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.
It was one of the most searing images of the twentieth century: two young boys, two princes, walking behind their mother’s coffin as the world watched in sorrow—and horror. As Princess Diana was laid to rest, billions wondered what Prince William and Prince Harry must be thinking and feeling—and how their lives would play out from that point on.
For Harry, this is that story at last.
Before losing his mother, twelve-year-old Prince Harry was known as the carefree one, the happy-go-lucky Spare to the more serious Heir. Grief changed everything. He struggled at school, struggled with anger, with loneliness—and, because he blamed the press for his mother’s death, he struggled to accept life in the spotlight.
At twenty-one, he joined the British Army. The discipline gave him structure, and two combat tours made him a hero at home. But he soon felt more lost than ever, suffering from post-traumatic stress and prone to crippling panic attacks. Above all, he couldn’t find true love.
Then he met Meghan. The world was swept away by the couple’s cinematic romance and rejoiced in their fairy-tale wedding. But from the beginning, Harry and Meghan were preyed upon by the press, subjected to waves of abuse, racism, and lies. Watching his wife suffer, their safety and mental health at risk, Harry saw no other way to prevent the tragedy of history repeating itself but to flee his mother country. Over the centuries, leaving the Royal Family was an act few had dared. The last to try, in fact, had been his mother. . . .
For the first time, Prince Harry tells his own story, chronicling his journey with raw, unflinching honesty. A landmark publication, Spare is full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief.
I jumped in the library queue before it reached massive levels (over 1,400 and still rising) and finally got my copy. I prefer to hear his account in his own words and voice rather than continuing to get media interpretations.
Zora has committed every inch of her life to establishing her thriving DC bookstore, making it into a pillar of the community, and she just hasn’t had time for romance. But when a mystery author she’s been crushing on for years agrees to have an event at her store, she starts to rethink her priorities. Lawrence is every bit as charming as she imagined, even if his understanding of his own books seems just a bit shallow. When he asks her out after his reading, she’s almost elated enough to forget about the grumpy guy who sat next to her making snide comments all evening. Apparently the grouch is Lawrence’s best friend, Reid, but she can’t imagine what kind of friendship that must be. They couldn’t be more different.
But as she starts seeing Lawrence, and spending more and more time with Reid, Zora finds first impressions can be deceiving. Reid is smart and thoughtful—he’s also interested. After years of avoiding dating, she suddenly has two handsome men competing for her affection. But even as she struggles to choose between them, she can’t shake the feeling that they’re both hiding something—a mystery she’s determined to solve before she can find her HEA.
I enjoyed the author’s first book, Savvy Sheldon Feels Good as Hell and was thrilled to see this show up in the Sunday Post at Tessa @ Talks Books as part of her book haul. Scheduled for release in April, it’s an audio review hopeful.
Titus Crowne is the first Black sheriff in the history of Charon County. A former FBI agent and security expert, Titus came home to take care of his father and look out for his troubled younger brother. He ran for Sheriff to make a difference, especially in the Black community, which has so often been treated unfairly by the police.
But a year to the day after his election, a school shooting rocks the town. A beloved teacher is killed by a former student, and as Titus attempts to deescalate and get the boy to surrender, his deputies fire a fatal shot.
In the investigation, it becomes clear that the student they shot had been abused by the dead teacher, as well as by unidentified perpetrators. The trail leads to buried bodies—and secrets. While Titus tries to track down a killer hiding in plain sight, while balancing daily duties like protecting Confederate pride marchers, he must face what it means to be a Black man wearing a police uniform in the American South.
Learned about this from Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra in her Can’t Wait Wednesday feature. After loving Blacktop Wasteland, I quickly added. It’s a library audiobook hopeful.
Vivvy Bouchet, daughter of a known psychic, was ten when she saved a boy’s life by making an impossible prediction. Now she’s an astrophysicist in Texas, devoted to science, but the boy she saved has become a cop who continues to believe she can see things no one else can. When he begs for help on the high-profile cold case of a kidnapped girl, Vivvy steps back into the ocean of voices that once nearly drowned her.
She is forced to team up with detective Jesse Sharp, a skeptic of anything but fact. When Vivvy becomes the target of a conspiracy theorist podcaster, she fights back with both her scientific mind and her inexplicable gifts, hoping to lure a kidnapper, find a child who haunts her, and lay some of her own ghosts to rest.
Sharply relevant, Julia Heaberlin’s Night Will Find You explores the mysterious nature of belief—in psychic power, in science, in conspiracies, in a higher power—and the delicate dance between scientific truth and the things we can’t explain.
Another upcoming release I learned about from a NetGalley email, it’s a library audiobook hopeful. It’s also scheduled for release in June.
After posting a negative book review, a woman living in a remote location begins to wonder if the author is a little touchy—or very, very dangerous—in this pulse-pounding novel of psychological suspense and terror from the critically acclaimed author of No Exit and Hairpin Bridge.
Emma Carpenter lives in isolation with her golden retriever Laika, house-sitting an old beachfront home on the rainy Washington coast. Her only human contact is her enigmatic old neighbor, Deek, and (via text) the house’s owner, Jules.
One day, she reads a poorly written—but gruesome—horror novel by the author H. G. Kane, and posts a one-star review that drags her into an online argument with none other than the author himself. Soon after, disturbing incidents start to occur at night. To Emma, this can’t just be a coincidence. It was strange enough for this author to bicker with her online about a lousy review; could he be stalking her, too?
