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.
IT WAS JUST SUPPOSED TO BE A FAMILY VACATION.
A TERRIBLE ACCIDENT CHANGED EVERYTHING.
YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU’RE CAPABLE OF UNTIL THEY COME FOR YOUR FAMILY.
After moving from a small country town to Seattle, Heather Baxter marries Tom, a widowed doctor with a young son and teenage daughter. A working vacation overseas seems like the perfect way to bring the new family together, but once they’re deep in the Australian outback, the jet-lagged and exhausted kids are so over their new mom.
When they discover remote Dutch Island, off-limits to outside visitors, the family talks their way onto the ferry, taking a chance on an adventure far from the reach of iPhones and Instagram.
But as soon as they set foot on the island, which is run by a tightly knit clan of locals, everything feels wrong. Then a shocking accident propels the Baxters from an unsettling situation into an absolute nightmare.
When Heather and the kids are separated from Tom, they are forced to escape alone, seconds ahead of their pursuers.
Now it’s up to Heather to save herself and the kids, even though they don’t trust her, the harsh bushland is filled with danger, and the locals want her dead.
Heather has been underestimated her entire life, but she knows that only she can bring her family home again and become the mother the children desperately need, even if it means doing the unthinkable to keep them all alive.
SOON TO BE A HULU ORIGINAL SERIES
Thanks to Marialyce @ yayareads for including this in her message on last week’s post. This sounds exciting and is a library audiobook hopeful.
Jenry Castillo is a musical prodigy, raised by a single mother in Miami. He arrives at Brown University on a scholarship—but also to learn more about his late father, Jasper Patterson, a famous ballet dancer who died tragically when Jenry was two. On his search, he meets his estranged grandfather, Winston Patterson, a legendary professor of African American history and a fixture at the Ivy League school, who explodes his world with one question: Why is Jenry so focused on Jasper, when it was Winston’s daughter, Juliet, who was romantically involved with Jenry’s mother? Juliet is the parent he should be looking for—his other mother.
Revelation follows revelation as each member of Jenry’s family steps forward to tell the story of his origin, uncovering a web of secrecy that binds this family together even as it keeps them apart. Moving seamlessly between the past and the present, The Other Mother is a daring, ambitious novel that celebrates the complexities of love and resilience—masterfully exploring the intersections of race, class, and sexuality; the role of biology in defining who belongs to whom; and the complicated truth of what it means to be a family.
Unfurling in the most surprising and satisfying of ways, revelation follows revelation as each member of Jenry’s family peels back layers of a story that is at once deeply familiar—of first love, betrayal, and the selfishness of youth, of the beautiful, complicated love between parents and children—and also compelling in its centering of queer lives and people of color.
This was offered for audio review and I accepted because of the description and the narrator, January LaVoy.
Sometimes to truly know a person, you have to read between the lines.
Isabelle is completely lost. When she first began her career in publishing after college, she did not expect to be twenty-five, still living at home, and one of the few Black employees at her publishing house. Overworked and underpaid, constantly torn between speaking up or stifling herself, Izzy thinks there must be more to this publishing life. So when she overhears her boss complaining about a beastly high-profile author who has failed to deliver his long-awaited manuscript, Isabelle sees an opportunity to prove her worth and finally get the recognition she deserves. All she has to do is go to the author’s Santa Barbara mansion and give him a quick pep talk or three. How hard could it be?
But Izzy quickly finds out she is in over her head. Beau Towers is not some celebrity lightweight writing a tell-all memoir. He is jaded and withdrawn and—it turns out—just as lost as Izzy. But despite his standoffishness, Izzy needs Beau to deliver, and with her encouragement, his story begins to spill onto the page. They soon discover they have more in common than either of them expected, and as their deadline nears, Izzy and Beau begin to realize there may be something there that wasn’t there before.
Best-selling author Jasmine Guillory’s reimagining of a beloved fairy tale is a tale as old as time . . . for a new generation.
Thanks to Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra for this one. I loved her review and the audiobook showed up at my library the next day.
A freelance reporter is murdered in Philadelphia.
A tech billionaire is poisoned in a Tampa restaurant.
Are these seemingly random killings connected?
Former CIA officer Finn McIntyre is out of options. After being captured and tortured on a SEAL mission, he was left with a scarred face and a mountain of rage. Years of working undercover in a drug cartel have only augmented his ruthlessness and isolation. His best friends at Bishop Security have all but given up on him, and the one woman—the only woman—he has ever loved has let him go. Finn has to get his head straight or end up dead.
With no one to turn to and nowhere to go, Finn takes off and finds himself in the strange town of Purgatory, West Virginia. The whistlestop is haunted and entrancing, and soon Finn finds himself with a home rehab project, an older neighbor in need of his help, a judgemental wolf, and a loitering little boy. Purgatory is a town full of secrets, and Finn is determined to unravel them while exorcising his own demons.
Charlotte Devlin—Twitch to those who know her—fell in love with Finn seven years ago. Before he was captured, before he became an angry, heartless man, before he discarded her like a regrettable one-night stand. If she hadn’t welcomed him into her bed that final time, maybe she could forget about him. Unfortunately, the baby growing inside of her makes that impossible.
To make matters worse, Twitch can’t stop the constant anxious feeling that she is being watched. When it becomes clear that someone is trying to harm her—and that the suspect is much more than an obsessed stalker—Twitch is forced to turn to the one man who can help her uncover what is really going on and keep her safe.
