A book about divorce? Sure! Next on the 2023 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge comes an older book from a favorite of mine: Getting Rid of Bradley by Jennifer Crusie (MIRA, 1994). I’ve loved everything I’ve ever read from Ms. Cruise, and this was no different. She has a knack for humor, intrigue, mystery, quirky characters who aren’t overdone, and turning tense situations into something a little funny, a little sexy, and a little ridiculous without being over-the-top. And dogs. Her books always have the best dogs.
Lucy Savage’s divorce from her husband Bradley has finally gone through, and she’s vowed to become a new person: independent, more spontaneous, more fun. Beating up what turns out to be a cop isn’t exactly her definition of those words, but as it turns, Officer Zack Warren was trying to save her from someone who’s trying to kill her. What does her boring banker ex-husband have to do with this? Lucy’s not sure, plus there’s another Bradley involved in this, but sparks start to fly when Zack moves into her house to provide 24-hour protection.
When her car blows up (how Jennifer Crusie made me laugh during this scene is a testament to her ability as a writer!), followed by her bed, things get serious…and things heat up between Lucy and Zack. It’s a warp-speed romance and a mystery all in one, but Zack and his partner will take down both Bradleys, and Lucy will get what she wants in the end.
This was SO much fun. Dated just a little, as it was originally published in 1994 and I think there are a few lines that wouldn’t fly in today’s romance, but it’s still a really solid romance. (And while I wouldn’t necessarily pick up a romance with a police officer these days – just not my thing – I made an exception for this one, since it was older and I enjoy the author.) Lucy is fun, determined, and just the right amount of dismissive of Zack at first. Zack is a little world-weary at first, but he’s absolutely smitten with Lucy from the start, going from a committed bachelor to ready to propose in days. It makes for a fun pairing, and Ms. Crusie is a master of chemistry between her characters.
And the dogs. Dogs who do jokes. Dogs who fully understand their humans. New dogs who join the pack and fit right in. I love Jennifer Crusie’s dogs.
This was a really enjoyable read and I really should make it my business to get to all those Jennifer Crusie novels I haven’t tackled yet.