Reporter Dennie Banks has just stumbled upon a story that could make her career: A renowned professor and marriage expert is about to get a divorce. Dennie learns that the professor will be attending a popular literature conference, so Dennie gets herself a ticket also, hoping to meet the professor there and pitch her story. Meanwhile, Alec Prentice is a government agent specializing in fraud prevention. Currently he’s on the trail of Brian Bond, a con man who’s been running a real estate scam for years. Alec learns that Bond will be at the same conference looking for his next victim, so Alec goes undercover to catch him in the act. Bond always works with a woman, so when Alec walks into the hotel bar and sees him talking to a beautiful brunette, he assumes that she’s Bond’s partner. Of course, the woman is actually Dennie, who was merely making polite chitchat with Bond. As both Alec and Dennie try to focus on their missions, they become increasingly distracted by their mutual attraction. But will their career ambitions get in the way of romance?
I’ve read and enjoyed some of Crusie’s books in the past, and this one was billed as a screwball comedy, so I was hoping to like it a lot more than I did. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the book, but there’s just nothing original or interesting about it either. I couldn’t really relate to Alec or Dennie, both perfect physical specimens whose intelligence is frequently mentioned but never actually shown. Their relationship seems to be based entirely on physical attraction, and neither character really changes in the course of the novel. The “comedy” aspect of the book also fell very flat to me; frankly, the witty banter just wasn’t that witty. The basic plot is fun and might make a decent movie, but it’s too flimsy to sustain an entire novel. I suppose the novel does touch on some deeper themes, such as the potential conflict between career ambitions and romantic relationships, but it doesn’t really say anything innovative about the issue. Overall, even as a fan of romantic comedies, I’d say skip this one.