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.
Your family has been attacked, never again to be the same.
Now you have to choose between law…and justice.
Jason Bennett is a suburban dad who owns his owns a court-reporting business, but one night, his life takes a horrific turn. He is driving his family home after his daughter’s lacrosse game when a pickup truck begins tailgating them, on a dark stretch of road. Suddenly two men jump from the pickup and pull guns on Jason, demanding the car. A horrific flash of violence changes his life forever.
Later that awful night, Jason and his family receive a visit from the FBI. The agents tell them that the carjackers were members of a dangerous drug-trafficking organization – and now Jason and his family are in their crosshairs. The agents advise the Bennetts to enter the witness protection program right away, and they have no choice but to agree. But WITSEC was designed to protect criminal informants, not law-abiding families. Taken from all they know, trapped in an unfamiliar life, the Bennetts begin to fall apart at the seams. Then Jason learns a shocking truth and realizes that he has to take matters into his own hands.
I love when Marialyce @ yayareads responds to my Saturday posts because she always serves up a book I’ve not only never heard of but want to add to my own shelf. It’s scheduled for release in March and is a library audiobook hopeful.
When Jenny inherits her estranged grandmother’s cottage in Sherwood Forest, she has nothing to lose – no money, no job, no friends, no family to speak of, and zero self-respect. Things can only get better…
Her grumpy, but decidedly handsome new neighbour, Mack, has a habit of bestowing unsolicited good deeds on her. And when Jenny is welcomed into a rather unusual book club, life seems to finally be getting more interesting.
Instead of reading, the members pledge to complete individual challenges before Christmas: from finding new love, learning to bake, to completing a daredevil bucket list. Jenny can’t resist joining in, and soon a year of friendship and laughter, tears and regrets unfolds in the most unexpected ways.
Warm, wise, funny and utterly uplifting, what one thing would you change in your life before Christmas comes around?
A really good Goodreads friend reviewed this book and highly recommended the story. It was free with my Audible membership.
The Chancellor is at once a riveting political biography and an intimate human story of a complete outsider—a research chemist and pastor’s daughter raised in Soviet-controlled East Germany—who rose to become the unofficial leader of the West.
Acclaimed biographer Kati Marton set out to pierce the mystery of how Angela Merkel achieved all this. And she found the answer in Merkel’s political genius: in her willingness to talk with adversaries rather than over them, her skill at negotiating without ever compromising on what’s most important to her, her canniness in appointing political rivals to her cabinet and exacting their policies so they have no platform to run against her, the humility to allow others to take credit for things done in tandem, the wisdom to stay out of the papers and off Twitter, and the vision to take advantage of crises to enact bold change.
Famously private, the Angela Merkel who emerges in The Chancellor is a role model for anyone interested in gaining and keeping power while holding onto one’s moral convictions—and for anyone looking to understand how to successfully bridge huge divisions within society. No modern leader has so ably confronted Russian aggression, provided homes to over a million refugees, and calmly unified Europe at a time when other countries are becoming more divided. But Marton also describes Merkel’s many challenges, such as her complicated relationship with President Obama, who she at one point refused to speak to.
This captivating portrait shows a woman who has survived extraordinary challenges to transform her own country and return it to the global stage. Timely and revelatory, this great morality tale shows the difference an exceptional leader can make for the greater good of a country and the world.
I find Merkel to be remarkable on so many levels. Thanks to my library for the audio version, which is highly recommended by one of my trusted Goodreads friends.
Combat veteran Gabriel Noble survived the war overseas, but the stoic Baine International security specialist is in for the fight of his life when he’s tasked with bodyguarding beautiful lingerie designer Evelyn Beckham.
RUN TO YOU is a sizzling, suspenseful new standalone contemporary romance set in Lara Adrian’s bestselling 100 Series story world. Swoon-worthy HEA guaranteed, and no cliffhangers!
Lara Adrian’s sizzling, suspenseful 100 Series continues with Run to You, a scorching new standalone contemporary bodyguard romance featuring friends of billionaire Dominic Baine and his artist fiancee Avery Ross.
Once a celebrated model, Evelyn Beckham dominated the fashion runways of New York, Paris, and Milan. But life under the lights nearly destroyed her, and at the height of her career she walked away from it all. Now, five years later, Eve’s built a new life at the helm of Manhattan’s premier high-end lingerie boutique, L’opale. Chosen to design the bridal ensemble for billionaire Dominic Baine’s fiancée, Avery Ross, it seems Eve’s stars have finally realigned—until her return to the spotlight thrusts her into the crosshairs of a danger that’s been watching from the shadows, waiting for the chance to strike.
