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While I've enjoyed Jessica Clare's books in the past, The Girl's Guide to (Man) Hunting left me frustrated and bored at the same time.
I listened on audio, and I kept looking at my MP3, hoping that it was near the end of the book . . . only to discover there was still 3 hours left. A bit later I'd look down again—2 hours 45 minutes left. Was this book ever going to end? [Also, 9 and a half hours for a 236 page book – WTF?] The narrator didn't help things; her voice annoyed me, quite frankly, especially her voices for the men.
It would take a long rambling rant to explain exactly why this book did not work for me. I'm not in the mood to do such a thing, so I will simply give the main issues.
I didn't care for the characters, never felt even an inkling of a connection with them. Character connection is perhaps the most important part of a story, especially a romance, so this was a huge flaw for me.
Because I didn't care for Dane or Miranda, I also quickly tired of the sex. And I like my books dirty! But every chapter there was a sex scene; their “HEA ending” was a sex scene. And don't even get me started on all the sex in the woods, with the fellow survival students nearby. No, of course they can't hear you or see you! And of course that's a good, comfortable spot in which to get it on. *rolls eyes *
The BIG drama surrounding the pictures was the worst. I could tell from the first chapter that Dane never took the pictures. But of course no one else knew this. What I couldn't understand is HOW could no one bring it up to him sometime in those 9 years, especially once he moved back to the area? You are seriously telling me that NOT ONE guy, even a teenage boy, gave Dane the old “Nice tit pics, man, high five!” shit, which should then lead to Dane's “What are you talking about?” I find that impossible. This is a small town, even 9 years later the Boobs of Bluebonnet story is still great gossip for everyone; and not ONE person mentioned it to him? *throws Kindle *
Worse, this overdone drama goes on until at least 90% in the book. The horse has been kicked too many times, leave it alone and move on. Oh wait, that's the only real conflict, better not do anything until the very last minute. Also, just because the pictures were finally taken down does not mean her life would instantly improve. It's a small town; everyone already saw the pics or at the very least knew every juicy detail about the scandal. Small towns do NOT forget easily, people, but apparently this one does, and overnight, too!
And the instalove because they were (very very briefly) boyfriend and girlfriend before high school graduation, so therefore they're finally meant to be together after NINE YEARS without seeing each other . . . *head desk * No. No no no. No.
Really, I could go on, but I won't. The one star alone should tell you that this Clare novel didn't appeal to me. At all. Will I try more of her books in the future? Sure, I had a fun time with the fourth book in this particular series, and it takes a lot for me to stop reading an author.
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