Bet Me had a pair of horrible, horrible mothers. I finished the book a few weeks ago, and moreso than many other details, the utter heinousness of both the hero and the heroine’s mothers sticks with me. I’ve met supercilious and cold women like the hero’s mother, so she was at least someone who I believe exists on the planet, but Minerva Dobbs — our heroine — is cursed, having been born of the nastiest caricature of a human. If this story is to be believed, Mother Dobbs speaks never to her children other than to play Calorie and Wardrobe Police.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me throw a little plot summary at you, from Goodreads: “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 keeps 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 donuts, 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.”
Mostly, this was a cute, fluffy story. I liked both Cal and Min as characters; they were both clever and funny without coming off as excessively quippy in the Sorkin-esque sense. The cast of characters was amusing as well, and with the exception of the obvious villains, they were given a surprising amount of depth in their personalities relative to the time they each appeared on the page. I was wary at some of the gender stereotyping that goes on, but nothing was outright offensive, just the typical gender essentialist dating advice that you hear from friends who are well-meaning but nonetheless haven’t discovered feminism.
I’m gonna be honest: I went into this expecting more sex, mostly because I like my contemporaries to be a little more on the erotica side, and I don’t really dip into the whole swath of contemporary romance that’s more “chick-lit” than erotic. So unfortunately, as sweet as this story was, it wasn’t really my style. Call me boorish and ban me to fanfiction.net if you must!