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Rereading Jenny: Strange Bedpersons

January 6, 2014

[Spotlight posts may contain spoilers.]

Strange Bedpersons “stars” Tess, a driven woman who needs to learn to compromise, and Nick, a charming guy who attracts women like fruit flies to my kitchen.  (Look, I’m tired, okay?)  They have sex in a place where they could be caught.  Actually, it’s a huge part of the book.  I’ll get to that.  Probably.  Cuz I’m tired.

There’s a cat, but no dogs.  I’m trying to remember if there’s ever a cat again.

We have the best friend, Gina, but she starts strong and gets more and more doormatty as the book goes on, and then makes it work for her.  Weird.

Tess is the daughter of hippies.  She grew up on a commune.  She wants to save the world.  She lives her life based on stories she was told by a drifter to the commune named Lanny.  She dated Nick six weeks before, but while he’s an otherwise great guy, his focus on upward mobility and propriety did not gel with her free-spirited lifestyle.  Also, chicks dig him, and she hates that.

But they were friends first.  They watched movies and played touch football and he comforted her when she and her last boyfriend broke up.  So when he comes to her door and asks her to pose as his fiancee in order to land an account, we have a Romance Cliche.

The book could focus entirely on their differences, but where it does, it gets repetitive and kinda sad.  They don’t listen to each other, especially each other’s “no”s, which I think is why I was upset the last time I read it.  It’s a book of good people trampling over each other’s boundaries, including their sexual agency.  Nick replaces her clothes with clothes that are more “appropriate” to wear, and she tries to talk him into sex in places that are illegal, and he’s a lawyer trying to make partner.  They adore each other but they can’t figure out how to make it work.

However, again, Crusie doesn’t just have them talk it out and everything’s okay.  Tess first needs to figure out her own past, and what she’s really looking for in a guy.  Is it something realistic, or just another fantasy?  What is she willing to give up, if anything, for her relationship?  As for Nick, he’s gotta figure out for himself why he’s chosen the life he has, and who he’s really trying to impress.

We also have Christine, the most amazing secretary since Jane, who is described as, I believe, “Morticia Addams without the enthusiasm.”  She’s utterly blank on the outside, but on the inside is likely capable of planning world domination.  I love her.

This one definitely has the fast pace of Manhunting, and woman-on-male oral sex that isn’t treated like a special occasion, and also sex on a piano and sex in a parked car, doggy-style.  I am pretty sure I never read any other romance books with doggy-style in 1994.

Just sayin’.  Oh, and I hate the cover too.

Next up: What the Lady Wants, which is one of my rarest rereads, so I’ve forgotten most of it.  I believe it has the mystery element, a little femme fatale, romcom noir, and a heroine I only remember as she relates to the men around.  Hm.

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