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.
Catherine has been enjoying the single life for long enough to know a good catch when she sees one. Gorgeous, charismatic, spontaneous – Lee seems almost too perfect to be true. And her friends clearly agree, as each in turn falls under his spell.
But there is a darker side to Lee. His erratic, controlling and sometimes frightening behaviour means that Catherine is increasingly isolated. Driven into the darkest corner of her world, and trusting no one, she plans a meticulous escape. Four years later, struggling to overcome her demons, Catherine dares to believe she might be safe from harm. Until one phone call changes everything.
This is an edgy and powerful first novel, utterly convincing in its portrayal of obsession, and a tour de force of suspense.
Audible had a 2 for 1 credit sale this week and this was the first of four I picked up. They had SO many great books offered this time. The other three were already on my wishlist!
Some sins can never be forgiven.
DI Jane Phillips was a star detective driven by a relentless quest for justice. But then she stepped outside the law.
Now, demoted and suffering with PTSD, she finds herself facing the deadliest threat of her career — a serial killer who is preying on vulnerable women, murdering them in a shocking and bizarre ritual.
A master of deception, he selects his victims at random. Or so it seems. But as Phillips investigates, she begins to see a method in the killer’s madness. Perhaps these victims aren’t random at all…
As the pressure mounts, can Phillips find the link between these ritual murders before the killer strikes again — or will her dogged determination to solve the case bring his deadly silence to her door?
When both Yvo @ It’s All About Books and Meggy @ Chocolate’n’Waffles both rave about a book, I listen. And, it was only $.99!
A lonely newlywed and her wayward brother-in-law follow divergent and dangerous paths through the postwar American West.
Muriel is newly married and restless, transplanted from her rural Kansas hometown to life in a dusty bungalow in San Diego. The air is rich with the tang of salt and citrus, but the limits of her new life seem to be closing in: She misses her freethinking mother, dead before Muriel’s nineteenth birthday, and her sly, itinerant brother-in-law, Julius, who made the world feel bigger than she had imagined. And so she begins slipping off to the Del Mar racetrack to bet and eavesdrop, learning the language of horses and risk. Meanwhile, Julius is testing his fate in Las Vegas, working at a local casino where tourists watch atomic tests from the roof, and falling in love with Henry, a young card cheat. When Henry is eventually discovered and run out of town, Julius takes off to search for him in the plazas and dives of Tijuana, trading one city of dangerous illusions and indiscretions for another.
On Swift Horses is a debut of astonishing power: a story of love and luck, of two people trying to find their place in a country that is coming apart even as it promises them everything.
I’m always on the lookout for compelling literary fiction and was lured in by this one when it was offered for audio review.
From the twisted mind behind mega hit My Lovely Wife comes the story of a family—not unlike your own—just with a few more violent tendencies thrown in….
Beth, Portia, and Eddie Morgan haven’t all been together in years. And for very good reasons—we’ll get to those later. But when their wealthy grandfather dies and leaves a cryptic final message in his wake, the siblings and their respective partners must come together for a cross-country road trip to fulfill his final wish and—more importantly—secure their inheritance.
But time with your family can be tough. It is for everyone.
It’s even harder when you’re all keeping secrets and trying to forget a memory—a missing person, an act of revenge, the man in the black truck who won’t stop following your car—and especially when at least one of you is a killer and there’s a body in the trunk. Just to name a few reasons.
But money is a powerful motivator. It is for everyone.
Tina @ Reading Between the Pages has a wonderful regular feature of upcoming new releases and I discovered this from an author on my to read list.
A gripping thriller about a man’s quest for the daughter no one else believes is still alive, from the acclaimed author of The Chalk Man and The Hiding Place.
“Some writers have it, and C. J. Tudor has it big time.”—Lee Child
Q: Why are you called the Other People?
A: We are people just like you. People to whom terrible things have happened. We’ve found solace not in forgiveness or forgetting. But in helping each other find justice.
Driving home one night, Gabe is stuck behind a rusty old car. He sees a little girl’s face appear in its rear window. She mouths one word: Daddy. It’s his five-year-old daughter, Izzy. He never sees her again.
Three years later, Gabe spends his days and nights traveling up and down the highway, searching for the car that took his daughter, refusing to give up hope, even though most people believe she’s dead.
