compelling as Mrs. Danvers in Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca.

From her first day as Personal Assistant to the celebrated Mina Appleton, Christine Butcher understands what is expected of her. Absolute loyalty. Absolute discretion. For twenty years, Christine has been a most devoted servant, a silent witness to everything in Mina’s life. So quiet, you would hardly know she is there.

Day after day, year after year, Christine has been there, invisible—watching, listening, absorbing all the secrets floating around her. Keeping them safe.

Christine is trusted. But those years of loyalty and discretion come with a high price. And eventually Christina will pay.

Yet, it would be a mistake to underestimate such a steadfast woman. Because as everyone is about to discover, there’s a dangerous line between obedience and obsession.

Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader describes this as a slow burn psychological thriller. She had me there.

 


Voices from Chernobyl

A journalist by trade, who now suffers from an immune deficiency developed while researching this book, presents personal accounts of what happened to the people of Belarus after the nuclear reactor accident in 1986, and the fear, anger, and uncertainty that they still live with. The Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 was awarded to Svetlana Alexievich “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.”

 

Ren @ What’s Nonfiction? reviewed another book on this subject and recommended this one after I expressed an interest in learning more about the impact of the event on the people.

 


The Savior

In the venerable history of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, only one male has ever been expelled–but Murhder’s insanity gave the Brothers no choice. Haunted by visions of a female he could not save, he nonetheless returns to Caldwell on a mission to right the wrong that ruined him. However, he is not prepared for what he must face in his quest for redemption.

Dr. Sarah Watkins, researcher at a biomedical firm, is struggling with the loss of her fellow scientist fiance. When the FBI starts asking about his death, she questions what really happened and soon learns the terrible truth: Her firm is conducting inhumane experiments in secret and the man she thought she knew and loved was involved in the torture.

As Murhder and Sarah’s destinies become irrevocably entwined, desire ignites between them. But can they forge a future that spans the divide separating the two species? And as a new foe emerges in the war against the vampires, will Murhder return to his Brothers… or resume his lonely existence forevermore?

This is one of my premier series. Of course I’m adding this next release!

 


One of Us is Lying

Pay close attention and you might solve this.
On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule.
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess.
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose?
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them.”

I read a review of the most recent release by this author where this book was mentioned as the better story. After research, I decided to give it a try, especially since my library has the audiobook. Fingers crossed 🤞 as I’m hit or miss with the YA genre.

 


 

Blind Spot

With Jasper Moore, the privileged boy who attacked her when she was only sixteen, finally caught and in prison, Dr. Evelyn Talbot, founder and head psychiatrist at Hanover House (a prison/research facility for psychopaths in remote Alaska), believes she can finally quit looking over her shoulder. She’s safe, happier than she’s ever been and expecting her first child. She’s also planning to marry Amarok, her Alaska State Trooper love interest and the town’s only police presence. But before the wedding can take place, a psychopath from the much more recent past comes out of nowhere and kidnaps her in broad daylight.

Instead of planning her wedding, Evelyn finds herself doing everything she can to survive, save her baby and devise some way to escape while Amarok races the clock to find her – before it’s too late.

I received a notification that this upcoming release in The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles series. I followed this one since the first release and Novak is an auto read.

 


Birthday Suit

There is no rule in the Man Code as unbreakable as this: no matter how beautiful, smart, clever, and witty she is, do not—under any circumstances—fall in love with your best friend’s woman.
Yeah. So there’s that. Look, it’s not like I didn’t know I screwed up by falling for her.
Also, for the record, unrequited love sucks big time.
And, I might have cut myself some slack by now, given everything that went down in the last few years, but Lulu just walked back into my life in a big way.

***
There are three things I’ve never been able to resist—my friends, my family, and chocolate.
Leo Hennessy? He was nowhere on that list. He’s been a true friend—a friend who walked through hell and back with me.
Now, I’m stepping into my new future. I didn’t expect it to include a riddle-filled, race-against-the-clock scavenger hunt across New York City.
With Leo.
Suddenly, I’m looking at this man with new eyes…
But my life spun out because of a man once before, and I can’t risk my fresh start, no matter what the temptation. And Leo is most definitely a temptation of the sexiest, sweetest, and most dangerous variety.
More irresistibly delicious than chocolate…

This audiobook is performed by: Andi Arndt (Lulu), Sebastian York (Leo), Erin Mallon (Ginny), R.C. Bray (George), January Lavoy (Kingsley), Dion Graham (Cameron), Shane East (Dean), Jason Clarke (Tripp), Joe Arden (Noah), Julia Whelan (Tabitha), Robin Miles (Mariana and Vivian), and Savannah Peachwood (RaeLynn).

