The Catch by Jenna Miles

Publisher: Hibernia Press

Date of publication: November 2nd, 2015

Genre: Romance

Purchase Links: Kindle | Audible

Goodreads Synopsis:

Poignant and powerful, The Catch is a contemporary second-chance romance that effortlessly captures the nostalgia of young love and relatably reflects the trials that come with family, motherhood, and responsibility.

Julia Dunphy’s husband just left her for the second time, her thirteen-year-old won’t stop swearing in public, and to top it all off, her four-year-old just asked to buy condoms. Needless to say, this isn’t how she’d expected her life to pan out.

Then, Julia’s new work in an aquarium shop washes up old memories of a whale-watching business she once imagined – and of William Quinn, the man she imagined it with. William walked into her life with striking blue eyes and constant surprises. Before she knew it, she was head-over-heels in love. However, the realities of life eventually pulled them apart. When Julia and William’s paths cross again, despite their baggage, an undeniable spark remains.

When she learns that William has made a success of their ideas, she wonders if it’s too late to finally make a success of their relationship. But Julia has already blown her first two chances at happiness with William, so a third one seems like wishful thinking. Then she uses her prowess as a paralegal to save William’s business, and when he shows up to thank her, she dares to wonder – is another chance with him possible, after all?

First Line:

The fog was as much a native of this neighborhood as Julia was.

The Catch by Jenna Miles

Romance novels have been my favorite go-to genre for years. I love reading the different tropes and seeing people get their happy endings. So, when I got the offer to review The Catch, it was a no-brainer. I immediately accepted. I am glad that I did because this was a great read.

The Catch had a pretty straightforward storyline. Julia has moved back to the San Fransisco neighborhood she grew up in to raise her young son and teenage daughter. She hopes to reopen her late uncle’s aquarium business. As Julia settles in, she starts thinking about her lost love, Will, and their relationship over the years. Reconnecting isn’t easy because she broke Will’s heart five years earlier. But a chance comes when she uses her paralegal skills to help Will’s family with a legal case. But Julia is hiding more secrets from Will. What secrets is she hiding? Will they finally be together? Or will that secret tear them apart for good?

The Catch is a medium-paced book that takes place in San Fransisco. I liked the pacing because it did allow me to process everything that happened with Julia (there was a lot). I also loved the location. San Fransisco is a relatively unknown city for me (other than watching Full House and Fuller House), so reading about it was amazing!!

I am going to be very blunt here. I couldn’t stand Julia for most of the book. I will get more in-depth in the bulleted section of this, but she did leave a bad taste in my mouth until the last part of the book.

  • Julia—As I mentioned above, I couldn’t stand her. She came across as selfish and made choices that made me scratch my head and ask, “Why?”. She somewhat redeemed herself in the 2012 timeline when she took on Will’s mother’s insurance issue and resolved it.
  • Will—I felt for him for 90% of the book. His breakdown when Julia broke up with him was a little unwarranted, but we’ve all been in those types of relationships. I also didn’t blame him for how he acted in 2012. What Julia did to him in 2006 was awful, and he wasn’t wrong for acting as he did when he saw Julia again.
  • Paige—I felt for her, but I wish the author had disclosed her mental health diagnosis sooner in the book. It would have changed how I saw her. Because honestly, she came across as a brat in the 2012 parts of the book. The author explained and showed what Paige was like before her diagnosis (in 2006) and how her father’s sudden disappearance and reappearance triggered it. She did become more likable in the second half of the 2012 timeline. Her reaction to Julia’s secret was not what I expected, and I was so mad at her paternal grandmother!!

The secondary characters carried the book and added more depth to it. I hope the author will write a book set in this universe again. There are several characters that I would like to get their own stories.

The Catch fits perfectly into the romance category. I loved reading about Julia and Will’s very rocky and messy relationship. The trope that The Catch fit into was second-chance love (well, in this case, third chance). But I also feel that it fits into the reunion trope.

The storyline with Julia, Will, and their love story was well written. How many people here have had relationships that ended and restarted years later (raises hand)? It was raw and wasn’t pretty, but it was real. I wouldn’t say I liked that Julia did a number on Will (in 1993 and 2006). Also, I wouldn’t say I liked the secret that she had. Talk about a doozy, and in a way, it wasn’t fair to Will. Also, I want to add that this storyline jumps from 1993 to 2006 to 2012. I had no issue following it. The author labeled each chapter with what year it was.

There are trigger warnings in The Catch. Death of a family member, AIDS (mentioned), bigotry (talked about, not shown), underage drinking, parent abandonment, spouse abandonment, cheating, racism (derogatory names used to describe Hispanic people), abortion (talked about), drug use (talked about), drug overdose (talked about and briefly shown the aftermath), and mental illness are shown in the book. If any of these trigger you (and a couple did trigger me), I recommend not reading this book.

The end of The Catch was your typical HEA. The author wrapped up all the storylines in a way that mostly satisfied me. I say mostly because I wasn’t thrilled with how the secret secondary storyline ended. I understand why, but so frustrating. All I have to say is that Will is too forgiving.

I would recommend The Catch to anyone over 21. There is language, nongraphic sexual situations, and mild violence. Also, see my trigger warnings.

I would like to thank the author, Jenna Miles, for allowing me to read and review The Catch. All opinions in this review are 100% mine.

4 thoughts on “The Catch by Jenna Miles

  1. Thank you so much, Jolie, for taking the time to read and review my book, The Catch! I appreciate it (and you) so much! I’m so glad you want to read about more characters in this universe, which is something I’ve begun thinking about. Which characters would you most like to read about?

    I’d love to know anyone’s thoughts on The Catch, and the character of Julia specifically! Here’s where you can find The Catch, and connect with me:

    Again, Jolie, I’m grateful to you for taking the time to give your thoughts on my book!

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