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.
From the internationally best-selling author of My Lovely Wife and He Started It comes a twisted, entertaining novella about a dog walker swept into a criminal investigation when her client winds up dead.
Shelby works as a dog walker in Northern California, and she’s just finished up her biweekly trip to the park with a husky named Pluto. When she brings him back to his house, she finds his owner—Todd Burke, a well-known local businessman and founder of an organic supplements company—dead on the bathroom floor. As a detective interviews Shelby, a medical examiner inspects the body, and more cops search Todd’s home, it becomes clear that the victim’s life was less picture-perfect than his clean-cut persona might lead you to believe..
One of my long time Goodreads friends reviewed this story and loved it. Since it’s free with my Audible membership and I’m a fan of the author, this was an easy decision.
He’s forbidden fruit and she’s a rule follower, but their connection is something to believe in.
Father Patrick Dooley joined the clergy to fulfill his mother’s dying wish. While it once gave him purpose, he not so sure it’s his calling anymore. But it’s all he’s ever known and he’s not sure what he wants to do with his life if he decides to leave the priesthood. How can he reconcile his faith with his growing desire to live a different life?
Sasha Finerghty was content to admire Patrick from afar while she dated men who were perfect on paper and wrong in real life. But with Patrick’s church in need of funding to keep a community program afloat, she’s just the girl to solve their fundraising problem. Spending more time together only fuels Sasha’s crush on him, who finds a kindred soul in her.
The more Patrick gets to know Sasha, the easier it is for him to see a future unfolding for them. But it will take a leap of faith to turn their friendship into something more, and neither of them are quite ready to make the jump.
I have the other books in this series and really want this one. An audio review hopeful, it’s scheduled for release in July.
Jillian Marsh is a survivor. She escaped her toxic upbringing at the hands of her religious zealot mother as a teenager, and after hitting rock bottom due to alcoholism in her twenties, she not only got sober, she built a successful marriage and medical career, even if she wasn’t able to make amends for all the mistakes she made during her drinking days. But nearly a decade later, things are once again going downhill for Jillian. Her wife, Rochelle, has left her while Jillian is pregnant with Rochelle’s biological child, and she feels constantly unsettled in her now-empty house–items missing from their usual place, burning candles she can’t remember lighting, the screen from her bedroom window removed. Even her mommies-to-be group isn’t the solace it once was. Bree, Camille, Maggie, and Jillian vowed to not only support each other in motherhood but in their sobriety, careers, and maintaining their independence after their babies are born . . . a sisterhood that begins to unravel when the secrets between the women come unwillingly to light.
As things in Jillian’s home begin to escalate, she’s forced to ask herself: Is one of her supposed friends not as trustworthy as she seems? Could Rochelle be gaslighting her in order to claim full custody of their daughter? Or, worst of all–is Jillian turning into her own mother, and imagining all of it in some sort of subconscious sabotage against her unborn child?
When the missing items turn into unambiguous threats, and as the circle of those she can trust continues to dwindle, Jillian knows only one thing for sure: she will do anything to protect her baby.
No way can I resist a potential gaslighting story. Didn’t think twice when this was offered for audio review.
It’s a club like no other. Only the most important women receive an invitation. But one daring young reporter is about to infiltrate this female-run secret society, whose beguiling members are caught up in a dark and treacherous business.
For years, rumors have swirled about an exclusive, women-only social club where the elite tastemakers of NYC meet. People in the know whisper all sorts of claims: Membership dues cost $1,000 a month. Last time Rihanna was in town, she stopped by and got her aura read. The women even handpicked the city’s first female mayor. But no one knows for sure.
That is, until journalist Jillian Beckley decides she’s going to break into the club. With her career in freefall, Jillian needs a juicy scoop, and she has a personal interest in bringing these women down. But the deeper she gets into this new world–where billionaire “girlbosses” mingle with the astrology-obsessed–the more Jillian learns that bad things happen to those who dare to question the club’s motives or giggle at its outlandish rituals.
The select group of women who populate the club may be far more powerful than she ever imagined.
And far more dangerous too.
Another book where I wanted it before I even finished reading the entire description. Thankfully it was offered for audio review.
Everybody’s getting one.
Val and Julie just want what’s best for their kids, David and Sophie. So when teenage son David comes home one day asking for a Pilot, a new brain implant to help with school, they reluctantly agree. This is the future, after all.
Soon, Julie feels mounting pressure at work to get a Pilot to keep pace with her colleagues, leaving Val and Sophie part of the shrinking minority of people without the device.
