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.
A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.
But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.
I finally gave up and added this audiobook after seeing so many friends’ rave reviews and it showing up at my library.
As former D.C cop Mace Perry investigates a mysterious high-profile homicide in a last-ditch attempt to get her badge back, she finds herself on a collision course with the dark side of national security in this New York Times best seller.
Mason “Mace” Perry was a firebrand cop on the D.C. police force until she was kidnapped and framed for a crime – and then spent two years in prison. Now she’s back on the outside and focused on one mission: to be a cop once more. Her only shot to be a true blue again is to solve a major case on her own. But even with her police chief sister on her side, she’ll have to work in the shadows: A vindictive U.S. attorney will stop at nothing to send Mace back to jail. Enter Roy Kingman….
A young D.C. lawyer, Roy meets Mace after the murder of one of the firm’s female partners. Soon Roy and Mace are investigating together – and uncovering surprising secrets from both the private and public sectors of the nation’s capital.
I’m a Baldacci fan and this is an older one that was selected as a group read in one of my Goodreads groups for next month.
Rebecca and Brian Unsworth appear to have it all. A nice house in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Two well-behaved, healthy teenage children. Important government jobs—Rebecca working in counterterrorism for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Brian serving as a coder for the National Security Agency. Their lives stand to improve even more as Brian, in his off-hours, has just developed and sold a highly profitable app.
However, the Unsworths’ marriage isn’t as perfect as it seems. After two decades together, they’ve drifted apart, talking little and having sex even less. Seeking to revive their strained relationship, they decide for their twentieth wedding anniversary to take their two kids, Kira and Tony, on a European getaway.
They have a blast…until one night in Barcelona when Kira doesn’t come home from a dance club. She’s gone. Abducted. Over the course of a single weekend, the Unsworths will do everything possible to find her—as Kira herself discovers just how far she’ll go to break free of the trap that’s been set for her. And even as Rebecca and Brian come together for Kira, they realize their marriage is more tenuous than they realized.
The Power Couple is both a fast-paced, globe-trotting espionage novel full of surprising twists and a nuanced look at modern marriage—the challenges of balancing career, parenthood, sex, and love.
This was offered for audio review and sounds like it’s full of the kind of intrigue I find appealing. I’m also drawn to the European setting.
Welcome to Maple Street, a picture-perfect slice of suburban Long Island, its residents bound by their children, their work, and their illusion of safety in a rapidly changing world.
But menace skulks beneath the surface of this exclusive enclave, making its residents prone to outrage. When the Wilde family moves in, they trigger their neighbors’ worst fears. Dad Arlo’s a gruff has-been rock star with track marks. Mom Gertie’s got a thick Brooklyn accent, with high heels and tube tops to match. Their weird kids cuss like sailors. They don’t fit with the way Maple Street sees itself.
Though Maple Street’s Queen Bee, Rhea Schroeder—a lonely college professor repressing a dark past—welcomed Gertie and her family at first, relations went south during one spritzer-fueled summer evening, when the new best friends shared too much, too soon. By the time the story opens, the Wildes are outcasts.
As tensions mount, a sinkhole opens in a nearby park, and Rhea’s daughter Shelly falls inside. The search for Shelly brings a shocking accusation against the Wildes. Suddenly, it is one mom’s word against the other’s in a court of public opinion that can end only in blood.
A riveting and ruthless portrayal of American suburbia, Good Neighbors excavates the perils and betrayals of motherhood and friendships and the dangerous clash between social hierarchy, childhood trauma, and fear.
This was offered for audio review and I quickly accepted because it hit so many of my reading buttons.
I have been standing on the side of life, watching it float by. I want to swim in the river. I want to feel the current.
So writes Mamah Borthwick Cheney in her diary as she struggles to justify her clandestine love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright. Four years earlier, in 1903, Mamah and her husband, Edwin, had commissioned the renowned architect to design a new home for them. During the construction of the house, a powerful attraction developed between Mamah and Frank, and in time the lovers, each married with children, embarked on a course that would shock Chicago society and forever change their lives.
In this ambitious debut novel, fact and fiction blend together brilliantly. While scholars have largely relegated Mamah to a footnote in the life of America’s greatest architect, author Nancy Horan gives full weight to their dramatic love story and illuminates Cheney’s profound influence on Wright.
