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.
When recently divorced Katie Ellis and her rescue dog Bark move back in with Katie’s grandmother in Florida, she becomes swept up in a reunion of her grandmother’s troupe of underwater performers–finding hope and renewal in unexpected places, in this sweet novel perfect for fans of Kristan Higgins and Claire Cook.
Aspiring costume designer Katie gave up everything in her divorce to gain custody of her fearful, faithful rescue dog, Barkimedes. While she figures out what to do next, she heads back to Florida to live with her grandmother, Nan. But Katie quickly learns there’s a lot she doesn’t know about Nan–like the fact that in her youth Nan was a mermaid performer in a roadside attraction show, swimming and dancing underwater with a close-knit cast of talented women. Although most of the mermaids have since lost touch, Katie helps Nan search for her old friends on Facebook, sparking hopes for a reunion show. Katie is up for making some fabulous costumes, but first, she has to contend with her crippling fear of water. As Katie’s college love Luca, a documentary filmmaker, enters the fray, Katie struggles to balance her hopes with her anxiety, and begins to realize just how much Bark’s fears are connected to her own, in this thoughtful, charming novel about hope after loss and friendships that span generations.
After reading the review by Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader, this just touched my heart💜 And! It’s available from my library.
My husband asked me to lie. Not a big lie. He probably didn’t even consider it a lie, and neither did I, at first . . .
In the small town of Miracle Creek, Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine—a pressurized oxygen chamber that patients enter for therapeutic “dives” with the hopes of curing issues like autism or infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos’ small community.
Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was smoking down by the creek? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets from that night—trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child-abuse charges—as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people driven to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.
Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader Also reviewed this story and as I’m always interested in those involving other cultures, I got hooked. I’m in the library queue for the audiobook.
A Highlander as brave and strong as a knight of old…
When Diarmid Mactavish, Laird of Invertavey, discovers a mysterious woman washed up on his land after a wild storm, he takes her in and tries to find her family. But even as forbidden dreams of sensual fulfillment torment him, he’s convinced that this beautiful lassie isn’t what she seems. And if there’s one thing Diarmid despises, it’s a liar.
A mother willing to do anything to save her daughter…
Widow Fiona Grant has risked everything to break free of her clan and rescue her adolescent daughter from a forced marriage. But before her quest has barely begun, disaster strikes. She escapes her brutish kinsmen, only to be shipwrecked on Mactavish territory where she falls into her enemies’ hands. For centuries, a murderous feud has raged between the Mactavishes and the Grants, so how can she trust her darkly handsome host?
Now a twisted Highland road leads to danger and passion…and irresistible love. But is love strong enough to banish the past’s long shadows and offer these wary allies all that their hearts desire?
I’m a big fan of the author and this series and quickly added it as soon as it showed up on Amazon.
A debut thriller that channels Gone Girl, from the newest writer to watch, Catherine Ryan Howard
The day Adam Dunne’s girlfriend, Sarah, fails to return from a Barcelona business trip, his perfect life begins to fall apart. Days later, the arrival of her passport and a note that reads “I’m sorry–S” sets off real alarm bells. He vows to do whatever it takes to find her.
Adam is puzzled when he connects Sarah to a cruise ship called the Celebrate–and to a woman, Estelle, who disappeared from the same ship in eerily similar circumstances almost exactly a year before.
To get answers, Adam must confront some difficult truths about his relationship with Sarah. He must do things of which he never thought himself capable. And he must try to outwit a predator who seems to have found the perfect hunting ground …
I hadn’t heard of this book until reading the review by Fictionophile! Don’t know how this one got by me. I’ve recommended the audio version for library purchase but will probably spend an Audible credit for it, especially since it has multiple narrators and they are great!
When Kate Bowman temporarily moves to her grandmother’s Missouri farm with her husband and baby son, she learns that the lessons that most enrich our lives often come unexpectedly. The family has given Kate the job of convincing Grandma Rose, who’s become increasingly stubborn and forgetful, to move off her beloved land and into a nursing home. But Kate knows such a change would break her grandmother’s heart.
Just when Kate despairs of finding answers, she discovers her grandma’s journal. A beautiful handmade notebook, it is full of stories that celebrate the importance of family, friendship, and faith. Stories that make Kate see her life—and her grandmother—in a completely new way…
After reading and loving Before We Were Yours, I decided to explore other titles by the author. This one sounds appealing and it’s available on audio from my library.
Investigating the discovery of the body, Sergeant Holly Rudd knows she’s an unwelcome presence in the close-knit community of Bamfield. But she doesn’t expect the residents to be spooked by the mere sight of her. What rattles Holly even more, though, is her overwhelming desire for diver and former Special Forces soldier Finn Carver.
