by Jennifer Crusie

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Objective: Find Man. Must Be Rich, Handsome, and Successful.

Kate Svenson is attractive, successful, a brilliant businesswoman — and miserable. After three failed engagements, she realizes it's time for a 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 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 femme 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 the heart, where the word proposal takes on a very different meaning...?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780373772902
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 11/20/2007
Edition description: Original
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 4.22(w) x 6.61(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

Jennifer Crusie has written more than fifteen novels and has appeared on many bestseller lists, including those of Publishers Weekly, USA TODAY and the New York Times.



Date of Birth:


Place of Birth:



B.A., Bowling Green State University, 1973; M.A., Wright State University; Ph.D., Ohio University, 1986

Read an Excerpt

"Planning on jumping? I wouldn't. Blood's hell to get out of silk." "I'm just checking the weather," Kate Svenson said patiently and continued to stare out her apartment window, knowing that Jessie would lose interest and go back to her newspaper if she ignored her long enough.

She'd pulled back the thick drapes to let in the earlymorning August sun. Even with her best friend sitting behind her, rustling her paper and slurping her coffee, Kate felt alone, mired in a despair that not even Jessie's pragmatism could dispel. This is doing you no good at all, she told herself and moved away from the window to sit at her linen-covered dining-room table. She tried to concentrate on her breakfast coffee and the business section of the Sunday paper, but her mind kept wandering to the miserable state of her life.

Well, not exactly miserable, she thought. Actually, not miserable at all. I have a great career in a top management-consulting firm. Of course, I could wish that my father didn't own the firm, And sometimes it's boring,but it's a great career" Well, an okay career".

With an effort, Kate pushed her career out of her mind and went on with her catalog of blessings. Her life was good. She had her health, and enough money, and terrific friends, the best of whom she was having breakfast with right now in a beautiful apartment full of exquisite French Provincial furniture that she certainly couldn't afford if she didn't have this damn job".

No. Kate clamped down on her negative thoughts and peered over the top of her paper at the brunette across from her who was reading her paper and drinking her coffee with the same total absorption she gave everything else.

Jessie Rogers jerked her head up, her dark curls bouncing. "What?"

"Nothing," Kate said. "Just counting my blessings. You're near the top."

"I am the top, which is a real comment on your lousy life," Jessie said and went back to the paper.

Trust Jessie to cut to the chase, Kate thought. She sits over there looking like Audrey Hepburn at twelve, and here I am looking like Grace Kelly at fifty. And we're both thirty-five. Doesn't she care that life is slipping away from us while we carve out careers we don't want?

Of course, Jessie didn't care. Her life wasn't slipping away, she was living it. She wasn't carving out a career she didn't want, she was completely involved in one she loved, if you could call cake decorating a career, which of course, Jessie did, although how she lived on it, Kate would never know. Jessie just went with the f low, no plan at all. Maybe if Kate hadn't planned her career out so precisely, maybe if she was doing something else—

Stop it, she told herself. She was a damn good management consultant, and she'd made a lot of money. It wasn't her career that was bothering her, it was her empty personal life. Of course, Jessie was happier than she was. She hadn't gotten herself into three horrible engagements in the past three years because she didn't care that she was thirty-five and not married. I'm the one who cares, Kate thought. She was the one who was guilty and miserable. It shouldn't matter but it did, and there was nothing she could do about it.

Pathetic. Kate sighed and went back to her paper. Jessie slapped the newspaper down on the linen-covered tabletop and said loudly, "This is all your father's fault."

Startled, Kate looked up from the paper. "What? The recession? The construction on 70? Calvin can't find Hobbes? What?"

"Don't play dumb." Jessie folded her arms and glared at her. "You're unhappy."

"No, I'm not," Kate said, forcing a smile. "You read that in the paper? What are you reading? I told you not to read the personals. You get too upset about all the lonely people and you transfer it to me. I'm fine. Read the sports page." She went back to her paper, holding it like a shield in front of her.

Jessie, as usual, did not give up. "You keep sighing. I can't concentrate on Travel and Leisure with you sighing."

"I'm not sighing," Kate said without looking up. "It's sinus."

"No, it's not." Jessie narrowed her eyes. "You're not still pining over that jerk Derek, are you?"

