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.
Two broken hearts find love and healing in each other in this sexy contemporary romance spin-off from the New York Times best-selling author of the Rock Chick and Dream Man series.
Evie is a bonafide nerd and a hyper-intelligent chick who has only ever been able to rely on herself. So when she decides to earn an engineering degree, she takes a job dancing at Smithie’s club to make the tuition money she needs. But between her lack of dancing skills and an alpha bad boy who becomes overly protective, Evie realizes this gig might not be as easy as she thought.
Daniel “Mag” Magnusson knows a thing or two about pain, but the mask he wears is excellent. No one can tell that this good-looking, quick-witted, and roguish guy has deep-seated issues. Mag puts on a funny-guy routine so he can hide his broken heart and PTSD. But when Evie dances her way into Mag’s life, he realizes that he needs to come face to face with the demons of his past if he wants a future with her.
It’s KA and this will be an auto listen when it’s released next month.
Being young is all about the experiences: the first time you skip school, the first time you fall in love…the first time someone holds a gun to your head.
After being held hostage during a robbery at the local convenience store, seventeen-year-old Edie finds her attitude about life shattered. Unwilling to put up with the snobbery and bullying at her private school, she enrolls at the local public high school, crossing paths with John. The boy who risked his life to save hers.
While Edie’s beginning to run wild, however, John’s just starting to settle down. After years of partying and dealing drugs with his older brother, he’s going straight—getting to class on time, and thinking about the future.
An unlikely bond grows between the two as John keeps Edie out of trouble and helps her broaden her horizons. But when he helps her out with another first—losing her virginity—their friendship gets complicated.
Meanwhile, Edie and John are pulled back into the dangerous world they narrowly escaped. They were lucky to survive the first time, but this time they have more to lose—each other.
I’m collecting books by this author and this audiobook recently showed up at my library. It’s narrated by one of my favorites and reviews are strong.
A Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine Book Pick
“This month we are listening to The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister and y’all…it is SO GOOD! It’s a beautiful story about a young woman, Emmaline, confronting the modern world for the very first time. As she embarks on a journey of digging up her past, she is confronted with truth about love, family, and who she really is. Let’s embark on this magical journey together!” (Reese Witherspoon)
“Woven through [Emmeline’s] life’s journey is a multi-layered story of fragrance and its evocative power, as strong and tenacious as this sensuous novel’s plucky heroine.” (Shelf Awareness)
Erica Bauermeister, the national best-selling author of The School of Essential Ingredients, presents a moving and evocative coming-of-age audiobook about childhood stories, families lost and found, and how a fragrance conjures memories capable of shaping the course of our lives.
Emmeline lives an enchanted childhood on a remote island with her father, who teaches her about the natural world through her senses. What he won’t explain are the mysterious scents stored in the drawers that line the walls of their cabin, or the origin of the machine that creates them. As Emmeline grows, however, so too does her curiosity, until one day the unforeseen happens, and Emmeline is vaulted out into the real world – a place of love, betrayal, ambition, and revenge. To understand her past, Emmeline must unlock the clues to her identity, a quest that challenges the limits of her heart and imagination.
Lyrical and immersive, The Scent Keeper explores the provocative beauty of scent, the way it can reveal hidden truths, lead us to the person we seek, and even help us find our way back home.
This is a Reese Witherspoon pick and as I’ve had excellent experiences with her choices, I got in line at my library for the audiobook. My number finally came up!
Beauty. Wealth. Success.
She’s got it all.
And it all should’ve been mine.
Everything is slipping through Eleanor Hardwicke’s fingers. When her beloved father dies, her world is further shattered by a gut-wrenching secret: the man she’s grieving isn’t really her dad. Eleanor was the product of an affair and her biological father is still out there, living blissfully with the family he chose. With her personal life spiraling, a desperate Eleanor seeks him out, leading her to uncover another branch on her family tree—an infuriatingly enviable half sister.
Perfectly perfect Victoria has everything Eleanor could ever dream of. Loving childhood, luxury home, devoted husband. All of it stolen from Eleanor, who deserves it just as much. Now she plans to take it back. After all, good sisters are supposed to share. And quiet, docile little Eleanor has been waiting far too long for her turn to play.
I received a NetGalley widget for this one but am holding out for the audiobook, hopefully for review. It’s the kind of story I’d prefer to listen to.
There’s something wicked in Burning Lake…
Natalie Lockhart is a rookie detective in Burning Lake, New York, an isolated town known for its dark past. Tasked with uncovering the whereabouts of nine missing transients who have disappeared over the years, Natalie wrestles with the town’s troubled history – and the scars left by her sister’s unsolved murder years ago.
Then Daisy Buckner, a beloved schoolteacher, is found dead on her kitchen floor, and a suspect immediately comes to mind. But it’s not that simple. The suspect is in a coma, collapsed only hours after the teacher’s death, and it turns out Daisy had secrets of her own. Natalie knows there is more to the case, but as the investigation deepens, even she cannot predict the far-reaching consequences – for the victim, for the missing of Burning Lake, and for herself.
I believe it was Toni @ Reading Tonic who first put this on my radar. It showed up at my library and I was in the queue for a few weeks and it finally became available.
It’s impossible to know what you will do…
Every child’s potential is regularly determined by a standardized measurement: their quotient (Q). Score high enough, and attend a top tier school with a golden future. Score too low, and it’s off to a federal boarding school with limited prospects afterwards. The purpose? An improved society where education costs drop, teachers focus on the more promising students, and parents are happy.
