Friday, October 21, 2011

Review: Bet Me

Bet Me
By Jennifer Crusie
Publication date: 2004

My review:

Minerva "Min" Dobbs realizes that she took a bad risk on her relationship with boyfriend David Fisk when he dumps her publicly at a bar. Now she is dateless for her sister's wedding and to make matters worse, she overhears David betting one of his friends that he can't get Min to sleep with him within a month. Cal Morrissey is a handsome heartbreaker with quite a reputation. Min is certain that her heart is safe but decides to go along with his flirting thinking she can at least use him as a date to her sister's wedding. Unexpectedly, Cal is nothing like she thought he'd be and they eventually become friends. Before she knows it,  Min starts to fall in love but are his feelings for her real or is it still just about the bet?

Bet Me is the first Jennifer Crusie book I've read and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. The story is told in multiple viewpoints which I was not expecting and there is quite a cast of supporting characters. Min is a very down to earth character. She does obsess about her weight a lot and she enjoys food and fashionable shoes. I do wish that she hadn't had such a low self image. It would have been nice if she had listened to her friends and realized her true worth and beauty without needing to hear it from Cal. Still, this makes her a believable woman because unfortunately that is something many women struggle with. It is good to see her bloom though and her personality definitely shines. 

When I read the description of this book, I wasn't sure that I would like Cal. Like Min's first impression, I thought I'd hate his character and find the romance unbelievable. Thankfully, Cal proved to be a decent guy (there are a lot of misunderstandings surrounding that "bet") or the story wouldn't have worked. I liked that Min and Cal's relationship develops gradually. At first Cal sees Min as an uptight and boring woman who is bitter towards men and Min thinks of Cal as a player who agreed to that horrid bet. It is nice to see their attitudes about each other change. I also liked how protective their friends were. 

The supporting characters were entertaining but I do wish that the book was only written from Min and Cal's points of view. At times the book felt a little overcrowded with personality because of this. There is quite a bit of humor and food descriptions that made me crave donuts and chicken marsala. There are some deeper moments too. The issues of family expectations, self esteem issues for both Min and Cal, and the idea of taking risks vs. playing it safe were handled nicely without overwhelming the lighthearted tone.  Bet Me is the kind of story that would appeal to both readers of contemporary romance and chick lit. I would suggest it to fans of Sarah Strohmeyer, Jennifer Weiner, and Meg Cabot's chick lit novels. Overall I thought this was a fun romance with a predictable plot but enjoyable just the same.

Readalikes: The Sleeping Beauty Proposal by Sarah Strohmeyer, Every Boy's Got One by Meg Cabot, Pretty Woman by Fern Michaels, Jennifer Weiner, Beth Harbison

1 comment:

  1. This was part of the bookclub this year but I missed this month and everyone seems to have enjoyed it.

    I would like to know the misunderstanding around the bet....

    Have a great weekend.


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