Reviewed: September 4, 2010
Genre: Light/Comedic Contemporary Romance
Series: N/A ~ (Non-Series / Stand-Alone)
Rating: 3 Stars
Length: 256 Pages
Formats: Print, eBook
Originally published in 1994, there's little about this quirky romance about the ladder-climbing yuppie Republican lawyer Nick and the hippie, commune-raised, militant-feminist liberal Tess that doesn't feel almost painfully dated. That being said, Crusie pens a fast-paced plot that delves more deeply than I'd anticipated into the potential disaster of a relationship between two people who love each other, but who are so different they will never see eye to eye.
Nick, despite his career-loving little heart, is a fun character who is actually pretty forgiving and able to compromise, though he does have a rather vanilla predilection for sex in bed. He's pretty darn forgiving of some pretty radical behavior and recognizes before Tess does that some compromise is in order, yet he still manages to mess up a little as he presses his own sense of fashion off onto the bohemian Tess and tries to wear down some of her rougher edges before he realizes that he's got to decide to accept her as is or lose her. I found Tess harder to like, though I did respect her commitment to her values. Still, her uncompromising attitude and selfish judgments of those who don't share her militant views were off-putting through most of the book.
Strange Bedpersons started abruptly, too abruptly, with Nick banging on Tess' door and Tess closing it in his face, the two of them obviously already sharing a history. It took a little while to get the story on their history, so the opening of the book seemed jarring and left me feeling like I missed something. It made it hard to get into and I had to struggle a bit to 'catch up.' That did subside a bit as the story progressed, though the other issues - the dated feeling and my issues with Tess - didn't. Still, I can't argue Crusie's ability to nail witty, fast-moving dialogue and touch on human truisms with humor and intelligence. I just wish that prior to republication, this story had gone through a bit of a brush up to make it more socially and culturally timely and not quite so anachronistic to contemporary romance.
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