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.
Everyone has a secret they’ll do anything to hide…
Twenty-five years ago, the body of sixteen-year-old Eve Knox was found in the caves near her home in small-town Grotto, Iowa—discovered by her best friend, Maggie, and her sister, Nola. There were a handful of suspects, including her boyfriend, Nick, but without sufficient evidence the case ultimately went cold.
For decades Maggie was haunted by Eve’s death and that horrible night. Now a detective in Grotto, and seven months pregnant, she is thrust back into the past when a new piece of evidence surfaces and the case is reopened. As Maggie investigates and reexamines the clues, secrets about what really happened begin to emerge. But someone in town knows more than they’re letting on, and they’ll stop at nothing to keep the truth buried deep.
I’m a fan of the author and this new release is intriguing. Hoping to get it for audio review.
Six years after the fight that ended their friendship, Daphne Berg is shocked when Drue Cavanaugh walks back into her life, looking as lovely and successful as ever, with a massive favor to ask. Daphne hasn’t spoken one word to Drue in all this time—she doesn’t even hate-follow her ex-best friend on social media—so when Drue asks if she will be her maid-of-honor at the society wedding of the summer, Daphne is rightfully speechless.
Drue was always the one who had everything—except the ability to hold onto friends. Meanwhile, Daphne’s no longer the same self-effacing sidekick she was back in high school. She’s built a life that she loves, including a growing career as a plus-size Instagram influencer. Letting glamorous, seductive Drue back into her life is risky, but it comes with an invitation to spend a weekend in a waterfront Cape Cod mansion. When Drue begs and pleads and dangles the prospect of cute single guys, Daphne finds herself powerless as ever to resist her friend’s siren song.
A sparkling novel about the complexities of female relationships, the pitfalls of living out loud and online, and the resilience of the human heart, Big Summer is a witty, moving story about family, friendship, and figuring out what matters most.
I like the idea of revisiting old friendships coupled with the social media component. Hoping to get this for audio review.
In this heart-pounding standalone from the internationally bestselling author that People calls “razor sharp,” a woman accused of murder attempts to solve her own case from the confines of prison—but as she unravels the truth, everything is called into question, including her own certainty that she is innocent.
Tabitha is not a murderer.
She knows she’s not.
She thinks she’s not.
Tabitha moved back to her childhood hometown in Okeham, England, a few weeks ago, quietly taking up residence in a fixer-upper house. Reclusive and absorbed with home improvement, she hardly had a chance to reacquaint herself with familiar faces around the village. Then her handyman discovers a dead body in her shed. The police arrive to investigate—and shockingly, Tabitha finds herself being placed in handcuffs and taken into custody. It is a mistake. The police and her lawyer will sort it out and let her go. But as Tabitha is shepherded through the system, she becomes less confident of her imminent release. Everything about her past is called into question—her history of depression and medications, her decision to move back to a town she supposedly hated, and of course, her relationship to the victim, Tabitha’s former teacher. And most unsettling, Tabitha’s own memories of that day are a blur.
Waiting passively for justice to run its course is no longer an option, so Tabitha takes matters into her own hands. From the isolation of the correctional facility, she dissects every piece of evidence, every testimony she can get her hands on, matching them against her own recollections and memories from her childhood. The deeper she digs, the more peculiar the case becomes. Her guilt seems undeniable—so much so, that Tabitha begins to question whether she might have committed this horrible act after all. But if she did not, someone has gone to great lengths to make it seem that way.
Crackling with suspense and packed with emotion, House of Correction is a subversive twist on a locked-room mystery, perfect for fans of Ruth Ware and Paula Hawkins.
This is SO my kind of story! Haven’t decided yet if I want to experience it on audio. I’ve got time as it’s scheduled for release in October.
When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some long-overdue rest.
Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen.
So they decide to try a two-month swap.
Eileen will live in London and look for love. She’ll take Leena’s flat, and learn all about casual dating, swiping right, and city neighbors. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire: Eileen’s sweet cottage and garden, her idyllic, quiet village, and her little neighborhood projects.
But stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected. Will swapping lives help Eileen and Leena find themselves…and maybe even find true love? In Beth O’Leary’s The Switch, it’s never too late to change everything….or to find yourself.
Inge @ The Belgian Reviewer got my attention with her review of this book. Didn’t think twice. I’ve recommended the audiobook for library purchase.
