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.
The highly anticipated new thriller from the bestselling author of The Perfect Marriage.
Opulence. Sex. Betrayal … Sometimes friendship can be deadly.
Meet the women of Buckhead—a place of expensive cars, huge houses, and competitive friendships.
Shannon was once the queen bee of Buckhead. But she’s been unceremoniously dumped by Bryce, her politician husband. When Bryce replaces her with a much younger woman, Shannon sets out to take revenge …
Crystal has stepped into Shannon’s old shoes. A young, innocent Texan girl, she simply has no idea what she’s up against …
Olivia has waited years to take Shannon’s crown as the unofficial queen of Buckhead. Finally, her moment has come. But to take her rightful place, she will need to use every backstabbing, manipulative, underhand trick in the book …
Jenny owns Glow, the most exclusive salon in town. Jenny knows all her clients’ secrets and darkest desires. But will she ever tell?
Who amongst these women will be clever enough to survive Buckhead—and who will wind up dead? They say that friendships can be complex, but no one said it could ever be this deadly.
Thanks to Marialyce @ yayareads for including this title in her message on last week’s post. After reading the description, I added it. It’s a library audiobook hopeful.
Rosemary’s Baby meets The Return in Just Like Mother, Anne Heltzel’s suspenseful modern gothic debut
A girl would be such a blessing…
The last time Maeve saw her cousin was the night she escaped the cult they were raised in. For the past two decades, Maeve has worked hard to build a normal life in New York City, where she keeps everything—and everyone—at a safe distance.
When Andrea suddenly reappears, Maeve regains the only true friend she’s ever had. Soon she’s spending more time at Andrea’s remote Catskills estate than in her own cramped apartment. Maeve doesn’t even mind that her cousin’s wealthy work friends clearly disapprove of her single lifestyle. After all, Andrea has made her fortune in the fertility industry—baby fever comes with the territory.
The more Maeve immerses herself in Andrea’s world, the more disconnected she feels from her life back in the city; and the cousins’ increasing attachment triggers memories Maeve has fought hard to bury. But confronting the terrors of her childhood may be the only way for Maeve to transcend the nightmare still to come…
Another book I added because of Marialyce @ yayareads message post from last week. Scheduled for release in May, it’s a library audiobook hopeful.
Based on the remarkable true story of the Carpathia—the only ship and her legendary captain who answered the distress call of the sinking Titanic.
Just after midnight on April 15, 1912, the passenger steamship Carpathia receives a distress signal from the largest passenger liner ever built, RMS Titanic, which is on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York.
Captain Arthur Rostron is awakened to an enormous maritime emergency with little information to guide his actions in answering the call for help. Is the dire threat to the unsinkable Titanic accurate? His ship is more than four hours away; will Carpathia hold together if pushed to never-before-tested speeds? What if his ship also strikes an iceberg? How many of Titanic’s 2,200 passengers will the Carpathia be able to accommodate? And with the freezing temperatures, will there be any survivors by the time the Carpathia arrives?
Kate Connolly is excited to join her sister in America and proud to be traveling on the grand Titanic, which was built in her Irish homeland. As a passenger in third-class accommodations, she is among the last to receive instruction and help after Titanic hits an iceberg. Among the chaos of abandoning ship, the chances of her securing a spot in a lifeboat appear grim. With the help of several men, also from Ireland, Kate finally reaches the upper decks and feels lucky to board Lifeboat 13, although no one knows if or when a rescue ship will come. She fears the icy water and wonders if they’ll all freeze to death. After seeing their magnificent ship submerge into the abyss, and hearing the cries of hundreds of fellow passengers drowning, it is almost too much to bear, and Kate fleetingly thinks succumbing to her ordeal is the easiest escape.
Told in alternating chapters from the perspective of Captain Rostron on the Carpathia and Kate Connolly on the Titanic, this historical novel is a compelling, heart-pounding account of two eyewitnesses to an epic disaster. Rostron’s heroic and compassionate leadership, his methodical preparations for rescue, and his grit and determination to act honorably and selflessly to save lives and care for the survivors, sets the course for this awe-inspiring story.
And yet another book from Marialyce @ yayareads message post! This sounds SO good and I’ve been fascinated with all things Titanic since I was a child. A library audiobook hopeful.
