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.
Nearly a decade ago, iconic magician Violet Volk performed her greatest trick yet: vanishing mid-act. Though she hasn’t been seen since, her hold on the public imagination is stronger than ever. While Violet sought out the spotlight, her sister Sasha always had to be the responsible one, taking over their mother’s hair salon and building a quiet life for her beloved daughter, Quinn. But Sasha can never seem to escape her sister’s orbit or her memories of their unresolved, tumultuous relationship. Then there’s Cameron Frank, tapped to host a podcast devoted to all things Violet, who is determined to finally get his big break–even if he promised to land an exclusive interview with Sasha, the one person who definitely doesn’t want to talk to him.
As the ten-year anniversary approaches, the podcast picks up steam, and Cameron’s pursuit of Sasha becomes increasingly intrusive. He isn’t the only one wondering what secrets she might be keeping: Quinn, loyal to the aunt she always idolized, is doing her own investigating. Meanwhile, Sasha begins to experience an unsettling series of sleepwalking episodes and coincidences, which all seem to lead back to Violet. Pushed to her emotional limits, Sasha must finally confront the most painful truths about her sister, and herself, even at the risk of losing everything.
Alternating between Sasha’s narration and Cameron’s podcast transcripts, interspersed with documents that offer a tantalizing peek at Violet herself, Acts of Violet is an utterly original, propulsive story of fame, deception, and forgiveness that will make you believe in magic.
I learned of this book from Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books when it was featured in her Stacking the Shelves post. It’s a library audiobook hopeful scheduled for release in July.
Six summers to fall in love. One moment to fall apart. A weekend to get it right.
They say you can never go home again, and for Persephone Fraser, ever since she made the biggest mistake of her life a decade ago, that has felt too true. Instead of glittering summers on the lakeshore of her childhood, she spends them in a stylish apartment in the city, going out with friends, and keeping everyone a safe distance from her heart.
Until she receives the call that sends her racing back to Barry’s Bay and into the orbit of Sam Florek—the man she never thought she’d have to live without.
For six summers, through hazy afternoons on the water and warm summer nights working in his family’s restaurant and curling up together with books—medical textbooks for him and work-in-progress horror short stories for her—Percy and Sam had been inseparable. Eventually that friendship turned into something breathtakingly more, before it fell spectacularly apart.
When Percy returns to the lake for Sam’s mother’s funeral, their connection is as undeniable as it had always been. But until Percy can confront the decisions she made and the years she’s spent punishing herself for them, they’ll never know whether their love might be bigger than the biggest mistakes of their past.
Told over the course of six years and one weekend, Every Summer After is a big, sweeping nostalgic story of love and the people and choices that mark us forever.
Another book I learned of from Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books. Lucky me, it showed up at my library!
A child is shot while playing video games at home. His mother will stop at nothing to find out who did it—and why.
After their ten-year-old son, Chase, was senselessly murdered, Regan’s life unraveled. Her corporate lawyer husband, Grant, blamed the death on Regan’s work as a US marshal. Unable to reconcile their grief, they divorced, and Regan quit her job and moved away.
Now she’s back after a voice mail from her former boss Tommy said he had important news to share about Chase’s killing. Regan is stunned to learn Tommy is dead too. When she reaches out to Grant, his panicked reaction raises her suspicions. Then a lawyer with ties to her ex also turns up murdered, and the police make Grant their top suspect.
Unsure of his guilt or innocence, Regan risks everything to find Grant before the police do so she can finally get the answers to all that has haunted her since losing Chase. But the truth is not even close to what she imagines—and now she fears she has no one to trust.
I inadvertently stumbled upon this book, scheduled for release in January, when I was researching another series but for a different author. Good news because it’s the second book in a new series where I thought the first book was a standalone! It’s an audio review hopeful.
When a woman disappears with her two children, one husband will do anything to find them—even confront the secrets of his own past—in D. J. Palmer’s My Wife Is Missing, a twisty thriller from the author of The New Husband…
A family vacation turns into a nightmare for Michael Hart when he discovers his wife and two children have disappeared from their New York City hotel room. Horrified, he fears they’ve been kidnapped. Michael’s frantic search to find them takes a shocking turn when he discovers that his wife, Natalie, appears to have left quite willingly, taking their children with her. The police want to know why, and so does Michael. But there may be a reason why Natalie ran, something Michael can’t tell the police—the truth about his past.
