Saturdays at the Café

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.

Vengeance is in my heart, death in in my hand.
Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.

Dalton Murphy’s hands are full. The FBI needs him to catch a serial killer, and there’s the construction of a new Lost and Found Inc. facility in Houston to oversee. If that’s not enough pressure, add in the agent he’s partnered with. Special Agent Ashley Hunter. She tempts his resolve to the point of distraction, but his rule of spending no more than one night with any woman is ironclad.

Ashley Hunter grew up in a law enforcement family. She’s determined to prove she deserves her place with the FBI by stopping this killer. Working with the legendary and enigmatic ex-FBI agent on the case is the opportunity of a lifetime, but the “one-and-done” Dalton is slowly working his way into her heart. When the case is over, saying goodbye will be painful.

The grisly murders have little in common except for the shocking mutilation and a playing card left on each body. This killer loves all the attention from the media and having a team of detectives assigned to stop her is flattering. When infatuation turns to hate, someone has to die.

My history with this wonderful Indie author goes back almost a decade and it’s been almost five years since the last book in this series was released. Alexander has had a tough few years personally and getting this book for review means the world to me as it’s a sign of her healing. If you love romantic suspense, please give this series a try.

New York Times bestseller Allison Brennan’s latest standalone is an unputdownable race to the dramatic finish.

After five years in hiding from their murderous father, the day Kristen and Ryan McIntyre have been dreading has arrived: Boyd McIntyre, head of a Los Angeles crime family, has at last tracked his kids to a small Montana town and is minutes away from kidnapping them. They barely escape in a small plane, but gunfire hits the fuel line. The pilot, a man who has been raising them as his own, manages to crash land in the middle of the Montana wilderness. The siblings hike deep into the woods, searching desperately for safety—unaware of the severity of the approaching storm.

Boyd’s sister Ruby left Los Angeles for the Army years ago, cutting off contact in order to help keep her niece and nephew safe and free from the horrors of the McIntyre clan. So when she gets an emergency call that the plane has gone down with the kids inside, she drops everything to try save them.

As the storm builds, Ruby isn’t the only person looking for them. Boyd has hired an expert tracker to find and bring them home. And rancher Nick Lorenzo, who knows these mountains better than anyone and doesn’t understand why the kids are running, is on their trail too.

But there is a greater threat to Kristen and Ryan out there. More volatile than the incoming blizzard, more dangerous than the family they ran from or the natural predators they could encounter. Who finds them first could determine if they live or die. . .?

My love for all things written by this author should be pretty clear by now if you’ve followed me for any length of time. I was waiting for a description before adding so thanks to Carla @ Carla Loves to Read for the heads up. This book isn’t scheduled for release until August but I’m all in. It’s a library audiobook hopeful.

The #1 New York Times-bestselling author’s terrifying new thriller about one man’s ice-cold malice, and one woman’s fight to reclaim her life.

Former Army brat Morgan Albright has finally planted roots in a friendly neighborhood near Baltimore. Her friend and roommate Nina helps her make the mortgage payments, as does Morgan’s job as a bartender. But after she and Nina host their first dinner party—attended by Luke, the flirtatious IT guy who’d been chatting her up at the bar—her carefully built world is shattered. The back door glass is broken, cash and jewelry are missing, her car is gone, and Nina lies dead on the floor.

Soon, a horrific truth emerges: It was Morgan who let the monster in. „Luke” is actually a cold-hearted con artist named Gavin who targets a particular type of woman, steals her assets and identity, and then commits his ultimate goal: murder.

What the FBI tells Morgan is beyond chilling. Nina wasn’t his type. Morgan is. Nina was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. And Morgan’s nightmare is just beginning. Soon she has no choice but to flee to her mother’s home in Vermont. While she struggles to build something new, she meets another man, Miles Jameson. He isn’t flashy or flirtatious, and his family business has deep roots in town. But Gavin is still out there hunting new victims, and he hasn’t forgotten the one who got away.

It feels like old home week for my favorite authors! This is scheduled for release in May and I’ve already recommended the audiobook for library purchase. Thanks to Carla @ Carla Loves to Read for the heads up in her Stacking the Shelves post.

Evan Smoak returns in The Last Orphan, the latest New York Times bestselling Orphan Xthriller–when everything changes and everything is at risk.

As a child, Evan Smoak was plucked out of a group home, raised and trained as an off-the-books assassin for the government as part of the Orphan program. When he broke with the program and went deep underground, he left with a lot of secrets in his head that the government would do anything to make sure never got out.

When he remade himself as The Nowhere Man, dedicated to helping the most desperate in their times of trouble, Evan found himself slowly back on the government’s radar. Having eliminated most of the Orphans in the program, the government will stop at nothing to eliminate the threat they see in Evan. But Orphan X has always been several steps ahead of his pursuers.

