Saturday, April 14, 2012

Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins

I'm pretty sure I have established that I adore Kristan Higgins. I've read four of her books and have several more on my TBR pile. I probably pay her rent.

But I think she and I might have words over Catch of the Day. Dare I say it? I did not love this one.

Maggie Beaumont owns and operates her grandfather's diner and pines away for Father Tim. Yes, that's right. She's in love with a priest, or at least she thinks she is. Her affections are due more to the fact that she lives in a small town with virtually no available men than to her actually loving Father Tim. Aware of her feelings, he decides he will set her up on a series of dates.

While waiting for one to show up, Maggie is forced to face the man she was engaged to be engaged to, who left her for a blonder, richer woman. I feel for Maggie in this scene, because I like her and want her to be happy. Along comes Malone the Loner, a "silent, slightly scary lobsterman" who moors his boat next to that of Maggie's brother, Jonah. Malone previously rescued Maggie when she was stuck on the side of the road with her bicycle during a downpour. And here he comes again. She notices that he really isn't all that scary, that he has pretty nice blue eyes. And later when he kisses her, she realizes that "Malone knows what he's doing."

But the path of true love never rooms smoothly in Kristan Higgins' world, and Maggie and Malone must confront a few obstacles. There is Father Tim, for one, and Malone's mysterious silence, for another. He doesn't talk much, which makes him difficult for Maggie - and us - to get to know him. Meanwhile, Maggie's family does her no favors. Her mother appears unsupportive and downright mean, while her father is content to not defend his wife or his children. The only thing reliable in Maggie's life is her dog, Colonel.

I think my problem with this book is that in trying to make Malone consistently silent and removed, we are deprived of the opportunity to know him. That makes it difficult to root for him, as I did other love interests in previous Higgans books. For instance, Maggie makes a nice gesture toward Malone, but he reacts angrily, all but kicking her out of his home. Why? We never really find out. Nor do we ever find out what draws him to Maggie in the first place.

Still, though, I can't say I didn't like this one. I just didn't like it as much as My One and Only (my favorite, so far). I think I needed more Malone. I needed to understand him a little more.

Catch of the Day is cute and fun to read. It's ultimately not as satisfying as other Higgans books, though, because the love interest is just a little too mysterious for his own good.

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