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.
She calls herself Hope Miller, but she has no idea who she actually is. Fifteen years ago, she was found in a small New Jersey town thrown from an overturned vehicle, with no clue to her identity. Doctors assumed her amnesia was a temporary side effect of her injuries, but she never regained her memory. Hope eventually started a new life with a new name in a new town that welcomed her, yet always wondered what she may have left behind – or been running from. Now, she’s leaving New Jersey to start over once again.
Manhattan defense lawyer Lindsay Kelly, Hope’s best friend and the one who found her after the accident, understands why Hope wants a fresh beginning. But she worries how her friend will fare in her new East Hampton home, far away from everything familiar. Lindsay’s worst fears are confirmed when she discovers Hope has vanished without a trace – the only lead a drop of blood found where she was last seen. Even more ominously, the blood matches a DNA sample with a connection to a notorious Kansas murderer.
With nowhere else to turn, Lindsay calls NYPD homicide detective Ellie Hatcher, the daughter of the cop who dedicated his life to hunting the Kansas killer. Ellie has always believed there was more to the story of her father’s death 20 years earlier – and she now fears that Hope’s recent disappearance could be related.
In pursuit of answers, the women hunt for the truth beneath long-buried secrets. And when their searches converge, what they find will upend everything they’ve ever known.
Didn’t think twice when this was offered for audio review. I’m assured that it isn’t #6 in the Ellie Hatcher series but one of my Goodreads friends expressed caution. Not taking any chances so I’m adding that series, too.
For fans of Taylor Jenkins Reid, Sally Rooney, and Rebecca Serle, Tory Henwood Hoen’s The Arc is a smart, high-concept love story that asks: Is it possible to optimize our most intimate relationships?
Thirty-five-year-old Ursula Byrne, VP of Strategic Audacity at a branding agency in Manhattan, is successful, witty, whip-smart, and single. She’s tried all the dating apps, and let’s just say: She’s underwhelmed by her options. You’d think that by now someone would have come up with something more bespoke; a way for users to be more tailored about who and what they want in a life partner – how hard could that be?
Enter The Arc: a highly secretive, super-sophisticated matchmaking service that uses a complex series of emotional, psychological, and physiological assessments to architect partnerships that will go the distance. The price tag is high, the promise ambitious – a level of lifelong compatibility that would otherwise be unattainable. In other words, The Arc will find your ideal mate.
Ursula is paired with 42-year-old lawyer Rafael Banks. From moment one, this feels like the electric, lasting love they’ve each been seeking their whole adult lives. But as their relationship unfolds in unanticipated ways, the two begin to realize that true love is never a sure thing. And the arc of a relationship is never predictable…even when it’s fully optimized.
I’ll admit that the comparison to Taylor Jenkins Reid influenced my decision to add this book when offered for audio review. The description itself is also compelling.
Ronke wants happily ever after and 2.2 kids. She’s dating Kayode and wants him to be “the one” (perfect, like her dead father). Her friends think he’s just another in a long line of dodgy Nigerian boyfriends.
Boo has everything Ronke wants – a kind husband, gorgeous child. But she’s frustrated, unfulfilled, plagued by guilt, and desperate to remember who she used to be.
Simi is the golden one with the perfect lifestyle. No one knows she’s crippled by impostor syndrome and tempted to pack it all in each time her boss mentions her “urban vibe”. Her husband thinks they’re trying for a baby. She’s not.
When the high-flying, charismatic Isobel explodes into the group, it seems at first she’s bringing out the best in each woman. (She gets Simi an interview in Hong Kong! Goes jogging with Boo!) But the more Isobel intervenes, the more chaos she sows, and Ronke, Simi, and Boo’s close friendship begins to crack.
A sharp, modern take on friendship, ambition, culture, and betrayal, Wahala (trouble) is an unforgettable novel from a brilliant new voice.
Everything about this description grabbed my attention so I quickly accepted this for audio review.
On a cold, misty Sunday night, two women are alone in the offices of fashion conglomerate Claudine de Martineau International. One is the company’s human resources director. Impeccably dressed and perfectly coiffed, she sits at her desk and stares somberly out the window. Down the hall, her colleague, one of the company’s lawyers, is buried under a pile of paperwork, frantically rushing to finish.
Leaving at the same time, the two women, each preoccupied by her own thoughts, enter the elevator that will take them down from the 30th floor.
