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Comment: VERY MINOR FLAW(s). Book may have light creasing, minute tears, light abrasions, or very minor stains on the jacket, cover, spine, or some pages. Mentioned for thoroughness. MINOR WEAR from storage and/or use. Eligible for Amazon Prime. 100% Satisfaction guaranteed!
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Be Mine Mass Market Paperback – January 22, 2013

3.7 out of 5 stars 51 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 and USA Today bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and off-roading with her friends and family. You can contact Shannon through her website, www.shannonstacey.com, as well as sign up for her newsletter.

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 1 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 (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 like good sex scenes...when they are well written and I very much enjoy Jennifer Crusie's books, however her story 'Sizzle' and the other two had too much explicit sex and too often where it wasn't needed. The sex or the sex thoughts seemed to be thrown in just to have sexual content and did not add to the plots. The sexual situations were silly and in poor taste. A good story teller sets up the scene for the reader to follow it through and the more believable the better. I skipped through most of the book not to waste my time on these sections.
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I bought the book for Too fast to Fall a follow up novella to Close Enough to Touch by Victoria Dahl so in that aspect I was not disappointed. Alone with you was also good as a novella following Shannon Stacey's Undeniably Yours. I gave these 2 books 4 stars but Sizzle got 1 so the group got 3.

Sizzle was just bad! I really don't like outdated contemporary romances the technology becomes an issue and it takes away from the book. She goes to his place to watch a VCR tape and his VCR is in the bedroom. It may have worked 15 years ago but now. The guy was sexist and cheesy. I am very proud of myself for completing it.

Too fast to Fall - Nate and Jenny have a great story. I love the stud farm and was excited for Jenny and Nate. I think they are perfect together. She is a little wild and he is the knight and shinning armor. He was willing to listen to her with an open mind.

Alone with you- I liked Darcy and Jakes story. It was a great follow-up novella for Shannon Stacey's Undeniably yours that I just finished. I would've liked to know how Jake and Kevin Kowalski met to become business partners. It was a fun quick read. I agree that I wanted to go to Jasper's and order a Big Ass Steak!
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I ordered this book for my Kindle. Jennifer Crusie is one of our brightest stars, she is hilarious, down right scary funny! Her dialogue is right up there with Janet Evanovich, rich in humor & word play that these lady authors shower us with is so delightful! I'm an unpublished writer & the hardest part to write is the dialogue but both Crusie & Evanovich stagger my mind as I read the books they've written. These authors are like Lay's Potato Chips you can't just READ ONE!
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No blurbs this time around (the ones on the cover are good enough.)

Headliner Jennifer Cruise's Sizzle is the only one of the three short steamy Valentine romances that didn't work for me. It did deliver on the sizzle, but I really did not like the leading man, finance guy Richard, who orders the leading lady, marketing wiz Emily, around and doesn't listen to her at all in or out of the bedroom - this guy would be a nightmare boyfriend or husband and I just couldn't believe her attempt to retrain him was going to have any lasting effect.

I really enjoyed Victoria Dahl's Too Fast to Fall with it's fast explosive connection between Deputy Nate Hernadez and Jenny who just can't go slow. I liked seeing the straight and narrow Nate get discombobulated by his lady, and Jenny - even with her need for spe3d and tendency to turn tail and run - was really a sweetie.

My favorite of the bunch was Shannon Stacey's Alone with you. I loved both of the leads. Jake is a really nice guy (who learns the values of having a sharpie handy) and I likde that after the quick connection that feels so right between him and Darcy, circumstances give them a chance to get to know each other and become true partners, so this was a HEA that I really believed.
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So I'm a bit of a Jennifer Crusie groupie. I love all of her books and whenever a new one comes out I buy it:) I haven't been disappointed yet. I love her writing style. I love how she makes the women in her books strong, sassy and smart. I hope she comes out with some new ones soon.
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