This week I'm reviewing Jennifer Crusie's Anyone But You. (I read it on the Reader!) Actually obtaining it was a bit of a tribulation, as I'd originally purchased it with a discount from doing a review, but ended up with some wonky format for Palms which I was supposed to be able to convert to usefulness with software -- but never could. Eventually I just bought it with a discount from Fictionwise.
Crusies' note at the beginning says readers call this "Fred's book" and I can see why.
Fred is a beagle/basset mix who Nina (the heroine) adopts in the opening scene. She's after a perky puppy but ends up with a middle-aged, saggy, somewhat depressed overeater. He does help cheer her up, however, and makes her new apartment less lonely. After a long divorce and even longer time when her house on the uppity side of town was for sale, she's finally on her own, doing just what she wants. Everybody thinks she's nuts, but she's okay with that.
Teaching Fred to use the fire escape so he can "walk" himself down to the building's back yard for potty breaks proves to be a boon when he goes back in her downstairs neighbor's window instead of hers. And downstairs is yummy Alex - a handsome, single, and younger than Nina ER doc.
I like the way these two characters are instantly comfy together, hang out to watch TV, and even "rescue" one another from dates. Nina's hangups about her age are easy for us as readers to wave off, but also relatable and realistic. As a secondary character, Fred is something of a scene-stealer. Very cute. Of course you'll root for Fred's mom and dad to get together, and afterward you'll think of him often and wonder how he's doing.
Anyone But You is a Nice Bang for Your Entertainment Buck.
Up next: Heartbreakers, by Lori Foster
Romance is sexy!