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The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken by…
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The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken

by Mari Passananti

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Brendan and Zoe were college sweethearts and have been together for 10 years. Yet a month before their big wedding, Brendan decides to come clean with Zoe; he’s gay. Not only is he gay, but he’s found someone else.
Zoe is heartbroken. How could she not see the signs? How could she not know? She and Brendan were perfect for each other, or so she thought. She dreads the New York City dating scene. Especially after all these years. To top it off, she’s not sure she’s still in love with her job as a headhunter. Her boss, Carol, is psychotic. Zoe and her colleagues have learned to gauge their boss’s moods by her makeup. The wilder and uneven the makeup, the more out-of-control Carol is.
With her desk practically in the office’s front window, Zoe tries to function on everyday tasks. One day, a bouquet of roses arrives with a note: “You’ve been looking sad lately. Drink? P.S. I’m across the street, one floor up from you.”
Enter Oscar Thornton. He could easily be the guy to pick up the pieces, but Zoe isn’t sure. He sure seems to be the man that all women want: romantic, sensitive, smokin’ hot, drop-dead gorgeous, and rich. But Zoe isn’t sure he really is all those things. There’s no way he could make the money he’s spending working in marketing, even it is in Manhattan. Zoe decides she MUST find out before she gives him her heart. How far will she go to prove to herself that Oscar isn’t what he seems?
Hazards is a quick read. I think it fits comfortably into the chick lit/romance genres with a toes in women’s lit and contemporary fiction genre. It’s a different take on the boy meets girl plot structure. A great beach read; or stuck in the airport read. ( )
  juliecracchiolo | Mar 2, 2018 |
While I am no stranger to a good romance novel, I must admit that Passananti's Hazards of Hunting while Heartbroken threw me for a loop. The thing is, I misread the blurb or misunderstood it at the time I came across the novel. The book blurb references a New York City headhunter and a loose reference to the plotline. When I finally started reading it two weeks later all hope was lost for me. Too much time had passed for me to have any chance at detail oriented factual remembering.. In rereading the blurb after the fact I have NO IDEA WHAT I WAS THINKING.. I am laughing at myself, not with myself ;)

My brain instantly made the misguided leaps as follow:

1) I remember this book was about a Female Headhunter.. That is super strange for a protagonist profession. I wonder how many references to Dog the bounty hunter will be slopped into this.

2) love story with a head hunter? Wtf? This will be just strange enough to justify the reading.

3) What a strange cover. I suppose a NYC female head hunter would try to be very well dressed, especially if she is Manhatten based.

As you can see, I made my first wrong turn immediately and was oblivious to all reality.

This is a novel about a Corporate Headhunter, helping place highly skilled people with primo jobs in a rough market... She falls in love while still trying to get over her recently torpedoed engagement after she learned her fiance is gay. The man she starts dating seems too good to be true, and as we have learned in post year 2000 Disney America, it is ok for prince charming to have flaws.

Imagine my surprise when I found myself embroiled not with an action filled seedy detective style plotline, but instead a white collar office environment filled with angry bosses and trips to the opera.

Sigh, I did it to myself. Good thing I really loved the book.

Cover to cover read found this book to be well written and highly enjoyable. The twists were not terribly surprising, but it is a love story, so it is appropriate. I could have done with fewer angsty teenage emotional responses from the 30+ age group characters, but besides that, this was a damn fine novel.

I know i know. What the hell kind of review is this. Why should others pick this up..

Simple answer?
Because I was dead wrong.. It is a very good book that does not need a justification for reading as, no surprise to other readers, it is not about Dog the Bounty Hunter. Except for main character Zoe, As far as I can tell the other characters are too 'well to do' even to reference Dog at a drunken socialite party. Zoe however, I am sure she has binge watched a few episodes while drips of Ben and Jerry's congeal on her rumpled sweat pants.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did ;) ( )
  JasonBrownPDX | Jun 11, 2017 |
The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken, by Mari Passananti, is a funny, chic, and poignant novel about a modern day woman searching for her Prince Charming. Zoë lives in New York and has a complex job that is nowhere close to what her College degree is in. Still, things seem mostly perfect in her life. She is planning the wedding of the year, lives in a terrific apartment, and has two best friends that have been with her since her freshman year in college. However, Zoë's world is turned upside down when she is dumped by her fiancé. After a good deal of wallowing in self-pity, her best friends, Angela and Kevin, are determined that Zoë put down the ice cream, take a shower, and not become the deranged Cat Lady everyone knows. Things start looking up for Zoë when she finds herself with a secret admirer. On the outside Oscar seems like the perfect man...or is he?

I thoroughly enjoyed Passananti's, The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken. It is the perfect beach, vacation, or 'I need to escape reality' read. The 3-diminsional characters felt real, as did their individual situations. Passananti did a great job in weaving the lives of Angela, Kevin, and Oscar around her main character, Zoë. Ultra chic Angela has a great job in the fashion world and is on all of the up and coming lists. Smart and charming Kevin runs the mayoral campaign for a popular candidate. Oscar, Zoë's rich boyfriend, has a past he keeps hidden, an ex-wife that keeps showing up unexpectedly, and secrets that Zoë finds hard to ingnore. Top it off with Carol, Zoë's boss from Hell, and you have a hilarious, romantic, and edge of your seat read.

