Bet Me

Bet Me - Jennifer Crusie I bet you're thinking (no pun intended) that if I'm sitting up on a Wednesday at 2:30 in the morning writing about a Jennifer Cruise novel that kept me up half the night finishing in all its whirlwind glory, it has to be a good book. If you bet ten dollars, you'd likely have two Abe Lincolns or one Hamilton bill in your pocket by now. While I can't say that "Bet Me" wasn't a predictable story or even remotely far from being a guilty pleasure - it was VERY entertaining. Solid characters, crazy situations, and more laugh-out-loud and "aww" moments than you can count on two hands.The premise revolves around Minerva (Min) Dobbs - an interesting protagonist in that she's not the most agreeable spirit when it comes to men (Can you blame her? she's dumped by her boyfriend David in the very first chapter.) To complicate matters further, Min overhears David propose a bet to the suave Calvin Morrissey, who's known for his "love 'em and leave 'em" track record with relationships. However, it seems that with every circumstance, Min and Cal are driven closer together - for real. Of course, this doesn't happen without forces that might work against them. Whether those forces may be the internatl doubts of the characters, those trying to sabotage their relationship directly, or mishaps and misunderstandings, it all comes into the fray of the work. In the end, much of what makes "Bet Me" a pleasant read is the journey these two very different people take in the course of the novel. Surprisingly, the supporting cast of "Bet Me" is quite appealing and strong in their right as well. I liked how fluid Cruisie creates the voices and actions of each character as she shifts perspectives in the course of the work. Cal's character is very charming, not just in his projected appearance, but natural, characteristic reactions. Min has the pressure cooker temper that I've seen in a few of the protagonists that Crusie's novels feature thus far ("Agnes and the Hitman was my first Crusie novel). But I found myself rooting for Min throughout - and it helps that she's a well-figured woman who finds confidence in her body to love the way she is. :) Crusie's natural humor brings a lot of the novel to life as well. I laughed out loud so many times at the situations and reactions of the characters, I couldn't get the grin off my face for sometime after I'd put the book down. For me, it was a feel-good, lighthearted read that I would recommend for those who love romance novels with a dash of the bit of wild and crazy, but humorous edges.Very nice work, and I think this cements Crusie as one of my favorite contemporary romance authors.Overall score: 4.5/5