As Emma digs into Kane’s life and work, she learns he has published sixteen other novels, all similarly sadistic tales of stalking and murder. But who is he? How did he find her? And what else is he capable of?
Oh, I was captivated by the description before I realized it’s by the author of No Exit. Yeah, that NetGalley email was a winner! Scheduled for release in April, it’s an audio review hopeful.
When two former teen stars reconnect at the reunion for their hit TV show, they discover their feelings for one another were not merely scripted in this charming and heartwarming novel perfect for fans of Christina Lauren and Sally Thorne.
Liv Latimer grew up on TV.
As the star of the popular teen drama Girl on the Verge, Liv spent her adolescence on the screen trying to be as picture perfect as her character in real life. But after the death of her father and the betrayal of her on-screen love interest and off-screen best friend Ransom Joel, Liv wanted nothing more than to retreat, living a mostly normal life aside from a few indie film roles. But now, twenty years after the show’s premiere, the cast is invited back for a reunion special, financed by a major streaming service.
Liv is happy to be back on set, especially once she discovers Ransom has only improved with age. And their chemistry is certainly still intact. They quickly fall into their old rhythms, rediscovering what had drawn them together decades before. But with new rivalries among the cast emerging and the specter of a reboot shadowing their shoot, Liv questions whether returning to the past is what she needs to finally get her own happy ending.
I gave this a pass when it was offered for audio review only because I’d reached my limit. Fortunately, the audiobook showed up at my library and I was able to grab it. I like the promise of the premise, a lot.
After being hospitalized for panic attacks two years after his mother’s death, charitable foundation executive Teagan van Zijl is dragged by his sister to a wilderness therapy retreat in Montana. Lost in the woods, Teagan nearly gets eaten by a bear but is saved by an angel in muddy hiking boots—the program’s handywoman, Darcy Albano, that is. After spending the summer with Darcy, Teagan realizes he doesn’t want to return to New York without her. He hires Darcy as his sober companion—a position he doesn’t actually need filled and for which Darcy is completely unqualified—hoping she can help him figure out how to move forward. But once they get to the city, all Teagan can think of is how to confess the truth while keeping her in his life.
Darcy Albano thought she was going to work as a wilderness guide when she was hired on the camp staff, but ended up a handywoman instead—only the latest screwing-over she’s endured since her ex stole her car and her parents ruined her credit score. But Teagan van Zijl is the silver lining she didn’t expect to appear—clearly going through something but willing to commit to Darcy’s unique brand of wilderness education as the cure for what ails him. They form an unlikely bond based on the unexpected support they provide each other. Darcy never imagined staying in the city, but with Teagan’s unshakeable belief in her abilities, anything seems possible.
This was included in a PRH email for most anticipated debuts and it sounds refreshingly different and layered. Early reviews imply that it’s more contemporary fiction with romantic elements, which is my preference. Scheduled for release in April, it’s a library audiobook hopeful.
Britain. The near-future. A right-wing government believes it has the answer to society’s ills—the Sanctity of Marriage Act, which actively encourages marriage as the norm, punishing those who choose to remain single.
But four couples are about to discover just how impossible relationships can be when the government is monitoring every aspect of our personal lives—monitoring every word, every minor disagreement…and will use every tool in its arsenal to ensure everyone will love, honor and obey.
Thanks to Julie @ A Little Book Problem for her blog tour post as I hadn’t heard of this new book, scheduled for US release in April. It’s an audio review hopeful.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 6:20 Man comes a twisting new psychological thriller in which two women—one a former detective, the other a dangerous con artist—go head-to-head in an electrifying game of cat and mouse.
Mickey Gibson, single mother and former detective, leads a hectic life similar to that of many moms: juggling the demands of her two small children with the tasks of her job working remotely for ProEye, a global investigation company that hunts down wealthy tax and credit cheats.
When Mickey gets a call from a colleague named Arlene Robinson, she thinks nothing of Arlene’s unusual request for her to go inventory the vacant home of an arms dealer who cheated ProEye’s clients and fled. That is, until she arrives at the mansion to discover a dead body in a secret room—and that nothing is as it seems.
Not only does the arms dealer not exist but the murder victim turns out to be Harry Lancaster, a man with mob ties who used to be in Witness Protection. What’s more, no one named Arlene Robinson works at ProEye.
In the blink of an eye, Gibson has become a prime suspect in a murder investigation—and now her job is also on the line until she proves that she was set up. Before long, Gibson is locked in a battle of wits with a brilliant woman with no name, a hidden past, and unknown motives—whose end game is as mysterious as it is deadly.
Baldacci is an auto read and I learned of this upcoming April release from his newsletter. I think it will become a series but it wasn’t abundantly clear yet. It’s a library audiobook hopeful.
Max Abbott takes center stage in the Butler, Vermont Series finale when the timeline jumps forward five years and finds Max staring down his ten-year high-school reunion with no desire whatsoever to attend. Under pressure from friends and family, he ends up glad he went when he connects with the one person from high school he didn’t keep in touch with—his ex-girlfriend, Lexi, who has been “missing” the last ten years. When he finds out where she’s been—and why—and realizes all the old familiar feelings are still there, he’ll have to decide if he can risk taking a chance on an uncertain situation with her or if he’d rather continue to go it alone with his son, Caden.
Find out where all the Abbotts and Colemans are and what Fred the Moose is up to five years later as this beloved series comes to an exciting conclusion.
This is the final book in the series, one I haven’t started yet but have slowly collected all of the books. I’m such a fan of the author and Goodreads friends’ reviews of the series are wonderful.
What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?