I received a free copy of this book for the purpose of reviewing. Nights on Catalina by Madison Martin is a pretty standard romance novel, so if that’s enough for you, it’s probably worth a read. Like many romances, the story is told from the perspective of the man and the woman slated to fall in love after initial dislike.
Although her style is not very refined, Martin is clearly capable of writing lovely descriptive prose–but for some reason, she has the unfortunate habit of using the word “sexy” as a boring placeholder for actual description. Also, a lot of story events seem tacked on (occasionally recognisably borrowed from romantic comedy films), which leaves the plot looking incredibly mechanical and somewhat ‘Frankensteined’.
But the focus on plot is light, allowing for the main characters to drive the story. Unfortunately, I found both of them to be largely unlikeable. Zach, the brooding man with a mysterious dark past, is cranky in a non-funny way, and actually justified walking in on Isabelle changing clothes with, “it was her fault she took so long to change.” For her part, Isabelle is an unprofessional stalker built on more annoying female stereotypes than I would count.
I did like the peripheral characters though. They were sympathetic, likeable, and genuine, and I would like to see a future effort centred around characters like these who don’t seem to be labouring under an onus to provide “witty” banter.