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.
Ainsley Greenburg is a fixer.
It’s what she prides herself on.
So, when she realizes her marriage is at its breaking point, she makes a decision to repair it, no matter the cost. Approaching her husband to propose the arrangement is supposed to be the hard part, but Peter agrees to the salacious plan almost immediately.
The rules are simple:
They will each date someone new once a week.
They will never discuss what happens on the dates.
Soon, though, the rules are broken, turning terrible mistakes into unspeakable consequences.
When the only person they can count on to keep their darkest secret is each other, new questions and deceits surface. Can they truly trust the person they share a life with, or will the vicious lies that have mounted over the years destroy everything they’ve built?
Once, Peter and Ainsley vowed to stand together forever, but as they push boundaries of deception, suspicion, and temptation, each begins to wonder if ’til death do us part may come sooner than they’d intended.
I have gone back and forth on this one and finally decided to give it a shot when the audiobook showed up at my library.
After a shocking death at a luxurious Italian resort, two very different women must question everything—and everyone—they love in order to untangle truth from lies in this twisty, captivating read.
One year ago, Leah’s feisty 21-year-old niece, Amy, mysteriously drowned in the beautiful lake near her family-owned resort in Northern Italy. Now, Leah’s grief has caught up with her, and she decides to return to Lake Garda for the first time since Amy’s death. What she finds upon her arrival shocks her—her sister, brother-in-law, and surviving niece, Olivia, seem to have erased all memories of Amy, and fought to have her death declared an accidental drowning, despite murky circumstances. Leah knows she must look beyond the resort’s beautiful façade and uncover what truly happened to Amy, even if her digging places both her family ties and her very life in danger.
Meanwhile, in Central England, thirtysomething Joanna is recovering from a surprising break-up when she is swept off her feet by a handsome bartender. But when she learns that he is on the run from something in his past, and that their meeting may not have been a coincidence, Joanna realized that he may just a bit too good to be true.
What follows is a propulsive cat-and mouse game set against the Italian lakeside as the two seemingly-unconnected women are caught up in a dangerous conspiracy.
This showed up at my library and I quickly grabbed the audiobook. It’s my kind of mystery.
You can have everything, and still not have enough.
Cassie Quinn may only be 23, but she knows a few things. One: money can’t buy happiness, but it’s certainly better to have it. Two: family matters most. Three: her younger brother Billy is not a rapist.
When Billy, a junior at Princeton, is arrested for assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Cassie races home to Manhattan to join forces with her big brother Nate and their parents, Lawrence and Eleanor. The Quinns scramble to hire the best legal minds money can buy, but Billy fits the all-too-familiar sex-offender profile – white, athletic, and privileged – that makes headlines and sways juries.
Meanwhile, Cassie struggles to understand why Billy’s ex Diana would go this far, even if the breakup was painful. And she knows how the end of first love can destroy someone: Her own years-long affair with a powerful, charismatic man left her shattered, and she’s only recently regained her footing.
As reporters converge outside their Upper East Side landmark building, the Quinns gird themselves for a media-saturated trial, and Cassie vows she’ll do whatever it takes to save Billy. But what if that means exposing her own darkest secrets to the world?
Lightning-paced and psychologically astute as it rockets toward an explosive ending, When We Were Bright and Beautiful is a dazzling novel that asks: who will pay the price when the truth is revealed?
I love courtroom drama so when this was offered for audio review it put me in my happy space.
Harriet Hatley is the most in-demand wedding photographer in town, but she doesn’t believe in romance, loathes the idea of marriage, and thinks chocolate fountains are an abomination. Which is why, when her long-time partner proposes, she panics. Suddenly Harriet is single…and living down the hall from her ex. She needs a new apartment, like, yesterday.
Enter Cal Clarke, a hopeless romantic who just experienced his own wedding-related disaster. Harriet and Cal are like chalk and cheese, but as they go from strangers to roommates to friends, it becomes clear they’re both running from something. When Harriet’s most heavily guarded secret comes to light, her world implodes. And Cal, with his witty humor and gentle advice, is a surprising source of calm at the center of the storm.
With her career, friendships, and reputation on the line, Harriet must finally face her past in order to take control of her future. Because if she’s willing to stop playing it safe and risk everything to share her truth, real love and happiness may be waiting on the other side….
I love contemporary romances with an edge and this seems loaded with them. I quickly accepted when it was offered for audio review.
This blood-chilling debut set in New Mexico’s Navajo Nation is equal parts gripping crime thriller, supernatural horror, and poignant portrayal of coming of age on the reservation.
Rita Todacheene is a forensic photographer working for the Albuquerque police force. Her excellent photography skills have cracked many cases—she is almost supernaturally good at capturing details. In fact, Rita has been hiding a secret: she sees the ghosts of crime victims who point her toward the clues that other investigators overlook.
As a lone portal back to the living for traumatized spirits, Rita is terrorized by nagging ghosts who won’t let her sleep and who sabotage her personal life. Her taboo and psychologically harrowing ability was what drove her away from the Navajo reservation, where she was raised by her grandmother. It has isolated her from friends and gotten her in trouble with the law.
And now it might be what gets her killed.