When the car that he saw escape with his little girl is found abandoned with a body inside, Gabe must confront not just the day Izzy disappeared but the painful events from his past now dredged to the surface.
Q: What sort of justice?
A: That depends on the individual. But our ethos is a punishment that fits the crime.
Fran and her daughter, Alice, also put in a lot of miles on the road. Not searching. Running. Trying to keep one step ahead of the people who want to hurt them—because Fran knows the truth. She knows what really happened to Gabe’s daughter.
She knows who is responsible. And she knows what they will do if they ever catch up to her and Alice.
Q: Can I request to have someone killed?
A: If your Request is acceptable, and unless there are exceptional circumstances, we fulfill all Requests.
I actually stumbled across this title while searching for something else! Didn’t know Tudor had another release imminent and I hope to get this for audio review.
A secluded mountain lodge. The perfect getaway. So remote no one will ever find you.
The promise of a luxury vacation at a secluded wilderness spa has brought together eight lucky guests. But nothing is what they were led to believe. As a fierce storm barrels down and all contact with the outside is cut off, the guests fear that it’s not a getaway. It’s a trap.
Each one has a secret. Each one has something to hide. And now, as darkness closes in, they all have something to fear—including one another.
Alerted to the vanished party of strangers, homicide cop Mason Deniaud and search and rescue expert Callie Sutton must brave the brutal elements of the mountains to find them. But even Mason and Callie have no idea how precious time is. Because the clock is ticking, and one by one, the guests of Forest Shadow Lodge are being hunted. For them, surviving becomes part of a diabolical game.
White is one of my auto read authors and I entered the Goodreads giveaway for this one.
After a disastrous summer spent at her family summer home on Cape Cod, seventeen-year-old Ann Gordon was left with a secret that changed her life forever, and created a rift between her sister, Poppy, and their adopted brother, Michael.
Now, fifteen years later, her parents have died, leaving Ann and Poppy to decide the fate of the Wellfleet home that’s been in the Gordon family for generations. For Ann, the once-beloved house is tainted with bad memories. Poppy loves the old saltbox, but after years spent chasing waves around the world, she isn’t sure she knows how to stay in one place.
Just when the sisters decide to sell, Michael re-enters their lives with a legitimate claim to the house. But more than that, he wants to set the record straight about that long ago summer. Reunited after years apart, these very different siblings must decide if they can continue to be a family—and the house just might be the glue that holds them together.
Told through the shifting perspectives of Ann, Poppy, and Michael, this assured and affecting debut captures the ache of nostalgia for summers past and the powerful draw of the places we return to again and again. It is about second homes, second families, and second chances. Tender and compassionate, incisive and heartbreaking, The Second Home is the story of a family you’ll quickly fall in love with, and won’t soon forget.
The publisher offered this for review and I’m taking a chance on a new author but this family drama was too tempting to pass up.
Elizabeth Shields has always craved adventure. That’s why she went to work for the CIA straight out of college. That’s probably also the reason she feels drawn to Quinn McManus, a veteran of the British Special Air Service. The big Scotsman gives off a dangerous vibe that she can’t resist. Yet, resist she must. She and Quinn both work for Cobra International Security, which has a strict policy against hook-ups between employees, and she’s too much of a professional to date a coworker. She and Quinn can never be more than friends. But when his best buddy from the SAS is found murdered on the streets of Glasgow, Elizabeth will do all she can to help Quinn cope with the loss … and find the culprit.
Quinn McManus escaped a life of poverty by joining the British Army. His fellow soldiers became his family, forging a bond stronger than blood. Now, with his best friend dead, he needs Elizabeth’s special skills to help track down the killer. He has no intention of getting physical with her. Rules are rules. But as their unofficial investigation heats up, so does the attraction between them. Still, he refuses to surrender. Because if they cross the line from friends to lovers, there will be no going back.
But some battles can’t be won, and soon the passion between Quinn and Elizabeth ignites, hot enough to melt the cold Glasgow winter. As they move closer to the truth and to each other, they find themselves in the sights of a stone-cold killer, who won’t hesitate to destroy them both to keep a terrible secret.
Another new book in the Cobra Elite series! It gets automatically added to my shelf. Wish Goodreads had that as a feature.