Gabriel Noble didn’t go to war to become a hero, but when he returned from the battlefield in Afghanistan it was with a chest full of medals and a broken body filled with shrapnel. Losing his leg derailed more than Gabe’s career, and when no one else was willing to take a chance on him, Baine International put him on their security team. Now, Gabe would do anything for Dominic Baine—including keeping a covert, protective eye on beautiful Evelyn Beckham as a personal favor to his boss and friend. But keeping Eve safe means keeping her close, and soon the lines between duty and desire begin to blur into a consuming passion too powerful to be denied. With Eve’s life in escalating peril and her faith in him certain to shatter, Gabe will have to risk everything to protect her while facing the most intense fight of his life . . . the battle for Eve’s heart.
I love the author’s Midnight Breed series, which is a completely different genre. When this showed up as free for one day (thanks to the author newsletter for the heads up), I grabbed the kindle freebie.
The New York Times bestselling author of The Wicked Deep weaves a richly atmospheric adult debut following three residents of a secluded, seemingly peaceful commune as they investigate the disappearances of two outsiders.
Travis Wren has an unusual talent for locating missing people. Hired by families as a last resort, he requires only a single object to find the person who has vanished. When he takes on the case of Maggie St. James—a well-known author of dark, macabre children’s books—he’s led to a place many believed to be only a legend.
Called Pastoral, this reclusive community was founded in the 1970s by like-minded people searching for a simpler way of life. By all accounts, the commune shouldn’t exist anymore and soon after Travis stumbles upon it…he disappears. Just like Maggie St. James.
Years later, Theo, a lifelong member of Pastoral, discovers Travis’s abandoned truck beyond the border of the community. No one is allowed in or out, not when there’s a risk of bringing a disease—rot—into Pastoral. Unraveling the mystery of what happened reveals secrets that Theo, his wife, Calla, and her sister, Bee, keep from one another. Secrets that prove their perfect, isolated world isn’t as safe as they believed—and that darkness takes many forms.
Hauntingly beautiful, hypnotic, and bewitching, A History of Wild Places is a story about fairy tales, our fear of the dark, and losing yourself within the wilderness of your mind.
When this was offered for audio review, I gave it a pass. But, after reading the review by Tessa @ Tessa Talks Books, I changed my mind.
Former policeman Frank Malloy is frustrated when a woman requests his private detective services to implicate her wealthy husband in adultery, the only legal grounds for divorce in New York state. Although Mrs. Bing seems genuinely distressed about her marriage and desperate to end it, she refuses to tell Frank the reason she absolutely must divorce her husband and admits she has no legal grounds. Frank explains he won’t manufacture evidence for her and sends her on her way.
The following week, Frank and Sarah happen to be attending the first ever auto show in Madison Square Garden when they meet the woman’s husband, Alfred Bing, who has invested in a company that produces one of the electric motorcars on display. A few days later, the newspapers report that millionaire Alvin Bing has been found dead, pinned beneath one of the wheels of his very own motorcar. But who was driving it? The obvious suspect is Mrs. Bing, but Frank and Sarah find that nothing is as it seems in their puzzling, dangerous search for truth.
If you’ve followed my blog for awhile, you may recall my love for this series! I stepped away from my NetGalley diet and requested this 25th book. 🤞 that I get approved (it’s been an erratic history with this series). It’s scheduled for release in April.
Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, has spent years unraveling his family’s tragic history. But the secrets of his past will come to light in this gripping new historical mystery from the USA Today bestselling author of What the Devil Knows.
March, 1815. The Bourbon King Louis XVIII has been restored to the throne of France, Napoleon is in exile on the isle of Elba, and Sebastian St. Cyr, Viscount Devlin, and his wife, Hero, have traveled to Paris in hopes of tracing his long-lost mother, Sophie, the errant Countess of Hendon. But his search ends in tragedy when he comes upon the dying Countess in the wasteland at the tip of the Île de la Cité. Stabbed—apparently with a stiletto—and thrown from the bastions of the island’s ancient stone bridge, Sophie dies without naming her murderer.
Sophie had been living in Paris under an assumed name as the mistress of Maréchal Alexandre McClellan, the scion of a noble Scottish Jacobite family that took refuge in France after the Forty-Five Rebellion. Once one of Napoleon’s most trusted and successful generals, McClellan has now sworn allegiance to the Bourbons and is serving in the delegation negotiating on behalf of France at the Congress of Vienna. It doesn’t take Sebastian long to realize that the French authorities have no interest in involving themselves in the murder of a notorious Englishwoman at such a delicate time. And so, grieving and shattered by his mother’s death, Sebastian takes it upon himself to hunt down her killer. But what he learns will not only shock him but could upend a hard-won world peace.
