Maybe This Time Hardcover – Aug 31 2010
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“Crusie's created a sharp cast of lonely souls, wacky weirdos, ghosts both good and bad, and unlikely heroes who are brave enough to give life and love one more try. You don't have to believe in the afterlife to relish this fun, bright romp.” ―Publishers Weekly
“Crusie's sense of humor and knack for fun characters are all here.” ―Library Journal
“As always, the greatest pleasure comes from watching Crusie put her great cast of quirky characters through their paces. This is a story of faith: in human nature, in love, in romance, in connections that cannot be broken. Crusie fans can rejoice in this original and funny romantic thriller.” ―New York Journal of Books--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
From the Back Cover
From beloved New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Crusie comes a novel that gives a new twist to old flames, second chances, and things that go bump in the night…
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, North asks one last favor: Since the death of a distant cousin, he's become the guardian of two orphans who have already driven away three nannies. North needs someone to take care of the situation―and he knows Andie can handle anything.
"wildly inventive…Crusie at her very best."―Booklist (starred review)
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. As Andie copes with the ghosts of her past and present, she begins to see that what she wants is the same thing that everyone in the house wants--a second chance--and that maybe this time she'll get it.
"A marvelous tale that includes [Crusie's] patented brand of humor and human foibles."―RT Book Reviews (HOT Pick, 41/2 stars)--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
My big question is why has so many of the good "ironic humour of romance" writers gone the way of the supernatural? Ghosts for Crusie, Vampires for Cabot - surely there is enough going on, on this level that everybody does not have to jump the spooky bandwagon! Answer me that, if you please.
That part is dissapointing but it is still a fun and fresh read. Welcome back Ms. Crusie.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I was extremely excited to get to review Maybe This Time, as I haven't read any new Crusie books since her last one was released. You've probably already read what the story is about, so instead of detailing that, I'll stick to the critiquing.
Once again we get Crusie's classic wit. You read all sorts of hilarious things in the book, with witty characters that you definitely won't forget. Andie is just as memorable as any other female Crusie character, and I definitely fell in love with Dennis the ghost expert and Isolde the medium. I also really enjoyed that she snuck in Gabe McKenna, from one of her other books. It was nice to see the character in a story that wasn't his own, and I hope she continues to give her characters little cameos.
Writing a ghost story isn't easy - writing a ghost romance that isn't cliche is extremely difficult, but Crusie does it. She manages to get the ghosts in there, explaining all about the different types of ghosts, without seeming corny. And you don't feel like you're reading a ghost story. You feel, as you do with other Crusie work, like you're simply popping into someone else's life for a time.
While the book was definitely readable, and memorable, and I'll definitely be reading it again (and probably again), there was just something missing. I think one of the problems I had was that while Andie feels like a main character, her ex-husband and leading man, North Archer, doesn't. We see him in pieces, in his office or through Andie's memories. I did love the memory flashbacks, but there really didn't feel like there were enough of them, or like Andie and North interacted enough. Even North's brother, Sullivan (Southie) seemed to be more alive on the page than North did. It was only towards the very end when I finally got to see what North was really like, and it's sad, because I wish I had a lot more of that throughout the entire book.
This Crusie book is definitely a great read, but I don't feel as though it's quite as strong as some of her other work. But after an absence of writing solo for 6 years, maybe she's just gotta work the kinks out.
What Andie discovers when she gets to the house are 2 children who are a bit odd, a housekeeper who likes her booze, and some nasty ghosts who don't want her there. And nasty they are - these are no friendly, funny ghosts - these ghosts mean to drive Andie away.
And that was my problem with this book - I found that this was much more a story about Andie dealing with some nasty ghosts than a romance. Andie's conversations with North and their feelings for each other really take up a small part of this book.
I was a big fan of Jennifer Crusie books - Welcome to Temptation and Bet Me are two of my favorites - I loved the characters, I loved the dialog and I loved the romance. I couldn't get into her collaborations and was really excited to see her writing a new solo novel. You'll find that this is in some ways a typical Crusie novel - well-written with some wonderful dialog, some wacky relatives who want to help, and a great heroine - I loved Andie.
Overall, I say if you're a Crusie fan, you'll probably like this book. But if you're looking for a romance or some witty dialog between the hero and heroine as they try to see if maybe this time their relationship will work, you may be disappointed.
As usual, Crusie has created some likable characters, but this time they don't suit the book particularly well. There's Andromeda (Andie) Miller, who is ready to go on with her life and get married again after being divorced from her husband, North, for 10 years. As a last favor (too complicated to get into the reasoning--suffice it to say it didn't make me like North particularly, nor was it the most convincing setup), Andie agrees to go deal with North's two wards, who are off in a rural area and who he'd like to bring to live in Columbus with him.
But the kids don't want to move and he has no idea if they are able to matriculate into regular schools, so Andie says she will go and bring them up to speed educationally, as well as deal with the psychological problems they seem to have. (Andie is a paragon, you see. North is not. Their relationship is not terribly believable.)
The setup at the house is quite Gothic. In fact, one feels as if one has stepped right into a prototypical Gothic historical romance, except for the very modern characters and the snappy, humorous dialogue. There are ghosts, murders, a creepy housekeeper, fading children...the whole deal. And that could all work well, but it doesn't fit with Crusie's light and witty style, or with the addition of the kooky characters of Andie's mother, the extraneous medium, etc.
All that sounds very negative, but the fact is that Crusie is an entertaining writer and she makes long stretches of this work. This is not an awful book, it's just not very good, either. (B-)
That having been said, I agree with others who have said that this was more "ghost story" than romance, and that the character of North seemed a bit flat. I get that he was supposed to be the one steady "rock" and the one calming influence in this whole story, but that doesn't mean he can't have more character. I liked him OK, I just wanted to really see what Andie saw in him.
My previous review talked about how all the 80's and 90's references made the book seem dated to me. Then, it was pointed out to me that it was supposed to be set in 1992....says it right in one of the first pages. Duh. So...I retract my original complaints about dated references.
That having been said though...sorry, it's still odd, and the story still seems dated because....well....it is. Why? The only answer is "because." Another one of those quirky Crusie things? But...this one doesn't work for me. Instead of feeling nostalgic, again, it just seems dated. I don't know...I guess I feel like a "contemporary" novel should take place in the time period it is released in. If this had been billed as some sort of newfangled "historical," and it was made very obvious it was purposely written in the past to be nostalgic, then I guess I might not have had such a negative reaction to the dated references. But, one line of "This book takes place in 1992. Because." almost makes it seem as if this was an old novel that had never made it, but was suddenly revived, and instead of going through the hassle of updating all the references, they put a note at the beginning and now it's fine. Not saying that's what happened, I'm just saying that's how it feels to me. At the risk of repeating myself: Odd.
Despite those criticisms, I found the book to be completely enjoyable and fun and I highly recommended it for any Crusie fan.
Likes: I like kooky characters, and this book has lots of them. I laughed out loud several times while reading the book.
Dislikes: I don't think we got to know North, the "hero" of the story, well-enough for him to be the hero. I also felt like the book was a bit dated, and not just because it was set in 1992. Because I'm somewhat familiar with Ms. Crusie's work, it seemed to me that this was more like one of the re-issued Harlequins she wrote in the late '80's and early '90's than any new material. It didn't feel fresh, and it didn't feel like a full-length hardback-worthy story.
So what's the verdict? You should read this book-- it really is better than a lot of the drivel out there. But I wouldn't pay for the hardback-- wait for the paperback or get it from your local library. And, if you've never read a Jennifer Crusie novel, I'd suggest Welcome to Temptation and Crazy for You.