Review of CHARLIE ALL NIGHT by Jennifer Crusie (see her website)
MIRA, December 2004
When her ex-boyfriend hires his girlfriend to produce his morning radio show (taking Allie McGuffey's job), Allie decides to pick someone up at the bar. She needs a fling to get Mark's memory out of her system. But she picks Charlie--the man who is just starting a late-night show she's going to be producing and a man who flees from even the first hint of success. Sure the sex might be great, but Allie has big dreams--and Charlie is the kind of man who hates just about everything she stands for.
Chemistry only carries them so far. But when Charlie's show starts to take off, Allie redoubles her efforts to make him a star. Charlie has other plans--and other goals. He's been hired to investigate rumors that there's something strange going on at the radio station. Once he figures out the truth, he's so gone. Even if he will miss Allie.
Author Jennifer Crusie (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by Crusie) broke into the category romance market a decade ago and single-handedly created a demand for funny romance books--a demand that publishers have tried and mostly failed to capitalize on. CHARLIE ALL NIGHT shows both the appeal of Crusie's writing, and why so few people have been able to follow her example. Despite its short length (CHARLIE was originally written for the Harlequin Temptation line), the book manages to combine sexual attraction, a rejection of a relationship based wholly on sex, a hint of mystery, some rather sophisticated thinking on law and justice, a strong argument in favor of drug decriminalization, and a gay secondary character (remember, CHARLIE was originally published in 1996--this was not done back then).
Crusie stirs these elements together into a well integrated story, and writes well enough that I had to tear myself away from the book to get to bed last night. CHARLIE ALL NIGHT is a great example of why Crusie became such a star--and definitely highly recommended.
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