cover image What the Cat Dragged In

What the Cat Dragged In

Kate McMurray. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $14.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-72821-457-3

McMurray’s lackluster second novel to feature Brooklyn’s Whitman Street Cat Café pairs Josh, the brother of Like Cats and Dogs’s heroine, Lauren, with Paige, Lauren’s friend and employee. The pair meet while volunteering to rescue feral cats and enjoy a steamy encounter they both intend to keep as a one night stand before realizing their mutual connection to Lauren, a relationship that means they’ll be seeing much more of each other. Josh and Paige each doubt their own ability to be in a relationship, Josh because he’s reeling from recent heartbreak and spends long hours in the office, and Paige because a string of bad first dates have made her doubt that romance is in her future. Josh’s growing ethical concerns about the clients his firm represents and Paige’s enthusiasm for her work as the café’s events manager show the duo at their most appealing, while the café’s quirky cats add charm and Brooklyn itself provide a colorful backdrop. However, a thin plot largely consisting of Paige debating whether it’s a good idea for her to date Josh, given her friendship with Lauren, and Josh’s passive willingness to let Paige determine if their relationship should move forward will leave readers to wonder how they arrived at happily ever after. This is best suited for McMurray’s diehard fans. Agent: Moe Ferrara, BookEnds. (Dec.)