July 20, 2011
A change of pace.
There is a reason this was in my TBR pile - it is a contemporary and as we all know, I'm not a big fan of contemporary. One of the reasons for my not liking them became apparent when I was reading this book. Contemporaries can become dated very quickly... one minute people are listening to cassette tapes and the next minute those cassette tapes have gone the way of the dinosaur. When one reads an historical, one doesn't have that problem.
Anyway, to Bet Me. Even though Bet Me is a contemporary romance, what saved it for me was one thing - humor. From the moment I started reading this book, I was chuckling. I was also thanking the powers that be that I was no longer in the dating world. What a scary place.
Minerva Dobbs (what was her mother thinking) is the heroine of this book and she's called Min by all of her friends. Now, Min is one of those heroines who are plain, and she's really plain, not pretend plain. She is also overweight or at least what the author deems is overweight. If this were a fairy-tale, she'd be the ugly duckling. Where this book differs from that tale is, in the end she doesn't turn into a swan. Nope, Min stays the same, she doesn't magically loose weight and turn into a stunning beauty. The point of this book is that she doesn't have to, she is beautiful as she is and to top that off the handsome hero falls in love with her as she is. And, I liked that about this book. So many books/movies/tv shows, create a plain woman who metamorphosis into Angeline Jolie just so she can get a date. I'm happy that Ms. Crusie didn't do that with this book.
And then there is Cal; he is a Mr. Perfect. He is handsome, charming, great body, he has everything anyone could want. He was also great fun because he doesn't always know where he's going in his relationship with Min. The two of them together struck just the right chord and I found them funny, but still both vulnerable. Great combo.
There was also a strong cast of secondary characters. What was interesting with these characters was the different relationships between them. The friends, the girl friends, the siblings, the parents - all well-written and all adding to the enjoyment of the book. If I had one quibble it would be with Min's mother. I found her constant harping on Min's "fat" problem very demeaning and not very motherly. However, I also realized that Min's mother had her own self-esteem problems. But her constant digs at her daughter were disturbing to me and if they were meant to be funny, they missed the boat.
But overall, this was a fast-paced funny read and I'm glad I finally dusted the cover off.
Sensuality Rating: Warm