Review

Bet Me

by Jennifer Crusie



Is there such a thing as a fairy tale romance? Does anyone ever
live happily ever after? Actuary Minerva Dobbs finds out in BET ME,
the latest in a string of Chick Lit books written by the popular
author Jennifer Crusie. In this story, the focus is on a young
woman who does not wear a size six dress nor cares about how she
appears to the opposite sex. She is tired of the dating scene and
of her criticizing mother, and is ready to move in with a
cat.

The story opens in a bar in New York with Minerva and her
soon-to-be ex-boyfriend David breaking up. Apparently he is not
happy that she has refused to have sex with him during their entire
dating relationship, and he decides it's time to move on. Not that
Minerva cares; she is actually relieved. She was tired of David's
advice on how to lose weight and what not to eat, and wished that
he could have accepted her the way she was. She leaves David and
seeks out her two best friends, Bonnie and Liza, who are waiting
for her at the bar.

Min soon notices a trio of men across the way who are watching
them. Three guys for three gals --- a perfect match. So Min decides
to go over there and see what's up. As she approaches, she
overhears them talking about her (in a rather unflattering way) and
the man who has caught her eye is making a bet with his friends
that he can convince her to go out to dinner with him by the end of
the evening. On that note, Min runs back to her safe corner with
Bonnie and Liza, and as the women wait, the man who caught her
attention, Calvin Morissey, walks over to them, and subsequently
asks Min out to dinner. Min accepts.

What Min does not know is that David was the one who made this
initial bet with Cal. She also isn't aware that David bet Cal
$10,000 that Cal could not get Min to have sex with him within a
month. David thinks this is an easy win for him, since he is under
the impression that Min simply is not interested in sex. But what
David does not understand is that Min simply was not interested in
David, period. Cal, on the other hand, has a reputation for never
losing a bet. He does not take David's sex bet seriously, but
nevertheless wins the $10 bet regarding dinner with Min, thanks to
her eavesdropping just minutes earlier. She basically went out with
Cal just to infuriate David.

From that point on, the crazy up and down friendship between Cal
and Min begins. The two are obviously attracted to each other, but
they drive each other nuts. It's like oil and water. They talk,
they tease, they flirt. But neither one wants to admit that there
is anything going on between them. Bonnie and Liza notice that
something exciting IS going on between the two, and so do Cal's
friends, Tony and Roger. Soon, the six of them become regular
buddies, with Roger and Bonnie falling in love, Tony and Liza
"dating" but with no serious intentions for a commitment, and Cal
and Min arguing, flirting and stealing kisses every now and
then.

Min soon sees another part of Cal's life --- his personal
relationship with his family, his ex-girlfriend Cynthie (who is
secretly plotting a way to get Cal back), and a childhood that left
Cal scarred and scared about being a failure. Cal also meets Min's
wacky family, including a sister who is having pre-wedding jitters,
an overbearing mother and an overprotective father who may be
having an affair with his secretary.

BET ME is a winning book. Although this reviewer feels it went on a
bit too long, Jennifer Crusie does an excellent job creating some
very funny characters. We see each individual written into this
story as someone uniquely important in his or her own right, yet
integral to the love story of Cal and Min. There are subplots that
surround the fairy tale; although at first this reviewer did not
see the point in throwing in all of these characters, it all comes
together nicely by the end of the book. BET ME is recommended for
all fans of Chick Lit.

Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton (Ratmammy@lofton.org) on January 21, 2011

Bet Me
by Jennifer Crusie

  • Publication Date: February 10, 2004
  • Genres: Chick Lit, Fiction
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • ISBN-10: 0312303467
  • ISBN-13: 9780312303464