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Saturdays at the Café

Saturdays at the Café - Body

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.

 


Their love story captivated the world…the crown prince and that guy from New York.

When a lonely American event planner starts dating the gay Prince of Wales, a royal uproar ensues: Is it true love or the ultimate meme? Find out in this hilarious romantic comedy.


After having his heart trampled on by his cheating ex, Carter Ogden is afraid love just isn’t in the cards for him. He still holds out hope in a tiny corner of his heart, but even in his wildest dreams he never thought he’d meet the Crown Prince of England, much less do a lot more with him. Yes, growing up he’d fantasized about the handsome, openly gay Prince Edgar, but who hadn’t? When they meet by chance at an event Carter’s boss is organizing, Carter’s sure he imagined all that sizzling chemistry. Or was it mutual?

This unlikely but meant-to-be romance sets off media fireworks on both sides of the Atlantic. With everyone having an opinion on their relationship and the intense pressure of being constantly in the spotlight, Carter finds ferocious obstacles to his Happily Ever After, including the tenacious disapproval of the Queen of England. Carter and Price Edgar fight for a happy ending to equal their glorious international beginning. It’s a match made on Valentine’s Day and in tabloid heaven.

Thanks to Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra for making me take a second look at this one. I’d given it a pass when offered for audio review and she helped change my mind.


 

Eden faces a final reckoning when the cult’s past victims hunt them down in this explosive, high-stakes thriller in the Sacramento series from New York Times bestselling author Karen Rose.

For decades, Eden has remained hidden in the remote wilds of the Pacific Northwest, “Pastor” keeping his cult’s followers in thrall for his personal profit and sexual pleasures. But the Founding Elders are splintering, and Pastor’s surrogate son DJ is scheming to make it all his own.

When two of Eden’s newest members send out a cry for help, it reaches FBI Special Agent Tom Hunter, whose friend and fellow FBI Special Agent Gideon Reynolds and his sister, Mercy, are themselves escapees of the Eden cult, targeted by the Founding Elders who want them silenced forever. The three have vowed to find the cult and bring it down, and now, they finally have a solid lead.

Neutralizing Eden’s threat will save captive members and ensure Tom’s new friends can live without fear. But when his best friend, ex-Army combat medic Liza Barkley, joins the case, it puts her life—and their blossoming love—in danger. With everything they hold dear in the balance, Tom and Liza, together with Gideon and Mercy, must end Eden once and for all
.

I love this series but have fallen behind. I plan to get caught up by the time this releases in August. An audio review hopeful.


A deeply moving and insightful collection of personal essays from #1 bestselling author John Green, adapted from his critically acclaimed podcast.


The Anthropocene is the current geological age, in which human activity has profoundly shaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this remarkable symphony of essays adapted and expanded from his groundbreaking podcast, John Green reviews different facets of the human-centered planet–from the QWERTY keyboard and Staphylococcus aureus to the Taco Bell breakfast menu–on a five-star scale.

Complex and rich with detail, the Anthropocene‘s reviews have been praised as “observations that double as exercises in memoiristic empathy.” John Green’s gift for storytelling shines throughout this artfully curated collection that includes both beloved essays and all-new pieces exclusive to the book.

Honestly, I didn’t even give this a good first glance when it was offered for audio review. Then I listened to a review on a Today show segment and I got intrigued. There are several really strong Goodreads reviews, too, so I decided to go for it.


Homicide detective Eve Dallas races to untangle a twisted family history while a hostage’s life hangs in the balance—in the new novel in the New York Times bestselling series.


If you know me, you know why I’ve added this book even before there’s a description. It’s scheduled for release…
in February.


A black father and a white father join forces on a crusade for revenge against the people who murdered their gay sons, by S.A. Crosby, the award-winning author of Blacktop Wasteland.

Ike Randolph has been out of jail for 15 years, with not so much as a speeding ticket in all that time. But a black man with cops at the door knows to be afraid.

The last thing he expects to hear is that his son, Isiah, has been murdered, along with Isiah’s white husband, Derek. Isiah was a gay black man in the American South; Ike couldn’t bring himself to attend his son’s wedding. Isiah was a man Ike never understood. A boy he was never there for the way he should have been.

Derek’s father, Buddy Lee, is also suffering. He’d barely spoken to his son in five years; he was as ashamed of Derek for being gay as Derek was ashamed his father was a criminal. Buddy Lee still has contacts in the underworld, though, and he wants to know who killed his boy.

Ike and Buddy Lee, two ex-cons with little else in common other than a criminal past and a love for their dead sons, band together in their desperate desire for revenge. In their quest to do better for their sons in death than they did in life, alpha-males Ike and Buddy Lee will confront their own prejudices, about each other and their sons, as they rain down vengeance upon those who hurt their boys.

