Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Alaska Romance Novel Project: Manhunt

Know what? There are a lot of men in Alaska. They make up slightly more than 50% of the population. They are all ruggedly handsome float plane pilot, big game guides with perfect 5 o'clock shadows and devil-may-care attitudes. Yep, Alaska is the Hometown Buffet of elligable men for high-falutin' female executives. If romance novels are to be believed, at least.

World, I give you Manhunt, by Janet Evanovich (best selling author).

Oh, Alaska, where love Norman Rockwells out of every Thomas Kinkade cabin. Le sigh.

Alexandra "Alex" Scott quits here super-busy life and righteous condo in in New Yawk for a hardware store and cabin in the Fairbanks area. (Disclosure: I have never been to Fairbanks so this novel could be set in Spain for as much as I know about the place.) Bruno, her enormous rottweiler, and she make for the Banks of the Fair in a totally inappropriate BMW sports car. The meet-cute consists of Alex just about drowning off the ferry dock in Juneau and Rugged Stud Michael Casey, just goes by Casey, saving her stupid ass.

Know what? Turns out that they are neighbors up a completely isolated private road. WHOA.

The cabin Alex bought is nothing more than an unkempt shack in a thicket. She has a "half bath on a path" for her bathroom. Alex and Casey bicker the way two people destined to be together always do in books like these. Alex is determined to stay on her property, in the tent she brought, despite the lure of Casey's house nearby. I like her moxie. Go Alex! Casey eventually leaves her alone and Alex freezes her balls off in her tent--until Casey returns to keep her warm. After such a rough night, Alex succumbs to the allure of a shower and goes to Casey's house.

Alex tells Casey that she traded her life of glamor for a shack in the woods because her biological clock started screaming, "PUT A BABY IN MY UTERUS RIGHT NOW I AM ALMOST 30 AND I AM MUCH LESS PICKY." You know? That. Since Alaska has many men, she though her odds would be good. Nobody told her about the goods being a bit odd up here. Casey explains that he has no plans for any kind of relationship, because that's how guys in books like this are.

They are very attracted to each other and banter cutely through several home improvement projects. A shopping trip to town includes the purchase a leopard fur toilet seat, perfect for 30 below trips to the outhouse. After toilet seat shenanigans, they visit Alex's shiny new store. It is a man-cave sporting goods store that is a wee bit dank and dingy. The manager is a crusty old crank that is what is amazingly fantastic about Alaska. We love our crusty cranks.

Alex fixes up the old shack and makes it livable. I totally feel her about having to sand and varnish. Sanding suuuucks. She and Casey finally give into their attraction after she cleans his house and fixes him dinner as a "thank you" for putting her up and helping with chores. Casey becomes distant after because he has some Feelings for Alex, she is something like Heartbreak City or whatever. Before he becomes a complete douche, he arranges for contractors to fix up her outhouse. Contractors that are would-be suitors for the lovely Alex.

Alex only has eyes for Casey and Casey becomes a jealous bonehead because he is fighting his confirmed bachelorhood. And his baggage. Oh, sweet WXtex duffel, the baggage. Casey knocked up some lovely young thing from the lower 48 and she couldn't cut it in AK and they got divorced. Alex is just the same, even though she made fried chicken and biscuits over a woodstove and uses an outhouse. Well, until she burns it down. Then Casey convinces the codger Alex bought the cabin from to come back and take it. Alex has no choice but to move into a tent in Casey's living room. See, Casey wanted Alex gone but instead she gets closer. Logical!

Aaah, will they get together? Alex has to date a dog musher named Bubba for awhile and shoot a hole in Casey's ceiling with a .44. Casey confronts his shitty behavior and realizes that Alex is speshul and perfect and totally wife material. YAY!

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