Review: Catching Liam

I received this book for free from Xpresso Blog Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Catching LiamCatching Liam by Gennifer Albin
Series: Good Girls Don't #1
on June 25, 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 380
Format: eBook
Source: Xpresso Blog Tours

Twenty-one year-old Jillian Nichols only has one rule when it comes to boys: catch and release. Boy-catching isn't just a game for Jillian and her friends, it's a lifestyle. After all, boys might be good for a dance or a drink and certainly a little under-cover action of the scandalous variety, but expect much else and you're bound for heart ache.

So when her best friends and fellow boy catchers start dropping like flies junior year, Jillian is determined to keep boys in her bedroom and out of her heart. Until she meets Liam McAvoy, the kind of guy that sticks around to make waffles and who can't—or perhaps won't—take a hint.

Study abroad student Liam doesn't want to be another notch on Jillian's bedpost. Actually he has much more interesting ideas for Jillian and her bedposts, but his student visa's set expiration date means he can't promise her forever. That doesn't mean he's going to walk away from the challenge of discovering why Jillian is hell-bent at keeping people at a distance.

Before long, neither is sure who is catching who—or if they're playing for keeps. Jillian knows one thing though: falling in love will not only break the only rule of boy-catching, it could also break her heart.

This is a standalone novel in the Good Girls Don't series.

First Sentence: “Wednesday was boy catching night.”

Yes, yes, the person who just posted a couple weeks ago about how she’s still not on board with new adult just read another one. And liked it too. Though most of the plots make me shudder for humanity, Catching Liam sounded like a sex positive read that would be full of women making their own choices, and not letting men boss them around. Catching Liam didn’t wow me, but it was precisely what I wanted: something funny, sexy, and embracing of sexuality.

To start with, I have to say that my rating might have been just the slightest bit higher if not for an odd coincidence. I happened to start Catching Liam right after I finished By Referral Only by Lyla Payne, which have very similar main characters, down to the accent on the hero. Since they came out within a couple of weeks of each other, it’s safe to say that this is just a crazy case of happenstance, but it did take some of the oomph out of Catching Liam for me.

Jillian loves sex and hates relationships. Boys are for one night stands, to be caught and immediately released. Repeated encounters just lead to troubling things like feelings and having to let someone else inside your walls. Thus, Jillian is displeased when she wakes up one morning to find her, admittedly hot, one night stand in her kitchen making waffles. Naked. Well, she’s mostly displeased. She’s also a bit tempted to double dip the chip, even though that goes against her rules. Obviously, though, Liam of the Scottish brogue and six pack abs and waffle-making skills is a force to be reckoned with.

As expected, Jillian ends up taking a chance on Liam. She has some obvious issues of her own, reasons why she doesn’t want a boyfriend. The pills she takes for one and her insanely controlling mother, Tara, for another. Bleu successfully adds depth to the story with these issues. Jillian’s problem, especially, is well-handled.

The romance follows pretty standard lines, but is generally non-annoying. Liam and Jillian do seem to get along quite well, even if I didn’t feel a special spark of OMG THEY MUST BE TOGETHER FOREVERS. Plus, Liam is legit a nice guy, even if he gives the worst nicknames (chicken) and has some bad plans for how to be in a relationship (now that we’re a couple, let’s not have sex anymore).

But, hey, I enjoy romances and the only reason I don’t really read them much anymore is that I was so tired of the innocent female desperate for a man taming the wild rake with her weeping lady parts. I’m totally up for stories like Catching Liam where women love sex, have sex on their own terms, and are unashamed of it, even when their insanely bitchy mothers try to make them feel bad about themselves.

Jillian’s relationship with Tara’s probably where Catching Liam fell flattest for me. The relationship dynamics jump around suddenly and Tara just really doesn’t make any sense. Mostly, she’s a monster bitch from hell, but occasionally she morphs into a sweet, loving mother. The only way her character arc makes sense to me is if she’s the same Tara from The United States of Tara, but I really doubt that.

What I think I actually enjoyed most was the humor of Catching Liam. There were a few jokes that actually made me chuckle out loud. They’re silly and a bit naughty, and a lot of fun. I love when books can make me laugh, so that’s a huge plus. Most of the attempts at inside jokes between the three best friends (Jillian, Cassie, and Jess) felt flat and forced, but the moments that actually happened in the story were great.

Catching Liam is a light, funny new adult story with a kind hero and a confident heroine who knows what she wants. The advance copy I read had some fairly serious grammatical errors, but I’m hoping the finished copy went through more editing, just like the cover was improved. I’m on the fence about reading the next book in the series, which will follow Jillian’s friend Jess in a professor-student romance. I probably will read it, but only time will tell.

Favorite Quote:

“‘I don’t do relationships,’ I said slowly, trying to get the words right. ‘If anyone fucks this up, it’s going to be me.’
‘That’s the nice thing about relationships,’ Liam said.
‘There’s two people involved. If you fuck up, I’ll be around to help you back on your feet.'”