Finn and Charlotte finally realize their love was meant to be, but can they stop a madman threatening to take it all away?
I love my Indie authors and this is one of my favorites! She just released the fourth book in her Bishop Security series and I’ll be reading it shortly. I implore you to read the first book, False Front, and you’ll be as hooked as I am.
Revisit the packhorse librarians of Kentucky with this stunning companion to the New York Times bestseller The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek.
In the ruggedness of the beautiful Kentucky mountains, Honey Lovett has always known that the old ways can make a hard life harder. As the daughter of the famed blue-skinned, Troublesome Creek packhorse librarian, Honey and her family have been hiding from the law all her life. But when her mother and father are imprisoned, Honey realizes she must fight to stay free, or risk being sent away for good.
Picking up her mother’s old packhorse library route, Honey begins to deliver books to the remote hollers of Appalachia. Honey is looking to prove that she doesn’t need anyone telling her how to survive. But the route can be treacherous, and some folks aren’t as keen to let a woman pave her own way.
If Honey wants to bring the freedom books provide to the families who need it most, she’s going to have to fight for her place, and along the way, learn that the extraordinary women who run the hills and hollers can make all the difference in the world.
This sequel showed up at my library and I quickly grabbed the audiobook.
When the Seoul police inform Min that his girlfriend Yu-jin has committed suicide, he’s sure it can’t be true. She was successful, ambitious, happy, just on the cusp of graduating from university and claiming the future she’d always dreamed of.
Min, on the other hand, born to an American father and Korean mother, has never felt quite the same certainty as Yu-jin about his life’s path. After growing up in California, where he always felt “too Korean” to fit in, he’s moved to Seoul in the hope that exploring his Korean heritage will help him find a sense of purpose. And when he meets Yu-jin, little does he know that their carefree relationship will set off a chain of events with tragic consequences for them both.
Devastated by Yu-jin’s death, Min throws himself into finding out why she could have secretly wanted to die. Or did she? With a controlling and powerful government official father, and a fraught friendship with her alluring and destructive roommate So-ra, Yu-jin’s life was much more complex than she chose to reveal to Min. And the more he learns about her, the more he begins to doubt he ever really knew her at all.
As Yu-jin’s story—a fraught exploration of selfhood, coming-of-age, and family expectations—collides with Min’s, the result is an engrossing thriller that poses powerful, urgent questions about cultural identity, family bonds, secrets, and what it truly means to belong.
I haven’t heard of the author but when this book landed at my library, I was intrigued enough to take a chance.
She was beautiful: shiny blond hair, crystal blue eyes and the widest smile Nikki had ever seen. She thought back to what she had seen in the ground, the dirt that caked the white bones. All that remained of her now was the silver locket that was still around her neck…
When construction workers unearth a girl’s skeleton in Stillwater, Minnesota, Special Agent Nikki Hunt is called to the scene by her boyfriend Rory. Nikki knows instantly that the girl was murdered, but she is shocked when Rory immediately recognizes her. The victim was his childhood sweetheart, Becky, and he was the last person to see her before she went missing twenty-four years ago.
With the love of her life now a potential suspect, Nikki is forced to take a step back from the case. But then her colleague Liam finds lies in Rory’s statement – it appears that Becky may have been carrying Rory’s child when she was killed. Despite this, Nikki still thinks he could be innocent, and knows she must find the real killer herself if Rory stands any chance of walking free.
When Nikki finds a potential link to two pregnant girls who were found murdered years before it’s clear that this is the most twisted killer that she has ever faced. And then another girl goes missing from Stillwater. Can Nikki unearth the truth and protect the man she loves? And will she find the missing girl in time to save her life?
A dark and twisty crime thriller that will make you hold your breath as you race towards the end. The Girl in the Ground is an unputdownable new mystery for fans of Lisa Regan, Robert Dugoni and Willow Rose.
I’ve been a fan of this author since her Indie writing days and am collecting all the books in her current series, Nikki Hunt. This fourth book is currently on sale for $.99 at Amazon and of course I bought it.
Evvie Drake Starts Over meets Beach Read in this heartwarming and hilarious novel about a divorced romance channel screenwriter whose script about her marriage’s collapse just might help her reclaim her life and find love.
Nora’s life is about to get a rewrite…
Nora Hamilton knows the formula for love better than anyone. As a romance channel screenwriter, it’s her job. But when her too-good-to work husband leaves her and their two kids, Nora turns her marriage’s collapse into cash and writes the best script of her life. No one is more surprised than her when it’s picked up for the big screen and set to film on location at her 100-year-old-home. When former Sexiest Man Alive, Leo Vance, is cast as her ne’er do well husband Nora’s life will never be the same.
The morning after shooting wraps and the crew leaves, Nora finds Leo on her porch with a half-empty bottle of tequila and a proposition. He’ll pay a thousand dollars a day to stay for a week. The extra seven grand would give Nora breathing room, but it’s the need in his eyes that makes her say yes. Seven days: it’s the blink of an eye or an eternity depending on how you look at it. Enough time to fall in love. Enough time to break your heart.
Filled with warmth, wit, and wisdom, Nora Goes Off Script is the best kind of love story–the real kind where love is complicated by work, kids, and the emotional baggage that comes with life. For Nora and Leo, this kind of love is bigger than the big screen.
Thanks to Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra for featuring this book in her Can’t Wait Wednesday post. I love the sound of this one and it’s a library audiobook hopeful.
What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?