To Catch A Kiss
by Karen Kendall, contemporary (2001)
Avon, $5.99, ISBN 0-380-81853-1

I'm sorry to be saying this, but To Catch A Kiss is awful. It is a beautiful showcase of everything bad about contemporary romances. Karen Kendall may just be inexperienced, but seriously, To Catch A Kiss is like something you fish out of the Harlequin/Silhouette reject bin and glue back together nilly-willy.

The heroine Jazz Taylor has an interesting job: she does special effects thingies for movies. When her (art thief?) father is implicated in a robbery, and cop Tony Sinclair tries to give her the protection stint, she balks.

So there they go. Heroine who just keep doing stupid things, hero who just want a demure wife, stupidity and recklessness passed off as "spunky behavior", inept plot, and more.

For example, Jazz's emotions swing from extremes to extremes according to the plot. There are some rather obvious things she could have known if she would use her brain for once, but she's too busy shrieking at the hero or lusting after him. Tony is a better character, although his behavior and personality too seems to change according to plot contrivances. I wonder why so many authors can do a decent hero but fumble so badly when it comes to heroines. Jazz is a bad paper mache of nerves, annoying stupidity, and PMS. The romance is annoying too, and it is an instant attraction thing and it's dead on arrival from there. Instant psychoanalyzing more suited on Oprah-lite is passed off as emotional poignancy. Nice.

There's something about an art thief ring, a possible thingie between Jazz's father and Tony's auntie, and so many other things that are done in a boring, sometimes even irritatingly inept way. It is as if Karen Kendall is trying to hard to follow some Romantic Comedy formula stint.

To Catch A Kiss is everything a The Thomas Crown Affair-aspiring wannabe shouldn't be. Heroine who lacks the braincell, hero who lacks the charm, and a plot that just fumbles because it is so badly done. All in all, the only thing I catch here is an affliction of pain.

Rating: 30

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