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer featured this book, a full audio dramatization with so many of my favorite narrators! I’ve entered the giveaway but this one is mine if I win or not.

 


All About the D

He’s the sinfully sexy, off-limits client whose naughty blog showcases his best “asset.” His prim and proper attorney has never been more tempted to mix business with pleasure… All About the D is a sexy new romantic comedy from USA Today bestselling author Lex Martin and bestselling author Leslie McAdam!

I’m known for being formal. Meticulous. Professional.

So you’d never suspect I spend my nights photographing my impressive junk for a NSFW blog. Don’t roll your eyes. I’m not bragging. I have millions of followers who’ll tell you they live for my posts.

I’m like a superhero, saving humanity one dick pic at a time.

Except leading a double life means I need someone to help me protect my anonymity, so that no one, especially my family, ever discovers my online celebrity.

When I call one of the most respected law firms in town, I expect quality legal advice and confidentiality. Not a sinfully sexy attorney whose dangerous curves and soul-piercing gray eyes make me want to personally demonstrate my particular skill set.

I shouldn’t be tempted.

Especially when she knows all of my best-kept secrets. But everyone has a breaking point. And I’ve met mine.

I got the opportunity to review another book by Lex Martin as I’ve enjoyed the two I’ve read to date.

 


What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?

40 thoughts on “Saturdays at the Café”

  1. I enjoyed One of Us is Lying very much-it really did have a Breakfast Club/Pretty Little Liars’ vibe…I remember saying that in my review! I think you’ll enjoy it and I listened to it on audio, which was really good. I just received my ARC of A Stranger on the Beach and am so excited since I loved Campbell’s previous two books! I hope you enjoy The Girlfriend; I read it prior to its release last year and I enjoyed it although I thought it much less a psychological thriller and more of a soap opera type domestic drama. The characters are excellent in that one. You have some great books ahead! Enjoy them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Stephanie! I did get One of Us is Lying on audio and am hoping it’s a winner for me. I do better with YA in that format. I’m holding out for A Stranger on the Beach on audio, too. Re The Girlfriend, I’ll be fine with a soapy domestic drama, too…another level of mind play🙂

      Have a wonderful weekend!

      Like

  2. I really like this feature of yours – Saturdays at the Café, and thanks for introducing The Only Living Witness. I am really interested in Ted Bundy. I put it wrong. I should say his crimes unsettle me but they also say something the way society operated back then (such individuals could get away from justice for so long) and also teaches us that true evil can come in different forms/appearances. Apparently, there is still debate going on whether it is right to call Bundy “handsome” on the internet. There is even a petition to stop this.
    I read a couple of other books on Bundy, and realised that there are more than one “living witness” out there who came in contact with him and got away. One girl was his victim when he took her to the forest, but she jumped into the river and got away; another girl opened the door to the moving car she was in with Bundy when he already kidnapped her; and yet another – I still cannot believe it – managed to get away because he himself set her free because she cut her hair (he liked long hair).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Diana! I’m glad you’re enjoying these features.

      Back when Bundy was doing his killing, the serial killer syndrome was a foreign concept and law enforcement didn’t have the tools they have today to be able to communicate across jurisdictions. The only agency with that capability was the FBI and Bundy didn’t get in their crosshairs until he escaped from Aspen. To my knowledge, there is only one living witness who escaped from his car. There are three women in Florida who survived his attacks while sleeping. They weren’t considered “witnesses” because they never saw him. I’ve watched the Netflix docuseries and the recent 20/20 segment and neither mention another living witness. I’m old enough to have watched the coverage of him after capture. His living witness victim didn’t consider him charming at all. They make the distinction that he tricked these women; he didn’t seduce them into helping him out and, in fact, had social issues. I could go on but highly encourage you to watch the Netflix docuseries if you can. It really is thorough.

      Like

  3. Oh I hope One of Us Is Lying is a hit for you, I really liked this novel, so many twists and truths to come out :-)! I’m very curious about The Secretary so nice to see it on your list here too! Thank you for the mention, I hope the first novel by Candice Fox will be as good as her third one, I’m keeping my fingers crossed and I look forward to hearing your verdict!

    Liked by 1 person

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