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.
Marcus Caster-Rupp has a secret. While the world knows him as Aeneas, the star of the biggest show on TV, Gods of the Gates, he’s known to fanfiction readers as Book!AeneasWouldNever, an anonymous and popular poster. Marcus is able to get out his own frustrations with his character through his stories, especially the ones that feature the internet’s favorite couple to ship, Aeneas and Lavinia. But if anyone ever found out about his online persona, he’d be fired. Immediately.
April Whittier has secrets of her own. A hardcore Lavinia fan, she’s hidden her fanfiction and cosplay hobby from her “real life” for years—but not anymore. When she decides to post her latest Lavinia creation on Twitter, her photo goes viral. Trolls and supporters alike are commenting on her plus-size take, but when Marcus, one half of her OTP, sees her pic and asks her out on a date to spite her critics, she realizes life is really stranger than fanfiction.
Even though their first date is a disaster, Marcus quickly realizes that he wants much more from April than a one-time publicity stunt. And when he discovers she’s actually Unapologetic Lavinia Stan, his closest fandom friend, he has one more huge secret to hide from her.
With love and Marcus’s career on the line, can the two of them stop hiding once and for all, or will a match made in fandom end up prematurely cancelled?
Another book I found while “strolling” through NetGalley. Of course, I wanted the audio version so I recommended it to my library and they bought it! I’m first in the queue.
A man with a painful past. A child with a doubtful future. And a shared journey toward healing for both their hearts…
It begins on the shaded town square in a sleepy Southern town. A spirited seven-year-old has a brisk business at her lemonade stand. But the little girl’s pretty yellow dress can’t quite hide the ugly scar on her chest.
The stranger understands more about it than he wants to admit. And the beat-up bread truck careening around the corner with its radio blaring is about to change the trajectory of both their lives.
Before it’s over, they’ll both know there are painful reasons why crickets cry… and that miracles lurk around unexpected corners.
This showed up at my library and I was intrigued.
How the moose (almost) stole Christmas.
Lana Montgomery is everything the quirky small town of Moose Springs, Alaska can’t stand: a rich socialite with dreams of changing things for the better. But Lana’s determined to prove that she belongs…even if it means trading her stilettos for snow boots and tracking one of the town’s hairiest Christmas mysteries: the Santa Moose, an antlered Grinch hell-bent on destroying every bit of holiday cheer (and tinsel) it can sink its teeth into.
And really…how hard could it be?
The last few years have been tough on Rick Harding, and it’s not getting any easier now that his dream girl’s back in town. When Lana accidentally tranquilizes him instead of the Santa Moose, it’s clear she needs help, fast…and this could be his chance to finally catch her eye. It’s an all-out Christmas war, but if they can nab that darn moose before it destroys the town, Rick and Lana might finally find a place where they both belong…together.
I originally gave this a pass when it was offered for audio review but after reading the review by Carla @ Carla Loves to Read, I changed my mind. Thankfully, it wasn’t too late to get it.
A scintillating debut from a major new voice in fiction, Songs in Ursa Major is a love story set in 1969, alive with music, sex, and the trappings of fame.
Raised on an island off Massachusetts by a mother who wrote songs for famous musicians, Jane Quinn is singing in her own band before she’s old enough to even read music. When folk legend Jesse Reid hears about Jane’s performance at the island’s music festival, a star is born–and so is a passionate love affair: they become inseparable when her band joins his on tour. Wary of being cast as his girlfriend–and haunted by her mother’s shattered ambitions– Jane shields her relationship from the public eye, but Jesse’s star power pulls her into his orbit of fame. Caught up in the thrill of the road and the profound and lustful connection she has with Jesse, Jane is blind-sided by the discovery she makes about the dark secret beneath his music. Heartbroken and blackballed by the industry, Jane is now truly on her own: to make the music she loves, and to make peace with her family Shot through with the lyrics, the icons, the lore, the adrenaline of the early 70s music scene, Songs in Ursa Major pulses with romantic longing and asks the question so many female artists must face: What are we willing to sacrifice for our dreams?
I participated in a survey conducted by the publisher to consider two covers for this book, scheduled for release in June. I got so excited by the description that I hurried through the survey and quickly added it to my shelf. Of course, it’s an audio review hopeful.
He lives in secret service to the Crown—a man of duty, deception, and an undeniable attraction to a woman who threatens to tear his whole world apart.
They call him the Devil of Dorset. He stands alone, a man of undeniable power. Moving in and out of shadows, back alleys and ballrooms, he is unstoppable and one of the Crown’s most dangerous weapons. However, when he sets his sights on the undeniably beautiful Countess of Mont Claire, Francesca Cavendish, he doesn’t realize that he has met a match like no other.
TRUE LOVE WEARS NO DISGUISE
Francesca is a countess by day and stalks her prey—those responsible for the death of her family—by night. What she does not expect is to be thrown into the path of the devil himself, the Earl of Devlin. She has secrets of her own and he seems determined to lay them bare. Can her heart survive finding the love of her life and losing him when all is revealed?
