Jennifer Crusie has long been one of my favorite authors, and I have pretty much everything she's written. So I was beyond excited when I came across this book at a library sale and realized it was one I'd not read yet. I put it on the shelf, not intending to read it right away as I already have so many books lined up, but it began taunting me, “read me, you know you want to, trust me on this!” So I finally dove in, and oh, it was worth it. Jennifer Crusie never disappoints.
Dennie Banks is a reporter, looking for that elusive big story that will make her career, but stuck at a small time paper where she covers weddings and such. Alec Prentiss works for the government, investigating fraud, and currently targeting a grifter who pulls real estate scams. Alec and his boss have been after this guy for a long time, and desperately want to bring him in.
Dennie and Alec wind up at the same hotel for a convention, where Alec has spotted his target and is determined to set him up and reel him in. Meanwhile, Dennie has gotten a scoop about an esteemed professor who is at the convention, but the professor doesn’t want to be interviewed and complains to hotel management that Dennie is stalking her. Alec happens to know the professor, who is a friend of his aunt, who is also at the hotel.
When their paths cross, Alec thinks Dennie is working for the scam artist and cozying up to her will get him closer to the target, and Dennie thinks cozying up to Alec, who seems to be a bit of a nerdy goofball, is the key to getting the interview of her life.
In a note to readers at the front of the book, Crusie describes this as the only screwball comedy she's ever written. While I'm not sure I quite agree, as I love screwball comedy and I love all of her books, which all have wonderfully humorous and at times screwballish scenes in them, this is definitely screwball in the way some of the greatest old movies are. I was captivated from the beginning. I loved the banter between Dennie and Alec, and the way they were so attracted to each other but bound and determined to ignore and/or fight that attraction and just use each other for their respective purposes. And of course it all ended just the way it should have.
(I purchased this book at a library book sale.)