Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie

Due to a combination of my new Nook and work-related stress, I’ve started re-reading the e-book versions of some of my hard copy keepers (and yes, I own them in both formats). Returning to my old favorites also gives me a wonderful opportunity to write about the books I go back to over and over again. The first of these is Anyone But You. This is one of my favorite Jennifer Crusie titles. It was originally published as part of Harlequin’s Love and Laughter series.

Nina is 40 years old and recently divorced. Looking for something to cheer her up, she goes to the local humane society to adopt a puppy. Instead, she brings home Fred, a morose, beagle/basset hound mix who is scheduled to be euthanized the next day. Through Fred, she meets Alex, the thirty-year old emergency room doctor living in the apartment below hers. Although she swears he’s too young for her, this is a romance, so they eventually end up together.

Crusie’s writing is snappy and laugh-out-loud funny (Fred’s obsession with Nina’s Incredibra is particularly hilarious). Even better, the characters are great and really well-developed, which isn’t always the case with short series romances. My favorite secondary character is Fred, but Nina’s best friend and Alex’s brother are also very well-drawn. Finally, there’s believable conflict between Nina and Alex, which they resolve realistically. Again, that’s a quality that is often lacking in series romances. Overall, very well-written and satisfying.

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