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.
Meet the Thompsons of Locust Street, an unconventional family taking Philadelphia high society by storm…
1868 Elspeth Thompson is the middle daughter in a family with tightly held secrets. While she loves her family, she longs to break out from their overprotective hold, to find herself, to be noticed for who she is rather than as chaperone to her beautiful younger sister, Kirsty, or underling to her elder sister, Muireall. A chance meeting under scandalous circumstances offers her the opportunity to be seen for herself, but the repercussions could lead to the downfall of her family.
Confirmed bachelor Alexander Pendergast enjoys his position as the right-hand man of one of the most influential and powerful politicians in Philadelphia. Heir to the largest textile mill on the east coast, Alexander is handsome, charming, and the ultimate catch on high society’s matrimonial market. But he has no interest in settling down with a pampered debutante. He doubts the perfect woman for him actually exists…until he meets Elspeth Thompson.
But the Thompsons and Pendergasts move in different circles, and Elspeth has no desire to be judged and found wanting by Philadelphia’s first families. Though she tries to resist Alexander’s charms, when he comes to her family’s rescue, she knows there’s more to him than she’d first thought. But Alexander realizes that his ambitions may have placed Elspeth and her family in grave danger. With an unseen enemy determined to uncover the Thompson family’s secrets, Alexander grapples with secrets of his own, secrets that could cost him the only woman he’s ever truly cared about.
When Elspeth finds herself in terrible danger, can she muster the inner strength of her ancestors to save herself and her family and find the courage to meet love head on?
Holly Bush is one of my favorite Indie authors. I love her stories, especially in the historical fiction genre. This is the start of a new series and I have it for review.
Permanent isn’t in my vocabulary…until she walks through my door.
My brokerage business built me billions, and my clubs wet my appetite. Not many women can handle the kind of kink I crave. When fate has Morgan knocking on my door, all I want to do is take her to Club Silken and make her scream.
Relationships are for the weak…so why do I want to give up control the moment we meet?
I’ve only experienced sex in shades of vanilla, but Zack…oh God, Zack…he turns me inside out with desires I’ve never known I had, but I sure as hell want to explore.
Another of my favorite Indie authors who writes outstanding romantic suspense. This is a new genre for her so I’m excited to read this first book in a new series.
In the first and only inside account of the Mueller investigation, one of the special counsel’s most trusted prosecutors breaks his silence on the team’s history-making search for the truth, their painstaking deliberations and costly mistakes, and Trump’s unprecedented efforts to stifle their report.
“WHERE LAW ENDS TYRANNY BEGINS”–John Locke, inscribed on the wall of DOJ headquarters in Washington, D.C.
In May 2017, Robert Mueller was tapped to lead an inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, coordination by foreign agents with Donald Trump’s campaign, and obstruction of justice by the president. Mueller assembled a “dream team” of top prosecutors, and for the next twenty-two months, the investigation was a black box and the subject of endless anticipation and speculation–until April 2019, when the special counsel’s report was released.
In Where Law Ends, legendary prosecutor Andrew Weissmann–a key player in the Special Counsel’s Office–finally pulls back the curtain to reveal exactly what went on inside the investigation, including the heated debates, painful deliberations, and mistakes of the team–not to mention the external efforts by the president and Attorney General William Barr to manipulate the investigation to their political ends.
Weissmann puts the reader in the room as Mueller’s team made their most consequential decisions, such as whether to subpoena the president, whether to conduct a full financial investigation of Trump, and whether to explicitly recommend obstruction charges against him. Weissmann also details for the first time the debilitating effects that President Trump himself had on the investigation, through his dangling of pardons and his constant threats to shut down the inquiry and fire Mueller, which left the team racing against the clock and essentially fighting with one hand tied behind their backs.
In Where Law Ends, Weissmann conjures the camaraderie and esprit de corps of the investigative units led by the enigmatic Mueller, a distinguished public servant who is revealed here, in a way we have never seen him before, as a manager, a colleague, and a very human presence. Weissmann is as candid about the team’s mistakes as he is about its successes, and is committed to accurately documenting the historic investigation for future generations to assess and learn from. Ultimately, Where Law Ends is a story about a team of public servants, dedicated to the rule of law, tasked with investigating a president who did everything he could to stand in their way.
I came this close 🤏 to pursuing a career as a prosecuting attorney and still love books and TV shows featuring courtroom drama. No way am I passing up the opportunity to be inside the most infamous investigation of our time. I have this for audio review.
