Tag: Jennifer Crusie

Review: Anthology – Santa Baby

Posted December 27, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 3 Comments

Review: Anthology – Santa BabyReviewer: Holly
Santa, Baby by Jennifer Crusie, Carly Phillips, Lori Foster
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: October 31st 2006
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 328
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Get ready for a holiday season you'll never forget with three of today's most sensational writers who know what every woman wants for the holidays. You'll believe in Santa all over again with these seductive stories from: JENNIFER CRUSIEMayhem ensues under the mistletoe as a determined shopper grabs the very last hot toy action figure off the shelf, only to find herself plunged into the middle of a real-life spy game--in the arms of a sexy secret agent. . . LORI FOSTERTwo dedicated coworkers with a lot of secrets (and fantasies!) between them must plan a Christmas party side by side--and discover a love worth celebrating--in this steamy office romance. CARLY PHILLIPSA "mistletoe moment" begins when a no-nonsense lawyer intent on seducing her boss meets his twin instead--after giving him a scintillating kiss that leaves him begging for more. . .

*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews and posts that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.*****

Holly: I love holiday anthologies. I would say 92% of my holiday reads come in the form of anthos.

This post was originally published January 6, 2009

I bought this anthology because the Jennifer Crusie was one I hadn’t read before and she’s one of my favorite authors. So I’m sure you can imagine my surprise when her entry turned out to be my least favorite of them all.


Mayhem ensues under the mistletoe as a determined shopper grabs the very last hot toy action figure off the shelf, only to find herself plunged into the middle of a real-life spy game—in the arms of a sexy secret agent. . .

Believe it or not my big issue with this story was the hero. Shocking, I know, since generally it’s the heroines I have trouble with. Trudy is out looking for a toy for her nephew when she runs into Nolan, a man she dated for awhile. A man she thought was different. A man she thought might be the one. Until their 4th date when he took a call, said he’d be back and just disappeared. His reasons for doing so seemed suspect in the beginning, and unfortunately were still suspect at the end – meaning I didn’t really buy his excuse.

Having said that, a less than stellar novel from Jenny Crusie is still better than some super stellar novels by other authors. I found the novella to have her trademark sass and humor and I really enjoyed Trudy and her sister. I even liked Nolan apart from his situation with Trudy.

Overall a fun, well-written story that probably needed a bit more depth to make it work a little better for me.

3.5 out of 5

Christmas Bonus by LORI FOSTER

Two dedicated coworkers with a lot of secrets (and fantasies!) between them must plan a Christmas party side by side—and discover a love worth celebrating—in this steamy office romance.

Lori Foster tends to be really hit or miss for me. I think I probably love 2 out of every 5 books of hers I read. This definitely falls into the “love” category. It was a sweet, cute story. Maggie and Eric have been attracted to each other for ages but age – and Maggie’s father, Eric’s boss – kept them separated. When they’re forced to work together planning a holiday party things quickly heat up.

The chemistry here really worked for me and the story – while short – really had some great emotional depth. I really enjoyed it.

4.0 out of 5

Naughty Under the Mistletoe by CARLY PHILLIPS

A “mistletoe moment” begins when a no-nonsense lawyer intent on seducing her boss meets his twin instead—after giving him a scintillating kiss that leaves him begging for more. . .

Carly Phillips, like Lori Foster, is an author that’s really hit or miss for me. Something about her writing style bugs me, though I’ve never been able to put my finger on just what. But, like Foster’s entry, this one really worked for me. Actually, this may be my favorite of the collection.

Something about Max and Toni really worked for me. Maybe it was her playing Elf and Max falling like a ton of bricks. Or maybe it was Max being super sexy and Toni falling for him like a ton of bricks. Either way, it as cute and I enjoyed it.

I did have an issue with the ending. I’m not really sure I buy them being head-over-heels in love after one night. I guess on a pure fantasy level it worked, but I definitely had to suspend disbelief. Otherwise it was great.

4.0 out of 5

Overall a cute collection of stories.

Total Grade: 4 out of 5

This book is available from St. Martin’s Press. You can buy it here.