I hadn’t even seen this book until my Goodreads friend and co-moderator Sandra @ Cross My Heart Writings and Reviews wrote her stunning review. A library hopeful.


 

Abducted as a teenager, a woman must now confront her past and untangle the truth of what really happened to her in this dark thriller from the author of The Wolf Wants In.

Seventeen-year-old Sarabeth has become increasingly rebellious since her parents found God and moved their family to a remote Arkansas farmstead where she’s forced to wear long dresses, follow strict rules, and grow her hair down to her waist. She’s all but given up on escaping the farm when a masked man appears one stifling summer morning and snatches her out of the cornfield.

A week after her abduction, she’s found alongside a highway in a bloodstained dress–alive–but her family treats her like she’s tainted, and there’s little hope of finding her captor, who kept Sarabeth blindfolded in the dark the entire time, never uttering a word. One good thing arises from the horrific ordeal: a chance to leave the Ozarks and start a new life.

Five years later, Sarabeth is struggling to keep her past buried when investigator Nick Farrow calls. Convinced that her case is connected to the strikingly similar disappearance of another young girl, Farrow wants Sarabeth’s help, and he’ll do whatever it takes to get it, even if that means dragging her back to the last place she wants to go–the hills and hollers of home, to face her estranged family and all her darkest fears.

Based on the description, this was an easy “yes” when it was offered for audio review.


You wake up.
You can’t remember what happened.
The man lying next to you is not your husband.
And he’s not breathing . . .

Pre-order the gripping thriller starring DCI Jonah Sheens, from the author of Richard and Judy pick and Sunday Times bestseller She Lies in Wait


Louise wakes up. Her head aches, her mouth is dry, her memory is fuzzy. But she suspects she’s done something bad.

She rolls over towards her husband, Niall. The man who, until recently, made her feel loved.

But it’s not Niall who’s lying beside her. In fact, she’s never seen this man before.

And he’s dead . . .

As Louise desperately struggles to piece her memories back together, it’s clear to Detective Jonah Sheens and his team that she is their prime suspect – though they soon find she’s not the only one with something to hide.

Did she do it? And, if not, can they catch the real killer before they strike again?

I’m reading this series so I was thrilled to see this third book offered for audio review.


What do you do when the wedding of your dreams turns into a nightmare?

When a destination wedding is cancelled, a group of university friends travel to a luxurious villa in the South of France, determined to cheer up the bride-that-was and make the best of a pre-paid holiday.

But after a wild night of drunken revelry, the friends awake to find themselves with no memory of the last twelve hours – and surrounded by the traces of a wedding that wasn’t supposed to have happened . . .

As last night’s hangover wears off, the guests find themselves with more questions than answers.

Did a wedding take place?
Who is responsible for an ominous message in the guest book, congratulating the happy couple?
Why does the would-be bride seem so afraid?
And who is the mysterious, shadowy figure who seems to be watching the villa?

Each guest is hiding something. But what? And can they piece together the events of the wedding night before it is too late?

I decided to accept this for audio review despite the mixed reviews. Most of the negative criticism was solely that it was not a thriller but an entertaining story. So, I’m categorizing it as contemporary fiction with mystery elements and setting my expectations accordingly.


An electrifying mystery featuring a troubled small-town police detective faced with three interwoven crimes that reveal sinister secrets about his community–and the deaths of his family, by the Edgar Award and Thriller Award shortlisted author whose novels have been described by the New York Times Book Review as “pretty much perfect.”

In the years since the mysterious deaths of his wife and child, P.T. Marsh, a police detective in the small Georgia town of Mason Falls, has faced demons–both professional and personal. But when he is called to the scene of a school shooting, the professional and personal become intertwined, and he suspects that whoever is behind the crime may be connected to his own family tragedy.

As Marsh and his partner Remy investigate the shooting, they discover that it is far from straightforward, and their search for answers leads them to a conspiracy at the highest levels of local government–including within the police force. The stakes in the case become increasingly high, culminating in a showdown that has Marsh questioning everything he knows, and wondering if some secrets are better left undiscovered.

Another series I’m reading so I was happy when this was offered for audio review.


Once a year, actors from across the globe descend on the smog and sunshine of Los Angeles for pilot season. Every cable network and studio is looking to fill the rosters of their new shows, enticing a fresh batch of young hopefuls—anxious, desperate, and willing to do whatever it takes to make it. Careers will be made, dreams will be realized, stars will be born. And some will be snuffed out.