Breezing into the tony seaside paradise of Westport, Connecticut, gorgeous thirtysomething Piper Reynard sets down roots, opening a rehab and wellness space and joining a local yacht club. When she meets Leo Drakos, a handsome, successful lawyer, the wedding ring on his finger is the only thing she doesn’t like about him. Yet as Piper well knows, no marriage is permanent.
Meanwhile, Joanna has been waiting patiently for Leo, the charismatic man she fell in love with all those years ago, to re-emerge from the severe depression that has engulfed him. Though she’s thankful when Leo returns to his charming, energetic self, paying attention again to Evie and Stelli, the children they both love beyond measure, Joanna is shocked to discover that it’s not her loving support that’s sparked his renewed happiness—it’s something else.
Piper. Leo has fallen head over heels for the flaky, New Age-y newcomer, and unrepentant and resolute, he’s more than willing to leave Joanna behind, along with everything they’ve built. Of course, he assures her, she can still see the children.
Joanna is devastated—and determined to find something, anything, to use against this woman who has stolen her life and her true love. As she digs deeper into Piper’s past, Joanna begins to unearth disturbing secrets . . . but when she confides to her therapist that she fears for the lives of her ex-husband and children, her concerns are dismissed as paranoia. Can she find the proof she needs in time to save them?
Gotta admit that the cover first caught my eye, then the title and author and finally the description. What about any of those doesn’t reel you in? I was powerless and am hoping to get it for audio review.
It’s summertime on the North Carolina coast and the livin’ is easy.
Unless, that is, you’ve just lost your mother to cancer, your sister to her extremist husband, and your husband to his executive assistant. Meet Gray Howard. Right when Gray could use a serious infusion of good karma in her life, she inadvertently gets a stranger, Diana Harrington, fired from her job at the local pharmacy.
Diana Harrington’s summer isn’t off to the greatest start either: Hours before losing her job, she broke up with her boyfriend and moved out of their shared house with only a worn-out Impala for a bed. Lucky for her, Gray has an empty guest house and a very guilty conscience.
With Gray’s kindness, Diana’s tide begins to turn. But when her first love returns, every secret from her past seems to resurface all at once. And, as Gray begins to blaze a new trail, she discovers, with Diana’s help, that what she envisioned as her perfect life may not be what she wants at all.
I’d taken a pass on this but changed my mind after reading the review by Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra. If it doesn’t show up at my library, I’ll have to use an Audible credit.
Getting cheated on and left with a hotel bill that costs more than she makes in a year was not a part of the plan when Riana came to Las Vegas to marry her wealthy fiancé. Her plans also didn’t include getting bailed out of this horrible situation by Quinn, the ex-boyfriend she hadn’t planned to see ever again. For Quinn, Riana was the one that got away and he’s never gotten over her, no matter how successful he became.
Riana insists on paying Quinn back, so he makes her an offer—spend the next month with him and his business partner Austin while they’re on vacation. It’s clear to him that Austin is attracted to her, too, and Quinn’s always liked the idea of sharing a woman with him. It’s something that Riana wants to do, and after a few glasses of champagne—only enough to stop denying herself what she wants—she voices her desire to be with both men.
But as the month comes to an end, Riana has to face the reality she’s falling for Quinn and Austin…and the possibility that one crazy night in Vegas could cost her one—or both—men.
Erotic romance isn’t for everyone but when done well…I’ve read the author before and when offered for review, I gladly accepted.
Charlie Savoy was once Hollywood’s hottest A-lister. Now, 10 years later, she’s pushing 40, exiled from the film world and back at the summer Shakespeare theater in the Berkshires that launched her career – and where her old flame, Nick, is the artistic director.
It’s not exactly her first choice. But as parts are cast and rehearsals begin, Charlie is surprised to find herself getting her groove back, bonding with celebrity actors, forging unexpected new friendships, and even reigniting her spark with Nick, who still seems to bring out the best in her despite their complicated history.
Until Charlie’s old rival, Hollywood’s current it girl, is brought on set, threatening to undo everything she’s built. As the drama amps up both on the stage and behind the curtains, Charlie must put on the show of a lifetime to fight for the second chance she deserves in career and in love.
This was offered for review but I decided I’d hold out for the audio version. She’s a new-to-me author and this story appeals on so many levels. It’s got a Hollywood saga kind of feel to it.
