Bet Me
Jennifer Crusie
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Buy *Bet Me* online

Bet Me
Jennifer Crusie
St. Martin's Press
432 pages
August 2004
rated 4 1/2 of 5 possible stars

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Minerva Dobbs knows perfectly well that Calvin Morrisey is only trying to win a bet. After all, incredibly handsome, sought-after men donít date women like her. Sheís not a size six, for one thing. But somehow fate, in the form of mutual friends, the mothers from hell, a wedding thatís out of control and Chicken Marsala, keeps throwing them together.

Itís a romance novel, so guess what? They live happily ever after. But itís a romance novel by Jennifer Crusie, so the emphasis is on a satisfying ending, not a formulaic one. The characters donít just say "yay, weíre together." They have problems, recognize them, and deal with them in realistic ways. The reader is able to believe in the likelihood of happily ever after.

Bet Me is missing the more complex subplots of Crusieís recent work Ė itís more reminiscent of her earlier short romances. However, the longer length gives Crusie time to play to her strongest suit: creating an enjoyable and rich community of characters. Although the rotten mothers in this story sometimes verge on caricature, the other characters are real and their stories engrossing.

Bet Me will give diehard Crusie fans their required dose of humor and quirks, including fabulous shoes, a snow globe collection and a mutant cat. Food plays an integral part in this book, so donít sit down to read it when youíre hungry. For an added bonus, visit for the funniest Chicken Marsala recipe ever.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Pamela Bergson, 2004

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