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.
It’s November 1991. George H. W. Bush is in the White House, Nirvana’s in the tape deck, and movie-obsessed college student Charlie Jordan is in a car with a man who might be a serial killer.
Josh Baxter, the man behind the wheel, is a virtual stranger to Charlie. They met at the campus ride board, each looking to share the long drive home to Ohio. Both have good reasons for wanting to get away. For Charlie, it’s guilt and grief over the murder of her best friend, who became the third victim of the man known as the Campus Killer. For Josh, it’s to help care for his sick father. Or so he says. Like the Hitchcock heroine she’s named after, Charlie has her doubts. There’s something suspicious about Josh, from the holes in his story about his father to how he doesn’t seem to want Charlie to see inside the car’s trunk. As they travel an empty highway in the dead of night, an increasingly worried Charlie begins to think she’s sharing a car with the Campus Killer. Is Josh truly dangerous? Or is Charlie’s suspicion merely a figment of her movie-fueled imagination?
What follows is a game of cat-and-mouse played out on night-shrouded roads and in neon-lit parking lots, during an age when the only call for help can be made on a pay phone and in a place where there’s nowhere to run. In order to win, Charlie must do one thing – survive the night.
Thanks to Tina @ Reading Between the Pages for the heads up in her Read All About It post. Sager is an auto read for me and this is scheduled for release in July. An audio review hopeful.
Teddy Crutcher has won Teacher of the Year at the esteemed Belmont Academy, home to the best and brightest.
He says his wife couldn’t be more proud—though no one has seen her in a while.
Teddy really can’t be bothered with the death of a school parent that’s looking more and more like murder or the student digging a little too deep into Teddy’s personal life. His main focus is on pushing these kids to their full academic potential.
All he wants is for his colleagues—and the endlessly meddlesome parents—to stay out of his way.
It’s really too bad that sometimes excellence can come at such a high cost.
Thanks again to Tina @ Reading Between the Pages for another heads up. This is also scheduled for a July release and is an auto review hopeful.
Welcome to the neighborhood. Watch your husband, watch your friends, and watch your back.
Cat Winthorpe has worked hard to get what she has: a gorgeous home; social standing; and William, her successful, handsome husband. Then a friendly new couple moves into the estate next door. While cautious, a good neighbor like Cat greets them with open arms and warm hospitality.
Neena Ryder isn’t a fellow lady of leisure. A life coach with off-the-rack dresses, personal issues, and a husband who hasn’t delivered, she’s anxious to move up in the world. This beautiful new town is a step in the right direction. It’s also making Neena aware of what she doesn’t have. Namely, William. When Neena’s infatuation escalates into obsession, it’s just a matter of eliminating a few obstacles to get the life she wants. The life next door.
As Neena’s secret fixation grows, so does her friendship with Cat. But beneath their cordial interactions is a wealth of temptations, secrets, and toxic jealousy. For both women, the desire for a perfect life can turn perfectly dangerous.
This was offered for audio review and as soon as I read the description, I wanted more. This is a new-to-me author.
Will Tavares is the dream summer fling – he’s fun, affectionate, kind – but just when Ollie thinks he’s found his happily ever after, summer vacation ends and Will stops texting Ollie back. Now Ollie is one prince short of his fairy-tale ending, and to complicate the fairy tale further, a family emergency sees Ollie uprooted and enrolled at a new school across the country. Which he minds a little less when he realizes it’s the same school Will goes to…except Ollie finds that the sweet, comfortably queer guy he knew from summer isn’t the same one attending Collinswood High. This Will is a class clown, closeted – and, to be honest, a bit of a jerk.
Ollie has no intention of pining after a guy who clearly isn’t ready for a relationship, especially since this new, bro-y jock version of Will seems to go from hot to cold every other week. But then Will starts “coincidentally” popping up in every area of Ollie’s life, from music class to the lunch table, and Ollie finds his resolve weakening.
The last time he gave Will his heart, Will handed it back to him trampled and battered. Ollie would have to be an idiot to trust him with it again.
I hadn’t heard of this book until it was featured by Yvo @ All About Books. I don’t read a lot of YA but this appeals to my inner HS angst. My library came through again with the audiobook.
In this gripping prequel to the blockbuster best seller and Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick The Last Mrs. Parrish, listeners will discover exactly how Amber Patterson transformed from small-town girl to master manipulator – after all, practice makes perfect.
