Monday, April 5, 2010

"The Cinderella Deal" by Jennifer Crusie

This book is a reprint of a long out-of-print romance from 1996. The reprint is good news for fans of Jennifer Crusie because the original was hard to find and used copies were selling for a premium. It is also interesting to see how the author's style has changed over the years.

The introduction indicates that she wanted to write a romance that was less about the humor and more about the emotions. Personally, the humor is what I like best about Crusie's books so I wasn't sure whether I would like this earlier novel as much. Crusie fans will be happy to know that even though this book concentrates more on emotions, there is not a lack of humor; it is just more subtle than in other of her books.

Daisy is an artist who (rather foolishly one might think given the present economy) quit her teaching job to paint full time but has not sold enough of her work to support herself. As the story opens, she has burned through her savings and is behind on her rent and in a financial pinch. In addition, she is not happy with either her life or her art. Daisy tells stories and wants to write herself a new one. Daisy's neighbor Linc has career success within grasp. All he needs to secure the job of his dreams is a pretend fiancée so he makes a deal with Daisy.

Daisy and Linc are wildly different in personal style but have a serious case of the hots for each other that they each assume is not reciprocated. Daisy is stereotypical artist, with a love of color, mismatched antique furniture and bohemian clothing. Linc loves black and chrome and track lighting. The plot gives the romance the chance to develop over a realistic period of time. And in contrast to the kind of romance where the couple has sex early and later fall in love, Crusie builds the sexual tension slowly along with the romance.

It isn't my favorite romance of all time (and not even my favorite Crusie romance), but I thought it was delightful.

I got this book from the library.  Support your local library!

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