In this new novella from the number one internationally best-selling author of The Sisters and The Murder Rule, Dervla McTiernan, a mother and son fighting to prove her innocence are reunited with an estranged friend—a detective who may hold the key to her freedom—as they’re forced to put their differences aside to uncover the shocking truth behind the crime.
When Clara Coleman is taken into custody, her teenage son, Sebastien, wastes no time before calling Simon Miller: an estranged family friend and detective in their old hometown of Hartford, Connecticut. Clara’s been arrested for the murder of Rachel Stapleton, a wealthy housewife and prominent figure in Lavender Valley, their well-to-do New Jersey suburb. But she swears she did not commit the crime.
Simon knows that Clara is not capable of murder and will do anything he can to prove her innocence—he’s felt indebted to the Coleman family since her husband, Will, Simon’s best friend, passed away years before. He arrives in Lavender Valley and hits the ground running on the case. With time, details surrounding the crime as well as the Colemans’ family history are revealed, unravelling the complex web of cause and effect that will finally bring the truth to light.
This is free with my Audible membership from an author I’m beginning to read. It’s only ~ 4 hours.
The summer before Sally Holt starts the eighth grade begins as a gloriously uneventful one, full of family trips to the beach and long afternoons at the local pool with her older sister, Kathy, which they mostly use as an excuse to ogle Billy Barnes, who works the concession stand there. A rising senior and local basketball star, Billy has been an unending source of intrigue for both girls since he jumped off the school roof in fifth grade, and their fascination with him is one of the few things the increasingly different sisters have in common. By summer’s end, Billy and Kathy are an item – an unthinkable stroke of luck that ends in an even more unthinkable tragedy.
Set over the course of 15 years, Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance is narrated by Sally as she addresses Kathy before, during, and after Kathy’s death. We watch as Kathy’s absence creates a gaping hole that only Billy – now firmly off limits to Sally – understands and might possibly begin to fill. Charting years of their shared history and missed connections, Notes is both a breathtaking love story between two broken people who are unexplainably, inconveniently drawn to each other, and a wry, sharply observant coming-of-age story that looks at the ways the people we love the most continue to shape our lives long after they’re gone.
This is the last book I added based on the message post by Marialyce @ yayareads. There’s a reason why we’re friends😏 Also a library audiobook hopeful scheduled for release in May.
Slough House is a dumping ground for British intelligence agents who’ve screwed up cases in any number of ways – by leaving a secret file on a train or blowing a surveillance. River Cartwright, one such “slow horse”, is bitter about his failure and about his tedious assignment transcribing cell phone conversations.
When a young man is abducted and his kidnappers threaten to broadcast his beheading live on the Internet, River sees an opportunity to redeem himself.
Is the victim whom he first appears to be? And what’s the kidnappers’ connection with a disgraced journalist? As the clock ticks on the execution, River finds that everyone has his own agenda.
I hadn’t heard of this book or series until the announcement of the new Apple TV+. I’m definitely planning to watch the series but want to read the first book before I start. Plus, it’s something my hubby is willing to watch with me. Thanks to my library for the audiobook
Just weeks away from ditching DC for greener pastures, Solange Pereira is roped into helping her wedding planner cousin on a random couple’s big day. It’s an easy gig… until Solange stumbles upon a situation that convinces her the pair isn’t meant to be. What’s a true-blue romantic to do? Crash the wedding, of course. And ensure the unsuspecting groom doesn’t make the biggest mistake of his life.
Dean Chapman had his future all mapped out. He was about to check off “start a family” and on track to “make partner” when his modern day marriage of convenience went up in smoke. Then he learns he might not land an assignment that could be his ticket to a promotion unless he has a significant other and, in a moment of panic, Dean claims to be in love with the woman who crashed his wedding. Oops.
Now Dean has a whole new item on his to-do list: beg Solange to be his pretend girlfriend. Solange feels a tiny bit bad about ruining Dean’s wedding, so she agrees to play along. Yet as they fake-date their way around town, what started as a performance for Dean’s colleagues turns into a connection that neither he nor Solange can deny. Their entire romance is a sham… there’s no way these polar opposites could fall in love for real, right?
This showed up at my library and I grabbed it after reading the description. I love the fake relationship trope.