In the wilderness of Washington State, expert tracker Colter Shaw has located two young men accused of a terrible hate crime. But when his pursuit takes a shocking and tragic turn, Shaw becomes desperate to discover what went so horribly wrong and if he is to blame. Shaw’s search for answers leads him to a shadowy organization that bills itself as a grief support group. But is it truly it a community that consoles the bereaved? Or a dangerous cult with a growing body count? Undercover, Shaw joins the mysterious group, risking everything despite the fact that no reward is on offer. He soon finds that some people will stop at nothing to keep their secrets hidden . . . and to make sure that he or those close to him say “goodbye” forever.
It’s been a long time since I’ve read anything by this author but when this was offered for audio review, I got excited about the story and the lead character. It’s the second in the series but my library has the first and on audio!
A dark, witty page-turner about a struggling young musician who takes a job singing for a playgroup of overprivileged babies and their effortlessly cool moms, only to find herself pulled into their glamorous lives and dangerous secrets….
After her former band shot to superstardom without her, Claire reluctantly agrees to a gig as a playgroup musician for wealthy infants on New York’s Park Avenue. Claire is surprised to discover that she is smitten with her new employers, a welcoming clique of wellness addicts with impossibly shiny hair, who whirl from juice cleanse to overpriced miracle vitamins to spin class with limitless energy.
There is perfect hostess Whitney who is on the brink of social-media stardom and just needs to find a way to keep her flawless life from falling apart. Caustically funny, recent stay-at-home mom Amara who is struggling to embrace her new identity. And old money, veteran mom Gwen who never misses an opportunity to dole out parenting advice. But as Claire grows closer to the stylish women who pay her bills, she uncovers secrets and betrayals that no amount of activated charcoal can fix.
Filled with humor and shocking twists, Happy and You Know It is a brilliant take on motherhood – exposing it as yet another way for society to pass judgment on women – while also exploring the baffling magnetism of curated social-media lives that are designed to make us feel unworthy. But, ultimately, this dazzling novel celebrates the unlikely bonds that form, and the power that can be unlocked, when a group of very different women is thrown together when each is at her most vulnerable.
This isn’t something I know anything about but have been mystified by the whole notion of the topic. So, when it was offered for audio review, I jumped at the chance to listen to a campy take on the matter.
When their foster-turned-adoptive mother suddenly dies, four brothers struggle to keep open the doors of her beloved Harlem knitting shop.
Jesse Strong is known for two things: his devotion to his adoptive mom, Mama Joy, and his reputation for breaking hearts. When Mama Joy unexpectedly passes away, he and his brothers have different plans for what to do with Strong Knits, their neighborhood knitting store. Jesse wants to keep the store open. His brothers want to tie off loose ends and close shop….
Part-time shop employee Kerry Fuller has kept her crush on Jesse a secret. When she overhears his impassioned plea to his brothers to keep the knitting shop open, she volunteers to help. Unlike Jesse, Kerry knows the “knitty-gritty” of the business, and together they make plans to reinvent Strong Knits for a new generation.
But the more time they spend together, the stronger the chemistry builds between them. Kerry, knowing Jesse’s history, doesn’t believe their relationship can last longer than she can knit one, purl two. But Jesse is determined to prove to her that he can be the man for her forever and always. After all, real men knit.
OMG! I had to have this and got it for audio review. Same appeal as the Bromance Bookclub!
An extraordinary work of fiction, inspired by historical events–an exquisitely crafted double portrait of a Nazi war criminal and a family savaged by World War II, conjoined by an actual house of horrors they both called home
On a street in modern-day Norway, a writer kneels with his son and tells him that according to Jewish tradition, a person dies twice: first when their heart stops beating, and then again the last time their name is read or thought or said. Before them is a stone engraved with the name Hirsch Komissar, the boy’s great-great-grandfather who was murdered by Nazis.
The man who sent Komissar to his death was one of Norway’s vilest traitors, Henry Oliver Rinnan, a Nazi double agent who set up headquarters in an unspectacular suburban house and transformed the cellar into a torture chamber for resisters, a place to be avoided and feared.
That is until Komissar’s own son, Gerson, and his young wife, Ellen, take up residence in the house after the war. While their daughters spend a happy childhood playing in the same rooms where some of the most heinous acts of the occupation occurred, the weight of history threatens to pull the couple apart.
In Keep Saying Their Names, Simon Stranger uses this unusual twist of fate to probe five generations of intimate and global history, seamlessly melding fact and fiction, creating a brilliant lexicon of light and dark. The resulting novel reveals how evil is born in some and courage in others–and seeks to keep alive the names of those lost.