When Rita is sent to photograph the scene of a supposed suicide on a highway overpass, the furious, discombobulated ghost of the victim—who insists she was murdered—latches onto Rita, forcing her on a quest for revenge against her killers, and Rita finds herself in the crosshairs of one of Albuquerque’s most dangerous cartels. Written in sparkling, gruesome prose, Shutter is an explosive debut from one of crime fiction’s most powerful new voices.
The whiff of paranormal is what drew me to this story when it was offered for audio review. Mysteries with this added element always get my attention.
Detective Elise King investigates a man’s disappearance in a seaside town where the locals and weekenders are at odds in this rich and captivating new novel form the ‘New York Times’best-selling author of ‘The Widow’.
Elise King is a successful and ambitious detective – or she was, before medical leave left her unsure if she’d ever return to work. She now spends most days watching the growing tensions in her small seaside town of Ebbing: the weekenders in their fancy clothes, renovating old bungalows into luxury homes, and the locals resentful of the changes.
Elise can only guess what really happens behind closed doors. But Dee Eastwood, her cleaner, often knows. She’s an invisible presence in many of the houses in town but she sees and hears everything.
The conflicts in town boil over when a newcomer wants to put Ebbing on the map with a giant music festival, and a teenage girl ends up dead because of drugs. When a man also disappears the first night of the festival, Elise is drawn back into her detective work and starts digging for answers. Ebbing is a small town, but it’s full of myriad secrets and hidden connections that run deeper and darker than Elise could have ever imagined.
I’m not sure why I dragged my feet on this one but the review by Carla @ Carla Loves to Read finally pushed me over the edge. I’m in a short library queue for the audiobook.
Twenty-one-year-old Tanner Quimby needs a place to live. Preferably one where she can continue sitting around in sweatpants and playing video games nineteen hours a day. Since she has no credit or money to speak of, her options are limited, so when an opportunity to work as a live-in caregiver for an elderly woman falls into her lap, she takes it.
One slip on the rug. That’s all it took for Louise Wilt’s daughter to demand that Louise have a full-time nanny living with her. Never mind that she can still walk fine, finish her daily crossword puzzle, and pour the two fingers of vodka she drinks every afternoon. Bottom line — Louise wants a caretaker even less than Tanner wants to be one.
The two start off their living arrangement happily ignoring each other until Tanner starts to notice things—weird things. Like, why does Louise keep her garden shed locked up tighter than a prison? And why is the local news fixated on the suspect of one of the biggest jewelry heists in American history who looks eerily like Louise? And why does Louise suddenly appear in her room, with a packed bag at 1 a.m. insisting that they leave town immediately?
Thus begins the story of a not-to-be-underestimated elderly woman and an aimless young woman who—if they can outrun the mistakes of their past—might just have the greatest adventure of their lives.
Thanks to Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra for featuring this book in her Can’t Wait Wednesday post. These kind of stories are like catnip for me. A library audiobook hopeful, it’s scheduled for release in March .
Rose O’Connell is barely surviving. Her relationship with her husband is on the rocks and their son has isn’t fitting in at his new school, the prestigious Woolf Academy. Their tiny flat in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood–the very place Rose grew up as the daughter of an infamous local con artist–can barely contain her family. Rose can’t catch a professional break either, trapped in the same junior bank teller role for years. Life as the only mom in a nametag and uniform at The Woolf’s shiny school gates isn’t easy.
Not so for those in the elite and secretive Circle, a tight-knit group of mothers who rule the school, led by the charismatic and glamorous Amala Kaur. In exchange for supporting The Woolf’s relentless fundraising and public image drives, the women enjoy lucrative business opportunities, special privileges for their children, and the admiration of the entire community.
After the mysterious death of one of The Circle’s members, Rose dares to hope that filling the vacancy could set her family up for success. And when Amala makes the shocking decision to invite Rose into their clique, her fortunes, self-esteem, and status soar. But the deeper Rose gets inside The Circle, the darker the secrets lurking within every perfectly Instagrammable life. Far from being a dream come true, being inside The Circle could prove Rose’s worst nightmare…
Taut, complex, and compulsively readable, Such a Good Mother is a razor-sharp take on modern motherhood and the myth of having it all.
Oh, thank you Tessa @ Tessa Talks Books for your review of this psychological thriller! It’s my kind of story and a library audiobook hopeful.
Successful pediatric surgeon London Kelley just needs to find some balance and de-stress. According to her friends Samiah and Taylor, what London really needs is a casual hookup. A night of fun with no strings. But no one—least of all London—expected it to go down at her high school reunion with Drew Sullivan, millionaire, owner of delicious abs, and oh yes, her archnemesis.
Now London is certain the road to hell is paved with good sex. Because she’s found out the real reason Drew’s back in Austin: to decide whether her beloved hospital remains open. Worse, Drew is doing everything he can to show her that he’s a decent guy who actually cares. But London’s not falling for it. Because while sleeping with the enemy is one thing, falling for him is definitely not part of the plan.
I was thrilled when this turned up at my library as I’d been waiting to add this audiobook. Thanks to my library for again coming through.
The next book in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author J.R. Ward.
In the next epic installment in J. R. Ward’s #1 New York Timesbestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood series, a fallen angel finds love with a mysterious female—who could be his destiny…or the embodiment of his utter destruction.
Nope, don’t even need a description for this one. It’s another story in the series fans have long yearned for. It’s scheduled for release in April and is an audio review hopeful.
What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?