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Saturday, July 29, 2006

July TBR Challenge

On June 28, a dear friend died at the age of 28.

The July challenge is this: In Sara's memory, read a book by one of her favorite authors: Nora Roberts, JD Robb, Jennifer Crusie, Suzanne Brockmann or Linda Howard, or one that reminds you of her.

I read:

***** Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie. Contemporary romance.

The original paperback, not the hardcover reissue, which I still haven't purchased. Jill, were there changes to the reissue?

Anyway, it had been in my TBR pile forever--apparently, I just went out and collected all of Crusie's backlist (and the couple of reissues out at the time) so I could be Crusiefied and Burned, but I never got around to reading ABY and Sizzle. Sizzle's still in the TBR somewhere.

Recently divorced 40-year-old Nina is, in typical Crusie fashion, trying to fix her life. Her first step is to get a dog. She'd planned on a puppy, but when she saw depressed basset/beagle Fred, she knew he needed her, and couldn't resist.

Fred turns out to be a great decision, because he plays matchmaker between Nina and her downstairs neighbor, 30-year-old E.R. doc Alex.

Even for a short book, everything's there--character development, plenty of realism re: their age difference, what they both want from life, and what they each think the other wants.

Anyone But You should even appeal to those jaded by the romance genre: ****spoiler****Not only is there not an epilogue listing their half-dozen offspring's names and genders, but Nina and Alex have decided not to have kids at all.****

Loved it, of course. I suppose Jenny would probably be able to point out all the flaws in the story, but I couldn't see them. I didn't look particularly hard, either--I was too busy being involved in the story. Excellent characters, Crusie's distinctive voice, and a great dog. What more could I ask for?

Except, of course, that it was bittersweet thinking about Sara while reading it.

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ER doc? Shift worker. How could she ever respect the man?

So what's his excuse for being single at 30?
Yeah, that was his family's reaction, too. :)

Why was he single at 30? Something about all the women he dated being more interested in his potential than in him. It was kind of tied in to his family. Everybody was waiting for him to grow up and pick a more respectable and lucrative specialty.

Whereas the 40-year-old divorcee had already BTDT with an ambitious man and didn't want to do that anymore.
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