As soon as I read the description, I knew I needed to listen to this story. It combines literary and historical fiction and I have it for audio review.
Mo Rocca has always loved obituaries—reading about the remarkable lives of global leaders, Hollywood heavyweights, and innovators who changed the world. But not every notable life has gotten the send-off it deserves. His quest to right that wrong inspired Mobituaries, his #1 hit podcast. Now with Mobituaries, the book, he has gone much further, with all new essays on artists, entertainers, sports stars, political pioneers, founding fathers, and more. Even if you know the names, you’ve never understood why they matter…until now.
Take Herbert Hoover: before he was president, he was the “Great Humanitarian,” the man who saved tens of millions from starvation. But after less than a year in the White House, the stock market crashed, and all the good he had done seemed to be forgotten. Then there’s Marlene Dietrich, well remembered as a screen goddess, less remembered as a great patriot. Alongside American servicemen on the front lines during World War II, she risked her life to help defeat the Nazis of her native Germany. And what about Billy Carter and history’s unruly presidential brothers? Were they ne’er-do-well liabilities…or secret weapons? Plus, Mobits for dead sports teams, dead countries, the dearly departed station wagon, and dragons. Yes, dragons.
Rocca is an expert researcher and storyteller. He draws on these skills here. With his dogged reporting and trademark wit, Rocca brings these men and women back to life like no one else can. Mobituaries is an insightful and unconventional account of the people who made life worth living for the rest of us, one that asks us to think about who gets remembered, and why.
I’m a Mo Rocca fan from his appearance on NPR’s Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me so when I read the review of this book by Melanie @ Books of My Heart, I was hooked! And, my library has the audiobook.
A powerful, emotional debut novel told in the unforgettable voice of a young Nigerian woman who is trapped in a life of servitude but determined to fight for her dreams and choose her own future.
Adunni is a fourteen-year-old Nigerian girl who knows what she wants: an education. This, her mother has told her, is the only way to get a “louding voice”—the ability to speak for herself and decide her own future. But instead, Adunni’s father sells her to be the third wife of a local man who is eager for her to bear him a son and heir.
When Adunni runs away to the city, hoping to make a better life, she finds that the only other option before her is servitude to a wealthy family. As a yielding daughter, a subservient wife, and a powerless slave, Adunni is told, by words and deeds, that she is nothing.
But while misfortunes might muffle her voice for a time, they cannot mute it. And when she realizes that she must stand up not only for herself, but for other girls, for the ones who came before her and were lost, and for the next girls, who will inevitably follow; she finds the resolve to speak, however she can—in a whisper, in song, in broken English—until she is heard.
I gave this a pass when it was offered for audio review but when I read the review by Carol @ Reading Ladies, I changed my mind. After waiting in a long library queue, I finally got the audiobook.
Hoping to escape his past, Ethan Hardesty left a career as an architect and went to work for the railroad. Only two things impede his desire to transform Heartbreak Creek into a thriving town once again—a vandal bent on stopping the railroad, and the beautiful but hardheaded woman who won’t sign over the final right-of-way through the canyon.
Audra Pearsall has good reason for not allowing a train to pass within yards of her home, no matter how persuasive the handsome Mr. Hardesty can be. But when vandalism escalates to murder and fear stalks the canyon, Audra doesn’t know who to turn to—until the man she thought was her friend proves to be an enemy, and the man she wouldn’t allow herself to trust becomes her reluctant hero…
This is the first book in a spinoff of a series I enjoyed and just finished. It was a group read and we’ve decided to continue. Bought this one!
Isabel Lincoln is gone.
But is she missing?
It’s up to Grayson Sykes to find her. Although she is reluctant to track down a woman who may not want to be found, Gray’s search for Isabel Lincoln becomes more complicated and dangerous with every new revelation about the woman’s secrets and the truth she’s hidden from her friends and family.
Featuring two complicated women in a dangerous cat and mouse game, Rachel Howzell Hall’s And Now She’s Gone explores the nature of secrets — and how violence and fear can lead you to abandon everything in order to survive.
I’m a member of the Macmillan Reading Insiders Club and got a preview of upcoming choices. This was one of them and I want it!
In a windowless shack in the woods, Lena and her two children live a life that follows the rules set by their captor, the father: Meals, bathroom visits, study time are strictly scheduled and meticulously observed. He says he is protecting them from the dangers lurking in the outside world.