Until he makes one little mistake…

Now the President has him in her control and offers Evan a deal – eliminate a rich, powerful man she says is too dangerous to live and, in turn, she’ll let Evan survive. But when Evan left the Program he swore to only use his skills against those who really deserve it. Now he has to decide what’s more important – his principles or his life.

I started this series recently as part of a Goodreads group read and was immediately hooked! This 8th book is scheduled for release in February and I’ve recommended the audiobook for library purchase.

Living peacefully in Vermont, Ryan Flannigan is shocked when a text from her oldest friend alerts her to a devastating news item. A controversial photo of her as a pre-teen has been found in the possession of a wealthy investor recently revealed as a pedophile and a sex trafficker—with an inscription to him from Ryan’s mother on the back.

Memories crowd in, providing their own distinctive pictures of her mother Fiona, an aspiring actress, and their move to the West Village in 1976. Amid the city’s gritty kaleidoscope of wealth and poverty, high art, and sleazy strip clubs, Ryan is discovered and thrust into the spotlight as a promising young actress with a woman’s face and a child’s body. Suddenly, the safety and comfort Ryan longs for is replaced by auditions, paparazzi, and the hungry eyes of men of all ages.

Forced to reexamine her childhood, Ryan begins to untangle her young fears and her mother’s ambitions, and the role each played in the fraught blackout summer of 1977. Even with her movie career long behind her, Ryan and Fiona are suddenly the object of uncomfortable speculation—and Fiona demands Ryan’s support. To put the past to rest, Ryan will need to face the painful truth of their relationship, and the night when everything changed.

I was drawn to this book after reading a fantastic review by a Goodreads friend and was fortunate to get it for audio review. It’s scheduled for release next week.

The House Guest is another diabolical cat-and-mouse thriller from USA Today bestselling author Hank Phillippi Ryan—but which character is the cat, and which character is the mouse?

After every divorce, one spouse gets all the friends. What does the other one get? If they’re smart, they get the benefits. Alyssa Macallan is terrified when she’s dumped by her wealthy and powerful husband. With a devastating divorce looming, she begins to suspect her toxic and manipulative soon-to-be-ex is scheming to ruin her—leaving her alone and penniless. And when the FBI shows up at her door, Alyssa knows she really needs a friend.

And then she gets one. A seductive new friend, one who’s running from a dangerous relationship of her own. Alyssa offers Bree Lorrance the safety of her guest house, and the two become confidantes. Then Bree makes a heart-stoppingly tempting offer. Maybe Alyssa and Bree can solve each others’ problems.

But no one is what they seem. And the fates and fortunes of these two women twist and turn until the shocking truth emerges: You can’t always get what you want. But sometimes you get what you deserve.

I am active on BookBub and received a notification of this February upcoming release. After reading the description, I needed more! It’s a library audiobook hopeful.

A summer in Greece for three best friends ends in the unthinkable when only two return home in this new novel from Ella Berman. . . .

Ten years ago, after a sun-soaked summer spent in Greece, best friends Bess and Joni were cleared of having any involvement in their friend Evangeline’s death. But that didn’t stop the media from ripping apart their teenage lives like vultures.

While the girls were never convicted, Joni, ever the opportunist, capitalized on her newfound infamy to become a motivational speaker. Bess, on the other hand, resolved to make her life as small and controlled as possible so she wouldn’t risk losing everything all over again. And it almost worked. . . .

Except now Joni is tangled up in a crime eerily similar to that one fateful night in Greece. And when she asks Bess to come back to LA to support her, Bess has a decision to make.

Is it finally time to face up to what happened that night, exposing herself as the young woman she once was and maybe still is? And what happens if she doesn’t like what she finds?

I discovered this upcoming April release through the publisher’s newsletter and am intrigued. It’s another library audiobook hopeful.

The internationally bestselling author of the “dark, captivating psychological thriller” (People) Lying in Wait returns with a wickedly dark, twisted, and brilliantly observed new novel about an enigmatic woman confronting her unknown past.

Reclusive Sally Diamond causes outrage by trying to incinerate her dead father. Now she’s the center of attention, not only from the hungry media and police detectives, but also a sinister voice from a past she does not remember. As she begins to discover the horrors of her early childhood, Sally steps into the world for the first time, making new friends, big decisions, and learning that people don’t always mean what they say.

But who is the man observing Sally from the other side of the world, and why does he call her Mary? And why does her new neighbor seem to be obsessed with her? Sally’s trust issues are about to be severely challenged…

Nugent is one of my absolute favorites (top ten) so I was stunned to see a review of this book, scheduled for release in August, by one of my Goodreads friends. I’ll be getting the audio version (not yet set up) as her books are notoriously well narrated. This is an audio review hopeful.

