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.
In seaside Blueberry Cove, Maine, friends are just another word for family, and big-city politics take a backseat to local pride. But the real treasure on these shores is always love…
When D.C. lawyer Hannah McCrae heads home for her brother’s wedding, she’s dragging a lot of baggage along with her—and she doesn’t mean suitcases. Betrayed personally, and humiliated professionally, the last thing she wants is a new man. That’s fine with square-jawed, rugged contractor Calder Blue. He and Hannah may be wildly attracted to one another, but all he wants is to build the town’s hotly contested new yacht club and mend a centuries-old family feud. Yet thanks to resentments old and new, day after day the pair wind up tangled in each other’s business—and maybe soon in each other’s arms.
The new Audible membership structure provides for many free titles with my level. This is one of them that showed up this week.
One night changed everything.
For Laura and Sandy, one tragic event changed the course of their lives forever.
Now they are the only ones who understand each another, drawn together by the night that changed everything.
But one of them is keeping a secret that could destroy their fragile friendship. Only she knows just how closely their lives are linked.
When the secret is revealed, will their friendship survive? Or will the truth tear them apart?
I hadn’t heard of this book until it was featured by my friend Jacob @ Hooked From Page One and was…hooked! An audio review hopeful.
A modern-day noir featuring a twisty cat-and-mouse chase, this dark debut thriller tells the story of a a woman who makes a living taking down terrible men…then finds herself in over her head and with blood on her hands. The only way out? Pull off one final con.
Jo’s job is blackmailing the most lecherous men in Los Angeles–handsy Hollywood producers, adulterous actors, corrupt cops. Sure, she likes the money she’s making, which comes in handy for the debt she is paying off, but it’s also a chance to take back power for the women of the city. Eager to prove herself to her coworker Lou and their enigmatic boss, known only as the Lady Upstairs, Jo takes on bigger and riskier jobs.
When one of her targets is murdered, both the Lady Upstairs and the LAPD have Jo in their sights. Desperate to escape the consequences of her failed job, she decides to take on just one more sting–bringing down a rising political star. It’s her biggest con yet–and she will do it behind the Lady’s back, freeing both herself and Lou. But Jo soon learns that Lou and the Lady have secrets of their own, and that no woman is safe when there is a life-changing payout on the line.
Another book I hadn’t heard of until I read the review by Kyra @ Roots & Reads. I’m a fan of noir mysteries and this knocked my socks off. I’ve requested it for library purchase.
Sometimes love finds you when you least expect it.
Zacary Trevor is the love of Anya Alexander’s life. Their sometimes tumultuous marriage has survived ups, downs, and all the in-betweens. With successful careers, a lovely home, and a beautiful child, domestic bliss is a hard-earned reality for two people whose hedonistic days are in the not-so-distant past.
Enter Zac’s best friend, the deeply reserved Cal Keller. Zac’s friendship with Cal is the foundation of his career and—until Anya and their son came along—the most important relationship of his life. Cal’s a cipher, someone Anya can’t help but gravitate to, even if they don’t always get along. Even more, she’s drawn to the Zac she sees when he’s with Cal—a careful, cautious version of her husband, someone with hidden thoughts and desires kept secret even from her.
Inviting Cal into their home, deeper into their life, is a risk.
Zac should say no. He knows he should. But he doesn’t. From the beginning, the first hint at life the three of them could have together is exhilarating. And finding a new definition for family just might be worth the risk to every bond that exists between them.
I was offered this for review and to participate in the blog tour. I was also lucky enough to get the audio version for review.
Being blind doesn’t hold Ava Bennet back in the least. With her work, her shopping, and public transportation within walking distance, she’s totally at home in the big city. But she’s not in the city now. Temporarily back in her small home town to help her father has her struggling in a big way.
Luke Walker is done running from his troubled past. Finally home after years in the military, he’s ready to make amends with his family and set down some roots. But adapting to civilian life is much harder than he ever expected.
She has no intention of sticking around. He has no plans to run again. All they have is one month together. Will it be enough for Luke to prove he’s everything Ava needs—in light, in darkness, and most importantly, even in the rain?
Oh, how I love this series and Connor is a favorite Indie author. I got this for review.
In this propulsive locked-room thriller debut, a reunion weekend in the French Alps turns deadly when five friends discover that someone has deliberately stranded them at their remote mountaintop resort during a snowstorm.
