Release Date: May 2nd, 2022
CW: parental abandonment, death of a parent, mentions of drug overdose
With a looming deadline and a serious lack of inspiration to meet it, jet-setting artist Natalie Walker returns to her lifelong refuge of Nantucket. There, she meets Jack McNally, a former perpetual bachelor who’s in over his head after the tragic death of his best friend left him with the responsibilities of a beachside café and a bouncing baby boy.
When Natalie breezes into town, looking for a job and a place to stay, Jack eagerly offers her both, but living and working so closely when they are both wildly attracted to each other is bound to get tricky. When they eventually give in to their desires, the results are sizzling, but what happens when one person was always destined to leave and the other never wants to?
First of all, I want to congratulate Molly McCarthy on the release of her debut! While this book didn’t work for me entirely, there were parts of it that I enjoyed and parts that I didn’t. Beauty in the Details takes place in Nantucket, a part of the world I’ve only ever seen in pictures and I’ve always been fascinated by. So to spend time there through this book was a treat.
What I liked:
- The location, of course. It was like being on holiday as Molly took us around the place. I felt like I was really there and that was definitely enjoyable.
- I really liked a lot of the secondary characters: Dana, June and most definitely Carter (though, they kept referring to him as ‘baby’, when he was able to speak a few words, so I was confused about his age for a good portion of the book). I also liked what we saw of Fletcher and Beau (Jack’s brothers) and I hope we get to see more of them soon!
- I loved the idea of renovating the cafe where Natalie and Jack meet, that really added a little bit of fun to the story.
- Molly’s writing was also pretty smooth and easy to enjoy, which is always a good thing for a reader!
- I always love it when difficult relationships with parents are repaired and Natalie and her father fix their turbulent relationship in a very positive way, even if the circumstances are less than stellar.
What I didn’t like:
- Sadly, Natalie wasn’t a character that I liked or connected with. I understood her struggles with life and how she approaches things, but she felt a little ungrateful. Jack offered to take her in and then she expected him to just let her do whatever she wanted, when in actuality, she was meant to be helping him, not just the other way around. There was a lot of eye rolling and scoffing when Jack asked for help and I did not appreciate that.
- I also don’t think Natalie and Jack’s relationship worked for me. It felt too rushed and slightly confusing. I was never entirely sure what Natalie wanted out of the relationship, because she kept saying she wasn’t staying, but then she made herself very comfortable
- I wish we had dual POV, because it would have really elevated the story to see how Jack was handling everything. We only ever saw Jack through Natalie’s eyes and given that she was more attracted to him physically and annoyed with him other times, it was hard to really connect to their relationship.
All in all, I think it had an interesting plot and great bones. I will be watching out for more stories from Molly McCarthy!
Thanks to Molly McCarthy for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.