Catch of the Day

Catch of the Day

4.1 610
by Kristan Higgins
     
 

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What's the market price on a decent guy these days?

Maggie Beaumont's luck is about to change. Sure, she's known for her bad romantic choices—her former boyfriend broke up with her by bringing his new girlfriend home for a visit. And then there was the crush she had on a gorgeous young Irishman, who turned out to be Father Tim,

Overview



What's the market price on a decent guy these days?

Maggie Beaumont's luck is about to change. Sure, she's known for her bad romantic choices—her former boyfriend broke up with her by bringing his new girlfriend home for a visit. And then there was the crush she had on a gorgeous young Irishman, who turned out to be Father Tim, the parish's new priest.

But romantic salvation has arrived in the form of handsome, if surly, fisherman Malone. It turns out there's a heart of gold underneath his barnacle-clad exterior. Will this catch of the day turn into the dish of a lifetime?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A funny, poignant romance....Readers will be cheering for Harper all the way."

- Publishers Weekly, on My One and Only, starred review

"A touching story brimming with smart dialogue, sympathetic characters, an engaging narrative and the amusing, often self-deprecating observations of the heroine. It's a novel with depth and a great deal of heart."

-RT Book Reviews (Top Pick, 4½ stars) on Catch of the Day

Winner-2008 Romance Writers of America RITA® Award

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781459222847
Publisher:
Harlequin
Publication date:
02/28/2012
Sold by:
HARLEQUIN
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
16,229
File size:
432 KB

Read an Excerpt




"Good mornin', Maggie," Father Tim says, sliding into his usual booth. "Lovely out, isn't it?" He smiles pleasantly, and my insides clench.

"Good morning, Father Tim. What can I get for you today?"

"I think I'll be tryin' your French toast, shall I? Brilliant idea, the almond glaze."

That brogue is just not fair. "Thanks. I'll get that right in." I've had sinful thoughts about you. Again. I wrack my brain for something to say. "How was Mass this morning?"

He nods. "Ah, the celebration of the Eucharist always nurtures the spirit," he murmurs. "You're welcome to come and see for yourself, Maggie. I'd love to hear your thoughts on my homily any time."

Father Tim often urges me to drop by. Something stops me. Guilt, no doubt. I might be a lapsed Catholic, but I draw the line at having lustful thoughts about priests in church. "Well. Sure. One of these days. You bet."

"Mass can give a person a chance for some insight. Sometimes we tend to overlook what's important in life, Maggie. It's easy to lose perspective, if you take my meaning."

Oh, I do. Losing perspective is something at which I excel. Case in point—still in love with the priest. He looks ridiculously appealing in black, though granted, the white collar takes away some of the zing. Rolling my eyes at my own ridiculous thoughts, I turn away, fill a few coffee cups and slip into the kitchen, where Octavio is deftly flipping pancakes. "French toast for Father Tim," I tell him, grabbing an order of eggs on unbuttered toast. Returning to the counter area, I slide the plate in front of Stuart, one of my regulars. "Chicks on a raft, high and dry," I say. He nods appreciatively, a big fan of diner slang.

"Anything else for you, Mrs. Jensen?" I ask the seventy-year-old woman in the first booth. She frowns and shakes her head, and I leave her check on the table. Mrs. Jensen has come from church. She goes to confession every week. She's in Bible study and on the altar decoration committee. It seems I'm not the only one smitten with Father Tim.

Without meaning to, I look once again at the impossible ideal. He's reading the paper. Profiled against the window, his beauty sends a rolling warmth through me. If only you were a regular guy….

"He'll catch you looking," Rolly whispers, another regular fixture at my counter.

"That's okay," I admit. "It's not like it's a secret. Make sure you fill out a ballot, okay?" I tell Rolly, dragging my gaze off the object of my desire. "You, too, Stuart. I need all the votes I can get."

"Ayuh. Best coffee in the state," Rolly announces.

"Best breakfast, Rolly." I smile and pat his shoulder.

For the last two years, Joe's Diner has placed fourth in Maine Living's Best Breakfast contest, and I'm determined to win the county title this year. The magazine holds a lot of sway with tourists, and we could use a little more of the summer nuisance. Last year, we were creamed by Blackstone Bed & Breakfast in Calais (even though they make their pancakes from a box mix).

"We'll win, boss," Octavio calls through the window that links the counter area with the kitchen. "We do have the best breakfast."

I smile back at him. "True enough, but being the best-kept secret on coastal Maine isn't doing us much good financially."

"We'll be fine," he assures me. Easy for him to say. He makes more than I do, and he doesn't have to balance the books every month.