This is my most favorite historical mystery/fiction series. I broke my NetGalley diet for this one, too. I received approval for the last book so fingers crossed 🤞 I get this 17th in the series, scheduled for release in April.
Supervisory Special Agent Max Hawthorne arrives at an embassy thrown into chaos as US and local law enforcement hustle to track the young woman. Is this a simple kidnap for ransom, or part of a political agenda? Could it be something more sinister?
Lucy Aston has something to hide. Preferring to stay in the shadows, the lowly, fashion-challenged office assistant resents being assigned to help Max. But Max can’t resist a puzzle…he’s starting to suspect Lucy Aston is not what she seems.
When rumors emerge of a suspected Russian spy operating out of the embassy, Lucy’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble. As she and Max race to rescue the ambassador’s daughter, Lucy has to do whatever it takes to keep her cover from being blown—even if that means betraying the man she’s falling for.
I love the author and am collecting the books in this series. When it was reduced to $.99, I grabbed the Kindle edition.
Not many women still have “first kiss” on their Christmas list, but somehow Kayla Harris is permanently in the friend zone with men. So when veteran Tony DeNunzio shows up in her preschool classroom with his nephew, Jax, her focus is solely on helping the troubled little boy adjust. But as Tony takes on a volunteer role at the school, she can’t help noticing his softer side is as appealing as his rugged male presence.
Tony will do anything to make Jax’s first Christmas without his mom a happy one. And that includes spending more time than is typical with the teacher who’s drawn Jax out of his shell. Beautiful and kindhearted, Kayla makes Tony long for family and a happiness he doesn’t think he deserves. But with the magic of Christmas in the air, a first kiss might lead them both to a forever love.
*sigh* Thanks to Carla @ Carla Loves to Read, I’m committing to another series. I found this one irresistible and am on the hunt for the first four books. This is an audio review hopeful, scheduled for release in February.
Despite the charms of Pleasant Shores, coming home is a last resort for William Gross. The few happy memories he has here all revolve around Bisky Castleman, and she’s still every bit as kind and strong-minded as he remembered. But William is reeling from loss, and seeing Bisky with her daughter is a painful reminder of his mistakes.
Between running her family’s fishing business and being a single mom, Bisky finds her days are full. Yet there’s always been room in her heart for William, her one childhood friend who never teased her about her height or her toughness. Through their shared volunteer work with local teens and rescue dogs, their feelings deepen into something much stronger. But is their growing bond strong enough to heal the past and forge a new beginning…together?
This is the 4th book in the series noted above, which is an audio review hopeful, scheduled for release in January.
In the snowbound city of Kiev, wry and bookish history student Mila Pavlichenko organizes her life around her library job and her young son – but Hitler’s invasion of Russia sends her on a different path. Given a rifle and sent to join the fight, Mila must forge herself from studious girl to deadly sniper – a lethal hunter of Nazis known as Lady Death. When news of her 300th kill makes her a national heroine, Mila finds herself torn from the bloody battlefields of the eastern front and sent to America on a goodwill tour.
Still reeling from war wounds and devastated by loss, Mila finds herself isolated and lonely in the glittering world of Washington, DC – until an unexpected friendship with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and an even more unexpected connection with a silent fellow sniper offer the possibility of happiness. But when an old enemy from Mila’s past joins forces with a deadly new foe lurking in the shadows, Lady Death finds herself battling her own demons and enemy bullets in the deadliest duel of her life.
Based on a true story, The Diamond Eye is a haunting novel of heroism born of desperation, of a mother who became a soldier, of a woman who found her place in the world and changed the course of history forever.
Yep, another book added because of Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra and her Can’t Wait Wednesday post. A library audiobook hopeful.
The holiday season is under way in Washington, D.C., but Metro Police Lieutenant Sam Holland is busier than ever as she contends with the murder of a well-liked wife, mother and businesswoman found bound, gagged and dead for quite some time inside her minivan, miles from her home. Who could’ve wanted her dead badly enough to make her suffer for days before she died? Sam is determined to close the vexing case before a much-needed vacation with her family, but the universe has other ideas when a second murder—this one someone she knows—has her wondering if the vacation is going to happen.
