The Catch

Rating: 4 out of 5.
the catch book cover

Jenna Miles -2015

Julia is the victim of bad timing and circumstance. She meets Will, the man of her dreams, in high school.

Will and Kevin are nothing alike; Will is brooding and full of angst, from a working class family.  Kevin is neither brooding nor angsty; he’s a nice guy with a trust fund who loves marine biology.  The two men have some things in common though – they’re both tied to the Pacific Ocean along the California coast and they’re both in love with Julia.

The Catch is not a lighthearted, funny romance with an endearingly imperfect heroine whose embarrassing mishaps make us love her even more.  Instead it’s the story of a thoughtfully drawn main character whose life didn’t quite turn out the way she expected while in high school and college – something to which many readers, this one included, can relate.

The acknowledgments at the beginning of the book are a testament to the extensive research Jenna Miles conducted, resulting in a world so detailed and believable that readers will be surprised to know that Ms. Miles grew up in Texas, nowhere near San Francisco.  Add some expertly crafted dialogue and the result is a readable, enjoyable story. Readers will, almost incidentally, learn about the fishing industry, restaurant management, and the Pacific Ocean – and even a bit of legal history. Romance was never so educational!

Julia is as authentic as any romantic heroine, and Will is sufficiently angsty to play the romantic hero. Kevin is not fleshed out much, and readers might appreciate more info on his backstory. Because relationships drive events – family, romantic, and professional – it’s easy to lose sight of the subtle work Ms. Miles has done to underline the common human experience of dreams unrealized and plans uprooted. Readers, be sure to take note.

This book gets five stars for world building, prose, and dialogue, and three to four stars for a basically solid plot with a few issues that don’t much affect your reading experience – overall rating is four stars.   

Thank you to the author for a complementary copy of this book, which I used to write this honest review.

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