Beauty Series #2
Release Date: May 30, 2013
Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchased on kindle
Rating: 4 Bookworms
Challenges: #Goodreads, #TravelingtotheTerminus
How do you move on when he's every song you sing?
After Laurelyn Prescott walks away from the love of her life, she returns to Nashville to pursue the only dream she has left. Determined to find a distraction from the pain of losing Jack Henry, she immerses herself in her music. But with her old life comes old acquaintances and new expectations. When Laurelyn refuses her record producer's outrageous demands, she finds herself without a career - until an unforeseen opportunity presents itself. From there it's a rocket ride straight to the top where Laurelyn finds the success she's always dreamed of. Will it be enough to bring her the happiness she so deserves, or will the absence of Jack Henry leave her wanting more?
Jack Henry McLachlan never expected to fall in love with Laurelyn Prescott - but he did. After he foolishly let her slip through his fingers, he spends three months searching for her, but their reunion doesn't come easy. The woman he finds isn't the same one who drifted away without a goodbye. No longer an insecure girl on an Australian adventure, this Laurelyn is a successful musician with a promising career. Her dreams are becoming a reality, and Jack is terrified his American girl won't have a place for him in her new life. With only a month to convince her otherwise, will it be enough time to make her visualize a life beyond the glitz and glamour, a life that includes him?
Beauty in Surrender continues Laurelyn and Jack Henry's story. It was heartbreaking to begin with - both of them being so unhappy apart. Things eventually took an upswing though. Here's what worked and what could have worked better, in my opinion:
- The emotion. If there's one thing Cates is adept at it's evoking emotion! I felt Jack Henry's despair in not being able to locate Laurelyn and thinking he'd lost her. I felt Laurelyn's struggle over wanting to be with Jack Henry but also wanting the career she'd worked so hard for. I felt the elation, the passion, the fear they each experienced when they found one another and then tried to figure out if they could work things out. The feels....they packed a punch!
- The secondary cast. I enjoyed being with Jack Henry's family again. I liked seeing how close he is with his family and how their dynamics affect them. I also liked how they welcomed Laurelyn into the fold. Laurelyn's parents, on the other hand, left something to be desired and her best friend wasn't as present in this installment but I liked her. I even liked the band members who gave Laurelyn her chance.
- The story. I found myself captivated by Jack Henry and Laurelyn's story once again, reveling in their times together and despairing at the thought they wouldn't work things out.
What Could Have Worked Better
- The story. Despite my positive feelings about the story, there was something missing from this second installment. That thin was the suspense element. While one part explored in the first book was present, it was too easily resolved and never discussed again. The other part was barely given a mention. Although I feel quite certain it will have a pivotal role in the final installment, I missed the tension it provided in the first book.
As an aside, I love how the title reflects what goes on in the story - Jack Henry and Laurelyn both surrender things they thought they wanted as they learn what they really need and how it defines them. It was beautiful!