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.
Growing up the daughter of notorious treasure hunter and absentee father Duke Wilder left Lily without much patience for the profession…or much money in the bank. But Lily is nothing if not resourceful, and now uses Duke’s coveted hand-drawn maps to guide tourists on fake treasure hunts through the red rock canyons of Utah. It pays the bills but doesn’t leave enough to fulfill her dream of buying back the beloved ranch her father sold years ago, and definitely not enough to deal with the sight of the man she once loved walking back into her life with a motley crew of friends ready to hit the trails. Frankly, Lily would like to take him out into the wilderness—and leave him there.
Leo Grady knew mirages were a thing in the desert, but they’d barely left civilization when the silhouette of his greatest regret comes into focus in the flickering light of the campfire. Ready to leave the past behind him, Leo wants nothing more than to reconnect with his first and only love. Unfortunately, Lily Wilder is all business, drawing a clear line in the sand: it’s never going to happen.
But when the trip goes horribly and hilariously wrong, the group wonders if maybe the legend of the hidden treasure wasn’t a gimmick after all. There’s a chance to right the wrongs—of Duke’s past and their own—but only if Leo and Lily can confront their history and work together. Alone under the stars in the isolated and dangerous mazes of the Canyonlands, Leo and Lily must decide whether they’ll risk their lives and hearts on the adventure of a lifetime.
From the author of the “heartfelt and funny” (Publishers Weekly) sensation The Unhoneymooners, this page-turning adventure full of second chances, complicated relationships, and the breathtaking beauty of the American Southwest will take fans on one wild ride.
It’s a new CL release! Thanks to Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books for the heads up. This is scheduled for release in May and is an audio review hopeful.
“Fry’s Holmes is crisp and high-handed, his Watson enthusiastic and bemused, and the rest of the narration colorful without being mannered. Have fun. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.” (AudioFile magazine)
“…it was reading the Sherlock Holmes stories as a boy that first turned me on to the power of writing and storytelling.” (Stephen Fry)
Ever since he made his first appearance in A Study In Scarlet, Sherlock Holmes has enthralled millions of fans. Now Audible is proud to present Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, read by Stephen Fry. A lifelong fan of Doyle’s detective fiction, Fry has narrated the complete works of Sherlock Holmes. And, exclusively for Audible, Stephen has written and narrated nine insightful and personal introductions to each title.
Fry is an English actor, screenwriter, author, playwright, journalist, comedian, film director and all round national treasure. He is the acclaimed narrator of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and recently recorded The Tales of Max Carrados – which earned Fry the accolade of “quite irresistible” from the Washington Post.
I’m late to the Sherlock Holmes fan club, becoming one after my husband had me watch the newest TV series. I’ve wanted to read some of the books but only on audio. I was thrilled when Nicki @ Secret Library Book Blog reviewed this collection and raved about it. And! It’s free with my Audible membership.
A bomb explodes on a sunset charter cruise out of Friday Harbor at the height of tourist season and kills everyone on board. Now this fishing and boating community is in shock and asking who would commit such a heinous crime—the largest act of mass murder in the history of the San Juan Islands.
Forensic profilers know there are two types of domestic terrorists: those who use violence to instill fear for political purposes but stop at murder because it detracts from the cause, and those who crave attention and are willing to maim and murder for their own agenda.
Accused of putting profits before people after leaking fuel that caused a massive fish kill, the West End Charter company may itself have been the target. But as special agent Matt Costa, detective Kara Quinn and the rest of the FBI team begin their investigation, they discover that plenty of people might have wanted someone dead on that yacht. Now they must track down who is responsible and stop them before they strike again.
This is scheduled for release in April and I’ve committed to the blog tour. Still have the first two to read, which I’m starting next month.
Savvy Sheldon spends a lot of time tiptoeing around the cracks in her life: her high-stress and low-thanks job, her clueless boyfriend and the falling-apart kitchen she inherited from her beloved grandma—who taught her how to cook and how to love people by feeding them. But when Savvy’s world starts to crash down around her, she knows it’s time for some renovations.
Starting from the outside in, Savvy tackles her crumbling kitchen, her relationship with her body, her work–life balance (or lack thereof) and, last but not least, her love life. The only thing that doesn’t seem to require effort is her ride-or-die squad of friends. But as any home-reno-show junkie can tell you, something always falls apart during renovations. First, Savvy passes out during hot yoga. Then it turns out that the contractor she hires is the same sexy stranger she unintentionally offended by judging based on appearances. Worst of all, Savvy can’t seem to go anywhere without tripping over her ex and his latest “upgrade.” Savvy begins to realize that maybe she should’ve started her renovations the other way around: beginning with how she sees herself before building a love that lasts.
I accepted the request to review this as part of the blog tour but am also going to get the audio version. It sounds like so much fun and is scheduled for release in March.
