by Jennifer Crusie

Septemeber 2001
ISBN: 0-373-25670-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Harlequin
Mass Market Paperback

Being dumped by your boyfriend stinks! And when you're also dumped from producing his prime time DJ show at the local radio station it stinks even more! Allie McGuffey is tired of holding her nose against the stench, angry with her ex, furious with her boss, and ready to drink herself into oblivion. Unfortunately, before she can get too far along that road, her ex arrives at the bar with his new bit of fluff that is not only replacing Allie in his bed but also as his producer! Allie's pride refuses to let her appear anything other than blissful, so she picks out a likely looking guy at the bar and tries a couple of rapid pick-up lines!

Charlie Tenniel is quietly enjoying a beer, wondering what he's doing in this small town, and why his father asked him to check out the local radio station as a favor to an old friend. He knows next to nothing about being a DJ and even though he's going to be filling in for the late, late show host, he's still a tad worried. That is until the most amazing woman comes on to him and asks him to pretend to be his date. Yes, of course, it's Allie!

After the dust settles, Allie realizes she'll be producing Charlie's late night show and enters into the spirit of the thing with her usual enthusiasm. Charlie, on the other hand, doesn't want to be a star. He wants to quietly do his show, he doesn't care about ratings, he'd like to see the little puppy they're nursing get his food intake up, and he'd like to take Allie to bed. Quite often. Every night if possible. Oh, and he wouldn't mind stomping on Allie's ex, Mark the jerk DJ, if necessary. Needless to say, Jennifer Crusie makes most of these wishes come true, along with a few of Allie's favorite dreams, too. Charlie's show, Charlie All Night, becomes a resounding success and a star of the radio waves is born. You can almost hear Charlie's groan of disgust!

Once again, Ms. Crusie takes us into a world where the dialogue between her characters bubbles and fizzes like fine champagne. The insults bandied between the station personnel are profound and classic, but never cruel; the romance between Allie and Charlie is fraught with potholes, but always warm and loving, whether they are battling over chauvinism in music (on the air by mistake), or enjoying one another in a steamy sensual haze! The plot is not an enormously complicated marvel of twisted logic; Jennifer Crusie knows that we are reading her book to find out about what happens to Allie and Charlie, not who, if anyone, is threatening the radio station. Crusie's books are memorable because of the people who live between the covers; she offers us a glimpse into their lives, thoughts, feelings and desires - it's a wonderful opportunity to meet some very charming people and laugh out loud with them as their extraordinary adventures unfold amidst the potstickers.

As a Crusie fan, I had no hesitation in searching the net until I located this and other early Crusie paperbacks. Many are no longer in print, so if you're interested in reading about Charlie and Allie and some of Jennifer Crusie's other great lovers, check your library, used bookshop or internet resource. It will be well worth the effort - romance has never been more fun!

Reviewed in October 2001 by Celia.

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