High school art teacher Quinn McKenzie's life is perfectly normal--and it's making her insane. She's living with Bill, the nicest guy in Tibbett, Ohio, and he's crazy about her. Really crazy. Quinn is already having serious doubts about the future of their relationship when Fate intervenes, in the form of the scrawniest, squirmiest scrap of a dog you'd ever want to lay eyes on. She figures if the dog has the good sense to detest Bill on first sight, she ought to pay attention. And besides, there's Nick Ziegler, local mechanic and totally unsuitable love interest. Of course, that only makes Nick all the more appealing, not to mention his phenomenal aptitude between the sheets, and against the wall, and in the car, and... But getting rid of Bill is harder than Quinn ever expected. In fact, Bill was the last person she would have thought would try to hurt her. Thank God Nick is as capable with a two-by-four as he is with an automobile engine! Jennifer Crusie's second contemporary romance is a smash--literally! You'll laugh while you're tucking the covers around you a little tighter. --Alison Trinkle
From Publishers Weekly
Small-town life in Tibet, Ohio, is just an updated, rollicking version of Peyton Place in romance novelist Crusie's (Tell Me Lies) zany second novel about a 35-year-old high school art teacher's chance at love. Quinn McKenzie leads a prosaic, dull existence until a stray mutt crosses her path and becomes the catalyst that changes her priorities. Suddenly, her safe relationship with reliable Bill Hilliard, the school sports coach, takes a downturn when Bill forbids her to keep the dog. Crusie delves into the amatory machinations of the town through the sparkling, gossipy dialogue that takes place at the local hair parlor where Quinn's best buddy, Darla, works. While Darla tries to ignite her slumbering marriage to Max, Quinn decides to muscle her way into the heart of Max's brother, Nick, who also happens to be her sister's ex-husband. Is it possible to keep romance in a lasting relationship? That's the question that drives the droll narrative. Using zingy one-liners ("Nick is tall, dark and detached from humanity"), Cruise explores the underlying core that keeps couples together, detailing her characters without stereotypes. The local flirt is well-meaning and oblivious to her role in breaking up shaky marriages?she just wants her house taken care of; the solid, Rock of Gibraltar coach, Bill, actually goes off the deep end when Quinn moves out on her own; and Nick, the town bachelor, learns that love and lust don't necessarily cancel each other out. Crusie manages to infuse a great deal of humor about human nature into this contemporary romance, deploying as well an engaging cast of characters who progress through various contretemps to a fittingly happy ending. $150,000 ad/promo; author tour.
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