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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it's still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Be Mine Mass Market Paperback – January 22, 2013

3.7 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jennifer Crusie has written more than fifteen novels and has appeared on many bestseller lists, including those of Publishers Weekly, USA TODAY and the New York Times.

Victoria Dahl lives with her family in a small town high in the mountains. Her first novel debuted in 2007, and she’s gone on to write seventeen books and novellas in historical, contemporary, and paranormal romance. Victoria's contemporary romance, Talk Me Down, was nominated for both a RWA Rita Award and the National Readers' Choice Award. Since then, her books have been nominated for two more Rita Awards, and she hit the USA Today Bestseller list with the anthology Midnight Kiss.

New York Times bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and riding her four-wheeler. The Stacey family spends many weekends on their ATVs, making loads of muddy laundry to keep Shannon busy when she’s not at her computer. However, she prefers writing to laundry and considers herself lucky she got to be an author when she grew up. Visit her at www.ShannonStacey.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

"But, I don't want a partner," Emily Tate said through her teeth. "I like working alone." She clenched her fists to pound them on the desk in front of her and then unclenched them and smoothed down the jacket of her business suit, instead. "I don't need a partner, George."

Her boss looked exasperated, and she automatically put her hand to her hair to make sure every strand was in place, that no dark curls had escaped from her tight French twist. Be cool, calm and detached, she told herself. I want to kill him for this.

"Look, Em." George tossed a folder across the table to her. "Those are the cost estimates from your Paradise project and the final costs after you brought the project in."

Emily winced and clasped her hands in front of her. "I know. I went way over. But we still showed a mammoth profit. In fact, Paradise was the biggest money-maker Evadne Inc. has ever had. The bottom line, George, is that we made money for the company." I made money for the company, she thought, but I can't say that. Be modest and cooperative, Emily.

"Yeah, we did." George Bartlett leaned back in his chair, looking up at her.

I hate it when he does that, Emily thought. He's short, fat and balding, and he doesn't have a quarter of my brains, but he's the one leaning back in the chair while I stand at attention. I want to be the one leaning back in the chair. Except I wouldn't. It would be rude. She sighed.

"Listen to me, Emily," George said. "You almost lost your job over this last project."

"You got a promotion because of this last project," Emily said.

"Yeah, because of the profit. If it hadn't made a profit, we'd have both been canned. Henry wasn't happy."

Henry Evadne was never happy, Emily thought. It didn't have anything to do with her.

George leaned forward. "I don't want to lose you, Emily. You're smart, and you have a sixth sense about marketing that I'd kill to have. But you screw up the financial side on this next deal, and no profit is going to save you, no matter how big."

Emily swallowed. "I'll bring it in under budget."

"You're damn right you will, because you'll be working with Richard Parker."

"Who is Richard Parker?"

"He's a whiz kid from the Coast," George said.

"He did an analysis of the Paradise project. It's in the folder, too. You ought to read it. He wasn't too complimentary."

"George, how much have we made on Paradise?" Emily demanded.

George looked smug. "Close to four million as of last month."

"Then why am I getting whiz kids from the Coast and nasty reviews in my project folders? Where's the champagne?"

George shook his head. "You could have flopped."

"I never flop."

"Well, someday you will," George said philosophically. "And when you do, you better flop under budget. Which is exactly what Richard Parker is here to guarantee. You're meeting him at eleven in his office."

"His office?"

"Next floor up," George said with a grin. "Two doors from the president. Nice view from up there, I'm told."

"Why not my office?"

"Emily, please."

"Is he in charge of this project? Because if so, I quit."

"No, no." George waved his hands at her. "Just the financial end. And you're not the only one he's working with. He's financial adviser for all our projects. It's still your baby, Em. He just watches the spending." He looked at her closely. She'd made her face a blank, but she knew the anger was still in her eyes. "Emily, please cooperate."

"His office at eleven," she said, clamping down on her rage.

"That's it," George said, relieved.

