by Whitney Lyles, Beverly Brandt, Cathie Linz, Pamela Clare

June 2006
ISBN: 0-425-20986-5
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Trade Paperback

Catch of the Day sounds as though each of the stories contained within should be about fishing, but in reality each is about the people are involved in finding true love, and settling into a happy ever after.

Author Cathie Linz kicks off the stories with a visit back to Serenity Falls, the fictional small town she first introduced us to in her book Good Girls Don’t. Brides Gone Wild is the story of floral designer Pam Greenley and Michael Denton.

Back in high school Pam and Michael were the typical teenaged couple who believed in forever after. Their forever after didn’t work out and both not only grew up but apart as well. Now Michael is back in town for a wedding, in which Pam is the floral designer.

The question remains…are the floral designs the only thing on Pam’s mind, or does she have designs on Michael?

Pamela Clare’s story Heaven Can’t Wait starts out almost scorching your fingers as you hold the book to turn the pages. Lissy Charteris and Will Fraser appear to be opposites. Lissy raised in wealth and privilege, but in a home lacking in a loving parental relationship. Will raised in a single parent home, with a mom who loved him, but struggled to provide for their needs.

Lissy’s mother thinks all men are after only one thing in life…sex. She doesn’t believe they can settle into a truly loving relationship that doesn’t revolve around them. In an attempt to prove her mother wrong, and to prove to herself that the spark between she and Will is more than sexual Lissy bets Will they can’t abstain for the two weeks prior to the wedding.

What ensues is a story that will once again have readers wishing they had ice water nearby, not only to drink, but to also cool off their singed fingers. I haven’t read Ms. Clare before but enjoyed this story, and thought there was a moral to be learned from the end.

Beverly Brandt penned the third story. Ms. Brandt is another author whom I haven’t read before. Her story So Caught Up In You takes place in the jungle.

Tasha O’Shaunessey wasn’t thrilled when her baby sister Celie decided to get wed in the jungle. She became even less thrilled upon learning the wedding planner was the infamous Quinn Hayes. She believes that by attending her sister’s unusual wedding she’ll be protecting her from Quinn. She never expects to fall into his arms both literally and figuratively.

So Caught Up In You is a timely story, and brings to light a real human tragedy that many prefer not think about. I have to admire Tasha’s nerve when dealing with life and death situations, but felt the short story format wasn’t quite the appropriate style for a story of this depth.

To read So Caught Up In You will require readers to suspend some beliefs, and also require that they enjoy the jungle setting and missionary type of storyline.

The final story is entitled The Wedding Party. It is written by Whitney Lyles. Meg is a bridesmaid for her friend Claire. She has yet to meet any of the other bridesmaids in the wedding party, but that doesn’t concern her as much as again seeing ex boyfriend Mason.

Meg feels she made a huge mistake when she broke up with Mason, and has been lamenting the fact since. She sees the pre-wedding festivities as a chance to show Mason her remorse and rekindle the love she thinks they once had.

Mason at first seems reluctant to even consider a relationship with Meg, but soon decides that maybe he can’t live without her. Will they find their happy ever after, and if they do will it be with one another?

Ms. Lyles writes an entertaining story in which at times Meg appears to be a bit of a wimp, but at others a strong determined woman. I enjoyed the story, and was glad to see Meg finally find the love I think she was meant to have.

Overall Catch of the Day is an enjoyable collection of stories, and well worth any reader’s time. I personally like anthologies because they give a chance to try new authors, while enjoying authors whose stories you have read before. In Catch of the Day I found three authors who will be attracting my eye on my next visit to the bookstore.

Reviewed in October 2006 by Sandi.