Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie is a romance about a dog named Fred. The author even has a foreword all about how the book is referred to as “Fred’s Book” in Crusie circles. Is there such a thing as Crusie circles? I certainly hope not. This was one of the worst novels I’ve ever read.
0 out of 10 stars. I can’t believe this was published.
Nina Askew has her 40th birthday on the same day that Alex Moore has his 30th birthday. She’s recently divorced and an editor. He’s an ER doctor sick of dating women who only want kids and marriage. Together they are the anti-Christ. They fuss over a dog she saved from the pound named Fred and watch old movies that are incredibly boring. Unless you’ve watched these movies from the 50s, none of the dialogue makes any sense. What does make sense is kind of disgusting.
Nina’s friend Charity is anxious to get her into bed with a string of very strange men, blind dates from hell. Alex’s brother Max, a self-confessed man whore, is doing the same with Alex, trying to get him into bed with a string of strange women. One of them brings condoms to their first date and puts them on the table so he knows she’s after him for sex. This is not a romance. It’s a lot of bad dialogue and two people who hate kids and aren’t really fit for anyone but each other.
0 out of 10 stars. I finished this. I don’t know why. I kept hoping it would get better. But there were pages and pages of meaningless sex. They didn’t really feel anything for each other but lust and the dog thing was so over the top it was lame. If the only thing these two people have in common is a dog that runs up and down the fire escape between their apartments, then they shouldn’t be sleeping together. This is not romance.
How does this stack up in my rules for romances? Not well at all. A total bomb.
Five Rules for Romance Novels:
- The hero must be a hero. –> NOT AT ALL. He’s actually pretty awful. I hated him from the start.
- There must be monogamy. –> NO, NOT REALLY. He’s still dating after they have sex.
- There must be a courtship. –> NONE AT ALL. There’s no courtship here. Lots of meaningless sex and lots of condom talk.
- Marriage before sex (preferred). –> NEVER. These two are never getting married. They hate kids and just want sex. Marriage isn’t required.
- The heroine must be a heroine. –> NOT AT ALL. She’s actually interested in him because it feels like robbing the cradle to her. How does that spell romance or love?