Drawing on years of research, Horan weaves little-known facts into a compelling narrative, vividly portraying the conflicts and struggles of a woman forced to choose between the roles of mother, wife, lover, and intellectual. Horan’s Mamah is a woman seeking to find her own place, her own creative calling in the world. Mamah’s is an unforgettable journey marked by choices that reshape her notions of love and responsibility, leading inexorably ultimately lead to this novel’s stunning conclusion.
I’m a big fan of Frank Lloyd Wright’s architecture but don’t know much about the man. I fear I’m going to be disappointed with him but couldn’t resist when this updated audio version was offered for review. Hope it doesn’t kill how I view his work.
Two rival radio personalities. Lori Martin is a positive and upbeat DJ, known for playing love songs and dedications. Ben Baxter dishes out no-nonsense, in-your-face relationship advice. Total opposites. Never in a million years would they want to work together.
Fired for losing her cool after her boyfriend breaks up with her on the air, Lori surprisingly receives a job offer for the coveted morning show at the radio station across town where Ben works. She thinks she’s replacing him but finds out they want to team up Lori with her archenemy to set the air waves on fire and boost ratings. Financially strapped, she can’t turn down the job.
While their on-air fireworks and explosive chemistry make for great listening, what in the world will happen after work hours?
I missed this when it was first offered for audio review but hunted it down after reading the review by Nicki @ Secret Library Book Blog. Thank goodness the offer was still open
Shocked by a five-month arson spree that left rural Virginia reeling, Washington Post reporter Monica Hesse drove down to Accomack County to cover the trial of Charlie Smith, who pled guilty to sixty-seven counts of arson. But Charlie wasn’t lighting fires alone: he had an accomplice, his girlfriend Tonya Bundick. Through her depiction of the dangerous shift that happened in their passionate relationship, Hesse brilliantly brings to life the once-thriving coastal community and its distressed inhabitants, who had already been decimated by a punishing economy before they were terrified by a string of fires they could not explain. Incorporating this drama into the long-overlooked history of arson in the United States, American Fire re-creates the anguished nights that this quiet county spent lit up in flames, mesmerizingly evoking a microcosm of rural America – a land half gutted before the fires even began.
It’s been awhile since I’ve added a true crime title to my shelf and this one comes thanks to Kyra @ Roots & Read. Her review is amazing and I was able to get the audiobook from my library
Tara Park doesn’t do serious relationships. Neither does she hop into bed with virtual strangers. Especially when that particular stranger is her best friend’s new brother-in-law. It isn’t an easy decision, though. Seth Kim is temptation personified. His unreasonably handsome looks and charming personality makes him easy on the eyes and good for her ego.
When a friendly game of Truth or Dare leads to an uncomplicated four-date arrangement with Seth, Tara can’t say she minds. But their dates, while sweet and sexy, have a tendency to hit roadblocks. Thankfully, their non-dates and chance meetings get frequent and heated.
Seth is leaving for a new job in Paris in a month, and a no-strings attached fling seemed like a nice little distraction for both…but soon, Seth realizes that Tara Park doesn’t come in a “nice & little” package – she’s funny and bold, sweet and sexy, and everything he ever wanted and never expected to find. Neither of them are ready for something serious, and both have past relationship baggage they’ve been ignoring, but with a shot at forever on the line will they follow their hearts and take a chance on happily ever-after?
I really need to stay away from NetGalley. I’m holding out and hoping for my library to buy the audiobook.
Aubrey Choi has been content running her highly successful bakery Comfort Zone and with its first expansion taking up all of her time, dating has been the least of her priorities. Then a one night stand with gorgeous Korean hunk Landon Kim makes her want things she didn’t think she had time for. Too bad it turns out he’s a celebrity food critic whose scathing review of Comfort Zone goes viral and nearly destroys Aubrey’s business – and her fond memory of their night together.
Landon tries to clean up the mess he made by offering Aubrey a spot on the new celebrity cooking show he’s producing. She agrees to use this as a way to save her bakery and her reputation – no thanks to him – but vows to guard her heart. Now Aubrey and Landon find themselves sharing a villa in California wine country, which is a guaranteed recipe for disaster. For the next three weeks, baker and critic will tempt each other as they struggle to resist admitting that they have all the necessary ingredients for love.
This is the first book in the series for the book above so of course I had to get this one from my library, audio naturally.
