Book Review: Manhunting by Jennifer Cruise

Used book sales are a great place to find cheap books and to discover new authors you haven’t read yet. Jennifer Cruise is a name I recognized, but I hadn’t picked up one of her books yet so I thought I would give it a try. You can’t go for $1.00 a book.

Synopsis:

Kate Svenson is attractive, successful, a brilliant businesswoman and miserable. After three failed engagements, she realizes it’s time for a plan…an organized, detailed agenda with a clear goal: finding Mr. Right.

The Cabins resort is ripe with eligible bachelors, all rich, distinguished and ambitious–just her type. And they’re dropping like flies around her…at least, that’s how Jake Templeton views the situation. After he’s stuck pulling her latest reject out of the swimming pool, Jake’s convinced this female fatale is trouble. Especially for him.

But can a man who’s sworn off ambition for good and a woman hanging from the top of the corporate ladder find common ground in the unpredictable territory called heart, where the word proposal takes on a very different meaning.

Cruise writes a letter to her readers explaining how Manhunting, originally called Keeping Kate by the author, was the first book she got published. She notes that “its full of flaws, there’s some head hopping, there’s probably infodump although I tied to edit it out, but I don’t care. I love it.”

I thought it was great that Cruise wrote a letter to the readers at the beginning because it gives us some context, especially readers who are also writers. I can’t say that any head hopping stuck out to the point of distraction, but I did notice a lot of internal dialogue and some over explaining/infodump on Kate’s (the protagonist) part. She gave herself a lot of pep talks about sticking to her plan, concentrating on finding Mr. Right and trying to prevent herself from getting discouraged. However, following Kate to The Cabins resort was an adventure. Living through her mini-dates with the eligible men who met her criteria and some who failed miserably to impress her.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the setting, the golf course, nice cabin rooms, rich people and the lake. There was always a social itinerary and Kate was rarely sitting alone brooding. My favorite thing about the whole book was the hilarious and witty dialogue between Kate and Jake. Every time Kate and Jake interact, it’s sure to make the reader smile. Whatever this book lacks in its flaws as Cruise mentioned in her letter to the reader, it makes up for in action and dialogue. I think I’ll have to read the book again to study the dialogue in greater depth because Cruise has mastered it even in her first book.

Have you read a recommendable romantic comedy lately?

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About Nicole Basaraba

Nicole Basaraba is a Canadian writer focusing on topics of travel (Mondays), writing and literature (Wednesdays), lifestyle (Fridays) and her experiences living in the capital city of Europe: Brussels, Belgium.
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7 Responses to Book Review: Manhunting by Jennifer Cruise

  1. marilynbrant says:

    Nicole,
    I have this book, too — I own almost every Crusie novel! — and I find it really intriguing when an author who’s so established gives us some insight into what her early storytelling style was like. I enjoyed Manhunting a lot, but I especially love Crusie’s short contemporary romance Anyone But You. It was another one she wrote and published before she became so well known, and it has a few endearing (IMO) flaws, but it remains one of the best romantic comedies I’ve read. Given the constraints of length and genre requirements, she created a cast of funny, memorable characters with lots of witty dialogue. (If you enjoyed the dialogue in Manhunting, check out Anyone But You!) It’s a book I still love to reread :).

  2. Julie Glover says:

    I’ve only read one Cruisie novel, and right this moment I can’t remember the title. It was pretty good, but it was an early one and I wondered if her writing improved with experience. I need to pick up a later book of hers.

    As to romantic comedy, the last one I loved was Tawna Fenske’s Believe It Or Not. Great read!

  3. Emma says:

    I like that she wrote to her readers. Most writers’ first novels have flaws. It’s normal.

  4. wendyruss says:

    I haven’t read any of her stuff, but I love the cover and it sounds engaging!

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