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Saturdays at the Café

Saturdays at the Café - Body

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.


The Trouble with Hating You

A laugh-out-loud romantic comedy debut about first impressions, second chances, and finding the love of your life in the most unexpected way.

Liya Thakkar is a successful biochemical engineer, takeout enthusiast, and happily single woman. The moment she realizes her parents’ latest dinner party is a setup with the man they want her to marry, she’s out the back door in a flash. Imagine her surprise when the same guy shows up at her office a week later — the new lawyer hired to save her struggling company. What’s not surprising: he’s not too thrilled to see her either after that humiliating fiasco.

Jay Shah looks good on paper…and off. Especially if you like that whole gorgeous, charming lawyer-in-a-good-suit thing. He’s also arrogant and infuriating. As their witty office banter turns into late night chats, Liya starts to think he might be the one man who truly accepts her. But falling for each other means exposing their painful pasts. Will Liya keep running, or will she finally give love a real chance?

This showed up at my library and just looks like a fun story.

 


Find Me

Convicted serial killer Benjamin Fisher has finally offered to lead San Bernardino detective Daniel Ellis to the isolated graves of his victims. One catch: he’ll only do it if FBI profiler Reni Fisher, his estranged daughter, accompanies them. As hard as it is to exhume her traumatic childhood, Reni can’t say no. She still feels complicit in her father’s crimes.

Perfect to play a lost little girl, Reni was the bait to lure unsuspecting women to their deaths. It’s time for closure. For her. For the families. And for Daniel. He shares Reni’s obsession with the past. Ever since he was a boy, he’s been convinced that his mother was one of Fisher’s victims.

A five-hundred-mile road trip lies ahead. Thirty years of bad memories are flooding back. A master manipulator has gained their trust. For Reni and Daniel, this isn’t the end of a nightmare. It’s only the beginning.

How twisted is this?!? I have it for audio review.

 


Better Than People

It’s not long before their pet-centric arrangement sparks a person-centric desire…

Simon Burke has always preferred animals to people. When the countdown to adopting his own dog is unexpectedly put on hold, Simon turns to the PetShare app to find the fluffy TLC he’s been missing. Meeting a grumpy children’s book illustrator who needs a dog walker isn’t easy for the man whose persistent anxiety has colored his whole life, but Jack Matheson’s menagerie is just what Simon needs.

Four dogs, three cats and counting. Jack’s pack of rescue pets is the only company he needs. But when a bad fall leaves him with a broken leg, Jack is forced to admit he needs help. That the help comes in the form of the most beautiful man he’s ever seen is a complicated, glorious surprise.

Being with Jack—talking, waking, making out—is a game changer for Simon. And Simon’s company certainly…eases the pain of recovery for Jack. But making a real relationship work once Jack’s cast comes off will mean compromise, understanding and lots of love.

I’m a fan of the author and love a good m/m romance (and with dogs!). I’m participating in the blog tour and am waiting for the audio version for review.

 


Friends and Strangers

Elisabeth, an accomplished journalist and new mother, is struggling to adjust to life in a small town after nearly twenty years in New York City. Alone in the house with her infant son all day (and awake with him much of the night), she feels uneasy, adrift. She neglects her work, losing untold hours to her Brooklyn moms’ Facebook group, her “influencer” sister’s Instagram feed, and text messages with the best friend she never sees anymore. Enter Sam, a senior at the local women’s college, whom Elisabeth hires to babysit. Sam is struggling to decide between the path she’s always planned on and a romantic entanglement that threatens her ambition. She’s worried about student loan debt and what the future holds. In short order, they grow close and become unlikely confidantes. But when Sam finds an unlikely kindred spirit in Elisabeth’s father-in-law, the true differences between the women’s lives become starkly revealed and a betrayal has devastating consequences.

I went back and forth on this one but in the end decided it was a relevant, current events story. Got it for audio review.

 


The Two Mrs. Carlyles

Which wife holds the darker secret?

San Francisco, 1906. Violet is one of three people grateful for the destruction of the big earthquake. It leaves her and her two best friends unexpectedly wealthy–if the secret that binds them together stays buried beneath the rubble. Fearing discovery, the women strike out on their own, and orphaned, wallflower Violet reinvents herself.

When a whirlwind romance with the city’s most eligible widower, Harry Carlyle, lands her in a luxurious mansion as the second Mrs. Carlyle, it seems like her dreams of happiness and love have come true. But all is not right in the Carlyle home, and Violet soon finds herself trapped by the lingering specter of the first Mrs. Carlyle, and by the inescapable secrets of her own violent history.

Okay, I confess that cover got my attention first but I also like the description of the story. Got it for audio review.

 


Well-Behaved Indian Women

Simran Mehta has always felt harshly judged by her mother, Nandini, especially when it comes to her little “writing hobby.” But when a charismatic and highly respected journalist careens into Simran’s life, she begins to question not only her future as a psychologist, but her engagement to her high school sweetheart.

