Meme

Saturdays at the Café


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.



In this short-story prequel to the Bree Taggert series by #1 Amazon Charts and #1 Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh, a murder investigation yields parallels to the Philly detective’s own frightening past.


When a man is shot in the head, Bree Taggert and her new partner, veteran detective Dana Romano, respond to the call. They break the news to the victim’s ex-wife and learn the estranged couple’s five-year-old daughter was supposed to have been with him. What starts as a murder investigation quickly morphs into a desperate search for a missing child. The case stirs memories of Bree’s own traumatizing childhood. To find the little girl, Bree will have to relive her own terrifying past.

I did a Snoopy happy dance when I discovered this title, scheduled for release. I’ve already listened to the first book in the series and thought it just begged for a prequel. I’m participating in the blog tour scheduled for December, of course with the audio version.


 

From the New York Times bestselling author of This Time Next Year comes a heartwarming and hilarious tale that asks: what if you pick up the wrong suitcase in an airport, only to fall head over heels for its unseen owner?

Hopeless romantic and lifestyle reporter Laura’s business trip to the Channel Islands isn’t off to a great start. After an embarrassing encounter with the most attractive man she’s ever seen in real life, she arrives at her hotel and realizes she’s grabbed the wrong suitcase from the airport. Her only consolation is its irresistible contents, each of which intrigues her more and more. The owner of this suitcase is clearly Laura’s dream man. Now, all she has to do is find him.

Besides, what are the odds that she’d find The One on the same island where her parents first met and fell in love, especially as she sets out to write an article about their romance? Commissioning surly cab driver Ted to ferry her around seems like her best bet in both tracking down the mystery suitcase owner and retracing her parents’ footsteps. But as Laura’s mystery man proves difficult to find – and as she uncovers family secrets – she may have to reimagine the life, and love, she always thought she wanted.

This audiobook showed up at my library and I like the premise of the story. Several of my Goodreads friends have already given it the thumbs up.



A country manor. Two murders. Multiple suspects. Can DI Ford solve the case before his own dark past is exposed?


After a dog walker discovers human remains in a badger sett in the idyllic Salisbury countryside, DI Ford is called in to lead the ensuing murder investigation. When a second victim turns up in a nearby pond, Ford is determined to find the connection.

Both victims met their fate near the sprawling Alverchalke Estate, ancestral home of a decorated war hero and his family. One was a dogged eco-activist and vocal critic of Lord Baverstock. The other was a petty criminal and poacher, youngest brother of a notorious local crime family. Certain that there’s more to this case than trespassing, Ford and Dr Hannah Fellowes race to find the hidden link. But when one victim’s family threatens to expose Ford’s own dark secret, the ticking clock becomes a time bomb.

Still consumed by guilt over his part in his wife’s tragic accident and struggling to raise the teenage son he lied to, Ford now finds himself losing control of the investigation. Can he work with Hannah to solve the case while privately fighting off the attempted blackmail? Or have his demons finally caught up with him?

I love British police procedurals and when I read the review for the third book in the series by Anne @ Books of My Heart, I decided to add the second book, which ended up being a deal…$1.99 for the Kindle book and $1.99 to add the audiobook. 


A sweet romantic comedy set in beautiful Napa Valley!

Ivy needs a miracle and a drink—not necessarily in that order. With a struggling winery, the only hope of keeping her dream alive is snagging a gold medal at the annual wine competition. She’s determined to win, but she can do it without the help of Ted Jacobs, aka Mr. Know-it-All.

Ted wants to catch lightning in a bottle and create the world’s greatest wine, but he’s smart enough to know he can’t do it alone. When he heads to Napa to keep his grandma from ending up in jail (don’t ask), he meets Ivy. She’s as complex and intoxicating as his award-winning cabernet, but as stubborn as the mule next door when she stomps on his offer to collaborate.

Ted knows it’s risky to mix business with pleasure, but if Ivy would only listen, they might just be the toast of the town.

This was offered for audio review and I quickly accepted (cover not yet available). It’s scheduled for release in late December.



A dark, edgy, voice-driven literary debut novel about twin sisters that explores body image and queerness as well as toxic diet culture and the power of sisterhood, love, and lifelong friendships, written by a talented protégé of Roxane Gay.


