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Love Is the Punch Line

4.24  ·  Rating details ·  33 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Middle-aged stand-up comedian Josh Steinberg, the “Jewish Comedy King” and formerly the star of his own popular TV series, finds himself struggling to keep his career alive, playing seedier and seedier clubs. Plump, balding, and plain-looking, he has never had much luck with women. That is, until Josh meets Holly Brannigan while performing his stand-up act in a club. Holly ...more
Paperback, 268 pages
Published April 7th 2018 by Moonshine Cove
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May 04, 2018 rated it liked it
True Rating 3.5 stars!

Love is the Punch Line is a quirky romance that follows the career of stand-up comedian Josh Steinberg. I’d have to say what I appreciated the most about this story was that as much as I might have disagreed with his treatment of Holly Brannigan and their ups and downs throughout the story, everything that took place was very realistic. I even appreciated that Holly’s friends and family all felt that the situation with Josh was dysfunctional at best. We have all had that fr
Indie Book Reviews
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Love is the Punch Line, Kathleen Jones' debut novel, is not your average romance.

Straying from the tried and tested formula of two young, beautiful, perfect people overcoming a series of challenges and rivals on the path to true love, Kathleen gives us a relationship that feels a lot closer to the real world. The story revolves around Josh, an aging comedian on a steep downward career curve, peddling weak material at obscure comedy clubs - a world away from his past as a successful sitcom star.
Amy Shannon
Mar 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Witty and intense

Jones pens a unique and raw story in Love Is the Punch Line. I haven't read anything from this author before, and I really enjoyed this story. The characters were raw and very real. Reader, enter the world of comedy clubs and an adventure in romance. The author's writing style is smart and while balancing romance with the raw lifestyle of comedy and fame (or fall of fame). The author brings Josh and Holly's story to life. There is a great chemistry between the characters, and a
Lisa Torquay
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Working through these variables, their love builds not in a linear way, but in a realistic, fragmented pace. Their feelings and sexuality are described in a non-judgmental way with delicate details.
I liked how Jones treated the story and how the romance follows a different path. An enriching reading.

-Lisa Torquay, author of The Lass Beguiled the Laird
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“The seductive tale of a washed up Jewish standup comedian. He falls for a lovely gal who has thrown a drink in his face during a routine. The captivating tale of their torturous path to happiness.”
Kathleen Duhamel
Apr 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Being a funny man isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Balding, pudgy, and massively insecure, Josh Steinberg is a struggling comic actor whose greatest career success is far behind him. He’s lonely and physically exhausted, while his romantic history-the subject of many of his jokes- is an emotional train wreck. With his TV career in tatters, he makes his living performing at second-rate comedy clubs, where a chance encounter one night with a female fan leads to unexpected consequences.
Holly Branni
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc
I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review. I liked the premise of this book. Unfortunately I found Josh and Holly one-dimensional and uninteresting. In addition, Josh was so pathetic. I didn't side with him or find him endearing. Just annoying. ...more
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“Look, I’m sorry. I was having a rough night, and I took it out on you.”

Canadian author Kathleen Jones earned her degree in English Literature from the University of Toronto. She worked as an editor for various Canadian book publishers. Now Kathleen is a full-time author who writes for a number of popular book blogs and contributes monthly book reviews to Goodreads. LOVE IS THE PUNCH LINE is her debut novel. She lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

For a first novel LOVE IS THE PUNCH LINE is not onl
Ben East
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Outside observers might wonder what middle-aged romantics Josh Steinberg and Holly Brannigan see in each other, beyond the mirror image of their mutual loneliness. In Kathleen Jones’s debut novel, Love Is the Punch Line, the L.A. comedian and Toronto events planner seem to wonder the same thing.

