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.
Opposites certainly attract for the stranded pop star and small-town baker in this charming slice of romance from the author of the TikTok sensation The Cheat Sheet.
Amelia Rose, known as Rae Rose to her fans, is burnt out from years of maintaining her “princess of pop” image. Inspired by her favorite Audrey Hepburn film Roman Holiday, and desperate for a getaway from the music business, she drives off in the middle of the night for a respite in Rome…Rome, Kentucky, that is.
When Noah Walker finds Amelia on his front lawn in her broken-down car, he makes it clear he doesn’t have the time or patience for celebrity problems. He’s too busy running the pie shop his grandmother left him and reminding his nosy but lovable neighbors to mind their own damn business. But his heart softens when it becomes clear that years in the public eye have left Amelia lonely and isolated. Soon she’ll have to return to her glamorous life on tour, but until then Noah will show Amelia all the charming small-town experiences she’s been missing and she’ll show him how to open his heart to more.
Amelia can’t resist falling for Rome and her grumpy tour guide, but she keeps reminding herself that even Audrey had to go back to her real life in the end…
Thanks to Nicki @ Secret Library Book Blog for including this in her Stacking the Shelves post. I love the premise and I’m in a short library queue for the audiobook.
‘Tis the season at The Christmas House, and Ruby Harris is getting married—but a winter storm of emotion could derail the whole affair in New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Victoria James’s second Christmas House novel.
Ruby Harris, longtime owner of the historic B&B, The Christmas House, is tying the knot—on Christmas Eve! Olivia Harris is thrilled for her grandmother and can’t wait to help plan the event.
Newly divorced, with an adorable baby girl, Olivia has spent the last year starting a new life in Silver Springs. First on her list is to renovate the old warehouse she’s purchased and launch her dance studio. Second is to find a date for the wedding. And third is to not fall for that date, because she’s sworn off relationships forever.
When Olivia’s meets Scott, a talented contractor, she hires him for the renovation. She also tries to ignore the sparks that fly between them. Then, an unexpected Christmas guest arrives: Olivia’s ex, Will, who’s come to rekindle their relationship. Now, Olivia must decide if she has it in her heart to forgive Will, or if she should pursue an exciting new relationship with Scott.
James is one of my favorite contemporary romance authors and I stumbled across this second book in the Silver Springs series. It’s on both my Audible & Libro.fm wishlists.
The mysterious connection between a teacher’s disappearance and an unsolved code in a children’s book is explored in this fresh novel from the author of the “clever and often wryly funny” (PopSugar) novel The Appeal.
Forty years ago, Steven “Smithy” Smith found a copy of a famous children’s book by disgraced author Edith Twyford, its margins full of strange markings and annotations. When he showed it to his remedial English teacher Miss Iles, she believed that it was part of a secret code that ran through all of Twyford’s novels. And when she disappeared on a class field trip, Smithy became convinced that she had been right.
Now, out of prison after a long stretch, Smithy decides to investigate the mystery that has haunted him for decades. In a series of voice recordings on an old iPhone from his estranged son, Smithy alternates between visiting the people of his childhood and looking back on the events that later landed him in prison.
But it soon becomes clear that Edith Twyford wasn’t just a writer of forgotten children’s stories. The Twyford Code holds a great secret, and Smithy may just have the key.
“A modern Agatha Christie” (The Sunday Times, London), Janice Hallett has constructed a fiendishly clever, maddeningly original crime novel for lovers of word games, puzzles, and stories of redemption.
A Goodreads friend recently reviewed this book and as I loved The Appeal, I quickly added it. I’m also rather manic about puzzles and word games, too. It’s an audio review hopeful scheduled for release in January.
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Diamond Eye comes a riveting short story about an impossible connection across two centuries that could make the difference between peace or war.
Yorkshire, 1943. Lily Baines, a bright young debutante increasingly ground down by an endless war, has traded in her white gloves for a set of headphones. It’s her job to intercept enemy naval communications and send them to Bletchley Park for decryption.
One night, she picks up a transmission that isn’t code at all—it’s a cry for help.
An American ship is taking heavy fire in the North Atlantic—but no one else has reported an attack, and the information relayed by the young US officer, Matt Jackson, seems all wrong. The contact that Lily has made on the other end of the radio channel says it’s…2023.