With the stakes this high, it’s no longer just a game for the quarterback in this romance by the author of Blitzed.
Elliot Reed is living her best life—or pretending to. She owes it to her dad’s memory to be happy and make the most of her new job as Strategic Communications Manager for the Denver Mustangs. Things are going well until star quarterback Quinton Howard Jr. decides to use the field as his stage and becomes the first player to take a knee during the national anthem.
As the son of a former professional athlete, Quinton knows the good, the bad, and the ugly about football. He’s worked his entire life to gain recognition in the sport, and now that he has it, he’s not about to waste his chance to change the league for better. Not even the brilliant but infuriating Elliot, who the Mustangs assign to manage him, will get Quinton back in line.
A rocky initial meeting only leads to more tension between Quinton and Elliot. But as her new job forces them to spend time together, she realizes they may have more in common than she could’ve ever imagined. With her job and his integrity on the line, this is one coin toss that nobody can win.
I plan to binge listen to this series now that the fourth book is scheduled for release. I have this for audio review.
Big Little Lies meets One Plus One in this story of three women neighbors looking for a fresh start, and the love affairs, rivalries, and scandals found on the other side of the white picket fence.
One happy street. Three pretty houses. So many lies.
Martha used to be a force of nature: calm, collected, and in charge. But since moving her husband and two daughters to Dublin under sudden and mysterious circumstances, she can’t seem to find her footing. Robin was the “it” girl in school, destined for success. Now she’s back at her parents’ with her four-year-old son, vowing that her ne’er-do-well ex is out of the picture for good. Edie has everything she could want, apart from a baby, and the acceptance of her new neighbors. She longs to be one of the girls, and to figure out why her perfect husband seems to be avoiding their perfect future. Three women looking for a fresh start on idyllic Pine Road. Their friendship will change their lives, and reveal secrets they never imagined.
Couldn’t resist this when it was offered for audio review. This is a new-to-me author.
From “master of clever misdirection” (Kirkus Reviews) Aimee Molloy, author of the New York Times bestseller The Perfect Mother, comes an irresistible psychological thriller featuring a newly married woman whose life is turned upside down when her husband goes missing.
Newlyweds Sam Statler and Annie Potter are head over heels, and excited to say good-bye to New York and start a life together in Sam’s sleepy hometown in upstate New York. Or, it turns out, a life where Annie spends most of her time alone while Sam, her therapist husband, works long hours in his downstairs office, tending to the egos of his (mostly female) clientele. Little does Sam know that through a vent in his ceiling, every word of his sessions can be heard from the room upstairs. The pharmacist’s wife, contemplating a divorce. The well-known painter whose boyfriend doesn’t satisfy her in bed. Who could resist listening? Everything is fine until the French girl in the green mini Cooper shows up, and Sam decides to go to work and not come home, throwing a wrench into Sam and Annie’s happily ever after.
Showcasing Molloy’s deft ability to subvert norms and culminating in the kind of stunning twist that is becoming her trademark, Goodnight Beautiful is a thrilling tale of domestic suspense that not only questions assumptions but defies expectations.
Oh, this was too delicious to pass up when offered for audio review.
The author of The Right Swipe and Girl Gone Viral returns with a story about finding love in all the wrong inboxes…
Beauty expert and influencer Jia Ahmed has her eye on the prize: conquering the internet today, the entire makeup industry tomorrow, and finally, finally proving herself to her big opinionated family. She has little time for love, and even less time for the men in her private messages—until the day a certain international superstar slides into her DMs, and she falls hard and fast.
There’s just one wrinkle: he has no idea who she is.
The son of a powerful Bollywood family, soap opera star Dev Dixit is used to drama, but a strange woman who accuses him of wooing her online, well, that’s a new one. As much as he’d like to focus on his Hollywood fresh start, he can’t get Jia out of his head. Especially once he starts to suspect who might have used his famous name to catfish her…
When paparazzi blast their private business into the public eye, Dev is happy to engage in some friendly fake dating to calm the gossips and to dazzle her family. But as the whole world swoons over their relationship, Jia can’t help but wonder: Can an online romance-turned-offline-fauxmance ever become love in real life?
I’m loving the diversity of this Modern Love series! This is an audio review hopeful.
In this fresh and hilarious historical rom-com, an estranged husband and wife in Regency England feign accidents and illness in an attempt to gain attention—and maybe just win each other back in the process.
