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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.

 



There’s never a bad time to fall in love in the city, right? Wrong. According to the recently widowed Claire Hayes, it’s very, very wrong. In fact, after finding out her late husband was a liar and a cheat, Claire’s convinced there’s never a good time for romantic notions. Determined to rid her home of anything that reminds her of her philandering husband, Claire sets out to redesign her entire Upper East Side brownstone and make it her own. But when she meets gruff and often-cantankerous contractor Scott Turner and realizes not all men are scumbags, Claire must decide if she’s ready to risk her heart again.

Scott needs a change of pace from the corporate offices and swanky hotels he’s been building lately and bluntly makes it clear to Claire that he only took on her house for that reason, adding that he has no patience for a pampered, damaged princess on his job site. But when long work days soon turn into even longer nights, their mutual wariness morphs into something more complicated – a grudging respect, and maybe even attraction? Scott knows he’s not one to settle down, but then why can’t he bring himself to put the finishing touches on Claire’s house and move on to the next job?

It’s the 2nd book in the series and the audiobook finally showed up at my library.


After being dumped by his long-term boyfriend for being overweight, Henry Beckett decides to make some drastic changes. In a vain attempt at getting his boyfriend back, Henry does the most absurdly frightening thing he can think of.

He joins a gym.

Reed Henske is a personal trainer who isn’t sure he’ll ever be ready to date again. He’s sick of guys who are only interested in the perfect body image, never seeing him for who he really is.

As Reed tortures Henry with things like diet and exercise, Henry enamours Reed with recipes and laughter. As the friendship lines start to blur, Henry is convinced there’s no way Thor-like Reed could ever be interested in a guy like him.

Reed just has to convince Henry that life isn’t about reaching your ideal body.

Thanks to my daily BookBub email for this one. It sounds pretty good and several of my Goodreads friends loved it. It’s $.99 on Amazon.



Stephen Aston is getting married again. The only problem is, he’s still married to his first wife. She is in a care facility for dementia, but he’ll take care of that easily by divorcing her – even if his adult daughters protest.

Tully and Rachel Aston look upon Heather as nothing but an interloper. Heather is the same age as Rachel and even younger than Tully. Clearly she’s a golddigger and after their father’s money. However, Heather has secrets that she’s keeping close, and reasons of her own for wanting to marry Stephen.

With their mother unable to speak for herself, Tully and Rachel are determined to get to the truth about their family’s secrets, the new wife closing in, and who their father really is. But will getting to the truth unleash the most dangerous impulses . . . in all of them?

I received a widget from the publisher but I’m holding out for the audio version. Hepworth is now on my auto read list.


Rachel Beck has hit a brick wall. She’s a single mom, still living at home and trying to keep a dying relationship alive. Aside from her daughter, the one bright light in Rachel’s life is her job as the night reservations manager at a luxury hotel in Miami Beach—until the night she is fired for something she didn’t do.

On impulse, Rachel inquires about a management position at a brewery hotel on an island in Lake Erie called Kelleys Island. When she’s offered the job, Rachel packs up her daughter and makes the cross country move.

What she finds on Kelleys Island is Mason, a handsome, moody man who knows everything about brewing beer and nothing about running a hotel. Especially one that’s barely more than foundation and studs. It’s not the job Rachel was looking for, but Mason offers her a chance to help build a hotel—and rebuild her own life—from the ground up.

After finishing Float Plan this week, I was excited to learn there is a follow up to that story planned for release in March. A library audiobook hopeful.



An exceptional storyteller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr beautifully captures the emotionally charged, complex dynamics that come with being part of any family. Readers will laugh and shed a few tears as they discover what it means to be loved, supported and accepted by the people who mean the most.

When a woman notices a young pregnant woman attending her husband’s funeral she realizes his mid-life crisis went far beyond his weekend warrior lifestyle. Carr tackles the serious issues women face with humor and heart.

This isn’t scheduled for release until April but I’m signing on now as I read everything Carr writes. An audio review hopeful.


