Book Review: Bet Me

reviews

betmeBet Me, Jennifer Crusie (2004)

Goodreads Rating 3.94

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.

I don’t read chick lit very often, and I don’t finish the majority of those I read.  There are a whole heap of reasons, and you can pick any one of them, but the point is that I just don’t get on with the writing style most of the time.  I claimed all future chick lit reads would be ruined for me after reading Crusie’s masterpiece Welcome to Temptation a few years ago and until now that prediction has been pretty accurate.  So, after months of seeing it on my TBR wishlist, and feeling the need to read something a little ridiculous and fun and sexy, I read Bet Me.

The initial set up will be familiar to the rom-com aficionados among us; frumpy Min’s boyfriend dumps her, then later on the night gorgeous Cal accepts a bet to take her to dinner.  I was rolling my eyes at what I anticipated the climax of the novel to be – “It’s only started as a bet.  But I really love you, I swear!” – when Minerva overheard this bet and agreed to go out with Cal anyway, if only for a free meal and to get revenge on her ex.  Well, well, well, I thought, this is a girl I could like.   And she was.  She was feisty in a way that I found believable, and that is no mean feat.  In addition, she turned out to be a girl after my own heart; she enjoys good food and, despite what her mother says, isn’t afraid to eat a few doughnuts.

And of course Cal was amazing.  Tall, dark and handsome – what more could a girl want, right?  But he had triumphs and insecurities and you know, it helped that he found himself crazy in love against his will.  The internal monologue of the two main characters is hilarious, especially when fate won’t take no for an answer and all but kills Cal one night in his kitchen through a serious of badly placed cooking implements.  They end up in the same places all the time, even when they’re trying to avoid each other and both their friends and families are trying to keep them apart.  And when they are together, wow.  I mean, they can’t keep their hands off each other, but there’s always something in the way.  The tension, the build up, it’s great.  It’s everything I want in a not-quite-your-average love story, and I grinned stupidly through every minute of it.

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It made me smile, and sympathise and wish I had a dozen glazed Krispy Kreme doughnuts by my side the entire way through.  The book was a very solid four stars for me and ideally, I’d be giving it a 4.5.  It was that great.

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