Five years ago, Lady Violet Grey and Lord James Audley met, fell in love, and got married. Four years ago, they had a fight to end all fights, and have barely spoken since.
Their once-passionate love match has been reduced to one of cold, detached politeness. But when Violet receives a letter that James has been thrown from his horse and rendered unconscious at their country estate, she races to be by his side—only to discover him alive and well at a tavern, and completely unaware of her concern. She’s outraged. He’s confused. And the distance between them has never been more apparent.
Wanting to teach her estranged husband a lesson, Violet decides to feign an illness of her own. James quickly sees through it, but he decides to play along in an ever-escalating game of manipulation, featuring actors masquerading as doctors, threats of Swiss sanitariums, faux mistresses—and a lot of flirtation between a husband and wife who might not hate each other as much as they thought. Will the two be able to overcome four years of hurt or will they continue to deny the spark between them?
I was considering another book by this author when I learned about this one! My library came through with the audiobook!
The widowed Diana, Lady Templeton and Jeremy, Marquess of Willingham are infamous among English high society as much for their sharp-tongued bickering as their flirtation. One evening, an argument at a ball turns into a serious wager: Jeremy will marry within the year or Diana will forfeit one hundred pounds. So shortly after, just before a fortnight-long house party at Elderwild, Jeremy’s country estate, Diana is shocked when Jeremy appears at her home with a very different kind of proposition.
After his latest mistress unfavorably criticized his skills in the bedroom, Jeremy is looking for reassurance, so he has gone to the only woman he trusts to be totally truthful. He suggests that they embark on a brief affair while at the house party—Jeremy can receive an honest critique of his bedroom skills and widowed Diana can use the gossip to signal to other gentlemen that she is interested in taking a lover.
Diana thinks taking him up on his counter-proposal can only help her win her wager. With her in the bedroom and Jeremy’s marriage-minded grandmother, the formidable Dowager Marchioness of Willingham, helping to find suitable matches among the eligible ladies at Elderwild, Diana is confident her victory is assured. But while they’re focused on winning wagers, they stand to lose their own hearts.
This is the book I was considering when I discovered the book above. The title alone grabbed my attention but the description is what sold me. Another audio review hopeful.
A chance encounter on Christmas Eve leads to the journey of a lifetime in this powerful and emotional love story, perfect for fans of Josie Silver, David Nicholls and Jojo Moyes.
One moment in time can change your life forever…
Ben’s always loved the holidays but with his marriage to Daphne on the rocks, this year they’re missing their usual magic. So when his old flame Alice gets back in touch, Ben can’t help wonder: did he make the right choice all those years ago?
Yet everything changes on Christmas Eve when a twinkly-eyed stranger sells Ben a mysterious watch, the hands frozen at one minute to midnight. Opening his eyes the next morning, Ben is astonished to find that he has been catapulted back to 5th December 2005: the day he first kissed Daphne, leaving Alice behind.
Now Ben must make the biggest decision of his life, all over again. But this time around, will he finally find the courage to follow his heart?
I saw this on NetGalley (illustrated covers are my distraction) and decided to get the audio version. It is part of six titles I purchased on Audible for a $10 coupon promotion.
Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong—so she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It’s time for Eve to grow up and prove herself—even though she’s not entirely sure how…
Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry—and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car—supposedly by accident. Yeah, right.
Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen—and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore—and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.
This is the third book in The Brown Sisters series. Another audio review hopeful.
For almost a decade, successful 37-year-old Samira Broderick has used her bustling LA practice as an excuse to avoid a trip home to Australia. She still resents her meddling Indian mother for arranging her marriage to a man who didn’t stick around when the going got tough, but now with a new job Down Under, she’s finally ready to reconnect with her. And while she’s there, a hot international fling might be just what she needs to get out of her recent funk.
Aussie stuntman, Rory Radcliffe, has been hiding his stutter for years by avoiding speaking roles. When a job he can’t refuse comes up as a reality show host, he knows he’ll need some help for the audition: a dialect coach. But he finds himself at a loss for words when he discovers it’s the same sexy woman with whom he just had a mind-blowing one-night stand…
Samira can think of many reasons why Rory is completely wrong for her: he’s ten years her junior, for one, and he’s not Indian–something Samira’s mother would never approve of. Even if things were to get serious, there’s no reason to tell her mother…is there?
This sounds like pure fun! Another audio review hopeful.