British star Mia Eliot has landed leading roles in costume dramas in her native country, but now it’s time for Hollywood to take her to the next level. Mia flies across the Atlantic to join the horde of talent scrambling for their big breaks. She’s a fish out of water in the ruthlessly competitive arena of back-to-back auditioning. Then one day she meets Emily, another actress from out of town and a kindred spirit. Emily is friendly and genuine and reassuringly doesn’t seem to be taking any of it too seriously. She stands out in a conveyor-belt world of fellow auditionees. But a simple favor takes a dark twist when Emily disappears and Mia realizes she was the last person to see her. And when a woman knocks on Mia’s door the following day claiming to be Emily and isn’t the woman Mia remembers at all, Mia is deeply troubled.

All Mia has to go on is the memory of a girl she met only once . . . and the suffocating feeling that something terrible has happened. Worse still, the police don’t believe her when she claims the real Emily has gone missing. So Mia is forced to risk the role of a lifetime to try to uncover the truth about Emily, a gamble that will force her to question her own sanity as the truth goes beyond anything she could ever have imagined.

I really enjoyed the author’s Something in the Water and was excited when this was offered for audio review!


Oliver Park, a recovering addict from Indiana, finally has everything he ever wanted: sobriety and a loving, wealthy partner in Nathan, a prominent DC trauma surgeon. Despite their difference in age and disparate backgrounds, they’ve made a perfect life together. With everything to lose, Oliver shouldn’t be visiting Haus, a gay bathhouse. But through the entrance he goes, and it’s a line crossed. Inside, he follows a man into a private room, and it’s the final line. Whatever happens next, Nathan can never know. But then, everything goes wrong, terribly wrong, and Oliver barely escapes with his life.

He races home in full-blown terror as the hand-shaped bruise grows dark on his neck. The truth will destroy Nathan and everything they have together, so Oliver does the thing he used to do so well: He lies.

What follows is a classic runaway-train narrative, full of the exquisite escalations, edge-of-your-seat thrills, and oh-my-god twists. P. J. Vernon’s Bath Haus is a scintillating thriller with an emotional punch, perfect for listeners curious for their next must-listen novel.

Okay, this will sound a little strange but I added this book when it was offered for audio review because of the review by Kyra @ Roots & Reads, even though she had issues with it. I just cannot resist crazy sauce😬


Teddy Phillips never thought she would still be spending every day surrounded by toys at almost thirty years old. But working at a vintage toy store is pretty much all she has going on in her life after being unceremoniously dumped by her longtime boyfriend. The one joy that she has kept is her not-so-guilty pleasure: Everett’s Place, a local children’s show hosted by Everett St. James, a man whom Teddy finds very soothing . . . and, okay, cute.

Teddy finds the courage to write to him, feeling slightly like one of the children who write to him on his show. He always gives sound advice and seems like he has everything figured out—and he pretty much does: Everett has a great support system, wonderful friends, and his dream job. But there is still that persistent feeling in the back of his mind that something is missing.

When a woman named Theodora starts writing to Everett, he is drawn to her honesty and vulnerability. They continue writing to each other, all the while living their lives without meeting. When their worlds collide, however, they must both let go of their fears and figure out what they truly want—and if the future they want includes each other.

I fell for this immediately when it was offered for audio review. 


Acting like she’s in love with her handsome nightmare of a co-star—in a movie directed and produced by her complicated Hollywood royalty family—is Sloane’s job. But what happens when the lines between script and reality get blurred?

Out-of-work actress Sloane Ford is in desperate need of something to do after losing her steady TV gig. When her famous family ropes her into working as a producer on their World War II-era romance, they neglect to mention that the film will be headlined by Joseph Donovan, her least favorite former co-star of all time. The roguish actor made her life a living hell the last time they worked together, using his movie star good looks and Irish charm to cover for his erratic professional behavior. On their new film set, he promises he’s different now, but Sloane is far from convinced.

As filming gets underway, it becomes clear that anything that can go wrong will go wrong. When the lead actress is abruptly fired, Sloane agrees to step in and take over the role, and she starts to remember why she fell in love with acting in the first place. On camera, she and Joseph share an electric chemistry. Off camera, they’ve been honing their characters and, much to Sloane’s surprise, growing closer. But playing the role of a woman in love with Joseph Donovan is a dangerous business, and the more time they spend together, the less Sloane can tell what’s real between them, and what’s just for show.

I can never resist a good romantic comedy and this sounds like a good one. I have it for audio review.


A compulsively readable novel in the vein of TheBonfire of the Vanities—by way of The Nest—about what Washington, DC’s high society members do away from the Capitol building and behind the closed doors of their suburban mansions.

They are the families considered worthy of a listing in the exclusive Green Book—a discriminative diary created by the niece of Eleanor Roosevelt’s social secretary. Their aristocratic bloodlines are woven into the very fabric of Washington—generation after generation. Their old money and manner lurk through the cobblestone streets of Georgetown, Kalorama and Capitol Hill. They only socialize within their inner circle, turning a blind eye to those who come and go on the political merry-go-round. Parents and their children living life free of consequences in a gilded existence of power and privilege.