Charlotte has an unsavory past, but she’s on the straight and narrow these days. She was so young then — she married the wrong man, falling for Sam’s sweet-talking charm and charisma, and got caught up in his con artist games.
If only she’d left him before things went too far.
Now Sam is missing. But before he disappeared, he left urgent, cryptic messages about someone threatening him — someone who has been threatening Charlotte, too.
So Charlotte takes a job as a personal assistant for an engagement party aboard a private luxury cruise ship, the Cleobella, to get far away from anyone who means her harm.
But as the Cleobella sails through its glittering destinations, increasingly sinister events haunt the guests, and the turquoise waves and sun-drenched beaches give way to something darker. Someone knows what Charlotte did. Is it the blushing bride? The seemingly placid mother-in-law? Or the mysterious heiress?
Someone knows, and someone wants revenge — before the ship reaches its final port.
Another book I accepted for review and to participate in the blog tour, again holding out for the audio version. It’s scheduled for release in January.
Leigh Fletcher: happily married stepmom to two gorgeous boys goes missing on Monday. Her husband, Mark, says he knows nothing of her whereabouts. She went to work and just never came home. Their family is shattered.
Kai Janssen: married to wealthy Dutch businessman Daan and vanishes the same week. Kai left their luxurious penthouse and glamorous world without a backward glance. She seemingly evaporated into thin air. Daan is distraught.
Detective Clements knows that people disappear all the time — far too frequently. Most run away from things, some run toward, and others are taken but find their way back. A sad few never return. These two women are from very different worlds. Their disappearances are unlikely to be connected. And yet, at a gut level, the detective believes they might be.
How could these women walk away from their families, husbands and homes willingly? Clements is determined to unearth the truth, no matter how shocking and devastating it may be.
Number one Sunday Times best-selling author Adele Parks returns with her most provocative, compelling book to date.
Another book I accepted for review and the accompanying blog tour. Also waiting for the audio version, scheduled for release in February.
A tangled web of lies draws together three women in this explosive thriller of revenge, murder and shocking secrets
At an elite private school nestled in the Colorado mountains, Natalie, an office assistant, dreams of having a life like the school moms she deals with every day. Women like Brooke—a gorgeous heiress, ferociously loving mother and serial cheater—and Asha, an overprotective mom who suspects her husband of having an affair. Their fates are bound by the handsome assistant athletic director Nicholas, whom Natalie loves, Brooke wants and Asha needs.
But when two bodies are carried out of the school one morning, it seems the tension between mothers and daughters, rival lovers, and the haves and have-nots has shattered the surface of this isolated, affluent town—where people stop at nothing to get what they want.
This is the last of the books on the blog tour that I accepted for review. Yes, holding out for the audio version and it’s scheduled for release in March.
Dark Fell Barn is a “perfectly isolated” retreat, or so says its website when Jayne books a reservation for her friends. A quiet place, far removed from the rest of the world, is exactly what they need.
The women arrive for a girls’ night ahead of their husbands. There’s ex-Army Jayne, hardened and serious, but also damaged. Ruth, the driven doctor and new mother who is battling demons of her own. Young Emily, just wed and insecure, the newest addition of this tight-knit band. Missing this year is Edie, who was the glue holding them together, until her husband died suddenly.
But what they hoped would be a relaxing break soon turns to horror. Upon arrival at Dark Fell Barn, the women find a devastating note claiming one of their husbands will be murdered. There are no phones, no cell service to check on their men. Friendships fracture as the situation spins wildly out of control. Betrayal can come in many forms.
This group has kept each other’s secrets for far too long.
I’ve enjoyed some of the author’s books in the past so when Nicki @ Secret Library Book Blog included this in her Top Ten Tuesday list of books on her winter TBR, I quickly added it. It’s scheduled for release in March and is an audio review hopeful.
When pregnant Saffron Cutler moves into 9 Skelton Place with boyfriend Tom and sets about renovations, the last thing she expects is builders uncovering human remains. The remains of two bodies, in fact.
Forensics indicate the bodies have been buried at least 30 years. Saffy has nothing to worry about — until the police launch a murder inquiry and ask to speak to the cottage’s former owner. Her grandmother, Rose.
Rose is in a nursing home and Alzheimer’s means her memory is increasingly confused. She can’t help the police, but it’s clear she remembers something.
As Rose’s fragmented memories resurface, and the police dig ever deeper, Saffy fears she and the cottage are being watched.
What happened 30 years ago? Why did no one miss the victims? What part did her grandmother play? And is Saffy now in danger?
Another book included on Nicki @ Secret Library Book Blog’s Top Ten Tuesday winter TBR. It sounds SO good! Another audio review hopeful.
