Posted on Amazon by R. Radway on June 11, 2019


Format: Kindle Edition

A good romantic read with a comedy side. Loved it!!

New Review for Love Is the Punch Line!

Check out Josette Belvedere’s new review of Love Is the Punch Line on her site, Stories By Josette Belvedere (

5/25/2019:  Just finished “Love Is The Punchline,” a light romantic romp featuring real-life, older lovers and every day frustrations and impediments to love bonding.  Loved the older, flawed characters.  Cute story.




Posted on Amazon by Charles Bush, author of Houseboat Wars, on March 19, 2019:

Format: Kindle Edition

Verified Purchase

Glamorous Setting Convincing Characters


“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.

“Love Is the Punch Line” Named a Favourite Indie Book of 2018!

Indie Book Reviews (@BookReviewIndie) named Love Is the Punch Linea favourite indie book of 2018 in this Tweet, posted on December 31, 2018:

“Counting down my 3 favourite indie books of 2018… #3 – “Love is the Punchline” by Kathleen Jones @joneslepidas… a quirky love story set in the world of stand-up comedy …#indiebooks#bestof2018″

Check out Indie Book Review’s 5-star review on Goodreads at


Love Is the Punch Line, a quirky midlife romance set in the world of stand-up comedy, is available from Amazon, Indigo, and Barnes and Noble.


(Review posted by Mary Yaroscavitch of Coffee, Books, and Cakes on October 29, 2018 (; also posted on Goodreads and

I received this book for free to base my honest review on.

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 barely getting any laughs from the audience.

Holly, meets Josh at the comedy club. She’s from Toronto, a business woman, kind and smart. Even though they both have self esteem and trust issues, they do have their ups and their downs. It’s not a novel that’s love at first sight, it takes awhile for there HEA (happily ever after). I do like a slow burn within the pages, and that’s what Kathleen has done here.

I liked the fact that this relationship was about 2 older adults, as I am creeping up to that age in a few years. It was refreshing to read, and you can truly find love at any age.

Kudos to you, Kathleen. I enjoyed the book a lot.

New 5-Star Review from the San Francisco Review of Books!!!

Grady Harp’s 5-Star Review (on behalf of the San Francisco Review of Books) on Goodreads, October 7, 2018


“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 only a very original idea for a romance but it is also written with a joie de vivre style that suggests the beginning of a very successful career. Her prose is infused with humor and contemporary ideas of where we all are at this point in history and she is able to set her scenery and stage props early on in the first pages of this endearing romance.

An excerpt follows: ‘Josh Steinberg’s mission in life was to make other people laugh, but these days, he could barely make himself smile. “Good evening, everyone,” Josh said, starting his act in a halting voice, his eyes sweeping the half-empty, dimly lit room. What a dive. The Yahoo Comedy Club in Toronto? Never heard of it before. Why does Greg keep lining up these crappy gigs? And how did I end up with an agent who knows nothing about the comedy business? Serves me right for hiring someone who used to be a roadie with a rock band. Josh smiled at the half-drunken faces before him, then launched into his routine — the usual shtick about his hopeless love life. “My looks have helped me in life. I mean, no women are filing paternity suits against me.” Deep down inside, Josh knew that his looks had done absolutely nothing for him. He had never really been a hunk: five foot nine; slightly plump — always plump, even when he was young; a plain face with a big nose; thinning and graying brown hair; receding hairline; double chin. Josh especially hated his big, protruding belly; he had tried for years and years to get rid of it, with no success. As if his aging looks weren’t bad enough, Josh now had some unwelcome competition from his new twenty-eight-year-old agent, Greg. Despite his short stature, Greg was darkly handsome — and Italian — with brilliant, piercing blue eyes and perfect features. On more than one occasion, Greg had stolen the woman that Josh tried to pick up. Each and every time it happened, Josh vowed to fix himself up through the magic of drastic diets and plastic surgery. “I have to be realistic about my expectations. I mean, if I were a woman, I wouldn’t date me.” Josh had always known he wasn’t great-looking, but he had never dreamed that he would still be alone at the age of fifty-four. He believed that once women got to know him, they would see the beautiful heart under his less than gorgeous exterior. All he had ever wanted was a soul mate, one special woman who could love him as much as he could love her. Josh knew that he would make a great husband, unlike most of the other comics on the road, who often cheated on their wives. “Anyhow, don’t feel too sorry for me. I’ve slept with lots of gorgeous women. They simply can’t resist us paunchy guys.”