One day Lena manages to flee, but the nightmare continues. There is the question of whether she really is the woman named “Lena,” who disappeared without a trace fourteen years ago?—she has the distinctive scar, but the family swears she isn’t the girl they lost. The police and Lena’s family are all desperately trying to piece together a puzzle that doesn’t quite seem to fit. And it feels to Lena as if the tormentor she fled still somehow wants to get her back.
Dear Child is told from three points-of-view: the woman who escaped and is coming to terms with life outside the shack; the missing Lena’s father, who would do anything to get her back and is becoming more and more unhinged; and the daughter raised entirely in that isolated world, a little girl with Asperger’s and a photographic memory who may know more than she’s letting on.
Twisty, suspenseful, and psychologically clever, this captivating thriller, which starts where others end, has all the ingredients of a breakout hit.
This was another Macmillan Reading Insiders Club preview. I want it, too, but haven’t decided if I’d prefer it on audio.
Big Little Lies meets Presumed Innocent in this riveting novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia, in which a woman’s brutal murder reveals the perilous compromises some couples make—and the secrets they keep—in order to stay together.
Lizzie Kitsakis is working late when she gets the call. Grueling hours are standard at elite law firms like Young & Crane, but they’d be easier to swallow if Lizzie was there voluntarily. Until recently, she’d been a happily underpaid federal prosecutor. That job and her brilliant, devoted husband Sam—she had everything she’d ever wanted. And then, suddenly, it all fell apart.
No. That’s a lie. It wasn’t sudden, was it? Long ago the cracks in Lizzie’s marriage had started to show. She was just good at averting her eyes.
The last thing Lizzie needs right now is a call from an inmate at Rikers asking for help—even if Zach Grayson is an old friend. But Zach is desperate: his wife, Amanda, has been found dead at the bottom of the stairs in their Brooklyn brownstone. And Zach’s the primary suspect.
As Lizzie is drawn into the dark heart of idyllic Park Slope, she learns that Zach and Amanda weren’t what they seemed—and that their friends, a close-knit group of fellow parents at the exclusive Grace Hall private school, might be protecting troubling secrets of their own. In the end, she’s left wondering not only whether her own marriage can be saved, but what it means to have a good marriage in the first place.
I found out from a BookBub newsletter that this book is already in development and being adapted for a film starring Nicole Kidman. I want it and am hoping to get it for audio review.
Years ago, we were in love. She was an up-and-coming superstar and I was the security professional hired to keep her safe. We fell hard and fast, no matter how much we tried to resist one another. But not everyone around us was happy about our relationship, and a string of lies and deceit destroyed what we once had. I moved on from her and didn’t look back.
Now I’ve taken the helm of a nationally renowned protective services company, and I’m looking to rebrand my career. The newly crowned Jameson Force Security is moving from the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas to the mountainous steel town of Pittsburgh, and the last thing I have time for is to deal with my past.
More than a decade has passed since our split, but even a bruised and battered heart remembers its first love. So when Joslyn Meyers comes to me for help, I reluctantly agree to keep her safe from a terrifying stalker who keeps threatening her life.
As the danger continues to intensify, it becomes clear that I’ll stop at nothing to protect the woman who turned her back on me all those years ago. Because one thing is certain—no matter how hard I try to convince myself otherwise, Joslyn still has my heart.
It should be the most shocking news I’d ever gotten – my boyfriend is getting married.
Okay, technically he’s my ex-boyfriend. Two months ago he decided he wanted a break. I still thought he was my happily-ever-after.
On any other day, knowing he was gone for good would be the worst thing that could possibly happen.
But not today.
Because not only is my boyfriend getting married – his bride is my best friend.
And they’ve sent me an invitation.
There’s no way I’m going to attend. I don’t care if it’s in beautiful Scotland.
Nothing and no one could convince me.
Not even when a deliciously handsome stranger tells me he needs to go as my plus one.
Not even when he shoots me a wickedly, sexy smile.
But then he offers me the opportunity of a lifetime – a dream come true. How can I say no?
But I have one condition: He has to be my new boyfriend. I mean, my pretend new boyfriend.
I’m about to find out that faking it can be a whole lot of fun.
I’ve not read this author before but somehow got her newsletter about this book. The narrators for the audio are on my favorites list and I love the description. Maybe I’ll use an Audible credit?