Meme

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.



Thirty-four-year-old Abby Stern has made it to a happy place. True, she still has gig jobs instead of a career, and the apartment where she’s lived since college still looks like she just moved in. But she’s got good friends, she’s got her bike, and her bike club in Philadelphia. She’s at peace with her plus-size body—at least, most of the time—and she’s on track to marry her childhood sweetheart. Abby and Mark met at the weight-loss camp Abby’s perpetually-dieting mother, Eileen, forced her daughter to attend. Fifteen years later, when Abby reconnects with a half-his-size Mark, and finds out that he still adores her, it feels like fate.

Yet Abby can’t escape the feeling that something isn’t right…or the memories of one mind-blowing night spent with a man named Sebastian two years ago. So when Abby gets a last minute call to lead a group bike trip from New York City to Niagara Falls, she’s happy to have time away from Mark, and a chance to make up her mind.

But on the first day, Abby is shocked when she sees a familiar face in the tour group—Sebastian, the one-night stand she never thought she’d see again. As a serial dater who lives a hundred miles away, Sebastian is far from Mr. Perfect, and Abby is determined to keep her distance, even if their chemistry is undeniable. To make things even worse, there’s a last-minute addition to the trip—Abby’s mother, Eileen, whom Abby blames for a lifetime of body shaming and insecurities she’s still trying to undo.

Over the next two weeks, strangers become confidantes, hidden truths come to light, and a teenage girl with a secret will unite all the riders in surprising ways—while all of Abby’s certainties about herself, her mother, and the nature of love are challenged.

Thanks to Jodie @ That Happy Reader for the heads up about this upcoming August release in her Stacking the Shelves post. It’s an audio review hopeful.


Will Trent and Sara Linton are back! This is the 11th electrifying thriller featuring GBI investigator Will Trent and medical examiner Sara Linton from New York Times bestselling author Karin Slaughter.

After that night, nothing was ever the same again …

Fifteen years ago, Sara Linton’s life changed forever when a celebratory night out ended in a violent attack that tore her world apart. Since then, Sara has remade her life. A successful doctor, engaged to a man she loves, she has finally managed to leave the past behind her.

Until one evening, on call in the ER, everything changes. Sara battles to save a broken young woman who’s been brutally attacked. But as the investigation progresses, led by GBI Special Agent Will Trent, it becomes clear that Dani Cooper’s assault is uncannily linked to Sara’s.

And it seems the past isn’t going to stay buried forever …

I’m thrilled about this upcoming August release! This series is in my top ten favorites, including the TV version. It’s a library audiobook hopeful.



When freshly engaged Austyn Murphy and Lowell Bass receive the news that Lowell’s parents have died unexpectedly, they set out for the historic Bass estate to handle their affairs and lay the former heads of the family to rest.

Enshrouded in layers of secrecy and tradition, the Bass estate, and the family residing within its walls, give anything but a warm welcome. When the idea of staying in the home permanently is brought up, Austyn witnesses a side of her future husband she’s never seen before.

Late one night, Austyn overhears a whispered conversation, revealing she hasn’t been given the full truth about the world she’s marrying into. And when Emily, an old friend, calls with devastating news of her own, Lowell and Austyn invite her to join them for a visit at the estate.

Upon Emily’s arrival, a confession is made, causing a rift in the seemingly impenetrable bond the girls once had. As Emily settles into their home, becoming closer to Lowell than ever before, Austyn fears she’s made a grave mistake.

Trapped inside the Bass estate under the ever-watchful eye of the staff and her soon-to-be family, Austyn makes another chilling discovery—something so terrible it changes everything.

With distressing revelations hidden around every corner and time running out before final decisions are made about her future, Austyn must uncover the truth about the opulent and powerful Bass family…at the risk of becoming another one of their dark secrets.

I learned of this via the publisher email and it’s a library audiobook hopeful.


From the bestselling author of Dead Certain and The Perfect Marriage comes a smart and twisty legal thriller about love, life, and truth that careens to a shocking conclusion you won’t soon forget …

Matthew Brooks and Vanessa Lyons are a perfect love match, both attorneys at a powerful New York City law firm. But there’s a hitch: Matt just made partner, and Vanessa is coming up for partner next year. And Vanessa’s husband has his suspicions.

Vanessa is assigned to the biggest case at the firm, the one that will determine her future. Unfortunately, Matt has been working the case for years, leaving him no choice but to supervise his lover in violation of firm policy. When Vanessa is denied her partnership, despite assurances to the contrary, she can only assume that her affair with Matt was the reason.

Then, on a crowded Manhattan street corner, a knife flashes in the midday sun, leaving behind a scene of horror. But with so many having been betrayed, and no one telling the truth, will the murderer be brought to justice? Even after hearing the gripping courtroom testimony, listeners will be unsure who is the betrayed and who is the betrayer, right up until the culminating jaw-dropping reveal.

I hadn’t heard of this until it was offered for audio review. I love legal thrillers, especially on audio, so I greedily accepted this because it sounds so intriguing.



A random connection sends two strangers on a daylong adventure where they make a promise one keeps and the other breaks, with life-changing effects, in this breathtaking new novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Every Summer After.