Emily slammed her office door and slumped into her rolling desk chair. Jane, her secretary, followed her in more sedately and sat in the chair across from her. She broke a frozen almond Hershey bar in half and tossed the larger piece to her boss.

"I keep this in the coffee-room freezer for emergencies," she said. "And I've given you the biggest half. Greater love hath no friend."

"How do you keep people from stealing it?" Emily asked, pulling off the foil.

"They know I work for you," Jane said. "They know I could send you after them."

"No, really, how do you do it?"

"I keep it in a freezer container marked 'Asparagus,'" Jane said, sucking on the chocolate.

"And nobody asks what you're doing with asparagus at work?" Emily broke off a small piece of the chocolate and put it on her tongue. The richness spread through her mouth, and she sighed and sat back in her chair.

"They probably figure I keep it for you—you're the type who looks like you only put fruits and vegetables in your body." Jane studied her. "How come you never gain weight? We eat the same stuff, but I'm fighting ten extra pounds while you look like you're losing. And you've got nothing to lose."

"Frustration," Emily said, breaking off another tiny piece. "I'm working for narrow-minded patriarchal creeps."

"In the plural?" Jane finished her half and checked the foil for crumbs. "Did George clone himself?"

"Evidently," Emily said. "I now have a budget adviser to answer to. Some suit named Richard Parker."

"Oooh," Jane said. "Him I've seen. Things are looking up."

"Not a suit?"

"Oh, yeah, but what a suit. Too bad I'm happily married." Jane sighed. "Tall. Dark. Handsome. Cheekbones. Chiseled lips. Blue eyes to die for. Never smiles. The secretaries are lining up to be seduced and so are the female junior execs, but it's not happening."

"No?" Emily broke off another piece of chocolate.

"He's a workhorse. All he thinks about is finance. Karen says he's always still here working when she leaves."


"That tiny little blonde on the twelfth floor. She's his secretary now."

"Make good friends with Karen. We need a spy in the enemy camp."

"No problem," Jane said, licking her fingers to get the last of her chocolate. "She loooves to talk about the boss."

"Good, good," Emily said. "He could be a real problem for us."

"How so?"

"He's controlling the money."

"And we're not good with money." Jane nodded wisely. "Good thing Paradise took off like it did. It's been fun rising to the top with you, but I wasn't looking forward to hitting the bottom together when we went sailing over the budget."

"You wouldn't have hit bottom," Emily said. "George isn't dumb. He'd steal you as his own secretary."

"I'm not dumb, either," Jane said. "You and I stay together. I knew when I met you in high school that you were going places and taking me with you. President and secretary of the senior class. President and secretary of student council. President and secretary of our sorority in college. I'm hanging around until you make president of this dump." She threw her foil away and smiled smugly. "I've already made secretary."

"You're every bit as smart as I am," Emily said. "Why don't you let me get you into an executive-training program?"

"Because I'm smarter than you are," Jane said. "I'm making more than most executives here right now, and I don't have to kiss up to the boss. Are you going to eat the rest of that chocolate?"

"Yes," Emily said.

"So I gather you slammed the door in honor of Richard Parker?"


"I know how you can handle Richard Parker."

"How?" Emily broke off another piece of chocolate. She wasn't interested in handling Richard Parker. She wanted, in fact, to eliminate him, but she was always interested in Jane. She didn't insist that the company pay Jane a lavish salary just because they were friends; she insisted because Jane had a lot of ideas and none of them were dumb. If Emily did get to be president, it would be due as much to Jane's brains as to Emily's.

"I think you should seduce him," Jane said.

Emily reconsidered her thoughts about Jane not having dumb ideas. This seemed to be one.


"Because you need to get out more. You live in the office. You only stop by your apartment to shower and change. You don't even have a pet, for crying out loud. I'm your only companionship."

"I like it that way."

"Well, it's not natural. And it sounds like Parker is the same way. You could save each other. He'll be grateful and fall in love with you, you'll get married, and I'll get to buy baby gifts, instead of accepting them from you. You're not going to eat that chocolate, are you?"