It’s Christmas in the small town of Silver Springs, which is bursting with holiday spirit. The downtown shops boast twinkling lights, and the town square features an enormous Christmas tree.

Every Christmas Eve for the past 50 years, Ruby Harris, the owner of the historic B&B, The Christmas House, has opened her doors to strangers in need, showing them the compassion once denied to her. When Ruby invites her family home for the holidays, including her two adult grandchildren, Charlotte and Olivia, she hopes they will be able to put the past behind them. However, her plans for reconciliation implode as the women unravel secrets from the past that force them to confront the impact they’ve had on their dysfunctional family.

As Charlotte grows closer to Wyatt, the neighbor next door and a friend from the past, old memories resurface that the women would rather forget. They’re reminded of a man they want to forget. As the clock inches closer to the New Year, can the magic of the season bring the family closer? Or will a surprise guest threaten their tentative truce and test newly formed bonds? This lighthearted Christmas tale draws inspiration from Victoria James’ own historical fixer-upper, offering plenty of warmth and holiday cheer.

I love the author’s writing and have read almost all of her books. This is a library audiobook hopeful.



What if the Lift driver who finds your cheating boyfriend’s phone holds the directions to true love?


‘Who are you and why do you have my boyfriend’s phone?’
‘He left it in my car. You must be the blonde in the red dress? I’m the Lift driver who dropped you two off earlier.’

And with these words, the life of the brunette and t-shirt wearing Maya Maas is turned upside down. Having planned to surprise her boyfriend, she finds herself single and stranded in an unknown city on her birthday.

So when the mystery driver rescues Maya with the suggestion that she cheers herself up at a nearby beach town, she jumps at the chance to get things back on track. She wasn’t expecting a personalised itinerary or the easy companionship that comes from opening up to a stranger via text, let alone the possibility it might grow into something more…

I hadn’t heard of this book until Tessa @ Tessa Talks Books featured her fabulous review. I’m hoping the eBook shows up at my library.


A bighearted novel about falling in love, making a mess, and learning to let go, When You Get the Chance is the next effervescent novel from Emma Lord, New York Timesbestselling author of the Reese Witherspoon YA Book Club pick You Have a Match.

Nothing will get in the way of Millie Price’s dream of becoming a Broadway star. Not her lovable but super introverted dad, who raised Millie alone since she was a baby. Not her drama club rival, Oliver, who is the very definition of Simmering Romantic Tension. And not her “Millie Moods,” the feelings of intense emotion that threaten to overwhelm. Millie needs an ally. And when an accidentally left-open browser brings Millie to her dad’s embarrassingly moody LiveJournal from 2003, Millie knows just what to do—find her mom.

But how can you find a new part of your life and expect it to fit into your old one without leaving any marks? And why is it that when you go looking for the past, it somehow keeps bringing you back to what you’ve had all along?

Well, she strikes again! Thanks to Tessa @ Tessa Talks Books for featuring this book, one I’d not heard of until seeing her post about her book hauls.


Once a social worker specializing in kids who were the victims of violent crime, Elle Castillo is now the host of a popular true crime podcast that tackles cold cases of missing children in her hometown of the Twin Cities. After two seasons of successfully solving cases, Elle decides to tackle her white whale—The Countdown Killer. Twenty years ago, TCK abruptly stopped after establishing a pattern of taking and ritualistically murdering three girls over seven days, each a year younger than the last. No one’s ever known why—why he stopped with his eleventh victim, a girl of eleven years old, or why he followed the ritual at all.

When a listener phones in with a tip, Elle sets out to interview him, only to discover his dead body. And within days, a child is abducted following the original TCK MO. Unlike the experts in the media and law enforcement who have always spun theories of a guilty suicide, Elle never believed TCK had died, and her investigation was meant to lay that suspicion to rest. But instead, her podcast seems to be kicking up new victims.

I was highly intrigued when I read the review by Kyra @ Roots & Read back in May. The audiobook finally showed up at my library!


