“Gripped” Relationships: Marc Dunkin & Cathy Kagelli

Our character relationship series continues with Marc Dunkin and Cathy Kagelli. In the MLH books, we quickly see Marc swooping in on Cathy after her and Jason’s breakup. Prior to that, we see a few instances of Marc attempting to encourage Cathy and Jason to stay clear of each other, but we don’t get to see much of the build up to their relationship until the Gripped flashbacks. It turns out that Cathy had been on Marc’s radar since before she even met Jason. The 2.5 year age difference between them kept Marc from making a move, but she caught his eye back when she was in middle school and he was in 10th grade.

The attraction was not one way. It took Cathy until she was fifteen to have any real interaction with Marc, but when she did, she got “the feels,” which previously she’d only had for Jason. Marc blips onto Cathy’s radar at the start of high school, right when Jason’s fallout with Chris sends him spiraling into a dark place. As Cathy tries every which way to help her boyfriend keep it together, Marc becomes a voice of reason in her life. Every time Cathy gets frustrated with Jason, she seems to run into Marc, which gives them an opportunity to start forming the bond that eventually blossoms into the relationship they have in Gripped.

The question is, did Marc scoop in on Cathy because he believed Jason was a bad influence on her? Is he just trying to save her from Jason or has he truly moved on from his ex-girlfriend, Michelle? One thing is certain, Marc’s intentions are pure.

Unlike Jason, Marc remains a steady, positive influence in Cathy’s life. However, Cathy’s feelings are a bit of an enigma. We aren’t quite sure she even knows which boy owns her heart, but that’s what the Gripped Book Series will soon reveal!

Published by Author Stacy A. Padula

Stacy Padula has spent the last 14 years working daily with teenagers as a college counselor, mentor, and life coach. She was named "Top Inspirational Author of the Year" for 2022 by the International Association of Top Professionals (New York, NY). In 2021, she was broadcast on the famous Reuters Building in Times Square as "Empowered Woman of the Year." Her Gripped book series is currently being adapted for TV by Emmy-winning producer Mark Blutman. She is the founder and CEO of Briley & Baxter Publications: a publishing company that donates a portion of its proceeds to animal rescues each month. She has edited and published a variety of titles, including Boston Bruins Anthem Singer Todd Angilly and Rachel Goguen's The Adventures of Owen & the Anthem Singer, LaTonya Pinkard of Netflix's Last Chance U's Nate & His Magic Lion, and former NHL player Norm Beaudin's memoir The Original: Living Life Through Hockey. Stacy resides in Plymouth, Massachusetts with her husband Tim and two miniature dachshunds, Briley and Baxter.