Thursday, October 12, 2006

Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie

Hero: Alex
Heroine: Nina
Category: Contemp
Page Count: 224, hb
Grade: A
Buy It: Here or here.
Part basset, part beagle, all Cupid . . . can a matchmaking hound fetch a new love for his owner?

For Nina Askew, turning forty means freedom -- from the ex-husband whose career always came first, from their stuffy suburban home. Freedom to have her own apartment in the city, freedom to focus on what she wants for a change. And what she wants is something her ex always vetoed -- a puppy. A bouncy puppy to cheer her up. Instead she gets . . . Fred.

Overweight, smelly and obviously suffering from some kind of doggy depression, Fred is light-years from perky. But for all his faults, he does manage to put Nina face-to-face with Alex Moore, her gorgeous, younger downstairs neighbor.

Alex looks great on paper -- a sexy, seemingly sane, surprisingly single E.R. doctor who shares Fred's abiding love for Oreos -- but a ten-year difference in age, despite his devastating smile, is too wide a gap for Nina to handle. Ignoring her insistent best friend, some interfering do-gooders and the ubiquitous Fred -- not to mention her suddenly raging hormones -- Nina thinks anyone but Alex would be a better bet for a relationship. But with every silver-haired stiff she dates, the more she suspects it's the young dog-loving doctor she wants to sit and stay!

Nina has wanted a dog practically from the day her and Guy got married, he didn't. It should have been a sign. 15 years later she's divorced and ready to get her dog. It's her 40th birthday and she wants a perky happy puppy, what she leaves with is Fred. An older overweight depressed dog, but what does it matter when he makes her happy? That's what she wanted all along. But living on the third floor makes it a bit difficult for him to do his thing, especially without an elevator, so she teaches him to go down the fire escape out the window. All is fine until one time he doesn't come back.....

Fred seems to have found a new friend, he's climbed into the second story window instead of his third floor one, and meets Alex. Alex has been an ER doctor for awhile, his family has been harping on him to choose a profession. It would seem he has but coming from a long line of specialist doctors an ER doctor is NOT a profession. It's also been hard in the dating field, every woman he dates is ready to settle down and sprout children, Alex isn't ready for marriage let alone the fact that he doesn't want children. But when he meets Fred and returns him to his owner he thinks he just might have meet the right woman.

Because of a ten year age gap Nina is very weary of anything romantic with Alex. She's come up with every excuse, his age, his maturity, his .... well everything. But nothing can change the feelings she has every time he is near, or every time she thinks of him for that matter.

Alex doesn't care about Nina's age, and is determined to make sure she doesn't care either. He wants her to see him as a grown man worthy of her. But he still is weary to make THE move, scared she'll turn away and his chance will be lost.

With Nina's best friend that has the black thumb in relationships writing a book on her love life and pushing Nina into SOMETHING with Alex. And their 75 year old upstairs neighbor and her 63 year old boyfriend also dropping hints to how age never matters. And everything else Nina and Alex are fighting an uphill battle. Throw in Alex's older brother Max that's struggling with his life decisions and an alcoholic, cardiac surgeon father this book adds up to lots of fun and a great romance. Hell throw in a red lace incredi bra while we're at it too. This is the closest to a Bet Me book. I loved it! The entire feel of the story, the banter, the dog it just makes a perfect Crusie book. Were there faults? Sure I think Charity and Max should have had some type of ending weather together or with someone else. In the end Alex went a little over board with what he was doing to prove to Nina he was mature and stable enough for her, but he smartened up. So like I said, this one rates #2 right next to Bet Me. A definite great read. Go Get It!