IN DEVELOPMENT AS AN HBO MAX ORIGINAL SERIES
For Ben Boyce and Adhi Chaudry, the answer is unequivocally yes. And they’re betting everything that you’ll say yes, too. Welcome to The Future: a computer that connects to the internet one year from now, so you can see who you’ll be dating, where you’ll be working, even whether or not you’ll be alive in the year to come. By forming a startup to deliver this revolutionary technology to the world, Ben and Adhi have made their wildest, most impossible dream a reality. Once Silicon Valley outsiders, they’re now its hottest commodity.
The device can predict everything perfectly—from stock market spikes and sports scores to political scandals and corporate takeovers—allowing them to chase down success and fame while staying one step ahead of the competition. But the future their device foretells is not the bright one they imagined.
Ambition. Greed. Jealousy. And, perhaps, an apocalypse. The question is . . . can they stop it?
Told through emails, texts, transcripts, and blog posts, this bleeding-edge tech thriller chronicles the costs of innovation and asks how far you’d go to protect the ones you love—even from themselves.
Well out of my comfort zone, I originally gave this one a pass when offered for audio review. But then I saw that Tessa @ Tessa Talks Books added this to her reading schedule. After a short discussion, I decided to go for it, especially after seeing it has a full cast narration.
I’m ready to lie, cheat and steal to get the evidence I need to save my father. Evidence I believe Savannah O’Neill is hiding behind the crumbling walls of her mansion and her cold untouched beauty. So, I pretend to be the broke handyman she needs in order to get close to her.
But I never expected Savannah to be so…vulnerable and sweet. Or the chemistry between us to be so hot.
I use both to seduce her secrets from her. And soon it’s my heart that’s in jeopardy.
When all my sins are revealed is the damage I’ve done to Savannah’s heart too much to be repaired?
O’Keefe is one of my favorite authors and this showed up as a $.99 deal this week. It’s now $.74 on Amazon!
“If I close my eyes, I can still taste the dust…”
Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods. The crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all.
In this uncertain and dangerous time, Elsa Martinelli—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or go west, to California, in search of a better life. The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American Dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman who will discover the best in herself in the worst of times.
I haven’t read a lot by the author but I’ve loved everything I’ve read. This audiobook finally showed up at my library.
Hostage Negotiators can talk themselves out of anything—except falling in love.
FBI Supervisory Special Agent Dominic Sheridan is an accomplished expert in the Crisis Negotiation Unit. Practiced, professional, used to dealing with high-stake situations under tense conditions, Dominic is a master at manipulating people. Everyone, that is, but the headstrong rookie agent bent on destroying her fledgling career.
As a child, Ava Kanas put her life on the line when the mob executed her father. Now someone has killed her mentor, the man who inspired her to become an FBI agent—and she’s the only one who recognizes it was anything but a tragic accident.
When another agent is murdered and Dominic nearly dies, it becomes obvious a serial killer is targeting the FBI. Together Dominic and Ava search for clues in the investigation, all the while fighting a forbidden attraction that will complicate everything, especially when the predator sets their sights on Ava.
Anderson is another of my favorite Indie authors and I was excited to see this for $.99 at Amazon this week. She writes fantastic romantic suspense.
A chorus of extraordinary voices comes together to tell one of history’s great epics: the 400-year journey of African Americans from 1619 to the present – edited by Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist, and Keisha N. Blain, author of Set the World on Fire.
The story begins in 1619 – a year before the Mayflower – when the White Lion disgorges “some 20-and-odd Negroes” onto the shores of Virginia, inaugurating the African presence in what would become the United States. It takes us to the present, when African Americans, descendants of those on the White Lion and 1,000 other routes to this country, continue a journey defined by inhuman oppression, visionary struggles, stunning achievements, and millions of ordinary lives passing through extraordinary history.
Four Hundred Souls is a unique one-volume “community” history of African Americans. The editors, Ibram X. Kendi and Keisha N. Blain, have assembled 90 brilliant writers, each of whom takes on a five-year period of that 400-year span. The writers explore their periods through a variety of techniques: historical essays, short stories, personal vignettes, and fiery polemics. They approach history from various perspectives: through the eyes of towering historical icons or the untold stories of ordinary people; through places, laws, and objects. While themes of resistance and struggle, of hope and reinvention, course through the book, this collection of diverse pieces from 90 different minds, reflecting 90 different perspectives, fundamentally deconstructs the idea that Africans in America are a monolith – instead it unlocks the startling range of experiences and ideas that have always existed within the community of Blackness.
