Wednesday, July 20, 2016

TBR Challenge: Catch of the Day ~ Kristan Higgins

This month's suggested theme is appropriately about the RITA Awards. Last Saturday this year's awards were presented but the TBR Challenge has to do with past winners and nominees. Wendy was kind enough to post links to past RITA winners because, while I might be particular as to how my books are shelved, I don't have a clue which ones were RITA winners.

When I spotted the Kristan Higgins win in 2008, I knew I had Kristan Higgins books on the TBR pile and luckily found my winner for this month's challenge.

Catch of the Day
Kristan Higgins
Contemporary Romance
Gideon's Cover Series/Book 1
Harlequin/October 1, 2007

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.

This is a cute romance set in a small Maine town where everyone not only knows everyone, but they know everyone's business. No need for Facebook in Gideon's Cove!

Maggie doesn't exactly help things when it comes to the gossip. She is a talker. There are times when she doesn't seem to have control over her mouth. She is funny, with her babbling as well as her internal dialogue showing her insecurities as well as her love for her family, friends and the town itself. Maggie made the mistake of having an insta-crush on the new priest. I do have to give her some slack since she didn't know he was the new priest and he is young, handsome and Irish with a beautiful Irish brogue. The problem is Maggie continues her crush, not too obvious but still... it's a small town and everyone knows. Maggie's dating woes continue with her family and Father Tim (her insta-crush) setting her up on blind dates. It's funny and sad at the same time. I couldn't help but laugh at Maggie's dating experiences and didn't blame her for feeling she had the worst luck in blind dates because she really did!

Then Malone comes along and he is such an anti-hero it's almost adorable. He is a mono-syllabic, grumpy loner who doesn't let anyone one in. He frustrates and infuriates the hell out of Maggie but she doesn't seem to be able to give up on him. The reality is that he is a true friend and can keep a secret probably better than Father Tim. (Malone's mono-syllabic nature helps!) Malone doesn't come anywhere near looking like a GQ model. He's a lobsterman who works hard and it shows in his choice of practical clothing and general scruffiness. He's also stingy with his smiles, but when he does bestow one on Maggie, she feels like she's been given a gift because it's genuine. I loved Malone!

The town is small, Maggie tends to walk or ride her bike everywhere. I'd love to live somewhere like that except for the big drawback - the gossip. Maggie is the owner of the local diner plus she grew up in Gideon's Cove so she knows everyone. And they know her and her history with men. I felt sorry for her because she is a good person, always willing to help anyone in need. Thankfully, Malone was in need. But Maggie also needed someone too and while I can't say Malone exactly went after Maggie, he doesn't completely give up on her either. Instead he gives her space and time to figure things out. Some readers might have preferred Malone go after Maggie but I liked his style of leaving Maggie alone for a while and letting her make the decisions she needed to make before they could be a couple.

Kristan Higgins lets readers use their imagination when it comes to the bedroom scenes. There is plenty of sexual tension and implications making it clear what happens with Maggie and Malone behind closed doors but no detailed description of body parts, etc. I was actually fine with that and focused on the emotional part of the story rather than the more physical.

The story is fairly predictable but cute and sweet. Catch of the Day turned out to be a quick, enjoyable read and I look forward to returning to Gideon's Cove.

Rating: B+

Gideon's Cover Series ~

Catch of the Day
The Next Best Thing
Somebody to Love

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