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 you’re born without a trace, no one knows you’re a weapon.
I lie for her.
I hunt for her.
I kill for her.
And above all, I betray my mission for her.
She doesn’t know why. She doesn’t care why.
Treason comes in many forms.
Love is one of them.
Our training taught me to be a sociopath. A machine. A pawn. Nothing more than a tool for a larger goal, without attachments or feelings.
Our teachers forgot one important detail:
Pawns shouldn’t have hearts.
Yet we do.
It turns out our emotions are our greatest weapon.
And I know exactly where mine are aimed.
This is a kindle freebie by a new-to-me author who is included in the romantic suspense anthology I added last week.
She’s been hired to ghostwrite a CEO’s autobiography… Yep, that CEO. The one who broke her heart.
When Kate’s agent gets her the job of writing Trent’s autobiography, she almost balks. The charismatic founder of his own outdoor clothing company dumped her when they were in college. But she needs the money.
Trent’s been so busy lately, he completely forgot he was supposed to be writing a book, and the draft is due soon. He wants Kate as the ghostwriter: she’s experienced, and she was always smart and hard-working. They can keep things professional, right?
In funny and touching ways, the project gives them a fresh perspective on the past, even prompting a road trip to Trent’s hometown that uncovers forgotten feelings. But will they both have the courage to start a new chapter in life?
This was on sale for $.99 and I’ve enjoyed other books by this author.
A debut novel in the vein of Liane Moriarty and Tom Perrotta, about dark secrets brought to life after the mysterious death of a handsome and charismatic trainer to the elite women in Santa Monica.
On the western edge of Los Angeles is the gorgeous beachside city of Santa Monica, where the sun-kissed, wealthy residents seem to inhabit real-life California dreams. When movie-star-handsome heartthrob fitness coach Zack Doheny, is found dead on the floor of his gym, the tragedy shocks the elite community, especially those who’d spent many hours each week exercising with the charismatic trainer.
As the narrative flashes back to the months leading up to Zack’s death, it quickly becomes clear that things in this coastal paradise are not as glittering as they seem. Lettie – Zack’s secret half-sister and an undocumented housekeeper for the toned, entitled women of Santa Monica – holds her brother responsible for a horrific family accident, and desperately needs his money to prevent her deportation. Regina, type-A exercise addict and entrepreneur, will do anything to get out of debt and to claim Zack for herself. And Mel – a New York City transplant who finds herself forty pounds heavier and far more cynical than the lithe women of Santa Monica – discovers an electric attraction to Zack that threatens to disrupt his bond with Regina and upend Mel’s own marriage. As these residents of Santa Monica begin to crack under the stress of their secrets, one question hangs above it all: what really happened to Zack Doheny?
I love these soapy dramas and this one sounds like something that will take me away! An audio review hopeful.
Twin sisters Iris and Summer are startlingly alike, but beyond what the eye can see lies a darkness that sets them apart. Cynical and insecure, Iris has long been envious of Summer’s seemingly never-ending good fortune, including her perfect husband Adam.
Called to Thailand to help her sister sail the family yacht to the Seychelles, Iris nurtures her own secret hopes for what might happen on the journey. But when she unexpectedly finds herself alone in the middle of the Indian Ocean, everything changes. When she makes it to land, Iris allows herself to be swept up by Adam, who assumes that she is Summer.
Iris recklessly goes along with his mistake. Not only does she finally have the golden life she’s always envied, with her sister gone, she’s one step closer to the hundred-million-dollar inheritance left by her manipulative father. All Iris has to do is be the first of his seven children to produce an heir.
Iris’s “new” life lurches between glamorous dream and paranoid nightmare. On the edge of being exposed, how far will she go to ensure no one discovers the truth?
And just what did happen to Summer on the yacht?
Only Iris knows . . .
I’ve not read this author before but this story has so many sinister edges. Another audio review hopeful.
A year after a brutal home invasion that left her traumatized, Cecelia, along with her husband and their three-year-old daughter, move into a new house with a complex security system that is supposed to make her feel safe.
But reality proves different as strange things begin to happen at home and the security system reveals that the house had a prior occupant: Lydia.
On her quest to discover the fate of the mysterious Lydia, Cecelia uncovers metaphorical skeletons in the closet, and she realizes that that no one’s secrets are safe — including her own.
