Love me some Jennifer Crusie!
While it is, on paper, a ‘sequel’ to Welcome to Temptation, this book is very much a stand alone. Funny, witty and with the heroine simply ‘putting up’ with the sex at the start , it’s a classic early Crusie turn-romance-conventions-on-their-heads story line.
The publisher’s weekly blurb:
Bestseller Crusie (Fast Women, etc.) takes readers on another smooth ride in her latest romantic caper. At the wheel this time is fab art forger Matilda Goodnight, whose chance encounter in a closet with cute con man/thief Davy Dempsey leads to madcap mayhem and breathless romance. He’s trying to steal back the money he filched from Clea Lewis, ex-girlfriend (and possible husband killer), who had taken it right back. Tilda just wants her last “Scarlet” painting, which Clea has bought to impress Mason Phipps, her rich art-obsessed beau. It’s the last of six forgeries Tilda did for Tony, her now deceased gallery-owner dad, and Tilda is determined to preserve her newly squeaky-clean reputation. Confused yet? It gets wackier, because the whole Goodnight clan and supporting cast are as enormously engaging as the loopy plot. There’s Tilda’s mother, Gwen; her sister, Eve/Louise, a split-personality teacher/diva; her gay ex-brother-in-law, Andrew; and her precocious teenage niece, Nadine. Add a host of shady characters and would-be hitmen, and the breezy plot thickens and puffs up like the light airy doughnuts all Goodnight women are attracted to but eventually forsake for muffins: “Muffins are for the long haul and they always taste good. They don’t have that oh-my-God-I-have-to-have-that thing that the doughnuts have going for them, but you still want them the next morning.” Finally, defying all odds, Crusie answers the burning questions she poses can liars and thieves fall in love, live happily ever after and stay out of jail? while confirming the dangers of dating doughnuts.
So many things are right with this book it’s hard to pinpoint a favorite. I think, if I had to give someone one reason to read it, aside from the aforementioned starting off with low-quality sex between the hero and heroine, I’d say, as a writer, it’s the depth and quality of the supporting characters.
Of course, now that I’m back in Ohio, picking a book set in Columbus isn’t a bad start either.