When Milla accepts an off-season invitation to Le Rocher, a cozy ski resort in the French Alps, she’s expecting an intimate weekend of catching up with four old friends. It might have been a decade since she saw them last, but she’s never forgotten the bond they forged on this very mountain during a winter spent fiercely training for an elite snowboarding competition.
Yet no sooner do Milla and the others arrive for the reunion than they realize something is horribly wrong. The resort is deserted. The cable cars that delivered them to the mountaintop have stopped working. Their cell phones—missing. And inside the hotel, detailed instructions await them: an icebreaker game, designed to draw out their secrets. A game meant to remind them of Saskia, the enigmatic sixth member of their group, who vanished the morning of the competition years before and has long been presumed dead.
Stranded in the resort, Milla’s not sure what’s worse: the increasingly sinister things happening around her or the looming snowstorm that’s making escape even more impossible. All she knows is that there’s no one on the mountain she can trust. Because someone has gathered them there to find out the truth about Saskia…someone who will stop at nothing to get answers. And if Milla’s not careful, she could be the next to disappear…
I saw this featured by Jules @ One More Word in her WWW Wednesday post where she rated it 5 stars. The UK cover took my breath away, too. Another audio review hopeful.
Tia never harmed anyone. So why does someone want to destroy her?
Tia is walking home with her children, along the lakeside of their quiet, safe town, when she realises something is wrong with her five-year-old daughter, Rosie. She seems troubled, not at all her usual happy self.
But when Tia finally coaxes Rosie to open up, she wishes she hadn’t. Because her sweet daughter asks a question Tia never thought she’d hear.
‘Mummy, why did you kill someone?’
Tia knows how rumours spread around her small town. She just can’t understand who would have shared such a horrible story. Or why.
It can’t have anything to do with what happened. Only her two best friends really remember that…
Tia thought she could trust Fiona and Kelly with her life. They’ve been through so much together. But when she’s sent photos of herself that could tear her whole world apart, she starts to wonder. Someone is determined to punish her. But who? And will her friends stand by her, or will the past destroy all of their lives?
This time it was my dear Shalini @ Shalini’s Book Reviews who put this on my radar months ago. When it showed up yesterday for $.99 at Amazon, I grabbed it.
In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence.
In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna’s parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the US Army, the 10-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows.
Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act “civilized.” Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.
Arriving in San Antonio, the reunion is neither happy nor welcome. The captain must hand Johanna over to an aunt and uncle she does not remember — strangers who regard her as an unwanted burden. A respectable man, Captain Kidd is faced with a terrible choice: Abandon the girl to her fate or become — in the eyes of the law — a kidnapper himself.
I have to admit that this one didn’t hit my radar until the recent news regarding the film version. When I checked out the book, I found hosts of my trusted Goodreads friends had rated it 5 stars so I’m going to listen to it before watching the movie. Thanks to my wonderful library, I was able to get the audiobook.
The new stableboy has a secret!
Kit Laing is a genius with Glen Lyon’s horses and a favorite with his employer’s family, but he isn’t all he seems. In fact, the shy stablehand isn’t a he at all. Kit is actually Christobel Urquhart, Countess of Appin, on the run from a greedy, violent stepbrother with designs on her fortune.
And the laird’s handsome nephew has worked out just what it is.
Quentin MacNab, the dashing heir to Cannich, has had his suspicions about the new stable lad from the first. Kit is far too pretty to be a boy—and far too well spoken to be a servant.
Now passion and danger combine to create a Yuletide like no other.
When a snowstorm traps Kit and Quentin overnight in an isolated hut, the discovery of her true identity sparks a rushed marriage to stave off a scandal. But can the Christmas Countess learn to trust her charming new husband’s promises of protection? Or will their fragile alliance fall victim to the evil forces assailing her?
Another Christmas story from one of my favorite Indie authors! I have this for review.
1992: French-Canadian factions renew Quebec’s fight to gain independence, and wild, beautiful Véronique Fortin, daughter of a radical separatist convicted of kidnapping and murdering a prominent politician in 1970, has embraced her father’s cause. So it is a surprise when she falls for James Phénix, a journalist of French-Canadian heritage who opposes Quebec separatism. Their love affair is as passionate as it is turbulent, as they negotiate a constant struggle between love and morals.
At the same time, James’s older sister, Elodie Phénix, one of the Duplessis Orphans, becomes involved with a coalition demanding justice and reparations for their suffering in the 1950s when Quebec’s orphanages were converted to mental hospitals, a heinous political act of Premier Maurice Duplessis which affected 5,000 children.