Before long, the implications are clear, for the family and society: get a Pilot or get left behind. With government subsidies and no downside, why would anyone refuse? And how do you stop a technology once it’s everywhere? Those are the questions Sophie and her anti-Pilot movement rise up to answer, even if it puts them up against the Pilot’s powerful manufacturer and pits Sophie against the people she loves most.
Though it’s a teeny bit out of my comfort zone, I found this too compelling to give it a pass when it was offered for audio review.
Thirteen-year-old Abby Hubble lives in an unhappy home in the Sierra Nevada foothills where her father makes life miserable for her and her mother, Mary. One day Abby witnesses a man dump a litter of puppies into the nearby river. Diving in to rescue all seven, she knows she won’t be able to bring them home. Afraid for their fate at the pound, she takes them to an abandoned cabin, where all she can offer is a promise that she’ll be back the next day.
To grieving widower Elliot Colvin, life has lost meaning. Looking for solace, he retreats to the hunting cabin he last visited years ago, before his wife’s illness. What he discovers is not at all what he expected: seven puppies and one determined girl with an indomitable heart.
As Abby and Elliot’s friendship deepens, Abby imagines how much better her life—and the puppies’ lives—would be if her mother were married to Elliot instead of her father. But when Abby’s father moves the family hundreds of miles away, Abby and her mother must decide how long they’re willing to defer happiness.
I like the sound of this one that promises to be an emotional ride. I got it for audio review.
It was a lifetime ago that recently widowed Maggie Flynn was in Wyndham Beach. Now, on the occasion of her fortieth high school reunion, she returns to her hometown on the Massachusetts coast, picking up right where she left off with dear friends Lydia and Emma. But seeing Brett Crawford again stirs other emotions. Once, they were the town’s golden couple destined for one another. He shared Maggie’s dreams—and eventually, a shattering secret that drove them apart.
Buying her old family home and resettling in Wyndham Beach means a chance to start over for Maggie and her two daughters, but it also means facing her rekindled feelings for her first love and finally confronting—and embracing—the past in ways she never thought possible. Maggie won’t be alone. With her family and friends around her, she can weather this stormy turning point in her life and open her heart to the future. As for that dream shared and lost years ago? If Maggie can forgive herself, it still might come true.
I had no idea the author was releasing a new series until this was offered for audio review. I loved her Hudson Sisters series and this one seems to have similar elements that I love.
NFL football player Isaiah Blackwell lost his husband three years ago and is raising their teen son alone. He lives his life as quietly as his job allows, playing ball to support his family but trying not to draw unwanted attention. His quiet life is shaken up when a mutual friend introduces him to Victor, a visiting principal ballet dancer who is everything Isaiah is not.
Brash and loud, Victor Aleksandrov has applied for political asylum to avoid returning to Russia, where gay men are targeted and persecuted. He’s been outspoken about gay rights in his home country, and if he doesn’t get asylum, going back to Russia is a death sentence.
Their one-night stand turns into a tentative friendship, a relationship they both agree is temporary…until Victor’s denied asylum. Isaiah can’t offer Victor a happily ever after, but he can propose something that’ll keep Victor in the US and safe…marriage. He just doesn’t expect his new husband to dance away with his heart.
I got this on sale for $.99 and as this is one of my favorite authors I grabbed it. It’s and older series (Love and Sports #1).
The Perfect Daughter is a thriller that explores the truth or lies behind a teenage girl’s multiple personality disorder, from D.J. Palmer, the author of The New Husband.
Meet Ruby, who speaks with a British accent.
Then there’s Chloe, a perfectionist who strives for straight A’s in school.
And along comes Eve, who is spiteful and vicious.
All of them live inside Penny…
Or do they?
Penny Francone, age 16, is a murderer. Her guilt is beyond doubt: She was found alone in the victim’s apartment, covered in blood, holding the murder weapon. The victim’s identity and her secret relationship to Penny give Penny the perfect motive, sealing the deal. All the jury needs to decide now is where Penny will serve out her sentence. Will she be found not guilty by reason of insanity, as her lawyer intends to argue? Or will she get a life sentence in a maximum-security prison?
Already reeling from tragedy after the sudden passing of her beloved husband a few years before, now Grace is on her knees, grateful that Massachusetts doesn’t allow the death penalty.
