Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Alaskan Romance

The other contemporary I picked up at the supermarket for the infamous TBR challenge was Manhunt by Janet Evanovich. I have never read Ms. Janet before, and I knew this was a reprint of a series romance going in, so my expectations weren't that high. And I guess that's a good thing, because this one did nothing for me. But I didn't hate it, so that's good news for all of you worried about my blood pressure.

Spunky Heroine Alex decides to leave high-powered, corporate NYC for a simpler life. She trades her condo for a property, sight unseen, in Alaska. I'm not really clear on why Alex is so very burned-out except her days are long, and I'm definitely at a loss to figure out why she chooses Alaska for this adventure. (Late in the set-up she talks about Alaska's male to female ratio being so low that she's bound to find a man to satisfy her Marisa-Tomei-like clicking biological clock. I can see her buying property in Upstate New York: rural, quiet, surely there are some men around. Why Alaska?)

So, she gets to Alaska and meets Casey, the bachelor next door, who's kind, rugged, professionally successful, and has a house full of the latest appliances. And with no build-up whatsoever, they are stroking each other's faces, kissing, sharing ownership of a dog, etc. The dialogue is cute, the sex is OK, and the relationship chugs along at a good pace. (Could have have done without the "Before I declare my commitment to you I must punch this other guy's lights out" business. That part seemed dated, but then again, it is a reprint.) I liked Casey but never connected with Alex.

I can't get Alex. Her biological time clock is thundering, and she must be married. So she hies off across the country and never thinks about children again. Neither does she do much in the way of hunting for a man. Also, when she discovers that her rustic cabin is rustic as in no plumbing, no furniture, no electricity, no driveway, and no bedding, she doesn't act rationally. I could totally see her heading off to the nearest town, getting an apartment and an office job, and building up her hardware store and cabin over time. But staying in the wilderness just because? I don't think so.

In terms of Alaska, understanding first off that I've never visited, there's a lot of convincing imagery of beautiful mountain peaks, clear air, and gorgeous skies. But in the same way that I cannot figure out why Alex is in Alaska in the first place, I'm not clear on how the Alaska in Manhunt is that different from, say, Colorado. (In fact, the sun sets very late, after or during dinner, in Manhunt and it's supposed to be Fall. Hmmm.)

So Manhunt was quick, cute, and not horrible. Unfortunately, not that memorable either.


CindyS said...

I haven't read Manhunt but I stopped reading any romance by Evanovich after reading the first half of one of her republished books. At the time she had another author whose name was on the book because the author helped with the re-writes. To me, she is writing the same characters over and over again. Stephany and crew were the final product of her romance writing career. I'm not sure she would know how to write about another character.

CindyS (a one time Evanovich fangirl)

Kate R said...

The problem with these re-releases are they have been expanded and lose their snap. The real ones, the short original category books were great. I loved 'em and was really disappointed by these stupid longer ones. Yawn.


Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a lot! » » »