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.
Ava Collette is punishing herself for an unspeakable tragedy. So she flees Boston and rents an old home named Brodie’s Watch on a remote coastal peninsula of Maine, hoping to work on a cookbook inspired by New England cuisine that she’s been trying to finish for months. She immediately feels at peace in the isolated house–until she starts to hear strange noises.
Rumor has it that a sea captain named Brodie has haunted the house for decades. Then, one night, Ava is awakened to find herself face to face with an apparition who looks–and feels–all too real. Meanwhile, there’s been a series of accidental deaths nearby that don’t add up. And as Ava starts to check into the previous renter’s mysterious disappearance, she starts to realize that there’s a disturbing secret some in town are desperate to keep hidden.
Soon all of Ava’s waking hours are consumed by her investigation, and her nights are ignited by Captain Brodie’s ghostly visits. But even as she questions her own sanity, she knows she must uncover the truth before a killer strikes again.
Gerritsen’s Rizzoli & Isles Series is one of my favorites and it’s on hiatus. So, this new standalone release will have to do!
For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, you need to stop keeping women down.
In this moving and compelling book, Melinda shares lessons she’s learned from the inspiring people she’s met during her work and travels around the world. As she writes in the introduction, “That is why I had to write this book–to share the stories of people who have given focus and urgency to my life. I want all of us to see ways we can lift women up where we live.”
Melinda’s unforgettable narrative is backed by startling data as she presents the issues that most need our attention–from child marriage to lack of access to contraceptives to gender inequity in the workplace. And, for the first time, she writes about her personal life and the road to equality in her own marriage. Throughout, she shows how there has never been more opportunity to change the world–and ourselves.
Writing with emotion, candor, and grace, she introduces us to remarkable women and shows the power of connecting with one another.
When we lift others up, they lift us up, too.
I was on the fence about this until after reading the review by Kyra @ Roots & Reads. It’s much more than I had imagined, an opportunity to learn something highly useful.
Twenty-five years ago, in the middle of a raging storm, Stella’s family suddenly fled their idyllic island of Evergreen; she hasn’t returned to the only place she’s called home since. Convinced that leaving Evergreen is what broke her family beyond repair, Stella desperately clings to memories of happier times. But when she learns that police have discovered a body in her old backyard, she can’t resist searching for the true story of what happened that night. And the more Stella digs, the more it looks like her family has been keeping secrets.
When she goes back to Evergreen, the islanders are wary of her, and Stella realizes it’s not the safe haven it once was. When anonymous warnings that predict Stella might not like what she finds start to emerge, she fears that some secrets might be better off left buried deep.
I really enjoyed the author’s earlier book, Her One Mistake, and this one sounds equally intriguing. It’s scheduled for release in October and I’m hoping to get it for audio review.
She didn’t have an enemy in the world…until she inherited a fortune.
London 1948: Eve Forrester is stuck in a loveless marriage, isolated in her gray and gloomy house when out of the blue, she receives a letter. A wealthy stranger has left her a mysterious inheritance but in order to find out more, she must travel to the glittering French Riviera.
There, Eve discovers she has been bequeathed an enchanting villa overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and suddenly, life could not be more glamorous. But while she rubs shoulders with the rich and famous, challengers to her unexplained fortune begin to emerge—challengers who would love to see Eve gone forever.
Alone in paradise, Eve must unlock the story behind her surprise bequest—before her unexpected twist of fate turns deadly…
Stephanie @ Stephanie’s Novel Fiction convinced me to add this historical mystery set in the French Riviera in 1948. And, I was able to get it for audio review.
Five first dates.
Bonnie and Stan are soul mates. They met during the Swinging ’60s, to the soundtrack of The Beatles and the Merseybeat scene. Now they’ve grown up and grown old together, had children and grandchildren. They are finally building their dream home when disaster strikes.
Stan is running out of time and can’t bear the thought of leaving Bonnie alone. Alongside his teenage granddaughter Greya, he forms a plan to find Bonnie a new love of her life. And she must never find out….
