• No Offense by Meg Cabot
No Offense Book Cover No Offense
Little Bridge
Meg Cabot
William Morrow Paperbacks
August 11, 2020

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.

Clever, hilarious, and fun, No Offense will tug at readers’ heartstrings and make them fall in love with Little Bridge Island and its unique characters once again.

I wanna live in some post card town in the Florida Keys too Photo by Andy Newman/Florida Keys News Bureau

What do you get when you mix a recently dumped librarian, a major DILF, and a baby abandoned in a bathroom? No Offense, but a really f***ing good novel. 

When Molly Montgomery moves to Little Bridge in the Florida Keys after her failed engagement, she expects life as the small town’s librarian to be checking out books and running cookie decorating programs. What she finds instead is the unexpected: a newborn baby in the bathroom of her tiny library. This leads her to connect with the town’s sheriff, John Hartwell, recent divorcee, single father, and major DILF. Together, despite their frustrations, they work together to solve the town’s newest mysteries. Who left the baby in the bathroom, where are the wealthy gang members who call themselves the Sunshine Kids, and who is the local burglar? In between solving crime, however, Molly and John might just find love in the most unlikely places. 

I want to start off by saying that I am a major Meg Cabot fan. I started with the Princess Diaries and moved my way up. I’ve realized recently that I maybe need to stop just reading YA and venture into big girl books. I figured starting with my tried and true author of choice would be a safe start. Meg Cabot ALWAYS delivers. She’s never endingly creative. All of her books have this essence that is totally delightful, but still have wildly different plot points. 

Anyways, down to the nitty gritty of this book. I loved the structure of this book. The shifting perspective between Molly and John each chapter created a wonderful juxtaposition. You get to watch the same scenes, but from each character’s eyes. I enjoyed the way both Molly and John seemingly hated each other at first, but slowly, as it should be, fall for each other. 

Cabot writes wonderful characters. Full stop. Her main characters are well rounded, but her secondary characters are just as round. For example, Eijah, a local softhearted punk who hangs around the library teaching the little kids about “pornogwaphy,” is a fun addition to the Little Bridge community. The town itself is almost a character. Even if you haven’t been to the Florida Keys, Cabot makes it feel real to you. The town breathes and moves.

I have yet to read the first of the Little Bridge novels, but it didn’t affect my comprehension of anything going on within the book. They share a universe, yet I didn’t need one to complete the other. I’ll definitely be going back to read No Judgements (the first novel) to go on another trip to Little Bridge.  

For those who grew up on Meg Cabot books and are intimidated to dip their toes in the world of Adult Fiction, No Offense, is a great start. It’s a romance with still a fun, youthful tone that doesn’t leave you bored. My personal bias to Cabot aside, I would highly recommend No Offense. It’s a beach read with the built in beach. I read it from the comfort of my own home (thanks Corona,) but I enjoyed my vacation to Little Bridge. For lovers of mysteries and a good old fashioned romance, No Offense, is for you.