Véronique is the only person Elodie can rely on as she fights for retribution, reliving her trauma, while Elodie becomes a sisterly presence for Véronique, who continues to struggle with her family’s legacy.
I had no idea that the author had written a sequel to The Home for Unwanted Girls until I read the fabulous reviews by Lindsay & Brenda @ Traveling Sisters Book Reviews! My library came through again as I have the audiobook on hold.
Spanning the icy streets of Reykjavik, the Icelandic highlands and cold, isolated fjords, The Darkness is an atmospheric thriller from Ragnar Jonasson, one of the most exciting names in Nordic Noir.
The body of a young Russian woman washes up on an Icelandic shore. After a cursory investigation, the death is declared a suicide and the case is quietly closed.
Over a year later Detective Inspector Hulda Hermannsdóttir of the Reykjavík police is forced into early retirement at 64. She dreads the loneliness, and the memories of her dark past that threaten to come back to haunt her. But before she leaves she is given two weeks to solve a single cold case of her choice. She knows which one: the Russian woman whose hope for asylum ended on the dark, cold shore of an unfamiliar country. Soon Hulda discovers that another young woman vanished at the same time, and that no one is telling her the whole story. Even her colleagues in the police seem determined to put the brakes on her investigation. Meanwhile the clock is ticking.
Hulda will find the killer, even if it means putting her own life in danger.
I am so intrigued by Nordic noir as hubby and I have enjoyed several crime series on our streaming apps. A later book in this series was reviewed by the wonderful Meggy @ Chocolate ‘n’ Waffles so I went looking for the first one. Again, my library came through with the audiobook.
Blindsided by her mother’s sudden death and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan. Her mail consists of wedding invitations and final notices from debt collectors. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, moldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel she has been writing for six years. At 31, Casey is still clutching onto something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life. When she falls for two very different men at the same time, her world fractures even more. Casey’s fight to fulfill her creative ambitions and balance the conflicting demands of art and life is challenged in ways that push her to the brink.
Writers & Lovers follows Casey – a smart and achingly vulnerable protagonist – in the last days of a long youth, a time when every element of her life comes to a crisis. Written with King’s trademark humor, heart, and intelligence, Writers & Lovers is a transfixing novel that explores the terrifying and exhilarating leap between the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another.
I really thought I already had this book on my shelf but when I was looking through The New York Times’ 100 Notable Books of 2020, I saw it was missing. My library came through yet again.
It’s October 1814. The war with France is finally over and Europe’s diplomats are convening in Vienna for a conference that will put their world back together. With peace finally at hand, London suddenly finds itself in the grip of a series of heinous murders eerily similar to the Ratcliffe Highway murders of three years before.
In 1811, two entire families were viciously murdered in their homes. A suspect–a young seaman named John Williams–was arrested. But before he could be brought to trial, Williams hanged himself in his cell. The murders ceased, and London slowly began to breathe easier. But when the lead investigator, Sir Edwin Pym, is killed in the same brutal way three years later and others possibly connected to the original case meet violent ends, the city is paralyzed with terror once more.
Was the wrong man arrested for the murders? Bow Street magistrate Sir Henry Lovejoy turns to his friend Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, for assistance. Pym’s colleagues are convinced his manner of death is a coincidence, but Sebastian has his doubts. The more he looks into the three-year-old murders, the more certain he becomes that the hapless John Williams was not the real killer. Which begs the question–who was and why are they dead set on killing again?
I yelled when I got the email from NetGalley about this 16th book in the Sebastian St. Cyr series being available for request. It’s hands down my most favorite historical mystery series (it has a cult following in one of my Goodreads groups). Got my fingers crossed ✌ I’ll be approved…they reached out to me, right?
When a scoundrel is murdered, Sarah and Frank Malloy must find the real killer to stop a scandal that threatens to destroy a young family in this latest installment of the beloved Gaslight Mysteries.
The next installment in the beloved Gaslight Mystery series by national bestselling author Victoria Thompson, set in 19th century New York City.
This was also included in that same email from NetGalley. It’s my second most favorite historical mystery series (#1 set in America) and this is the 24th book in Gaslight Mystery. It was a really great moment and fingers crossed✌ I’ll be approved for this one, too .
In the latest thrilling collaboration from #1 New York Times bestselling author and “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke, television producer Laurie Moran must solve the kidnapping of her fiancée’s nephew—just days before her wedding.
