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.
Poppy and Alex. Alex and Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best of friends. For most of the year they live far apart—she’s in New York City, and he’s in their small hometown—but every summer, for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together.
Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since.
Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she was last truly happy, she knows, without a doubt, it was on that ill-fated, final trip with Alex. And so, she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together—lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees.
Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?
I have to seriously stay off of NetGalley! I’m not requesting books but I’m finding out early about future audiobooks coming up. This is an audio review hopeful.
Sophia is afraid lockdown will put her life on pause – just as she was she was going to put herself out there and meet someone. When the first clap for the keyworkers rings out around her courtyard, she’s moved to tears for all kinds of reasons.
Jack is used to living life to the fullest, and is going stir-crazy after just days isolating. Until that night he hears a woman crying from the balcony beneath his. He strikes up a conversation with the stranger and puts a smile back on her face.
Soon their balcony meetings are the highlight of Jack and Sophia’s days. But even as they grow closer together, they’re always kept apart.
Okay, I saw this on NetGalley, too, but I’m waiting for it to show up at my library.
Shay Goldstein has been a producer at her Seattle public radio station for nearly a decade, and she can’t imagine working anywhere else. But lately it’s been a constant clash between her and her newest colleague, Dominic Yun, who’s fresh off a journalism master’s program and convinced he knows everything about public radio.
When the struggling station needs a new concept, Shay proposes a show that her boss green-lights with excitement. On The Ex Talk, two exes will deliver relationship advice live, on air. Their boss decides Shay and Dominic are the perfect co-hosts, given how much they already despise each other. Neither loves the idea of lying to listeners, but it’s this or unemployment. Their audience gets invested fast, and it’s not long before The Ex Talk becomes a must-listen in Seattle and climbs podcast charts.
As the show gets bigger, so does their deception, especially when Shay and Dominic start to catch feelings for each other. In an industry that values truth, getting caught could mean the end of more than just their careers.
Oh, this sounds SO good! Another audio review hopeful (yes, I first saw it on NetGalley).
What if you could be someone else? Just for the summer…
Birdy has made a mistake. Everyone imagines running away from their life at some point. But Birdy has actually done it. And the life she’s run into is her best friend Heather’s. The only problem is, she hasn’t told Heather.
The summer job at the highland Scottish hotel that her world class wine-expert friend ditched turns out to be a lot more than Birdy bargained for. Can she survive a summer pretending to be her best friend? And can Birdy stop herself from falling for the first man she’s ever actually liked, but who thinks she’s someone else?
One good friend’s very bad decision is at the heart of this laugh-out-loud love story and unexpected tale of a woman finally finding herself in the strangest of places.
Another audio review hopeful that I’m excited about. I’m a sucker for a romantic comedy.
Minnie Cooper knows two things with certainty: that her New Year’s birthday is unlucky, and that it’s all because of Quinn Hamilton, a man she’s never met. Their mothers gave birth to them at the same hospital just after midnight on New Year’s Day, but Quinn was given the cash prize for being the first baby born in London in 1990 – and the name Minnie was meant to have, as well. With luck like that, it’s no wonder each of her birthdays has been more of a disaster than the one before.
When Minnie unexpectedly runs into Quinn at a New Year’s party on their mutual 30th birthday, she sees only more evidence that fortune has continued to favor him. The gorgeous, charming business owner truly seems to have it all – while Minnie’s on the brink of losing her pie-making company and her home. But if Quinn and Minnie are from different worlds, why do they keep bumping into each other? And why is it that each fraught encounter leaves them both wanting more?
A moving, joyful love story, This Time Next Year explores the way fate leads us to the people we least expect – no matter what the odds.
I can’t WAIT to listen to this one! Another audio review hopeful.
At thirty-three-years old Evangeline Starling’s life in Chicago is missing that special something. And when she’s passed over for promotion at work, Evie realizes she needs to make a change. Some time away to regain perspective might be just the thing. In a burst of impulsivity, she plans a holiday in a quaint English village. The holiday package comes with a temporary position at Much Ado About Books, the bookstore located beneath her rental apartment. There’s no better dream vacation for the bookish Evie, a life-long Shakespeare lover.
Not only is Evie swept up in running the delightful store as soon as she arrives, she’s drawn into the lives, loves and drama of the friendly villagers. Including Roane Robson, the charismatic and sexy farmer who tempts Evie every day with his friendly flirtations. Evie is determined to keep him at bay because a holiday romance can only end in heartbreak, right? But Evie can’t deny their connection and longs to trust in her handsome farmer that their whirlwind romance could turn in to the forever kind of love.
