In this book Ms. Crusie gives us two fine romances for the price of one. The mistaken identity theme concerns the thirty-somethings' romance, and there's also a romance between a "mature" couple that puts a new twist on the older woman/younger man storyline. Both romances are fun, sexy, and true to their characters.
Dennie Banks is stuck in a dead-end society page reporter's job and decides to take charge of her life and get an interview with a famous writer who's know for her astute observations about interpersonal relationships. However Dennie has just gotten the scoop that the writer is on the verge of a divorce, and she sees this as her chance for the big time. Alec Prentice works for the government investigating fraud cases. He is on the trail of a land swindler, and just happens to wind up at the same conference that Dennie is attending. Of course, he mistakes her for the swindler's accomplice, and the story takes off from there. It is pure fun to watch two people who are used to getting their own way on charm alone finally meet their match.
In other hands this would be a trite and ho-hum story, but Ms. Crusie's excellent characterizations and sharp dialogue make this a joy to read. What I like best about her writing is that she lets you know all of the main characters' thoughts and emotions, not just the female lead. This is one book that is worth finding, and here's hoping that it'll be reissued soon.
on September 12, 2006
The word that best describes TMOT is fun. I started smiling practically on the first page, and by the time the book was over, my face was aching from laughing so hard.
Reporter Dennie Banks is in a bad place professionally, so she needs a good story, an important story. Her best idea is to go to an upcoming Literary Conference to try to interview a famous feminist author, the authority on what makes a good marriage. See, Dennie has just caught wind of the woman's impending divorce, and she just knows this will be an incredible story.
Of course, Dennie very definitely does not intend to exploit this story. Oh, no, she wants to help, she wants to make sure the first story to come out about it is respectful and sympathetic, hoping this might set the tone for the rest of the press' coverage. Too bad she doesn't handle the initial approach very well. The author doesn't believe her, and Dennie ends up accused of harassment and almost kicked out of the hotel where the conference is taking place. But she refuses to give up. She will get this interview, even if she has to approach her quarry in an indirect way, maybe through one of her friends...
Also present at the hotel is Alec Prentice, a Federal agent working undercover to catch a conman. Alec is there with his aunt Victoria, a well-known academic. Through some funny coincidences, he becomes convinced that Dennie is an accomplice of the conman he's hunting, and so it begins: Alec trying to use Dennie to get at his man, and Dennie trying to use Alec to get at her woman, because it just so happens that Alec's aunt is very good friends with her...
I think what I loved best of all here was the dialogue. That was the main thing that kept me smiling. No one does banter like Crusie. It's witty and funny and it makes the chemistry between Alec and Dennie just sizzle.
And there is quite a lot of chemistry between them in the first place. There's tons of energy in their relationship, and you could see the compatibility perfectly. Sometimes you don't really understand why these two people in particular are so hung up on one another, but with Alec and Dennie it's so obvious. It's really obvious they are absolutely perfect for one another, and when they think that they'll never find someone who suits them so well as the other person, I had to agree completely.
There's also a wonderful secondary romance here, between Harry, Alec's boss, and Victoria, his aunt. This was a surprisingly sweet romance, considering how strong and temperamental these were, and though they don't get much space, Harry and Victoria totally steal the show when they're onstage.
Even the conman plot (which is a theme I usually don't see why people are so fascinated with, really), with all its comings and goings, was entertaining and felt fresh. I really urge you to pick this one up if you ever come accross it in a UBS, and not just because of the great resale value!
on November 14, 2010
First of all, I love Jennifer Crusie, but there's a reason why this book has been out of print for so long. Early Crusie includes such winners as Manhunting, Getting Rid of Bradley and What the Lady Wants, books that had heart, zinging dialogue, interesting characters and plots that weren't entirely predictable. This book is a paint-by-numbers affair. Supposedly, a "screwball" comedy, the plot is completely predictable. The characters are ok but we've seen their like before and the dialogue, while not bad, does not measure up either to Cruise's earlier or later efforts. It's not a bad book, it's just that the reader has read it many times before.
on January 21, 2004
A great Crusie story. Fun, quick and witty. Great, full main and secondary characters. Alec and Dennie really deserve each other. Both have gotten along on their looks and charm for too long. Harry and Victoria are a wonderful second story. A joy to read.
Dennie Banks has successfully avoided difficult things all of her life. With her best friend Patience to catch her when and if she falls, Dennie has simply glided through life using her charm and very little effort. Now Patience is getting married, but before she leaves on her honeymoon she advises Dennie to take some risks and face some challenges - without considering the risk of failure. Which explains how Dennie, a reporter best known for wedding coverage, finds herself at a literature convention seeking to interview an expert on marriage, for the express purpose of asking her questions about her upcoming secret divorce.