Bonnie & Stan is a poignant, surprising love story set during the Swinging ’60s and the present day. Ultimately feel-good and full of emotion, Bonnie and Stan will make your heart sing.
Thanks to Berit @ Audio Killed the Bookmark for introducing me to this charming story! It’s on my Audible wishlist.
Dr. Robert Hart, Sag Harbor’s just-named Man of the Year, is the envy of his friends and neighbors. His medical practice is thriving. He has a beautiful old house and a beautiful new wife and a beautiful boat docked in the village marina. Even his wayward son, Jonah, is back on track, doing well at school, finally worthy of his father’s attentions. So when Jonah’s troubled college roommate, Nick, needs a place to stay for the summer, Hart and his wife generously offer him their guest house. A win-win: Jonah will have someone to hang with, and his father can bask in the warm glow of his own generosity.
But when he begins to notice his new houseguest getting a little too close to his wife, the good doctor’s veneer begins to crack. All the little lies Robert tells—harmless falsehoods meant to protect everything he holds dear—begin to mount. Before long, he’s embroiled in a desperate downward spiral, destroying the lives that stand in his way. It’s only the women in his life—his devoted office manager, his friends, his wife—who can clearly see the truth.
This debut novel grabbed my attention when it was offered for audio review. The publisher lists it as literary suspense so don’t think of it as a thriller despite the intimation in the synopsis.
When three domestic abuse offenders are found beaten to death, DC Maggie Jamieson knows she is facing her toughest case yet.
The police suspect that Probation Officer Lucy Sherwood – who is connected to all three victims – is hiding a dark secret. Then a fourth domestic abuser is brutally murdered. And he is Lucy’s husband.
Now the finger of suspicion points at Lucy and the police are running out of time. Can Maggie and her team solve the murders before another person dies? And is Lucy really a cold-blooded killer?
Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader read this in one sitting she was so enthralled! And, it’s $.99 at Amazon. Just one of many she lured me into adding this week😏
No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.
As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story . . . until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.
Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.
I didn’t even read the blurb when this was offered for review. I’m already a fan of the author.
What if you realised the subject your student is studying is you?
When a young writer accepts a job at a university in the remote countryside, it’s meant to be a fresh start, away from the big city and the scene of a violent assault she’s desperate to forget. But despite the distractions of a new life and single motherhood, her nerves continue to jangle. To make matters worse, a vicious debate about violence against women inflames the tensions and mounting rivalries in her creative writing group.
When a troubled student starts sending in chapters from his novel that blur the lines between fiction and reality, the professor recognises herself as a main character in his book – and he has written her a horrible fate.
Will she be able to stop life imitating art before it’s too late?
At once a breathless cat-and-mouse game and a layered exploration of violence against women in art, The Body Lies is an essential book for our times.
When this was offered for audio review, that cover just reeled me in. Then the review by my Goodreads friend Chelsea sealed my decision. You should know that the publisher lists this as literary fiction with suspense and crime elements. Don’t read it as a thriller.
Joshua Fields takes the same flights every week for work. His life is a series of departures and arrivals, hotels and airports. During yet another layover, Joshua meets Morgan, a beautiful stranger with whom he feels an immediate connection. When it’s time for their flights, Morgan gets up to leave, leans over and passionately kisses Joshua, lamenting that they’ll never see each other again.
As Morgan slips away, Joshua is left feeling confused by what just happened between them. That’s when he looks up and is shocked to see Morgan’s face flashing on a nearby TV screen. He’s even more shocked when he learns the reason why–Morgan is a missing person.
What follows is a whirlwind, fast-paced journey filled with lies, deceit, and secrets to discover the truth about why Morgan is on the run. But when he finally thinks every mystery is solved, another rears its head, and Joshua’s worst enemy may be his own assumptions about those around him…
This just sounds SO good I had to add it when offered for audio review.
Leah has been waiting for this moment a long time: Her boyfriend, Ollie, is taking her to his family’s home on Seneca Lake for a week of lazy summer bliss, boating, and barbeque. The couple have been together four years, and Leah is convinced that Ollie is finally going to pop the question. Leah can’t wait to share the joyous news with her best friend, June, who is joining them on their getaway, and whose presence will make everything feel more real.
