Wednesday, September 07, 2016
Review: Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins
What's the market price on a decent guy these days?
Maggie Beaumont's luck is about to change. Sure, she's known for her bad romantic choices—her former boyfriend broke up with her by bringing his new girlfriend home for a visit. And then there was the crush she had on a gorgeous young Irishman, who turned out to be Father Tim, the parish's new priest.
But romantic salvation has arrived in the form of handsome, if surly, fisherman Malone. It turns out there's a heart of gold underneath his barnacle-clad exterior. Will this catch of the day turn into the dish of a lifetime?
I think that the 2000s were a sweet spot for contemporary romance. Before The Fifty Shades of Grey pseudo-BDSM swept the world and convinced romance authors that all of us were secretly harboring sexual fetishes and were more interested in the sex of the story than of the romance. Cause seriously, I've tried recent romance and it is all so cringe-worthy! This is where I admit that I am a little bit of a prude. If I want nothing but dirty sex stuff, I go looking for porn, not romance. I read romance for, surprise surprise, the romance.
All of this is my incredibly long winded way of saying that I don't mind a well-written sex scene (or two or three or five) in a book, but if all your story has going for it is hot sex, then you've totally missed the point. And in Catch of the Day, Kirstan Higgins dispatches with all of that by just not giving sex scenes, which I find is preferable to horribly written ones. However, she also kind of misses on the romance portion of it as well.
Maggie is pretty hilarious. Even though I cannot identify with just how unlucky in love she is, she is so easy to like and root for. And all of her baking and cooking was enough to make me wish she was really someone I knew, since she had a habit of feeding everyone in her life. I liked all of the townspeople in Gideon's Cove, I like how they all rallied around Maggie and her efforts to get Joe's Diner named Best Breakfast. It was a really cute slice of life story.
Seriously, where was Malone in this story? Cause he had like all of 20 pages of scene time in the whole story. He is presented to us as this mysterious loner guy with issues, but he is never really solved, never unraveled. He is just kind of this silent lurker in the story, who just shows up at random times without any explanation of why he liked Maggie, or how long he had liked her. There was no development to their relationship. It was just kind of them having sex, and then Maggie fell in love without any help from Malone himself. We got WAY more scene time of Father Tim than we did of Malone, and since I think it's kind of bullshit that a priest would insinuate himself so deeply into the life of someone who obviously (and admittedly) was in love with him, I wasn't too thrilled about that.
Other than my issues with the lack of actual romance in this novel, this was still enjoyable enough that I finished it in one sitting. And the book did make me bawl like a baby, so there were definitely emotional connections there. I just wish the romance had been better and more fleshed out.