When your child is taken from you.
Elena Fairchild is a teacher at one of the state’s elite schools. When her nine-year-old daughter bombs a monthly test and her Q score drops to a disastrously low level, she is immediately forced to leave her top school for a federal institution hundreds of miles away. As a teacher, Elena thought she understood the tiered educational system, but as a mother whose child is now gone, Elena’s perspective is changed forever. She just wants her daughter back.
And she will do the unthinkable to make it happen.
This next book from the author of Vox was offered for audio review and I grabbed it immediately.
Perfect for fans of The Mothers and Olive Kitteridge, in this stunning and perceptive debut novel three women learn what it means to come home–and to make peace with the family, love affairs, and memories they’d once left behind.
“Here are voices from the heartland rendered real, raw, and aching. . . . Reminiscent of Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere, this novel announces Jeni McFarland as a writer of our generation.” –Aja Gabel, author of The Ensemble
River Bend, Michigan, is the kind of small town most can’t imagine leaving, but three women couldn’t wait to escape. When each must return–Linda Williams, never sure what she wants; her mother, Paula, always too sure; and Beth DeWitt, one of River Bend’s only black daughters, now a mother of two who’d planned to raise her own children anywhere else–their paths collide under Beth’s father’s roof. As one town struggles to contain all of their love affairs and secrets, a local scandal forces Beth to confront her own devastating past.
Filled with the voices of mothers and daughters, husbands, lovers, and fathers, The House of Deep Water explores motherhood, trauma, love, loss, and new beginnings found in a most unlikely place: home.
This was offered for audio review and I was intrigued by the description. It’s a debut novel with early strong reviews so I’m giving it a try.
Don and Mimi Galvin seemed to be living the American dream. After World War II, Don’s work with the Air Force brought them to Colorado, where their twelve children perfectly spanned the baby boom: the oldest born in 1945, the youngest in 1965. In those years, there was an established script for a family like the Galvins–aspiration, hard work, upward mobility, domestic harmony–and they worked hard to play their parts. But behind the scenes was a different story: psychological breakdown, sudden shocking violence, hidden abuse. By the mid-1970s, six of the ten Galvin boys, one after another, were diagnosed as schizophrenic. How could all this happen to one family?
What took place inside the house on Hidden Valley Road was so extraordinary that the Galvins became one of the first families to be studied by the National Institute of Mental Health. Their story offers a shadow history of the science of schizophrenia, from the era of institutionalization, lobotomy, and the schizophrenogenic mother to the search for genetic markers for the disease, always amid profound disagreements about the nature of the illness itself. And unbeknownst to the Galvins, samples of their DNA informed decades of genetic research that continues today, offering paths to treatment, prediction, and even eradication of the disease for future generations.
With clarity and compassion, bestselling and award-winning author Robert Kolker uncovers one family’s unforgettable legacy of suffering, love, and hope.
I initially gave this a pass when offered for audio review and then I read the review by Ren @ What’s Non Fiction and did a complete turnaround. This promises to be a fascinating study, so says Ren and I trust her!
You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree. A dark imagination, a sinister smile – always on the outside of the group. Some part of you suspected he might be capable of doing something awful. Twenty-five years ago, Crabtree did just that, committing a murder so shocking that it’s attracted that strange kind of infamy that only exists on the darkest corners of the internet – and inspired more than one copycat.
Paul Adams remembers the case all too well: Crabtree – and his victim – were Paul’s friends. Paul has slowly put his life back together. But now his mother, old and senile, has taken a turn for the worse. Though every inch of him resists, it is time to come home.
It’s not long before things start to go wrong. Reading the news, Paul learns another copycat has struck. His mother is distressed, insistent that there’s something in the house. And someone is following him. Which reminds him of the most unsettling thing about that awful day 25 years ago.
It wasn’t just the murder.
It was the fact that afterward, Charlie Crabtree was never seen again….
New from the author of The Whisper Man, it’s scheduled for release in July and I’m hoping my library takes my recommendation and gets the audiobook. Thanks to Marialyce @ yayareads and her wonderful review for putting in on my radar
In Oak Knoll, a verdant, tight-knit North Carolina neighborhood, professor of forestry and ecology Valerie Alston-Holt is raising her bright and talented biracial son. Xavier is headed to college in the fall, and after years of single parenting, Valerie is facing the prospect of an empty nest. All is well until the Whitmans move in next door―an apparently traditional family with new money, ambition, and a secretly troubled teenaged daughter.
Thanks to his thriving local business, Brad Whitman is something of a celebrity around town, and he’s made a small fortune on his customer service and charm, while his wife, Julia, escaped her trailer park upbringing for the security of marriage and homemaking. Their new house is more than she ever imagined for herself, and who wouldn’t want to live in Oak Knoll? With little in common except a property line, these two very different families quickly find themselves at odds: first, over an historic oak tree in Valerie’s yard, and soon after, the blossoming romance between their two teenagers.
Told from multiple points of view, A Good Neighborhood asks big questions about life in America today―What does it mean to be a good neighbor? How do we live alongside each other when we don’t see eye to eye?―as it explores the effects of class, race, and heartrending star-crossed love in a story that’s as provocative as it is powerful.
I’ve waited in the library queue so long for this audiobook I can’t remember who recommended it! Reviews by my Goodreads friends run the gamut but I found the description interesting.