"No." Kate stuck to her paper. "I don't pine over jerks. It's not time-efficient. Go back to Travel and Leisure."

Jessie hooked her finger over the edge of Kate's paper and pulled it down so she could look into her friend's eyes. "You want to get married."

"Of course I want to get married," Kate said reasonably. "Some day. Get your finger off my paper. You're crumpling the Dow-Jones."

"You want to get married now." Jessie looked disgusted. "It's your biological clock or something."

"Your nail polish is chipped," Kate said. "It's also a really ugly color, but I'm not mentioning that because it would be none of my business."

"You've been engaged three times in the past three years," Jessie said. "Not one of them could keep you. You said yes to three men and then dumped them. Why would you say —yes' to three men you couldn't bring yourself to marry?"

Kate took a deep breath. "Derek insisted on a premarital agreement. Paul informed me that my success threatened him and if I loved him I'd stop working so hard. Terence wanted me to quit my job because my social duties as his wife would be too pressing. And you think I should have married one of those men?"

"Frankly, I don't think you should have dated any of them," Jessie said. "I just think being raised by your father has given you a warped idea of life, marriage, and men. And I think you're unhappy, which makes me unhappy. And I don't like being unhappy, so we're going to fix you."

Kate put down the financial section. "No, we're not." "Yes, we are," Jessie said. "We're going to improve your life. We're going to make you more like me."

Kate started to laugh. "I don't want to be like you." "Hey," Jessie said, not fazed at all. "You should be so lucky."

"You decorate cakes for a living," Kate said. "Beautiful cakes, admittedly, but still!"

"I'm an artist," Jessie said.

"You're a nut," Kate said. "But I love you, so I overlook it."

"I may be nuts, but I love what I do and you don't," Jessie said. "Remember when you were with the Small Business Administration? You used to tell me about all those little businesses you'd help get started, and you'd feel so good, remember?"

"The pay was terrible and the career possibilities nil." Kate picked up her paper. Jessie pinned it down with her hand.

"Remember Mrs. Borden's day-care center?" Jessie said. "It's still going strong. She's got a waiting list."

"Of course, I remember." Kate smiled at the memory. "What a lovely woman she was."

"Is," Jessie said. "She didn't die just because you sold out."

"I didn't sell out."

"And that old man"what was his name, Richards? The one with the shoe-repair shop."

"Richter," Kate said. "Mr. Richter. How is he?" Jessie shrugged. "How should I know? Like it's my job to keep an eye on all those little businesses you played midwife to."

"Very subtle, Jess," Kate said. "And I didn't sell out" I'm doing the same thing." At Jessie's skeptical look, she added, "I am. I'm just saving much bigger businesses for a lot more money. I'm still helping people."

"You're helping a bunch of suits," Jessie said.

Kate held on to her patience. "Why don't we just agree that we have no respect for each other's career choices and forget the whole thing?"

"You used to have respect for my career choice," Jessie said. "You helped me save my career."

"I couldn't help it," Kate said. "You were such a mess, standing in the middle of my office at the SBA, raving about creating the greatest cakes in the civilized world." She smiled at Jessie and shook her head. "I'd never seen anyone like you before."

Jessie grinned back. "I felt the same way. I'd never seen anybody as polished as you. You looked like you'd been varnished. I thought, Oh,good,I'm in big trouble and they send me to Wall Street Barbie." She tilted her head and looked at Kate with deep affection. "And then you saved my business."

"It was a business worth saving," Kate said. "You truly do make the most beautiful cakes in the civilized world."

"Uncivilized, too," Jessie said. "Which brings us to the subject at hand"men."

"Jessie," Kate said. "You're even more inept with men than I am. You keep dating those boneless, purposeless men who need someone to take care of them."

"Yes, but that's because I don't care," Jessie said.

"When I care, I will be ept."

"Well, when you're ept, I'll listen to you." Kate tried to pick up her paper, but Jessie put her hand on it again.

"Listen," Jessie said, leaning forward. "I'm willing to approach this your way."

"My way?"

"Right. Logic and reason." Jessie made a face. "I prefer instinct, but we've gotta go with what we've got, here. Now, you want to get married, right?"

Kate looked wary. "Right."

Jessie spread her hands apart. "So what have you done all your life every time you wanted something?"

