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Dogs and Goddesses: A Novel Mass Market Paperback – February 3, 2009
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I'm not going to do a plot summary, except that an ancient Mesopotamian goddess has been revived- because of misspelling on Google, which i think was a brilliant touch!- and is not exactly up-to-date on current society. She drafts heriditary priestesses, most of whom have other plans.
I'm usually not a fan of "chemistry" as a way to determine True Love, but it works well here. The sex scenes are- unusually- very well written and don't go on excessively long, and the couple really seem to relate to each other outside of Passion.
Plus- one of Our Heroines is a 40-something woman, and she gets the REALLY hot dude!
Ok, the premise is silly, but tha's party what makes it a romp. It is NOT a serious book! but- if you like romance, and weird ancient goddesses, and dogs, and a somewhat twisty plot with supernatural elements- well, it's a hoot. I enjoyed it a lot, and will be re-reading it.
North Archer is buttoned-up, self-contained and a damn good lawyer. He has dedicated his life to his firm and family. Marrying Andie was the one wonderfully selfish, reckless thing he ever did and look how well that turned out. Still, when Andie turns up after ten years and informs him she's getting remarried, North does something equally selfish and impulsive. He asks her to spend a month with the two orphaned children of his late cousin. Until recently they were in the care of their aunt, but since her death they have driven away a handful of nannies and caused a host of problems. North is almost stunned that he asked Andie for her help; Andie can't believe she said yes.
Almost as soon as Andie arrives at creepy old Archer House, she realizes the children have problems that go way way beyond anything that North has imagined. The house is literally falling apart, the housekeeper is belligerent and lazy, and there just might be ghosts haunting the halls. And we're not talking friendly ghosts here. Just as Andie starts to make some headway with the children, she finds herself playing hostess to her ex-brother-in-law, his journalist shark of a girlfriend and a bevy of other strangers and relatives. Most disturbing of all is how happy she is when North shows up to sort things out.
I love Jennifer Crusie's books. Pick one up and you're guaranteed an engrossing and satisfying read, filled with quirky, real characters and a solid plot laced with humor. Maybe This Time might not be amongst my Crusie favorites (Crazy For You, Welcome to Temptation, Faking It and Bet Me) but it is still one of the better books I have read this year.
North manages to convince Andie to help him out with two young orphans that have been left in his care. They have been living in another part of the state with a housekeeper and a succession of nannies.
It doesn't take long for Andie to figure out why the nannies have all beat a hasty retreat. It's hard to decide which is creepier: the house, the kids or ... the ghosts. Will Andie stand a chance against the undead? More to the point, will her future husband stand a chance against her not-so-ex husband?
I did enjoy this story, but it's not at all what I expected. Let's start with the "good stuff". I liked the fact that the story was set in 1992. Since that's about when I first started reading Jennifer Crusie it had a certain nostalgia. Andie is a trademark Crusie heroine: attractive in a down-to-earth kind of way with a caustic wit and offbeat sense of humor. The supporting characters are quirky and well drawn and the story never dragged. It may not have been the story I was looking for, but I was certainly never bored. The "ghostly" bits are sufficiently scary without sacrificing the overall comedic tone of the book. That last part is tricky but the author does pull it off.
And yet I was disappointed. When I heard there was a new Crusie solo release I hit that pre-order button, no questions asked. Why? Because if you want a good contemporary romance you just can't beat Jennifer Crusie. Problem is, this really isn't a romance, or at least not much of one. The main relationship takes place between Andie and the little girl, Alice. Yes, there are scenes dedicated to Andie and North, but they felt like window dressing. The focus of this story is Andie's heart being won over by little Alice (although frankly it just seems to "happen" - one minute they're just two strange, distant children; the next Andie can't live without them).
Bottom Line: It's a fun story but if you're expecting a vintage Crusie romance ala "Bet Me" or "Welcome to Temptation", you may be disappointed. If you don't like stories with a strong paranormal aspect then give it a pass.
Occasional strong language and some very mild sexual content.