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Sunday Spotlight: Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

Posted August 20, 2017 by Rowena in Features | 5 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be  raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Bet Me is one of our favorite books of all time here on Book Binge. Holly and I have loved Cal and Min’s story for years and Holly talked Casee into reading it and when she loved it just as much as we did, we were happy. There’s just something about a Jennifer Crusie book that makes you feel good and her sexy heroes and funny heroines are just fantastic.

Cal and Min are such a fun couple that you won’t want to miss out on reading their story. They’re fun but they’re also real. They could be any of us. We all know a Cal and Min in real life, and that’s why they’re such a memorable couple.

Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: February 20, 2004
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Minerva Dobbs knows all about risk management, which is why it’s such a shock when David, her extremely logical choice for a boyfriend, dumps her three weeks before her perfect sister’s wedding: David was not supposed to be a wild card. So when Min overhears David make a bet with his old nemesis–the gorgeous and successful Calvin Morrisey–that Cal can’t get Min into bed in a month, she decides that fate has just handed her a stacked deck: she can make Cal sweat his sex appeal and get a date to the wedding, if she plays along and doesn’t fold. What follows is a novel of destiny, chaos theory, Kripy Kreme donuts, the spirit of Elvis, Chicken Marsala, and a gamble for the highest stake of all: true love.

Buy the Book:


Memorable Quotes

Here are some quotes from Bet Me that are responsible for our love of all things Cal and Min.

“What I’m trying to tell you,” Min said, “is that I’m going to grow up to be one of those chubby old ladies. It’s in my genes. Like self-raising flour. I’m going to pouf.”

“That’s going to work out well for me,” Cal said. “because I’m going to grow up to be one of those horny old men who chase chubby old ladies around the couch.”

Haha, oh to be chased around the couch by Cal.

“It doesn’t matter,” Min said. “That’s what I’m trying to tell you, it doesn’t matter what you do or say. I’m going to love you till the end of time.”

Cal looked at her, stunned.

“I know,” Min said. “It’s really un-PC. I just thought you should know that you can’t screw this up.”

“I can’t?” Cal said, wanting to believe her.

“No,” Min said. “Which doesn’t mean I’m not going to tell if you make me mad again. I will shout and slam doors. I just won’t be on the other side of the door when I slam it. You’ve got me for life.”

He lost his breath and put his forehead against her shoulder. “God, I love you.”

Min was such an awesome heroine. I loved seeing her growth over the course of the book. I want to be her. She was honest and she was strong and just all around the bomb.

“Bet you ten bucks we make it.”

What are the odds? she thought, and realized with sudden, blinding clarity that she wouldn’t take the other side of that bet, that only a loser would bet against them. This is really it, she thought, amazed. This is really forever. I believe in this.

“Min?” he said, and she kissed him, putting all her heart into it.

“No bet,” she said against his mouth. “Your odds are too good.”

“Our odds are too good.”

*swoon* So good.

Cal and Min were a lovely couple. A couple that made us laugh, they made us sigh and they made us want what they had in our own lives. They weren’t perfect people who lived perfect lives but they were perfect for each other and they gave us hope that we can have it all with our own perfect people and I’d bet that anyone who reads this book would love it as much as we did. So…this spotlight is for those of you who haven’t read this one yet. Read it. It’s good. We promise.

Giveaway: We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

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Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author


Jenny Crusie is the NYT bestselling author of twenty some novels and lots of other stuff. Her latest novel, Maybe This Time, hit shelves in August 2010.

Jenny lives on the Ohio River where she often stares at the ceiling and counts her blessings.

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Retro Review: Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

Posted March 1, 2017 by Casee in Reviews | 9 Comments

Retro Review: Bet Me by Jennifer CrusieReviewer: Casee
Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Publication Date: August 31st 2004
Pages: 391
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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.

******As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

This review was originally posted on June 2, 2008.

