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Bet Me

by Jennifer Crusie

Library Journal : Though short on plot and completely lacking in suspense, Crusie's latest (after Faking It) is still an entertaining story featuring a cast of immensely appealing characters and smart dialog. Min is on the rebound from David and searching for a date to take to her sister's upcoming wedding; Cal is on the rebound from his last girlfriend, who was pressuring him to set a wedding date. From the first chapter, it's obvious that these two will meet, date, and fall in love, but it's their journey toward happily-ever-after that will keep readers turning pages. Of course, there are numerous hilarious complications along the way: Min's sister is having cold feet as her wedding day gets closer, Min's mother is next to impossible, and Min herself is having trouble fitting into her bridesmaid dress. When one of Cal's business partners falls hard for Min's best friend, the stage is set for a series of coincidences, each more outlandish than one can imagine, as Min and Cal are forced together with predictable results. For readers who can't bear for the story to conclude, Crusie even goes so far as to add an epilog that condenses the next 20 years in the lives of her characters. Enthusiastically recommended for most collections of contemporary romance and women's fiction. -- Margaret Hanes, Sterling Heights P.L., MI

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Publishers Weekly : Minerva Dobbs's mother named her daughter after the Greek goddess. Yet Min, who's grown up to be a curvy woman who adores carbs, isn't quite a knockout beauty and, at 33, she shows no signs of getting married anytime soon. So when the dashingly handsome (god-like, in fact) Calvin Morrissey enters Min's life and starts pouring on the charm, she's skeptical. As well she should be-it appears Cal has a $10,000 bet with some of his drinking buddies that he can get Min into bed within a month. Statistics-loving Min knows about the bet and figures she can play Cal for a month, use him as a date for her sister's upcoming wedding and then dump him right before the month is up. Alas, destiny has different plans. As Min and Cal fall for each other, Crusie pulls out the pranks, repeatedly pushing the two together and then tearing them apart. A bubbly cast of characters alternately helps and hinders romance, including Cal's ex-girlfriend, a psychologist who studies relationships for a living; a matchmaking Italian chef; and Min's friend Liza, who'll stop at nothing to make sure Min doesn't wind up with the conniving Cal. It's all cutesy, corny, romantic fun, and Crusie (Fast Women; Faking It; etc.) has created a loveable character in Min. Although some readers will be sucked into Crusie's deliberate plot, others may cringe at its predictability. With multiple references to Chicken Marsala, Krispy Kreme donuts and Midwestern brats (a fine contrast to Min's compulsively thin-thinking mother), Crusie's latest should delight romance readers with a penchant for sinful foods.

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions Inc. Terms