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.
A gut-wrenching, startling window into communist Romania and the citizen spy network that devastated a nation, from the number one New York Times best-selling, award-winning author of Salt to the Sea and Between Shades of Gray.
Romania, 1989. Communist regimes are crumbling across Europe. Seventeen-year-old Cristian Florescu dreams of becoming a writer, but Romanians aren’t free to dream; they are bound by rules and force.
Amidst the tyrannical dictatorship of Nicolae Ceaușescu in a country governed by isolation and fear, Cristian is blackmailed by the secret police to become an informer. He’s left with only two choices: betray everyone and everything he loves—or use his position to creatively undermine the most notoriously evil dictator in Eastern Europe.
Cristian risks everything to unmask the truth behind the regime, give voice to fellow Romanians, and expose to the world what is happening in his country. He eagerly joins the revolution to fight for change when the time arrives. But what is the cost of freedom?
I’m a fan of the author but had missed this one. Thanks to Holly @ Dressed to Read for her convincing review. A library audiobook hopeful.
Making a case for love has never been so complicated in this fresh, funny rivals-to-lovers romance.
Perdie Stone needs just three things in life: Her forever best friend, Lucille. Their adorable rescue pug, Bananas. And last but not least, a coveted partnership at her Charleston law firm.
A partnership she more than deserves when she goes head-to-head with hotshot Ivy League attorney Carter Leplan on a big case and comes out on top. She didn’t think anything would feel better than beating the annoyingly gorgeous lawyer at his own game, but that’s before a freak storm leaves them both stranded.
In the last hotel room.
With only one bed.
It’s a one-night stand Perdie isn’t soon to forget…especially after Carter turns up at her firm and slides right into the job that should have been hers. And right back into her life—a life she thought she had all figured out.
The author requested a review and I accepted after reading the description. It’s a rarity that I accept requests from new-to-me authors because of my backlog!
Ten years ago, Abigail Lovett fell into a job she loves, managing The Passage Inn, a cozy, upscale resort nestled in the North Carolina mountain town of Cutter’s Pass. Cutter’s Pass is best known for its outdoor offerings—rafting and hiking, with access to the Appalachian trail by way of a gorgeous waterfall—and its mysterious history. As the book begins, the string of unsolved disappearances that has haunted the town is once again thrust into the spotlight when journalist Landon West, who was staying at the inn to investigate the story of the vanishing trail, then disappears himself.
Abby has sometimes felt like an outsider within the community, but she’s come to view Cutter’s Pass as her home. When Landon’s brother Trey shows up looking for answers, Abby can’t help but feel the town closing ranks. And she’s still on the outside. When she finds incriminating evidence that may bring them closer to the truth, Abby soon discovers how little she knows about her coworkers, neighbors, and even those closest to her.
Thanks to a Goodreads friend for the heads up on this one, expected to be released in July. An audio review hopeful, it’s from a favorite author.
They have a second chance at love, but there are some rough seas ahead in the new contemporary romance from the acclaimed author of Love, Lists, and Fancy Ships
Commitment-phobe Nina Lejeune lives by two rules:
1. Always have fun.
2. Don’t rely on anyone but yourself.
The first rule is easy; the second, she’s only broken once.
Ten years after fleeing home, Nina is the chief stewardess on the super yacht Serendipity, single by choice, and perfectly content with how life has turned out.
But Nina’s ex-coworker and old flame, Irish chef Ollie Dunne, isn’t so happy with the status quo. One year after leaving yachting, he’s returned as the Serendipity’s chef with an ultimatum: if Nina continues to deny she’s in love with him by the end of this charter season, he’ll go back to Ireland for good.
Nina and Ollie’s shared secret from their past threatens to shipwreck not only their relationship, but the entire boat. But as their connection grows amidst chaotic guests and crew drama, could there be smooth sailing in their future?
Yes, it’s Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra and her latest Can’t Wait Wednesday selection! It’s the second book in the author’s series.
The Earl of Wrexford possesses a brilliant scientific mind, but boredom and pride lead him to reckless behavior. He does not suffer fools gladly. So when pompous, pious Reverend Josiah Holworthy publicly condemns him for debauchery, Wrexford unsheathes his rapier-sharp wit and strikes back. As their war of words escalates, London’s most popular satirical cartoonist, A. J. Quill, skewers them both. But then the clergyman is found slain in a church – his face burned by chemicals, his throat slashed ear to ear – and Wrexford finds himself the chief suspect.
An artist in her own right, Charlotte Sloane has secretly slipped into the persona of her late husband, using his nom de plume, A. J. Quill. When Wrexford discovers her true identity, she fears it will be her undoing. But he has a proposal – use her sources to unveil the clergyman’s clandestine involvement in questionable scientific practices and unmask the real murderer. Soon Lord Wrexford and the mysterious Mrs. Sloane plunge into a dangerous shadow world hidden among London’s intellectual enclaves to trap a cunning adversary – before they fall victim to the next experiment in villainy.
