Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Castle, Hawaii Five-O, and a Book Review--Bet Me

I love Monday nights. Love them. Last night had two amazing episodes of Hawaii Five-O and Castle. Moments that I want to re-watch even. I started to list all the moments, but it got too long, so suffice it to say, I loved, loved, loved last night. And contrary to some, I am really enjoying Lori Weston’s addition to the team. When Kono was trying not to tell the guys about Lori’s costume, I was seriously laughing. Kono needs another woman around, and I like what Lori brings to the show. Steve’s concern for her when he found her on the floor unconscious was really sweet, too, and I like sweet Steve. As for Castle, was there any sweeter moment for him and Beckett than in the bank vault after the explosion and she can’t let go of his lapel and is smiling that smile at him? *le sigh* Those two will be the death of me.

Oh yeah, Halloween was fun, too.

As for reviewing a book today, I’ve been reading a national book, “Bet Me,” by Jennifer Crusie. This book was such a surprise to me. After reading the synopsis, I honestly didn’t know if I would like it, and it’s not a book I probably would have picked up on my own. But it came highly recommended, so I gave it a chance.

The first thing I loved about it was how realistic the heroine was. She’s an overweight woman, who has a lot of insecurities about herself. Her boyfriend has broken up with her in a truly awful way, and her friends encourage her to approach a gorgeous man who is in the bar. At the same time, this gorgeous man is being pressured by the people he's with to bet that he can’t get the “chubby girl” to go to dinner with him. (Although the exact bet is debated later.) He takes that bet and the fireworks start.

Our heroine doesn’t take many risks because she's been hurt before, and Cal is a love 'em and leave 'em type guy, but as they both peel back the layers it becomes this amazing romance that I honestly couldn’t put down. I have never read a book like this, and I completely enjoyed the witty dialogue and the way the characters were portrayed. It was sweet and funny and while there was some profanity it was sprinkled throughout and not every other word, and in fair warning, there were also a few steamy kisses, and a sex scene, but again, not over the top, mostly brief, and easy to skip if that’s not your cup of tea. I think this is an author who really got it right with her character development in dealing with such issues as body image, insecurity, domineering parents, dyslexia, and what makes a person feel loved and beautiful. Very, very, well done.

Here’s the back copy:

Minerva Dobbs knows all about risk management, which is why it's such a shock when David, her extremely logical choice for a boyfriend, dumps her three weeks before her perfect sister's wedding: David was not supposed to be a wild card. So when Min overhears David make a bet with his old nemesis--the gorgeous and successful Calvin Morrisey--that Cal can't get Min into bed in a month, she decides that fate has just handed her a stacked deck: she can make Cal sweat his sex appeal and get a date to the wedding, if she plays along and doesn't fold. What follows is a novel of destiny, chaos theory, Krispy Kreme donuts, the spirit of Elvis, Chicken Marsala, and a gamble for the highest stake of all: true love.

So, even though it looks like all I’ve been doing is reading books and watching TV, I assure you I’ve been writing. As all of you probably know, today is the start of NanoWriMo, and while I’m not participating on the official page, I have made goals for myself. I’m going to post them tomorrow for Word Count Wednesday and check in every week to see if I’ve met them. I think it’s going to be fun!

So, tell me what you’ve been up to. Did you have a fun Halloween? Any great shows you’ve watched that really had some memorable moments? Read anything amazing lately?


Stephanie Black said...

I just finished Letters in the Jade Dragon Box, by Gale Sears. Wow! What a powerful book!

Charlie Moore said...

Ok, I'll try this again. I just finished River Whispers (Kathi Oram Peterson) and nominated it for a Whitney. It was a great read.

Sarah Tokeley said...

My reading has been a bit light lately :-( This book sounds interesting though.

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure that after reading the synopsis on this one that I'd reccommend it too highly. The backliner tells me everything I need to know about this novel: Find something else for me and the teenagers to read.

There are plenty of of Minerva Dobbs-like novels out there that are an entertaining read without having to wade through Cal's attempts to get Min into bed for a month, while she makes Cal sweat his sex appeal. Aren't there thousands of novels filled with destiny, chaos theory, Krispy Kreme donuts, the spirit of Elvis, Chicken Marsala, and a gamble for true love, sans the getting Minerva into bed?

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

Stephanie and Charlie, those two are on my to read list. They look really good!

Sarah, I can't imagine why your reading has been a bit light lately. :)

Anon, this book isn't for everyone, that's for sure, but the backliner is a bit misleading as the terms of the bet come up for debate as to whether it really was for a dinner or for getting her into bed. For me, the premise wasn't something I would normally pick up, as I said in the review, but the actual story was a surprise for me---the way an overweight woman was portrayed in regards to a romance with a very attractive man, with her friends, and with her family. It was refreshing to see something done so well in this realm. That's what I liked best about the book.

Of course, if it isn't your cup of tea, please don't read it. There were things in there that aren't for everyone, and for me, just because I've reviewed a book it doesn't mean it's appropriate for everyone's tastes or for teens for that matter. I just like to share what I'm reading and what I thought of it. :)

Jon Spell said...

We watched H50 last night. It was pretty good. I think Masi Oka in the Matrix outfit was my favorite part. Oh, and the interrogation of the homeless guy (played by the same actor who did Freddy Krueger) was really well done. (What DID Lori dress up as?) And where was Kono most of this episode? And who demands that someone give out candy to trick or treaters? I don't know how you could live in paradise-like Hawaii and not believe in some sort of higher power, personally.

My wife doesn't understand why the guy in the end drops the lighter. It's not like he was crazy - he was just a business man. Seemed like the only way out?

Castle was a treat. It's always nice when they mix the formula up a little. The Morse code was a nice touch, but why couldn't he send a "C4" signal? Also, I thought the whole plot seemed a little far-fetched. You have access to a crack military team and you decide it's easier to rob a bank than say, kidnap a priest? Well, it's ok, it had a lot of good Castle and Kate moments, so we can forgive some elements. (The bank manager flirting with Martha, for example, sappy but cute.)

Julie Coulter Bellon said...

There you are, Jon! I was wondering where you were.

I loved Masi's outfit as well, and I wondered where he said he'd had to come in to work from a Halloween party if perhaps he and Lori had been at the same party? I was a teeny bit annoyed they didn't say what her costume was, but I thought it was cute the look on everyone's faces when she was being so secretive about it. I'm interested to know what your take on Lori is. So many people seem not to like her, but I think she's fine.

I never saw any Freddy Krueger movies, but the actor seemed like he fit the role. Ha!

Danny seemed a bit off, in the fact that he took his daughter trick or treating in a motel, and he was kind of disrespectful to everyone else in not waiting for the priest and in how he dealt with Steve's questions. I chalked it up to the fact he had to take his daughter home early and his car was vandalized.

If he didn't have the lighter, then there wouldn't have been an awesome explosion and what would Hawaii Five-O be without at least one ginormous explosion? :)

I also wondered that about the C4 thing, but I did love the Martha/bank guy moment (looked like she got his number after it was over) and I liked the Castle/Martha moments as well. Kate/Rick moments were sigh worthy and I'm glad we're seeing things from Beckett's perspective a bit more these days.

As for kidnapping a priest, I didn't think the ex knew who the go-between was, that's why he had to get the keys and hold up the bank? I don't know. That's how I explained it to myself.

Glad you weighed in! :)