The Catch
Grade : B+

This very fun story is a slow burn romance featuring the beloved tropes of grumpy meets sunshine, fake engagements, and a small town guy/big city girl. It's set in gorgeous Nova Scotia--the scenery is beautiful! It took me a little bit to get hooked into the book but once I did, I couldn’t put it down.

Melanie (Mel) is a twenty nine year old fashion influencer from Boston who is losing followers and sponsors. It's the kiss of death when, ugh, she's told her content is stale. She’s knows she has to revitalize her brand and so, when she gets a surprising offer from a resort in Halifax, Nova Scotia offering her an all-expense paid visit if she will promote their resort on her social media, she says yes. This, she thinks, is a chance to revitalize her brand. So, she packs up her high heels and sets out for Halifax, but when she arrives, there is a glitch with the booking and she can’t check into the resort for another week. It’s tourist and fishing season and everything close by is booked. The best she can do is an Airbnb in Cora Cove, an hour and a half from Halifax. When she gets there, she is not thrilled. The inn is rundown and there’s a tall, bearded grump who turns out to be Evan, one of the owners, and he dislikes her on sight (because she’s a high maintenance, city girl influencer).

But, she's game to experience what the area has to offer so she decides to go out on a whale tour and Evan is the guide. He gets knocked overboard and when he’s in a coma at the hospital, Mel lies and says she’s his fiancé so he won’t be alone in the ICU. (Yes, it's just like While You Were Sleeping!) When his quirky family shows up, they are very excited to hear he has a fiancé and it gets lively!

Evan and his family have been struggling after the death of his cousin in a boat accident and when Evan sees how happy his family is over their (fake) engagement, he asks Mel to be his pretend fiancé for a week. He shows her around so she can take pictures for her Instagram account. Soon she's falling for Evan--he looks really hot in his flannel shirts and he takes her fishing, camping and then to the lobster festival. Things get hot and spicy when they take his boat out for a private whale watching trip.

The beginning of the book was harder for me to get through when Mel’s life was unraveling. Not only was she struggling with her influencer business but she was worried about her younger brother who had been staying with her while he got help for depression after their father died. Her brother is the only family she has left - their mother abandoned them when their father’s business went bankrupt. Mel always felt like she stood out because her family was poor and she was Asian, adopted by her parents in an interracial adoption when they couldn’t have kids. She got started in fashion when she was young, using her sewing kit to fix up clothes she got from thrift shops.

But, once she heads to Nova Scotia and starts hanging out with Evan, the story really picked up for me. I liked that Mel goes from being annoyingly worried about looking perfect in her social media posts to being her authentic self with Evan and taking a chance on love.

Melanie’s best friends are Crystal from Set on You and Tara from Exes and O’s and they both make appearances in the story. It was good to see them and get caught up on what’s new in their lives. I recommend this to readers looking for a romcom with a unique story and fun characters in a beautiful Nova Scotia coastal setting.

Reviewed by Kayne Spooner
Grade : B+

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : February 15, 2024

Publication Date: 02/2024

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Kayne Spooner

Kayne Spooner is a retired science teacher, dog owner, and proud grandma who lives in beautiful Colorado. While she's an avid reader of all genres, romances have always swept her off her feet. Kayne gravitates toward stories with humor, swoon-worthy love interests, and memorable furry sidekicks, although really, if there's a happy ever after, she's here for it! She loves sharing her passion for books with the romance community and connecting with fellow readers. https://www.instagram.com/kspoonerfish/.
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