Meanwhile, Sam’s husband, President Nick Cappuano, deals with the first national tragedy on his watch, forcing him on the record on a contentious issue as he fills the role of comforter-in-chief to a nation reeling from another senseless act of violence. All the while, a custody battle for the twins he and Sam took in after their parents’ murder is looming, casting a dark cloud over everything this holiday season. With chaos swirling all around them, will Sam and Nick be able to pull off a big family Christmas at the White House?
As always, Sam and Nick turn to each other for comfort in the storm that is their life together. Join Sam, Nick, Scotty, Elijah, Aubrey, Alden and Skippy, the First Dog, as they celebrate a Christmas like no other.
This is an auto listen series and I spend one of my Audible credits for the books when released. This is due out on December 21 .
Discover New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Karen Rose’s brand-new series set in the sultry, crime-ridden city of New Orleans and featuring a tough team of high-end private investigators who are after justice–no matter what they have to do to get it.
There are good cops. And there are bad cops. The question is…who wins?
After completing her tours with the Marines in Iraq, Molly Sutton knew she could take down any bad guy she met. But when her law enforcement agency in North Carolina turned against her, she joined up with her former CO Burke Broussard, who left New Orleans PD to set up a private investigative service for people who couldn’t find justice elsewhere.
Gabe Hebert saw the toll that working for the NOPD took on his dad and decided instead to make a name for himself as one of the best young chefs in the French Quarter. But when his father’s death is ruled a suicide after a deliberately botched investigation by his former captain, Gabe knows his dad stumbled onto a truth that someone wants silenced.
Gabe goes to his father’s best friend, Burke, for help. Burke assigns the toughest member of his team, Molly, to the case. Molly can’t believe she’s being asked to work with the smoking hot chef whose chocolate cake is not the only thing that makes her mouth water. Sparks fly as they follow the leads Gabe’s dad left them, unraveling a web of crimes, corruption, and murder that runs all the way to the top.
Same series, new city! The queen of romantic suspense is introducing the first book in the New Orleans segment of her Romantic Suspense series, scheduled for release in August. This will be the 26th book in the continuing series and I switched to audio around book #10 (the narrators are SO good!). A library audiobook hopeful.
In the wake of a devastating teen pregnancy that left her childless and heartbroken, Vashti Alcindor left Catalina Cove, Louisiana, with no plans to return. Now, over a decade later, Vashti reluctantly finds herself back in her hometown after inheriting her aunt’s B and B. Her homecoming gets off to a rocky start when the new sheriff, Sawyer Grisham, pulls her over for speeding, and things go downhill from there.
The B and B, a place she’d always found refuge in when it seemed like the whole world was against her, has fallen into disrepair. When a surprising benefactor encourages Vashti to reopen the B and B, Vashti embraces a fresh start, and soon old hurts begin to fade as she makes new memories with the town—and its handsome sheriff…
But some pasts are too big to escape, and when a bombshell of a secret changes everything she thought was true, Vashti is left reeling. With Sawyer and his teenage daughter determined to see her through the storm, though, she’s learning family isn’t always a matter of blood—sometimes it’s a matter of heart.
This is one of the author’s series included in her recent deal to develop it for film and TV by Cartel. I’m hoping it ends up on Netflix and plan to finish the series before it hits the screen. Lucky for me, my library has every one of the audiobooks.
The USA Today bestselling and Edgar Award–winning author of Never Look Back and If I Die Tonight plumbs the dark side of justice and the depths of diabolical revenge in this propulsive novel of psychological suspense that melds the driving narrative of Then She Was Gone with the breathtaking twists of The Chain and the violent fury of Kill Bill.
Just how far will a grieving mother go to right a tragic wrong?
Camille Gardner is a grieving—and angry—mother who, five years after her daughter’s death, is still obsessed with the privileged young man she believes to be responsible.
When her rash actions attract the attention of a secret group of women—the collective—Camille is drawn into a dark web where these mothers share their wildly different stories of loss as well as their desire for justice in a world where privilege denies accountability and perpetrators emerge unscathed. Fueled by mutual rage, these women orchestrate their own brand of justice through precise, anonymous, complexly plotted and perfectly executed revenge killings, with individual members completing a specific and integral task in each plan.
As Camille struggles to comprehend whether this is a role-playing exercise or terrifying reality, she must decide if these women are truly avenging angels or monsters. Becoming more deeply enmeshed in the group, Camille learns truths about the collective—and about herself—that she may not be able to survive.
Thanks to Marialyce @ yayareads for this one. I had to wait for the audiobook to finally show up at me library
What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?