Million Dollar Devil
Big-city sophistication meets carnal hunger in this devilish contemporary romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Katy Evans.
Heir apparent to her father’s company, Lizzy Banks needs a man. The perfect man. But when the rich “fundbabies” she usually rubs shoulders with prove impossible to hire, she takes a chance on a raw beast of a man salvaged from the wreckage of a bar brawl.
James Rowan earns a modest income as a YouTube daredevil, but he can’t refuse Lizzy’s million dollar deal. As she polishes his rough edges, creating a sophisticated gentleman fit for the highest circles of society, not only does she bring out the perfect man—it’s like she’s making the man of her dreams. How can she resist?
Though Lizzy loves seeing James in his clothes—and out of them—he isn’t the kind of man you bring home to Daddy. Her father’s disapproval and the pressure of the campaign have her eyeing the straight and narrow, but Lizzy’s finding it awfully hard to resist the devil on her shoulder…
Million Dollar Marriage
If someone had bet Nell a million dollars that she would be saying “I do” to a complete stranger on national television, she’d have called them crazy, but with her crushing student loan payments sending her deep into the red, she’s out of options. This should be nothing more than a business transaction—until she sets eyes on her groom, and everything changes.
The game is on the instant Luke spots Penelope “Nell” Carpenter. He’s out for the money, yes, but getting a little dirty with Nell doesn’t sound too bad either. Everyone knows he’s not the marrying kind, so it’s a good thing it’s just for show. God knows he’s the worst guy his pretty wife should pick for real.
They have nothing in common, but if they want the grand prize, they’ll have to beat out eight other couples. Proving that total opposites attract should be easy enough…as long as they don’t fall in love in the process.
I really like most of this author’s books but they can be sometimes hit or miss. I took a pass on the first book in the series but this second one looks really good. So, I got the audiobooks as a bargain.
A new novel of insidious secrets and chilling revelations surrounding a mysterious cult—the latest gripping psychological thriller from Alex Marwood.
When nearly one hundred members of The Ark, a sinister apocalypse cult are found dead by poison at their isolated community in North Wales, those left alive are scattered to the winds with few coping skills and fewer answers. For twenty-three-year-old Romy, who has never known life outside the compound, learning how to live in a world she has been taught to fear is terrifying.
Now Romy must start a new life for herself—and the child growing inside her. She is determined to find the rest of her family and keep her baby safe, no matter the cost. But as the horrors of her past start to resurface, she realizes that leaving her old life behind won’t be easy. Outside the walls of The Ark, the real evil has only just begun.
I enjoyed another book by Marwood so when this was offered for audio review I quickly accepted.
Talia Hibbert, one of contemporary romance’s brightest new stars, delivers a witty, hilarious romantic comedy about a woman who’s tired of being “boring” and recruits her mysterious, sexy neighbor to help her get a life—perfect for fans of Sally Thorne, Jasmine Guillory, and Helen Hoang.
Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s determined to spice up her life and finally fit in with her glamorous family. Her “Get a Life” list has six directives, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her family’s mansion. The next items?
Enjoy a drunken night out.
Ride a motorcycle.
Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
And… do something bad.
But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.
Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.
But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…
This was offered for audio review and after reading the synopsis, I thought it was too good to be true. But, one of my Goodreads friends gave it 5 stars! Grabbed it.
At the news of her mother’s death, Natalie Tan returns home. The two women hadn’t spoken since Natalie left in anger seven years ago, when her mother refused to support her chosen career as a chef. Natalie is shocked to discover the vibrant neighborhood of San Francisco’s Chinatown that she remembers from her childhood is fading, with businesses failing and families moving out. She’s even more surprised to learn she has inherited her grandmother’s restaurant.
The neighborhood seer reads the restaurant’s fortune in the leaves: Natalie must cook three recipes from her grandmother’s cookbook to aid her struggling neighbors before the restaurant will succeed. Unfortunately, Natalie has no desire to help them try to turn things around–she resents the local shopkeepers for leaving her alone to take care of her agoraphobic mother when she was growing up. But with the support of a surprising new friend and a budding romance, Natalie starts to realize that maybe her neighbors really have been there for her all along.
When Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader reviewed this book months ago, I was captivated. I got in a long library queue and finally got the audiobook.