One of my Goodreads groups is in the process of selecting its next series group read and this one was nominated. I love historical mysteries and decided to get the first book on audio, even if it isn’t selected.
Six years ago, Miss Letitia Fenley made a mistake, and she’s lived with the consequences ever since. Readying herself to compete for the prestigious Rosewood Prize for Mathematics, she is suddenly asked to take on another responsibility—managing Athena’s Retreat, a secret haven for England’s women scientists. Having spent the last six years on her own, Letty doesn’t want the offers of friendship from other club members and certainly doesn’t need any help from the insufferably attractive Lord Greycliff.
Lord William Hughes, the Viscount Greycliff cannot afford to make any mistakes. His lifelong dream of becoming the director of a powerful clandestine agency is within his grasp. Tasked with helping Letty safeguard Athena’s Retreat, Grey is positive that he can control the antics of the various scientists as well as manage the tiny mathematician—despite their historic animosity and simmering tension.
As Grey and Letty are forced to work together, their mutual dislike turns to admiration and eventually to something… magnetic. When faced with the possibility that Athena’s Retreat will close forever, they must make a choice. Will Grey turn down a chance to change history, or can Letty get to the root of the problem and prove that love is the ultimate answer?
This showed up at my library and I grabbed the audiobook, the second in the series.
Alice Vega has made a career of finding the missing and vulnerable against a ticking clock, but she’s never had a case like Zeb Williams, missing for over thirty years. It was 1984, and the big Cal-Stanford football game was tied with seconds left on the clock. Zeb Williams grabbed the ball and ran the wrong way, through the marching band, off the field and out of the stadium. He disappeared into legend, replete with Elvis-like sightings and a cult following.
Zeb’s cold trail leads Vega to southern Oregon, where she discovers an anxious community living under siege by a local hate group called the Liberty Boys. As Vega starts digging into the past, the mystery around Zeb’s disappearance grows deeper, and the reach of the Liberty Boys grows more disturbing. Everyone has something to hide, and no one can cut to the truth like Alice Vega. But this time, her partner Max Caplan has his own problems at home, and the trouble Vega finds might be too much for her to handle.
Louisa Luna understands suspense, tension, and character like only the best writers in crime fiction do–and she may well write the best interrogations in the genre. Hideout is pure adrenaline and Luna’s most intimate thriller yet, a classic cold case wrapped in a timely confrontation with a terrifyingly real network of white supremacists and homegrown terrorists.
I discovered news of the upcoming release of this third book in the series from Anne @ Books of My Heart. This is one of my favorite series and it’s a library audiobook hopeful.
As a young mother with a toddler and a live-in boyfriend, Maggie Fisher’s job at a checkout counter in downtown Phoenix doesn’t afford her much financial flexibility. She dreams of going to college and becoming a teacher, options she squandered when she fled her family home as a teenager. When Maggie stumbles onto an ad offering thousands of dollars to women who are willing to gestate other people’s babies, she at first finds the concept laughable. Before long, however, she’s been seduced by all the ways the extra money could improve her life. Once she decides to go for it, it’s only a matter of months before she’s chosen as a gestational carrier by Chip and Donovan Rigsdale, a married couple from New York.
After delivering twin babies and proudly handing them off to the Rigsdales, Maggie finally gets her life on a positive trajectory: she earns her degree, lands a great job, and builds a family of her own. She can’t fathom why, ten years after the fact, the fertility clinic is calling to ask for a follow-up DNA test.
High-energy and immensely readable, He Gets That from Me explores what it really means to be part of a family.
This just showed up at my library, scheduled for release in March. Sounds intriguing and I’m in a short queue for when it’s released.
A simple sting operation takes a violent and unexpected turn for Detective Eve Ronin in a gripping thriller by #1 ‘New York Times’ best-selling author Lee Goldberg.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detective Eve Ronin and her soon-to-retire partner, Duncan Pavone, are running a 24-7 sting in a guard-gated enclave of palatial homes in Calabasas. Their luxury McMansion is a honey trap, set to lure in the violent home invaders terrorizing the community. The trap works, leaving three intruders dead, a body count that nearly includes Eve and Duncan.
Eve’s bosses are eager to declare the case closed, but there are too many unanswered questions for her to let go. Was the trap actually for her, bloody payback for Eve’s very public takedown of a clique of corrupt deputies? Or is there an even deadlier secret lurking behind those opulent gates? Eve’s refusal to back down and her relentless quest for the truth make her both the hunter…and the prey.
One of my trusted Goodreads friends just binged through the series. I’d already added the first two and she inspired me to go ahead with the third.
What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?