Amber Patterson has many secrets. This much is clear when she sneaks out of her home in the dead of night and hitchhikes across state lines to meet up with a man she hasn’t seen or spoken to since high school graduation. So begins her desperate attempt to leave her old life behind, and she’ll use everything and everyone at her disposal, from social media stalking to the kindness of unsuspecting strangers, to get where she needs to go. It’s not long before she’s ready for the main event: armed with a new identity and a new purpose, she heads to Gunnison, Colorado, preparing herself to meet her future husband among the wealthy vacationers.
Even the smallest misstep could derail this carefully-laid plan, and in the end, can you even truly outrun your past? The First Shot is an absorbing, binge-able thriller that shows just how far some will go to build the lives they want.
I have The Last Mrs. Parrish but haven’t listened to it yet so when this showed up in the Audible Plus catalog, I quickly added this prequel to my library.
Anna Kirby is sick of dating. She’s tired of heartbreak. Despite being smart, sexy, and funny, she’s a magnet for men who don’t deserve her.
A week’s vacation in New York is the ultimate distraction from her most recent break-up, as well as a great place to meet a stranger and have some summer fun. But to protect her still-bruised heart, fun comes with rules. There will be no sharing stories, no swapping numbers, and no real names. Just one night of uncomplicated fun.
Super-successful serial seducer Ethan Scott has some rules of his own. He doesn’t date, he doesn’t stay the night, and he doesn’t make any promises.
It should be a match made in heaven. But rules are made to be broken.
The Empire State Series comprises the novellas A Week in New York, Autumn in London and New Year in Manhattan.
This 3-book audiobook showed up in my Audible Plus catalog this week. I have the first novella in kindle format so I jumped at the chance to get all three on audio.
England, 1865 : As one of England’s most notorious newspaper columnists, Lady Katherine Bascomb believes knowledge is power. And she’s determined to inform and educate the ladies of London on the nefarious-and deadly-criminals who are praying on the fairer sex. When her reporting leads to the arrest of a notorious killer, however, Katherine flees to a country house party to escape her newfound notoriety-only to witness a murder on her very first night. And when the lead detective accuses Katherine of inflaming-rather than informing-the public with her column, she vows to prove him wrong.
Detective Inspector Andrew Eversham’s refusal to compromise his investigations nearly cost him his own career, and he blames Katherine. To avoid bad publicity, his superiors are pressuring him to solve cases quickly rather than correctly. When he discovers she’s the key witness in a new crime, he’s determined to prevent the beautiful widow from once again wreaking havoc on his case. Yet as Katherine proves surprisingly insightful and Andrew impresses Katherine with his lethal competency, both are forced to admit the fire between them is more flirtatious than furious. But to explore the passion between them, they’ll need to catch a killer.
This showed up at my library and it sounds like fun. Of course, I got the audio version.
Brought to life by Meryl Streep and a full cast, this beloved book by E. B. White, author of Stuart Little and The Trumpet of the Swan, is a classic of children’s literature that is “just about perfect.”*
Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spider web tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. They also express the love of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter.
I’ve never read this story but have heard a gazillion references to it throughout my life. When it was offered for audio review because it’s nominated for a Grammy in the Spoken Word category, I couldn’t resist, especially as the full cast narration is led by Meryl Streep.
Pulling off an impossible crime is the only way he can stay alive.
Stealing a Faberge egg. Surviving a double cross. And pulling off the most incredible robbery ever, for the world’s most demanding – and dangerous collector.
This will be the challenge of thief extraordinaire Riley Wolfe’s life.
Fool Me Twice opens in St. Petersburg, where Riley steals the egg – no easy task. Betrayed by the pilot he hired to help him get away, he wakes chained to a rock wall on one of the Kerguelen Islands – the most remote spot on earth – prisoner of a top-dog international arms dealer, and a top-notch art collector. He wants Riley to steal an artwork. Small problem – it’s a fresco, “The Liberation of St. Peter”. Slightly larger problem – it’s in the Vatican.
And, it’s a literal wall.
Riley has no choice: agree or die. But when his captor turns him loose, he’s grabbed by another arms dealer looking to do a double cross. Worse, he gives Riley a special incentive: a surveillance photograph of Monique, the love of his life, and more important, the art forger he can’t pull off any heist without. The threat is clear. Riley knows they both have only one way out.
This was offered for audio review and it’s the second book in the Riley Wolfe series. No worries as my library has the first. I was intrigued by the hint of espionage.
Aidan Hunter is tired of city living and shallow women who only want to date him for his money and family legacy. Dubbed “The Pasta King” and named most eligible bachelor in New York City, he escapes to his cabin upstate to figure out what he wants. He hopes to meet a woman who will love him for who he is…but he never counted on a certain schoolteacher to throw his world into chaos.
