Title: Catch A Mate
Author: Gena Showalter
Publisher: HQN Books
Release Date: June 1, 2007; Reprinted May 1, 2010
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Keywords/Themes: Girl v. Guy, Dating, Romance, Chick Lit.
Jillian Greene is always getting caught in the act--it's her job! Working at Catch a Mate, Jillian gets paid by suspicious wives to smile, flirt and prove that no man can be trusted around the opposite sex. But she never gets physical--until a heart-stoppingly gorgeous male walks in....
Marcus Brody has just been hired to test female fidelity. But the last thing Jillian needs is a partner...especially an infuriating, irresistible man who's got her fantasizing about tearing off his clothes!
Can a savvy modern woman find happiness with the most tempting man she's ever known? Is there such a thing as a totally monogamous male?
My Review: I'll start by saying that, besides her paranormal Lords of the Underworld series, I've never read any of her other works. If you've read any posts on my blog the past few weeks, you'll know I've mentioned LotU a few times - even in comments on other blogs. Why? I abso-freaking-lutely love the Lords series! I picked up the first one on a whim and haven't looked back since.
But I was always hesitant to read any other type of romance books other than paranormal. I don't really have a problem with other people reading them, I just always associated them with middle-aged housewives who read while tanning and drinking mixed cocktails. Nothing wrong with that - my mom and aunt fit under that category - I just didn't think it was for me. I was wrong!
Like the Lords, I picked this one up on a whim. The cover got my attention, along with seeing that it was written by Gena Showalter. I loved her writing style in LotU, so I assumed her writing would be similar with her other books. A few hours later, I started reading and didn't stop until I was done. I was absolutely hooked!
The premise of the book from the blurb was promising enough. A girl, Jillian, who was paid to go flirt with men and catch them trying to cheat on their wives. She's good at her job and, given her history, it's a nice perk to catch them in the act so she can tell their wives what kind of men they really are. Enter Marcus, Jillian's male counterpart. From the very beginning, it's bad blood between them - spoiler ahead! - and even worse when Jillian finds out Marcus is her new boss. Throughout most of the book, their relationship can best be described as love/hate, kiss me/I want to kill you - type relationship. But, then again, I think that's what makes a great story.
As mentioned earlier, I love Showalter's writing style. It's nice and smooth, just the way I like it. The characters have their own unique voice and personality, which is a big plus for books. I also loved the character interactions, mainly Jillian and Marcus - the witty dialogue made me laugh out loud many times ... much to my husband's dismay, who was playing video games at the time. The ending sealed up the package nicely.
Rating: ½ - I'm a little hesitant at giving it a perfect score as I am pretty new to this contemporary romance thing, but it IS one of the best books in its genre that I've read ... and, since this book, I've definitely read more! That's right, thanks to Gena, I've gone over to the dark side.
More Books By Author: Gena Showalter has many books out in both contemporary romance and paranormal romance. Lords of the Underworld, Tales of an Extraordinary Girl, and the Atlantis series being three of my favorites. She also has a few YA novels out as well, which I will be reviewing on this site very soon! For a complete list of her books, please visit her website!
Sidenote: I did give a small spoiler about the book, so I tried to censor it for you guys that didn't want to read it. If you do want to know what I said, just highlight over the white area after the spoiler warning.