Kate looked even warier. "I made a plan?" "Exactly," Jessie said. "So we make a plan. What do we do first? I've never planned anything before, remember? You were the one who came in and did my business plan." She stopped to consider. "Which means I owe you this plan. It's the least I can do."

"The least is what you always do," Kate said. "If you'd followed the timetable in that plan, you'd be a rich woman today. What happened to all the promotion plans? The growth plans?"

"Too fast," Jessie said, waving the idea away with her hand. "If I'd stuck to your timetable, I'd have lost all the fun of designing the cakes. I'd end up turning out sugar roses like a robot, and after a while all my work would look like everybody else's, and nobody would be paying my prices, so I'd have to lower them, and then I'd have to make more cakes to cover the loss, and then they'd get really ugly, and I'd go out of business and starve." She looked at Kate triumphantly.

"You just don't want to succeed," Kate said. "You just want to noodle around with sugar, having a good time."

"And you want to succeed too much," Jessie said, leaning forward again as she closed in on her point.

What People are Saying About This

Tess Gerritsen

Smart, sexy, and howlingly funny...

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Manhunting 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 496 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this author!
sk02 More than 1 year ago
Love Jennifer Crusie! She keeps me laughing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book started off sort-of slow, I thought it would be boring, but it was actually VERY good, the plot was very believable.
Fantasma on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
You always know what to expect from Jennifer Crusie :)This book had a more serious tone than most of the ones I've read so far, but it's so funny at the same time. It's obvious to anyone but themselves that Kate and Jake are mad about each other, but it wouldn't be half as funny if it was otherwise. They just *had* to go through all that scenes before finally having sex - yeah, it's a Crusie book, what were you expecting? ;o)It's a fast paced book, unputdownable. And I had a great time reading it.
superblondgirl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Cute, but nothing special - definitely not her best work. The funny parts weren't as funny as they usually are, the characters a little one-dimensional. It's a good book for a quick read with only half your focus on the story.
magst on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not one of Crusie's best, but it was okay. I didn't really like the characters and the plot was lacking. The ending felt a little rushed like she wasn't sure what to do with it. I wouldn't suggest putting it at the top of your tbr pile, but if you have to read it then check it out from the library.
Cherylk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for a funny light headed book than you need to check this one out. Finding Mr. Right is not all that easy when you are Kate Svenson but it can be fun trying!
FutureBestSeller on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Laugh Out Loud funny! I picked this up at a local book sale and was so glad I did! I stayed awake until 1:00 am just to finish it! The characters are likable and the story is fast paced. I will definitely pick up more of her books and just added her to my favorites list!
Darla on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kate, like so many Crusie heroines to follow her, is on a mission to fix her life. She's successful, but unsatisfied, so between Kate and her best friend Jessie, they come up with a plan to rejuvenate her love life. Kate makes a list of criteria for eligible men, and Jessie urges her to go on vacation at a resort catering to singles--the perfect place to meet men fitting Kate's list.So she goes, and determinedly starts dating one man after another who seems just fine on paper. And every single date ends in disaster. I'm not going to list the disasters and spoil them for you, but take my word for it--they're hilarious. Kate finds herself spending more and more time relaxing with resort handyman Jake, and proving that when it comes to love, the best laid plans of women... well, in this case, they lead to unexpected results.Even though this is early Crusie, it's still got that special something. The snappy dialogue is immediately recognizable, as is the seriousness underlying laugh-aloud humor. In this case, a lot of the seriousness comes from communication issues, and a sub-plot between Jake's brother and his girlfriend does double duty both showing Kate that maybe she doesn't really want what she thought she want, and demonstrating the follies of miscommunication.There's also the serious issue of ambition and goals and one's definition of a full life, and that's echoed in the sub-plot about new friend Penny, who's at the resort for one last fling before getting married.I've got to say something about the humor, because far too many authors just don't understand the concept. They'll take the idea of the dating disasters and throw them into a story thinking that the more outrageous they are, the funnier. But in Manhunting, and indeed in any Crusie novel, it's not just a silly situation--the silly situation means something. The disasters aren't just random disasters--they connect to the characters in specific ways. It's like watching RHPS and the difference between throwing slices of toast at and thowing spitballs; between shouting "so does Janet!" and shouting "you're an asshole!" Sorry for the digression--there was a discussion elsewhere, and this seemed to illustrate my point, which was that Jennifer Crusie does humor right.Anyway, Manhunting is just a joy to read. It's fast-paced and short enough that it can be read in one or two sittings, which you'll want to do anyway--it's hard to put down. The perfect read for a gloomy not-yet-spring day.
