Saturday, May 24, 2008

Catch a Mate

Catch a Mate by Gena Showalter is a contemporary romance published under Harlequin's HQN imprint in 2007. 

Jillian works as bait for Catch a Mate--her job is to ferret out unfaithful husbands, boyfriends, and fiances and report back to their wives, girlfriends, and fiancees. She enjoys her job until she finds out that her boss has sold the company out from under her to none other than a man

Marcus Brody has his own business back in Texas but expansion into Oklahoma City seems to be the right move for him. He decides right away to expand Catch a Mate's mission to include both the genders in finding out the unfaithful. In Jillian he finds his equal and is quickly infuriated. 

Both of the main characters have trust issues, as is implied by their jobs. Jillian has daddy issues after being caught as a child in the middle of a nasty divorce. Marcus' ex-wife left him for someone else. Both are abrasive and brash and are immediately attracted to each other, though the book lingers in the verbal sparring the two participate in. My biggest qualm with the book is the suddenness of the relationship. I can understand the two of them falling in lust together, but the action in the book covers three days. For my own personal liking, this is too short of a time. The build-up and the constant bickering makes the book feel like it lasts for longer, but on going back I realized that it was only an extended weekend. I also dislike the fact that the first sex scene only uses the protection of her birth control pill. While she seemingly can't trust him, Jillian trusts Marcus enough when he says he's clean. 

Then there's Jillian's mother, who suffers from depression but doesn't take her pills. She's already tried to attempt suicide once, and she's not taking her pills. I wonder if her children are as worried about her as they seem, because to me that seems to be a big red flag. She even went so far as to poison her ex-husband's lover with chocolate-chip cookies. The characterization was cartoonish. 

More to my speed is the relationship between Jillian's brother and her best friend. Georgia had been in love with Brent forever, and he had been in love with her forever, but both had major misconceptions. She thought she was too gawky as a teen, and he thought he was too old for her. Now that she's gorgeous, she's afraid that he only wants her for her beauty. I found myself looking forward to their exchanges more often than Jillian and Marcus's. 

Overall, it was an entertaining read that wasn't too difficult. The writing style was good, and I liked how the chapters were titled with cheesy pick-up lines. Some of them seemed down-right clever to me, but if any of them were tried on me, I'd bust out laughing. I give this book a C+. 

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