This is the third book in the Devil You Know series and I’m hoping to get it for audio review.
From the outside, the Chengs seem like so-called model immigrants. Once Patty landed a tech job near Dallas, she and Liang grew secure enough to have a second child, and to send for their first from his grandparents back in China. Isn’t this what they sacrificed so much for? But then little Annabel begins to sleepwalk at night, putting into motion a string of misunderstandings that not only threaten to set their community against them but force to the surface the secrets that have made them fear one another. How can a man make peace with the terrors of his past? How can a child regain trust in unconditional love? How can a family stop burying its history and forge a way through it, to a more honest intimacy?
This was offered for audio review and I’m still unsure about it. But, I’m intrigued to learn more about this aspect of cultural diversity.
Yaa Gyasi’s stunning follow-up to her acclaimed national best seller Homegoing is a powerful, raw, intimate, deeply layered novel about a Ghanaian family in Alabama
Gifty is a fifth year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine studying reward seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after a knee injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her. But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family’s loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith, and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive. Transcendent Kingdom is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanain immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief–a novel about faith, science, religion, love. Exquisitely written, emotionally searing, this is an exceptionally powerful follow-up to Gyasi’s phenomenal debut.
I gave this a pass, after a lot of deliberation, when it was offered for audio review. Then I read the reviews by Jan & Marialyce @ yayareads and realized I’d made a mistake. Thankfully, my library has it and I’m in a rather long queue.
These are the next two books in the Backberry Bay series
Their Christmas Baby Contract
Striking the deal was the easy part.
He’ll help her make a beautiful baby.
Brady Nash is handsome and anti marriage. And with IVF completely out of her financial reach, Reyna Bishop is running out of time to have the child she so very much wants. Theirs is a practical baby-making deal: no emotion, no expectation, no ever-after. They’ll even “date” through Christmas to silence their hometown gossips. It’s foolproof…till the time she spends with Brady and his warm, loving family leaves Reyna wanting more than a baby…
The Home They Built
Will their secrets stay hidden when the cameras start rolling?
There’s nothing Finn Weaver won’t do for his incorrigible grandmother, including pose as a live-in handyman for the TV reno show Relic Rehab. Host Anna Beckett knows good and well the Weaver house has never been a functioning inn, but taking the project got her to Blackberry Bay…the only place she’ll ever find answers about her own family. Keeping big secrets in a small town is enough of a challenge—can Finn and Anna’s romance survive the truth?
I’m hoping to get both of these for audio review.
Four septuagenarians with a few tricks up their sleeves
A female cop with her first big case
A brutal murder
THE THURSDAY MURDER CLUB
In a peaceful retirement village, four unlikely friends meet weekly in the Jigsaw Room to discuss unsolved crimes; together they call themselves The Thursday Murder Club. Elizabeth, Joyce, Ibrahim and Ron might be pushing eighty but they still have a few tricks up their sleeves.
When a local developer is found dead with a mysterious photograph left next to the body, the Thursday Murder Club suddenly find themselves in the middle of their first live case. As the bodies begin to pile up, can our unorthodox but brilliant gang catch the killer, before it’s too late?
I’d decided I wasn’t interested in this book until all my friends started writing great reviews about it. So, it showed up at my library and I had no choice but to add it to my shelf. Nicki @ Secret Library Book Blog tipped the scales!
A heart-pounding new series set in the Black Dagger Brotherhood world, with a scientist fighting to save the timber wolves—and getting caught in a deadly trap herself…
Hey, it’s a new series (Lair of the Wolven) set in the world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Enough said for me.
These are the next two books in the Boston Classics series.
Signed, Sealed & Delivered
A prequel novelette to FORGET ABOUT ME.
FREE and only available to newsletter subscribers and members of the Wicked Smahties Romcom Readers FB group.
Forget About Me
Ben Porter may be living the dream, but it’s not his.
His dad’s health scare might not be the ideal reason to come home for the summer, but it’s a welcome break from the stellar glitz of Ben’s life in Los Angeles. Even if modeling has him rivaling Marky Mark’s fame, posing isn’t his passion. Landing a role with a Boston Shakespeare theater brings him closer to fulfilling his dreams of being a real actor.
Facing the reason he went west in the first place? That’s another story.
Lucy Minola’s dreams were shattered seven years ago when a drunk driver smashed into her brother’s car. She knows it was her fault. So as penance, she works hard to care for her family, goes to confession faithfully, and buries all the feelings she had for the person who left when she needed him most: her brother’s best friend.
When an injured dog brings them back together, Lucy’s good-girl facade begins to crack. Women everywhere are obsessed with the rad body they see in magazines, but she’s the only one Ben seems to notice.
She can’t trust herself with the man who walked away… but can she let him go a second time?