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.
Donal Cameron is being raised by his grandmother, the cook at the legendary Double W ranch in Ivan Doig’s beloved Two Medicine Country of the Montana Rockies, a landscape that gives full rein to an eleven-year-old’s imagination. But when Gram has to have surgery for “female trouble” in the summer of 1951, all she can think to do is to ship Donal off to her sister in faraway Manitowoc, Wisconsin. There Donal is in for a rude surprise: Aunt Kate–bossy, opinionated, argumentative, and tyrannical—is nothing like her sister. She henpecks her good-natured husband, Herman the German, and Donal can’t seem to get on her good side either. After one contretemps too many, Kate packs him back to the authorities in Montana on the next Greyhound. But as it turns out, Donal isn’t traveling solo: Herman the German has decided to fly the coop with him. In the immortal American tradition, the pair light out for the territory together, meeting a classic Doigian ensemble of characters and having rollicking misadventures along the way.
Charming, wise, and slyly funny, Last Bus to Wisdom is a last sweet gift from a writer whose books have bestowed untold pleasure on countless readers.
I don’t normally read coming-of-age stories but two of my Goodreads friends recently reviewed this, the last book written by the author before his death. It called to me and my library came through with the audiobook.
Your ex-wife didn’t leave you because of me. She didn’t abandon her little girl because of a couple of love notes in your jeans pocket. She left because she’s twisted, and she wanted to punish you. And she’s not finished yet. You have to believe me. If you don’t, there’s no knowing what she’ll do next…
Becoming a stepmother is the best thing that ever happened to me. My favorite part of every day is picking Charlie up from school, watching her little rucksack bounce behind her as she skips over for a hug. I love the feel of those thin freckled arms around my waist. After a few rocky months of panic attacks when her mother deserted her, Charlie is flourishing. But the day Charlie’s mother Bronwyn returns without warning—showering Charlie with gifts and making promises she can’t keep—fear ripples through me.
When I raise my concerns, no one wants to listen. I know I sound like the jealous new wife, but nothing is more important to me than Charlie’s safety. Me and Bronwyn have history. We both have dark secrets in our past, and I know the dangerous lengths she will go to get what she wants.
But Bronwyn doesn’t know me as well as I know her.
She doesn’t know just how far I will go to protect that little girl…
Still unsure about this one as my Goodreads friends are all over the map in their reviews. It’s a library audiobook hopeful and I’m adding because I seem to be drawn to crazy sauce.
FBI Special Agent Cate Wilde is back home on a remote Pacific Northwest island when she gets the call: a teenager’s skeletal remains have been found on a nearby island.
Together with Tessa Black, a childhood friend turned local deputy, Cate confronts dreary weather and bleak leads to make sense of the death. The complications pile up as Cate is distracted by the coroner on the case—and by nagging memories that draw her twenty years into the past. The remains suggest eerie similarities between this victim, and Cate and Tessa’s friend Samantha, who disappeared when she was fourteen.
Cate finds herself up against closemouthed locals, buried town secrets, and even her own heart. As the case unravels, will she be able to cut through the fog and find justice for the missing and the dead
Audible had a sale of audiobooks for $5 and under! I got this for $1 and as Leigh is now an auto read, this was a happy bargain.
Finding Perfect is a short story that brings back some of Colleen’s most beloved characters. Told from the point of view of Daniel from Finding Cinderella, readers will finally get the conclusion they’ve been hoping for.
For the best reading experience, make sure you’ve read all four books that come together to make up this heartwarming story: Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, and All Your Perfects.
Another $1 find in the Audible sale! I’ve not read the Hopeless series yet (I plan to) but have read All Your Perfects and am not sure of the connection…yet.
All he needs is a second chance
All she wants is no strings attached
The biggest mistake of Jaye Colfax’s life was letting Velvet Spencer leave. For three years, they were together exclusively and it was great—at least for Jaye. But Velvet wanted more. Jaye wouldn’t commit to anything because he just didn’t believe in love or marriage. Tired of waiting, Velvet left him without so much as a goodbye. Only then did Jaye realize he’d been too proud to admit he loved her. But it was too late—his stubbornness had cost him the love of his life.
It took Jaye two years to find where Velvet had gone. Now, he’s come to Catalina Cove to prove his love and win back her heart. He’ll do whatever it takes, even buy the local bank and move in next door. But will Velvet have him?
This showed up at my library and as I’m beginning the series next month, I jumped in the queue for this latest book.
In the thrilling third book in New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath’s Once Upon a Dukedom series, the dashing son of a disgraced duke teams up with a sultry beauty to thwart an assassination plot against Queen Victoria.
When his father, the Duke of Wolfford, is hanged for an assassination attempt on Queen Victoria, Marcus Stanwick is stripped of everything. Vowing to return honor to his family, he seeks to expose the others involved in the treasonous plot and bring them to justice. His search forces him to turn to a woman he despises for her unforgiveable betrayal–a woman known as the heartless harlot.
Harboring secrets, Esme Lancaster has her own reasons for wanting to discover who’s behind the conspiracy that’s still afoot. She doesn’t trust Marcus but can’t deny the handsome devil makes her wonder if she does indeed possess a heart, one he could very easily steal.
