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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.


American Demon

A thrilling return to the #1 New York Times bestselling urban fantasy series, continuing Rachel Morgan’s story.

RACHEL MORGAN IS BACK–AND THE HOLLOWS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME.

What happens after you’ve saved the world? Well, if you’re Rachel Mariana Morgan, witch-born demon, you quickly discover that something might have gone just a little bit wrong. That the very same acts you and your friends took to forge new powers may have released something bound by the old. With a rash of zombies, some strange new murders, and an exceedingly mysterious new demon in town, it will take everything Rachel has to counter this new threat to the world–and it may demand the sacrifice of what she holds most dear.

*sigh* I have a complicated history with this series. I haven’t finished it yet, not sure if I will but in the meantime, the audiobook showed up at my library so…

 


The Princess and the Rogue

A princess in disguise is forced to live with a rogue in order to protect her from danger in this fun, sexy regency romance from Kate Bateman.

In The Princess and the Rogue, Bow Street agent Sebastien Wolff, Earl of Mowbray, doesn’t believe in love—until a passionate kiss with a beautiful stranger in a brothel forces him to reconsider. When the mysterious woman is linked to an intrigue involving a missing Russian princess, however, Seb realizes her air of innocence was too good to be true.

Princess Anastasia Denisova has been hiding in London as plain ‘Anna Brown’. With a dangerous traitor hot on her trail, her best option is to accept Wolff’s offer of protection—and accommodation—at his gambling hell. But living in such close quarters, and aiding Wolff in his Bow Street cases, fans the flames of their mutual attraction. If Anya’s true identity is revealed, does their romance stand a chance? Could a princess ever marry a rogue?

I’ve enjoyed the first two books in this series and was happy to get NetGalley approval for the final book in the trilogy.

 


Head Over Heels

The past seven years have been hard on Avery Abrams: After training her entire life to make the Olympic gymnastics team, a disastrous performance ended her athletic career for good. Her best friend and teammate, Jasmine, went on to become an Olympic champion, then committed the ultimate betrayal by marrying their emotionally abusive coach, Dimitri.

Now, reeling from a breakup with her football star boyfriend, Avery returns to her Massachusetts hometown, where new coach Ryan asks her to help him train a promising young gymnast with Olympic aspirations. Despite her misgivings and worries about the memories it will evoke, Avery agrees. Back in the gym, she’s surprised to find sparks flying with Ryan. But when a shocking scandal in the gymnastics world breaks, it has shattering effects not only for the sport but also for Avery and her old friend Jasmine.

I wasn’t sure about this one until I read the review by Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader. Thanks to my library!

 


Girl Gone Viral

In Alisha Rai’s second novel in her Modern Love series, a live-tweet event goes viral for a camera-shy ex-model, shoving her into the spotlight—and into the arms of the bodyguard she’d been pining for.

OMG! Wouldn’t it be adorable if he’s her soulmate???

I don’t see any wedding rings [eyes emoji]

Breaking: #CafeBae and #CuteCafeGirl went to the bathroom AT THE SAME TIME!!!

One minute, Katrina King’s enjoying an innocent conversation with a hot guy at a coffee shop; the next, a stranger has live-tweeted the entire episode with a romantic meet-cute spin and #CafeBae is the new hashtag-du-jour. The problem? Katrina craves a low-profile life, and going viral threatens the peaceful world she’s painstakingly built. Besides, #CafeBae isn’t the man she’s hungry for.

He’s got a [peach emoji] to die for.

With the internet on the hunt for the identity of #CuteCafeGirl, Jas Singh, bodyguard, friend, and possessor of the most beautiful eyebrows Katrina’s ever seen, comes to the rescue and whisks her away to his family’s home. Alone in a remote setting with the object of her affections? It’s a recipe for romance. But after a long dating dry spell, Katrina isn’t sure she can trust her instincts when it comes to love—even if Jas’ every look says he wants to be more than just her bodyguard…

I originally passed this up for audio review because I hadn’t yet gotten to the first book. It showed up at my library so now I’ll listen to them both back to back.

 


Begin Again

We live, according to Eddie S. Glaude, Jr., in the after times, when the promise of Black Lives Matter and the attempt to achieve a new America was met with the election of Donald Trump, a racist president whose victory represents yet another failure of America to face the lies it tells itself about race.

We have been here before: For James Baldwin, the after times came in the wake of the Civil Rights movement, when a similar attempt to compel a national confrontation with the truth was answered with the murders of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King, Jr. In these years, spanning from the publication of The Fire Next Time in 1963 to that of No Name in the Street in 1972, Baldwin was transformed into a more overtly political writer, a change that came at great professional and personal cost. But from that journey, Baldwin emerged with a sense of renewed purpose about the necessity of pushing forward in the face of disillusionment and despair.