Rose and Lily Winters are twins, as close as the bond implies; they feel each other’s emotions, taste what the other is feeling. Like most young women, they’ve struggled with their bodies and food since childhood, and high school finds them turning to food – or not – to battle the waves of insecurity and the yearning for popularity. But their connection can be as destructive as it is supportive, a yin to yang. When Rose stops eating, Lily starts – consuming everything Rose won’t or can’t.

Within a few years, Rose is about to mark her one-year anniversary in a rehabilitation facility for anorexics. Lily, her sole visitor, is the only thing tethering her to a normal life.

But Lily is struggling, too. A kindergarten teacher, she dates abusive men, including a student’s married father, in search of the close yet complicated companionship she lost when she became separated from Rose.

When Lily joins a cult diet group led by a social media faux feminist, whose eating plan consists of consuming questionable noncaloric foods, Rose senses that Lily needs her help. With her sister’s life in jeopardy, Rose must find a way to rescue her – and perhaps, save herself.

Illuminating some of the most fraught and common issues confronting women, Thin Girls is a powerful, emotionally resonant story, beautifully told, that will keep you captivated to the gratifying, hopeful end.

This audiobook showed up at my library and it took me a bit to add it. Not only have several of my trusted Goodreads friends given it a thumbs up but have raved about it.  


From the number one New York Times best-selling author of Small Great Things and The Book of Two Ways comes “a powerfully evocative story of resilience and the triumph of the human spirit” (Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Malibu Rising).

Diana O’Toole is perfectly on track. She will be married by 30, done having kids by 35, and move out to the New York City suburbs, all while climbing the professional ladder in the cutthroat art auction world. She’s an associate specialist at Sotheby’s now, but her boss has hinted at a promotion if she can close a deal with a high-profile client. She’s not engaged just yet, but she knows her boyfriend, Finn, a surgical resident, is about to propose on their romantic getaway to the Galápagos – days before her 30th birthday. Right on time.

But then a virus that felt worlds away has appeared in the city, and on the eve of their departure, Finn breaks the news: It’s all hands on deck at the hospital. He has to stay behind. You should still go, he assures her, since it would be a shame for all of their nonrefundable trip to go to waste. And so, reluctantly, she goes.

Almost immediately, Diana’s dream vacation goes awry. Her luggage is lost, the Wi-Fi is nearly nonexistent, and the hotel they’d booked is shut down due to the pandemic. In fact, the whole island is now under quarantine, and she is stranded until the borders reopen. Completely isolated, she must venture beyond her comfort zone. Slowly, she carves out a connection with a local family when a teenager with a secret opens up to Diana, despite her father’s suspicion of outsiders.

In the Galápagos Islands, where Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection was formed, Diana finds herself examining her relationships, her choices, and herself – and wondering if when she goes home, she, too, will have evolved into someone completely different.

This also showed up at my library and I quickly jumped in the queue. It’s scheduled for release at the end of the month. I’m always interested in this author but not an auto read.



In the follow-up to It Happened One Summer, Tessa Bailey delivers another deliciously fun rom-com about a former player who accidentally falls for his best friend while trying to help her land a different man…


King crab fisherman Fox Thornton has a reputation as a sexy, carefree flirt. Everyone knows he’s a guaranteed good time–in bed and out–and that’s exactly how he prefers it. Until he meets Hannah Bellinger. She’s immune to his charm and looks, but she seems to enjoy his… personality? And wants to be friends? Bizarre. But he likes her too much to risk a fling, so platonic pals it is.

Now, Hannah’s in town for work, crashing in Fox’s spare bedroom. She knows he’s a notorious ladies’ man, but they’re definitely just friends. In fact, she’s nursing a hopeless crush on a colleague and Fox is just the person to help with her lackluster love life. Armed with a few tips from Westport’s resident Casanova, Hannah sets out to catch her coworker’s eye… yet the more time she spends with Fox, the more she wants him instead. As the line between friendship and flirtation begins to blur, Hannah can’t deny she loves everything about Fox, but she refuses to be another notch on his bedpost.

Living with his best friend should have been easy. Except now she’s walking around in a towel, sleeping right across the hall, and Fox is fantasizing about waking up next to her for the rest of his life and… and… man overboard! He’s fallen for her, hook, line, and sinker. Helping her flirt with another guy is pure torture, but maybe if Fox can tackle his inner demons and show Hannah he’s all in, she’ll choose him instead?

This showed up at my library and it was a nice surprise, especially since it isn’t scheduled for release until March. I’m near the head of the line for the audiobook. Didn’t know a sequel was in the works.


