After reading "Maybe This Time", I’m convinced that not only can Jennifer Crusie write crazy, sweet, and upbeat romances, but she can also take on the paranormal and work with it in an extremely compelling format within her signature style. The story revolves around a woman named Andromeda (Andie) Miller.
Andie has a few issues that she has to work through in the novel that don’t exactly cross her in good spirits (no pun intended). She has unfinished business with her ex-husband North, whom she divorced ten years before and has since been engaged to another man. However, North makes an offer that she can’t refuse – looking after two orphans that have suddenly come into his care after his cousin’s death. She’ll have to convince the kids to leave the looming house they reside within all within the span of a month.
Of course, Andie won’t have an easy time doing so because the children have already driven out their three previous nannies. North knows she’s the woman who can get the job done (considering her stubborn perseverance). However, the task seems harder than Andie thought when the kids (Alice and Carter) don’t warm up to her very quickly, the housekeeper hates her guts, and there’s may be one or more ghosts lurking around the creepy house that don’t want the children to leave – and they may kill anyone to keep that from happening…
The beginning of the novel started a bit slower because of the setup for the characters and conflicts, but once the ball went rolling for the story, it had me hooked. The competitive on and off again relationship of Andie and North was very well done, the way Crusie paints Carter and Alice in the respective conflicts and growth through the story is well done, and the ghosts – well – they provide plenty of interesting conflict through the work – whether it may be dangerous or sexy, or quite comical. I also liked the collective secondary cast of characters, as they were dynamic, intriguing, and amusing to watch in their interactions.
I think those who might want a pleasant, funny romance with a bit of suspense and intrigue may want to read this book. I think the paranormal element adds a different spin on Crusie’s work, but it’s just as satisfying to know that there’s a bit of cooking, passion, hilarity, and danger all rolled up into this work, and I enjoyed it immensely.
Overall score: 4/5