Television producer Laurie Moran and her fiancée, Alex Buckley, the former host of her investigative television show, are just days away from their mid-summer wedding, when things take a dark turn. Alex’s seven-year-old nephew, Johnny, vanishes from the beach. A search party begins and witnesses recall Johnny playing in the water and collecting shells behind the beach shack, but no one remembers seeing him after the morning. As the sun sets, Johnny’s skim board washes up to shore, and everyone realizes that he could be anywhere, even under water.
A ticking clock, a sinister stalker, and fresh romance combine in this exhilarating follow up to the bestselling You Don’t Own Me—another riveting page-turner from the “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark and her dazzling partner-in-crime Alafair Burke.
I’m collecting all of the books co-authored with Alafair Burke and this one showed up at my library this week.
When editor Susan Ryeland is given the manuscript of Alan Conway’s latest novel, she has no reason to think it will be much different from any of his others. After working with the bestselling crime writer for years, she’s intimately familiar with his detective, Atticus Pünd, who solves mysteries disturbing sleepy English villages. An homage to queens of classic British crime such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers, Alan’s traditional formula has proved hugely successful. So successful that Susan must continue to put up with his troubling behavior if she wants to keep her job.
Conway’s latest tale has Atticus Pünd investigating a murder at Pye Hall, a local manor house. Yes, there are dead bodies and a host of intriguing suspects, but the more Susan reads, the more she’s convinced that there is another story hidden in the pages of the manuscript: one of real-life jealousy, greed, ruthless ambition, and murder.
Retired publisher Susan Ryeland is living the good life. She is running a small hotel on a Greek island with her longterm boyfriend Andreas. It should be everything she’s always wanted – but is it? She’s exhausted with the responsibilities of making everything work on an island where nothing ever does, and truth be told she’s beginning to miss her old life in London.
And then a couple – the Trehearnes – come to stay, and the story they tell about an unfortunate murder that took place on the same day and in the same hotel in which their daughter was married, is such a strange and mysterious one that Susan finds herself increasingly fascinated by it. And when the Trehearnes tell her that their daughter is now missing, Susan knows that she must return to London and find out what really happened
The second book showed up at my library and since I’m a fan of the author, thought I’d check out the series.
High school sweethearts Mia and Luke get a second chance at love in this brand-new contemporary romance from award-winning author Garrett Leigh.
When Mia Amour returns to England to open a florist shop, all she wants to do is put her lousy ex behind her and never look back. But getting a fresh start is easier said than done when her first love, the boy who once broke her teenage heart, strolls back into her life. He’s every bit as sexy as she remembers, and the urge to melt back into his arms almost makes her forget how devastated she was when he took off without a word. Almost.
Left with no choice, Luke Daley did what he had to do, leaving town to earn enough money to save his broken family, though it just about broke him, too. But now he’s back, running his uncle’s business and trying desperately to forget about Mia, the girl he left behind all those years ago. When he runs into her in town, the shock of seeing her again brings an intense rush of emotions: love, guilt…and an overwhelming urge to find out if it’s still as amazing between them as it used to be.
It doesn’t take either of them long to give in to desire and discover the fiery passion they once shared burns hotter than ever. With each new touch, each moment of forgiveness, old hurts heal and the future they’d hoped for ten years ago becomes possible again. But their fragile connection is tested by a threat neither of them saw coming—a threat that could end their second chance before it even gets started.
Billy Daley hasn’t been home in years, and he likes it that way. He’s just fine on his own—he has a cash-in-hand job at a scrapyard, a half-feral cat to keep him company, and many miles between him, his hometown and all the baggage that comes with it.
Until the job goes sideways. Suddenly he’s back in Rushmere, working for none other than his brother’s best friend—a man whose kiss Billy can’t seem to forget.
Gus Amour’s memories of Billy Daley are all spiky edges, lips crushed against lips and a reckless streak that always ended in trouble. But when Billy needs a place to stay, Gus steps in. He’d do anything for the Daley family, including living, and working, side by side with a man who makes his heart beat too fast and his blood run too hot—two things he’s been running from for years.
It doesn’t take long before their easy banter, lingering touches and heated glances become a temptation too hard to resist. But falling into bed and falling in love are two different things, and love has never come easy to either Billy or Gus. Only when fate threatens to steal away their opportunity for a second chance will they realize they don’t need easy.
They just need each other.
I was offered to participate in the blog tour for the first book and was able to get the audio version for review. The second book in the series was also featured and I know I’ll be participating in that one, too.
What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?