Book Review: The Girl’s Guide to (Man)Hunting by Jessica Clare

Our local library recently got Hoopla, an app that lets you check out media using your library card. I browsed some audiobooks and found several by some of my favorite authors, which means more entertainment and things to listen to during various other activities. This was the first one I decided to try out.

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One Sentence Synopsis
A woman with a bad reputation in her small town attends an outdoor survival class in order to get revenge on the guy who gave her that reputation. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Friends Let Friends Get Revenge
Labeled the town slut due to something she believes Dane did, Miranda is thrilled to have finally found a job that will allow her to get out of the town she’s come to hate. As she’s preparing to make her exit, she finds out Dane is back in town, and her best friend puts ideas of revenge in her head. After all, she’s leaving, so what could it hurt? I loved that Miranda had a good girl and bad girl side that warred with each other, waffling between wanting revenge and not wanting to hurt Dane like she’d been hurt.

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Probably not this extreme…and with less clothes…

Not the Man He Used to Be
Dane has changed since high school. He’d left to play hockey, but after he’s accused of sleeping with the manager’s wife and kicked out of the league, he finds his true calling in wilderness survival. The one thing that hasn’t changed, though, is his crush on Miranda. When he sees she’s signed up for the survival class, those old feelings come back.

Easier Not to Talk About It
The two of them see the past very differently, mostly because neither knew what actually happened. Miranda has believed for years that Dane was responsible for the videos. Dane didn’t even know about them and couldn’t understand why Miranda’s mother wouldn’t let him talk to her when he called to explain why he’d left town so abruptly to go play hockey.  So much could have been solved with a little communication, but then we wouldn’t have had all the romping in the woods. Probably a good trade-off if we’re talking entertainment value.

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Flaws and All
I liked that even though Miranda only went to the course to get revenge, she found that she enjoyed the outdoors and ended up with a stronger sense of self, despite her confusion over Dane’s attentions. Dane is actually a nice guy, but the fact that he used to be kind of a dick wasn’t glossed over. He wasn’t misunderstood. He really was just kind of a dick.

The Spoken Word
Listening to this on audiobook was definitely a different experience, one that took some getting used to.  When I read, I tend to read faster and absorb the scenes rather than picking them apart piece by piece, and the act of listening makes things feel more drawn out. It also emphasizes the fact that there was a lot of sex in this book. And that in itself, listening to someone read erotica out loud, also took some getting used to.

The Romance Factor
The romance was definitely there, but I think there was a bit of a disconnect in listening to the audiobook. I didn’t get the feels I usually do when I read on my own, though towards the end I did get a few warm fuzzies. Am I going to stop listening to audiobooks? No way. They’re perfect for multitasking. The story was still good and romantic, I just didn’t get all mushy over it. 3/5

The Steam Factor
There is sex all over the place. Hot sex. In the woods. I may have had to fan myself a few times when listening to it. Another side effect of taking it in slower than usual? I had time to dwell on the fact that the forest floor would be very uncomfortable on the knees. 5/5

Final Thoughts
Despite having to adapt to audio, this story was fun. I have the second book in paperback, so I’ll read that one normally and then resume the audiobooks for the rest of the series. Time to queue up some walking and knitting for some quality listening time.

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