A Ghost of a Good Read

When Kelly suggested we read a Jennifer Crusie book for this month’s review, I jumped at the chance to read this award-winning author’s latest. The funny thing, though, is we both chose this book even though we THOUGHT it wouldn’t quite fit in with the whole Halloween thing happening in the next couple of days. Boy, were we wrong. If you want a must-read, can’t-put-down thrill ride, Jennifer Crusie’s latest, her first solo novel in six years, MAYBE THIS TIME is definitely the book for you.

Maybe This Time

To read more about this fabulous author, her books, and to enjoy her unique wit, please visit her blog at  http://www.jennycrusie.com/

And now the reviews:

Brynna said:  High school English teacher Andromeda Miller and attorney North Archer have been divorced nine years longer than the one they were married. Their passionate, whirl-wind romance ended when North’s negligence of Andie in favor of his job took its toll. But just when Andie decides to return every alimony check North has sent her over the past years, checks she’d never cashed, so she can close that chapter of her life and move on with her new fiancé, North has one last request of her.

To take care of and to teach the two children of whom he’s recently been granted guardianship. For a month. Only a month.

Because the amount he offers to pay her for the task would be enough to move her completely out of debt, Andie agrees.

She just never counts on a cantankerous housekeeper, two surly children, a promiscuous reporter, a cynical professor, an angry fiancé, a madam, a séance, and three ghosts to make it interesting.

Oh, and of course, there’s also North, who says he’s changed. Can Andie really believe him?

Maybe this time.

I approached this book with high expectations of humor and romance and that Crusie flair I’d heard so much about, and I wasn’t disappointed. Although the romance took a back seat to the mystery and the paranormal elements, Andie and North’s connection was the glue and the common sense that made the story work. I’m not much for books that scare me, but I can say there were true moments of REAL tension in this story and the focus on the kids kept me on the edge of my seat. This one is a page turner. Be ready for some surprises, a twist or two, some steam, and a passionate connection between the hero and heroine, and you’ll certainly enjoy this wild Crusie ride, er read.

Kelly said: Andie Miller ran away from a marriage in which she felt like the only participant, and she hasn’t stopped running since. But a final confrontation with her ex, North Archer, which was meant to close the book on that chapter of her life, instead finds her embroiled in a mess. Stuck in the wilds of southern Ohio in a crumbling castle for a month, Andie is tasked with the care and education of North’s wards, two children who want nothing to do with her, him, or the world outside of their home.

Then the dreams start. Or, at least, she thinks they’re dreams. Images of a stern, oddly dressed woman, of a man on the roof, and of a dancing woman who speaks to her at night and has the hots for North.

But they’re just dreams, right? After all, there’s no such thing as ghosts.

The next thing Andie knows, she’s dealing with so much more than recalcitrant children and a shady housekeeper. Suddenly the house is full of ex-family members, her new fiance, experts in the paranormal, a conniving reporter … oh, and North shows up, ready to start anew, just as things start to get interesting.

As I know I’ve mentioned before, Jennifer Crusie is one of my favorite contemporary romance authors ever, and I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of a new novel, one that hasn’t been co-authored, for the last 5 1/2 years (ever since I read Bet Me while waiting for a delayed train in DC’s Union Station and was completely hooked). Maybe This Time isn’t quite the novel I had expected, but it certainly disappoint. Packed with the quirky characters, witty dialogue, and unexpected plot twists that define a Crusie story, Maybe This Time is a jaunty ride from cover to cover. And if the pacing is a little more frenetic, the sentences a little more meandering than in her previous novels, well, hey – it’s still a darned terrific read.

9 Comment(s)

  1. Okay, I’m hooked. Guess it’s to Boarders this weekend. Hey you two of all the books and authors you’ve reviewed, what has been your very favorite read, the one that for whatever reason you think back on and can’t help but smile?

    Terri | Oct 28, 2010 | Reply

  2. I’ve enjoyed everything we’ve reviewed, Terri, but I have to say two stand out from the past couple of years: Robin Lee Hatcher’s Inspirational Romance–The Perfect Life and Sarah MacLean’s debut Historical Romance–Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake.

    These two came to mind as soon as I thought about your question. :)

    Brynna | Oct 28, 2010 | Reply

  3. I’ve never read JC, but if the romance is taking the back seat I think it best to try one of her older ones as my first read. I’m not much for the scary stuff. :)

    Thanks you ladies for another excellent review!!!

    Anastasia St. James | Oct 28, 2010 | Reply

  4. I read this recently–and I thought it was great! Except the ghosts gave me anxiety. They weren’t exactly your Casper the Friendly Ghost variety, which is how I prefer to think of most ghosts. *LOL* I loved North; and I thought Andie was great. (Alice I could have done less of–brat. Carter was a sweetie.) Eh, it was good; I flew through it and the characters were very well drawn. I still prefer Bet Me. *LOL*

    And now I’m going to have to look up the Robin Lee Hatcher book to see…. (I loved Sarah MacLean’s debut!)

    Hellion | Oct 28, 2010 | Reply

  5. This book sounds like a lot of fun!

    I’ve been wantig to read RLH for some time, now that I have a library card . . . squee!

    Renee | Oct 28, 2010 | Reply

  6. You had me at Jennie Crusie. :) She is one of my all time favorite authors, and MTT sounds like a doozy. Thanks for the heads up! Can’t wait to get hold of it!

    Sasha Allgood | Oct 28, 2010 | Reply

  7. I looooove Jennifer Cruise. So glad she decided to do another on her own. I’ll keep an eye peeled for it.

    Alice Audrey | Oct 28, 2010 | Reply

  8. Hellion–I know what you mean about the ghosts. I don’t often read “scary” books because of my overactive imagination, but these caught me by surprise. There were moments I had to turn on the lights. Guess that just proves how good a writer Crusie is. :)

    Brynna | Oct 28, 2010 | Reply

  9. Wonderful review! Sounds like I need to get my hands on a copy!

    Christiana | Oct 28, 2010 | Reply

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