"Hey, Maggie, as long as you're up, can I get a refill?" asks Judy, my waitress. I oblige, then bring Father Tim his breakfast, sneak a glance at his smooth, elegant hands and scurry off to clear a table.

For the last eight years, I've run Joe's Diner, taking it over from Jonah Gray, my grandfather, after he had a heart attack. The diner is one of the larger employers in our tiny town, having four people on the payroll. Octavio is the most irreplaceable, running the kitchen with tireless efficiency. Judy came with the diner. She's somewhere between sixty and one hundred and twenty, gifted at not working, though when pressed, she can handle a full diner, not that we get that a lot. Georgie gets some help in the summer, when we hire a high school kid to deal with the light tourist business that makes it this far north.

And there's me, of course. I cook the daily specials, do all the baking, wait tables, balance the books, maintain the inventory and keep the place clean. Our final, though unofficial, employee is Colonel. My dog. My buddy. My precious boy. "Who's your mommy?" I ask him. "Huh, Colonel McKissy? Who loves you, pretty boy?" His tail thumps at my idiot talk, but he knows not to leave his place behind the register. A Golden Retriever takes up a lot of room, but most people don't even see Colonel, who has nicer manners than the queen of England. At thirteen, he's mellow, but he's always been incredibly well-behaved. I give him a piece of bacon and get back to work.

Father Tim rises to settle his check. "Hello, Gwen, love, how are you today? Don't you look smart in that lovely shade of yellow," he says to Mrs. Jensen, who simpers in pleasure. He smiles at me, and my knees soften. "I'll see you both tonight, won't I?"

"That's right," I answer. I may not be able to bring myself to Mass, but Father Tim has worn me down for Bible study. I stifle the urge to shake my head at myself. Bible study. My social plans for the week. Well, it's not like I'm turning away dozens of suitors. Sadly, Father Tim is closer to a boyfriend than anything I've had in some time.

"Nancy Ringley's bringing the snack?" Father Tim frowns.

"No." I smile. "I am. Her daughter's under the weather, so she called me."

His face lights up. "Ah, wonderful! About the snack, at any rate. Not her dear little daughter. I'll see you later, then, Maggie." He pats my shoulder with avuncular affection, causing lust and exhilaration to flow down my arm, and turns for the door. I love you, I mouth. I can't help myself.

Did he hear me? My face flushes in mortification as Father Tim glances back at me with a smile and a wink before going out into the cold. He waves as he crosses the street, ever kind where I'm concerned. Mrs. Jensen, who is not so tolerant, glares at me. I narrow my eyes in return. She doesn't fool me. We suffer from the same disease—I'm just a little more obvious.

It's a frigid March day, the wind howling off the water, slicing through the thickest wool hats and mi-crofiber gloves. Only a few brave souls venture out, and the day drags. We don't get more than a handful of people at lunch. I wait for Judy to finish her crossword puzzle before sending her home, as she's really only here for show, anyway. Octavio takes off his apron as I scrape the grill.

"Tavy, take the rest of the pie, okay? Your kids will like it," I tell him. He has five children.

"They will if they get to taste it. I already had two pieces." Octavio grins his engaging gap-tooth smile.

I grin back. "Did Judy get any more ballots?"

"I think she gave out a few."

"Great." I've been relentless in asking my patrons to fill them out. Last year we lost by two hundred votes, so I need every one who crosses the threshold to pitch in. "Have a nice afternoon, Octavio," I say.

"You, too, boss."

"Here, take these cookies, too." My cook grins his thanks, then goes out the back door.

Colonel knows what time it is. He gets up from his spot and comes over to me for a little pat, pushing his big head against my thighs. I stroke his white cheeks. "You're such a good boy, aren't you?" He wags in agreement, then returns to his spot, knowing I'll be a while yet.

I flip the Open sign to Closed and wipe down the last table. This is one of my favorite times of day…three o'clock. We're done for the day. Joe's opens at six, though I usually don't roll in until seven (the joys of ownership), but I make up my time by doing all the baking each afternoon. I'm proud to say that Joe's desserts are locally famous, especially the pies and coconut macaroons.

Joe's is a Jerry Mahoney design. Red-and-cream porcelain with stainless steel siding on the outside, red vinyl seats, cream-colored walls and a black-and-white tile floor on the inside. Ten swivel stools are bolted to the floor at the counter. At one end is the requisite pastry display case where my sweets tempt the patrons. There are seven booths with nice deep backs and seats that are just bouncy enough. At some point, my grandfather had those little jukeboxes installed and, as kids, we loved flipping through to see what the new selections were. The kitchen is through a swinging door with a porthole, and there's a tiny supply room and unisex bathroom. In the corner window, a neon sign blinks those timeless words, Eat at Joe's.