As their hunt for the truth leads them into danger, Marcus finds Esme isn’t cold and calculating as he’d assumed but fire and brimstone, with courage and determination to match his own. Soon, they’re unable to deny their growing desire for each other. But giving into temptation comes at a cost, and they must decide if love is worth the risk of losing their one chance for redemption.
I’m a big fan of the author and this book was released this week. I recommended the audiobook for library purchase.
At thirty-nine, Nicole Mueller’s life is on the rocks. Her once brilliant law career is falling apart. She and her husband, Dan, are soon to be forced out of the apartment they love. After a warning from her firm’s senior partners, she receives an invitation from an exclusive women’s networking group, Panthera Leo. Membership is anonymous, but every member is a successful professional. It sounds like the perfect solution to help Nicole revive her career. So, despite Dan’s concerns that the group might be a cult, Nicole signs up for their retreat in Colorado.
Once there, she meets the other women who will make up her Pride. A CEO, an actress, a finance whiz, a congresswoman: Nicole can’t believe her luck. The founders of Panthera Leo are equally as impressive. They explain the group’s core philosophy: they’re a girl’s club in a boy’s club world.
Nicole is all in. And when she gets home, she soon sees dividends. Her new network quickly provides her with clients that help her relaunch her career, and a great new apartment too. The favors she has to provide in return seem benign. But then she’s called to the congresswoman’s apartment late at night where she’s pressed into helping her cover up a crime. And suddenly, Dan’s concerns that something more sinister is at play seem all too relevant. Can Nicole extricate herself from the group before it’s too late? Or will joining Panthera Leo be the biggest mistake of her life?
This was offered for audio review and I quickly accepted. The themes of the story struck a familiar chord.
Lizzy “Overachiever” Chung, Esq. has her life mapped out neatly:
* Become a lawyer. Check.
* Join a prestigious law firm. Check.
* Make partner. In progress.
If all goes to plan, she will check off that last box in a couple years, make her parents proud, and live a successful, fulfilled life in L.A. What was not in her plans was passing out from a panic attack during a pivotal moment in her career. A few deep breaths and a four hour drive later, Lizzy is in Weldon for three weeks to shed the burnout and figure out what went wrong. And what better place to recharge than the small California town where she spent her childhood summers with her best friend, Jack Park.
Jack Park didn’t expect to see Lizzy back in Weldon, but now he’s got three weeks to spend with the girl of his dreams. Except she doesn’t know of his decades-long crush on her–and he intends to keep it that way. She’s a high-powered attorney who lives in L.A. and he’s a bookkeeper at his family’s brewery who never left his hometown. He can’t risk their friendship on a long shot. Can he? When Lizzy decides that the local bookstore needs a little revamp, of course, Jack is going to help her bring it back to life. But the more time they spend together, the harder it becomes to ignore there might be more than just friendship among the dusty shelves and books…
Sometimes the path to the rest of your life has been in front of you all along.
I grabbed this as soon as it showed up at my library! Sounds delicious.
Sometimes local fireman Lucas Strong feels like he can only find any peace and quiet at the local laundromat, where every day is rinse and repeat — until a fateful run-in with his high school crush.
Hoping to attract more customers to his family’s knitting shop, Lucas Strong participated in an FDNY charity calendar and accidentally became a local celebrity. The only place he can find solace is Scrubs—a 24/7 laundromat where he can disappear for a couple of hours. But Lucas’s soapy sanctuary is shaken by an inquisitive little girl with a late-night interest in knitting whose mother is his old school crush.
Sidney Harris-Hughes knows that Harlem is like any other small town, and everyone is probably whispering about how she left such a good man—and a good life—behind to wash and fold laundry by the pound. If only they knew the truth. But Sidney will always put her daughter’s happiness first, even if that means moving back to Harlem and facing her past.
What Sidney never expected was to see Lucas Strong again. A long-forgotten attraction kicks into high gear as Lucas and Sidney start to spend time together at the laundromat, and they must decide if this is true love or just an infatuation, thin and as fragile as a soap bubble.
Oh, I fell in love with the cover and the description! Thanks to Anne @ Books of My Heart, I added this as soon as it showed up at my library.
Games can be dangerous. But blame can be deadly.
As a psychologist specializing in domestic abuse, Naomi has found it hard to not become overly invested in her clients’ lives. But after helping the middle-aged Jacob make the decision to leave his wife, Naomi has begun to worry that she’s gone too far this time. On the morning of Jacob’s first session after his escape, doors that Naomi is sure she’d locked have been mysteriously left open, and Jacob’s client file is missing.
Then, another client approaches Naomi for assistance in leaving behind her abusive husband, and Naomi is once again unable to turn aside someone in need. But are the missing papers and unlocked doors symptoms of Naomi’s own dark past raising its ugly head, or something more? And is it possible that her clients aren’t the only ones in danger, but Naomi herself?
I discovered this upcoming release by accident this week. It’s a library audiobook hopeful, due out next month.
What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?