Across an eighty-year gap, Lily and Matt must find a way to help each other: Matt to convince her that the war she’s fighting can still be won, and Lily to help him stave off the war to come. As their connection grows stronger, they both know there’s no telling when time will run out on their inexplicable link.
My friend Marialyce @ yayareads comes through again with another book she added to her shelf and shared with me in her comments to last week’s post. It’s free to Amazon Prime members, which then gives you access to the audiobook.
A new marriage.
A perfect home.
A machine that says it’s all a lie.
Welcome to Silicon Valley, where the weather is perfect, the income is high … and Rowena Snyder is miserable. A transplant from New York, Rowena moved into her husband Jacob’s idyllic childhood home with their new baby. But suburbia isn’t Rowena’s cup of Starbucks. And she’s got serious anxiety and depression to boot.
Jacob, worried about their marriage, scores a new product currently in beta testing from his tech job: Maxine, a “digital friend” that bonds with an individual by continually gathering their personal data. Along with functioning like an upscale digital assistant, Maxine has “advice” and “prediction” modes that have shown promise for patients with mental health issues. To Rowena’s shock, the device turns out to be not just helpful, but eerily accurate, predicting events before they occur.
It’s a godsend until Maxine offers a series of increasingly bone-chilling predictions that will change Rowena’s life forever.
This domestic suspense novel set in a near-future dystopia asks, who do you trust more—your mind, your man, or your machine?.
One of my trusted Goodreads friends wrote a wonderful, compelling review of this book that immediately hooked me. It’s on my Audible wishlist.
Hold You Down is an edgy novel from rising star Tracy Brown about the perils of love and the ties that bind…
New York City. Late 1980s to early 1990s.
Mercy and Lenox Howard have always only had each other. Growing up on the mean streets of Harlem with an absentee mother meant that they had to have each other’s backs. Now young, smart mothers they are determined to survive in New York City while raising their two sons, who have bright futures ahead of them.
Mercy is the quiet, straight laced hospital administrator, struggling to make ends meet. At night and on weekends, she pours her heart into her cooking and her dream of owning her own restaurant. Lenox is the diva, the wild child, looking for excitement and her big come up in life and love. Their boys, Deon and Judah, have been raised more like brothers than cousins, forging a bond that is unbreakable.
When Lenox heads down a path that she believes will bring success and power, it changes the entire course of her life and her family’s life forever. As a result of their mother’s choices, cousins Deon and Judah soon find themselves in uncharted territory.
This showed up at my library and the description pulled me in. I got the audiobook version.
From the New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls and “master of suspense, Megan Miranda” (Mary Kubica, New York Times bestselling author of The Good Girl), a thrilling mystery about a group of former classmates who reunite to mark the tenth anniversary of a tragic accident—only to have one of the survivors disappear, casting fear and suspicion on the original tragedy.
Even though this isn’t much of a description, I’m already in. Scheduled for release in April, it’s an audio review hopeful.
“Arresting and powerful, Flight examines the possibility and pain of fierce love and hope in our time of looming existential threats.”—Lily King, New York Times bestselling author of Writers & Lovers
“Suspenseful, dazzling and moving.”—Rumaan Alam, New York Times bestselling author of Leave the World Behind
It’s December 22nd, and siblings Henry, Kate, and Martin have converged with their spouses on Henry’s house in upstate New York. This is the first Christmas the siblings are without their mother, the first not at their mother’s Florida house. Over the course of the next three days, old resentments and instabilities arise as the siblings, with a gaggle of children afoot, attempt to perform familiar rituals, while also trying to decide what to do with their mother’s house, their sole inheritance. As tensions rise, the whole group is forced to come together unexpectedly when a local mother and daughter need help.
With the urgency and artfulness that cemented her previous novel Want as “a defining novel of our age” (Vulture), Strong once again turns her attention to the structural and systemic failings that are haunting Americans, but also to the ways in which family, friends, and strangers can support each other through the gaps. Flight is a novel of family, ambition, precarity, art, and desire, one that forms a powerful next step from a brilliant chronicler of our time.
I love family drama stories, especially those set during the holidays. I was unsure about this at first and gave it a pass when offered for review but reconsidered when it showed up at my library. I grabbed the audiobook.
What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?