Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie
Published: December 1, 2006 by Harlequin Books
Source: Purchased from used bookstore
For Nina Askew, turning forty means freedom--from the ex-husband, freedom from their stuffy suburban home, freedom to focus on what she wants for a change. And what she wants is something her ex always vetoed--a puppy. A bouncy, adorable puppy. Instead she gets...Fred.
Overweight, middle-aged, a bit smelly and obviously depressed, Fred is light-years from perky. But he does manage to put Nina in the path of Alex Moore, her gorgeous, younger-by-a-decade neighbor.
Alex seems perfect--he's a sexy, seemingly sane, surprisingly single E.R. doctor--but the age gap convinces Nina that anyone but Alex would be better relationship material. But with every silver-haired stiff she dates, the more she suspects it's the young, dog-loving doc she wants to sit and stay! [goodreads]
Jennifer Crusie books are quickly becoming my go-to adult rom com's. I'm a little late to this party, seeing as though she's been around for awhile, but I am so happy to be discovering her books now. Better late than never, right? Anyone But You is a quick, hilarious, and whole-hearted read. I loved Nina's character and her drive to start over new after walking away from a decade too-long marriage. But of course it was her new roommate, Fred -- the adorable, lovable dog -- that stole my heart.
One of my favorite romantic tropes is the neighbor next door, or in this case just a fire escape below. Nina meets Alex, a young doctor that lives just below her, thanks to Fred's escapades. Their attraction is instant, but Nina's fear of image and what will people think of her if she's dating someone so much younger, controls her inhibitions for quite some time. But Alex's persistence and oh so charming wit ultimately wins her heart.
Jennifer Crusie does an excellent job of engaging the reader with hilarious dialogue, quick storylines that never drag the plot down, and building the tension before it all bursts. I highly recommend experiencing this author if you have not already, and like me forge a path of discovery as I encounter all her backlist titles.