(Copyright 2003 Harlequin Enterprises Limited® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher)

by Holly Jacobs

holly jacobs

Madcap Award Finalist
RT Finalist for Best Duet 2003
Aspen Gold Finalist

How to Hunt a Husband:


One mother who's made a bet...in order to win, her daughter, Shannon, has to get married.

One mother who wants grandbabies...so she needs her only son, Nathan, to marry so he can give her some.

Two people who are tired of being manipulated by their mothers, so they come up with a brilliant plan...

The Plan:

Shannon, a simple high school art teacher who likes chick-flicks and hates shaving her legs, will disguise herself as Roxy, the stripper--pardon me, exotic dancer--and convince Nate's mom that it might be a good idea to wait for those grandbabies. And Nate, a happily-single pharmicist will transform himself into Bull, the Harley-driving biker, and convinced Shannon's mom that maybe it's time to call the wedding off.

The Results:

Though Shannon and Nate thought they'd planned for every contingency, they never planned on...falling in love?

In How to Hunt a Husband, Shannon and Nate learn that sometimes moms do know best!

Book, Reviews, Excerpt




Holly Jacobs is at the top of her form in this hilariously funny romance. The dialogue is snappy and her characters would be right at home on "I Love Lucy." Her love scenes skillfully combine heat and humor to make for a page turning escape. This is a delightfully funny read, and a sure pick me up. ~Cat Cody, Romance Junkies HOW TO HUNT A HUSBAND

"Sure to please, Holly Jacobs’s HOW TO HUNT A HUSBAND (4) offers a unique and hilarious take on the classic ‘fake fiancé’ plot." ~Catherine Witmer, RT BOOKclub

"This story is a laugh riot! It is full of witty banter, charming characters, and plans gone awry. Everything comes together to form the perfect tale with just the right amount of everything one desires in a romantic comedy. " ~© Kelley A. Hartsell, Loves Romance

"HOW TO HUNT A HUSBAND showcases Jacobs at her outrageous best."
~Cynthia Penn, Senior Editor http://www.wordweaving.com, Amazon top 50 Reviewer

Book, Reviews, Excerpt


How to Hunt a Husband
copyright Holly Jacobs

"That woman," Brigit O'Malley said.

There was a certain humph in her mother’s voice that left no question in Shannon O’Malley’s mind as to who that woman was.

Tuesday was pinochle day, so that woman had to be Cecilia Romano. Even a beautiful March day--and beautiful days in March were rare and treasured in Erie, Pennsylvania--couldn’t obscure the black cloud that woman had given Brigit O’Malley.

Actually not much could shake Brigit from her Tuesday evening funks.

"Mom, why do you go play cards every week when you always come home in a snit?"

"I am never in a snit. Snit. That’s such an undignified word. I am--" her mother paused a moment, searching her thesaurus-like-brain for a better word choice. "Perturbed. Cecilia perturbs me beyond the limits of what a sane rational human can endure. Why, do you believe she’s saying her daughter could--" she sputtered her way to a standstill.

"Cara?" Shannon said. "What could Cara do?"

Shannon didn’t actually know Cara Romano, but knew of her, not only through their mother’s, but because Shannon’s sister, Kate, had married Cara’s ex-fiancé, Tony Donetti.

The logistics of their connection was tangled at best, but it was their mothers that made Shannon feel a bond to the unmet Cara. After all Cecilia Romano seemed as determined to control the fate of her children as Shannon’s own mother was.

Thankfully Brigit O’Malley had long ago decided that Shannon was a hopeless cause and had concentrated on getting Mary Kathryn’s life in order. But since her sister had moved to Texas with her new husband, Shannon had noticed her mother was around a lot more, dropping in unexpectedly--like she’d done this evening--and taking a sudden interest in Shannon’s activities.

Truth be told, all the attention made her a bit nervous.

More than a bit.

A lot.

Her mother stopped sputtering and said, "Cecilia said Cara can find a man before you can, when everyone knows that you are far more beautiful than that Cara Romano is. Why men are beating down your door, begging to marry you...aren’t they?"

"Not exactly."

Beating down her door? Heck, she could hardly remember what it was to have them knocking softly.

Shannon hadn’t had a date in months. She’d been so busy planning for Mary Kathryn’s wedding, then dealing with her parents in the aftermath of her sister’s great bridal escape, that she simply hadn’t had the time--or inclination--to date. "And, since I’m not looking for a man, Mother, I’m going to assume that Mrs. Romano is right, Cara will probably beat me to the alter."

No, the last few man-free months had convinced Shannon that dating was overrated. Without a man in the picture she’d been able to do exactly what she wanted, when she wanted, without having to consult someone else. She hadn’t watched one blood-and-gut-testosterone-filled film during the entire time. She’d watched chick-flicks. Lot’s of chick flicks. She’d drooled over Colin Firth, Ewan McGregor and Hugh Jackman--big-screen men who didn’t mind that she hadn’t shave her legs for weeks.

Yes, there were advantages to a man-free existence.

"You’re not a..." her mother paused and lowered her voice as if there were hidden microphones in the apartment that might overhear her question, "...one of those women who doesn’t like men?"