This is a history that illuminates our past and gives us new ways of thinking about our future, written by the most vital and essential voices of our present.
This was offered for audio review and I quickly grabbed it. It’s a unique approach to telling the true African American history and the full cast features an outstanding list of narrators.
An achingly beautiful work of historical fiction that moves between Germany on the eve of World War II and present day Wisconsin, unspooling a thread of love, longing, and the ceaseless push and pull of family
Annelise is a dreamer: imagining her future while working at her parents’ popular bakery in Feldenheim, Germany, anticipating all the delicious possibilities yet to come. There are rumors that anti-Jewish sentiment is on the rise, but Annelise and her parents can’t quite believe that it will affect them; they’re hardly religious at all. But as Annelise falls in love, marries, and gives birth to her daughter, the dangers grow closer: a brick thrown through her window; a childhood friend who cuts ties with her; customers refusing to patronize the bakery. Luckily Annelise and her husband are given the chance to leave for America, but they must go without her parents, whose future and safety are uncertain.
Two generations later, in a small Midwestern city, Annelise’s granddaughter, Clare, is a young woman newly in love. But when she stumbles upon a trove of her grandmother’s letters from Germany, she sees the history of her family’s sacrifices in a new light, and suddenly she’s faced with an impossible choice: the past, or her future. A novel of dazzling emotional richness, Send for Me is a major departure for this acclaimed author, an epic and intimate exploration of mothers and daughters, duty and obligation, hope and forgiveness.
I hadn’t heard of this book until it was announced as the February selection for the Read With Jenna Today show book club. When it showed up at my library, I added the audio version as it sounds so interesting.
Ryn Jansen has no interest in taking a risk on Boone Sadler. Thanks to a long list of men who’ve done nothing but let her down, Ryn vows to stay far away from the caring, protective commando. And when Boone confronts Ryn with evidence that her loved ones are conning her, Ryn is less than thrilled — with her family and Boone. But even as Boone proves he’s the kind of guy to meet her every need, she doesn’t trust him to stay when life gets hard . . .
Boone Sadler’s never been one to back down from a challenge. He’s determined to show the funny, sexy Ryn that the irresistible connection between them is worth exploring. But caring for Ryn’s heart and body becomes a matter of life and death when Ryn’s beloved niece and nephew are put in danger and dirty cops begin gunning for Ryn. Soon Boone realizes their romance is in danger of more than heartbreak — and to have any future together, they’ll have to put their trust in each other.
I’ve never been able to resist Kristen Ashley, especially on audio so I clicked “hold” as soon as it showed up at my library.
Barely thirty, Lynette is exhausted. Saddled with bad credit and juggling multiple jobs, some illegally, she’s been diligently working to buy the house she lives in with her mother and developmentally disabled brother Kenny. Portland’s housing prices have nearly quadrupled in fifteen years, and the owner is giving them a good deal. Lynette knows it’s their last best chance to own their own home—and obtain the security they’ve never had. While she has enough for the down payment, she needs her mother to cover the rest of the asking price. But a week before they’re set to sign the loan papers, her mother gets cold feet and reneges on her promise, pushing Lynette to her limits to find the money they need.
Set over two days and two nights, The Night Always Comes follows Lynette’s frantic search—an odyssey of hope and anguish that will bring her face to face with greedy rich men and ambitious hustlers, those benefiting and those left behind by a city in the throes of a transformative boom. As her desperation builds and her pleas for help go unanswered, Lynette makes a dangerous choice that sets her on a precarious, frenzied spiral. In trying to save her family’s future, she is plunged into the darkness of her past, and forced to confront the reality of her life.
A heart wrenching portrait of a woman hungry for security and a home in a rapidly changing city, The Night Always Comes raises the difficult questions we are often too afraid to ask ourselves: What is the price of gentrification, and how far are we really prepared to go to achieve the American Dream? Is the American dream even attainable for those living at the edges? Or for too many of us, is it only a hollow promise?
When this was offered for audio review, I had to have it after reading the description and needing to find out how this works out. And that cover!
What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?