Review of Manhunting by Jennifer Crusie

Year published: 1993
Genre: Romance, contemporary
Setting & time: USA, contemporary

The Story:
Business consultant Kate goes on holiday at an expensive country resort, determined to snag a husband. Not just any husband, but one who fulfils the conditions set out on her list: distinguished, rich (so heiress Kate can be sure he’s not a gold digger), driven, business-minded, etc. - basically what a cynic might term "the average rich yuppie female’s husband wish list".
But then she meets Jake, the resort’s head-handyman, an ex-tax lawyer who decided to drop out of the rat race and spend his life relaxing and enjoying the simple things in life. Kate and Jake hit it off immediately, but convince themselves their interest in each other is just friendly. Divorced Jake doesn’t want to tie himself to another driven female, and Kate wants to tick off her list. There are plenty of prospects, but somehow her dates with them always turn out disastrous, because what Kate really wants is love. Everyone knows what will happen, except Kate and Jake, but the fun is in seeing how it happens.

This is an early Crusie – in fact she says in the introduction that it was the very first book she finished writing. The book was originally published by Harlequin in paperback, but now that Crusie has become a Big Name in romance, her early category romances are being reissued, both in hardcover and paperback. I am grateful for that, because the originals seem almost to impossible to find (I’m still trying to find a copy of one of her earliest published books, Sizzle, which has not been reissued).

Helpfully (or not), Crusie points out some of the mistakes she (thinks she) made in the writing, but taken altogether, I think it’s a pretty good beginner effort.

Rating: An entertaining little romance with some very funny moments. 3 stars.


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