I have enjoyed books by this author and was drawn into this one pretty quickly. The fact that it takes place around a bookstore just sealed it. Another audio review hopeful.
Since the loss of her fiancé, Anna has spent the last year foundering on land, shipwrecked by her grief and inability to move on. But when a reminder goes off about a trip they were supposed to take, she impulsively sets off in their sailboat, intending to complete the planned voyage around the Caribbean that Ben had mapped out for them.
But after a treacherous night’s sail and a brush with an ocean tanker, she decides she can’t do it alone, and hires a professional sailor to help her get to Puerto Rico. Much like her, Keane is struggling with a very different future than the one he had planned, and he can’t refuse her offer. Together they find a way to rebuild their lives and the possibility of new love.
I really need to stay off of NetGalley. Again, I want the audio version as this will be great in that format. I’m recommending for library purchase.
The multimillion-copy New York Times best-selling author B.A. Paris returns to her heartland of gripping psychological suspense in The Therapist – a powerful tale of a house that holds a shocking secret.
When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive….
As Alice is getting to know her neighbors, she discovers a devastating secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before.
Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before. But no one wants to talk about it. Her neighbors are keeping secrets and things are not as perfect as they seem….
I’m a big fan of this author and added this as soon as I saw the title. It’s scheduled for release in July. Another library audiobook purchase hopeful.
Between taking night classes for her MBA and her demanding day job at a cruise line, marketing manager Henley Evans barely has time for herself, let alone family, friends, or dating. But when she’s shortlisted for the promotion of her dreams, all her sacrifices finally seem worth it.
The only problem? Graeme Crawford-Collins, the remote social media manager and the bane of her existence, is also up for the position. Although they’ve never met in person, their epic email battles are the stuff of office legend.
Their boss tasks each of them with drafting a proposal on how to boost bookings in the Galápagos—best proposal wins the promotion. There’s just one catch: they have to go on a company cruise to the Galápagos Islands…together. But when the two meet on the ship, Henley is shocked to discover that the real Graeme is nothing like she imagined. As they explore the Islands together, she soon finds the line between loathing and liking thinner than a postcard.
With her career dreams in her sights and a growing attraction to the competition, Henley begins questioning her life choices. Because what’s the point of working all the time if you never actually live?
Oh, this romantic comedy sounds like so much fun! Scheduled for release in January, this is an audio review hopeful.
Sex. Lies. Betrayal. Welcome to the King family.
When elderly Texas billionaire Hank King dies suddenly, his massive inheritance is in question. Now, three of his children—all from different mothers—must come home and sort through their tangled relationships.
Veronica is the daughter who ran away and turned her back on her fortune. Now she must turn to her father’s young business partner for help—and an arranged marriage. The Tycoon by M. O’Keefe
Sabrina ran away to become a Hollywood reality star. Now she’s quit the show and come home—but a stalker means she has to hire the local sheriff as her bodyguard. Too bad he’s her childhood crush. The Bodyguard by S. Doyle
Dylan is the only son, the bastard who can inherit everything if he chooses. After a decade in Special Ops he must come home and make a decision—while tangling with the estate’s sexy, gorgeous, ice queen lawyer. Who will melt first? The Bastard by Julie Kriss
The second Bea met beat-up cowboy Cody, she fell hard for him. But he put her right in the friend zone. So she pretends to be someone else just to get close to him. Will she win the boy or lose everything? The Cowboy by M. O’Keefe
This boxset also includes One Last Time and two bonus epilogues!
This is one of my favorite authors and I’ve had my eye on this series for some time. Imagine my glee when it turned up as a Kindle freebie this week (author’s newsletter alert)! It’s still available!
You have to remember, he reminded me, that Harvard is older than the U.S. government. You have to remember because Harvard doesn’t let you forget.
The year 1969: the height of counterculture and the year universities would seek to curb the unruly spectacle of student protest; the winter that Harvard University would begin the tumultuous process of merging with Radcliffe, its all-female sister school; and the year that Jane Britton, an ambitious 23-year-old graduate student in Harvard’s Anthropology Department and daughter of Radcliffe Vice President J. Boyd Britton, would be found bludgeoned to death in her Cambridge, Massachusetts, apartment.