In the story of Baldwin’s crucible, Glaude suggests, we can find hope and guidance through our own after times, this Trumpian era of shattered promises and white retrenchment. Mixing biography—drawn partially from newly uncovered interviews—with history, memoir, and trenchant analysis of our current moment, Begin Again is Glaude’s attempt, following Baldwin, to bear witness to the difficult truth of race in America today. It is at once a searing exploration that lays bare the tangled web of race, trauma, and memory, and a powerful interrogation of what we all must ask of ourselves in order to call forth a new America.

Eddie Glaude is such an important voice in America and who better than to revisit James Baldwin, one of the most significant American writers. I’m definitely listening to this one, a library hopeful that I recommended for purchase.

 


Attachments

Beth and Jennifer know their company monitors their office e-mail. But the women still spend all day sending each other messages, gossiping about their coworkers at the newspaper and baring their personal lives like an open book. Jennifer tells Beth everything she can’t seem to tell her husband about her anxieties over starting a family. And Beth tells Jennifer everything, period.

When Lincoln applied to be an Internet security officer, he hardly imagined he’d be sifting through other people’s inboxes like some sort of electronic Peeping Tom. Lincoln is supposed to turn people in for misusing company e-mail, but he can’t quite bring himself to crack down on Beth and Jennifer. He can’t help but be entertained-and captivated- by their stories.

But by the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late for him to ever introduce himself. What would he say to her? “Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you.” After a series of close encounters and missed connections, Lincoln decides it’s time to muster the courage to follow his heart . . . even if he can’t see exactly where it’s leading him.

Written with whip-smart precision and charm, Attachments is a strikingly clever and deeply romantic debut about falling in love with the person who makes you feel like the best version of yourself. Even if it’s someone you’ve never met.

Ooh! Talk about complicated relationships. Snapped this up as soon as it was offered for audio review.


The Wicked Sister

She thought she’d buried her past. But what if it’s been hunting her this whole time?

From the bestselling and award-winning author of The Marsh King’s Daughter comes a startling novel of psychological suspense as two generations of sisters try to unravel their tangled relationships between nature and nurture, guilt and betrayal, love and evil.

You have been cut off from society for fifteen years, shut away in a mental hospital in self-imposed exile as punishment for the terrible thing you did when you were a child.

But what if nothing about your past is as it seems?

And if you didn’t accidentally shoot and kill your mother, then whoever did is still out there. Waiting for you.

For a decade and a half, Rachel Cunningham has chosen to lock herself away in a psychiatric facility, tortured by gaps in her memory and the certainty that she is responsible for her parents’ deaths. But when she learns new details about their murders, Rachel returns, in a quest for answers, to the place where she once felt safest: her family’s sprawling log cabin in the remote forests of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

As Rachel begins to uncover what really happened on the day her parents were murdered, she learns—as her mother did years earlier—that home can be a place of unspeakable evil, and that the bond she shares with her sister might be the most poisonous of all.

This sounds deliciously creepy! I’ve got it for audio review.

 


How the Penguins Saved Veronica

A curmudgeonly but charming old woman, her estranged grandson, and a colony of penguins proves it’s never too late to be the person you want to be in this rich, heartwarming story from the acclaimed author of Ellie and the Harpmaker.

Eighty-five-year-old Veronica McCreedy is estranged from her family and wants to find a worthwhile cause to which to leave her fortune. When she sees a documentary about penguins being studied in Antarctica, she tells the scientists she’s coming to visit – and won’t take no for an answer. Shortly after arriving, she convinces the reluctant team to rescue an orphaned baby penguin. He becomes part of life at the base, and Veronica’s closed heart starts to open.

Her grandson, Patrick, comes to Antarctica to make one last attempt to get to know his grandmother. Together, Veronica, Patrick, and even the scientists learn what family, love, and connection are all about.

I would never have given this book a second look if not for Jennifer ~ Tar Heel Reader! Thanks to my library, it’s now available on audio.

 


Until It’s Over

From the internationally bestselling author of the Frieda Klein series, Nicci French, comes this steamy and suspenseful stand-alone thriller about a group of housemates who must determine the killer among them when a series of murders occur.

Be careful of the ones closest to you…

London cycle courier Astrid Bell has known most of her housemates for years, but while they have a tangled history together—romantic pairings, one-night stands, friendships—they each have secrets.

Astrid is on her way home one day when her neighbor accidentally knocks her off her bike. Suffering a few bruises, her roommates help her home. The next day, they learn that same neighbor was bludgeoned to death only hours after the accident. Each of them tells the police what little they know and are dismissed. Then a few days later, Astrid is asked to pick up a package from a wealthy woman called Ingrid de Soto. When she arrives, the client is lying in the hall of her luxurious home—and it’s apparent she’s also been murdered.
For the police, it’s more than bad luck. For Astrid and her six housemates, it’s the beginning of a nightmare: suspicious glances, bitter accusations, and a growing fear that the worst is yet to come.

As the difference between friend and stranger grows harder to judge, the line between attraction and danger thins. The housemates—unsure if there’s a killer in their midst—guard themselves against becoming the next victim. Because if it’s true that bad luck comes in threes—who will be the next to die?

I’m a big fan of the author and didn’t even know about this book. I got it for audio review.

