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.
I love funny romances, especially one that involves cheesy pickup lines, awkward sex, and fast witty banter. And nobody does it like Crusie.
The following scene takes place in a bar between friends of hero and heroine’s. After Mina leaves with Cal to punish him after overhearing a bet he made, his friends attempt to pick up her friends. They aren’t impressed.
It was a minute and a half by Liza’s watch before the bullethead tapped her on the shoulder. “Excuse me,” he said, “but I believe you were staring at me.”
Liza blinked at him. “That was disbelief. I couldn’t believe you were so slow.”
“Slow?” He looked insulted. “Nobody could have gotten through that crowd faster than me. I didn’t even have blockers.”
Liza shook her head. “You spotted me a good hour ago. What did you do, sit down and think about it?”
He rolled his eyes. “I heard redheads were hard to handle.” He leaned on the bar. “I’m Tony. And you owe me.”
Okay, here we go, Liza thought, and leaned on the bar, too, mirroring him. “I owe you?”
“Yes.” He grinned at her. “Because of chaos theory.”
Liza shook her head. “Chaos theory.”
He moved closer to her. “Chaos theory says that complex dynamical systems become unstable because of disturbances in their environments after which a strange attractor draws the trajectory of the stress.”
Liza looked at him, incredulous. “This is your line?”
“I am a complex dynamical system,” Tony said.
“Not that complex,” Liza said.
“And I was stable until you caused a disturbance in my environment.”
“Not that stable,” Liza said.
Tony grinned. “And since you’re the strangest attractor in the room, I followed the trajectory of my stress right to you.”
“That’s not what you followed to me.” Liza turned so that her back was against the bar, her shoulder blocking him. “Give me something better than that, or I’ll find somebody else to amuse myself with.”
From the corner of her eye, she saw the other guy, the vacant-looking blond, lean down to Bonnie. “Is she always like this?” he said to Bonnie, and Liza turned to size him up. Big. Husky. Boring.
“Well, your friend isn’t exactly Prince Charming,” Bonnie said, giving him her best fluttery smile.
He beamed back down at her. “Neither am I. Is that okay?”
Oh, come on, Liza thought and caught Tony-the-bullethead’s eye.
“He means it,” Tony said. “Roger has no line.”
“After the chaos theory debacle, that’s a plus,” Liza said.
“Poor baby,” Bonnie was saying as she put her hand on Roger’s sleeve. “Of course, that’s okay. I’m Bonnie.”
Roger looked down at her with naked adoration. “I’m Roger, and you are the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in my life.”
Bonnie’s smile widened, and she moved closer to him.
“Which doesn’t mean he’s bad with women,” Tony said, sounding bemused.
“I begin to see his appeal.” Liza turned back to Tony. “What’s yours?”
“I’m great in bed,” Tony said.
“Right,” Liza said. “You’re hopeless, but you can buy me a drink and tell me all about yourself. And your friends.”
“Anything you want,” Tony said, and waved to the curly-headed bartender. When she came down the bar, he said, “Hey, Shanna, you playing on my side of the street yet?”
The bartender shook her head. “No, but when I do, you’ll be the last to know.”
“Just so I’m somewhere on the list,” Tony said. “Shanna, this is Liza. We need refills all around here.”
“You know him?” Liza said to Shanna.
“He hangs out with my next-door neighbor,” Shanna said. “I get him by default because of Cal.”
“Cal?” Liza said, and thought, Damn, I could have just asked the bartender about him without picking up this yahoo. Well, later for her.
“You don’t want to know about Cal,” Tony was saying. “He’s no good. Women should stay far away from him.”