The Catch – Published 2020
“Catia Roday has learned the hard way that love always disappoints, so when she finds herself falling for Josh Rideout—the handsome, charming, seemingly-perfect guy she just met on vacation—only to find out they hail from neighboring towns, she has one question: what’s the catch?
Unwilling to let love make a fool of her again, Cat tries desperately to ignore the chemistry between her and Josh, but it isn’t easy when their vacation plans keep overlapping. With the universe constantly throwing them together, and her friends practically staging an intervention to tell her she’s making a huge mistake, she decides to prove her point once and for all. On the way home, she makes a bet. She’ll take her budding vacation romance back to the real world, and when she proves Josh is too good to be true, she wins! (And she avoids another heartbreak.)
What ensues is a series of tests and games with Josh one step ahead of her the whole time, until Cat realizes the friendly wager has her betting against the one man who may be able to revive her faith in love. Worse yet, it turns out Josh might not be the gambling type. ” – Goodreads
Based on the cover and the description, I expected this to be a lighthearted, fluffy romance. It was in some respects (which I needed), but each character was also very well-developed and came to the table bringing their own share of emotional baggage and history. I thought Josh was much more likable than Catia, as she was very frustrating at times. I totally get characters that struggle with trusting someone because of their past, but Josh was so, so, so good and I wanted to scream at her often (but I think that’s the point, so I am not taking a star away for it).
I love books where the MCs have good friend groups. Catia’s girlfriends reminded me a lot of the friends Mel has in How to Hack a Heartbreak. I love a good group chat and girlfriends that’ll put a girl in her place when she’s being ridiculous. Josh also had great friends who were funny, lovable and endearing.
If we’re being completely honest, I didn’t expect to love this book as much as I did. I have connected with Lauren Mae on Instagram, and she is a new indie author, with this being her debut. And whoa. I can say that I was hooked from the beginning and that this definitely did not read like someone’s first book! I read it in two quick sittings (two kids running around have made the days of finishing a book in one day a thing of the past), and have been accepted to review the second in the series, The Rules!