Isabella Summers is shocked at the sexual attraction she feels for the rude worker on the Christmas tree farm. But when he shows up at a friend’s party and seeks her out, she finds she no longer wants to fight their attraction…but she never counted on love with a stranger carrying a secret.
Can love and truth triumph?
This holiday book was free from the author for being a newsletter subscriber. I can’t advocate enough for getting on these mailing lists for authors you read. I get offers like this often.
The world has changed around 79-year-old librarian Millicent Carmichael, a.k.a. Missy. Though quick to admit that she often found her roles as a housewife and mother less than satisfying, Missy once led a bustling life driven by two children, an accomplished and celebrated husband, and a Classics degree from Cambridge. Now, her husband is gone, her daughter is estranged after a shattering argument, and her son has moved to his wife’s native Australia, taking Missy’s beloved only grandchild half-a-world away. She spends her days sipping sherry, avoiding people, and rattling around in her oversized, under-decorated house waiting for…what exactly?
The last thing Missy expects is for two perfect strangers and one spirited dog named Bob to break through her prickly exterior and show Missy just how much love she still has to give. In short order, Missy finds herself in the jarring embrace of an eclectic community that simply won’t take no for an answer – including a rambunctious mutt-on-loan whose unconditional love gives Missy a reason to re-enter the world one muddy paw print at a time.
Filled with wry laughter and deep insights, The Love Story of Missy Carmichael is a coming-of-old story that shows us it’s never too late to forgive yourself and, just as important, it’s never too late to love.
Another book I’ve never heard of until it showed up at my library, even though it has strong reviews on Goodreads. Again, I got the audio version.
This boxed set includes the first three titles in the Crystal Lakeseries.
The Thing About Trouble
Cam Booker learned the hard way that commitment and love aren’t for him. Fresh out of a relationship that nearly saw him go to jail, he’s focused on building a life and his business. But when he suddenly finds himself responsible for a motherless five-year-old, his world is turned upside down. What does he know about caring for a little girl? On top of that, his newest client, the notorious widow Banes is definitely the kind of trouble he doesn’t need.
That Thing You Do
All her life, tomboy Molly Malone, has been one of the guys. When her brother decides to get married it means the gang will reunite, but more importantly it means Nate Jacobs will finally come home. With the impending nuptials looming fast and a family that can barely put together a grocery list, Molly will be tested like never before. To make matters worse, one look from Nate confirms he’s still her kryptonite and that her teenage crush is now something more. He’s only ever thought of her as ‘one of the boys’ and to protect her heart, she’s determined to keep it that way.
A Little Bit of Christmas
For ex-con, Cash Bodine, surprising his sister at Christmas just got complicated. His plan to blow into Crystal Lake and then leave is squashed when a winter storm settles in, stranding him at a motel outside of town. He has no choice but to hunker down and make the best of it, and while the woman next door intrigues him, he has no desire to get tangled up in her life. He’s not sticking around past the holidays, so why bother?
This three-book set is free on Amazon, discovered from the author’s newsletter. I was excited about this one as it’s a spinoff of a series I loved.
He’s a wolf without a pack…
Graphic novelist, Aidan Harte, writes about the kind of heroes he knows he’ll never be. He’s returned to the forgotten gold mining town of Chatanika, Alaska, to scatter his father’s ashes and close out the bastard’s life. He plans to get in and get out without seeing a soul. That is, until things take a deadly turn.
She’s a raven who’s clipped her wings…
Raven Maiski’s thrilled Old Man Harte is dead. But she’s not happy about the return of his son Aidan, her soul mate and enemy who promised never to step foot back in Chatanika. If she doesn’t run him out of town fast he’ll uncover what she’s hidden from him. When word of the miser’s death spreads, danger erupts in a hunt for gold that will either lead to redemption… or blood.
Loving her is murder. She shouldn’t have played….
Gallery owner Tern Maiski has always had a way with men, but the one she gave her heart to disappeared without a word. Now he’s competing alongside her and four others in a high-tech treasure hunt, and her pride isn’t the only thing on the line. So is her life. He doesn’t play by the rules… Geophysicist Gage Fallon’s relationship with Tern has been cataclysmic from the beginning. He cared too much, too fast, and their passion threatened to consume him. Now he’s back on firmer ground and competing in a game that will risk more than his heart. Once their group is dropped off in a remote area near the Arctic Circle, it quickly becomes clear that instead of hunting for treasure, they’re the ones being hunted. And the killer is dead serious about caching them in.