I really enjoyed the author’s The Starter Wife and this one sounds intriguing. I’ve recommended the audiobook for library purchase.
Nobody saw a thing. Or so they say…
Baywood police department detective A.L. McKittridge is no stranger to tough cases, but when five-year-old Emma Whitman disappears from her day care, there isn’t a single shred of evidence to go on. Neither the grandmother who dropped her off, nor the teacher whose care she was supposed to be in, can account for the missing child. There are no witnesses. No trace of where she might have gone. There’s only one thing A.L. and his partner, Rena Morgan, are sure of—somebody is lying.
With the clock ticking, A.L. and Rena are under extreme pressure as they discover their instincts are correct: all is not as it seems. The Whitmans are a family with many secrets, and A.L. and Rena will have to race to untangle a growing web of lies if they’re going to find the thread that leads them to Emma…before it’s too late.
I really liked the first book in the A. L. McKittridge series so I quickly requested this when it showed up in NetGalley!
Criminal psychologist Cyrus Haven and Evie Cormac return in this mesmerizing new thriller from internationally bestselling author Michael Robotham, a writer Stephen King calls “an absolute master…with heart and soul.”
Who is Evie, the girl with no past, running from? She was discovered hiding in a secret room in the aftermath of a terrible crime. Her ability to tell when someone is lying helped Cyrus crack an impenetrable case in Good Girl, Bad Girl. Now, the closer Cyrus gets to uncovering answers about Evie’s dark history, the more he exposes Evie to danger, giving her no choice but to run. Ultimately, both will have to decide if some secrets are better left buried and some monsters should never be named…
Woo hoo! This second book in the Cyrus Haven series is due out in July. Another audio review hopeful.
Sydney Green is Brooklyn born and raised, but her beloved neighborhood seems to change every time she blinks. Condos are sprouting like weeds, FOR SALE signs are popping up overnight, and the neighbors she’s known all her life are disappearing. To hold onto her community’s past and present, Sydney channels her frustration into a walking tour and finds an unlikely and unwanted assistant in one of the new arrivals to the block—her neighbor Theo.
But Sydney and Theo’s deep dive into history quickly becomes a dizzying descent into paranoia and fear. Their neighbors may not have moved to the suburbs after all, and the push to revitalize the community may be more deadly than advertised.
When does coincidence become conspiracy? Where do people go when gentrification pushes them out? Can Sydney and Theo trust each other—or themselves—long enough to find out before they too disappear?
An audio review hopeful, I’m taking a chance on a new author as the description sounds interesting.
Prepare yourself for a transformative experience. Sometimes, life’s setbacks contain hidden gifts. Here at Lakewood, you’ll find the space to unwrap them.
A weekend at the Lakewood Retreat is exactly what Chloe Powell needs. Freshly unemployed after her boss loses a reelection campaign, the former press secretary desperately wants a break from the bustle of Washington DC. A flier posted at her yoga studio leads her to the getaway, which looks amazing: organic meals, celebrity testimonials, and a serene private property within driving distance of the city.
It’s so perfect, in fact, that Chloe’s barely bothered by the intensely personal questions she’s asked in her application, or the unnerving social experiments her enigmatic host, Sebastian, imposes on her once she arrives at his remote cabin. But when a mysterious new guest shows up, Chloe can no longer suppress her rising panic: This place is not at all what it seems.
A pulse-pounding story from the first minute to the last, The Getaway explores the weight of the small choices we make every day, and their staggering, unintended consequences.
How did I miss this free Audible Original by two favorite authors? Saw it when one of my Goodreads friends posted a review.
When she discovers her husband cheating, Ella Hawthorne impulsively moves out of their SoHo loft and into a small apartment in an old Greenwich Village building. Her surprisingly attractive new neighbor, Hector, warns her to stay out of the basement at night. Tenants have reported strange noises after midnight—laughter, clinking glasses, jazz piano—even though the space has been empty for decades. Back in the Roaring Twenties, the place hid a speakeasy.
In 1924, Geneva “Gin” Kelly, a smart-mouthed flapper from the hills of western Maryland, is a regular at this Village hideaway known as the Christopher Club. Caught up in a raid, Gin becomes entangled with Prohibition enforcement agent Oliver Anson, who persuades her to help him catch her stepfather Duke Kelly, one of Appalachia’s most notorious bootleggers.