But what they have failed to understand is that the world is changing. And when the family of one of their own is held hostage and brutally murdered, everything about their legacy is called into question.

They are The Cave Dwellers.

I stay away from NetGalley but it doesn’t seem to stop them from reaching out to me! I’m holding out for the audio version, a library hopeful.


Salt water ripples around the drifting couple, their blood mingling with the current. A length of twine encircles the woman’s slender wrist, tying them to one another. Now they’ll be together forever.

When two bodies are found floating in the shallows off the Florida coast, the hallmarks of the crime are terrifyingly familiar to FBI forensic psychologist Dr Nadine Finch. The circle carved around the female victim’s wedding finger is identical to the wounds Nadine’s own mother inflicted on her victims. But her mother is on death row where she can’t hurt anyone. Is this a disturbing coincidence, or a twisted copycat?

Nadine quickly identifies the victims as a young local couple, new parents with their whole future ahead of them. Who would want to harm them? With two heartbroken families reeling, and no witnesses or forensic evidence, Nadine has no choice but to tap into her own dark past to delve inside this killer’s mind. If she can’t make her team listen, she knows more lives will be lost.

Then another couple are found in the Manatee River, their throats cut—and another circle carved around the woman’s ring finger. Desperate to act, Nadine must face her demons head on and visit her mother in prison. When her mother whispers a name Nadine hasn’t heard for years, the case takes a terrifying turn, and returning home after her bleak visit, the bag of bloodied clothes left on Nadine’s bed tell her someone is watching her every move…

As time runs out, can Nadine catch the killer—or will she be the next victim of this dark family legacy?

Thanks to my friend Marialyce @ yayareads for her review of the second book in this series. I have to read this first, sounding equally good! It’s on my Audible wishlist.


The #1 New York Times bestselling author with 150 million copies sold worldwide returns with his next blockbuster thriller featuring FBI Agent Atlee Pine.

 

 

I learned of this upcoming release from the author’s newsletter. Though I’m behind in the Atlee Pine series, I’ll be caught up by the time it releases in November. No description yet!


A woman desperate to turn a new page heads to the Scottish coast and finds herself locked in a battle of wills with an infuriatingly aloof bookseller in this utterly heartwarming debut, perfect for readers of Evvie Drake Starts Over.

Thea Mottram is having a bad month. She’s been let go from her office job with no notice—and to make matters even worse, her husband of nearly twenty years has decided to leave her for one of her friends. Bewildered and completely lost, Thea doesn’t know what to do. But when she learns that a distant great uncle in Scotland has passed away, leaving her his home and a hefty antique book collection, she decides to leave Sussex for a few weeks. Escaping to a small coastal town where no one knows her seems to be exactly what she needs.

Almost instantly, Thea becomes enamored with the quaint cottage, comforted by its cozy rooms and lovely but neglected garden. The locals in nearby Baldochrie are just as warm, quirky, and inviting. The only person she can’t seem to win over is bookshop owner Edward Maltravers, to whom she hopes to sell her uncle’s book collection. His gruff attitude—fueled by an infamous, long-standing feud with his brother, a local lord—tests Thea’s patience. But bickering with Edward proves oddly refreshing and exciting, leading Thea to develop feelings she hasn’t experienced in a long time. As she follows a thrilling yet terrifying impulse to stay in Scotland indefinitely, Thea realizes that her new life may quickly become just as complicated as the one she was running from.

I gave this a pass when it was offered for audio review but decided to give it a shot when it showed up at my library.



What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?

 

24 thoughts on “Saturdays at the Café”

  1. I love Karen Rose, JD Robb and David Baldacci so those are already on my calendar. I see you have plenty of other interesting options there also, including some series I might need to read.

    Anne – Books of My Heart This is my Sunday Post

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Again, lots more intriguing choices, but The Disappearing Act looks like my kind of read. Going to check that one out next. Have a great long weekend, Jonetta!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You are going to be a very bust reading Lady, Jo! I hope you can get to all of them. I am most interested in the Bath Haus.

    I added A Time to Kill by Anthony Horowitz, When Ghosts Come Home by Wiley Cash, and Fresh Water for Flowers by Valerie Perrin.

    Have a super weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love it. What a reader! I’ve picked up The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen and A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders. I’m also working on All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot. I always feel weird saying what I’m reading because I write horror and scifi, and for the past year I’m reading very little of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great list Jo. I did not know about Mercy, so will be adding that one, I am caught up on the Atlee Pine series, so am looking forward to it. Enjoy all your new additions.

    Liked by 1 person

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