Jennifer Crusie was born Jennifer Smith in Wapakoneta, Ohio in 1949. She received a bachelor's degree in art education from Bowling Green State University, a master's degree in professional writing and women's literature from Wright State University, and an MFA in fiction from Ohio State University.
Before becoming a full-time romance author, she was an art and English teacher. Her first book, Manhunting, was published in 1993. Her other works include Strange Bedpersons, What the Lady Wants, Charlie All Night, Anyone but You, The Cinderella Deal, Trust Me on This, Crazy for You, and Maybe This Time. She has received several awards including the Romance Writers of America RITA Award for Best Contemporary Single Title for Bet Me and the RITA Award for Best Short Contemporary for Getting Rid of Bradley.
She wrote several collaboration novels including Don't Look Down, Agnes and the Hitman, and Wild Ride all with Bob Mayer, The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes with Eileen Dreyer and Anne Stuart, and Dogs and Goddesses with Anne Stuart and Lani Diane Rich. She also wrote a book of literary criticism on Anne Rice, published under the name Jennifer Smith.