Chapter 1 Dennie went flying through the brass-framed revolving doors of the Riverbend Queen Hotel, her cheeks glowing from the April wind, and plowed right into a handsome, lanky blond in the middle of the red-flocked hotel lobby. "I'm so sorry," she said, and he smiled at her, a shy smile that might have warmed her heart if she hadn't just given up men for the duration. He looked like her type: easy to enslave. "That's all right," he said. "It was my fault. Not lookin' where I was goin'." He stuck out his hand. "I'm Brian Bondman. Pleased to meet you." Dennie shook his hand once. "My pleasure." She turned to go, but he held on. "You sure are a pretty sight comin' through that door--" he began. Dennie tugged her hand back. "Thank you." She turned to go again, but he'd sidled around her so she was face-to-face with him. "I sure would be willin' to take you to dinner tonight to make up for this," he said and ducked his head at his own temerity. This is an act, Dennie told herself. Nobody drops that many g's naturally. It would be interesting to know why it was an act, but not very. "No," she said, and pulled her hand away. "But thank you anyway." Then she turned and headed for the brass-edged registration desk before he could leap in front of her and offer drinks, frozen yogurt, or breakfast. He had the look of a man who didn't quit trying, all that aw shucks to the contrary. "I have a reservation," she told the registration clerk. "Dennie Banks?" The clerk took her form when she'd signed it, handed her the key card to her room, and said, "Is there anything else?" This was it. Don't waste a minute, she told herself. Dennie leaned forward. "Yes, I'm supposed to meet Janice Meredith here. Do you know--?" "She's in the Ivy Room," the clerk said. "Right over there beyond the bar." "Could you hold my bag for me, please?" Dennie passed her carry-on over the desk. "I don't want to miss her." Be firm, she told herself as she headed for the restaurant. Be professional and firm and focused. Believe in yourself. Right. Alec had taken it all in from his well-upholstered seat in the mahogany and brass hotel bar, and he'd never been more delighted to see a hunch pay off. He'd been watching Bond case the lobby when the brunette had started up the steps to the revolving door. Bond saw her at the same time and moved to meet her, deliberately running into her as she came through the doors, and Alec thought, Nice touch. Anybody seeing them would swear it was an accident. The brunette had smiled at him and moved away almost immediately, but Alec knew they'd spoken. Bond had even faked disappointment as she'd walked away. Watching the brunette now, Alec sympathized with Bond; it wouldn't be hard faking disappointment if this woman walked away from you. Glossy dark brown curls bounced on her shoulders, and her smile heated the lobby. She walked past him to the registration desk, and he watched her hips move under her fluid red dress. She had a great swing to her. Normally he'd wait until the con approached him; it was safer, less suspicious, but this was a woman any man would approach. In fact, he told himself, it would be more suspicious if he didn't approach her, and the last thing he wanted was to be more suspicious. So when she handed her bag to the clerk and turned toward the restaurant next to the bar, he moved to meet her, just like any red-blooded American man in his right, if gullible, mind would do. "Are you all right, ma'am Excerpted from Trust Me on This by Jennifer Crusie All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.