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.
In this chilling story from USA Today bestselling author Margot Hunt, a mother and daughter try to start over in an idyllic town only to get caught up in cliques, mind games…and murder.
After the sudden death of her husband, Kate Turner is looking for a fresh start for herself and her teenage daughter, Alex. They relocate to the beachside town of Shoreham, Florida, where all is not as sunny as it seems.
Although Kate makes fast friends with a trio of fellow moms, their daughters take an instant dislike to Alex, who attempts to document their bullying in her video diary. Kate brushes off Alex’s concerns—until she receives a series of chilling warnings about the clique of moms from other parents and neighbors. As it becomes harder for her to ignore the malicious undercurrent she senses among her new friends, Kate grows increasingly unsure of who to believe—and who to trust.
As small-town gossip weaves a harrowing web of jealousy, deceit, and betrayal, Kate and Alex discover that whether you’re in or out, the status quo can turn on you deadly fast.
Thanks to my friend Marialyce @ yayareads for this one, which she included in her comments on last week’s post. Scheduled for release in February, it’s an audio review hopeful.
USA TODAY bestselling author Kimberly Belle returns with a deeply addictive thriller exploring the dark side of the digital world when a mommy-blogger’s assistant goes missing.
When Alex first began posting unscripted family moments and motivational messages online, she had no intention of becoming an influencer. Overnight it seemed she’d amassed a huge following, and her hobby became a full-time job—one that was impossible to manage without her sharp-as-a-tack personal assistant, AC.
But all the good-will of her followers turns toxic when one controversial post goes viral in the worst possible way. Alex reaches out to AC for damage control, but her assistant has gone silent. This young woman Alex trusted with all her secrets, who had access to her personal information and front row seats to the pressure points in her marriage and family life, is now missing and the police are looking to Alex and her husband for answers. As Alex digs into AC’s identity – and a woman is found murdered – she’ll find the greatest threat isn’t online, but in her own living room.
Written in alternating perspectives between Alex, her husband, and the mysterious AC, this juicy cat and mouse story will keep you guessing till the very end.
This was included in the publisher blog tours email and I’m holding out for the audio review version. It’s scheduled for release in November.
A woman questions everything she knows about her son when a local woman is found dead.
Valerie has been forgetting things. Her daughter worries about her being on her own in her big Victorian house—one rumored to be haunted after a tragedy decades earlier—and truth be told, she is a little lonely. With few options, she asks her adult son to move home, but it’s not quite the reunion she hoped for. Hudson is taciturn, moody and frequently gone.
The neighbors already hold a grudge against Hudson, and they aren’t happy about his return. When a young woman is found murdered a block away, suspicion falls on him immediately, without a shred of evidence. While Valerie fights to defend her son, she begins to wonder who she really invited into her home.
It’s a horrible thing for a mother to even think…but is it possible she’s enabled a monster? A monster she is living with, alone?
This was also included in that publisher blog tour email and I’m again holding out for the audio version for review. I enjoyed her last book, Where I Left Her and am intrigued by the description. It’s scheduled for release in December.
Everyone has secrets, don’t they?
One last client
A week at a beautiful chateau in the south of France—it should be a straightforward final job for Dora. She’s a smart, stunning and discreet escort, and Daniel has paid for her services before. This time, all she has to do is to convince the assembled guests that she is his girlfriend. Dora is used to playing roles and being whatever men want her to be. It’s all about putting on a front.
One last chance
It will be a last, luxurious look at how the other half lives before Dora turns her back on the escort world and all its dangers. She has found someone she loves and trusts. With him, she can escape the life she’s trapped in. But when Dora arrives at the chateau, it quickly becomes obvious that nothing is what it seems…
One last secret
Dora finds herself face-to-face with a man she has never forgotten, the one man who really knows her. And as old secrets surface, it becomes terrifyingly apparent that one last secret could cost Dora her life…
From the Sunday Times number one bestseller Adele Parks comes a blisteringly provocative novel about power, sex, money and revenge.
Yet another one of the books included in the publisher blog tour email. It’s an audio review hopeful scheduled for release in December (US version).
A deliciously sly, compulsively readable tale about greed, power and the world’s most devious family.
When Alana Shropshire’s seventy-six-year-old father, Ed, starts dating Kelly, his twenty-eight-year-old nurse, a flurry of messages arrive from Alana’s brothers, urging her to help “protect Dad” from the young interloper. Alana knows that what Teddy and Martin really want to protect is their father’s fortune, and she tells them she couldn’t care less about the May–December romance. Long estranged from her privileged family, Alana, a hardworking single mom, has more important things to worry about.
But when Ed and Kelly’s wedding is announced, Teddy and Martin kick into hyperdrive and persuade Alana to fly to their father’s West Coast island retreat to perform one simple task in their plan to make the gold digger go away. Kelly, however, proves a lot more wily than expected, and Alana becomes entangled in an increasingly dangerous scheme full of secrets and surprises. Just how far will her siblings go to retain control?
Smart, entertaining and brimming with shocking twists and turns, The Opportunist is both a thrill ride of a story and a razor-sharp view of who wields power in the world.
The last of the books included in that publisher email. Not sure if I want this for audio review so I may look to my library as a resource. It’s scheduled for release in December.
It’s the perfect crime…until the accused fights back.
Brandi Maxwell is living her dream as an intern at the prestigious Manhattan fashion house Simon Van Doren. Except “living the dream” looks more like scrubbing puke out of couture dresses worn by hard-partying runway models and putting up with constant microaggressions from her white colleagues. Still, she can’t help but fangirl over Simon’s it-girl influencer daughter, Taylor. Until one night at a glamorous Van Doren party, when Brandi overhears something she shouldn’t have, shattering her life—and inextricably intertwining her fate with Taylor’s.
