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.
With a rare blend of humor, erotic tension, and dead-on emotional truth, New York Times bestselling author Suzanne Brockmann weaves this delightful romance of a man and woman brought together by chance, bound by choice, and in trouble deeper than they realize.
Like a knight in a fairy tale, he appeared from out of nowhere and rescued her at the last moment. Now, sizing up the man who’d saved her purse and driven off her attackers, aspiring Boston entrepreneur Chelsea Spencer considered that this good-looking stranger could fit another role—not to mention a tuxedo—equally well. By the end of the week, Chelsea was scheduled to get married as a condition for earning the inheritance necessary to save her fledgling business. There was only one problem: She was short a groom.
Johnny Anziano would have been satisfied with a date, but the woman he’d dashed in to save during a street mugging had proposed much more than that. For two weeks’ “work,” he’d earn $75,000 and a luxurious tropical island vacation. By saying a simple, meaningless “I do,” he could save Chelsea one more time. But this time they were facing something a lot more dangerous than a gang of street thugs—their attraction for each other.
I’m a big fan of Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series and one of my Goodreads friends reviewed this recently and loved it. It’s an older title so I’ll give it a shot.
The true story of a cold case, a compulsive liar, and five determined detectives, from the number-one New York Times best-selling author and “master journalist” (The Wall Street Journal).
On March 29, 1975, sisters Katherine and Sheila Lyons, ages 10 and 12, vanished from a shopping mall in suburban Washington, DC. As shock spread, then grief, a massive police effort found nothing. The investigation was shelved, and the mystery endured.
Then, in 2013, a cold case squad detective found something he and a generation of detectives had missed. It pointed them toward a man named Lloyd Welch, then serving time for child molestation in Delaware.
The acclaimed author of Black Hawk Down and Hue 1968 had been a cub reporter for a Baltimore newspaper at the time of the original disappearance, and covered the frantic first weeks of the story. In The Last Stone, he returns to write its ending. Over months of intense questioning and extensive investigation of Welch’s sprawling, sinister Appalachian clan, five skilled detectives learned to sift truth from determined lies. How do you get a compulsive liar with every reason in the world to lie to tell the truth? The Last Stone recounts a masterpiece of criminal interrogation, and delivers a chilling and unprecedented look inside a disturbing criminal mind.
Ren @ What’s Non Fiction? reviewed this book and I’d never heard of the case. Always on the hunt for a good true crime story, I decided to go for the audio version as this is a genre I prefer listening to versus reading.
Charlotte wants to start fresh. She wants to forget her past, forget prison and, most of all, forget Sean. But old habits die hard. Despite the ankle monitor she must wear as part of her parole agreement and frequent visits to her therapist, she soon finds herself sliding back toward the type of behavior that sent her to prison in the first place. The further down that path she goes, however, the closer she gets to the crime that put her in prison all those years ago. And that’s the one memory she can’t face. Until, one day, Sean tracks her down.
Janel @ Keeper of Pages hooked me with this one. Another audio review hopeful!
Connell and Marianne both grow up in the same town in rural Ireland. The similarities end there; they are from very different worlds. But they both get places to study at university in Dublin, and a connection that has grown between them despite the social tangle of school lasts long into the following years.
Sally Rooney’s second novel is a deeply political novel, just as it’s also a novel about love. It’s about how difficult it is to speak to what you feel and how difficult it is to change. It’s wry and seductive; perceptive and bold. It will make you cry and you will know yourself through it.
I was going to take a pass on this for audio review until I read the review from Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader.
Henri Skinner is a hardened ex-war reporter on the run from his past. On his way to see his son, Sam, for the first time in years, Henri steps into the road without looking and collides with oncoming traffic. He is rushed to a nearby hospital where he floats, comatose, between dreams, reliving the fairytales of his childhood and the secrets that made him run away in the first place.
After the accident, Sam—a thirteen-year old synesthete with an IQ of 144 and an appetite for science fiction—waits by his father’s bedside every day. There he meets Eddie Tomlin, a woman forced to confront her love for Henri after all these years, and twelve-year old Madelyn Zeidler, a coma patient like Henri and the sole survivor of a traffic accident that killed her family. As these four very different individuals fight—for hope, for patience, for life—they are bound together inextricably, facing the ravages of loss and first love side by side.