Angela, Kevin, and Carol all went through major changes throughout the book. However, the character that went through the biggest change was Zoë. Zoë started out as a woman who found her self worth in men. She always had a significant other and did not know who she was without one. When she found herself alone, Zoë became depressed and helpless. All of the day to day chores seemed pointless and complicated. Throughout the book Zoë starts to transform into an independent women who realizes that she has to be happy with herself before she can be happy with a significant other. This is a great lesson for all women today.

Passananti did a great job in creating and breathing life into her New York high society world. Everything felt real from the fashion, restaurants, clubs, parties, and even the New York landscape. Passananti was also able to create a world for Zoë and her friends to reside in that resonates with what I actually believe New York living to be like. However, my favorite parts of the book came when Zoë was at her job. I found myself laughing out loud at the situations Zoë and her colleagues found themselves in. Furthermore, there were more than a few times that I had to pick my jaw up from the floor after I read about some of Carol's antics.

Passananti's, The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken is a book that I will definitely recommend to all of my girlfriends. If you are looking for a light, funny, quick read, The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken is for you! ( )
  candace.lybarger | Feb 2, 2012 |
After suffering the devastating loss of an engagement only a month prior to her wedding date Zoë Clark is throwing everything into her incredibly demanding headhunting job. Zoë’s boss Carol is the type of women that expects nothing less and when the sudden appearance of not only one but two bouquets of roses land on Zoë’s desk she’s not at all happy with the effect on the Feng Shui of the office. Little does she know but the flowers are the beginning of a new life for Zoë, but is she ready for the the questions and complications Oscar Thornton brings? Will she be able to accept his devotion or is there more to his affection than simply falling head over heels in love with her? Only time and Zoë will be able to determine that.

What an absolutely fantastic debut novel! With The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken Mari Passananti has made her mark on the world of Chick Lit. Within a matter of a few hours I completely devoured Zoë Clark’s story and her struggles to cope with the loss of not only her engagement but her best friend. Zoë was an unbelievably fun character to read with her quirky non-stop second guessing and her demanding boss pulling on her every nerve I couldn’t help but love everything about her. The sudden appearance of Oscar Thornton was so romantic! I loved that he had seen her from a building across the street. Yes, a bit stalker-like, but still very romantic. Unfortunately Zoë can’t help but second guess his intentions, though I’m certainly not going to spoil the ending for other readers of this fantastic novel you’ll definitely want to read to the very last pages!

It’s hard to imagine working in a business like headhunting but Zoë seems to be able to handle the manic state of her boss Carol and the overwhelming demands she places on her. At first I was under the impression, from the synopsis, that she really hated working in the headhunting business and longed to be in the art world, but it was more that she preferred to work independently in her own gallery than for another gallery owner making headhunting actually better. That being said, can you imagine working for a boss who cusses like a sailor so loudly that you can’t talk to your clients while she’s in the office? Wow. It definitely made for an interesting work environment.

One of the aspects I loved the most about the story was Zoë’s personality and her need to second guess everything. She was completely believable, especially considering her recent break-up. Having been the recipient of similar news in the past (though I wasn’t engaged) I can completely understand why she’d be hesitant to get involved in anything too deep, especially with someone who’s a near stranger/stalker. Her second guessing coupled with the opinions of her two friends Angela & Kevin were at times hilarious and pertinent.

Be prepared to be swept off your feet, laugh hysterically at times and roll your eyes at the many situations Zoë seems to constantly find herself in. If you are a fan of Chick Lit or simply on the lookout for an excellently well-written novel than you should certainly pick up The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken. Mari Passananti is an author to be on the lookout for and one I’m eager to read again in the very near future!

Originally reviewed and copyrighted at my review site, Chick Lit Reviews and News. ( )
  the1stdaughter | Dec 29, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0615493645, Paperback)

Zoë Clark thinks her world will implode when her fiancé dumps her on the eve of their splashy wedding. After nearly a decade with her college sweetheart, Zoë feels like a teenager about to be eaten alive by the New York dating scene. And her problems don’t end there. Zoë works a less-than-ideal job, managing other people’s careers while her own ambitions wither. To add insult to injury, she does so in the employ of a larger than life woman whose staff measures the boss’s emotional state by the zealousness of her make up application. Quitting is out of the question; Zoë’s rent doubled when her fiancé bailed. Enter Oscar Thornton. He’s handsome, charming, attentive and rich - the perfect boyfriend. But does he harbor a dark secret? Or will Zoë torpedo her newfound happiness by indulging a far fetched suspicion? The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken tells the story of a young woman who sets out to find a man to solve her problems. Instead she finds herself facing her own shortcomings, testing her oldest friendships and realizing that she has the power to make herself happy. Packed with snappy dialogue and playful wit, The Hazards of Hunting While Heartbroken will strike a chord with any woman who’s ever allowed herself to think, My life would be perfect, if I could just meet the right guy.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:59:31 -0400)

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