cissa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
BRILLIANT dialog. Crusie writes some of the best dialog ever, and I adore her.
risadabomb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was a good read, not a great read. It seem to have more of a Harlequin romance novel feel to it.
SunnySD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When she decides to take her "perfect husband" list shopping at an upscale resort in rural Kentucky successful businesswoman Kate Svenson has no idea she'll become a one-woman walking accident-wave. Nor that the minor details on her Mr. Right list will become the most important things of all. Entertaining reading, if only for the invent ways Crusie gets rid of the eligible males Kate encounters.
reneebooks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kate Svenson is your typical uptight career woman on the fast track but she has one problem. She's lonely. So Kate and her best friend devise a plan. Armed with a detailed list of qualifications for the perfect husband, she sets off for a Kentucky golf resort that is prime hunting ground for eligible bachelors.Jake Templeton is part owner of the resort and the most laid back hero I've ever come across. A former tax lawyer who has left the rat race behind, Jake is now the resort's handyman. He and Kate meet and immediately decided the other is not what they are looking for. Jake thinks Kate is too driven and too much like his ex-wife. Kate thinks Jake lacks ambition and does not meet any of the requirements on her list.Of course, Kate's plans to find Mr. Perfect go wrong time after time with one dating disaster after another with scenes that were absolutely hilarious. Her dates end up either falling in the pool, hit over the head or in the emergency room. And none of it was her fault :) I'm not a real fan of slapstick humor in romance because I think it's too visual and most authors lack the writing talent to pull it off. But this book is the exception. Crusie succeeds superbly and I found myself literally laughing out loud (and scaring the crap out of my cat, thank goodness Bob wasn't home). The only other author who can make me laugh like that is Evanovich with her Stephanie Plum books.This was a completely character driven book with a charming and engaging H/H. My favorite scenes were those that take place out on the lake. Kate invites herself along with Jake when he goes fishing in a leaky old boat. Jake fishes without bait because he is too lazy to actually want to catch anything and uses that time to nap. The sassy dialogue during these scenes practically sparkles off the page. All that banter made delightful sexual tension culminating in some yummy sex scenes. It was a wonderful moment when these two seeming opposites realize they are perfect for each other.Manhunting is a deliciously delightful book. Although Crusie's inexperience shows with a bit of head hopping, I enjoyed it from the first page to the last. It's very short so I think I finished it in a couple hours. When I found myself re-reading favorite passages, I realized I had a keeper on my hands. It ranks right up there with Anyone But You and Welcome To Temptation. (Grade: A-)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I laughed out loud. Sweet romance but the humor was the best part.
MuseofIre on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Needed something good to wash the taste of the Wolfe out of my head, so turned to this frothy confection. Lacks the mystery component I usually like in her work, but still an enjoyable love story between a hard-driving woman and a drifting-nowhere man.
girlfromwvaKY More than 1 year ago
I really liked this book. i actually picked up a used copy at a thrift store. i started reading it and finished it in one day. there are some good laugh out loud moments. i enjoyed the banter between Jake & Kate. i especially loved how she found herself in the country when she knew she wasn't happy in the city. Kate has had 3 fiances and 3 failed engagements. She is a great business woman, but she has decided she is hopeless at romance. She really wants to find her Mr. Right and her friend, Jessica, decides to help her come up with a "business plan" to help her find him. Kate travels to "The Cabins", a resort in Kentucky that is ripe with eligible bachelors. They are just her type, too; rich and ambitious. Only trouble is, they are dropping like flies. After Kate pushes the latest reject into the pool, Jake is convinced Kate is nothing but trouble. Since Jake has sworn off ambition and a woman who will climb to the top of the corporate ladder, she is the last thing he needs. But is she??? Anything can happen once their hearts are on the line.
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Lindsie More than 1 year ago
Another cute story, thanks to Jennifer Crusie! I would highly recommend this novel to fans of the author, but also to those who are looking for a light hearted romance and a quick read. The characters are believable (and quite cute), the romance in sizzling, and the plot is well written. B+
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