Thirty-something Minerva Dobbs has lost her hope in men, period. Her mother adored her latest ex David, who appeared to be prime husband material. Instead he dumped her at the local bar with the “this isn’t working” line just three weeks before he was to be her date at her sister’s wedding. In Min’s despairing state, her cynical, beautiful friend Liza and fairy-tale believer pal Bonnie push her to ask out the good-looking and successful Calvin Morrisey. Meanwhile, Cal is betting David that he can get Min to dinner with him. Before she knows it, Min is off to eat with terminal player Cal. Unbeknown to him, Min overheard the bet, and has her claws out farther than usual in a bid to beat the men at their own game. But after a dreadful dinner of Min’s man-eater mentality and Cal’s affected charm there’s no danger of the bet being on; in fact, they both mutually agree never to see one another again. Fate has other plans, however, and coincidental encounters turn into freak meetings where heat and sparks continue to fly and Cal and Min begin to realize that maybe they are meant to be together after all.
Boy, am I loving all these pick-me-up reads, Bet Me being one of the best. Several of my blogging friends – particularly Chachic, Michelle, and Angie – have been telling me all year to read some Jennifer Crusie, and I’m so glad I finally did, and at the perfect time too. It hasn’t been since my last Julie James book that I’ve had this much fun reading. Feisty Min and heartthrob Cal are a riot. Crusie knows how to write snappy dialogue and fast-paced stories with plenty of encounters between the two love interests. And with just the right balance of lightness versus substance and quirky secondary characters, I was never bored. From Min’s frilly shoes and the subtleties of chicken marsala and Krispy Kreme donuts to the chaos theory and the psychological infatuation/commitment theory, Bet Me is thoroughly entertaining. And the scorchingly sexy conclusion? Almost too hot for me but very rewarding. Like the best romantic comedies, Bet Me was hilarious, engrossing, too sweet to resist and the perfect weekend, girl’s-night-in read. I will be recommending it left and right to the all the romantics-at-heart I know.