The other night I was stressed and unhappy, and found myself reading through some old journal entries, one of which mentioned that reading Jennifer Crusie books always cheers me up.
So I picked up Welcome to Temptation again--the first Crusie I read, and my favorite--and started reading.
The first three chapters are fun but not as great as I had remembered the book being. But then comes that great first sex scene, and from there on the book is marvelous--funny and charming and smart and romantic. Good stuff.
Back when I first read the book, I recommended it to everyone, and I think two or three different people said they had started it but couldn't really get into it. So if you try it and it's not working for you, then you could do what I did: read the first sex scene (pp. 88-99 or so), then once you're interested in the characters and the book, go back and read from the beginning.
(Actually, I first encountered the scene in question when J.S. read it aloud at WisCon. So if that scene isn't working for you on the page, get someone to read it aloud to you. :) )
A few lines I enjoyed this time through:
Sophie thinking about writing (note that "love scene" is romance-writer-speak for "sex scene"):
The problem was trying to write a love scene and stay a lady at the same time. It wasn't possible. The minute you started thinking that writing sex was cheap and disgusting, your mind froze up and you wrote boring dreck.
Phin talking to Wes, telling him not to go over to talk with Amy (who's stuck talking with Frank and Georgia):
"As soon as Amy realizes she needs you, she'll come over here and we won't have to put up with Frank and Georgia. Although since you gave [Amy] that showerhead, she may not realize that anytime soon. Never give a woman an appliance that replaces you. She'll use it and turn on you."
Frank talking to Sophie:
"Did you ever one day look up and realize you'd been staring at the ground when there was a whole sky on top of you? Just one day, realize that there was more out there than you could have imagined?"
"No," Sophie said. She'd always known there was more out there than she could imagine, that was why she was so careful not to look up.
Hmm. Not sure those work as well out of context.
Anyway, there's also lots of situational humor that wouldn't work at all out of context. There are places where I can't stop laughing all the way through a multi-page scene. So, yup, still an excellent book, still cheers me up. Yay for Crusie!