Lady Emily Turner has been a debutante for six seasons now and should have long settled into a suitable marriage. However, due to her father’s large debts, her only suitor is the persistent and odious owner of her father’s favorite gambling house. Meanwhile, Lord Julian Belfry, the second son of a marquess, has scandalized society as an actor and owner of a theater—the kind of establishment where men take their mistresses, but not their wives. When their lives intersect at a house party, Lord Julian hatches a plan to benefit them both.
With a marriage of convenience, Emily will use her society connections to promote the theater to a more respectable clientele and Julian will take her out from under the shadows of her father’s unsavory associates. But they soon realize they have very different plans for their marriage—Julian wants Emily to remain a society wife, while Emily discovers an interest in the theater. But when a fleeing actress, murderous kitten, and meddlesome friends enter the fray, Emily and Julian will have to confront the fact that their marriage of convenience comes with rather inconvenient feelings.
This third book in the series showed up at my library this week!
Three Mrs. Greys Series
One wealthy businessman, a trio of unsuspecting wives, and an explosive turn of events. In this scandalous, twist-filled new series from Shelly Ellis, will too many secrets and one devastating bond unite three women–or destroy them?
Noelle. Diamond. Vanessa. Each woman believes she is Cyrus Grey’s only wife–until he’s nearly shot to death. Now, as he lies in a coma, the deceptions keep coming, unraveling everything they thought they knew…
Gorgeous model Noelle’s marriage to Cyrus anchored her–though she couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t have a baby with her. They certainly had the money. But she’s learning fast just how Cyrus became so rich–thanks to his fatally attractive business partner…
For Diamond, marrying Cyrus saved her from the streets–and being a pimp’s punching bag. But her past makes her the police’s prime suspect in Cyrus’s shooting. She’s determined to get to the truth–if she can she survive long enough to tell it . . .
Even with her beautiful house, three kids, and elegant lifestyle, Vanessa sensed something was wrong in her marriage. But she never expected this–or that taking a lover for comfort would change the game completely.
With danger closing in, Cyrus’s life hanging in the balance, and collateral damage threatening to take them all down, how far will each woman go to be the real Mrs. Grey?
Diamond. Noelle. Vanessa. As Cyrus Grey recovers from a near-fatal shooting, the women who each thought they were his only wife are fighting hard to make new dreams—even if it means going one dangerous step too far….
On trial for Cyrus’s shooting, Diamond is determined to clear her name—and get back the husband she still loves. But uncovering the truth will reveal more secrets than she ever imagined. And unexpected desire is bringing them all too close to home….
Beautiful Noelle has found happiness with new love Tariq. But Cyrus’ scheming confronts her with an unthinkable conspiracy—and an impossible choice to save all she hopes for….
As seemingly sweet suburban wife Vanessa helps Cyrus recover, she’s about to finish him off for good—and keep the expensive lifestyle she earned. But her manipulations will push her up against two relentless—and all-too-intimate-enemies….
Now with lethal agendas clashing, passions high, and everyone’s future on the line, which rules will each woman break to finally end the past—and who will survive to secure everything?
I was offered the second book for audio review and became intrigued! I’m hoping my library purchases the first audiobook soon but I believe I’ll use an Audible credit for it instead.
A Korean-American adoptee fights to be with the one she loves while coming to terms with her new identity in this enthralling romantic drama and sequel to Heart and Seoul by USA Todaybest-selling author Jen Frederick.
When Hara Wilson lands in Seoul to find her birth mother, she doesn’t plan on falling in love with the first man she lays eyes on, but Choi Yujun is irresistible. If his broad shoulders and dimples weren’t enough, Choi Yujun is the most genuine, decent, gorgeous guy to exist. Too bad he’s also her stepbrother.
Fate brought her to the Choi doorstep, but the gift of family comes with burdens. A job in her mother’s company has perks of endless company dinners and super-resentful coworkers. A new country means learning a new language, which 25-year-old Hara is finding to be a Herculean task. A forbidden love means having to choose between her birth family or Choi Yujun.
All Hara wanted was to find a place to belong in this world – but in order to have it all, she’ll have to risk it all.
I was thrilled when this sequel showed up at my library.