For the next half hour, I add up the receipts, check the inventory, print out more ballots and mop the floor. I play the jukeboxes as I work, singing along with Aretha and the Boss. Finally, I go back into the kitchen and start baking the desserts for tomorrow. And the snack for tonight.

Since Father Tim's face brightened when he heard I was on snack duty, I decide to do something special. In the tiny kitchen, I take out the necessary ingredients and set about making apricot squares, one of his favorites. Once those are in the oven, I roll out a few pie crusts and throw together a couple of blueberry pies.

Colonel's tail starts thumping, and I hear him scramble to get up off the tile floor. I reduce the heat on the pies and move them to a higher shelf so the bottom crusts won't burn. Without checking, I know my sister is about to come in.

I'm right, as I usually am about Christy. She's just pulling the baby stroller in through the door. We haven't seen each other for three entire days, which is a long spell when it comes to us. "Hey, Christy." I smile, holding the door for her.

"Hey, Mags," she answers. She glances at me, then does a double take. "Oh, for God's sake." She wrestles the carriage the rest of the way in, Violet sleeping undisturbed, and pulls off her hat. "Me, too."

My mouth drops open. "Christy!" We start laughing simultaneously, reaching for each other's hands at the same moment.

Christy and I are identical twins. And we are quite identical still, though Christy had a baby eight months ago. We weigh exactly the same, have the same bra size, shoe size, pants size. We each have a mole on our left cheeks. We both have a slightly crooked pinky on our right hands. Though Christy dresses a little better than I do, most people can't tell us apart. In fact, only Will, Christy's husband, has never once confused us. Even our parents goof once in a while, and, Jonah, who is younger by eight years, doesn't try awfully hard to distinguish us.

We often call each other only to get a busy signal because the other had the same thought at the same moment. Sometimes we get each other the same birthday card or pick out the same sweater from the L.L.

Bean catalog. If I buy tulips for my kitchen table, it's a good bet that Christy has done the same thing.

But once in a while, in order to create some sense of individuality, one of us will get the urge to try something new. And so, on Monday when the diner was closed, I went to Jonesport and got my hair layered a little, had a few highlights put in. Apparently Christy had the same thought. Once more, we are identical.

"When did you get yours done?" I ask.

"Yesterday. You?" She smiles as she reaches out to touch my new 'do.

"Monday, so the haircut is really mine." I grin as I say it. I don't mind. In fact, I've always kind of liked being mistaken for Christy. "I wear mine in a ponytail most of the time, anyway," I say. "Plus, you have better clothes."

"Unstained, anyway," she smiles, sitting at the counter. She takes off her coat and drapes it over the next stool. I go over to the stroller, which is one of those complicated Swedish affairs with everything from a wind guard to a cappuccino maker, and twist my head inside. Stretching my lips, I can just about kiss my sleeping niece. "Hello, angel," I whisper, worshiping her perfect skin and feathery eyelashes. "God, Christy, she gets more beautiful every day."

"I know," Christy answers smugly. "So what's new?"

"Oh, not much. Father Tim was in. I think he may have heard me tell him I love him."

"Oh, Maggie." Christy chuckles sympathetically. She knows better than to spout the platitudes that everyone else does… Why are you wasting your time on a priest? Can't you find somebody else? You really should meet someone, Maggie. Have you tried the

Internet/volunteering/church/dating services/speed dating/singles clubs/singles nights/singles cruises/prostitution? (This last one was suggested by my brother's friend Stevie, who has been hitting on me since he was twelve years old.)

I've tried volunteering. And church, of course, contains the root of my problem. But singles nights and those speed dating things… Well, first of all, we don't have much of that in rural Maine. The nearest big city is Bar Harbor, and that's at least an hour and a half south, if the weather is clear. As for the Internet, those services smack of deceit. A person could say anything, after all. What better way to lie about yourself? How many stories have I heard about a person being sorely disappointed by his or her Internet date? So, while there may be merit in that venue, I've never tried it.

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"A touching story brimming with smart dialogue, sympathetic characters, an engaging narrative and the amusing, often self-deprecating observations of the heroine. It's a novel with depth and a great deal of heart." —-Romantic Times

Meet the Author


Kristan Higgins is a New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author and two-time winner of the Romance Writers of America RITA Award. Her books have been praised for their "genius level EQ, whippet-fast, funny dialogue and sweet plots with a deliciously tart edge" (USA TODAY). She lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband and two extremely advanced children, one shy little mutt and an occasionally affectionate cat.