"I like men just fine, at least on a limited basis. Limited, Mom. That’s the keyword. I’m not looking for anything long-term when I date from now on. I’ve decided that I want to see a man only as long as the initial politeness lasts."

"Initial politeness?"

"You know, that golden time in a relationship where a man will do what you want. When he’ll listen to what you have to say as if every word is a treasure. Why, when things are new he’ll even see chick-flicks or go shopping. Once that glow is over, I’m done with him."

That was going to be her new rule of thumb. Use them, then lose them.

"Shannon Bonnie O’Malley, you take that back."

Shannon suppressed a shudder. "Mother I hate it when you call me that."

"We’ve had this fight over and over again. Bonnie is a perfectly lovely name. It was my mother’s name and she was a wonderful woman. You’re lucky to be named after her."

"You’re right. Bonnie is a perfectly lovely name, so is Shannon for that matter. But some names don’t go together. Bonnie doesn’t go with Shannon. Iccabod and Archibald, they don’t go together either."

"Why do you have to be so difficult? Mary Kathryn never complained when I called her Mary Kathryn."

That was the refrain of her relationship with her mother. Shannon had been difficult when she’d played soccer rather than join the science club. She’d been difficult when she’d discovered a passion for art rather than something more academic.

Mary Kathryn was the good daughter, bending to her parents’ dreams for her. And Shannon? Well, she was the variable in the equation of her mother’s life.

"Ah, but Mary Kathryn’s not a Mary Kathryn anymore, is she?"

When her sister ran out on her wedding she changed her life completely. New man. New state. New job. New name. A part of Shannon envied her sister those changes.

"She’s Kate. Kate Donetti," Shannon continued. "And I think she’s happier that way."

Her mother just shook her head. "You are the most difficult, cantankerous girl alive."

"I learned from the best." Shannon leaned over and gave her mother a peck on the cheek. She’d never really seen eye-to-eye with her about, well, about anything, but she loved her.

And though she frequently annoyed her mother, she didn’t doubt Brigit loved her as well, even though she wasn’t overly demonstrative.

"Here, try this on," her mother said as she thrust a garment bag at Shannon.

Shannon looked at the huge bag. "What is this?"

"It’s Mary Kathryn’s wedding dress. I asked her to mail it back to me. We spent a small fortune on that dress, you know. I want to see it walk all the way down the aisle. Oh, she did some damage we’d have to get repaired, but let’s see if it fits you before we worry about that."

"Fits me?" Shannon stared at her mother, not sure where she was going with this. "Why would you care if it fits me?"

"Well, if it doesn’t we’ll have to find something else for you to wear." Her mother put her hand on Shannon’s shoulder and started steering her toward the bedroom. "Come on, try it on."

Shannon ground her heels into the carpet and faced her mother. "Wear when?"

Maybe her mother’s fight with Cecilia had finally driven her over the edge. Maybe she’d been sniffing just a bit too much formaldehyde in the lab she worked at.

Maybe her mother was totally deranged.

"At your wedding," her mother said.

"What wedding?" Shannon asked feeling not-very-bright and more than a little nervous.

"The wedding I’m planning. I told you what Cecilia said about Cara. I can’t let that woman beat me, so that means I can’t let her daughter beat you to the alter. I thought right after school got out. June twenty-fifth. What do you think about that day? That leaves you plenty of time for a honeymoon before you start back to school next fall. Of course that doesn’t leave me long to get the entire thing planned. Less than four months."

"Mother, I know I seem dense here, but just who is it that I’m supposed to be marrying?"

Shannon had often felt like the not-so-bright family member. Her parents and Mary Kathryn all had a ton of initials behind their names. They worked in academia.

Well, actually, since she’d married Tony, Kate worked in Donetti’s Irish Pub and Cooked Sushi Bar, but that was beside the point. She still had initials behind her name, and Shannon was still just the high school art teacher.

Oh, her family never added the just to her job description, at least not out loud, but Shannon knew they thought it. They valued those initials, and though she had a BA in education and art, she didn’t have all those extra, more impressive initials. And she taught art, not a serious subject like science.

Shannon realized her mother was talking again. Something about a wedding.

Her wedding?

Who did her mother think she was going to marry?


Shannon’s attention jumped back into focus. "Mother, you’re not suggesting I marry Seth? You went to his wedding to Desi, after all."

"How could I forget. Why, when it was Mary Kathryn’s wedding that wedding planner didn’t worry at all when I pointed out the cake was too small, but at her own wedding? Why the cake was huge. A veritable mountain of cake. Still I never understood why she had Barbies on the top."

Her mother was quiet a moment, obviously pondering why Seth and Desi had Barbies for their wedding cake toppers.

"So what does Seth have to do with anything?" Shannon finally asked when she couldn’t stand the silence any more.

"I called Seth to see if he knew a nice man you could marry...

Book, Reviews, Excerpt

From the book: How to Hunt a Husband
By: Holly Jacobs
Imprint and Series: Harlequin Duets
Publication Date: 9/03
ISBN: ISBN 0-373-44174-6
Copyright © 2003
By: Harlequin Enterprises
® and ™ are trademarks of the publisher.
The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
For more romance information surf to: http://www.eHarlequin.com

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