Trust Me On This was found at a resale shop several years ago. It’s been sitting in my TBR pile for just about that long. The price tag of it has skyrocketed since it’s been OOP. Sorry that this is not one where you can rush out and get. I know: it’s annoying and it sucks. But according to Jennifer Crusie, Trust Me On This is being reprinted next year.
Trust Me On This is a romantic comedy that actually holds up well considering that it was published in 1997. After reading it, I had this feeling inside that you usually get whenever you read a really terrific story. What do you follow-up with? That is the question. Another Crusie would make sense since I have a few more of her categories to read but considering that I’ve read quite a few of her books, I feel this one is her best.
Trust Me On This speaks somewhat subtly about women deciding between marriage and career. She gives you two women: one in her early thirties and one in her early sixties who’ve made different choices. Like I said, it is a romantic comedy but at the heart of it, it is about independent women and the choices that they make.
Journalist, Deenie Banks, who reports on women’s issues, is looking to get the interview of her career. Her target is Janice Meredith, self-proclaimed feminist and speaker on relationships and marriage. Deenie knows that Janice is in the middle of a divorce, news that hasn’t broken yet and she wants the exclusive. So, Deenie attends their fourth annual popular literature conference where she’s speaking, in the hopes of getting the interview.
Victoria Prentice is a scholar. She’s been teaching for 40 years. She’s tenured, single and active and is attending the convention to meet up with her friends, one of which is Janice Meredith. Victoria has a nephew, Alec Prentice, who she also invites to attend the conference. Victoria enjoys her nephew’s company because he makes her feel “alive.”
Rounding out the cast are Alec Prentice, favorite nephew of “Aunt Vic” and his mentor, Harry Chase. Both men work for the fraud department in Chicago. Alex decides to attend the literary conference because their target, Brian Bond, will probably attend as well. Bond is a con-man who is into swindling college professors with bad real estate deals. So outside of hearing his Aunt Vic speak, this trip is also a sting operation.
Things don’t work out as planned for Deenie. First, her target, Janice Meredith has labeled her a stalker and has sicced the hotel manager on her. Second, when Alec arrives at the conference, he sees her with con-man, Brian Bond and assumes that she’s an accomplice. There’s some surprise twists and turns in between all of that but enough about the plot. How did I like the story?
I’m not easily humored but I laughed quite a bit while reading this story. Deenie’s character along with Victoria’s were the strongest and most well defined and the major reason why this short story worked so well. There is a secondary romance that develops that I didn’t see coming and that, believe it or not, actually worked. I’m not a big fan of secondary romances.
I felt that Alec’s “aw shucks ma’am” with the “big goofy grin on his face” cover he was using was not a smart move. I can understand that facade being used to generate laughs but still. I was dying to see a more serious side to him when he was with Deenie and by the time we do, the story is just about over.
I thought Deenie was overzealous in her determination to be independent. She’s decided to put men off completely in favor of her career. She stays adamant about that, too. The decision she makes at the end will probably disappoint some readers but I saw it as a realistic move. No worries tho, since this is a romance.
There were some great scenes and lines in here and I’ll share one with you. In this scene, Alec has enlisted his “Aunt Vic” to help them out on the sting and Harry envisions Alec’s 62 year old aunt as a “little old lady” and then when he finally sees her,
She didn’t look like a little old lady.
Victoria followed his gaze down. “I lift weights. I may not be defeating gravity, but I’m giving it a run for it’s money.”
Trust Me On This is a very good romantic comedy but at it’s heart it does speak about the independence of women and having no regrets and that life is a learning process and a failed marriage doesn’t mean women should duck and hide. There was more than a few quotes from Margaret Mead in here as well. In the end though, the story’s message is about making the best decision for your life, with no regrets. I agree. B+.