Maybe This Time
Author: Jennifer Crusie
Publication: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (August 31, 2010)
Description: Andie Miller is ready to move on with her life. She wants to marry her fiancé 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. A distant cousin has died and left North the guardian of two orphans who have driven away three nannies already, and things are getting worse. He needs someone to take care of the situation, and he knows Andie can handle anything....
When Andie meets the two children, she realizes the situation is much worse than she feared. 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. Complicating matters is Andie’s fiancé’s suspicion that this is all a plan by North to get Andie back. He may be right because Andie’s dreams have been haunted by North since she arrived at the old house. And that’s not the only haunting....
Then her ex-brother-in-law arrives with a duplicitous journalist and a self-doubting parapsychologist, closely followed by an annoyed medium, Andie’s tarot card–reading mother, her avenging ex-mother-in-law, and her jealous fiancé. Just when Andie’s sure things couldn’t get more complicated, North arrives to make her wonder if maybe this time things could just turn out differently....
My Thoughts: This was an excellent romance with the Crusie touch. You can depend on her for quirky characters and crisp dialog. The side characters are all well-drawn and well-rounded albeit quirky in the extreme.
Andie and North fell into lust and then marriage with hardly time to draw a breath. After a year they divorced but neither could get the other out of their mind. Both had enough stubborn pride not to go after the other though. When Andie comes to dump ten years of alimony checks on North's desk in order to clear her way to marry Wiil, North seizes the opportunity to get involved with Andie again.
I was afraid that Crusie had only decided to add ghosts to be part of the current craze for the paranormal but she handled the addition of ghosts well. The ghosts were really quite frightening. I liked that North was very resistant to the whole idea of ghosts - being the sturdy rationalist that he was. But I also liked how he supported Andie even though he didn't believe in ghosts.
I thought Andie adjusted well to the intrusion of ghosts in her life. Growing up with a mother who lived by astrology and tarot cards might have helped her. I liked her devotion to the children and her determination to defeat the ghosts to protect them.
I recommend this book to readers who like good dialog and who like a bit of the paranormal in their books. This was a nice romance between characters who were equals. There was also a lot of humor in this story.
"No," North said, showing what he thought was remarkable restraint. "I never looked at Andie and saw you."
"Not consciously, but a weak, silly woman would have bored you to tears." She nodded once at him. "You picked a ballbuster, just like me."
"Excuse me," North said. "I'd like to continue this conversation but I find myself in need of a therapist."