Finn has no doubt that the corpse he found while diving was a victim of foul play, just as there’s no doubt that he wants Holly. Now the two will have to come together to outwit a criminal who’s already gotten away with murder.
I won the audiobook version of the second book in this series so when this book was on the list of kindle books where I could use my $3 Amazon Romance Newsletter credit and then spend $1.99 for the Audible edition, I One-clicked immediately. I’m also a big fan of the author’s Cold Justice series.
Give me one name. One person. And I will make them disappear . . .
When Sarah rescues a young girl in trouble, she expects nothing in return. But her act of bravery puts a powerful and dangerous man in her debt. He lives by his own brutal code, and all debts must be repaid – in the only way he knows how.
He offers Sarah a way to solve a desperate situation with her intolerable boss. A once-in-a-lifetime deal that will make all her problems disappear.
No consequences. No comeback. No chance of being found out.
All it takes is a 29 second phone call.
Because everyone has a name to give. Don’t they?
I’m impressed with the author and when this was offered for review, I quickly requested. Fingers crossed🤞
Detective Amos Decker discovers that a mistake he made as a rookie detective may have led to deadly consequences in the latest Memory Man thriller in David Baldacci’s #1 New York Times bestselling series.
Decker is visiting his hometown of Burlington, Ohio, when he’s approached by a man named Meryl Hawkins. Hawkins is a convicted murderer. In fact, he’s the very first killer Decker ever put behind bars. But he’s innocent, he claims. Now suffering from terminal cancer, it’s his dying wish that Decker clear his name.
It’s unthinkable. The case was open and shut, with rock solid forensic evidence. But then Hawkins later turns up dead with a bullet in his head, and even Decker begins to have doubts. Is it possible that he really did get it wrong, all those years ago?
Decker’s determined to uncover the truth, no matter the personal cost. But solving a case this cold may be impossible, especially when it becomes clear that someone doesn’t want the old case reopened. Someone who is willing to kill to keep the truth buried, and hide a decades-old secret that may have devastating repercussions….
I love the Amos Decker series and have patiently waited for my library to purchase the audiobook. They finally came through!
As co-owner and features editor of a popular magazine, Leah McDevitt loves exploring exotic locales while she tracks fashion and social trends across the globe. Yet despite her devotion to her fast-paced career, Leah is haunted by the memory of her cherished younger sister Melissa, who years ago disappeared without a trace. So when convicted serial killer Raymond Lambert contacts her, Leah is more than willing to pay him the long-standing reward for information leading to the recovery of Melissa’s body.
But before Lambert can turn over all his information, he himself is killed. Devastated but determined to finally uncover the truth, Leah heads to the Maine woods to seek out Ethan Sanger, the author of a book about Lambert. A private investigator, Ethan had written the killer’s story in exchange for yet another of Lambert’s terrible secrets. Working together to discover the truth about Melissa’s disappearance, Leah and Ethan come to realize that even amid the ashes of tragedy, love can bloom. But someone harboring secrets of his own is about to enter their lives…someone who knows more about Leah than he should…someone who won’t be satisfied until his own deadly game is played out.
After enjoying the author’s The Hudson Sisters series, I decided to explore her backlist. This also comes from the library.
Derek Tower has spent his life at war, first as a Green Beret and then as the owner of a private black-ops company, Cobra International Security. When a high-ranking US senator asks Cobra to protect his daughter, a midwife volunteering in Afghanistan, Derek’s gut tells him to turn the senator down. The last thing he wants to do is babysit an aid worker. But Jenna isn’t just another assignment. She’s also the younger sister of his best friend, the man who died taking bullets meant for him. There’s no way Derek can refuse.
Jenna Hamilton doesn’t need a bodyguard, especially not one hired by her intrusive and controlling father. She knew the risks when she signed on to work in rural Afghanistan, and the hospital already has armed security. She also doesn’t need the distraction of a big, brooding operative skulking about, even if he is her late brother’s best friend—and sexy as hell. As far as she’s concerned, he can pack up his Humvee and drive into the sunset. And, no, nothing her hormones have to say about him will change her mind.
From the moment his boots hit the ground in Afghanistan, Derek does his best to win Jenna over, posing as her brother so the two of them can spend time alone. Except that what he feels for her is anything but brotherly. Stolen moments lead to secret kisses—and an undeniable sexual attraction that shakes them both to the core. But events have been set into motion that they cannot escape. When a ruthless warlord sets his sights on Jenna, Derek will do whatever it takes to keep her safe, even if it costs him his heart—or his life.
It’s Pamela Clare. It’s a new series. It’s a spinoff of her I-Team series. I had no choice but to add this. Even sweeter? I got it from NetGalley💜