When they arrive at the lobby, one of the women is dead. Was it murder or suicide?
An incredibly original novel that turns the office thriller on its head, The Cage is a wild ride that begins with a bang and picks up speed as it races to its dramatic end.
My friend Marialyce @ yayareads included this as one of her additions in her comments on last week’s post and I also added it immediately. It’s an audio review hopeful.
1870 Kirsty Thompson is determined to begin her own business bringing beloved Scottish fabrics and yarns to Philadelphia but first she must meet the men and women who weave the plaids and spin the wool. How will she ever escape her protective older siblings and sail to Scotland?
Albert Watson is a medical doctor focusing on research, especially that of Joseph Lister and his sterilization techniques. He speaks at universities in America and in England while visiting his London relatives. As he prepares to sail for just such an engagement, Kirsty Thompson boards his ship to beg him to take her with him. What’s a gentleman to do? Albert cancels his trip across the ocean to escort Miss Thompson back to Philadelphia and finds there is danger afoot for her and her family.
Soon he comes to realize there is also danger for his heart, even for a man who rarely pulls his nose from a medical journal. He finds himself unable to put Miss Kirsty Thompson out of his thoughts, where they belonged, because certainly a beautiful, ambitious, and charming young woman could have no interest in him. Or could she?
This is the third book in the series and I accepted it for review from one of my favorite Indie authors. I’m also up to date.
Lillie Silva knew life as an empty nester would be hard after her only child left for college, but when her husband abruptly dumps her for another woman just as her son leaves, her world comes crashing down. Besides the fact that this announcement is a complete surprise (to say the least), what shocks Lillie most is that she isn’t…heartbroken. She’s furious.
Lillie has loved her life on Cape Cod, but as a mother, wife and nurse-midwife, she’s used to caring for other people…not taking care of herself. Now, alone for the first time in her life, she finds herself going a little rogue. Is it over the top to crash her ex-husband’s wedding, dressed like the angel of death? Sure! Should she release a skunk into his perfect new home? Probably not! But it beats staying home and moping.
She finds an unexpected ally in her glamorous sister, with whom she’s had a tense relationship all these years. And an unexpected babysitter in of all people Ben Hallowell, the driver in a car accident that nearly killed Lillie 20 years ago. And then there’s Ophelia, her ex-husband’s oddly lost niece, who could really use a friend.
It’s the end of Lillie’s life as she knew it. But sometimes the perfect next chapter surprises you…out of the clear blue sky.
Higgins is an auto read and I stumbled across this upcoming release, which I’ll be getting on audio, hopefully from my library. It’s due out in June and the audio edition hasn’t been set up yet.
She’s got his back.
Hannah Brooks looks more like a kindgerten teacher than somebody who could kill you with a wine bottle opener. Or a ballpoint pen. Or a dinner napkin. But the truth is, she’s an Executive Protection Agent (aka “bodyguard”), and she just got hired to protect superstar actor Jack Stapleton from his middle-aged, corgi-breeding stalker.
He’s got her heart.
Jack Stapleton’s a household name—captured by paparazzi on beaches the world over, famous for, among other things, rising out of the waves in all manner of clingy board shorts and glistening like a Roman deity. But a few years back, in the wake of a family tragedy, he dropped from the public eye and went off the grid.
They’ve got a secret.
When Jack’s mom gets sick, he comes home to the family’s Texas ranch to help out. Only one catch: He doesn’t want his family to know about his stalker. Or the bodyguard thing. And so Hannah—against her will and her better judgment—finds herself pretending to be Jack’s girlfriend as a cover. Even though her ex, like a jerk, says no one will believe it.
What could possibly go wrong???
Hannah hardly believes it, herself. But the more time she spends with Jack, the more real it all starts to seem. And there lies the heartbreak. Because it’s easy for Hannah to protect Jack. But protecting her own, long-neglected heart? That’s the hardest thing she’s ever done.
I discovered this new release via the author’s newsletter, due out in July and a library audiobook hopeful. I’ve become a recent fan.
In a suspenseful collection of stories featuring fierce women—including one never-before-published novella—New York Times bestseller Laura Lippman showcases why she is one of today’s top crime writers.
The award-winning master of psychological suspense is in top form in this collection of diverse and diabolically clever stories.
In the never-before-published “Just One More,” a married couple—longing for that old romantic spark—creates a playful diversion that comes with unexpected consequences.
