Thursday, September 9, 2010

Review & Giveaway: Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie

Andie Miller is ready to move on in life. She wants to marry her fiancee and leave behind everything in her past, especially her ex-husband, North Archer. But when Andie tries to gain closure with him, he asks one final favor of her before they go their separate ways forever. A very distant cousin of his has died and left North as the guardian of two orphans who have driven out three nannies already, and things are getting worse. He needs a very special person to take care of the situation and he knows Andie can handle anything.

When Andie meets the two children she quickly realizes things are much worse than she feared. The place is a mess, the children, Carter and Alice, aren’t your average delinquents, and the creepy old house where they live is being run by the worst housekeeper since Mrs. Danvers. What’s worse, Andie’s fiancee thinks this is all a plan by North to get Andie back, and he may be right. Andie’s dreams have been haunted by North since she arrived at the old house. And that’s not the only haunting.

What follows is a hilarious adventure in exorcism, including a self-doubting parapsychologist, an annoyed medium, her Tarot-card reading mother, an avenging ex-mother-in law, and, of course, her jealous fiancee. And just when she thinks things couldn’t get more complicated, North shows up on the doorstep making her wonder if maybe this time things could be different between them.

If Andie can just get rid of all the guests and ghosts, she’s pretty sure she can save the kids, and herself, from the past. But fate might just have another thing in mind…
Finally, a solo title from Ms. Crusie! I've read some of her co-authored works, the only one I liked was Agnes and the Hitman which was excellent but I was glad to see Crusie doing her own thing again.

Maybe This Time is Crusie's re-telling of The Turn of the Screw by Henry James. I don't know this because I've read The Turn of the Screw, or because I was an English major, or a librarian. I know this only because Jenny told me. Well, not me specifically but the group of us that were at her book signing last night. It was pretty cool to hear how James had inspired Crusie but there were things about the story that she could not relate to (twenty year old virgin!) so she decided to write her own version and wha-la! We have Maybe This Time.

Jenny also said that Maybe This Time was a ghost story and not a romance. Wait! Romance folks, don't stop reading! While this is an excellent ghost story, it is also "classic Crusie." Long-time fans, you'll know what that means; newcomers, it means quirky heroines, hilarious hijinx, and a sexy hero. The only thing missing from this Crusie was a furry four legged character. This time around she's replaced (wo)man's best friend!

Confession: I'm not a kid person. Sure I like some kids, usually a friend's kid. But I don't really enjoy kids. No offense to my lovely readers with little ones...I love seeing pictures of your cutiepies but am glad I don't have any or have to deal with kids on a regular basis. Wow, guess it's a good thing I didn't become a teacher eh?! So, when I see romance novels with kids in them I usually groan. But this was a Crusie so I didn't even think twice and Crusie, fantabulous writer that she is, totally sold me on the book's two kids, Alice and Carter. Although Carter is quite and withdrawn. I kept expecting to learn more about him. Especially after Andie, our heroine, had a discussion with her ex-mother-in-law about him. But nothing ever came of it. That was one of the only things the irked me about this book. Alice definitely gets the most attention. And, according to Ms. Crusie herself, we're going to get to see Alice star in her own book in the future!

Anyway, as far as the romance goes Andie and North are obviously still not over each other despite the ten years since their divorce. There's not as much interaction between Andie and North as I might have liked. The focus seemed more on Andie's relationship with the kids and trying to deal with those pesky ghosts. However, there's enough romance to keep those of us, who NEED romance, going!

Lastly, I have to say Crusie did a great job of building suspense where the ghosts and supernatural aspects were concerned. As I was reading I was thinking, "Wow, this is actually a little creepy." Which was something I wasn't expecting from a Crusie novel. But it's not nightmare worthy so those of you who don't care for scary stuff, it's not THAT scary!

Overall an excellent addition to my keeper shelf. Crusie, left to her own devices, never fails. If you haven't read any Crusie before, what the heck are you waiting for?!


Giveaway time, my first! I have one SIGNED copy of Maybe This Time for a lucky reader!

To enter simply fill out the following form. Contest is open to US and Canada residents only. Contest will close on Wednesday, September 22nd!
You can earn two extras entries by 1) Tweeting or 2) Posting on your blog for a total of 3 entries. Please provide a link to your extra entries on the form. You do not have to be a follower to enter.


  1. HAHAHA I am so there with you, not a huge fan of kids myself. Great review, I keep hearing wonderful things about this book and definitely want to read it!
    spazp at me dot com

  2. Awesome review. I'm simply itching to get my hands on this one :)

  3. SpazP, Have you read any other Crusie's? It's quite enjoyable, not my favorite of hers but very good!

    Juju, Thanks! It was a good one! Are you a Crusie fan?

  4. Great review Mollie :D I'm happy you enjoyed it :) I'm glad at the reviews it's been getting. I mean, you can't expect Ms Crusie to be back at the top, but this is a good first step :)

    So, how was the signing session?

  5. I'm not a fan of kids in my books either so I totally get where you're coming from. This book is on my WANT list - I've read two other Crusie books and enjoyed them :)

  6. nath,
    It is definitely mor in line with her earlier stuff! The signing went well. I'll probably post some pictures when I announce the winner of the giveaway. It was neat hearing her talk, she's very funny :)

    Patti, Glad I'm not the only one who's not a kid fan. :) Makes me feel less guilty! ;)

  7. This sounds like an interesting book - especially due to the fact that she was able to pull off the kids without making it awkward-ish.

  8. Thank you so much for the great giveaway! I love this author.


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