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Catch of the Day 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 610 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I almost didn't buy this book. It looked to me like a typical romance book from the look of the cover, although, it 's a cute cover.(I'm a sucker for a cute pup!) But, the synopsis sounded interesting so I figured I'd give it a try. Boy, am I glad I did. It's definitely not a 'typical romance book'. I was totally engrossed in the story right from the start. I found myself genuinely liking the characters, and the setting (Maine). Maggie, the main character is quite likeable. I found myself really rooting for her. Her relationships, with her family; especially her mother, her staff at the diner she owns, and her quest to find a decent guy are the stuff reality is made of. I'd highly recommend Catch Of The Day if you're looking for an easy read. For a long-ish book (743 pgs.) it seems like it flew by. I hated to see it end. Now that I've read Catch Of The Day, I'm definitely going to check out other titles by Kristan Higgins.
vickytren More than 1 year ago
A very talented author. I enjoyed the story. The ending was great too.
Austenfan71 More than 1 year ago
I just discovered Kristan Higgins novels and I am very impressed. I found my self laughing and even crying (won't spoil it for everyone). I was so surprised to find myself reaching for the Kleenex during a very touching scene, where normally I would feel sad, but crying...not often. I had to put the book down a few times because I felt the scene so deeply. Please do not be put off by that, It just really shows how attached I came to the characters. Kristan Higgins is such a talented and amazing author. Her characters are very believable and may I say, quirky. Which I really like! I'm sure other reviewers have explained some of the plot, but I wanted to tell you about my personal experience reading this great book. I agree with another reviewer, these novels would make great movies (Hallmark channel comes to mind). I have finished two of Kristan's novels and already bought the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Higgins is so much better than many of the other more popular contemporary romance writers out there. This book is one of her best but they're all great. I have been trying to find a writer on par with her that i havent read yet but so far no luck. Her characters are witty well thought out and fully developed. They are people you actually like and want to get to know. People you can relate to. I love the detail she goes into about the different New England towns in her stories. She makes you want to visit them with the lovely warm decriptions she provides. I hate when authors don't bother to explore the location of there book. It is lazy becuase its so necessary to get a feel for who the characters are. Maggie is the main character, sweet, well meaning, flawed and looking for loves. Her self depricating humor makes her both approachable and lovable. Sweet funny and touching.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book! Thanks Kristin! You never let me down. Love tge characters!
RZAZ31210 More than 1 year ago
This was a great romantic comedy that I couldn't put down. I love the characters Kristan Higgins comes up with. The scenarios are also funny, making me chuckle to myself several times. Higgins does such a good job with the quirky single girl and what she goes through to find love. The main character is very easy for any other single girl searching for love to relate to. She has embarrassing situations to get through and ends up in love, every girls dream! This was a cute, funny book that I was done reading in a few short days! Now, onto another one of hers."Fools Rush In".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Something I have noticed with Kristan Higgins is that she really does a great job with all the books of hers I have read. They're funny and romantic. It keeps you going with it and there is emotion with it. You really can picture the characters and feel for them. You are able to get to know then in the book to the point that you really think they're real people.
ErinOkc More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend anything by Kristan Higgins! This was my 4th or 5th,I think. Malone was my favorite Higgins character yet. I've seen some reviews that didn't like Maggie, but I liked her just fine. I have a tendency to humiliate myself, too, and it just drew me to her that much more. I knew somebody great for her was right around the corner, and I couldn't wait for her to find him!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this was going to be a Saturday afternoon book, but once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down. The story, told from the character's point of view was pretty interesting. The story brought forth a lot of emotions; crying, laughing and a big hurrah at the end. This is a great summer book. I will certainly read her other books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was my first Kristan Higgins book and I loved it! I already bought another one. The characters are well developed with such descriptive scenes that you feel like you're there. I especially liked Maggie. I cheered for her and cried for her. Read this book...you won't be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey B/N, thanks for putting this as a daily deal. Otherwise i wouldn not have found this author. I loved everything about this story, not the typical cookie cutter romance! Finally catching on....put good authors on the daily deal, and now i will be buying more of her books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just bought this book (Nookbook) and it has only 292 pages. One review said over 700 pages. Is that the print version? I would like to see reviews show how many pages are in their books & if they are e-reader or print versions. Looking forward to reading this book. Joan, Hooked on Nook (and books)
Leah Olson More than 1 year ago
Planning on purchasing. This is first higgins book i have sampled. Planning to sample and purchase more. Nice light romance.
Kristin Beeson More than 1 year ago