Taylor Van Doren has everything…and is this close to losing it all. Her horrible father—who, as far as she’s concerned, is responsible for her mother’s death—has threatened to donate her entire inheritance to a wildlife charity if she fails her next drug test. And to make matters worse, he’s about to marry someone who’s practically Taylor’s own age, further jeopardizing her stake in her father’s fortune. Taylor wants the money that’s rightfully hers. Wouldn’t it be terrible if something happened to Simon?
All she needs is the perfect person to take the fall for it…
Sharp, fresh and riveting, Someone Had to Do It is an adrenaline-filled thriller about privilege that will protect itself at all costs and what happens when you contest that privilege—perfect for fans of Such a Fun Age and When No One Is Watching.
This is the one from the mystery category that I accepted for the blog tour. However, I’m holding out for the audio version. It’s scheduled for release in December.
On the road to love, you don’t need a GPS…
Carla Black’s life motto is “here for a good time, not for a long time.” She’s been travelling the world on her own in her vintage Jeep Wrangler for nearly a decade, stopping only long enough to replenish her adventure fund. She doesn’t do love and she doesn’t ever go home.
Eamon Sullivan is a modern-day cartographer who creates digital maps. His work helps people find their way, but he’s the one who’s lost his sense of direction. He’s unhappy at work, recently dumped, and his one big dream is stalled out—literally.
Fate throws them together when Carla arrives in Dublin for her best friend’s wedding and Eamon is tasked with picking her up from the airport. But what should be a simple drive across Ireland quickly becomes complicated with chemistry-filled detours, unexpected feelings, and a chance at love – if only they choose it.
Thanks again to Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra for featuring this in her Can’t Wait Wednesday post! It’s the third book in the Beck Sisters series. Scheduled for release in March, it’s an audio review hopeful.
The author of the “evocative, spine-tingling, and razor-sharp” (Bustle) I’m Thinking of Ending Things that inspired the Netflix original movie and the “short, shocking psychological three-hander” (The Guardian) Foe returns with a new work of philosophical suspense.
Penny, an artist, has lived in the same apartment for decades, surrounded by the artifacts and keepsakes of her long life. She is resigned to the mundane rituals of old age, until things start to slip. Before her longtime partner passed away years earlier, provisions were made, unbeknownst to her, for a room in a unique long-term care residence, where Penny finds herself after one too many “incidents.”
Initially, surrounded by peers, conversing, eating, sleeping, looking out at the beautiful woods that surround the house, all is well. She even begins to paint again. But as the days start to blur together, Penny—with a growing sense of unrest and distrust—starts to lose her grip on the passage of time and on her place in the world. Is she succumbing to the subtly destructive effects of aging, or is she an unknowing participant in something more unsettling?
At once compassionate and uncanny, told in spare, hypnotic prose, Iain Reid’s genre-defying third novel explores questions of conformity, art, productivity, relationships, and what, ultimately, it means to grow old.
One of my Goodreads friends reviewed this story and I was hooked. Haven’t decided yet if it will be a library audiobook or audio review hopeful.
From the author of the acclaimed In My Dreams I Hold a Knife comes a pitch-black thriller about a woman determined to destroy a powerful cult and avenge the deaths of the women taken in by it, no matter the cost.
While in college in upstate New York, Shay Evans and her best friends met a captivating man who seduced them with a web of lies about the way the world works, bringing them under his thrall. By senior year, Shay and her friend Laurel were the only ones who managed to escape. Now, eight years later, Shay’s built a new life in a tony Texas suburb. But when she hears the horrifying news of Laurel’s death—delivered, of all ways, by her favorite true-crime podcast crusader—she begins to suspect that the past she thought she buried is still very much alive, and the predators more dangerous than ever.
Recruiting the help of the podcast host, Shay goes back to the place she vowed never to return to in search of answers. As she follows the threads of her friend’s life, she’s pulled into a dark, seductive world, where wealth and privilege shield brutal philosophies that feel all too familiar. When Shay’s obsession with uncovering the truth becomes so consuming she can no longer separate her desire for justice from darker desires newly reawakened, she must confront the depths of her own complicity and conditioning. But in a world built for men to rule it—both inside the cult and outside of it—is justice even possible, and if so, how far will Shay go to get it?
This showed up at my library but I wasn’t sure about it. I waited a few days until quite a few of my Goodreads friends gave it the thumbs up and then grabbed the audiobook.
A woman’s life-altering discovery after her mother’s death sheds light on the best and worst of humanity in this haunting short story by New York Times bestselling author Martha Hall Kelly.
After her mother’s passing, Aldona finds a tin filled with old letters from a prisoner at Ravensbrück, a women’s concentration camp in northern Germany. Amid the descriptions of daily deprivations and humiliations at the camp, she uncovers the heart-wrenching story of a small circle of women who risked their lives to hide a baby girl from the guards. Aldona is rocked to the core by this record of courage and sisterhood during one of the grimmest chapters of human history.
Martha Hall Kelly’s Naomi’s Gift is part of A Point in Time, a transporting collection of stories about the pivotal moments, past and present, that change lives. Read or listen to each immersive story in a single sitting.
This is the first in the Point in Time collection of short stories about the pivotal moments, past and present, that change lives. It’s free to Amazon Prime members (Kindle & Audible versions). One of my trusted Goodreads friends has read and reviewed the entire series, written by different authors, and loved them all.
What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?