Catching Kelly is, in a word, zany. Unfortunately, heroine Kelly isn’t. She spends the majority of the story having herself a pity party and whining more often than my three-year-old. If not for her kooky relatives and the terrific hero, this book would have been a disaster.
Kelly Burke escaped her eccentric relatives eight years earlier to live a normal life. She has since built a successful web design business and is living her life exactly the way she wants to. When she receives an email from her eighty year old granny stating that she’s taken in a nice young man who is straightening out the family finances, Kelly panics and reluctantly books a plane back to Florida. She’s not going to let some smooth-talking con man waltz off with the family fortune!
When Kelly steps foot onto the family’s private island, she is greeted by a darkly handsome man who has the nerve to tell her to leave. Kelly’s hackles immediately rise and she haughtily demands to know who the hell he is. After trading a few insults, the light bulb eventually goes off and she realizes that this is Seth Ralston, the ex-football player who is trying to dupe her family, or so she thinks.
Seth is really only trying to get his life back on track after an injury put an end to his ball-playing days and his wife divorced him. He became friends with Granny (a famous actress) when they filmed a commercial together years before. When Granny asks him to stay on her private island, he jumps at the chance to find a little solitude so that he can work on his sculpture and study for his child psychology dissertation. Man, did he ever pick the wrong place! Granny and her relatives are really scheming to fix him up with the Kelly. Poor Seth, he has no intention of getting wrapped up with another woman, especially one with such a grumpy attitude, but he really doesn’t stand much of a chance against her clan.
Kelly soon realizes that Seth isn’t after the family fortune (he has loads of dough) and makes plans to high tail it back to the safety of her own world. But because her family members and their staff keep getting into binds and she arrogantly believes they desperately need her guidance, she is forced to stick around. Meanwhile the relatives scheme to keep her and Seth close.
The wacky relatives and extended family consist of granny, several artistic aunts and uncles, an animal activist who rescues tigers and elephants, a temperamental cook, a cross-dressing handyman and a drunken butler. Normally, too many secondary characters drag down the story and get on my nerves, but this crew adds humor and tenderness to the story. Yes, they’re often cartooney and there is a scene where Seth sends a full grown tiger flying through the air in a move that would make George of the Jungle proud, but their antics are fun if you’re in the mood for silliness.
However, the love story is not nearly as much fun. Somehow, amidst the outrageous plot twists, we’re supposed to believe that Kelly and Seth fall deeply in love because they’ve been forced into spending so much time together. Although it’s not difficult to see why Kelly lusts after Seth, it is nearly impossible to comprehend why Seth falls for her. He has all the reason in the world to become one of those woman-hating brooding heroes we all know so well, but he remains happy-go-lucky and is a great, sensitive guy. Kelly, on the other hand, is irritable, self-centered and annoyingly whiney. Why is she so bitchy? Well, she was raised on a tropical island by a bunch of talented eccentrics and grew up surrounded by love but always felt inferior because she had no talent of her own. This is her excuse for refusing to visit these people, who loved her to distraction, for eight years! Boo Hoo, poor, poor abused Kelly. I kept waiting to hear about the great injustice done to her but it never came, and when she reveals her secret pain to Seth, the sweet compassionate sap understands and feels her pain! Ahhhhh!
Read this book if you want something light and if you want to meet a fine hero, but don’t expect an emotion-grabbing love story. Seth is a man who deserved a mature woman with an unselfish heart. Sadly, he gets stuck with the unsympathetic Kelly. Thankfully the author gave him a child psychology degree to help him deal with Kelly once the newness wears off in their relationship!