1967 Iowa. Nursing school roommates BettyKay and Kitty don’t have much in common. A farmer’s daughter, BettyKay has risked her family’s disapproval to make her dreams come true away from her small rural town. Cosmopolitan Kitty has always relied on her beauty and smarts to get by and to hide a devastating secret from the past that she can’t seem to outrun. Yet the two share a determination to prove themselves in a changing world, forging an unlikely, powerful bond on a campus unkind to women.
Before their first year is up, tragedy strikes, and the women’s paths are forced apart. But against all odds, a decades-long friendship forms, persevering through love, marriage, failure and death, from the jungles of Vietnam to the glamorous circles of Hollywood. Until one snowy night leads their relationship to the ultimate crossroads.
Fifty years later, two estranged sisters are shocked when a famous movie star shows up at their mother’s funeral. Over one tumultuous weekend, the women must reckon with a dazzling truth about their family that will alter their lives forever…
I’m a big fan of the author’s contemporary romances written under the pseudonym Molly O’Keefe and am just as big a fan of her move to contemporary fiction. This is an audio review hopeful, scheduled for release in December. I’m signing on early.
First comes love. Then comes murder.
Lucas Forester didn’t hate his wife. Michelle was brilliant, sophisticated, and beautiful. Sure, she had extravagant spending habits, that petty attitude, a total disregard for anyone below her status. But she also had a lot to offer. Most notably: wealth that only the one percent could comprehend.
For years, Lucas has been honing a flawless plan to inherit Michelle’s fortune. Unfortunately, it involves taking a hit out on her.
Every track is covered, no trace left behind, and now Lucas plays the grieving husband so well he deserves an award. But when a shocking photo and cryptic note show up on his doorstep, Lucas goes from hunter to prey.
Someone is on to him. And they’re closing in.
Told with dark wit and a sharply feminist sensibility, Never Coming Home is a terrifying tale of duplicity that will have you side-eyeing your spouse as you dash to the breathtaking end.
I’ve signed on for the blog tour but am waiting for the audio version. It sounds deliciously good.
Three wives, one letter, an explosive secret that will change everything.
He said, she said. Who do you believe?
Jessica, Stephanie and Priyanka are complete strangers, but they have one thing in common: more than two decades ago, unbeknownst to them, their husbands committed a sexual assault. Or was it something else—a night of drunken regrets, just a horrible misunderstanding? It was a secret that remained buried for years.
One unsuspecting morning, the women each receive a letter from someone accusing their husbands of this terrible act and claiming to be the daughter born from the crime. Their worlds suddenly turned upside down, they don’t know who to trust—a complete stranger, or the men they love and built their lives with. The three women come together to embark on a hunt for the truth, but they are hardly prepared for what they will discover. Who is the real victim, and will justice ultimately be served?
Another blog tour sign on where I’m waiting for the audiobook. I’m unfamiliar with the author but the description is just too tempting.
Marlowe Banks’s life has come apart at the seams. Her engagement ended abruptly. Her latest costume design was shredded by critics. Her student loans are overdue. Her parents have never been more disappointed. Desperate to hide from her failures, Marlowe flees New York City to embrace invisibility in Los Angeles as a menial Production Assistant on a popular TV show. While sorting socks and taking care of her boss’ spoiled Weimaraner, no one can confront her poor artistic choices or the end of her engagement, the end her ex refuses to accept.
When a costume mix-up requires Marlowe to step into in a scene, the camera catches a heated look between her and Angus Gordon, the show’s arrogant bad boy, thrusting Marlowe into the spotlight. As the pair is forced together on set, Marlowe learns she’s not the only one hiding. Walls come down for both of them, revealing a life Marlowe isn’t sure she’s ready for, and when her past comes calling, she has to decide if she’s going to stay invisible or if it’s time for a redesign.
I received a NetGalley widget for this, which I rarely accept these days but love the sound of this one. It’s scheduled for release in October.
Four women. One family heirloom. A secret connection that will change their lives—and history as they know it.
Present Day: Julia Baxter’s wedding veil, bequeathed to her great-grandmother by a mysterious woman on a train in the 1930s, has passed through generations of her family as a symbol of a happy marriage. But on the morning of her wedding day, something tells her that even the veil’s good luck isn’t enough to make her marriage last forever. Overwhelmed and panicked, she escapes to the Virgin Islands to clear her head. Meanwhile, her grandmother Babs is also feeling shaken. Still grieving the death of her beloved husband, she decides to move out of the house they once shared and into a retirement community. Though she hopes it’s a new beginning, she does not expect to run into an old flame, dredging up the same complicated emotions she felt a lifetime ago.