Forty years later, Becky Cooper a curious undergrad, will hear the first whispers of the story. In the first telling the body was nameless. The story was this: A Harvard student had had an affair with her professor, and the professor had murdered her in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology because she’d threatened to talk about the affair. Though the rumor proves false, the story that unfolds, one that Cooper will follow for 10 years, is even more complex: a tale of gender inequality in academia, a “cowboy culture” among empowered male elites, the silencing effect of institutions, and our compulsion to rewrite the stories of female victims.
We Keep the Dead Close is a memoir of mirrors, misogyny, and murder. It is at once a rumination on the violence and oppression that rules our revered institutions, a ghost story reflecting one young woman’s past onto another’s present, and a love story for a girl who was lost to history.
I’d meant to research this true crime story but Ren @ What’s Non Fiction posted a review! She cautioned to not Google anything about the case in the meantime so I’m not doing that. Check out her review and you’ll be sold, too.
Featuring one of the Black Dagger Brotherhood’s most iconic couples, Blay and Qhuinn find themselves looking forward to their official mating ceremony. When tragedy strikes just before the happy event, all hope seems lost—and everyone in the Black Dagger Brotherhood rallies around the two of them. Will a freak winter storm bring the unthinkable, or will a warm heart in winter ensure that true love is not lost?
A Black Dagger Brotherhood “short story” clocking in at 10 hours! I’ve signed up for the blog tour and am getting the audiobook for review.
A brutal triple murder in a remote Scottish farming community in 1869 leads to the arrest of seventeen-year-old Roderick Macrae. There is no question that Macrae committed this terrible act. What would lead such a shy and intelligent boy down this bloody path? Will he hang for his crime?
Presented as a collection of documents discovered by the author, His Bloody Project opens with a series of police statements taken from the villagers of Culdie, Ross-shire. They offer conflicting impressions of the accused; one interviewee recalls Macrae as a gentle and quiet child, while another details him as evil and wicked. Chief among the papers is Roderick Macrae’s own memoirs, where he outlines the series of events leading up to the murder in eloquent and affectless prose. There follow medical reports, psychological evaluations, a courtroom transcript from the trial, and other documents that throw both Macrae’s motive and his sanity into question. Graeme Macrae Burnet’s multilayered narrative will keep the reader guessing to the very end.
This is one of the books included on my book club’s 2021 reading plan. I was thrilled to find it on Audible, free to add to my library because of my membership plan.
A forgotten history.
A secret network of women.
A legacy of poison and revenge.
Welcome to The Lost Apothecary.
Hidden in the depths of 18th-century London, a secret apothecary shop caters to an unusual kind of clientele. Women across the city whisper of a mysterious figure named Nella who sells well-disguised poisons to use against the oppressive men in their lives. But the apothecary’s fate is jeopardized when her newest patron, a precocious 12-year-old, makes a fatal mistake, sparking a string of consequences that echo through the centuries.
Meanwhile in present-day London, aspiring historian Caroline Parcewell spends her 10th wedding anniversary alone, running from her own demons. When she stumbles upon a clue to the unsolved apothecary murders that haunted London 200 years ago, her life collides with the apothecary’s in a stunning twist of fate – and not everyone will survive.
With crackling suspense, unforgettable characters, and searing insight, The Lost Apothecary is a subversive and intoxicating debut novel of secrets, vengeance, and the remarkable ways women can save each other despite the barrier of time.
Another title included on my book club’s 2021 reading plan. I’m hoping to get the audiobook from my library.
Detective Ford has a cold-blooded killer to catch. But can he escape his own dark secrets?
Barely a month since his promotion to Inspector, DI Ford is called in to investigate the murder of a young nurse and her son in a small flat in Salisbury. There are few clues, and no apparent motive, but Ford can sense that there’s a serial killer at work. After all, he knows from brutal personal experience how killers cover their tracks…
It’s been six years since Ford lost his wife in a climbing accident—an accident he caused. He is desperate to keep the truth hidden, especially from his son, Sam. But Ford’s new partner, Dr Hannah Fellowes, is a crime scene investigator with a ruthlessly analytical mind, and as they work together to track down the killer, his crippling guilt is compounded by fear of exposure.
When instinct leads him towards a high-profile suspect, his superiors’ warnings just make him more determined to connect impulse and fact. But can Ford hold it all together—the case, his life—long enough to stop the killer?