This book actually includes two of Jennifer Crusie's earlier books - Getting Rid of Bradley and Charlie All Night, although it is not easy to see that from the front cover!
In Getting Rid of Bradley, Lucy Savage has just experienced the final insult from her now ex husband when he fails to even turn up at the divorce court. After going to the diner where they were supposed to be having lunch together so that Lucy could at least get some kind of information about what went wrong, Lucy finds herself being shot at, and then she thinks mugged. However her "mugger" is actually Zack Warren, who is investigating her ex-husband for embezzlement.
Zack is a good cop, who has excellent instincts, and he believes that Lucy is in real danger, so decides that she needs 24 hour protection, especially after her car is blown up. It is really only after he moves in that things get uncomfortable for Lucy, mainly because she can't stop thinking about how she wants to be with Zack!
I really liked Zack, although the pretense under which he moved in and stayed seemed a bit thin. His decisiveness around the fact that he was meant to be with Lucy was sweet. Lucy was kind of just there for me - she didn't really sparkle in her own right.
One thing I did like was that the author didn't take all the obvious steps on her way to the conclusion. For example, there was a little bit of flirting involving Lucy's sister Tina and Zack's partner Tony, but it never turned into a happy every after for all of them.
I rated Getting Rid of Bradley 4/5.
In Charlie All Night, hot shot radio producer Allie McGuffrey has recently broken up with her boyfriend, who also happens to be the star DJ that she helped create, and now she has been moved from the morning slot to the 10pm to 2am shift with a completely new DJ. After being told this she goes to the local bar, only to see her ex there. Whilst trying to keep her pride in tact, she picks up one of the men sitting at the bar and pretends that she is with him. He turns out to be Charlie Tenniel, the new DJ. As he has just arrived in town, he is invited to stay with Allie and her flatmate Joe. Allie decides that she needs a one night stand, but it quickly turns into more for them both.
Charlie soon becomes the next big thing on radio, but one night during an argument that is accidentally broadcast on air, Charlie and Allie challenge each other to live without sex for a month. Shortly after, Charlie has to move out, but their relationship changes from one that is sexually based to one where they just spend time hanging out. I really liked this side of the story, although whether it is realistic is a different matter!
But Charlie didn't really come to town just to do the radio show. He was asked to come and investigate some thing at the radio station - an anonymous informer has told the station owner that drugs are being distributed from the station. So whilst all he wants to do is spend time with Allie, there is an investigation to undertake as well. I never really got why Charlie was the one who was asked to investigate. He wasn't a police man or anything like that.
Once again, I really liked Charlie. The way that Crusie writes her heroes makes me really want to meet someone like that. Smart, funny, sexy, intelligent and handsome all rolled into one...mmm...yes please!
The interesting twist to this story was the very serious subject matter of the end of the story. I suspect that this kind of depth is something that still would be unusual in category romance even now, 10 years after this book was originally published.
This was my favourite of the two stories. Both are very short as they were both originally released as series romance, and therefore there wasn't the room for plot development as there might be if she wrote the same book now.
I rated Charlie All Night 4.5/5.
A fun couple of books to read. Overall rating 4/5