A revelatory, urgently human story that examines what we consider serious and painful alongside light and whimsy, THE BOOK OF DREAMS is a tender meditation on memory, liminality, and empathy, asking with grace and gravitas what we will truly find meaningful in our lives once we are gone.
Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader got me again with her enchanting review of the book, also for audio review.
Can one unlikely bookshop heal two broken souls?
It is 1968 in rural Australia and lonely Tom Hope can’t make heads or tails of Hannah Babel. Newly arrived from Hungary, Hannah is unlike anyone he’s ever met–she’s passionate, brilliant, and fiercely determined to open sleepy Hometown’s first bookshop.
Despite the fact that Tom has only read only one book in his life, when Hannah hires him to install shelving for the shop, the two discover an astonishing spark. Recently abandoned by an unfaithful wife–and still missing her sweet son, Peter–Tom dares to believe that he might make Hannah happy. But Hannah is a haunted woman. Twenty-four years earlier, she had been marched to the gates of Auschwitz.
I spent a lot of time debating whether to add this book for audio review and in the end was drawn in by the title and the synopsis.
Mad Men meets The Devil Wears Prada as Renée Rosen draws readers into the glamour of 1965 New York City and Cosmopolitan Magazine, where a brazen new Editor-in-Chief–Helen Gurley Brown–shocks America by daring to talk to women about all things off limits…
New York City is filled with opportunities for single girls like Alice Weiss who leaves her small Midwestern town to chase her big city dreams and unexpectedly lands the job of a lifetime working for Helen Gurley Brown, the first female Editor-in-Chief of a then failing Cosmopolitan Magazine.
Nothing could have prepared Alice for the world she enters as editors and writers resign on the spot, refusing to work for the woman who wrote the scandalous bestseller, Sex and the Single Girl. While confidential memos, article ideas, and cover designs keep finding their way into the wrong hands, someone tries to pull Alice into this scheme to sabotage her boss. But Alice remains loyal and becomes all the more determined to help Helen succeed. As pressure mounts at the magazine and Alice struggles to make her way in New York, she quickly learns that in Helen Gurley Brown’s world, a woman can demand to have it all.
This was offered for audio review and I grabbed it after reading the review by Tina @ Reading Between the Pages.
Ruth Hartland is the director of a trauma therapy unit in London. A psychotherapist with years of experience, she is highly respected in her field and in her office. But her family life tells another story: her marriage has fractured; her daughter has moved far, far away to Australia; and Tom, her teenage son, after years of struggling with being a child who never fit in, has disappeared and has had no contact with anyone for two years. Ruth’s fragile son has always been sensitive and anxious, the opposite of his cheerful and resilient sister. Is he hiding? Is he dead? How did she fail him, and how can she find him after all this time?
Then Ruth is assigned a new patient, a young man who bears a striking resemblance to her own son. Ruth is determined to help Dan, but her own complicated feelings and family history cloud her judgement–and professional boundaries, once inviolable, are crossed. When events spiral out of control, Ruth will have to accept the unacceptable, and reckon with those who truly matter in her life. A brilliant, beautiful story of mothering, and how to let go of the ones we love when we must.
When this was presented for audio review, I was immediately drawn to the title and hooked when I read the synopsis.
In a windswept British seaside town, single mum Alice Lake finds a man sitting on the beach outside her house. He has no name and no idea how he got there. Against her better judgment, she invites him inside. Meanwhile, in a suburb of London, twenty-one-year-old Lily Monrose has only been married for three weeks. When her husband fails to come home from work one night, she is left alone in a place where she knows no one and with the police telling her that her husband never existed. In this suspenseful drama, both women must sort through the secrets surrounding men neither of them knows if they can trust.
I’ve made no secret of my fandom for Lisa Jewel so I’m now waiting patiently in my library queues for her backlist titles. This emerged on audio.