1914: Socialite Edith Vanderbilt is struggling to manage the luxurious Biltmore Estate after the untimely death of her cherished husband. With 250 rooms to oversee and an entire village dependent on her family to stay afloat, Edith is determined to uphold the Vanderbilt legacy—and prepare her free-spirited daughter Cornelia to inherit it—in spite of her family’s deteriorating financial situation. But Cornelia has dreams of her own. Asheville, North Carolina has always been her safe haven away from the prying eyes of the press, but as she explores more of the rapidly changing world around her, she’s torn between upholding tradition and pursuing the exciting future that lies beyond Biltmore’s gilded gates.
My kind of story! It showed up at my library this week and I’m in a very short queue for the audiobook.
Bernie Raleigh is a failure at nearly everything he touches. Nobody notices a loser, and after being kidnapped for ransom as a child, Bernie has spent his adult life trying to avoid being noticed. That’s impossible now that he’s inherited his grandfather’s enormous fortune. The inheritance comes complete with a mansion, a lot of obligations, and a very problematic housekeeper named Meda Amos. Beauty queen, alien abductee, crypto-Jew, single mother–Meda is all those things, and she may be the only person who can help Bernie survive his new and very public life.
I became an instant fan of the author after listening to All the Ugly and Wonderful Things so when this older title was offered for audio review, I quickly accepted.
One warm summer night 25 years ago, Liza Gold and her friends celebrated their high school graduation with a party on the beach. It should have been the best night of their lives, only, one of them never came back out of the ocean.
The tragedy haunted Liza Gold for years. Now, Liza is a recently divorced working mom struggling to connect with her standoffish teenager daughter Zoe when history repeats itself. Another young woman has drowned at Beach Week, and this time the victim is Zoe’s secret best friend.
Liza begins to suspect that the two deaths are somehow related, which causes her to face hard truths and take an unflinching look at the people she’s called her closest friends for the past two decades. She must discover what really happened to both women before it’s too late.
Set in the upscale DC private school scene, where silence can easily be bought, All the Dirty Secrets asks how far you would go to protect your status and your family, and if some secrets should ever be revealed.
I’m a member of the publisher Macmillan Reading Insiders Club and this is one of the books offered for review. However, I’m holding out for the audio version as Hillary Huber is one of the narrators.
In Hayley Scrivenor’s Dirt Creek, a small-town debut mystery described as The Dry meets Everything I Never Told You, a girl goes missing and a community falls apart and comes together.
When 12-year-old Esther disappears on the way home from school in a small town in rural Australia, the community is thrown into a maelstrom of suspicion and grief. As Detective Sergeant Sarah Michaels arrives in town during the hottest spring in decades and begins her investigation, Esther’s tenacious best friend, Ronnie, is determined to find Esther and bring her home.
When schoolfriend Lewis tells Ronnie that he saw Esther with a strange man at the creek the afternoon she went missing, Ronnie feels she is one step closer to finding her. But why is Lewis refusing to speak to the police? And who else is lying about how much they know about what has happened to Esther?
Punctuated by a Greek chorus, which gives voice to the remaining children of the small, dying town, this novel explores the ties that bind, what we try and leave behind us, and what we can never outrun, while never losing sight of the question of what happened to Esther, and what her loss does to a whole town.
This was another book offered by the Macmillan Reading Insiders Club that I accepted. I’m also hoping that the audiobook is made available before the release date!
Sisters. Soul mates. Strangers.
Molly Raven lives a quiet, structured life in London, finding comfort in security and routine. Her identical twin, Katie, living in New York, is the exact opposite: outgoing, spontaneous, and adventurous.
But when Molly hears that Katie has died, possibly murdered, she is thrown into unfamiliar territory. As terrifying as it is, she knows she must travel across the ocean and find out what happened. But as she tracks her twin’s final movements, cracks begin to emerge, and she slowly realizes her sister was not who she thought she was and that there’s a dangerous web of deceit surrounding the two of them.
Thanks to Jacob @ Hooked From Page One for this one, an audio review hopeful. It sounds so, so good!
What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?