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Maybe This Time Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 31, 2010
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The New York Times bestselling author of Bet Me, Tell Me Lies and Welcome to Temptation delivers her long-awaited new novel--Maybe This Time. 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…
Amazon Exclusive: Susan Elizabeth Phillips Interviews Jennifer Crusie
Susan Elizabeth Phillips is the bestselling author of Nobody’s Baby But Mine, What I Did for Love, and many others. She is the only four-time recipient of the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious “Favorite Book of the Year” Award and was also honored with their “Lifetime Achievement” Award. Read on for Susan Elizabeth’s hilarious and entertaining conversation with Jennifer Crusie:
Susan Elizabeth Phillips: Exactly why is Susan Elizabeth Phillips your dear friend?
Jennifer Crusie: Susan Elizabeth Phillips is everything I aspire to be in a writer, a Comic Genius with Incredible Insight into the Human Condition, so I stay close so I can be just like her. I remember the first time we met. It was in an elevator in Dallas. It was magic. She got off at the next floor.
SEP: What do you like most about Susan Elizabeth Phillips?
JC: I think it's her modesty, her willingness to give to others. And her shoes.
SEP: Which Susan Elizabeth Phillips book is your favorite, or do you love them all too much to choose?
JC: Heaven, Texas because I love a Cinderella story.
Also her last one, whatever it is when whoever is reading this is reading this. The one that's on sale now. That one. It's amazing and you should buy it. There's probably a button for it on here somewhere. Hit that button.
SEP: Oh, wait! This is supposed to be about YOU? Sheesh... For those who haven’t read it and are waiting breathlessly, share a little something about your new book Maybe This Time?
JC: Maybe This Time is my version of The Turn of the Screw. It's about a woman who goes back to tell her ex-husband that she's marrying somebody else and takes a job caring for two orphans he's inherited who are living in southern Ohio. When she gets to southern Ohio, she finds out the kids are delinquents and the house is haunted. Also, the ex-husband? Still very hot.
SEP: What is special about this book?
JC: It's a ghost story! And a love story! With kids! It's a Romantic Comedy Ghost Story With Kids. By me!(You don' t have a copy because it's not out yet. We'll send you one as soon as we get them. Pretend you've read it and it's the most amazing book EVER. I did for you.)
SEP: What gave you the most difficulty writing Maybe This Time and what gave you the most joy?
JC: Difficult--Ghosts. Ghosts are not easy to write without getting cheesy. Also, I generally do not write horror so the I-wants-to-make-your-skin-creep parts were a real departure for me.Joy--The kids. I'm living with two little girls right now, ages eight and 11, and I stole from them to write Alice. Alice was so much fun to write. Not so much fun to live with in the book, but to write? Alice rocks.
SEP: How do the stories you want to tell now differ from the ones you wanted to tell when you started writing? How are they the same?
JC: Such good questions. Are you a writer, too? Oh, wait. Never mind.I had no idea how difficult writing fiction was when I started so I just wrote stories. Then I Learned My Craft. Now I spend a lot of time staring into space, thinking about how much I don't know and panicking. So it's harder. But the books are better, more complex, better structured, better written. Also I'm kind of over that Oh-My-God-They-Have-To-Have-Sex-Right-Now-Let-Me-Describe-It-In-Graphic-Detail. I figure anybody reading my books has either had sex or seen it on cable so maybe there's something more interesting in the characters' lives to describe in depth. Like, oh, GHOSTS!
SEP: You're an amazingly entertaining writer. Are you funny in real life? (I know the answer to this, but I'm thinking all of your readers might not.)
JC: Well, not as funny as Susan Elizabeth Phillips, who is a Comic Genius, but I have inspired a few chuckles here and there. Mostly, no.
SEP: Once I start a Jennifer Crusie book, I can't put it down. I know your loyal readers feel the same. What's your secret? (Please reply in 10 words or less because I hate making things too easy on you.)
JC: I do everything Susan Elisabeth Phillips does, except backwards in high heels. (That's twelve words. We can cut the "Elizabeth Phillips" part if you want.)
SEP: Did you finally get your messy office cleaned up so it looks as good as mine? (Oops... This is about you. I keep forgetting.)
JC: Yes. And then it got messy again. Because I'm a creative person and we creative people cannot be bound by the shackles of conventionality that stifle the expression of those who feel compelled to clean their offices. How's your office look?
From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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-)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love her books. She has the ability to bring her characters to life , you feel like you know them personally. Always a great read , wish she would do more writing Jane SaundersPublished 24 days ago by John Saunders
I love Jennifer Cruisie books and this one did not disappoint. It's a fun romp through the paranormal with a cast of characters that keep you laughing and guessing, and trying to... Read morePublished 1 month ago by virginia l somyak
The story was interesting and made me want to finish it, and Alice soon became my favorite character, but the story felt like it couldn't make up its mind on whether it was a... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Cat
This is really a ghost story. I didn't find myself caring too much for the characters. I didn't find the book believable (ghost parts aside). Read morePublished 1 month ago by Christine
This was a book with ghosts that were sometimes scary, but not too scary. It has romance, humor, and likable characters with some bad people thrown in. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Judy Rietsch
I haven't met a J. Crusie book I didn't like. She's a great quirky romance write and I love the edge of supernatural in this book. I'd recommend this book to anyone... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Patricia Dale
I am on to other books and don't remember how the story was narrated. But it was a good quick read.Published 3 months ago by Karla Sarron
Four stars for the fast paced fun. Interesting plot filled with characters that never bore. Even ghosts had personality. This reminded me why I scooped up Ms. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Terri Roberts