Alec Prentice is a government fraud agent who has used his farm-boy good looks and an 'aw, shucks,' demeanor to put dozens of con men and hucksters behind bars. Now consigned to a desk to work on an important fraud database, Alec longs for one more operation in the field. When his Aunt Victoria invites him to the literature convention, Alec's intuition tells him that this might be his chance to finally nab Brian Bond, a predatory grifter who specializes in fleecing college professors. With great anticipation, Alec convinces his boss to set up a sting operation at the convention.
When Alec meets Dennie, sparks fly and confusion multiplies. Alec's convinced Dennie is working with Bond and for the first time, he's trying to figure out a way to get a crook off the hook instead of trying to arrest her. Dennie is both irritated by and attracted to Alec. She senses right away that he is hiding a sharp mind and keen intelligence behind his 'good ole boy' act but she doesn't have time to figure out why. She need Alec to get an interview with her subject, who happens to be a close friend of his aunt's.
Jennifer Crusie has said that Trust Me On This is her one true 'screwball comedy,' complete with mistaken identities, slapstick entanglements and hidden secrets. All of those elements are here and perfectly presented, but what really makes this novel shine is the interaction of the characters. Ms. Crusie has an extraordinary gift for witty dialogue and she uses it to great effect in Trust Me On This. If you like your romance with a healthy dose of comedy, look to Jennifer Crusie. No one does it any better.
~* 3.5 Stars *~
Determined reporter Dennie Banks is fired up to get her hooks on a story that will launch her from the society page and she thinks she has it when gossip about the impending divorce of a famed marriage advocate and feminist author drops in her lap. She uses some time away from her job to track down a lead and ends up in a hotel during a convention at which the author is speaking. Unfortunately, it's the same convention that federal agent and fraud specialist Alec Prentice is watching in his hunt to stop a con man he's been after for years. He knows all about his elusive quarry, Bond, even knows he works with a brunette partner to bilk the unsuspecting from their hard earned nest eggs. It's a pity, though, that he doesn't know what that brunette looks like, because when he catches Bond 'accidentally' bumping into Dennie Banks in the hotel lobby, he jumps to the wrong conclusion and sets his sights on Dennie to use her to catch her partner.
She thinks Alec's up to something and his dufus act is just that - an act - but he holds the key to finagling an interview from a reluctant author and she can work with his bumbling stupidity. He thinks she's a crook. As the attraction between them hits hard and fast and confusion turns to hilarity, one fact is left clear: being wrong never felt so right.
Originally published in 1997, this cute re-release doesn't score any points on plausibility or depth, but it hits big on amusement and fun. The premise is - admittedly - far fetched at the least, yet I couldn't help but chuckle as Dennie and Alec matched wits and traded quips with the alacrity of the truly silver-tongued. There's also a sweet, and just as ridiculous but fun, secondary romance between Alec's aunt and his boss.
Dennie's a dog with a bone about her interview, but smart and savvy, and Alec is befuddled and aroused by her in turns. The dialogue between the pair are enough to keep this book from sinking into the depths of nonsensical farce. Make no mistake, though, Trust Me on This is the literary equivalent of a cheesy sitcom and should be taken as such. Hopes for anything deeper will be doomed to disappointment. There's plenty to chuckle about and I grinned through most of it, but this is nothing more than fluff. Fun fluff, but fluff all the same. I will say that in its favor and despite the original publication date, this book didn't feel too terribly dated, even with a reference or two to nineties men.
Reviewed for One Good Book Deserves Another.
on September 30, 2014
I was (am) home sick and wanted something to read that wouldn't take a whole lot of focus or mental energy, so when I found this on my Kindle, I thought it would fit the bill perfectly. I thought I had read all of Jennifer Crusie's back catalogue, but if I'd ever read this before, I didn't remember it at all. It's nowhere near her best work, but it was a quick read and entertaining enough. It's a mistaken-identity story: Alec is at a conference to catch a con man, and Dennie, a journalist, is there to interview one of the conference presenters. Alec sees Dennie talking to the con man in the hotel lobby (the con man is hitting on her, Dennie turns him down, but Alec doesn't hear their conversation), and assumes that Dennie is the con's accomplice. It's a pretty thin premise, and it probably would have been insufferably stupid in the hands of anyone but Crusie.
on January 13, 2011
I'm still gnawing my nails and laughing out loud over this silly, thriller, comical, suspense, and romance novel by these two characters. Reading this book is just like attending a party in the readers' honor. I can hardly believe all these authors manage to cram into one little book that even includes the canine characters.
More fun than a Halloween party. Read it, you won't be sorry. :D
on December 10, 2013
I have heard so many good things about this author that I thought I should read one of her books. The story was cute and a bit cliched and predictable but overall was a snappy read. If you want something that is fast paced with some fun characters then go for it.
on May 28, 2014
I tried to get into it, I really did. Unfortunately, I found myself putting it down half-way through and not caring what happened next. I am an avid reader, so for me to admit that I gave up on it is saying a lot...