Catch of the Day

Catch of the Day by Kristan HigginsCatch of the Day by Kristan Higgins
Publisher: Harlequin
Number of pages: 384
My copy: ebook from Amazon Kindle Store

This catch of the day could be the dish of a lifetime!

First Date à la Maggie
Take one lovelorn diner owner (me)
A generous helping of nosy local gossips
A dollop of envy at married sister’s perfect life
A splash of divine intervention (my matchmaking priest)

Combine ingredients with one adorable puppy, add a strong but silent lobsterman with a hidden heart of gold . . . and watch the sparks fly.

* * *

I took some time thinking if I should get Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins after I finished reading Somebody to Love. I really liked Somebody to Love, and I was really curious to read one of the first stories that it spun off from — or at least, where the setting came from. I tried to look for it in local bookstores (I didn’t exert too much effort, really), but I was really looking at the one at the Kindle store, which was relatively cheaper than other ebooks. Resistance was futile, and I eventually got myself a copy and immediately started reading it.

Maggie is a catch. She owns the diner in quaint little Gideon’s Cove, and is pretty much an all-around nice girl, always ready to help those in need. But if she was such a catch, then why was she still single? Maggie thinks that she’s single because the guy of her dreams was actually a priest, but even so, that doesn’t stop her from pining over him. With her love life (or lack thereof) already the talk of the town, where else can Maggie go? She’s sure the town’s stoic and quiet lobsterman Malone is not the answer to her woes…until he finds his way to her heart.

I liked Maggie right from the start — her vibrant voice coupled with her single life woes talked to me from page 1. I felt like Maggie and I could actually be friends in real life, and I can definitely relate to all that she feels, except maybe if we’re friends in that small of a town, we’d both have a hard time finding our own pairs (or at least, getting found). Maggie is very smart and likable, but she does have her silly, stupid moments which always comes whenever she was around Father Tim or Malone.

Just like Somebody to Love and Until There Was You, Catch of the Day was a comfortable and easy read. I did stop reading it for a while in favor of Jane Eyre, but I found that it was just as easy to go back into the book even after not picking up for a long time. The characters in Gideon’s Cove were all the people you’d expect to read in a small town setting, and that also makes Gideon’s Cove such a quaint place to be in. I can almost see what Joe’s Diner looked like, and how the people knew each other because of the size of the town. Of course, this makes embarrassing moments all the more embarrassing because everyone basically knows everyone. But what’s a fun romance novel without the embarrassing moments?

That being said however, as much as I liked this book, I found that I didn’t really like it as much as the first two Higgins I read. I think it’s because the I got used to reading the thoughts of the two main characters in the other novels while this one I was just in Maggie’s head because of the first person point of view. I guess I liked knowing both sides of the story, except maybe I think it wouldn’t work as well here — knowing Malone’s thoughts wouldn’t exactly make him mysterious loner dude here. But this is just me nitpicking. :) I’m afraid I’m not really fond of mysterious loner dudes, though, so I wasn’t really sold on Malone, but I do agree that this lobsterman has a heart of gold. And I think that’s what really counts. :)

On another note, I love that Higgins always have pets — particularly dogs! — in her books. Maggie’s best friend and golden retriever Colonel was both charming and heartbreaking, and I found myself sobbing so hard one morning while I was reading this book. I saw it coming, actually, but it didn’t make it less painful. Sigh.

There was a point in the novel that I was really hoped that something I sort of expected to happen won’t happen, because if it did, I would end up not liking this book at all. I was really, really glad that it didn’t go that way, though! Catch of the Day is sweet and cute and basically everything that a comfort read should be. Kristan Higgins is slowly becoming one of my favorite light and fluffy comfort read authors, so Catch of the Day will definitely not be my last book from her. :)

Rating:

Other reviews:
Angieville
Dear Author

Somebody to Love

Somebody to Love by Kristan Higgins
Publisher: HQN Books
Number of pages: 384
My copy: ebook review copy from Netgalley

After her father loses the family fortune in an insider-trading scheme, single mom Parker Welles is faced with some hard decisions. First order of business: go to Gideon’s Cove, Maine, to sell the only thing she now owns—a decrepit house in need of some serious flipping. When her father’s wingman, James Cahill, asks to go with her, she’s not thrilled…even if he is fairly gorgeous and knows his way around a toolbox.

Having to fend for herself financially for the first time in her life, Parker signs on as a florist’s assistant and starts to find out who she really is. Maybe James isn’t the glib lawyer she always thought he was. And maybe the house isn’t the only thing that needs a little TLC…

* * *

When I spotted Somebody to Love in Netgalley, I immediately requested it, having enjoyed Until There Was You last year. I wasn’t really planning to read this soon, but then I started and got to know Parker (and the Holy Rollers!) and I just couldn’t stop. Somebody to Love introduces Parker Harrington Welles, a children’s book writer who relies on the trust fund she had and building her world around her one and only son. She is essentially rich, but she didn’t really live as a rich girl. Which was fortunate, because when her father got jailed for an insider-trading scheme, Parker is left penniless save for what she had now and a house left to her name by an estranged aunt. Thinking she could easily sell the house for extra money to start again, she was surprised to find that the house was more of a shack and it needs a lot of work. Enter James Cahill, one of her father’s lawyers, who was asked to help Parker with whatever she needed. Parker had always been annoyed at James not only because of a shared history, and she really wished he wasn’t there…except that he’s proven to be helpful in fixing the house. That, and he’s looking pretty…well, hot is the only word to describe it.