From the best-selling author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry comes an exquisite love story about Queenie Hennessy, the remarkable friend who inspired Harold’s cross-country journey.

A runaway international best seller, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry followed its unassuming hero on an incredible journey as he traveled the length of England on foot–a journey spurred by a simple letter from his old friend, Queenie Hennessy, writing from a hospice to say good-bye. Harold believed that as long as he kept walking, Queenie would live. What he didn’t know was that his decision to walk had caused her both alarm and fear. How could she wait? What would she say? Forced to confront the past, Queenie realizes she must write again.

In this poignant parallel story to Harold’s saga, acclaimed author Rachel Joyce brings Queenie Hennessy’s voice into sharp focus. Setting pen to paper, Queenie makes a journey of her own, a journey that is even bigger than Harold’s. One word after another, she promises to confess long-buried truths–about her modest childhood, her studies at Oxford, the heartbreak that brought her to Kingsbridge and to loving Harold, her friendship with his son, the solace she has found in a garden by the sea. And, finally, the devastating secret she has kept from Harold for all these years.

A wise, tender, layered novel that gathers tremendous emotional force, The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy underscores the resilience of the human spirit, beautifully illuminating the small yet pivotal moments that can change a person’s life.

Somehow this one got by me and a recent review by a Goodreads friend got my attention. Thanks to my library for the audiobook.

Based on a real-life event, an epic historical novel from the award-winning author of Things in Jars that illuminates the lives of two characters: a girl shipwrecked on an island off Western Australia and, three hundred years later, a boy finding a home with his grandfather on the very same island.

1629: A newly orphaned young girl named Mayken is bound for the Dutch East Indies on the Batavia, one of the greatest ships of the Dutch Golden Age. Curious and mischievous, Mayken spends the long journey going on misadventures above and below the deck, searching for a mythical monster. But the true monsters might be closer than she thinks.

1989: A lonely boy named Gil is sent to live off the coast of Western Australia among the seasonal fishing community where his late mother once resided. There, on the tiny reef-shrouded island, he discovers the story of an infamous shipwreck…​

With her trademark “thrilling, mysterious, twisted, but more than anything, beautifully written” (Graham Norton, New York Times bestselling author) storytelling, Jess Kidd weaves a unputdownable and charming tale of friendship and sacrifice, brutality and forgiveness.

I gave this a pass when it was offered for audio review (despite that gorgeous cover). However, all of my Goodreads friends, many really trusted ones with similar reading tastes, have doled out 5 stars. Thanks to my library for the audiobook.

What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?


21 thoughts on “Saturdays at the Café”

  1. Good morning Jo! So happy you are loving Evan Smoek and his adventures. It’s definitely books I loved. I do have The Night Ship, and Such A Pretty Girl on my to read list and some of the others sound quite good.

    I added All the Beauty in the World: The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Me by
    Patrick Bringley,
    Blood Atonement by S.M. Freedman
    All the Horses of Iceland by Sarah Tolmie
    Old God’s Time by Sebastian Barry
    The Secret Book of Flora Lea by Patti Callahan Henry
    The Insatiable Volt Sisters by Rachel Eve Moulton and
    All That Is Mine I Carry With Me A Novel by William Landay

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good morning, Marialyce💜 I so look forward to your comments on these posts. I’ve been busy adding Blood Atonement, The Secret Book of Flora Lea, The Insatiable Volt Sisters and All That is Mine I Carry with Me. I’m thinking about Old God’s Time as it’s not available on audio.

      FYI, when I lived in NY, I went to the Met almost every weekend…such fond memories. I want to see what you think first before adding that one.

      Thank you and have a fabulous weekend!


      1. I have the physical copy sent to me by the publisher so when I am finished perhaps I could send it to you if you like.
        I love the Met, took several courses there through a Lincoln Center summer course. It was so amazing and were able to be there bf it opened to go around with our artist instructor.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Sounds great, Jonetta!
    During the week from your feed I added Such a Pretty Girl.
    I also added a couple to continue with older series:
    Dangerous to Know (Natalie King, Forensic Psychiatrist, #2) library audio.
    The Redeemer (Harry Hole, #6) Jo Nesbø library audio
    Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown, library audio
    Love a good series, and can do it quickly on audio.
    Have a great week!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Glad I could help you out, Jo. Once again, lots of wonderful books to choose from here. I haven’t read Queenie Hennesey yet, but there is a new one in the series coming out, so I better get to it. Enjoy them all!

    Liked by 1 person

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