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Bet Me

Bet Me - Jennifer Crusie I keep getting sucked into those Criminal Minds marathons on ION and A&E and it's totally messing with my psyche and my friendships -- psyche because I'm dreaming about a gunman outside my childhood home; friendships because I think my friends are sick of me calling at 1am after encountering a potential "unsub." I tried to counterbalance that by reading some romance, but Kristan Higgins' female characters made me want the story to turn into Criminal Minds.I mentioned this to my awesome book club, and one of the girls recommended Bet Me and Agnes and the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie. I chose Bet Me because I'm trying to get away from hitmen, and the premise sounded cute. Min Dobbs goes on a date with Cal Morrissey after overhearing her ex-BF, the one who dumped her that night, bet Cal that he wouldn't be able to take her out. It hurts because she also hears the guys talking about her rumpled, dowdy suit, but Min would rather Cal win the bet than her asshole ex. Plus she knows the situation and figures she can use drop dead gorgeous Cal right back and get him to take her to her younger sister's wedding. Hijinks and chemistry ensue. This is Cal, by the way.Min, on the other hand, is harder to describe because she's probably a size 10:but she sees herself as this:I *think* Jennifer Crusie was trying to portray an average-sized American woman, who is definitely above a size 8, but if you're going to do that, actually DO IT. Don't just have a woman who's kinda-sorta-not really big, who can kinda-maybe-almost squeeze into a size 8, and then throw donuts in her face at every opportunity. It's kinda really insulting. Someone who eats more ---> Gets bigger. Okay. But that doesn't mean that a bigger girl (Size 10... That heifer!) ---> Gets an orgasm from food. And from freakin' chicken marsala at that! And unless she's Paula Deen, butter isn't a turn on either. I get what Crusie was trying to do, but just throwing Krispy Kreme at the main character doesn't accomplish that. There's actually one scene where Cal kisses Min and she says, "No, wait." Cal then looks down to the donuts, says, "Right," and picks up another piece of donut to give her. Because a DONUT is what a big girl would be thinking about first if a hot guy kissed her.Still, even with ALL that, I had fun with this book. Sure, I was laughing at it (I spent the first half of the book thinking Cal was gay), but I laughed with it too. And the chemistry -- the chemistry is there. The banter between two characters who love/hate/love each other is there. And ultimately, the message of accepting and loving your body is there -- just hidden under self-loathing and donut boxes. If you're looking for some good romance/contemporary fiction, I highly recommend Attachments's Donovan Brothers series.