Lippman’s beloved Baltimore PI Tess Monaghan keeps a watchful eye on a criminally resourceful single father in “Seasonal Work,” while her mother, Judith, realizes that the life of “The Everyday Housewife” is an excellent cover for all kinds of secrets.
In “Slow Burner,” a husband’s secret cell phone proves to be a dicey temptation for a suspicious wife.
A father’s hidden past piques the curiosity of a young snoop in “The Last of Sheila-Locke Holmes.”
Plus seven other brilliantly crafted stories of deception, murder, dangerous games, and love gone wrong—irrefutable evidence that Laura Lippman’s riveting fiction will more than satisfy any crime reader.
When this showed up at my library, I quickly jumped in the queue for the audiobook. I love short stories and am a fan of the author.
Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.
Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection.
But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had unite with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?
A Clue-like, locked-room mystery and a heartwarming journey of the spirit, The Maid explores what it means to be the same as everyone else and yet entirely different—and reveals that all mysteries can be solved through connection to the human heart
I had pretty much ignored this book until one of my trusted Goodreads friends reviewed it and convinced me to add it. I’m in the library queue for the audiobook.
Welcome to Queens, where streets echo with languages from all over the globe, subways rumble above dollar stores, trees bloom and topple over sidewalks, and the funky scent of the Atlantic Ocean wafts in from Rockaway Beach. Within one of New York City’s most vibrant and eclectic boroughs, young women of color like Nadira, Gabby, Naz, Trish, Angelique, and countless others, attempt to reconcile their immigrant backgrounds with the American culture in which they come of age. Here, they become friends for life – or so they vow.
Exuberant and wild, together they roam The City That Never Sleeps, sing Mariah Carey at the tops of their lungs, yearn for crushes who pay them no mind – and break the hearts of those who do – all while trying to heed their mothers’ commands to be obedient daughters. But as they age, their paths diverge and rifts form between them, as some choose to remain on familiar streets, while others find themselves ascending in the world, beckoned by existences foreign and seemingly at odds with their humble roots.
A blazingly original debut novel told by a chorus of unforgettable voices, Brown Girls illustrates a collective portrait of childhood, adulthood, and beyond, and is a striking exploration of female friendship, a powerful depiction of women of color attempting to forge their place in the world today. For even as the conflicting desires of ambition and loyalty, freedom and commitment, adventure, and stability risk dividing them, it is to one another – and to Queens – that the girls ultimately return.
This showed up at my library and I was highly intrigued. It’s a short queue for the audiobook.
Casey Fletcher, a recently widowed actress trying to escape a streak of bad press, has retreated to the peace and quiet of her family’s lake house in Vermont. Armed with a pair of binoculars and several bottles of liquor, she passes the time watching Tom and Katherine Royce, the glamorous couple who live in the house across the lake. They make for good viewing—a tech innovator, Tom is rich; and a former model, Katherine is gorgeous.
One day on the lake, Casey saves Katherine from drowning, and the two strike up a budding friendship. But the more they get to know each other—and the longer Casey watches—it becomes clear that Katherine and Tom’s marriage is not as perfect and placid as it appears. When Katherine suddenly vanishes, Casey becomes consumed with finding out what happened to her. In the process, she uncovers eerie, darker truths that turn a tale of voyeurism and suspicion into a story of guilt, obsession and how looks can be very deceiving.
With his trademark blend of sharp characters, psychological suspense, and gasp-worthy surprises, Riley Sager’s The House Across the Lake unveils more than one twist that will shock readers until the very last page.
I saw this listed in a blogpost for anticipated releases and quickly recommended the audiobook for library purchase. The author is an auto read.
She thought she was safe. So did the others….
At loose ends after the devastating death of her mother, Una Richardson responds to an advertisement for a ladies’ companion, a position that leads her into the wealthy, secluded world of Mrs. Elspeth McKenzie.
But Elspeth’s home isn’t the comforting haven it seems.
Kathryn, her cold and bitter daughter, resents Una’s presence. More disturbing is evidence suggesting two girls lived here before her.
What happened to the young women?
Why won’t the McKenzies talk about them?
What are they hiding?
As the walls begin to close in around her, Una fears she’ll end up just like the other girls….
This was offered for audio review and I accepted because these kind of stories are like catnip for me.
The stunning new standalone thriller from international #1 bestseller Karin Slaughter
No need for a description for me to sign on this early. A library audiobook hopeful, scheduled for release in August.
What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?