Seven years later, the moment June has been dreading has finally arrived: Her fiancé, Ollie, is taking her to his family’s lake house. But this is not an ordinary visit to an ordinary place; it is a house haunted by June’s long-buried memories of her lost friend Leah—and the connection that appears to remain between Leah and the man for whom June’s love is as deep as her grief.
Alternating between the two women’s vibrant voices, One Night at the Lake is an emotional novel that explores a complex tangle of friendship, loyalty, and betrayal, all driving toward one question: Can love overcome what happened on that hot summer night?
I debated about adding this one for audio review but eventually caved because I wanted more after reading the synopsis.
Stay calm, keep smiling, and watch your step. In this marriage of secrets and lies, nothing is what it seems.
For days, all of Denver, Colorado, has worried over the fate of a missing child, little Tanner Holcomb. Then, a miracle: handsome, athletic Johnny Bradley finds him, frightened but unharmed, on a hiking trail miles from his wealthy family’s mountain home.
In a heartbeat, his rescuer goes from financially strapped fitness trainer to celebrated hero. The heat of the spotlight may prove too much for Johnny’s picture-perfect family, however. His wife, Veronica, despises the pressure of the sudden fame, afraid that secrets and bitter resentments of her marriage may come to light. And she’s willing to do anything to keep them hidden.
But when a shocking revelation exposes an even darker side to Tanner’s disappearance, Veronica realizes that nothing in her life can be trusted. And everything should be feared.
This showed up as an Amazon First Read and I was ecstatic! This is the pseudonym for one of my favorite authors and she crafted Jane Doe under this name. And, for $1.99 I get the Audible edition. I won on so many levels.
The stunning story of an Alabama serial killer and the true-crime book that Harper Lee worked on obsessively in the years after To Kill a Mockingbird.
Reverend Willie Maxwell was a rural preacher accused of murdering five of his family members for insurance money in the 1970s. With the help of a savvy lawyer, he escaped justice for years until a relative shot him dead at the funeral of his last victim. Despite hundreds of witnesses, Maxwell’s murderer was acquitted–thanks to the same attorney who had previously defended the Reverend.
Sitting in the audience during the vigilante’s trial was Harper Lee, who had traveled from New York City to her native Alabama with the idea of writing her own In Cold Blood, the true-crime classic she had helped her friend Truman Capote research seventeen years earlier. Lee spent a year in town reporting, and many more working on her own version of the case.
Now Casey Cep brings this story to life, from the shocking murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South. At the same time, she offers a deeply moving portrait of one of the country’s most beloved writers and her struggle with fame, success, and the mystery of artistic creativity.
This had me at Harper Lee. Thanks to Ren @ What’s Nonfiction? for her outstanding review.
There’s two sides to every love story. The how you fell in love, and the how you fell apart.
This is ours.
The cardinal rule of friendship is you don’t mess with your friend’s sister.
That goes double when she’s his little sister.
It was just supposed to be fun.
She wasn’t supposed to end up being the love of my life.
And I definitely wasn’t supposed to break her heart.
Ainsley is a wedding dress designer. That should’ve been a warning that she’s a hopeless romantic. That should’ve clued me in that she believes love conquers all.
But there are some things that love can’t fix. I’m one of them.
She thinks love is the answer.
But love is the reason I let her go.
Woo hoo! I got a request to participate in the blog tour for this book and I immediately accepted. Prescott Lane is one of my auto read authors.
Lowland Way is the epitome of the suburban dream. Every house and yard is carefully maintained for maximum curb appeal, and everyone knows one another and gets along. One homeowner, Sissy Watkins, runs a successful B and B from her house. Two brothers and their families live next door to each other. It’s the picture-perfect neighborhood.
