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Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie - Fiction
The beloved New York Times bestselling novel, now with an exclusive letter from Jennifer Crusie in celebration of its tenth anniversaryThis is New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jennifer Crusie's novel about long shots, risk management, true love, and great shoes. . . .
Minerva Dobbs knows how to work the odds.
Calvin Morrisey always plays to win.
But when they face off, neither one is prepared.
Because when real life meets true love, all bets are off. . . .
Minerva Dobbs knows that happily-ever-after is a fairy tale, especially with a man who asked her to dinner to win a bet, even if he is gorgeous and successful Calvin Morrisey. Cal knows commitment is impossible, especially with a woman as cranky as Min Dobbs, even if she does wear great shoes and keep him on his toes. When they say good-bye at the end of their evening, they cut their losses and agree never to see each other again.
But fate has other plans, and it's not long before Min and Cal meet again. Soon they're dealing with a jealous ex-boyfriend, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, a determined psychologist, chaos theory, a freakishly intelligent cat, Chicken Marsala, and more risky propositions than either of them ever dreamed of. Including the biggest gamble of all—-true love. Bet Me is the winner of a 2005 RITA Award.
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Sensuality Rating: Not rated
Once upon a time, Minerva Dobbs thought as she stood in the middle of a loud yuppie bar, the world was full of good men. She looked into the handsome face of the man she'd planned on taking to her sister's wedding and thought, Those days are gone.
"This relationship is not working for me," David said.
I could shove this swizzle stick through his heart, Min thought. She wouldn't do it, of course. The stick was plastic and not nearly pointed enough on the end. Also, people didn't do things like that in southern Ohio. A sawed-off shotgun, that was the ticket.
"And we both know why," David went on.
He probably didn't even know he was mad; he probably thought he was being calm and adult. At least I know I'm furious, Min thought. She let her anger settle around her, and it made her warm all over, which was more than David had ever done.
Across the room, somebody at the big roulette wheel-shaped bar rang a bell. Another point against David: He was dumping her in a theme bar. The Long Shot. The name alone should have tipped her off.
"I'm sorry, Min," David said, clearly not.
Min crossed her arms over her gray-checked suit jacket so she couldn't smack him. "This is because I won't go home with you tonight? It's Wednesday. I have to work tomorrow. You have to work tomorrow. I paid for my own drink."
"It's not that." David looked noble and wounded as only the tall, dark, and self-righteous could. "You're not making any effort to make our relationship work, which means . . ."
Which means we've been dating for two months and I still won't sleep with you. Min tuned him out and looked around at the babbling crowd. If I had an untraceable poison, I could drop it in his drink now and not one of these suits would notice.
". . . and I do think, if we have any future, that you should contribute, too," David said.
Oh, I don't, Min thought, which meant that David had a point. Still, lack of sex was no excuse for dumping her three weeks before she had to wear a maid-of-honor dress that made her look like a fat, demented shepherdess. "Of course we have a future, David," she said, trying to put her anger on ice. "We have plans. Diana is getting married in three weeks. You're invited to the wedding. To the rehearsal dinner. To the bachelor party. You're going to miss the stripper, David."
"Is that all you think of me?" David's voice went up. "I'm just a date to your sister's wedding?"
"Of course not," Min said. "Just as I'm sure I'm more to you than somebody to sleep with."
David opened his mouth and closed it again. "Well, of course. I don't want you to think this is a reflection on you. You're intelligent, you're successful, you're mature. . . ."
Min listened, knowing that You're beautiful, you're thin were not coming. If only he'd have a heart attack. Only four percent of heart attacks in men happened before forty, but it could happen. And if he died, not even her mother could expect her to bring him to the wedding.
". . . and you'd make a wonderful mother," David finished up.
"Thank you," Min said. "That's so not romantic."
"I thought we were going places, Min," David said.
"Yeah," Min said, looking around the gaudy bar. "Like here."
David sighed and took her hand. "I wish you the best, Min. Let's keep in touch."
Min took her hand back. "You're not feeling any pain in your left arm, are you?"
"No," David said, frowning at her.
"Pity," Min said, and went back to her friends, who were watching them from the far end of the room.
"He was looking even more uptight than usual," Liza said, looking even taller and hotter than usual...
Bet MeBy: Jennifer Crusie