The synopsis hints at the pleasure ahead – ‘He courted her with punch lines. Middle-aged stand-up comedian Josh Steinberg, 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 comedy club. Holly, an attractive, intelligent, and divorced 50-year-old businesswoman, becomes instantly smitten with Josh and even finds his unconventional looks wildly sexy.’

Kathleen’s debut is wholly successful – just the right amount of humanity and humor and romance. Watch her rise!




Posted on Goodreads, September 16, 2018:

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. Josh is self-obsessed, depressed, and consumed with doubt over both his comedy and his unattractive appearance. When he meets Holly, a Canadian business woman, there are early hints that she could be his salvation – but both of them are damaged from previous failed relationships and prone to overreact to every little setback that comes their way. At times it’s hard to like either character, but that adds to the sense that this book reflects real life, where few people can remain consistently likeable in their most difficult moments.

A string of mishaps and misunderstandings conspires to keep the couple apart as the novel progresses, and we are kept guessing as to their eventual fate until the finals chapters. The book is an enjoyable ride, but touches on serious themes such as depression, suicide, and body image. Recommended if you want a romance that goes beyond the norm.

New 5-Star Review for Love Is the Punch Line!!!

Posted by Laura B on, August 8, 2018:

Great writing! Really enjoyed the story of an up and down and up again love affair and everything in between.




Posted by Malcolm Campbell on Goodreads, July 4, 2018


“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.”



Another Rave Review for Love Is the Punch Line

Reviewer: The Genre Minx Book Reviews
Every day struggles are realistically portrayed
 Format: Kindle Edition
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 friend who made choices that made us shake our heads and make our bets on its success but somehow they work everything out, Love is the Punch Line is that kind of story.

Josh has been unlucky in love on every level, the main reason being that the only women he ever met were the kind who were looking to trade in on his fame. Of course, it was not like Josh was looking for anything beyond the glitz of Hollywood either. Now he is on the downward slope of fame and has been having one reality check after another and he is struggling not to end up as a washed-up comedian. It was during one of his comedy routines where he was feeling rather angry at the world and in particular women when he came across Holly. Although their first meeting was not love at first sight, in fact Josh had rather insulted Holly and she retaliated by throwing a drink in his face (you go, girl).

Holly had not had the best of luck with love and went to a comedy club one night in order to try and cheer herself up. She had no idea that the comedian was going to be Josh Steinberg and although she had never found him to be attractive on TV, in real life she found that she rather liked the look of the comedian. Unfortunately, his routine didn’t cheer her up at all, she found it rather upsetting to consider how hurt he had been by women. Though, when an incident occurred that brought Josh right to her, she immediately reconsidered her stance on him because he was a class “A” jerk. After their very loud and very public argument Holly pulled herself together and was preparing to leave. What she did not expect was that Josh would seek her out to offer her a slice of humble pie and apologize for his behavior. Holly herself felt that she could have handled things better as well and they both made amends and this started a conversation which would lead to a more intimate encounter.

Although both Holly and Josh were looking for love, Josh was not willing to trust that Holly was sincere in her interest in him. His self-esteem was so low that he could not conceive that someone as beautiful and kind as her could really want what he had to offer. Even though he may not have had faith in her, he did not want to let her go either. Holly for her part was willing to go to great lengths to prove to Josh that she was not like all the others, but she too had a certain point in which she felt that enough was enough. While trying to explore a serious relationship, Josh was also trying to salvage his career. With ups and downs and meltdowns in-between, Josh would learn that there was more to life than the adoration of Hollywood and that maybe, just maybe, there was more to him that he had never appreciated before.

For me, this was not a romance that would ever make me swoon. I am just not into male characters who are very sensitive and struggle with self-esteem issues but I did find Love is the Punch Line to be a refreshing romance because the choices these characters made and the issues they struggled with are very real for many people. No relationship is perfect and sometimes things can get ugly and chaotic but then there are those moments where it can be almost magical and that is what keeps the relationship going. It was also nice that this was a romance between two older adults and that careers, children, and family did come into play, especially Josh’s career which was also how he identified his success in life. A lot of times real life and every day struggles are not realistically portrayed in fiction but in Love is the Punch Line, it does not hold back the punches and I think that many readers would appreciate the ups and downs that occur on this rollercoaster of love.

This review is based on a complimentary book I received from Author, Kathleen Jones. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.
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