The on-again, off-again affair between them moves like a yo-yo: she loves me, she couldn’t possibly love me; he wants me, he could have any statuesque groupie he wants, why me? Up and down it goes over th
Nov 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Kathleen Jones’ book, Love is the Punch Line, is a about an honest romance between two people who are not gorgeous and not young. They are based on real people, everyday people. They are in their 50's and have a bit of self esteem and trust issues.

You can clearly see that when Josh gets up on stage for his comedy routine. He's balding and he's on the plump side. You can read what Josh is thinking while giving his stand-up routine. Even though it's suppose to be funny, it felt kinda sad. He was b
Claire Matturro
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Kathleen Jones’ book, Love is the Punch Line, is a about an honest romance between people who are not gorgeous and not young—that makes it refreshing in a romance market littered with cover-girls and Hollywood handsome twenty-somethings cavorting about the pages. Of course, one of the reasons people read the romance books about gorgeous, young folks is the fantasy angle, but with Punch Line, a reader doesn’t need fantasy to enjoy the tale. Jones has done an admirable job of conveying the feeling ...more
Kanwarpal Singh
Jul 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a story of comedian and screenplay writer who is insecure and have no believe on himself, that's why his fans base is not set, and now his joke's are failing too, one day he made fun of a women in a show, video go viral, after that he met that girl, and get into her life like rainfall, she try to help him during tough time find a proper house to publish his screenplay and then to someone who must buy book rights to make a movie over it, but one house buy it they restrict the creativ ...more
Carolyn Bowen
Dec 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Love is the Punch Line is a well-written suspenseful novel. You'll meet Josh Steinberg a self-loathing comedian with severe depression, problems maintaining his career and a nonexistent love life. Then he meets Holly Brannigan at one of his shows, and when her phone rang during his set, he calls her out and demands she leaves the club. She did; right after throwing a glass of water in his face.

The author, Kathleen Jones, did an excellent job with the dialog, diving in deep to show the honest fee
Anne Barnhill
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it

Kathleen Jones’ debut, Love Is the Punch Line, is a surprising novel. It’s the story of stand-up comic Josh Steinberg, who is on his way to being washed up at fifty-four, and Holly Brannigan, who, for some unfathomable reason finds the pudgy comedian appealing. Filled with characters that seem as if they just walked out of a sitcom, Love Is the Punch Line might just tickle your funny bone.
-Anne Clinard Barnhill, author of At the Mercy of the Queen, Queen Elizabeth's Daughter, and The Beautician'
Kathrin Murphy
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Kathleen Jones's book takes the reader on a fun, romantic romp through the cutthroat world of comedy entertainment. The protagonists are a couple of neurotic fifty-somethings who everyone knows belong together, yet the novel is a page-turner that leaves the reader in suspense right to the end, wondering whether the main characters will or won't ever get over their respective insecurities to find their way to each other. It was truly refreshing to read a romance aimed at a mature audience and rei ...more
Bernie Brown
Jun 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Kathleen Jones sets up an original situation when a has-been comedian and a very attractive woman in his audience fall for each other. Much of their courting takes place during his performances when he makes one liners about her on-stage and she answers back from her table. Jones excels at descriptions of settings, whether they are the seedy clubs Josh performs in or the stunning natural beauty of Canada. Read Jones' clever tale to discover if romance can blossom under these unusual circumstance ...more
Alicia Montgomery
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When aging comedian Josh meets business woman Holly, sparks fly, but it's not an easy road to happy ever after. Love Is the Punch Line is a sweet love story with lots of twists and turns that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster ride. Holly and Josh's story will leave you emotionally invested and rooting (though sometimes also frustrated!) for these two. So, can this washed-up comedian and smart and sassy Torontonian find their happy ever after? You'll just have to read it! ...more
Charles Bush
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Love is the Punch Line” is a fast-paced but sure-footed romantic comedy set amidst the high-energy worlds of stand-up comedy and Hollywood movie making. The two leads, Jewish comedian Josh Steinberg and Irish event planner Holly Brannigan, are complex, well-rounded characters, riven by internal conflicts and self-doubt – in other words, completely human. If affairs of the heart interest you, you will enjoy this novel.
Carol Perkes
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
It is unusual for me to read a book in two days but I just wanted to find out what finally happened after all the ups and downs in Holly and Josh's relationship. I couldn't see what Holly saw in Josh but wanted their relationship to succeed anyway. Lots of laughs but moments of pity and sadness for the characters too. This book would make a great screenplay, Kathleen. Very original storytelling! ...more
Ward Anderson
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a truly heartwarming, romantic, and engaging read. And it's also a pretty good look at the life (and Love-life) of those in the comedy world. Jones manages to understand the industry, and the people involved in it, without resorting to old cliches about comedians or their relationships. Mostly, it's a very enjoyable read, with fun and engaging characters. There's a lot of heart and a lot of fun to be had here. Give it a read; you'll enjoy it. ...more
John Knoll
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
A funny engrossing account of the wayward saga of love involving a food loving fifty-something comedian and romantically inclined event planner. Many pitfalls along the way which explores the seamier aspects of show business and the plucky heart of his paramour who refuses to give up on him.
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it