Decent story but part of what kept me so riveted was the hope that somewhere toward the end the strong silent hero would open up and we'd get some insight into what's been going on in his head the entire time. That was not the case. The story was very one sided and while it had a happy ending I was still left feeling a little let down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anyone who loves a light, romantic comedy should read both books by Kristan Higgins. Both should definately be made into films. They are laugh out loud funny and heartwarming. I can't wait for more from Kristan!!!!
harstan More than 1 year ago
In Gideon Cove, Maine thirtyish Maggie Beaumont owns the only restaurant in town, Joe's Diner. Considered somewhat a hangout, Maggie knows first hand how fast gossip travels although she admits she is part of the instant messaging. She especially knows her relationship fiascos moves around the town faster than the speed of light she jokes about her failures but inside Maggie hurts as she wants a man to love who will cherish her forever just like her sister has.----------- In spite of efforts to conceal her desire, to her chagrin the townsfolk believe Maggie has the hots for the forbidden, a priest. Maggie figures this is just another failure at finding a hunk for herself while the Father is determined to find a perfect catch for the kind restaurateur. However, no one expected her to fall in love with taciturn lobsterman Malone and him with loquacious Maggie.------------- CATCH OF THE DAY is a lighthearted contemporary romance starring two opposites as she never shuts up (her asides are often witty self-deprecating digs) and he never opens his mouth except to eat. Fans will enjoy their relationship as the eccentric townies are shocked that love blossoms between them.---------------- Harriet Klausner
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Annie and posted at Under The Covers Book Blog I was recently in a reading slump so I decided to go back and look at what books I’ve recently loved from an author. One I’ve read earlier this year, My One and Only, is still at the top of my favorite lists so I figured I should try another Higgins book. And since this title received a RITA, I knew I had to give it a shot. Higgins trademark humor is front and center in this novel. Maggie falls in love with a man who walks into her diner but it all comes crashing down to a halt when she realizes he is a priest. As Maddie trundles on, she doesn’t think another guy will ever compare to the sexy Irishman. Maggie’s personality is big and bright in this book. She has loads of personality and I think that’s what makes this book so relatable. I loved the fact that this book was written in first person because it allows readers to really get into Maggie’s head. It’s a nice release from being in your own head all the time. It also works well when Malone enters the picture because he’s actually everything Maggie isn’t. They are total opposites but I just adored how Malone handled Maggie and her wayward ways. Their time together is just so fun to read. The only complaint I have is that because of quietness, we didn’t really get to see Malone as much as I wanted. He definitely fits that mysterious vibe throughout the entire book, never giving too much. On the flipside, as a reader, you are really able to put your own preferences in him and make him that hero that YOU love so I liked what Higgins did there. Above it all, Higgins also has some sweet messages laced within. To me, those are the things that matter. Even though you think life has thrown you a curve ball, you can still manage to hit that home run, even if it just happens in a different way. I love that about Kristan Higgins’ books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the first book I read by this author, and it remains one of my favorites! It's definately one of my top five for contemorary romance. If you haven't read this book or others by Kristan Higgins, then you should start now, because she has some of the funniest, and most amazing books I've ever read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read several books by the author and have enjoyed them all. This may have been my favorite! I know this sounds cliche but I laughed and I cried. Such a great love story!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PrincessThuy1 More than 1 year ago
This book made me laugh out loud so many times as well as made a dent in my tissue box. It was just so good. The story starts off embarrassingly funny then turns really sweet with hilarious blind date situations in between then sad and then sweet again. Watching or reading Maggie's search for true love was a very fun ride. I enjoyed every minute of it. Malone was the ultimate sexy and silent type and Maggie was just the opposite. It was really cute watching them get together. Another great read by Ms. Higgins.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Laine-librariancanreadtoo More than 1 year ago
This was actually my first Kristan Higgins book I read and I have to tell you, I FELL IN LOVE WITH IT!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't usually talk much about my feelings on a book with these reviews but O M G!!! I really fell in love with this book, and these characters really got to me. Malone is now officially my favorite male character of any book I have ever read. I just wish now that he was real so I can tell him that myself ha-ha! Maggie is one of your regular woman in town....she owns a Diner out in a small town in the great Lobster State Maine where everyone knows everybody and Maggie is right smack dab in the middle of everything. But like every romance novel, she's feeling a little lonely. Hoping and wishing that someone will walk through her diner doors and take one look at her and take her off her feet.  And she almost found him. Then her and the entire town found out it was the new Priest in their church!!! Feeling a little down and embarrassed for months, Maggie doesn't realize that someone else in town is interested in her. Well, that is if he ever spoke up! This is the man I am in love with. This is the man who caught my heart when I first read his name in the book - Malone! Oh yea...and there is a dog story in here somewhere if you are an animal lover!