Manhunting in Montana is the third of the Manhunting books, whose
theme is, "She's got a plan--to find herself a man." The first was
Manhunting in Memphis #669, followed by Manhunting in Manhattan #673.
To me, the series is being diluted with each successive
book. I really liked the first one, found the second one enjoyable and this
one is a hit or miss.
In Memphis, the heroine was trying to find a husband to allow her
mother to retire, an altruistic motive at best. Manhattanhad a
heroine who wanted to keep her father's company solvent and was prepared
to sacrifice herself. In Montana, we've got a heroine who, very
simply put, wants a man for sex. Legal, married sex.
New York photographer Cleo Griffin makes a very good living photographing
hunks and turning the results into beefcake calendars. Her latest endeavor
will be a cowboy calendar, so she's going to Montana to stay on a
combination dude/cattle ranch. She's just finished a calendar shoot and
knows that being around so many virile men will drive her into lust
overload. Tired of being alone, Cleo wants to find a cowboy husband who
will consent to meet her every few weeks, at a midway point, to scratch her
itch. I like modern women, but this cold blooded approach threw me a bit.
Rancher Tom McBride, although he needs money to keep his ranch out of
bankruptcy, decides that he's not so desperate that he'll be part of the
calendar. His men can model, but Tom will keep his distance. Years before
Tom was married to a New York model and knows how the photo industry works.
He's also knows to be leery of New York women, of which Cleo is a prime
Cleo is attracted to Tom but knows that he won't be a malleable type. Tom
wants a committed relationship and a real wife, not some scheduled sex.
Want to guess who wins in the end? This story has one overriding fault
that is evident from the beginning to the very end. It is predictable. No
surprises, no bang for your bucks, no lagniappe, nothing extra. The
following is a short test. Choose your answer and see if you can determine
the route this book will follow.
Cleo wants a part time husband. She will
(a) get one or (b) become a
Tom wants a child. He will
(a) remain childless or (b) become a traditional
Tom needs an infusion of cash for his ranch. He will
(a) lose his ranch or
(b) allow Cleo to help him, grousing about his manly pride all the while.
Cleo will decide to reside in
(a) New York City or (b) the wilds of
This story is so predictable and formulaic that we could plot the results
on a graph . . . before reading the story. I didn't care for Cleo at all.
The fact that her long held goals toppled so easily attests to their lack
of real importance in her life. Makes me wonder if anything substantial has
been important to this woman.
If you've read the first two Manhunting books, be prepared for a let down.
I can only hope that our trips to Miami and Mississippi will be worth the
time and money.