Catch: A Love Story by Tracy Ewen
A Love Story
June 6, 2021
Jules Bartlett stopped believing in fairy tales a long time ago. As captain of the Branch Fishing boats, she manages a mighty crew of twelve men and a plethora of tourists in search of deep sea adventure. Years from her divorce, Jules is content raising her daughter Bella, navigating her family’s ever-changing endeavors, and steering clear of any other men her mother assures her are out there in the sea.
Tyler Pace stopped believing Jules Bartlett would miraculously fall in love with him a long time ago. As CEO of Pace Capital and co-owner of BP Glassworks, he manages the money and anything else in Bodega Bay that needs fixing. Years after returning to a place he’d sworn off in favor of the big city, Tyler is reconciled to staying out of small-town gossip, dealing with his ailing alcoholic father, and assuring his best friend that managing love is as easy as sorting a spreadsheet.
Jules and Tyler have known each other forever, and their quick banter is both effortless and epic. When one wedding changes everything, they’ll both have to set aside what they think they know about love to learn that falling isn’t always the scariest part—sometimes love is all about trusting the catch.
A modern day fairy tale with a twist…
Life is not always easy, as Juliet Bartlett and Tyler Pace can well attest, with pain and scars most often inflicted by those closest. This harsh reality has dissolved the magic of love and a happily-ever-after causing them to pour their energy into their work and responsibilities as a way to manage their feelings and protect their hearts. While their ordeals are hard to forget; they’re even harder to keep from coloring everything going forward and influencing choices and decisions. Jules and Tyler are familiar with each other’s pasts having grown up together, Tyler is Jules’ older brother’s best friend who spend a significant amount of time with their family due to his horrible home life. Their lives are even more intertwined since they both moved back to Bodega Bay, CA; revolving around their love and care for Jule’s eleven year old daughter, Bella, as they continue a relationship marked by their sarcastic banter while keeping each other at arm’s length emotionally. But love has a mind of its own and they soon learn that love is not something that can be managed, like their work, when it decides to write them in its fairy tale.
“The problem with feelings was that unlike tasks, they couldn’t be added and deleted as quickly as he would like. Feelings stuck and made a mess.”
Tracy Ewens has written a refreshingly, unconventional contemporary romance in Catch: A Love Story. Jules is not your traditional female lead. She is a tall, athletic woman who captains her own fleet of commercial fishing boats. Some might even paint her as unfeminine with her dominant personality and caustic tongue, sharpened by her circumstances, yet there is a soft, even fragile, side that is evident in her interactions with those closest to her, especially her precious daughter, Belle. An especially perceptive child, Belle brings out the best in the adults around her, forcing both Jules and Tyler to constantly re-evaluate their predilections towards relationships and especially their feelings towards each other.
Catch: A Love Story might seem to follow a predictable plot line: antagonistic friends fight a mutual attraction, run scared from the realization that they care deeply for this other person, only to come to the realization that they can’t live without each other. Yet the story’s unique characters and introspection puts a highly creative and entertaining twist on this common trope. While I couldn’t help disliking Jules’ blunt and abrasive delivery with Tyler, who was loyal and longsuffering on so many fronts with her, it was fitting considering she used that persona as a shield for her bruised and battered heart. Her personality also made the audacious ending, of the princess sweeping in on the white horse to save the day, that much more believable. If you are looking for a great summer read, Catch: A Love Story by Tracy Ewens might just fit the bill.
Tanya’s love for books has been a lifelong passion that she likes sharing with others. Reading is also the thing that relaxes her after a day of juggling the many responsibilities that come with being being wife to an amazing man, mother to four great kids spread around the world, business manager, and farm hand on their place in southwest Missouri; home to Akaushi cattle and a menagerie of pygmy goats, horses, chickens, dogs and cats.