Thank you NetGalley and William Morrow Paperbacks for this ARC. All thoughts and opinions are mine.
SYNOPSIS: Welcome to Little Bridge, one of the smallest, most beautiful islands in the Florida Keys, home to sandy white beaches, salt-rimmed margaritas, and stunning sunsets—a place where nothing goes under the radar and love has a way of sneaking up when least expected...
A broken engagement only gave Molly Montgomery additional incentive to follow her dream job from the Colorado Rockies to the Florida Keys. Now, as Little Bridge Island Public Library’s head of children’s services, Molly hopes the messiest thing in her life will be her sticky-note covered desk. But fate—in the form of a newborn left in the restroom—has other ideas. So does the sheriff who comes to investigate the “abandonment”. When John Hartwell folds all six-feet-three of himself into a tiny chair and insists that whoever left the baby is a criminal, Molly begs to differ and asks what he’s doing about the Island’s real crime wave (if thefts of items from homes that have been left unlocked could be called that). Not the best of starts, but the man’s arrogance is almost as distracting as his blue eyes. Almost…
John would be pretty irritated if one of his deputies had a desk as disorderly as Molly’s. Good thing she doesn’t work for him, considering how attracted he is to her. Molly’s lilting librarian voice makes even the saltiest remarks go down sweeter, which is bad as long as she’s a witness but might be good once the case is solved—provided he hasn’t gotten on her last nerve by then. Recently divorced, John has been having trouble adjusting to single life as well as single parenthood. But something in Molly’s beautiful smile gives John hope that his old life on Little Bridge might suddenly hold new promise—if only they can get over their differences. (AMAZON)
As a first time Meg Cabot reader, I was ready to be pleasantly surprised. I know that she has quite the fan-base with her YA stories, but coming across an upcoming adult release by her that centered around a librarian and a cop (which is a favorite trope of mine in romance novels), I was eager to dive into this story.
The book began on a cringe-worthy and startling scene involving human-shaped cookies and the fondling of them by a teenager in front of children, during a children's activity at the library. I'm aware that it was meant to be funny, but this instance, like others in the book, felt forced.
Our leads Molly and John are, let's face it, expected to fall in love. This is, after all, the main point of a romance book in this vein. However, they don't so much fall in love as get shoved together by the author. It didn't read as something that naturally happened between them, and I felt no spark for their relationship. I don't care if two people fall in love at first sight or over a long period of time, but I want to see it happen organically. Molly—while meaning to be sassy, independent and a go-getter—comes across as bossy, pushy and meddling. John, on the other hand, lacked in personality and was fairly dislikable and belittling whenever he had a scene that attempted to connect him with the others working under him at the Sheriff's Office.
Barring the love story of a book that falls short as soon as I have an issue feeling an attachment for the main couple, I was hoping for some other saving grace. But Cabot tends to tell the reader rather than show far too often, there were a couple of instances of generalizations on characters based on sexuality and/or race that did not sit well with me, and the book was overall dull. My best takeaway from this story was the factoid that Molly spews—among the many that she incessantly spews either verbally toward someone else or in her own head—concerning the behind-the-scenes on the writing of Nancy Drew books, which was fairly interesting to learn and something that I had not expected despite the many times I've devoured a ND story.
This was, unfortunately, one of the few exciting tidbits.