Headstrong and independent, Gin is no weak-kneed fool. So how can she be falling in love with the taciturn, straight-arrow Revenue agent when she’s got Princeton boy Billy Marshall, the dashing son of society doyenne Theresa Marshall, begging to make an honest woman of her? While anything goes in the Roaring Twenties, Gin’s adventures will shake proper Manhattan society to its foundations, exposing secrets that shock even this free-spirited redhead—secrets that will echo from Park Avenue to the hollers of her Southern hometown.
As Ella discovers more about the basement speakeasy, she becomes inspired by the spirit of her exuberant predecessor, and decides to live with abandon in the wicked city too. . . .
This showed up at my library and I decided to give the author another try after being underwhelmed by The Summer Wives.
It’s the end of a night out and Joanna is walking home alone. Then she hears the sound every woman dreads: footsteps behind her, getting faster. She’s sure it’s him–the man from the bar who wouldn’t leave her alone. So Joanna makes a snap decision. She turns, she pushes. Her pursuer tumbles down the steps and lies motionless, facedown on the ground. Now what?
Addictive and compelling, The Choice follows the two paths Joanna’s future might take, depending on the choice she makes. If she calls the police right away, she can save the man’s life. Yet doing so puts her own innocence at risk, as she waits for judgment on a charge of assault and the hope that her husband and everyone she loves will stand by her. But if she runs and goes home as if nothing has happened, no one will ever know. No one saw her do it, and it’s only up to Joanna to keep quiet…forever.
This sounded too good to pass up when offered for audio review.
A kidnapped girl survived twelve nightmarish years.
Now she’s safely back home . . . or is she?
Jenny Kristal was six years old when she was snatched off the sidewalk from her quiet suburban neighborhood. Twelve years later, she’s miraculously returned home after escaping her kidnappers—but as her parents and older brother welcome her back, the questions begin to mount. Where has she been all these years? Why is she back now? And is home really the safest place for her . . . or for any of them?
Short but incredibly teasing description. Got it for audio review.
The key to her missing memories could bring relief—or unlock her worst nightmares.
On a cold, rainy morning, finance journalist Ally Linden arrives early to work in her Manhattan office, only to find that she’s forgotten her keycard and needs to have a colleague she’s never met let her in. When her boss finally arrives, he seems surprised to see her—because she hasn’t worked there in five years.
Ally knows her name, but little else, and it’s only after several hours in an emergency room and multiple interviews with the hospital psychiatrist that she begins to piece together important facts: she lives on the Upper West Side; she’s now a freelance personal finance journalist; she’s married to a lovely man named Hugh. But she’s still can’t recall what happened to her during the previous two days. When she learns that she’s experienced a dissociative fugue state, Ally tries to think of triggers and remembers that she’d been seeing a therapist about a traumatic event from her childhood, in which she came across evidence for a murder that was never solved.
Desperate to unearth answers, Ally focuses on figuring out where she spent the missing forty-eight hours. As ominous details of the two days pile up, so does the terrifying pressure: she must recover the time she lost before the time she has left runs out.
I gave this a pass when it was offered for audio review. But, it showed up at my library and I decided to get the audiobook.
It’s a new season…
Conley Hawkins left her family’s small town newspaper, The Silver Bay Beacon, in the rearview mirror years ago. Now a star reporter for a big-city paper, Conley is exactly where she wants to be and is about to take a fancy new position in Washington, D.C. Or so she thinks.
For small town scandals…
When the new job goes up in smoke, Conley finds herself right back where she started, working for her sister, who is trying to keep The Silver Bay Beacon afloat—and she doesn’t exactly have warm feelings for Conley. Soon she is given the unenviable task of overseeing the local gossip column, “Hello, Summer.”
And big-time secrets.
Then Conley witnesses an accident that ends in the death of a local congressman—a beloved war hero with a shady past. The more she digs into the story, the more dangerous it gets. As an old heartbreaker causes trouble and a new flame ignites, it soon looks like their sleepy beach town is the most scandalous hotspot of the summer.
I really wanted this book so I was completely surprised when I was able to get the audiobook so quickly at my library!
Trapped in an apartment open house with six neurotic strangers, a would-be bank robber gets much more than he bargained for in this clever, rollicking, and heartfelt novel that is one-part locked-room mystery and one-part insightful character study from the beloved, bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and Beartown.
