The leading man in Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie, Cal is a dreamboat. Yes, it's an old-fashioned word but that's what he is. He's good-looking, he's effortlessly charming, he owns a successful business, he's a great cook and a loyal friend... He has it all.
But the charm is more out of habit than a genuine desire to charm the woman he's with. He's a heartbreaker. He doesn't set out to be one, but women can't resist him and he's not ready to settle down so he's left a string of disappointed women in his wake.
Then he meets Minerva Dobbs. Min puts him in his place. She sees that the charm isn't genuine and calls him on it. Cal is kind of angry at first but then she intrigues him. Who is this woman who sees through him? Does she see the real Cal underneath everything? He tries to stay away from her but they keep getting thrown together.
Cal does have a deep insecurity. He's dyslexic and he struggled with it in school. His father was very hard on him. Anyone wanting to push Cal's buttons just calls him stupid. Stand back when it happens because he has a temper too.
Cal sees past Min's apparent dislike of men and starts to rebuild her trust and her own self-confidence. Whenever she needs him, he's there whether she calls him or not. Min is very self-conscious about her weight. Some women are just born with curves and no amount of dieting will change that; Min is one of those women. She sees herself as fat because of her horrible mother and tries to hide her body under shapeless clothes and tries to tame her curls into a severe bun. Cal can appreciate women of all shapes and sizes. He sees the bombshell Min can be if she just glories in herself. He constantly tells her how beautiful she is and encourages her to dress to show off her curves. She will probably always be a little self-conscious but she makes huge strides under Cal's loving gaze. She dresses to impress and lets her curls run riot. She starts to feel sexy and starts to look sexy. What a huge gift to give a woman!
Read Becky's Character Connection featuring Min.
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