 


Someone’s Listening

She wrote the book on escaping a predator… Now one is coming for her.

Faith Finley has it all: she’s a talented psychologist with a flourishing career, a bestselling author and the host of a popular local radio program, Someone’s Listening, with Dr. Faith Finley. She’s married to the perfect man, Liam Finley, a respected food critic.

Until the night everything goes horribly wrong, and Faith’s life is shattered forever.

Liam is missing—gone without a trace—and the police are suspicious of everything Faith says. They either think she has something to hide, or that she’s lost her mind.

And then the notes begin to arrive. Notes that are ripped from Faith’s own book, the one that helps victims leave their abusers. Notes like “Lock your windows. Consider investing in a steel door.”

As the threats escalate, the mystery behind Liam’s disappearance intensifies. And Faith’s very life will depend on finding answers.

Taking a chance on a new-to-me author as this sounds intriguing. I accepted it for audio review.

 


Separated

NBC News and MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff, winner of the 2019 Walter Cronkite Award for his reporting on the child separation crisis, delivers a profoundly personal and moving report from the border and beyond, revealing the wrenching human story behind one of the most disturbing passages of modern American history.

Donald Trump’s most infamous decision as president, to systematically separate thousands of migrant families at the border, was in effect for months before most Americans saw the living conditions of the children in custody at the epicenter of the policy. NBC News and MSNBC correspondent Jacob Soboroff was among the first national television journalists to expose the truth of what their lives were like on the inside after seeing them firsthand. His widely shared reports in June 2018 ignited public scrutiny that contributed to the President reversing his own policy by Executive Order, and earned Soboroff the Cronkite Award for Excellence in Political Broadcast Journalism and the 2019 Hillman Prize for Broadcast Journalism.

In Separated, Soboroff weaves together his own experience unexpectedly covering this national issue with other key figures in the drama he met along the way, including feuding administration officials responsible for tearing apart and then reuniting families, and the parents and children who were caught in the middle. He reveals new and exclusive details of how the policy was carried out, and how its affects are still being felt.

Today, there is still not a full accounting of the total number of children the President ripped away from their parents. The exact number may never be known, only that it is in the thousands. Now the President is doubling down on draconian immigration policies, including threatening to hold migrant families indefinitely and making tens of thousands applying for asylum wait in some of Mexico’s most dangerous cities. Separated is required reading for anyone who wants to understand how Trump and his administration were able to carry out this inhumane policy, and how so many missed what was happening before it was too late. Soboroff lays out compassionately, yet in the starkest of terms, its human toll, and makes clear what is at stake in the 2020 presidential election.

I’ve followed this story since Soboroff’s first report and watched the correspondent change before my eyes as he was deeply affected by what he witnessed firsthand. It’s haunted me from the onset so of course I’m listening to his story. I was thrilled when it was offered for audio review.

 


Beautiful Mistake

The first time I met Caine West was in a bar. He noticed me looking his way and mistakenly read my scowling as checking him out. When he attempted to talk to me, I set him straight – telling him what I thought of his lying, cheating, egomaniacal ass. You see, the gorgeous jerk had wined and dined my best friend-smooth talking her into his bed, all along failing to mention that he was married. He deserved every bit of my tongue-lashing and more for what he’d done. Especially when that lazy smile graced his perfect face in response to my rant.

Only it turned out, the man I’d just told off wasn’t the right guy. Oops. My mistake. Embarrassed, I slunk out without an apology. I was never going to see the handsome stranger again anyway, right? That’s what I thought…until I walked into class the next morning. Well, hello Professor West, I’m your new teaching assistant. I’ll be working under you…figuratively speaking. Although the literal interpretation might not be such a bad thing working under Professor West. This was going to be interesting.

Audible has a 2-for-1 credit sale going on and I got four books. This was the only one that wasn’t already on my shelf and I’ve wanted to listen to something by this author. And, it’s narrated by two favorites, Andi Arndt and Sebastian York.


What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?

27 thoughts on “Saturdays at the Café”

      1. I think so??? She’s a marvelous writer and has created the most outlandish characters and premise and setting! It’s endearing in places and there’s a lovely friendship theme emerging. It’s also a quest similar in that way to her Harold Fry story. It’s probably the most unique book I’ve ever read and I’m compulsively turning pages!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. As always a diverse and fascinating haul. I loved American Demon but I have read the whole series. I have seen the peguin book before and might like to get it. I think I have A Beautiful Mistake as part of a trilogy for 1 credit. Yup it’s called Second Chances and includes 3 different audios for 1 credit. I had bought one of them and saw it was in the trilogy so I immediately returned it and bought the trilogy book. But I’d love to know what else you got at the Audible sale.

    I hope you have a wonderful week and stay well.

    Anne – Books of My Heart Here is my Sunday Post   

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I hope you enjoy Veronica and Head Over Heels, Jonetta! I love all your adds, as always! I really want to listen to that Soboroff book, too. I think it should be required listening or reading… I hope you had a great weekend and that you enjoy all your new reads! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

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