Around 5,000 romance novels are published each year, yet Bet Me, written by long-time romance author Jennifer Crusie and published in 2004, remains one of my favourite novels to date. It’s a comfort book, filled with great writing, good humour, and absolutely wonderful characterisation.
The story goes like this: thirty-something Minerva Dobbs has just literally sworn off men when she meets Calvin Morrisey, a man who is her match in more ways than one. Cal, for his part, thinks that Min is a rather grumpy woman, so they agree to part ways and never see each other again. Fate has other plans, though, and life just doesn’t always happen as planned. There are also great shoes, Krispy Kreme donuts, bridesmaid dresses, overbearing parents, and lots of chicken marsala. Here are three outfit inspirations from this fun novel!
1. Office Wear
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.
2. First Date
Then Min came into the park through the trees, following the curving crushed gravel path. She was wearing her long red sweater again, but this time she had on a red-and-black-checked skirt that floated when the breeze blew.
“You’re a very practical woman,” Cal said, and then Min pulled her legs up to tuck them under her and he caught sight of her shoes, ridiculous sandals made mostly of ribbons with a single bright red flower over the instep. “Except for your shoes.”
Min looked surprised when she opened the door at his knock, and he felt pretty stunned himself: as far as he could see, all she was wearing was a very long, very old blue sweatshirt and lumpy sweatsocks. Her hair was down in frizzy waves, and she was wearing no makeup, so the only color on her face was the fading yellow bruise from where he’d clocked her.
“What the hell?” she said. “How did you get in the front door?”
“This is how you open the door to delivery guys,” Cal said, staring at the good strong legs he’d scoped out in the bar on Friday.
One of my favourite things about this book, apart from the lovely, lovely humour, is how well Crusie treats her characters and develops the relationship between the hero and the heroine. You know when you’re reading or watching something so lovely that your heart kind of squeezes painfully inside? Yep, this novel is one of those things for me. You won’t regret picking it up—and you definitely won’t regret taking some outfit inspiration from it! Which one’s your favourite?