Catch Of The Day
Copy courtesy of the publisher
Winnie Cherry is a fashion editor in Sydney but after one ill-advised moment at the office Christmas party, she finds herself “demoted sideways” and banished to the coast in South Australia to head up a beach lifestyle magazine. She’ll be living in the middle of nowhere with no glamorous fashion and social events to attend and even more, she has to eke out enough stories to fill the magazine launch issue. Winnie plans to stick around just long enough to get back in the good books and then she’s off to look for better jobs. Jobs that are back in Sydney.
On her first day in town, Winnie meets the handsome cray fisherman Alex Bass who also just happens to be the photographer hired to cover the stories for the magazine. They don’t exactly get off to the best start but the sparks do fly and the more time they spend together working on stories, the more the attraction builds. Alex has made it clear he’s not a one-girl-guy though and Winnie is done with casual flings and one night stands. She wants more, wants someone who isn’t afraid to stick around for the long haul. So they dance around each other, both avoiding the attraction and also seeking it out.
The more time Winnie spends in Kingston SE, the more she finds herself really enjoying the small community, making friends and becoming a part of the town. Even things with Alex are surprising her….until she finally finds out what he’s been hiding and why he’s been so distant at times. It changes everything and now Winnie doesn’t know what she wants.
Catch Of The Day is a charming romance offered in print this month by Penguin Australia’s digital imprint, Destiny Romance (as well as Destiny’s traditional eBook format). Set in rural South Australia, we meet Winnie Cherry who, although she grew up in Adelaide, high-tailed it for Sydney years ago and hasn’t looked back since. One slight mistake in judgement at the Christmas party and she finds herself back in South Australia, heading up the launch of a beach lifestyle magazine. To be honest, I’m not even really sure what that is, but it’s a far cry from what Winnie is used to. However, despite her reluctance to be in Kingston SE and chasing these types of stories, she does throw herself into her new role, interviewing locals and spinning stories. Along for the ride more often than not is Alex Bass, a mysterious but sexy cray fisherman who takes photos in his spare time. He of the indecipherable accent and commitment issues and Winnie get off to a bumpy start and from then on in it’s moments of sexual attraction followed by little fights, mostly Alex attempting to keep his distance. Alex is hiding quite the secret (and a bit of a wounded heart) and he reasons that by keeping people away from him, it will stop things being difficult for them down the track when what he’s running from inevitably catches up with him. Winnie is a bit curious at the inconsistencies in Alex as well as little tidbits of information about him but she’s not really curious enough to ask many questions or make an attempt to find out much about him.
I really enjoyed the way that Winnie settles in to the town and begins making friends. Some of them she has to work for and the secondary characters are all quite funny and add to the story, especially the sales director Olive, who Winnie works with in the office each day as well as the local beautician Cyndi and her friend Honey, who is ginormously pregnant with twins. The author has obviously called upon her own experience of having had twins for Honey, who quips almost constantly about the negatives of being about ready to burst. I’ve only had singleton pregnancies and I know how uncomfortable they get towards the end so I can only imagine what it must be like to have a second baby in there! Winnie’s original interaction with Cyndi was hilarious and hit just the right note. Winnie then gets roped in to being a bridesmaid for a local Bridezilla which forces her and fellow bridesmaid Cyndi to at least declare a truce but they go further than that and become friends. The local girls draw Winnie into their social circle and make her feel accepted and Winnie begins to realise that the friendships she had in Sydney may not have been as deep as she thought they were and that maybe what she thought she wanted all along isn’t actually right. I love the way Winnie grows during her time in Kingston SE. Her mother is a flaky hippy and I get the feeling that Winnie was determined to succeed in the busiest city just so she could prove she wasn’t like her mother, that she could be financially independent and successful. I love Sydney, love it with a passion but living there and partaking in the whirling fashion social scene sounds exhausting and I think after a little while down on the coast, Winnie comes to feel the same way.
The romance with Alex plays out well and has all the essential chemistry between the two characters and I liked the big reveal of Alex’s secret which was done in a pretty dramatic fashion but what I liked more was the genuine story behind it, the reason why he had chosen to live in such a small, isolated place. He and Winnie both have to accept that the conclusions they jump to about each other in the beginning are wrong and the more they get to know each other, they more they find that they actually do have in common.
Book #300 of 2013