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Day 6: Bet Me – Jennifer Crusie

What do you get when you cross Elvis Presley with the Chaos Theory? Or if you cross Krispy Kreme glazed donuts with rich, authentic Chicken Marsala? Throw in some mismatched furniture, impractical shoes, psychotic families, the best friends money can’t buy, and a freaky yet all-knowing cat, and what you get is one of the finest romantic comedies ever written.

Bet Me holds a very special place in my heart. It came to me at a time when I’d virtually given up on the genre, never expecting to find anything but more lust-ridden, brainless stories lacking plot, character and sense.

Cal Morrissey is a commitment-phobe, having just dumped the psycho(logist) girlfriend who pushed for marriage. Min Dobbs is a hardened cynic who just got dumped by her boring excuse of a boyfriend. They meet on a fateful night, when Min’s ex bets Cal he can’t ask her out for dinner – except, uh-oh! Min overhears. She decides to play along and see what happens, but what neither of them knows is that they’re in for the ride of a lifetime.

This book is, in a word, ADORABILIOUS! Whatever, it’s a word now. My point is that you don’t get romances that are more fun, more crack-up-until-you-crack, more gratifying and more touching than this one. Cal and Min don’t make you want to puke, which is a rarity in lead characters of romance novels. The friends are realistic, the stories and the dialogue sound like they’re being spoken out loud, and you’ll want to put on the best of Elvis as you go through the whole thing. Perfecto!

In all, I seriously hope Hollywood doesn’t try to adapt and ruin this. Or if they do, I hope I never find out.

This one’s a keeper for all bookshelves – and a good place to start if you’re new to the adult/contemporary romance genre.

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