When Carrie was accused of brutally murdering her husband’s lover, she denied it. She denied it when they arrested her, when they put her in front of a jury, and when they sent her to prison.
Now she’s three years into a fifteen-year sentence, away from the daughter she loves and the life she had built. And she is still denying that she is to blame.
Tess Gilroy has devoted her life to righting wrongs. Through her job for Innocence UK, a charity which takes on alleged miscarriages of justice, she works tirelessly to uncover the truth.
But when she is asked to take Carrie’s case, Tess realizes that if she is to help this woman, she must risk uncovering the secrets she has struggled a lifetime to hide.
We’ve all done things we’re not proud of. . .
I’ve had this on my Audible wishlist forever. It’s one of the six titles I bought during the special promotion to earn a $10 coupon. Gotta keep adding to my mystery shelf!
Brooke is a divorced single mom, financially strapped, living with her mother, and holding tight to the one thing that matters most: her two-year-old daughter, Etta. Then, in a matter of seconds, Brooke’s life is shattered when she’s carjacked. Helpless and terrified, all Brooke can do is watch as Etta, still strapped in her seat, disappears into the Los Angeles night.
Miles away, Etta is found by Molly, a homeless teen who is all too used to darkness. Thrown away by her parents, and with a future as stable as the wooden crate she calls home, Molly survives day to day by her wits. As unpredictable as her life is, she’s stunned to find Etta, abandoned and alone. Shielding the little girl from more than the elements, Molly must put herself in harm’s way to protect a child as lost as she is.
Out of one terrible moment, Brooke’s and Molly’s desperate paths converge and an unlikely friendship across generations and circumstances is formed. With it, Brooke and Molly will come to discover that what’s lost—and what’s found—can change in a heartbeat.
Another book I’ve had on my Audible wishlist forever. It’s another one of the six titles I bought during the special promotion to earn a $10 coupon.
**Your Favorite Movies, Re-Watched**
New York Times opinion writer and bestselling author Lindy West was once the in-house movie critic for Seattle’s alternative newsweekly The Stranger, where she covered film with brutal honesty and giddy irreverence. In Shit, Actually, Lindy West returns to those roots, re-examining beloved and iconic movies from the past 40 years with an eye toward the big questions of our time: Is Twilight the horniest movie in history? Why do the zebras in The Lion King trust Mufasa–who is a lion–to look out for their best interests? Why did anyone bother making any more movies after The Fugitive achieved perfection? And, my god, why don’t any of the women in Love, Actually ever fucking talk?!
From Forrest Gump, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, and Bad Boys II, to Face/Off, Top Gun, and The Notebook, West combines her razor-sharp wit and trademark humor with a genuine adoration for nostalgic trash to shed new critical light on some of our defining cultural touchstones–the stories we’ve long been telling ourselves about who we are.
At once outrageously funny and piercingly incisive, Shit, Actually reminds us to pause and ask, “How does this movie hold up?”, all while teaching us how to laugh at the things we love without ever letting them or ourselves off the hook. Shit, Actually is a love letter and a break-up note all in one: to the films that shaped us and the ones that ruined us. More often than not, West finds, they’re one and the same.
I’d ignored this title, thinking it was some kind of memoir. Then I read the review by Kyra @ Roots & Reads and couldn’t believe what it’s really about. I have to have this book! I’ve recommended the audiobook for library purchase.
Have Yourself a Merry Little… Scandal!
From the snowbound Scottish Highlands to the glittering ballrooms of London, our fearless heroines enter the Christmas season in pursuit of their heart’s desire.
But, the course of true love never did run smooth… especially when SCANDAL is afoot.
Tales of romantic adventure, sizzling passion, and heartwarming holiday romance.
Unwrap the pleasure…
Rogue for Hire – by Sasha Cottman
The Highlander’s Christmas Lassie – by Anna Campbell
The Christmas Rose – by Emma V. Leech
The Lady’s Guide to Scandal – by Emmanuelle de Maupassant
The Courtship Caper – by Beverley Oakley
A Scandalous Secret – by Laura Trentham
Fate Gave Me a Duke – by Amanda Mariel
Duncan’s Christmas – by Ellie St. Clair
Bedeviled: A Russian Pursuit – by Elsa Holland
At the Mistletoe Masquerade – by Dayna Quince
The Christmas Courtesan – by Victoria Vale
A Scandal Before Christmas – by April Moran
Her Virgin Duke – by Nicola Davidson