25 responses to “Review: Catching Liam”

  1. I can see why people are weary of the woman-change-the-manwhore, but I’m sorta sick of anyone-changing-the-other-one-who-likes-to-hook-up-a-lot. I think I just have a hard time believing that this would happen in real life, whether the one sleeping around is a girl or a guy. Typically, if someone like that is changed, they don’t stay with the one who changed them. Anywayyyyyy now that I’ve rained on the happy romantic comedy parade…. 😉

    • Christina says:

      That is a fair point, but I’ve still seen the woman who likes to hook up rarely enough that it’s exciting. I’m sure I’ll get there though. I don’t know whether I think they would stay with the one that changed them. I suspect they would sometimes. In my experience, it seems to sometimes be a case of meeting someone worth settling down for, but who knows.

  2. Kristin says:

    Glad to hear that you enjoyed it. Based off of the synopsis, I wouldn’t read it, only because it sounds like it fits the mold for NA perfectly but based off of your review, I may just give this one a shot.
    Kristin @ Book Sniffers Anonymous

  3. Riley says:

    This sounds super cute. I’m not really into the whole idea of NA since it seems to be mostly romances, but CUTE WAFFLE MAKING SCOTTISH BOY. YES. Might take a chance on this one.

  4. All you gotta say to me is cute waffle making Scottish boy and I’m there.

  5. Giselle says:

    LOL I loved her chicken nickname! I really enjoyed this book I’m glad you liked it! I totally get you that what you read before can affect how you react to a book (like poor book you read right after an EPIC read haha). I also didn’t get why he was all “no sex anymore” but whatev, he’s Scottish >.< I also really loved how Jillian was taking charge of her own sex life – definitely not something you see a lot of in YA/NA. As for Tara- EESH! I think she was just really heartbroken over the diagnosis of her daughter and trying to control it too much because of her pain and refusing to see how it affected Jillian emotionally. I think she sort of learned that Jill can still live her life, by the end, hence the change in her bitchiness a little. I’m excited for the next book in Jess’s POV!!

    • Christina says:

      I don’t think that’s a thing in Scotland. lol. However, I did laugh at the line about why men in Scotland wear kilts. Bahaha. DIRTY.

      Hell yes to taking charge of her life. If she wants to sleep around, that’s her choice. She’s got a fair chance of diseases but hopefully she’s being as careful as possible.

      Tara was horrifying. I’m not convinced the mom’s changed her stripes, since she kept going back and forth so much, but maybe we’ll find out in book two.

  6. Is there a reason why NA boyfriends call their girlfriends birds? Is this a thing I don’t know about?

    I’m not much of an NA fan (or really, I guess, a romance fan, which is what I consider NA to be) but occasionally I will be in the mood for something like this, and I like to keep a list of not-annoying NA titles.

    Also, I really like the idea of a naked waffle-making Scottish hero.

    • Christina says:

      Oh, well, in this case, it’s because I guess in Scotland guys call women “hen.” Otherwise, I don’t know.

      I wasn’t a romance fan for a lot of years, but I think I’m coming back around to it now. They’re nice fluff reads. It can be comforting to know what you’re going to get out of the book.

  7. Eva Millien says:

    Thanks for sharing. Sounds cute.

  8. Hm. I’ve read a series of positive reviews for this one but I’m still not sure I’m sold on it. I am happy to hear that the novel celebrates and embraces female sexuality and empowers women to make their own choices, and that Liam is a genuinely nice guy as opposed to the reformed womanizer that seems to haunt the NA genre. Perhaps it’s because it simply sounds like a story I’ve read a hundred times before? I’m not sure I can explain why but I simply don’t have any desire to read it despite positive reviews from people whose opinions I trust 🙁

    • Christina says:

      Ha, romance does generally sound like the same story over and over. Couple meets, probably doesn’t super like each other at first, has lots of sex, falls in love, breaks up for a bit for some reason, gets back together, and has more sex while riding a horse into the sunset. That can be part of the fun of it, but if you’re not into romance novels, I don’t know that you would enjoy it.

    • The funny thing is, I absolutely love the romance genre! Whether it’s contemporary or historical, paranormal or urban fantasy, I’m almost always in the mood for a little romance. There’s just nothing about this particular story that interests me, for whatever reason.

    • Christina says:

      There’s nothing wrong with that! If it doesn’t appeal to you, I don’t think it’s so monumental you should force yourself. I pretty much always want romance in my books too. :-p

  9. Okay, this actually sounds pretty cute. I love that it’s sex positive and that it features a heroine who enjoys sex. Big plus automatically. I’m not sure if I’ll rush out to read it, but I’m adding it to my TBR list for one of those rare days I’m in the mood for NA.

  10. LisaFicTalk says:

    Thanks for the great review. NA is really not my thing, or at least the NA that is released these days. The one with the bad boy hero and the lost girl. But I like the sound of this one.

    Will definitely be looking into this.

  11. Dana says:

    Your review doesn’t make it sound as bad as the cover makes me think it will be. I’m not sold on the whole NA genre because they just seem so all the same but I am going to add this one to my TBR in case I’m ever in the mood for a fun, sexy read. Another great review, Christina!

  12. Danielle says:

    I’ll admit I bought this solely because of the scandalous book trailer, I was clearly hormonal that day but I’m glad it actually sounds pretty good. Will save this for reading in the garden on a sunny day when I want to be entertained but not have to think much! Great review hon!

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