When Lauren and Ryan’s marriage reaches the breaking point, they come up with an unconventional plan. They decide to take a year off in the hopes of finding a way to fall in love again. One year apart, and only one rule: they cannot contact each other. Aside from that, anything goes.

Lauren embarks on a journey of self-discovery, quickly finding that her friends and family have their own ideas about the meaning of marriage. These influences, as well as her own healing process and the challenges of living apart from Ryan, begin to change Lauren’s ideas about monogamy and marriage. She starts to question: When you can have romance without loyalty and commitment without marriage, when love and lust are no longer tied together, what do you value? What are you willing to fight for?

I am mad about this author’s writing so when Susanne @ Books are a Girl’s Best Friend.com reviewed this backlist title, I impatiently waited for my library to add the audiobook. It showed up this week.



A TV meteorologist and a sports reporter scheme to reunite their divorced bosses with unforecasted results in this charming romantic comedy from the author of The Ex Talk.


Ari Abrams has always been fascinated by the weather, and she loves almost everything about her job as a TV meteorologist. Her boss, legendary Seattle weatherwoman Torrance Hale, is too distracted by her tempestuous relationship with her ex-husband, the station’s news director, to give Ari the mentorship she wants. Ari, who runs on sunshine and optimism, is at her wits’ end. The only person who seems to understand how she feels is sweet but reserved sports reporter Russell Barringer.

In the aftermath of a disastrous holiday party, Ari and Russell decide to team up to solve their bosses’ relationship issues. Between secret gifts and double dates, they start nudging their bosses back together. But their well-meaning meddling backfires when the real chemistry builds between Ari and Russell.

Working closely with Russell means allowing him to get to know parts of herself that Ari keeps hidden from everyone. Will he be able to embrace her dark clouds as well as her clear skies?

Thanks to Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra for featuring this in her Can’t Wait Wednesday post. It’s another library audiobook hopeful.


She didn’t see the patch of black ice until it was too late. The car started to spin, and as it veered off into the deep ditch and the mounds of snow beside the road, she saw him. The little boy frozen in the ice.

When the remains of two bodies are found in an open grave along a desolate highway in Stillwater, Minnesota, Special Agent Nikki Hunt knows exactly who they are. The bright blue jacket lying on the frozen earth belongs to Kellan Rhodes, the missing boy she’s desperately been trying to find for the last two days. The other body is his mother Dana, who had been Nikki’s lead suspect.

Although the wounds on Dana’s body suggest she murdered her son and took her own life, Nikki finds evidence that suggests she was a victim too. Dana was desperately trying to regain custody of Kellan, and Nikki finds boot prints at the scene that belong to someone else.

When another child is reported missing, local journalist Caitlin Newport claims the cases are linked: Zach Reeves was taken away from his own mother in a custody battle, just like Kellan was.

Caitlin once helped Nikki find out the truth about her own parents’ murders, but her desire for a story nearly cost Nikki her life. Now, Nikki must decide if she can trust Caitlin again, before time runs out to find the killer and bring Zach home alive…

I’ve been reading this author since her Indie days as she’s a gifted writer. This second book in the Nikki Hunt series is on sale at Amazon for $.99.



In New York Times best-selling author Alka Joshi’s intriguing new novel, henna artist Lakshmi arranges for her protégé, Malik, to intern at the Jaipur Palace in this tale rich in character, atmosphere, and lavish storytelling.

It’s the spring of 1969, and Lakshmi, now married to Dr. Jay Kumar, directs the Healing Garden in Shimla. Malik has finished his private school education. At 20, he has just met a young woman named Nimmi when he leaves to apprentice at the Facilities Office of the Jaipur Royal Palace. Their latest project: a state-of-the-art cinema.

Malik soon finds that not much has changed as he navigates the Pink City of his childhood. Power and money still move seamlessly among the wealthy class, and favors flow from Jaipur’s Royal Palace, but only if certain secrets remain buried. When the cinema’s balcony tragically collapses on opening night, blame is placed where it is convenient. But Malik suspects something far darker and sets out to uncover the truth. As a former street child, he always knew to keep his own counsel; it’s a lesson that will serve him as he untangles a web of lies.

