Welcome to Throwback Thursday, a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books! It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile. Be sure to check out all the blogs participating using the linky list at the end of the post.
Originally published August 31, 2004
St. Martin's Press
Synopsis: Minerva Dobbs knows that happily-ever-after is a fairy tale, especially with a man who asked her to dinner to win a bet. Even if he is gorgeous and successful Calvin Morrisey. Cal knows commitment is impossible, especially with a woman as cranky as Min Dobbs. Even if she does wear great shoes, and keep him on his toes. When they say good-bye at the end of their evening, they cut their losses and agree never to see each other again.
But Fate has other plans, and it's not long before Min and Cal meet again. Soon, they're dealing with a jealous ex-boyfriend, Krispy Kreme donuts, a determined psychologist, chaos theory, a freakishly intelligent cat, Chicken Marsala, and more risky propositions than either of them ever dreamed of. Including the biggest gamble of all-true love.
I think of my favorite romance novels as some of my best friends. I save them and bring them out when I need comforting or something familiar. Bet Me is one of those for me. I cannot even say how many times I've re-read it. At least 5, maybe more like 10. To me, it's just that good.
There's a reason Bet Me was voted #1 (out of 1,231!) by Goodreads voters in the list of "Best Ever Contemporary Romance Books". It really has it all. Great (yet flawed) romantic leads, wonderfully delightful supporting cast of characters, humor, food... It could use a bit less conflict and bit more sex, but the lack of sex is sort of the point to the book (and when we finally do get to it, it's pretty damn good) so we'll give it a pass on that one. Cal and Min play off each other so well, in what could be a frustrating game of cat and mouse, but Crusie writes it with such ease and humor, it just seems right. And the depth she gives to the characters personalities made me feel like I was part of their group of friends and knew each and every one of them. Details like Min's "couples-only" snow globe collection and Elvis obsession to Cal's dyslexia and hatred of baseball coaching (which he does anyway). I was sad to finish Bet Me because I felt like I was saying goodbye to friends I had come to love. But, I guess that's the good thing about books - when I miss those friends, I just dust my copy off and get to know them all over again.