Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie

Maybe This Time


cover-fits the story. I like it. Especially the teacup, the steam, the all fits.

I didn't realize that this book has been out since August of 2010, I guess it came out in hardback first. First time I saw it though, or even heard of it, was when I saw the ppb at the bookstore the otherday. See what I miss when I stay away from the romance section? LOL - I usually go straight for the SciFi/fantasy section of bookstores, and rarely look anywhere else in the stores. Thing is, though - even though I normally don't go for the chicklit, or romance, or relationship novels I've always enjoyed a few books in these genres, such as Catherine Coulter, Julie Garwood, Lynn Kurland and Jennifer Crusie. I don't buy or read every single book they put out, but I enjoy one here and there.

The first time I read a book by Jennifer Crusie was way back in 2000, when Welcome To Temptation came out. Now that's a sexy book. (A certain author could take lessons from her, but then there wouldn't be enough fur and....nevermind.) Now and then I've picked up a book written by her and I've never ever been bored while reading any of her books, which is more than I can say for many books in the same genre.

Maybe This Time begins with Andie (short for Andromeda-mom is a bit strange) waiting in her ex-husband's office to give back every single alimony check he's given her since she left him. She's angry - very angy. She's been angry for years, and apparently everytime she got a check from him (every month) her anger was fanned anew, she resented being reminded of him, etc. She has recently been proposed to by her boyfriend, but before saying yes she wanted to tie up this last loose end only fate has other plans.

Her ex, North, needs someone to go take care of his niece and nephew and he thinks might be strong enough to get things on the right track, since the kids have been through a few nannies in the last few months...

There is a whole cast of interesting characters; the kids - love the kids. There is Alice, who does not have any skills handling frustration or being told no. Then there's Carter - an oddly silent boy - who with one word can stop Alice's tantrums. And then there's this housekeeper, who seems to go back and forth between hostility and over-friendly. There's North, of course - who years ago had fallen in love with Andie over night and married her so quickly - so quickly that they really didn't know each other. There's is Southie (North's brother, a very relaxed guy) and Lydia - who seems to be a dragon lady - she loves her sons very much. Of course, there's Andie's mother Flo - who is into paranormal - zodiac signs, tarot cards, spirits- the works. All these characters interact in some amazing ways.

There is a few things going on in this novel. Andie left North because she felt neglected, and like he was paying more attention to his job than her. He feels like she'll leave anything at the drop of a hat - which is why he only asked and expects her to stay for one month with his niece and nephew. They obviously have a few things to work out (don't all married/divorced couples? there's always at least two sides to every story, sometimes three or four sides) As the novel progresses, glimpses are given of their past, shedding light on their misunderstandings.

And why are the kids always left alone with an elderly housekeeper and nannies that leave frequently? Seems at first, when their father died they were left with an aunt...who fell off the roof and died herself. After that there was a series of nannies that all left because they were creeped out by the house and kids. He's under the impression that things are going okay - except for the fact that the nannies keep quitting, and Alice refuses to leave the house.

Andie goes in with her no-nonsense attitude and slowly begins to connect with the kids, but it's not easy. It's fun to read how she deals with Alice though, and how she finally figures out that she's been making a big mistake with Carter - though he seems so strong.

And then there's the ghosts..only she doesn't believe in ghosts. On top of that, there's this reporter from hell, who is supposedly interested in a story about ghosts, but is really trying to get to the kids....

This novel has so many things going for it. Humor, odd children (I love odd children), relationship problems and growth, quirky and crazy characters and GHOSTS! Not only that, but the people - they talk like real people!

I enjoyed the way that Crusie wrote such a multilayered story with an twist that I thought I saw coming, but then was convinced I was wrong and then again BAM! Wow, what an ending. The characters each learned things about each other - and not just the two exes - all the characters. Great book, glad I read it, glad I came across it and enjoyed every minute of reading it. And now I'm reminded that I happen to have another book around here by Jennifer Crusie - one she wrote with Bob Mayer. I need to find it and read it.

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