Bet Me by Jennifer Cruise
St. Martin's Press, February 2004
Rating: 5
Reviewer: Krista

In Bet Me by Jennifer Cruise, Minerva Dobbs does not believe in fairy tales. But when her boyfriend of two months dumps her, her life will change. A dinner date that same night with Calvin Morrissey is just the beginning. Cal also does not believe in love or fairy tales but Minerva's shoes just blow him away. They resign themselves never to see each other again. A bet, Krispey Kreme doughnuts, her jealous ex-boyfriend, a determined psychologist, and a frisky cat among other things start to change their minds. They have to figure out if they are ready for the biggest game of them all, true love.

I loved Min because she always tried to be true to herself even though her mother Nannette wanted her to be thin. She had to learn how to stand up to her mom and embrace her true self. Cal taught her to love herself again. He wouldn't put up with any excuses.

The storyline and characters were very real. I loved seeing them change and grow. Min does a complete 360 by the end of the story. It was not easy work. Moms always think that they know best and Min's mom was no exception. The mother's goals for her daughter only hindered her true growth and change. Min had to deal learn what she needed for self was not necessarily what her mom wanted but she had to be gentle with her mom at first.

This book made me laugh, cry, and was very difficult to put down. Jennifer Cruise's writing style is easy to follow as well as enjoyable to read. She really lets you feel what the characters feel. Another thing I really liked was that the characters were not perfect. They made mistakes and the emotions ran from joyous to fuming anger. It was not uncommon to have two characters going thorough the spectrum of emotions at the same time.

I highly recommend this book to hopeless romantics or anyone who likes a real romance novel. Every thing that happened felt right and never was rushed or out of place. It was a good rainy day; snuggle under the covers, and leaving you warm and fuzzy type book.