As Penny awaits trial in a state mental hospital, she is treated by Dr. Mitchell McHugh, a psychiatrist battling demons of his own. Grace’s determination to understand the why behind her daughter’s terrible crime fuels Mitch’s resolve to help the Francone family. Together, they set out in search of the truth about Penny, but discover instead a shocking hidden history of secrets, lies, and betrayals that threatens to consume them all.
The perfect daughter. Is she fooling them all?
I love crazy sauce and this looks like it has plenty of it. Thanks to the review by Tessa @ Tessa Talks Books for reeling me in! Fingers crossed 🤞 that my library heeds my recommendation to but the audiobook.
All Maggie Bliss needs to do is write. Forty-eight years old and newly single (again!), she ventures to Paris in a last-ditch effort to finish her manuscript. With a marvelous apartment at her fingertips and an elegant housekeeper to meet her every need, a finished book—and her dream of finally taking her career over the top—is surely within her grasp. After all, how could she find anything except inspiration in Paris, with its sophistication, food, and romance in the air?
But the clock is running out, and between her charming ex-husband arriving in France for vacation and a handsome Frenchman appearing one morning in her bathtub, Maggie’s previously undisturbed peace goes by the wayside. Charming and heartfelt, Dee Ernst’s Maggie Finds Her Muse is a delightful and feel-good novel about finding love, confidence, and inspiration in all the best places.
Tessa @ Tessa Talks Books strikes again, this time with a mini review! Another library hopeful.
The flare of a cigarette and the handsome Irishman in the shadows–I wanted it all, but I wasn’t allowed to want.
Ronan was danger and beauty, murder and mercy. To me, he was a mystery, but he was also the only man who ever knew me.
In that single stolen moment before I had to give my life to someone else, I imagined myself with him, the man with scars and bruises. The one who knew what hurting meant far more than I did at that time.
Instead I was given to another man, one who broke my soul right along with my bones.
Through it all, there was always that memory of the man in the shadows, the one who said–not in words–that I was strong, that I could endure, that I was more than just a princess in a ballgown.
Now Ronan is the only man who could keep me safe from two warring families that wanted my blood. The spark that started two years ago burned brighter with each touch, each glance, each kiss. He woke me from the nightmare, giving me life with soft touches and sharp words.
Two years ago, Ronan gave me strength, but he took something in return. I never gave him my heart, but hearts like mine are made to be stolen.
See, this is why I subscribe to author newsletters. I found this offered free this week on Amazon. O’Keefe is another one of my favorite authors.
Lonely librarian June Jones has never left the sleepy English village where she grew up. Shy and reclusive, the thirty-year-old would rather spend her time buried in books than venture out into the world. But when her library is threatened with closure, June is forced to emerge from behind the shelves to save the heart of her community and the place that holds the dearest memories of her mother.
Joining a band of eccentric yet dedicated locals in a campaign to keep the library, June opens herself up to other people for the first time since her mother died. It just so happens that her old school friend Alex Chen is back in town and willing to lend a helping hand. The kindhearted lawyer’s feelings for her are obvious to everyone but June, who won’t believe that anyone could ever care for her in that way.
To save the place and the books that mean so much to her, June must finally make some changes to her life. For once, she’s determined not to go down without a fight. And maybe, in fighting for her cherished library, June can save herself, too.
I also get emails from NetGalley that entice me, though I’m still managing that diet really well. However, I’m holding out for the audiobook as a review hopeful.
Sophie Lawson should be enjoying her sister’s wedding day. But nothing could have prepared her to see the best man again.
After her mother became bedridden and her father bailed on the family, Sophie found herself serving as a second mother to her twin brother, Seth, and younger sister, Jenna. Sophie supported her siblings through their college years, putting aside her own dream of opening a bookshop in Piper’s Cove – the quaint North Carolina beach town they frequented as children.
Now it’s finally time for Sophie to follow her own pursuits. Seth has a new job, and Jenna is set to marry her college beau in Piper’s Cove. But the destination wedding reunites Sophie with best man Aiden Maddox, her high school sweetheart who left her without a backward glance.
When an advancing hurricane strands Aiden in Piper’s Cove after the wedding, he finds the hotels booked to capacity and has to ask Sophie to put him up until the storm passes. As the two ride out the weather, old feelings rise to the surface. The delay also leaves Sophie with mere days to get her bookshop up and running. Can she trust Aiden to stick around? And will he find the courage to risk his heart?
This showed up at my library and after checking out a few of my friends’ reviews on Goodreads, I decided to give it a try. Who can resist a bookshop?
What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?