I love reading quote-unquote serious literature because I appreciate artful writing and I think it's good to have my thoughts provoked, but sometimes I just want to be entertained, and Jennifer Crusie's Bet Me did exactly that.
The book does everything a solid romance novel is supposed to do: it cheers you up, it makes you a little hot and tingly, and it won't make you think too hard. (Seriously, don't think too hard, especially about why the characters are mad at each other this time. Logic doesn't enter the equation here, just go with it.)
Minerva “Min” Dobbs won me over from the start. She's a little on the filled-out side and doesn't have a lot of confidence about her looks, but that doesn't keep her from being smart and sassy and a total hoot. Her hot-and-cold, up-and-down relationship with the gloriously sexy Cal begins because of a bet. Kind of. But it's not a She's All That situation, somehow, because he doesn't actually agree to it? And she overhears the conversation, so she knows about it going in? This is another time when you'll want to avoid thinking too hard about the details. (My guess is the author was too embarrassed to allow the premise to actually be a bet, so she softened up some of the edges so Min doesn't look like an idiot and Cal doesn't come off as a slimeball.)
Okay, so the setup is goofy, but Min saves the book from trite crapness by being her delightful self. The varied and humorous supporting cast, mostly made up of Min and Cal's co-ed group of friends, helps as well. And the knowledge that no matter what drama arises, Min and Cal are barreling towards a happy ending—well, sometimes that certainty is comforting rather than boring.
If you're in the mood for something light, frothy, funny, and more sweet than steamy, Bet Me will be your perfect match.