"Yes," Emily said, breaking off another piece. "How will marrying Richard Parker help me?"

"Sex always helps," Jane said. "It's like chocolate."

"I need help at the office," Emily said. "This guy is going to tie my hands."


"Be nice to Karen," Emily said. "This could get very dirty. Now go get Parker on the phone. I have an eleven-o'clock meeting with him, and I want to hear what he sounds like first."

"A meeting, huh? Why don't you change your look? Let that long dark hair down. Take off your suit jacket. Especially take off your glasses. You look like a bug."

"I want to look like a bug. I have a hard enough time getting respect around here looking like a bug. If I start taking off my clothes, no one will pay attention."

"Want to bet?" Jane looked at her boss. "If I had your body, I'd take off my clothes all the time."

"You do take off your clothes all the time,"

Emily pointed out. "Has Ben ever seen you clothed?"

"Certainly," Jane said. "I was dressed for my wedding. You were there. You slapped the best man at the reception."

"You never forget, do you?"

Jane got up and headed for the door. "I'll get Parker. Don't slap him. I'll make friends with Karen, but we'll get further if you seduce the guy."

"Feel free to sacrifice my body for your ambitions," Emily said as Jane went through the door.

"Our ambitions," Jane said. "And I've seen him. It would be no sacrifice."

"Mr. Parker on line two," Jane said in her secretary voice.

Emily picked up the phone. "Mr. Parker?"


"This is Emily Tate. I understand we have a meeting at eleven."

"Yes, Ms. Tate, we do." He sounded bored but patient. She'd been expecting the high tight tones of a monomaniac; his voice was deep with a little bit of New York rhythm in it.

"Is there anything you'd like me to bring to the meeting?"

"No, Ms. Tate, I have everything I need. Is there anything else?"

Sorry, Emily thought. Taking up your time, am I? "No, Mr. Parker, there's nothing else.''

"Eleven, then," he said, and hung up.

Not good, Emily thought. Efficient and not impressed with her in spite of her terrific track record. Which must mean he was still hung up on the budget overruns.

Jane poked her head in. "Okay, so he's not a charmer. But I still say go for it. Maybe he loosens up in bed."

"Not a chance." Emily hung up the phone. "He probably doesn't go to bed. He probably sleeps standing up in a corner of his office."

"Do you need me in the meeting to take notes?"

"No. Do you want to take notes?"


"Then come along, sweetie, and we'll have lunch at the Celestial afterward. We can discuss the situation."

"Good idea."

"And, Jane, try to pretend you're really a secretary in there. He doesn't need to know you're the brains of our outfit."

"I'll stick a pencil through my bun and borrow your glasses," Jane said.

"What bun?"

"I'll have one by eleven."

"This I've got to see."

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: HQN Books (January 22, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037377706X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373777068
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,863 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Just to let fans know, this is not a new Jennifer Crusie story. It is a reprint of her first story Sizzle. Also, as she doesn't own the rights and doesn't get any royalties, she is not very happy about this reprint (see her blog). I know nothing about the other stories.
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There are 3 stories here, and two of them are excellent. One of them is awful. Jennifer Crusie has been around for a while, and I understand that this is one of her earlier works - and you can tell. The main characters in her story are some of the most irritating personalities ever written. I swear I thought the H had a hearing problem, maybe he was a lip reader, and at some point his issue would be divulged and all would be explained. But, no. Whatever.

Victoria Dahl's and Shannon Stacey's stories were very good and I enjoyed reading them. There's a Valentine's Day theme in all 3 stories, but it really worked for me with Shannon Stacey's story.

Anyway, this is not a bad purchase, but just be warned that the first 1/3 of the book is going to make you want to throw your Kindle across the room.
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"Sizzle", the lead story in this trilogy, is interesting only because it is very early Jennifer Crusie. Published in 1994, it gives only a few hints that she is to be a masterful romance writer. "Be Mine" is pedestrian.
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I thought this was a new book by Jennifer Cruisie, but it just includes a short story that she wrote many years ago . Not her best work . Not bad but not that good . Disappointing .
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Three fast-paced short stories which will heat up those of you stuck inside over winter on Valentines Day.