Fern Brookbanks has wasted far too much of her adult life thinking about Will Baxter. She spent just twenty-four hours in her early twenties with the aggravatingly attractive, idealistic artist, a chance encounter that spiraled into a daylong adventure in the city. The timing was wrong, but their connection was undeniable: they shared every secret, every dream, and made a pact to meet one year later. Fern showed up. Will didn’t.

At thirty-two, Fern’s life doesn’t look at all how she once imagined it would. Instead of living in the city, Fern’s back home, running her mother’s lakeside resort—something she vowed never to do. The place is in disarray, her ex-boyfriend’s the manager, and Fern doesn’t know where to begin.

She needs a plan—a lifeline. To her surprise, it comes in the form of Will, who arrives nine years too late, with a suitcase in tow and an offer to help on his lips. Will may be the only person who understands what Fern’s going through. But how could she possibly trust this expensive-suit wearing mirage who seems nothing like the young man she met all those years ago. Will is hiding something, and Fern’s not sure she wants to know what it is.

But ten years ago, Will Baxter rescued Fern. Can she do the same for him?

Offered for audio review, the book’s premise is one of my favorites so I readily accepted.


Into the Fire introduces Ray Wyatt, a veteran reporter grappling with the tragic loss of his wife and son while searching for answers in the crime stories he covers.

Hikers find a traumatized boy wandering in a remote corner of New York’s Adirondack Mountains. Retracing his steps to a cabin, they make a terrifying discovery that leads to an investigation entangling crime reporter Ray Wyatt and FBI Special Agent Jill McDade.

Wyatt is dispatched to cover the disturbing case, while still haunted by the loss of his son and wife years earlier.

McDade and Wyatt race the clock to learn the truth behind one of the most unconscionable crimes in the history of Upstate New York. At the same time, they grapple with the dawning horror that the monstrous event is linked to them.

I’ve yet to read a book by this author and have always wanted to so, when offered for audio review, it seemed the ideal opportunity.



A multigenerational saga that traverses the glamour of old Hollywood and the seductive draw of modern-day showbiz.


When Kitty Karr Tate, a White icon of the silver screen, dies and bequeaths her multimillion-dollar estate to the St. John sisters, three young, wealthy Black women, it prompts questions. Lots of questions.

A celebrity in her own right, Elise St. John would rather focus on sorting out Kitty’s affairs than deal with the press. But what she discovers in one of Kitty’s journals rocks her world harder than any other brewing scandal could—and between a cheating fiancé and the fallout from a controversial social media post, there are plenty.

The truth behind Kitty’s ascent to stardom from her beginnings in the segregated South threatens to expose a web of unexpected family ties, debts owed, and debatable crimes that could, with one pull, unravel the all-American fabric of the St. John sisters and those closest to them.

As Elise digs deeper into Kitty’s past, she must also turn the lens upon herself, confronting the gifts and burdens of her own choices and the power that the secrets of the dead hold over the living. Did You Hear About Kitty Karr? is a sprawling page-turner set against the backdrop of the Hollywood machine, an insightful and nuanced look at the inheritances of family, race, and gender—and the choices some women make to break free of them..

This is the the May selection for Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine Book Club. Since I’m having great success with her picks and am drawn to the description, I added it and am in a short library queue (for me…it’s now massive).


A twisty and consuming thriller, Perfectly Nice Neighbors asks: When your dream home comes with nightmare neighbors, how far will you go to keep your family safe?

Salma Khatun is hopeful about Blenheim, the suburban development into which she, her husband, and their son have just moved. The Bangladeshi family needs a fresh start, and Blenheim feels like just the place.

Soon after they move in, Salma spots her white neighbor, Tom Hutton, ripping out the anti-racist banner her son put in the front garden. Avoiding confrontation, Salma takes the banner inside and puts it in her window. But the next morning, she wakes up to find her window smeared with paint.

When she does speak to Tom, battle lines are drawn between the two families. As racial and social tensions escalate and the stakes rise, it’s clear that a reckoning is coming . . .

And someone is going to get hurt.

Also known as Those People Next Door, thanks to Brenda & Lindsay @ Penny For Our Thoughts for two great reviews. Another legal thriller, 



Deadly secrets lie beneath the murky waters of the Louisiana bayou in this pulse-pounding new romantic suspense novel from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Karen Rose.


There’s no safe place for a child to hide when danger comes from every direction.

Public prosecutor J.P. “Kaj” Cardozo has only lived in New Orleans for six months, and he’s already working on a high-profile celebrity sexual assault case that’s made headlines all over the country. But when his son becomes the target of a kidnapping attempt as a threat to Kaj, he is desperate to keep him safe and turns to a private investigative firm famous for their protection services.

A veteran Marine, Val Sorensen is glad to have found a new career with Broussard Investigations. Her latest assignment as the bodyguard to ten-year-old Elijah Cardozo reminds her why–Val is a kick ass guardian with a tender heart. Through her duties, Val grows fond of the boy–and his handsome father.