When Darren Booth and his girlfriend, Jodie, move in across from Sissy, it doesn’t take long for them to begin making trouble. They’re loud, rude, messy, and don’t play by the community rules. They blast music at all hours and have started an unsightly renovation on their house. Before long, guests don’t want to stay at Sissy’s B and B, and everyone is fed up with the new neighbors.
An all-out war is brewing on Lowland Way. When a person is killed, accusations start flying. Someone is dead, and everyone has something to hide….
Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader reviewed this latest from Candlish and I was all in. Hoping my library comes through!
Annie Cassidy dreams of being the next Nora Ephron. She spends her days writing screenplays, rewatching Sleepless in Seattle, and waiting for her movie-perfect meet-cute. If she could just find her own Tom Hanks—a man who’s sweet, sensitive, and possibly owns a houseboat—her problems would disappear and her life would be perfect. But Tom Hanks is nowhere in sight.
When a movie starts filming in her neighborhood and Annie gets a job on set, it seems like a sign. Then Annie meets the lead actor, Drew Danforth, a cocky prankster who couldn’t be less like Tom Hanks if he tried. Their meet-cute is more of a meet-fail, but soon Annie finds herself sharing some classic rom-com moments with Drew. Her Tom Hanks can’t be an actor who’s leaving town in a matter of days…can he?
I love a good romantic comedy but I took a pass on this one…until I read the review by Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader. I’m going for it!
Mrs. Braithwaite, self-appointed queen of her English village, finds herself dethroned, despised, and dismissed following her husband’s selfish divorce petition. Never deterred, the threat of a family secret being revealed sets her hot-foot to London to find the only person she has left—her clever daughter Betty, who took work there at the first rumbles of war.
But when she arrives, Betty’s landlord, the timid Mr. Norris, informs her that Betty hasn’t been home in days–with the chaos of the bombs, there’s no telling what might have befallen her. Aghast, Mrs. Braithwaite sets her bullish determination to the task of finding her only daughter.
Storming into the London Blitz, Mrs. Braithwaite drags the reluctant Mr. Norris along as an unwitting sidekick as they piece together Betty’s unexpectedly chaotic life. As she is thrown into the midst of danger and death, Mrs. Braithwaite is forced to rethink her old-fashioned notions of status, class, and reputation, and to reconsider the question that’s been puzzling her since her world overturned: How do you measure the success of your life?
I’d not heard of this book until Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader reviewed it (yes, she’s filling my shelf). Then it showed up at my library! Kismet. And, she convinced me to add her first novel, The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, also available at my library.
They call him The Terror of Torcliff
Piers Gedrick Atherton, the Duke of Redmayne, has one purpose. Revenge. To attain that, he must secure a legacy as old as the empire by claiming a wife.
Lady Alexandra Lane has a deadly secret. When the spectre of her violent past threatens to expose her, Alexandra learns just how much she stands to lose.
If she sacrifices her body on the altar of marriage, the terrifying Duke vows to protect her, but she fears he’ll change his mind once he realizes what she’s hiding.
Ever suspicious, Redmayne knows his wife is concealing something, but he soon realizes that the truest terror is losing the woman who’s come to own him body, heart, and soul.
I received a request to participate in the blog tour for this book and I was thrilled. I’ve filled my shelf with other titles by this author and am looking forward to the first in a new series. It releases on August 27.
As an emergency room physician, Chloe Rutledge has encountered more than her share of bizarre professional circumstances. However, one seemingly benign encounter with a nervous patient may turn out to be the most dangerous case of Chloe’s life.
After both the patient and her boyfriend flee the hospital before Chloe can begin treatment, she writes it off as just another unfortunate part of working in the ER. However, when the boyfriend turns up dead, Chloe finds herself navigating a sea of intrigue and deceit that threatens to drag her under. Relying on the help of charter boat captain Noah Barnwell, with whom she has a rather embarrassing history, Chloe must somehow chart a course to help her survive multiple unexplained attempts on her life, as well as her tempestuous relationship with Noah.
I LOVE this author and have bought everything she’s written. If you’re interested in exceptional stories in the romantic suspense genre, Lisa Clark O’Neill is your writer. Her suspense elements are chilling!