Book Review: Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

“You never know a treasure that’s been under your nose the whole time until you stand in front of a mirror.”

– The Cantankerous Clandestine

Yeah, yeah. That was lame, I get it. But it was the first thing that came into my mind after reading Jennifer Crusie’s Bet Me. Well…after editing and forming the thought into a comprehensible and grammatically-correct quote, that is. It’s the thought that counts, right?

Bet Me is the story of Minerva Dobbs and Calvin Morrisey. Min is an actuary who likes to dwell on the safe side of life and believes that happily-ever-after doesn’t exist outside fairy tale. Cal is a gorgeous and successful man who likes a little risk in life so long as there’s a great chance he will get his way or that a long-term commitment is not involved. They meet when Cal asks Min to dinner to win a bet. What Cal doesn’t know is that Min knows about it and more. Their dinner ends with a mutual agreement to never see each other again. But fate has other plans. Constantly bumping into each other, the two are thrown into different risky situations either of them has ever encountered along with the biggest gamble of their lives.

It’s been such a long time since I laughed so hard over a romance book. (I put “romance” there because I’ve been rereading Uncle Rick’s books and they are, at the end of the day, adventure/fantasy/YA books.) The last romance book that made me roll over in laughter was Anna and the French Kiss (duh) and the last adult/romance book was Claire Knows Best. So thank goodness for Jennifer Crusie.

I’ve had this novel for a while now but I’ve been ignoring it for other books. And now I’m just so glad to have read it. Bet Me is a light book filled with good humor and easy banters between characters that were just so enjoyable to read. I love Min so much and her narration is the epitome of a comedy chick lit heroine. She was so natural and effortless. But I love Liza the best of all the characters. She’s feisty and tough yet she’s also concerned for the people she cares about if only in her own way.

There are a few problems that I have with this book: too much chicken marsala (it’s not like it’s as easy to prepare like pizza which is just a dial away), the pacing and the story took too long for me, and I don’t like how these two adult main characters never had the guts to confront their controlling family. Having all these family conflict would have been more tolerant in a YA novel but they’re adults, for Pete’s sake.

Overall, it was a very enjoyable book and this book opened the gate for me to read more Jennifer Crusie books. So far, I’ve read some. Jennifer Crusie has the incredible knack of making relatably fun characters and even more humorous scenarios. I’d recommend this to all of those who wanted to read something light and as enjoyable as eating Krispy Kreme chocolate-iced glazed donuts.



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