But when the high-stakes investigation reveals an explosive network of crime through a revived drug gang, lingering deep-seated corruption in the NOPD, and a group of murderers-for-hire targeting Kaj, Elijah, and his star client, they’re all left scrambling for safety…

I learned of this next book in the author’s long running series from her newsletter. Scheduled for release in August and back in New Orleans, it’s a library audiobook hopeful.


A small-town sweetheart and an emotionally unavailable bad boy try to find some common ground in this chemistry-filled romance from the author of The Cheat Sheet and When in Rome.

Annie Walker is on a quest to find her perfect match—someone who complements her happy, quiet life running the local flower shop in Rome, Kentucky. But finding her dream man may be harder than Annie imagined. Everyone knows everyone in her hometown, and the dating prospects are getting fewer by the day. After she overhears her latest date say she is “so unbelievably boring,” Annie starts to think the problem might be her. Is it too late to become flirtatious and fun like the leading ladies in her favorite romance movies? Maybe she only needs a little practice . . . and Annie has the perfect person in mind to be her tutor: Will Griffin.

Will—the sexy, tattooed, and absolutely gorgeous bodyguard—is temporarily back in Rome, providing security for Amelia Rose as excitement builds for her upcoming marriage to Noah Walker, Annie’s brother. He has one personal objective while on the job: stay away from Annie Walker and any other possible attachments to this sleepy town. But no sooner than he gets settled, Will finds himself tasked with helping Annie find the love of her life by becoming the next leading lady of Rome, Kentucky. Will wants no part in changing the sweet and lovely Annie. He knows for a fact that some stuffy, straitlaced guy won’t make her happy, but he doesn’t have the heart to say no.

Amid steamy practice dates and strictly “educational” tutoring lessons, Annie discovers there are more layers to Will’s usual stoic attitude. As the lines of their friendship become dangerously blurred, Annie reconsiders her dream guy. Maybe her love life doesn’t need to be perfect—it just needs to be real.

When this showed up at my library, I got in the queue though I was still unsure about it. However, after reading the review by Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra, I firmly held my place for the audiobook.



Award-Winning Wall Street Journal Bestselling author Kennedy Ryan launches a brand new series with a Hollywood tale of wild ambition, artistic obsession, and unrelenting love.


One moment in the spotlight.

For months I stood by, an understudy waiting in the wings, preparing for my time to shine.
I never imagined he would watch in the audience that night.
Canon Holt.
Famous film director.
Fascinating. Talented. Fine.
Before I could catch my breath, everything changed.
I went from backstage Broadway to center stage Hollywood.
From being unknown, to my name, Neevah Saint, on everyone’s lips.
Canon casts me in a star-studded Harlem Renaissance biopic, catapulting me into another stratosphere.

But stars shine brightest in the dead of night.
Forbidden attraction, scandal and circumstances beyond my control jeopardize my dream.
Could this one shot—the role of a lifetime, the love of a lifetime—cost me everything?

This is the book by Ryan that I’ve wanted for some time and even had it on my Audible wishlist. The audiobook inexplicably appeared at my library and I grabbed it.


Catherine Sterling thinks she knows her mother. Ruth Sterling is quiet, hardworking, and lives for her daughter. All her life, it’s been just the two of them against the world. But now, Catherine is ready to spread her wings, move from home, and begin a new career. And Ruth Sterling will do anything to prevent that from happening.

Ruth Sterling thinks she knows her daughter. Catherine would never rebel, would never question anything about her mother’s past or background. But when Ruth’s desperate quest to keep her daughter by her side begins to reveal cracks in Ruth’s carefully constructed world, both mother and daughter begin a dance of deception.

No one can know Ruth’s history. There is a reason why Ruth kept them moving every few years, and why she was ready—in a moment’s notice—to be gone in the night.

But danger is closing in. Is it coming from the outside, from Ruth’s past? Is Ruth reaching a breaking point? Or is the danger coming from the darkness that may live in Catherine, herself?

Propulsive, brilliant, layered, and provocative, Gone Tonight is a thriller that showcases Sarah Pekkanen at the top of her game.

I’ve long been a fan of the writing duo of Pekkanen & Hendricks so I’m excited about her solo effort scheduled for release in August. I learned about it in the publisher’s Instagram post and it’s a library audiobook hopeful.


What books did YOU add to your shelves this week?

 

 

17 thoughts on “Saturdays at the Café”

  1. I have Gone Tonight, and I have liked what I read by Kia Abdullah so adding that one. It’s been a busy week as we are preparing for our vacation to the Caymans. Hopefully, I will do a lot of beach reading!

    Enjoy all of your selections, Jo.
    I did add a few:
    Special Circumstances by Sheldon Siegel,Tim Campbell (Narrator)
    and
    The Bird Hotel by Joyce Maynard
    Enjoy the rest of the week!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So many books on this list that I want to read or listen to. I was denied for the Karin Slaughter book so am not hoping my library gets the audiobook. I also read the review by Brenda and Lindsay and want to read the Kia Abdullah book. I hope you enjoy all of these.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree, she does a great job. There never seems to be a rhyme of reason for approvals and declines, so I just read them when I can get my hands on them. I have read every one and I won’t stop now. 🤷‍♀️

        Liked by 1 person

Comment anyone?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s