This audiobook showed up at my library and I grabbed it! It’s the follow up to The Henna Artist.


William Reid is nothing special, except for his billion-dollar acting career and his, you know, face. (Apparently, it’s a good one.) Winning ‘Sexiest Man Alive’ was nice, but this Christmas, he has more important goals in mind… like finally winning over his best friend’s little sister, the super-smart and kinda-scary Abbie Farrell.

When a blizzard leaves Will and Abbie alone at Grandma Farrell’s house (if bunking with 27 pets counts as ‘alone’), it’s the perfect opportunity to pull off a Christmas miracle. Convincing clever, frosty Abbie to give Will a chance will take more than mistletoe, but hiding his lifelong crush on her is no longer an option.

I hadn’t heard of this story until the audiobook showed up at my library. I’m in a short queue for this Kobo Original.



When a mysterious man claims to be her long-missing brother, a woman must confront her family’s closely guarded secrets in this “delicious hybrid of mystery, drama, and elegance” (Jodi Picoult, number-one New York Times best-selling author).


Washington, DC, 2019: Laura Preston is a reclusive artist at odds with her older sister Bea as their elegant, formidable mother slowly slides into dementia. When a stranger contacts Laura claiming to be her brother who disappeared forty years earlier when the family lived in Bangkok, Laura ignores Bea’s warnings of a scam and flies to Thailand to see if it can be true. But meeting him in person leads to more questions than answers.

Bangkok, 1972: Genevieve and Robert Preston live in a beautiful house behind a high wall, raising their three children with the help of a cadre of servants. In these exotic surroundings, Genevieve strives to create a semblance of the life they would have had at home in the US—ballet and riding classes for the children, impeccable dinner parties, a meticulously kept home. But in truth, Robert works for American intelligence, Genevieve finds herself drawn into a passionate affair with her husband’s boss, and their serene household is vulnerable to unseen dangers in a rapidly changing world and a country they don’t really understand.

Alternating between past and present as all of the secrets are revealed, What Could Be Saved is an unforgettable novel about a family shattered by loss and betrayal, and the beauty that can exist even in the midst of brokenness.

After this audiobook showed up at my library, I was intrigued by the description, though I’d never heard of it or the author. Reviews by my Goodreads friends are all over the place so I decided to take a chance.



What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?

 

20 thoughts on “Saturdays at the Café”

  1. Oh Jo, you have seriously added to my TBR this week. I have never heard of Victoria James, but I am checking to see what my library might have. I had already added a few of the others to my list, like Emma Lord (also thanks to Tessa) and the Olivia Lara. The Secret Keeper of Jaipur is good and the narration great, but not as good as the Henna Artist (that is my humble opinion). Enjoy all your new books.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Carla, James is a Canadian writer and you would absolutely love her series! I started with Red River, then Still Harbor and then Shadow Creek, Montana.

      Thanks for the heads up on The Secret Keeper and I hope you enjoy Stacy Green. FYI, the first book in her Delta Crossroads Trilogy (Tin God) is free at Amazon. I loved that series, from which a spinoff series featuring one of the characters was born.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess I already bought Tin God because they said I already owned it. Being Canadian, you would think my library would have James’ books, but they only have a few. I will have to see which series they belong to.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. A Christmas book! Must be a sign, that the summer really is over… Girl, 11 sounds interesting. I’ve added nothing this week, actually my reading has been a bit slow in August. But I’m sure it will improve when the autumn kicks in.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Fantastic list of books Jonetta!
    I have the Younger Wife on my list too. And 🤞🤞 my library picks up The Meeting Point too! It looks so good! Happy reading!💖📚🤓

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yay! I cannot wait to see what you think of After I Do!..I was surprised by my thoughts as I got further into it. :)..We have What Could Be Saved to read as well.. it’s been on our backlist forever… we need to get to it sooner rather than later. I’ll be anxious to see what you think if you get to it first.

    Liked by 1 person

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