Friday, September 24, 2010

Review: Maybe This Time & Giveaway

Summary: Andie Miller is ready to move on in 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 before they go their separate ways forever. A very distant cousin of his has died and left North as the guardian of two orphans who have driven out three nannies already, and things are getting worse. He needs a very special person to take care of the situation and he knows Andie can handle anything.

When Andie meets the two children she quickly realizes things are much worse than she feared. The place is a mess, the children, 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. What’s worse, Andie’s fiancé thinks this is all a plan by North to get Andie back, and he may be right. Andie’s dreams have been haunted by North since she arrived at the old house. And that’s not the only haunting.

What follows is a hilarious adventure in exorcism, including a self-doubting parapsychologist, an annoyed medium, her Tarot-card reading mother, an avenging ex-mother-inlaw, and, of course, her jealous fiancé. And just when she thinks things couldn’t get more complicated, North shows up on the doorstep making her wonder if maybe this time things could be different between them.

If Andie can just get rid of all the guests and ghosts, she’s pretty sure she can save the kids, and herself, from the past. But fate might just have another thing in mind…-- St. Martin's

I have heard so many terrific things about author Jennifer Crusie that I finally decided to pick up one of her novels. I am not a big romance fan, but I have heard that Ms. Crusie's books are something special. I decided to start with her latest release MAYBE THIS TIME because I have seen quite a few positive reviews in the blogosphere. Plus, the plot kind of intrigued me. It's a ghost story!

I mentioned that I'm not a big fan of romance books, but I'm also not a big reader of ghost stories (or even supernatural ones for that matter.) However despite my misgivings, I thought MAYBE THIS TIME sounded cute. And, after reading this novel is less than a day, I have to say that I'm so glad that I read outside my box because this book was highly entertaining.

MAYBE THIS TIME tells the story of Andie, a woman who has been divorced from North for almost 10 years after a very brief marriage. When North needs some help with the two children that are in his guardianship, he asks Andie to help him out -- as one last favor. I'm not sure what Andie as thinking (of course the money North offered didn't hurt), but she accepted. And she soon discovers that she has a mess on her hands. Not only are the children a little different, but the house they are living in is falling down...and has ghosts!

Naturally, Andie does everything in her power to get through to these children, while at the same time trying to get the house in order. When she starts seeing ghosts on top of everything, she questions her sanity until the evidence of their existence is so strong that she can no longer deny it. And if all of this isn't enough, Andie discovers that she is still very much attracted to her ex-husband despite having a serious boyfriend.

Ms. Crusie's reputations as a wonderful storyteller is well deserved if MAYBE THIS TIME is any indication. In this novel, she created some great characters whom I actually cared about; and she told a story that kept me intrigued from the very start. MAYBE THIS TIME was a fun read, namely because Ms. Crusie included so much humor into the story -- there were some pretty unique characters who faced some pretty unique situations. In addition, I thought Ms. Crusie handled the supernatural aspects of the story extremely well and I didn't find myself rolling my eyes over the presence of ghosts. And believe it or not, I actually liked the romance parts of the story, especially the chemistry/tension between Andie and North.

MAYBE THIS TIME is a perfect light read for this time of year -- Halloween is only a month away! If you are like me and tempted by a ghost story with a little romance thrown in, then this is one book that you won't want to miss.

One more thing: When I was researching this book, I discovered something that I thought was too cute. Throughout the story, Andie bakes... a lot -- pretty much every afternoon. One of Andie's "famous" recipes was for banana bread. Here's the recipe: Annie Archer's Banana Bread Recipe!

Thanks to The Book Report Network for sending me a review copy of this novel.

Giveaway alert: I have a copy of MAYBE THIS TIME to share with one lucky reader courtesy of The Book Report Network and the publisher. To enter, just fill out the form below. This giveaway is open until Thursday, September 30th at 11:59 p..m. ET. US and Canada addresses only -- no p.o. boxes please. Good luck!


Mystica said...

The book sounds interesting.

Mary (Bookfan) said...

I've only read one of her books (listened, actually) and enjoyed it. This seems like one I'd step outside the box for - just different enough. Nice review.

bermudaonion said...

This does sound like a good read for October. Glad to see you enjoyed it!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

You manage to get a hold of very fun books! This sounds like a great book for this season!

Meghan said...

I really enjoyed this one and I'm thrilled that you did too! I don't think this one really qualifies as a romance novel because the narrative is really about Andie, the kids, and the ghosts, but all aspects seemed pretty good to me regardless. =)

Meghan @ Medieval Bookworm

Sandy Nawrot said...

I'm wondering about the whole supernatural aspect positioned as funny, but maybe that is one way to keep it from being too corny? I have to admit, it sounds interesting and fun.

Anonymous said...

This sounds like such a fun book- A good romance and a little ghostly twist.

BookHounds said...

Jennifer Crusie always writes with a lot of humor...

I just posted this at win a book.

S. Krishna said...

I'm so glad I gave this one a chance as well! I had a lot of fun reading it.