While untangling his deceptions might be the key to locating Natalie, Michael knows it could also be his undoing. To find his wife, he must now turn to the one person capable of exposing all that he’s been hiding. Natalie thinks she has Michael all figured out and has hatched a plan to escape from him permanently. One detail, though, threatens to derail her efforts: sleep—or more accurately, the lack of it. Since the moment the shocking revelations about her husband came to light, Natalie’s insomnia has worsened to the point that she now suffers from delusions.
Are her fears about Michael valid—or a symptom of her condition? With her children’s lives at risk, the stakes for Natalie could not be higher. On her own, running low on energy and resources, avoiding increasingly close calls with Michael—who is on the hunt and closing in fast—Natalie needs someone to turn to for help. But who can she trust when she can’t even trust herself?
I’ve seen this book everywhere, including other book bloggers and reviews by Goodreads friends. The audiobook showed up at my library this week and I finally added and grabbed it.
Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular. But by the time she retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed 20 Slam titles. And if you ask Carrie, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father as her coach. Javier – a former champion himself – has trained her since the age of two.
But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning player named Nicki Chan.
At 37 years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record. Even if the sports media says that they never liked the “Battle-Axe” anyway. Even if her body doesn’t move as fast as it did. And even if it means swallowing her pride to train with a man she once almost opened her heart to: Bowe Huntley. Like her, he has something to prove before he gives up the game forever.
In spite of it all: Carrie Soto is back for one epic final season. In this riveting and unforgettable novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid tells her most vulnerable, emotional story yet.
I got a NetGalley email featuring this book by one of my most favorite auto read (listen) authors! Of course, I’m holding out for the audiobook, a library hopeful.
Alone in a hunting cabin, off-grid in an untamed wilderness. How does a marriage come to this?
After John disappeared while hunting-presumed dead from a bear attack-Cameron found the crime photos. His role in the recent Seattle serial murders was discovered. The media destroyed her reputation. She lost her dental practice, is on the brink of losing her home.
Everyone has a secret. But if her husband could hide the unimaginable from her, who’s to say he’s truly dead?
“What brings you so far from home?” the Alaska State Trooper had asked. The truth.
After reading the review by Yvo @ It’s All About Books, I really wanted this book and was thrilled to learn the audiobook was available for request at NetGalley. Fingers crossed 🤞 I get approved.
From UK bestselling author Gillian McAllister comes an astonishing, compulsively twisty psychological thriller about a mother who witnesses her teenage son stab a man and then seizes on an unconventional way to try to save him, deemed “perfection, every word, every moment” by Lisa Jewell.
Can you stop a murder after it’s already happened?
Late October. After midnight. You’re waiting up for your seventeen-year-old son. He’s late. As you watch from the window, he emerges, and you realize he isn’t alone: he’s walking toward a man, and he’s armed.
You can’t believe it when you see him do it: your funny, happy teenage son, he kills a stranger, right there on the street outside your house. You don’t know who. You don’t know why. You only know your son is now in custody. His future shattered.
That night you fall asleep in despair. All is lost. Until you wake . . .
. . . and it is yesterday.
And then you wake again . . .
. . . and it is the day before yesterday.
Every morning you wake up a day earlier, another day before the murder. With another chance to stop it. Somewhere in the past lies an answer. The trigger for this crime—and you don’t have a choice but to find it . . .
Thanks to Nicki @ Secret Library Book Blog for this one. It’s scheduled for release later this month and is a library audiobook hopeful.
When it comes to her sisters and their family’s event hotel, London Spark is willing to sacrifice almost everything, including her love for all things creative in exchange for the role of business administrator at the Spark House. So when a multi-million-dollar company asks for a meeting to discuss a potential partnership, London is determined to prove to herself and her sisters that she can win them over. She thinks she has the partnership in the bag until the company’s arrogant CEO hijacks her presentation.
