Fast Women – Jennifer Crusie

29 Nov

Jennifer Crusie is a contemporary romance author that I really enjoy. She has a knack for writing believable, funny, and realistic characters who just happen to meet the right person and have amazing sex. Isn’t that what everyone wants? While it’s sometimes fun to read about beautiful heroines with magical hoo-has, the eventual eye-rolling can be exhausting. Having just finished Fast Women, I have yet another Crusie novel to add to my repertoire.

Nell Dysart is recently divorced from the perfect guy – handsome, successful, loved by all. After declining into a pseudo- catatonic state after being dumped by her husband, Nell is painfully thin, washed out, and generally miserable. She has two faithful friends: the gorgeous and sassy Suze and the somewhat dim and dizzy Marge. They are desperate for her to do something, anything to start living again. Her former in-law Jack (married to Suze) finagles a job interview for Nell at a local detective agency, and that where she meets her new life as an office manager, a renewed zest for living, and the irascible but kind Gabe McKenna, owner of the agency. There’s a lot of Girl Friday and Maltese Falcon atmosphere in Fast Women, but most of the time Crusie plays this up for comedic effect, such as the ugly falcon sculpture that looms over Nell’s desk and drives her crazy with its foreboding presence. There’s some rockin’ sexy times, which is always fun. There’s also a cute secondary romance between Suze and Gabe’s partner in the agency. Nell and Gabe fuss and fight, jabbing back and forth with verbal barbs. So it’s contemporary, but there’s a definite nod to 1940s detective noir that I loved.

Crusie also maintains a realism in the relationships that resonated with me. The bad guys weren’t always bad, and the good guys sometimes were bull-headed, selfish, or short-sighted. I get that – life IS like that. We don’t always realize that a breakup is for the best right away, and can backslide back into something that is familiar and comfortable, though unhealthy. It might take us a while to gain confidence and stand up for ourselves. I have a personal pet peeve of heroines who act in ridiculous, overblown ways simply to…I don’t know, cause plot drama? Thankfully, none of the characters here do that. They’re all just funny, flawed humans trying to figure it all out and have sex while doing that.

What I think I like most about Crusie is that she makes me laugh, out loud at times. That’s harder to do than you would think! Bet Me is still my favorite Crusie novel, but this one was a nice addition to my personal library.

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2 Responses to “Fast Women – Jennifer Crusie”

  1. Rebecca December 14, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    *You* make me laugh out loud sometimes! “Beautiful heroines with magical hoo-has” LOL

    I’ve never read (or heard of) Jennifer Cruise, but I love a novel that can make me laugh. I’ll have to hunt her down in my local bookstore.

    • Amanda December 15, 2011 at 8:13 am #

      Start with Bet Me – I think it’s her best. It’s just nice to read about normal girls sometimes, isn’t it? 🙂

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