Sizzle, actually a perfect title! Emily has problems with sticking to the company budget. Enter Richard... and the sizzling sparks are flying left right and center. Emily is fab and her friend Jane deserves a special mention. Trivia: Jennifer Cruise's first novel.

Too Fast to Fall - Very funny! Very hot! Very fast! Lots of action. Waitress Jenny owns a super sexy Camaro is stopped for speed by Deputy Sheriff Nate for the FIFTH time. Man in uniform, yes thank you! Love the way the story started and roller-coastered to the dramatic end. Trivia: Book two of Victoria Dahl's series set in Jackson, Wyoming.(I'll definitely be looking the others up)! Loved It!

Along With You - a second chances story. Fate brings Darcy and Jake together again. A quick read which I could definitely have read more of. I loved the humor and am super happy to have been introduced to an author I haven't read before. Trivia: I don't have any for this book ;)

Highly recommended for Valentines Day Reading :)
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This won't be a long review, because the three offerings in this book were not only short, they were mostly also light on substance. The latter isn't necessarily a bad thing in this case, though, when one is looking for quick, escapist reads with a fair amount of heat and warm and fuzzy HEAs. Victoria Dahl's and Shannon Stacey's stories fall into that category: in both stories, the men were a good mix of alpha male and actual good guy, and the heroines had brains, spines, and warmth (which is really saying something, because it seems like way too many female characters nowadays have far too much of one quality and far too little of the others). Those two stories were quick reads, both in terms of the lengths of the stories and the breeziness of the events therein. The characters were root-able and the stories were fun, hot, and romantic. I liked both of them a lot, with Shannon Stacey's story being my favorite, which was a happy surprise as the author was new to me.

As for Jennifer Crusie's story. . . I'll begin by saying that I'm a big fan of hers and have been for some time, and I had read that this was her first story, so I expected it to maybe be a little rough around the edges. What did surprise me when I read the story was how much I hated it. That sounds harsh, I know, but the h was so unbearable - with her, it was just a nonstop stream of self-righteousness and attitude - and the H was ridiculous - totally oblivious to reality and mostly devoid of personality. So, I didn't like either character, the scenes were repetitive, and given their substance-less interactions, the leap to the "I love yous" happened way too quickly and was totally unbelievable (at least to me).
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By NancyW on May 19, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
BE MINE is a series of short stories from Jennifer Crusie, Victoria Dahl, and Shannon Stacey, that offered some connection to two premises.... Valentine's Day and falling in love.

SIZZLE by Jennifer Crusie is not a new story from this author. It was quick, cute and not at the caliber of her other works, like BET ME, AGNES AND THE HITMAN, and others, but it offered her well-received humor.

TOO FAST TO FALL by Victoria Dahl was something from an author that I did not have the pleasure to read any of her other works. While I cannot judge her writing abilities with this short story, I will say that it was not that bad, but probably could have been better in this rushed format of a story line.

ALONE WITH YOU by Shannon Stacey almost offered the most promise. Of course, I have read just about every Kowalski Family story she has written, but I felt that she needed to expand her character choices and have this story be not connected somehow to her Kowalski series. I enjoyed the story, but it just felt as if she is incapable of creating new and different character choices.

Understanding that this is a compilation of short stories by these authors, I did manage to overlook the speed of how the stories were told. I did not expect strong character development, nor did I expect a perfect flow to how the story unfolds (meaning: the rushed feeling from beginning to end). What I did hope for was... more. More ability to hold the interest of the reader. Either there was more fluff to these stories or it just lacked the right balance to have the story move at an easier clip.

Trust me, I love all these authors. I have been a HUGE fan of both Ms. Crusie and Ms. Stacey. I was seriously looking forward to something new from Ms.
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