Jackson Holt has lived his adult life avoiding relationships and focusing instead on his company and charity work. But when he met London months ago, he decided to take a chance, only for the timing to be wrong. So imagine his surprise when he walks past a conference room to see London again. Determined not to waste a second chance to get to know her, he inadvertently inserts himself into planning an event at the Spark House. While he may get to spend time with London, he realizes he needs to keep it within professional boundaries. But as soon as their event is over, all bets are off.
After spending months dating, but not really dating, and with their work entanglements over, London and Jackson are finally ready to take the next step in their relationship. But between Jackson’s secretive past and London’s struggle with her sisters, London must question where she really stands—not just with Jackson, but with the Spark House, too.
I was thrilled when this second book in the series showed up at my library! Of course, I grabbed it.
Netflix’s Inventing Anna and Hulu’s The Dropout meets Catch Me If You Can, a captivating novel about an ambitious young woman who gets trapped in a charismatic con artist’s scam.
A Most Anticipated by Entertainment Weekly, Marie Claire, Parade, Fortune, PopSugar, and more!
“[A] page-turner that’s hilarious in its dedication to vamping on viral news stories about real-life strivers and cons from Delvey to Instagram personality Caroline Calloway … a delicious read.”—TIME magazine
After a rough year at NYU, aspiring writer Lora Ricci is thrilled to land a summer internship at ELLE magazine where she meets Cat Wolff, contributing editor and enigmatic daughter of a clean-energy mogul. Cat takes Lora under her wing, soliciting her help with side projects and encouraging her writing.
As a friendship emerges between the two women, Lora opens up to Cat about her desperate struggles and lost scholarship. Cat’s solution: Drop out of NYU and become her ghostwriter. Lora agrees and, when the internship ends, she moves into Cat’s suite at the opulent Plaza Hotel. Writing during the day and accompanying Cat to extravagant parties at night, Lora’s life quickly shifts from looming nightmare to dream-come-true. But as Lora is drawn into Cat’s glamorous lifestyle, Cat’s perfect exterior cracks, exposing an illicit, shady world.
A whip-smart and delightfully inventive writer, Susan Rigetti brilliantly pieces together a perceptive, humorous caper full of sharp observations about scam culture. Composed of diary entries, emails, FBI correspondence, and more, Cover Story is a fresh, fun, and wholly original novel that takes listeners deep into the codependency and deceit found in a relationship built on power imbalance and lies.
I hadn’t heard of this until it showed up at my library but reviews from Goodreads friends confirmed the comparison to the Netflix Inventing Anna series and I was sold! I was fascinated by that story and am in a short queue for the audiobook.
Big Little Lies meets The Witches of Eastwick—a gloriously entertaining and knife-sharp feminist revenge fantasy about three women whose midlife crisis brings unexpected new powers—putting them on a collision course with the evil that lurks in their wealthy beach town.
In the Long Island oceanfront community of Mattauk, three different women discover that midlife changes bring a whole new type of empowerment…
After Nessa James’s husband dies and her twin daughters leave for college, she’s left all alone in a trim white house not far from the ocean. In the quiet of her late forties, the former nurse begins to hear voices. It doesn’t take long for Nessa to realize that the voices calling out to her belong to the dead—a gift she’s inherited from her grandmother, which comes with special responsibilities.
On the cusp of 50, suave advertising director Harriett Osborne has just witnessed the implosion of her lucrative career and her marriage. She hasn’t left her house in months, and from the outside, it appears as if she and her garden have both gone to seed. But Harriet’s life is far from over—in fact, she’s undergone a stunning and very welcome metamorphosis.
Ambitious former executive Jo Levison has spent thirty long years at war with her body. The free-floating rage and hot flashes that arrive with the beginning of menopause feel like the very last straw—until she realizes she has the ability to channel them, and finally comes into her power.
Guided by voices only Nessa can hear, the trio of women discover a teenage girl whose body was abandoned beside a remote beach. The police have written the victim off as a drug-addicted sex worker, but the women refuse to buy into the official narrative. Their investigation into the girl’s murder leads to more bodies, and to the town’s most exclusive and isolated enclave, a world of stupendous wealth where the rules don’t apply. With their newfound powers, Jo, Nessa, and Harriet will take matters into their own hands…
I’ve also seen this book around quite a bit but am still unsure. However, when the audiobook showed up at my library, I decided to jump into the queue. I like the comparison to Big Little Lies.
What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?