I loved Love is the Punch Line. Holly and Josh aren't your typical young, beautiful lovers. They are real people with real feelings, and come complete with flaws that I can identify with. As I was reading, I was rooting for them to make it.

—Charlene Watters, editor, Wolters Kluwer Canada
Christopher Long
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Jones writes from the heart, delivering an engaging, entertaining read — a romantic roller-coaster ride from start to finish.
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was definitely unlike any other book I’ve read!
Stella Knights
Apr 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Brilliantly humorous, fun romance! I just loved the comical, romantic ride this story took me on. Josh, an ageing comedian, is his own harshest critic. He keeps repeating mistakes in his life, screwing up every chance he gets, even when it comes to love. He has trust issues from his past and uses comedy to try to keep himself from getting hurt, though this tactic does not always work out the way he hopes it will. Regardless of how hard he tries, he can’t stop his big heart from getting in the wa ...more
Dan Tuz
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Love Is The Punchline", written by Kathleen Jones is a very pleasant , eventful book to read . It kept me wondering how everything would work out for Josh and Holly . They're two middle aged people who look ordinary and are not "9s"or "10s" as far as physical attractiveness is concerned . I was able to identify with it more because many romance novels describe " actor and move star" types .

The book was well written . It was easy to get the image of what was happening through out the book . It
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book, and fast read. Loved the humour parts as well. Great characters that felt very real to me. The book was almost like a funny biography.
Great job for a first time author!
Keep 'em coming !
Dec 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was a good read, the chatacters were well developed. There was so much inner turmoil and the characters had to get over so much through this book.

Holly and Josh have a lot of false starts and the relationship builds at an almost normal pace.
Sheila Mitchell
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
“LOVE IS THE PUNCH LINE” is an unforgettable, and touching story, arousing the emotions in more ways than one. It evokes sympathy, empathy, sadness, and sometimes anger.This is a story about disappointment, failure, and shame. But alas! It is also a story about faith, courage, hope, and triumph. As I turned the pages of this book, I was forced to engage in quiet introspection, examining my own imperfections and vulnerabilities; my own fears and doubts. Shakespeare once wrote. “The path of true l ...more
Elizabeth A
Kathleen Jones gives us the old one-two with Love is the Punch Line, a zoomy, zany romp through the ups and downs of new love, mixed messages, and middle-aged angst. This book captures our will to move forward in life and love despite the punches that get thrown. A lively, spicy debut.
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Welcome to my site! I'm Kathleen Jones, author of "Love Is the Punch Line," a lighthearted, quirky romantic novel set in the world of stand-up comedy. The novel--my first-- will be published by Moonshine Cove in April 2018.

I’m a refugee from the corporate world, a lover of books, dogs, and 1940’s/1950’s vintage clothing (not necessarily in that

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