Nandini Mehta has strived to create an easy life for her children in America. From dealing with her husband’s demanding family to the casual racism of her patients, everything Nandini has endured has been for her children’s sake. It isn’t until an old colleague makes her a life-changing offer that Nandini realizes she’s spent so much time focusing on being the Perfect Indian Woman, she’s let herself slip away.

Mimi Kadakia failed her daughter, Nandini, in ways she’ll never be able to fix—or forget. But with her granddaughter, she has the chance to be supportive and offer help when it’s needed. As life begins to pull Nandini and Simran apart, Mimi is determined to be the bridge that keeps them connected, even as she carries her own secret burden.

The concept of three generations of women telling their stories is appealing, especially those of another culture. Thank goodness I got this for audio review!

 


Boyfriend Material

Luc O’Donnell is tangentially – and reluctantly – famous. His rock-star parents split when he was young, and the father he’s never met spent the next 20 years cruising in and out of rehab. Now that his dad’s making a comeback, Luc’s back in the public eye, and one compromising photo is enough to ruin everything.

To clean up his image, Luc has to find a nice normal relationship…and Oliver Blackwood is as nice and normal as they come. He’s a barrister, an ethical vegetarian, and someone who has never inspired a moment of scandal in his life. In other words, he’s perfect boyfriend material. Unfortunately, apart from being gay, single, and really really in need of a date for a big event, Luc and Oliver have nothing in common. So they strike a deal to be publicity-friendly (fake) boyfriends until the dust settles. Then they can go their separate ways and pretend it never happened.

But the thing about fake-dating is that it can feel a lot like real-dating. And that’s when you get used to someone…start falling for them…don’t ever want to let them go.

I loved everything about this story and grabbed it immediately when it was offered for audio review.


Savannah’s Secrets

Falling for the boss, or taking him down?

Savannah Carlisle had the perfect plan. By infiltrating the Abbott family’s Tennessee bourbon empire as their events manager, she’d be one step closer to claiming half of the business they stole from her grandfather. Now she’s not so sure. Because sexy Blake Abbott, heir to it all, is simply intoxicating. He’s supposed to be the enemy. But after one long, stormy weekend, she’s pregnant with his child…

I’m such a fan of the author and this showed up at my library. I own the second book in the series so now I can start.

 


Hard Line

A woman dragged into danger…

Dr. Samantha Park’s life is shaken when her best friend and research partner dies barely two months into their eight-month stretch at the South Pole. She hasn’t begun to face her loss when men from Cobra International Security arrive to recover sensitive military components from a crashed satellite—and ask her to come with them. As a scientist, she has always been suspicious of the military, and flying across Antarctica in austral winter is more like suicide than a rescue mission. But when she hears what’s at stake, she agrees to help and is forced to put her trust in Thor Isaksen, the tall, broad-shouldered Dane who leads the Cobra team.

The only man who can keep her alive…

Thor served as an elite soldier in Afghanistan and spent two years as part of a Danish spec-ops unit patrolling sea ice in the Arctic. He’s used to the cold and constant darkness. That’s why he’s been tapped to lead this mission. Under orders to do whatever he must to keep a dangerous weapon from falling into enemy hands, he’s prepared for every scenario—except one. Samantha, with her blue eyes and brilliant mind, takes him by surprise. She’s confident in her abilities as a scientist and yet so unsure of herself as a woman. Stuck at the station with his team until the weather clears, he can’t ignore the growing attraction he feels for her even if she’s the last thing he should be doing on the job.

A killer who will destroy them all…

As temperatures drop to one hundred below, the heat between Thor and Samantha flares out of control. But a killer is lurking on station, someone with an agenda that threatens not only the lives of every person there, but also global peace. It will take all of Thor’s skill and strength to stop the murderous traitor—and keep himself and the woman he loves alive.

Another book in one of my most favorite series! A NetGalley hopeful.

 


The Cuckoo’s Cry

On the eve of the global lockdown, Don Barlow opens the door of his old beachside cottage to find a pretty girl with pink-tipped hair, claiming to have nowhere to go.

He allows her entry, and so begins a mystery set in unprecedented times: with the virus raging outside their home, the girl cannot be asked to leave, but what does he risk by having her stay?

An Audible Original novella included in the member free offerings for July. This sounded pretty good and über relevant in the moment.

 


What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?

20 thoughts on “Saturdays at the Café”

  1. Happy Fourth of July, Jonetta! Hope you have a terrific day.

    I do have Find Me and The Two Mrs Carlyles and hoping I will get to them soon. Also looking at Friends and Strangers since it was on the Vanity Fair list of books to read.

    I added Find Me, Opium and Absinthe by Lydia Kang, and Before the Crown by Flora Harding.

    Hope you love all your additions.

    Like

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