This is only my second Higgins book but she’s slowly becoming my go-to read for anything light and fluffy but not too light and fluffy. I loved Parker for being a writer, and for being an all-around pretty good person despite the fortune she had in her name. Here’s a girl focused on her career and her family, and it was a refreshing thing to read. I liked her wit, and I know this is weird, but I liked that she talked to herself because I do the same thing too! ‘Talking aloud, the writer’s affliction.’ So that explains it! :P

I haven’t read the other Higgins book set in Gideon’s Cove, Maine (Catch of the Day — which Angie recently reviewed) so I wasn’t introduced to this place, but reading it in Somebody to Love was a very lovely experience! The small-town charm, the diner, how everyone knows each other — I want to go there! Of course, everyone knowing each other isn’t always a good thing, but I guess I wouldn’t mind if Vin, Maggie and the others are there. My favorite scene in this book is the part where Parker first enters the diner and sees everyone in town there — for what reason? It’s for you to find out. :)

Of course, I can’t not mention the romance in this book. I’ve been getting very lucky with the romance in the books I’ve been reading — almost all the books I read lately have this slow-burn romance going for them, and Somebody to Love is no exception. While James and Parker have a history that I wasn’t really much of a fan of, the development of their relationship was such a pleasure to read that I can’t help but giggling every now and then. I liked that James wasn’t just a token hot guy, but a character with his own hang ups and history and had his own story going for him. He’s an individual completely different from Parker, and reading their conversations and watching their relationship grow was the best part of the book.

Somebody to Love is definitely a mood-lifter, and it’s a great book to read in between serious books or when you just want to be lost in a good romance in a pretty place with interesting neighbors to boot. :) After this, I am definitely getting the two other Higgins books that this was spun from – Catch of the Day and The Next Best Thing. And then I will work my way through the rest of Kristan Higgins’ back list. :)

Somebody to Love by Kristan Higgins will be out under HQN books on April 24, 2012.

Rating:

Other reviews:
Fairy Tale Floozy

Faves of TwentyEleven: The Characters

From books, we go to characters! Today is the second day of the Faves of TwentyEleven series hosted by Nomes of inkcrush. :) Characters are my favorite part in a book, and sometimes I think they may even be more important than plot. I believe strong characters can revive an overused or boring plot, so I always pay attention to them. Here are some of the characters that stood out for me in the books I read in 2011. :)

Day Two: The Characters

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Until There Was You

Until There Was You by Kristan HigginsUntil There Was You by Kristan Higgins
Publisher: HQN books
Number of pages: 384
My copy: ebook review copy from Netgalley

Posey Osterhagen can’t complain. She owns a successful architectural salvaging company, she’s surrounded by her lovable, if off-center, family and she has a boyfriend—sort of. Still, something’s missing. Something tall, brooding and criminally good-looking…something like Liam Murphy.

When Posey was sixteen, the bad boy of Bellsford, New Hampshire, broke her heart. But now he’s back, sending Posey’s traitorous schoolgirl heart into overdrive once again. She should be giving him a wide berth, but it seems fate has other ideas….

* * *

I’ve never read any Kristan Higgins, but I’ve read about her in the reviews of my other book blogger friends. It’s been a while since I last read a chick lit book, so when I heard that Higgins’ latest book is available in Netgalley and that it was very entertaining, I decided to get it for some light reading.

Cordelia Osterhagen, also known as Posey, is pretty happy with her life. She has a business that she loves, saving old things such as used bar equipment and selling them again to decorate other people’s houses. Her family is kooky but fun and she even has a sort-of boyfriend. Never mind that this sort-of boyfriend is owner of her parents’ restaurant rival. Then she finds out that Liam Murphy is back in town, and it rocks her world. See, Liam is the guy who broke her heart sixteen years ago, and she felt that she never really got over it. Now that he is back, Posey is determined to not be affected by his charms, but it’s proving to be very, very difficult.

They were right — this was a fun and light novel. I loved the entire quirky town of Bellsford. It reminded me of those Southern towns I’ve read in other chick lit books I liked. I also love Posey’s family and friends, especially his gay brother and his partner. :) I also loved Posey’s business and her colleagues and her pets! Everything about the novel is so positively charming that it wasn’t hard not to fall in love with it.

The build up for the romance is my favorite in this novel. Posey and Liam both have their own issues, but the scenes they had together and their banter are so entertaining to read that I can’t help but smile. I especially liked how Posey gets to her realization about Liam and how she stands up for herself even if it means she could get her heart broken by the same guy again. It was also fun to be inside Liam’s head so we know he is not just your ordinary bad guy. Also, thank you for the fade to black scenes. :)

Until There Was You is really a fun and light novel, but not so much that it doesn’t have an impact. I am definitely stocking more Kristan Higgins’ novels in case I am in the mood for something to cheer me up in between serious reads. :)

Rating:

Other reviews:
Chachic’s Book Nook
Book Harbinger