Monday, December 23, 2013

Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
Published: August 31, 2004 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Source: Gifted by my Secret Santa - thank you!
Minerva Dobbs knows that happily-ever-after is a fairy tale, especially with a man who asked her to dinner to win a bet. Even if he is gorgeous and successful Calvin Morrisey. Cal knows commitment is impossible, especially with a woman as cranky as Min Dobbs. Even if she does wear great shoes and keeps him on his toes. When they say good-bye at the end of their evening, they cut their losses and agree never to see each other again.

But Fate has other plans, and it's not long before Min and Cal meet again. Soon, they're dealing with a jealous ex-boyfriend, Krispy Kreme donuts, a determined psychologist, chaos theory, a freakishly intelligent cat, Chicken Marsala, and more risky propositions than either of them ever dreamed of. Including the biggest gamble of all--true love. [goodreads]

Even though there's still a week or so left of 2013, I am feeling pretty good about wrapping up this year's reading with a new-to-me favorite adult contemporary.  BET ME has been on my wishlist for quite some time, and thanks to my Secret Santa I finally had the opportunity to read it.  This novel contains all the ingredients for the most delicious, spicy, irresistible read your literary heart may be craving.  I had high expectations before reading this one and the outcome definitely lived up to them, plus so much more.

Min Dobbs is unlucky when it comes to love and relationships.  Under the constant scrutiny of her mother who thinks if Min lost a few pounds then she'd be able to snag that handsome prince, she's built a tough armor around her heart.  While she's out one night with her two best girl friends at a bar, she sees Cal from a distance.  He's every bit handsome and breath-taking, and the perfect distraction her friends thinks she needs to get over a very recent break up.  Upon walking up to him she over hears a bet he's made with her recent ex, a bet involving HER.  What begins as her way of playing both men soon spirals out into a mess of falling in love and trying to avoid the happily ever afters.

Min and Cal's relationship probably ranks high in my favorite contemporary romances.  Their constant banter had me laughing one minute, only to be fueled by pure desire the next.  They don't give in easily to the other, even though you know it's going to eventually happen.  It was the adventure they both took their hearts on, leading up to that climax, that was so enjoyable to read.  The secondary characters, Min's friends as well as Cal's friends, were the icing on the cake.  They balanced out the story, giving just enough comic relief where it was needed and adding a bit of spice to the story that kept it very well rounded.  It's easy to get swept up in just the main characters when you're reading a contemporary romance.  I have to give credit to Crusie for keeping the story well balanced, by working all angles very smoothly.

I can't express enough how much I ADORE this novel.  The feeling of I NEVER WANT THIS TO END kept reoccurring through out.  If you're like me and have had this one sitting on your wishlist, collecting virtual dust, GO GET A COPY NOW.  If I could, I'd buy everyone a copy myself.  It's that good.  BET ME now sits at the top of my favorite adult contemporary romances.  Take a gamble and give this one a try, I bet you'll end up loving it too.


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