The Catch Book Cover The Catch
The Influencer Series
Amy Lea
Romantic Comedy
February 13, 2024
eBook, Paperback, audiobook

A grumpy lobster fisherman tosses a fashion influencer’s impeccably curated life overboard in the next romantic comedy from international bestselling author Amy Lea.

In a last-ditch effort to rescue her brand from the brink of irrelevance, Boston fashion influencer Melanie Karlsen finds herself in a rural fishing village on the east coast of Canada. The only thing scarier than nature itself? The burly and bearded bed-and-breakfast owner and fisherman, Evan Whaler—who single-handedly disproves the theory that Canadians are “nice.”

After a boating accident lands Evan unconscious in the hospital, Mel is mistaken for his fiancée by his welcoming yet quirky family, who are embroiled in a long-standing feud over the B&B. In a bold attempt to mend family fences, Mel agrees to fake their engagement for one week in exchange for Evan’s help with her social media content.

Amid long hikes and campfire chats, reeling in their budding feelings for each other proves more difficult by the day. But is Mel willing to sacrifice her picture-perfect life in the city for a chance at a true, unfiltered love in the wild?

“There is a special place in hell for those who casually take upward-angled shots of others.”

Amy Lea has given us another peek behind the computer screen in the final installment of her “Influencer” series. In “The Catch” we are given a Rom-Com about a grumpy fisherman who is taken on a unexpected ride by the ultra-girly social media star who crash lands at his family’s crumbling bed and breakfast.

Melanie Karlsen is a lifestyle influencer who has been on the scene for a few years and is seeing her followers and collaboration deals moving on to younger pastures. When a brand deal offers her an all expense paid trip to a resort on the Coast of Nova Scotia she is excited for the opportunity to revive her brand. Once she arrives, a scheduling error, and a lobster festival leaves her desperate to find a place to stay, but with luck she finds a listing for a Bed & Breakfast an hour and a half away. The run-down accommodations and are less than photo worthy and the broody (but handsome) owner seems less than ecstatic to have her there.

“Sir, I’m going to need you to have your mantrum elsewhere”

Melanie works to make the best of her stay and create content that would appeal to her waning follower count, Her reluctant host agrees to take her on a boating excursion that leads to an unfortunate accident as her photo-op takes priority over safety and he falls into rough waters to keep her from going overboard.

“Wouldn’t be so rough if you’d worn a warm jacket and proper footwear,” he calls over the roar of the engine. I stick out my wedges, admiring them from all angles.” It’s a wide heel. It’s basically a running shoe”

In a desperate attempt to stay by his side after his rescue, she takes a move from  “While You Were Sleeping” and claims to be his fiancé and in his unconscious state Evan cannot argue. The discovery of a secret “Fiancé” was apparently the glue that Evan’s family needed to reunite after years of contention over what to do with the struggling bed & breakfast. As much as Evan wants to resist participating in any of Melanie’s social media photo ops, he cannot give up the opportunity to see his family come together for a common purpose, even if it is for a fake engagement. They agree to play loving couple in hopes of healing his family and saving his business.

“Fake dating always leads to true love. Fact. I don’t make the rules.”

I know I am not alone in loving the grumpy/sunshine trope and where I think “The Catch” gets it right is that as Melanie and our resident grump Evan get closer it is through being unapologetically themselves, they don’t have to compromise for each other because their connection is formed for an appreciation of someone who has different struggles, but the same core values of love and respect.

As we have seen in the previous books in Amy Lea’s Influencer series, there is a stark difference between what influencers post on social media vs. the details of their actual life. They work to create a brand that people want to consume and interact with, and when the brand differs so greatly from their real life they can create an unattainable standard for themselves. As readers we get to see the juxtaposition between Melanie, the adoptee who just lost her father and is struggling to take care of her younger brother in the midst of their tragic loss, and Melanie the influencer who is living in luxury and jet setting to beautiful locations.

I have a deep appreciation for Amy Lea’s ability to touch on deep and emotional topics while staying true to her comedic brand. She creates characters that feel real, with the emotional baggage and sarcasm to match. She creates slapstick comedy scenes that are reminiscent of a classic Sandra Bullock movie and you can’t help but laugh when her characters get into sticky situations.

This may be the end of the series, but I know this is just the beginning of a long and successful career for Amy Lea. I know we will all be impatiently waiting for her next release!