This is a story about a hostage drama. But more than that, it’s a story about idiots. That’s why, from the very outset, I need to say that it is always very easy to declare people idiots, but only if you forget that it is also almost always idiotically difficult to be human.
When a failed bank robber escapes into an apartment filled with people during an open house, a group of six strangers are suddenly forced to get to know one another quickly and under extreme circumstances. But what will be the result?
In captivity we meet Roger and Anna-Lena, a recently retired couple who are on a manic hunt for fixer-uppers because they don’t know how to fix their own marriage. They have the distinction of shopping at every Ikea in Sweden—and those are some of the most romantic moments they ever shared. Then there is Zara, a wealthy director of a bank who has never cared for poor people or their problems (and isn’t shy about saying so). But when tragedy strikes in her life, she becomes addicted to visiting real-estate open houses to see how the middle-classes live—and possibly to find a suitable place to commit suicide. Julia and Danijela are a young lesbian couple with a newborn baby who can’t agree on anything. Their opposite and idiosyncratic home preferences are making them increasingly anxious about their chances of spending a lifetime together. And Estelle, an eighty-year-old woman who has lived long enough to be unimpressed by some bank robber waving a gun in her face. Despite the story she tells them all, Estelle hasn’t really come to the apartment to view it for her daughter, and her husband really isn’t outside parking the car.
As police surround the premises and television channels are broadcasting live, the pressure of an increasingly tense situation mounts, causing each person to reveal more and more about themselves to each other. Before long, the robber must decide which is the more terrifying prospect: going out to face the police, or staying in the apartment with this group of impossible people.
A riotous comedy, Anxious People is about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and a group of very anxious people who experience exactly the same events in wildly different ways.
It’s Backman! You bet I’m hoping for the audio review. Scheduled for a September release, thanks to Tina @ Reading Between the Pages for the heads up in her Read All About It post.
Kieran Elliott’s life changed forever on the day a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences.
The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal town he once called home.
Kieran’s parents are struggling in a community which is bound, for better or worse, to the sea, that is both a lifeline and a threat. Between them all is his absent brother, Finn.
When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away…
I’m an unabashed Jane Harper fan! Thanks again to Tina @ Reading Between the Pages for the news about the next release, not due out in the US until February.
The secrets of the past are always closer than we think…
Stained glass artist Callie Davis is in desperate need of a vacation. Burnt out and on the edge of a nervous breakdown, she’s fleeing the pressures of her career and is taking refuge on Massachusetts’ tiny Carter Island. Callie yearns for long, lazy days and pretty walks on the beach—blessed solitude and an escape from the complications of her life. Then she bumps into gorgeous Nate Carter and everything changes.
Sheriff Nathan Carter couldn’t be happier now that the height of the summer season has finally come and gone. After four endless months, tourists have packed their bags and headed for the mainland. The quiet days of autumn are about to befall the town—the way Nate and his fellow Sandersonians like it best.
But nothing ends up quite the way Nate expects when he meets the beautiful blonde with the big blue eyes. Callie’s pretty smiles hide secrets—deep, dark mysteries that could cost them both their lives if they continue digging into the past and cross a killer’s path.
This is one of my favorite Indie authors who’s been on hiatus. She’s back with a new series and somehow I missed this one. I’ve got this and the second book for review.
Veteran reporter Jack McEvoy has taken down killers before, but when a woman he had a one-night stand with is murdered in a particularly brutal way, McEvoy realizes he might be facing a criminal mind unlike any he’s ever encountered.
McEvoy investigates—against the warnings of the police and his own editor—and makes a shocking discovery that connects the crime to other mysterious deaths across the country. But his inquiry hits a snag when he himself becomes a suspect.
As he races to clear his name, McEvoy’s findings point to a serial killer working under the radar of law enforcement for years, and using personal data shared by the victims themselves to select and hunt his targets.
Called “the Raymond Chandler of this generation” (Associated Press), Michael Connelly once again delivers an unputdownable thriller that reveals a predator operating from the darkest corners of human nature—and one man courageous and determined enough to stand in his way.
I love Harry Bosch, you already know I do, and this is in his world. I’m a couple of books behind but I’ll be catching up soon. I’ve already recommended this audiobook for library purchase.