This wasn’t my first Crusie book. Years ago I read Charlie Something-or-Other. I didn’t really care for it. In fact, I had no idea why everyone was so crazy about this author. Yes, the book I read was an early Crusie novel. That’s why I wasn’t in any hurry to give her another try. Look at Linda Howard, Julie Garwood, Judith McNaught…all authors whose earlier works are more loved than their more recent books. That’s my excuse for waiting so long to read Bet Me. I guess I have to thank Holly b/c I would have most likely not tried to read it again if she wouldn’t have coerced pressured bullied suggested it in such a wonderful way. (Holly: Am I good like that, or what? It’s ok, you don’t have to bow down to my greatness..we know. We know. LOL)

That being said, I’m so glad that she persevered b/c I loved this book.

Min Dobbs decides to teach Cal Morrisey a lesson when she overhears him making a bet that he can get her into bed. Deciding that she will string him along for three weeks until her sister’s wedding, Min accepts his invitation for dinner. It only takes one dinner for Min to admit that she doesn’t have it in her to string someone like Cal along. At the end of the night, they part ways, both satisfied that they will never see the other again.

Fate definitely had a way of laughing in their faces. Again and again Min and Cal ran into each other. Yet each time they parted, that was it. They were never going to see each other again.

There is really no easy way to review this book other than to say if you haven’t read it, you’re missing out. Crusie has some of the best dialogue that I’ve ever read. The relationship between Min and Cal was far from an easy one. Though they both had admitted to themselves that the other is “the one”, they both had hangups that wouldn’t let them admit it out loud. Add in Min’s jealous ex-boyfriend and Cal’s rational ex-girlfriend and you have a book that you can’t put down.

I loved everything about this book from how it began, to the continuing conflict, to both Min and Cal’s parents, to the ending. Everything about it just hooked me from page 1.

5 out of 5.


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Guest Review: Hot Toy by Jennifer Crusie

Posted October 21, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Hot Toy by Jennifer CrusieReviewer: Tracy
Hot Toy by Jennifer Crusie
Published by St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Genres: Anthologies (multiple authors)
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Tracy’s review of Hot Toy by Jennifer Crusie

Mayhem ensues under the mistletoe as a determined shopper grabs the very last hot toy action figure off the shelf, only to find herself plunged into the middle of a real-life spy game and in the arms of a sexy secret agent…

Trudy is a good aunt. She wants her nephew Leroy to have a wonderful Christmas but the only thing he wants this year is a Major MacGuffin action figure that spews toxic waste. Leroy’s father was supposed to buy it for him but he ran off with the nanny instead. Trudy is out at an old toy store in the hopes that they still might have one. She doesn’t find the right doll but she runs into Nolan who she went on three dates with and then he never called again.

When Trudy finds last year’s Major MacGuffin on a shelf she’s thrilled. When she runs into her father’s old research assistant and he tells her that he heard of a warehouse that has this year’s doll she’s excited but leery to get in the cab with him. When Nolan pushes his way into the cab to go too she decides it’s a good thing – until they all get to the warehouse and things start to get a little hinky, Reese isn’t who he says he is, neither is Nolan and they’re both after her MacGuffin! She’s not giving it up and she’s certainly not going to be trusting either of them!

This was the second time that I’d read this short novella but it was just as good the second time around. Trudy is such a character. She loves her family and will do just about anything for them but she does it with attitude – which I loved. Then there’s the way she stands up to Nolan which was classic. I wish I’d had the guts to tell guys off like that when I was dating (way back when). Lol

The story is sweet and cute but also has sarcasm, adventure and romance all wrapped up into a nice little package. If you haven’t read this one yet you’ll definitely want to – it’s a keeper.

Rating: 4 out of 5

This title is available from St. Martin’s Paperbacks. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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Guest Review: Crazy For You by Jennifer Crusie

Posted August 15, 2013 by Ames in Reviews | 3 Comments

cfyAmes’ review of Crazy For You by Jennifer Crusie.

On Wednesday, Quinn McKenzie changes her life. On Thursday, she tries to get somebody to notice. On Thursday night, somebody does.
Quinn McKenzie has always lived what she calls a “beige” life. She has a good job as a high school art teacher, and she’s surrounded by family and friends who rely on her. She’s dating Bill, coach of the championship high school football and baseball teams and all-around perfect guy. It’s a perfectly happy and secure life, and she’s bored to the point of insanity.

