Posts Tagged ‘Maybe This Time’

Maybe This Time

Maybe This Time

Jennifer Crusie
Hardcover, 352 pages
St. Martin’s Press
August 31, 2010

I won an ARC of Maybe This Time from St. Martin’s Press and I’m so glad because it’s not something that I would usually read and I loved it! 

Andie Miller is about to get married again.  But before she does there’s one thing she has to take care of first – return the ten years of alimony checks that she never cashed to her ex husband, North Archer.  But when she finds herself sitting across from him at his office at the family law firm, they’re both in for a big surprise when he makes an unusual proposal and she accepts. 

North recently became the legal guardian of two orphans who live in a monstrous, dilapidated 200 year old home brought over from England (complete with moat).  They’re all alone in the house except for the housekeeper, Mrs. Crumb, who’s been with the house for sixty years, and they refuse to come live with North in Columbus.  After going through a string of nannies, North asks Andie to take one month to care for the children, Alice and Carter.  Get their education up to speed so they can enroll in school, make sure they’re healthy physically and emotionally, and convince them to come to Columbus. 

When Andie arrives at Archer house, she soon finds out that there’s more going on here than kids with behavioral problems and fed up nannies.  Alice and Carter are terrified of leaving the house and Mrs. Crumb insists that the house is haunted.  Andie has her hands full trying to win the kids’ trust, reassuring her distraught fiancé, and dealing with feelings for North that seeing him again has stirred up.  Things really get interesting when the house is flooded with unexpected guests.  North’s brother Sullivan (who Andie calls Southie) arrives with his semi-girlfriend, TV reporter Kelly O’Keefe, who in turn brings a medium and a parapsychologist so she can investigate the haunting (though she has a hidden agenda).  North’s overbearing mother comes to stop Kelly, and Andie’s tarot-reading mother shows up because she couldn’t get her on the phone, and the pair resume their decade long feud.  To top it off, her fiancé also shows up uninvited to save their shaky relationship. 

A storm prevents Andie from kicking everyone out and chaos ensues as she tries to keep everyone in line amidst séances and tantrums.  The final visitor turns out to be North, and Andie couldn’t be more relieved to see him, thinking he’ll be able to help her restore order and finally get the kids away from the house (plus she hasn’t been able to stop thinking about him since she arrived).  But things are about to get a lot stranger, and the real danger hasn’t even begun.

Maybe This Time was such an engaging and fun book!  It’s all about second chances, learning from the past, and starting fresh –  not starting over.  Andie won me over immediately and North followed shortly after.  I was glued to the page whether for Andie and Alice’s daily Three O’Clock Bake ritual or murder and mayhem.  The cast of characters is kooky and entertaining – a fabulous mish-mash!  I didn’t want it to end but when it did I was left feeling perfectly satisfied and content.  What else can I say?  I loved it!

This was my first Jennifer Cruise book but I’ll definitely be checking out her other ones!