18 June 2011

Reading Romance: Bet Me, by Jennifer Crusie

Ebooks and audiobooks have expanded my reading horizons in ways that I never expected. Now that I can read samples and download audiobooks from the library onto my PC, I am willing to try all sorts of things that I'd never spend money on to try. (I'm cheap, and I don't take risks on unknown authors.)

I do a ton of contemporary quilting, and I like to listen to books while I do so. My library has a ton of romance audiobooks, but few of them are historicals. So I decided to give Jennifer Crusie a try. I know--how can I never have read Jennifer Crusie? Very simple: I don't like contemporaries. Or at least that's what I thought.

I cannot describe how much I enjoyed this book. It's spot on in so many ways--the heroine, Min, is plump, difficult, and independent. The beta hero is just . . . dreamy. Their interactions are funny and sweet and ring true in so many ways.

If I have any criticisms, it's that some of the secondary characters are one dimensional--the hero's mother, for example, is a stereotypical ice queen, while the heroine's is obsessed with her daughter's weight and getting her married off and not much else. Still, the dialogue and pace made up for these minor shortcomings. Like so many of Julia Quinn's characters, Crusie's are fundamentally decent. They're real people who are trying to do the right thing, survive heartache, and find love in the modern world. I can't believe it's taken me so long to discover Jennifer Crusie, but I'm glad that I finally did. I'll be buying her books from now on. And that might just mean that I now read [gasp] contemporaries.

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