But when Quinn decides to change her life by adopting a stray dog over everyone’s objections, everything begins to spiral out of control. Soon a man from her past comes back into her life and the old attraction is ignited again. Now she’s coping with dog-napping, breaking and entering, seduction, sabotage, stalking, more secrets than she really wants to know, and two men who are suddenly crazy…for her.

Crazy for You is one of my top favorite books ever. It’s my go-to book when I need to get out of a reading slump. This book is close to perfect for me.

Quinn McKenzie loves dogs. She’s always rescuing strays and finding good homes for them. She doesn’t keep them because her boyfriend Bill doesn’t want one. But when one of her high school students presents her with a black and white shaky stray, Quinn falls in love and makes the momentous decision to keep her. I say momentous because the dog, whom Quinn calls Katie, changes Quinn’s life and the lives of those around her.

First there’s Bill. He’s the high school’s coach and after 3 years together, he’s used to Quinn giving into his wishes. And so he lets Quinn know that he doesn’t want the dog…and even takes it to the pound. Quinn demands they get her back and they do…but when he does it back a second time, Quinn has to face the facts – Bill is not listening to her, at all. And it makes her realize that he always gets his way. She kind of reinforced this by kind of giving in to him eventually (like when he moved in…and then moved them into their beige apartment with their boring furniture). But she doesn’t love Bill and all she wants is this little dog and is that so much to ask for?

When she breaks up with Bill and moves out, her mother and her best friend Darla try and change her mind. But when she tells them what Bill did and that all she wants is that dog, it shakes something up in the other women as well and makes them examine where they are in life and decide to go after what they want. But with somewhat disastrous (and comical) results.

For Quinn, making that one decision to keep Katie has great ramifications. She becomes a home owner and it makes her realize that her friend, Nick, is the exact opposite of beige and he would be the perfect guy to put some color in her life. Temporarily of course, because Nick doesn’t do commitment. Or does he?

*sigh* I love that the story for this book all revolves around that little stray, Katie. So there’s reason 1 why this book is perfect for me. It has a cute dog in it. And she’s very much a character in this book. Quinn loves her, but the people around her consider her sly. Bill hates her. Darla thinks she’s sneaky. Nick…Nick doesn’t do commitment. And all he sees when he looks at her is something to depend on him, something to feed, and keep alive.

Another reason this book worked for me so well is friends-to-lovers. Quinn and Nick are the ultimate friends to lovers. Nick was married to Quinn’s older sister when he was 19. Quinn inherited Nick in the divorce. LOL Plus Nick’s brother is married to Darla, so they’re all a close bunch. But Quinn breaking up with Bill knocks something out of balance in Nick’s world. You see, as long as Quinn was with someone, Nick would not think of her that way. But his thoughts take a dangerous turn when Quinn is single. I like the way their relationship changes. They both recognize the possibility of losing their friendship if they take that leap over the edge. And Nick is the one who is more afraid of losing Quinn. The tension between these two is lush. Love it!

Another theme in Crazy for You that makes me love it is the marriage in trouble plot. Darla has been married to her high school sweetie Max forever. And even though she’s still super in love with him, she realizes that they’re in a bit of a rut. And when she tries to stir things up, it confuses him and makes him scared! He likes things the way they are and he doesn’t understand why Darla is acting different. Isn’t she happy with their life? Because he is!

On top of all those themes, the characters behind them all are great. Quinn was sweet but had backbone when she needed it. I like how once she threw off her beige life and got a little selfish things really started to happen for her. Nick was totally yummy and the way he felt about Quinn was very swoon-worthy. What gets me about Nick was his Fleetwood Mac move. I love Fleetwood Mac. LOL I liked the brief flashes we get of Quinn’s sister, Zoe, who lives in a different state. Darla and Max were cute in their way, and Quinn’s parents were a hoot. Quinn also has some great students.

There’s the Crusie humor as well, which always works well for me.

So really, this book is almost perfect. If you haven’t read this one, what are you waiting for?

4.75 out of 5

This book is available from St. Martin’s.  You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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