Used Bookstore Finds: Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

Yes, I read a 400-page book in a day. What’s your point?

(The smaller, mobile one is virtual again and it sounds like the bigger, mobile one will be soon, so my productivity has taken a nose dive again. Right in the middle of Nano. But reading generally is easy to stop and start again, so it’s easier to do around helping them than, say, writing.)

This book actually comes with a bit of a story.

Back in 2006, when the Spork Room was founded (which was a spin-off of the Nano thread with a side stop in another writing challenge), I noticed a lot of the other people in the community wrote romance. I suspect I’m down at the ace end of the spectrum, plus I grew up on scifi (which, for some weird reason, is apparently the natural enemy of romance), so I’d never read any romance, and decided I should give it a try, since so many of my friends were working on it.

So I asked for recommendations, and my dear friend Jules recommended Bet Me to me. I read it at the time, loved it, and have gone on to read more romance novels because of it.

(Agnes and the Hitman, co-written by Jennie Crusie and Bob Mayer, is my favorite.)

That time I just got it out from the library, but I did come across it at a used bookstore, and then it was mine. This is the first time I’ve read my own copy.

Title: Bet Me
Author: Jennifer Crusie
Genre: Romance
Publication Year: 2004

Pros: Great dialogue, characters you care about
Cons: A bit dated

I think what I generally like about Crusie’s work is that her characters exist in a fleshed out world, with friends and families and jobs, and each of them are treated like they are real and important rather than cardboard backdrops to the main characters. So not only do you get main characters to cheer on, but you get a host of great side characters as well.

Bet Me follows Min Dobbs and Cal Morrissey, who give a date a try as a result of a mean-spirited bet, and they both hate it and swear never to see each other again.

But that’s not how things go, of course.

If you haven’t tried a romance novel, I do recommend you give Crusie a try. They’re fun books.

See you next week!

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