A steamy fling with an old crush who doesn’t do commitment? What was she thinking! Find out in the conclusion to Reese Ryan’s Bourbon Brothers series.

What happens when you say yes to a bad boy?

Even if divorcée Renee Lockwood were willing to give love a second chance, she wouldn’t choose Cole Abbott. The sexy, successful real estate developer doesn’t do commitment. But he’s perfect for a no-strings fling—exactly what Ren needs now that she’s moved back home to raise her son. Mind-blowing pleasure with the man she once crushed on is harder to quit than Ren expected. Impossible, in fact. Is time running out before the bad boy bolts…or will the results of her experiment surprise her? 

I love this author’s writing and have signed on to the blog tour for this new book, scheduled for release in late December.



Nothing matters more to her


when a child’s life is at stake.   

Special agent Thea Lamb returns to her hometown to search for a child whose disappearance echoes a twenty-eight-year-old cold case—her twin sister’s abduction. Working with her former partner, Jake Stillwell, Thea must overcome the pain, doubt and guilt that have tormented her for years and denied her a meaningful relationship. For both Thea and Jake, the job always came first…until now.  

It’s a different genre for the author of The Graveyard Queen series, which is simply outstanding, but I trust her writing. I signed on for the blog tour.


From the New York Times best-selling author of The Guest Listcomes a new locked room mystery, set in a Paris apartment building in which every resident has something to hide….

Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better from Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there.

The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question.

The socialite – The nice guy – The alcoholic – The girl on the verge – The concierge

Everyone’s a neighbor. Everyone’s a suspect. And everyone knows something they’re not telling.

Thanks to Toni @ Readingtonic for including this upcoming release in her Can’t Wait Wednesday post. I’m a fan of the author and it’s an audio review hopeful.



In this page-turning psychological thriller from an author who Stephen King called “an absolute master,” a young female police officer faces danger on all fronts—from a clever victim of abuse, her colleagues on the force, and even her own mobster father.


Philomena McCarthy is a young, ambitious police office with the elite Metropolitan Police in London. When she responds to a domestic violence call, she finds the victim, Tempe Brown, trying to protect her abuser, a married man named Darren Goodall, a decorated Scotland Yard detective afraid of no one. As Philomena pursues the case against him, she not only encounters resistance from her police force colleagues but also becomes dangerously entangled with the victim—who is not at all whom she appears to be—much to the increasing endangerment of herself and Henry, her fiancée.

Complicating matters is Philomena’s estranged father Edward McCarthy, a powerful man who has built a criminal empire along with his brothers. Philomena has long tried to pursue her career as a police officer without her father’s involvement, but as she falls under suspicion of stalking and harassing Goodall, her father becomes involved.

As the situation escalates, Tempe’s sinister maneuvers further entangle Philomena in a web of secrets, corruption, and murder, putting Philomena’s impending marriage, career, and very survival in jeopardy…​

Spellbinding, suspenseful, and filled with complex characters that could be heroes or villains, Robotham has crafted a smart and propulsive thriller that’s impossible to put down.

Thanks to Kaceey @ Books are a Girl’s Best Friend.com for putting this on my radar. The author is an auto read and I’m hoping to get this one for audio review.



What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?

 

 

19 thoughts on “Saturdays at the Café”

  1. Sounds like another group of excellent choices. Jan and I are reading Wish You Were Here starting tomorrow. I hope you enjoy them all, Jo!
    I added In another Light by A.J. Banner.
    I am reading Empire of Pain currently. It is wonderfully done and very frightening. It’s about the Sackler family.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am keenly interested in your feedback about Wish You We’re Here! In Another Light is calling to me, too. I’ll be looking for your reviews.

      Thanks for that feedback about Empire of Pain. Can’t say I’m surprised that it is frightening.

      Have a fantastic week, Marialyce💜

      Like

  2. Interesting about the Melinda Leigh book. I guess writers of detective fiction often spend so much time coming up with a compelling back story for their detectives, that the backstory deserves a book of its own. Not the first time, I’ve seen that happening.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This one kind of made sense. The first book quickly established a connection to the preceding series (this is a spinoff). Now that we’re three books in, the backstory will settle all those blank spots about the main character and her former partner. This is one instance where I think the timing is perfect.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So many wonderful additions here. I just added the first two DI Ford books to my KU list. They are a read/listen, so I hope to get to them soon. I have several of the upcoming ones on my wishlist, but in Canada, we get them later than the US libraries. Enjoy them all, Jo.

    Like

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