Bet Me - Jennifer Crusie

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Book Description

Minerva Dobbs is angry when her boyfriend dumps her. She sees red when she overhears him betting Calvin Morrisey that Cal can't lure Minerva into bed. Because of the bet, Min agrees to go to dinner with Cal, vowing to have a good meal and brush him off. They find that they have very little in common: he is a risk taker and she is an actuary; he likes Elvis Costello and she likes Elvis. The problem, of course, is that slightly overweight Minerva has the hots for Calvin -- and despite himself, he's attracted right back. Although they try to avoid each other, fate has other ideas. Min's idea to just-be-friends is constantly being thwarted.

The book also features a rich cast of friends and family. Min's two best friends pair up with Cal's friends and business partners. It is love-at-first-sight for Bonnie and Roger who embody the fairy tale of happily-ever-after. Lisa finds Tony useful and good in bed. Emilio is Cal's other college roommate who runs an Italian restaurant with yummy food where the gang is often brought together. Cal's ex, Cin, is writing a book on love. Min's sister, Diana, is getting married in a month. Cal's nephew, Harry, is on the Little League team coached by Cal, Tony and Roger. Cal brings Min a stray cat, which Min names Elvis. He teaches her to cook and that it is okay to eat butter and carbs.

Bet Me marks Jennifer Crusie's return to straight ahead romance after a long string of titles geared more toward the women's fiction crowd (Welcome To Temptation, Faking It). Some readers find the emphasis on food and eating to be a bit much, while others applaud the idea of addressing women and size in a genre known for its impossibly beautiful heroines.

The story is also loosely based on the fairy tale of happy-ever-after, Cinderella. Min's friend is always telling her she has to believe in the fairy tale. After Min agrees to meet Cal for a picnic she loses her shoe and he has to get it back to her. He "magically" finds something that she had thought she had lost.