A girls’ weekend to die for.
New friends Sam, Margaret and Diana are thrilled to be getting out of the city for a girls’ weekend—they’ve bonded over their messy divorces, and every mile on the odometer feels like another step towards putting their exes in the past. But when car trouble halfway into their trip strands them in the most unlikely of mountain towns, they come face-to-face with the hurts and betrayals they were so desperate to leave behind.
When Diana doesn’t return home after a night out, Sam and Margaret’s search for her reveals just how little they know about their friend. As eerie coincidences and secrets begin to pile up, and an ex-boyfriend arrives in the tiny town, the women realize that their detour may not have been a mistake…and that someone wants to guarantee that they never make it out.
I saw this on Tessa @ Tessa Talks Books’ WWW Wednesday post as recently finished and enjoyed. After reading the description, I quickly added. It’s a library audiobook hopeful.
In the wake of her daughter’s unexplained suicide and her husband Jim’s sudden abandonment, Liddy Bryant is determined to move on and make some positive changes in her life. In her hometown of Wyndham Beach, the neglected and shuttered bookstore is also in need of renewal, and Liddy recognizes an opportunity to get herself and the bookshop back on track. With a little help from her friends, she’s well on her way.
Local contractor Tuck Shelby has been a friend of Liddy’s forever. He’s made himself indispensable in the rehab of her shop—and in her life—but now he wants out of the friend zone. Then Jim returns with a long-overdue apology, hoping for forgiveness and a chance to start over, and Liddy has a life-changing choice to make.
Into a year when Liddy’s faced changes and the shocking truth of a well-kept secret comes not only a second chance at love, but a second chance at life.
I have the first book in this series scheduled to listen to this month and hope to get this second book for audio review. Thanks to Carla @ Carla Loves to Read for the heads up in her Can’t Wait Wednesday post.
What if you had the winning ticket that would change your life forever, but you couldn’t cash it in?
Lucky Armstrong is a tough, talented grifter who has just pulled off a million-dollar heist with her boyfriend, Cary. She’s ready to start a brand-new life, with a new identity—when things go sideways. Lucky finds herself alone for the first time, navigating the world without the help of either her father or her boyfriend, the two figures from whom she’s learned the art of the scam.
When she discovers that a lottery ticket she bought on a whim is worth millions, her elation is tempered by one big problem: cashing in the winning ticket means she’ll be arrested for her crimes. She’ll go to prison, with no chance to redeem her fortune.
As Lucky tries to avoid capture and make a future for herself, she must confront her past by reconciling with her father; finding her mother, who abandoned her when she was just a baby; and coming to terms with the man she thought she loved—whose dark past is catching up with her, too.
This is a novel about truth, personal redemption, and the complexity of being good. It introduces a singularly gifted, multilayered character who must learn what it means to be independent and honest…before her luck runs out.
This is the December selection by Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine book club and while I wasn’t immediately wowed, I grabbed the audio version when it showed up at my library. She’s not steered me wrong yet.
A TikTok sensation, this rom-com about a young woman who agrees to fake date a colleague and bring him to her sister’s wedding has “everything you could want in a romance” (Helen Hoang, New York Times best-selling author).
Catalina Martín desperately needs a date to her sister’s wedding. Especially since her little white lie about her American boyfriend has spiraled out of control. Now everyone she knows – including her ex and his fiancée – will be there and eager to meet him.
She only has four weeks to find someone willing to cross the Atlantic and aid in her deception. New York to Spain is no short flight, and her raucous family won’t be easy to fool.
Enter Aaron Blackford – her tall, handsome, condescending colleague – who surprisingly offers to step in. She’d rather refuse; never has there been a more aggravating, blood-boiling, and insufferable man.
But Catalina is desperate, and as the wedding draws nearer, Aaron looks like her best option. And she begins to realize he might not be as terrible in the real world as he is at the office.
I hadn’t heard of this book until the audiobook showed up at my library. I was quickly seduced!
Hours stretch into days which stretch into weeks. Volunteers go home, police are assigned new missions and the missing hiker,Timothy O’Day becomes one more missing person, vanished without a trace.
Until Frankie Elkin – missing persons specialist – comes to town. Fresh off her case in Boston, Frankie heads to Wyoming, determined to find Timothy and bring him home – whatever the cost.
Frankie joins a seven day woodland search team, lead by Tim’s father Martin, as they venture deep into the dark forest to uncover the truth. Broken tree limbs and traces of blood suggest a wild animal may be lurking nearby. Frankie knows better.
But with secrets swirling and tensions raised in the group, it becomes clear that Frankie Elkin’s newest case could be her last . . .
I’ll listen to any book by Gardner and hope to get this second in the series for audio review. I have the first book scheduled for next month when this one is released and can listen to them back to back.
What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?