Sunday, August 29, 2010

Maybe This Time

Author: Jennifer Crusie
Copyright September 2010
St. Martin’s Press
Hardcover $ 24.99
ISBN 978-0-312-30378-5
352 pages

Andromeda (Andie) Miller feels that she has successfully placed the past in the past and has moved on with her life since her divorce ten years ago. In fact she feels so confident about this, that she decides that it is time to face her past and to return all the alimony checks to her former husband. She doesn’t need or want them. She chose not to cash them. This confrontation is what she needs to move to her new life with her soon-to-be husband who happens to be a well-known and successful writer.

However Andie did not expect her ex-husband, North, to offer such an intriguing temporary job. She is to be a nanny to two distant relatives who have been orphaned and apparently are convincing people that their estate is haunted. The twosome has successfully eliminated nannies recently. North would like her to settle the children so that they can be moved closer to his home. The clincher is when he offers to pay Andie ten-thousand a month for this challenge. How awful can this situation be for that much money?

Andie agrees to this arrangement and discovers the estate to be run-down with an eccentric and aged housekeeper, Mrs. Crumb, a distant and silent preteen, Carter, and an eight-year-old fashion-disaster, Alice. Added to this is what appears to be ghosts which Andie has difficulty believing really exist.

Andie is just beginning to develop a relationship with the two children when South, North’s brother, appears with a local television celebrity and her camera man who are anxious to exploit the house and the children for a story.

Yes, this is a predictable romance novel but the methodology is definitely intriguing. The running ghost story and the relationships between the housekeeper, the children, and Andie make this a delightfully quick read. Also, the conflict between the ghost believers and the reasoning for the haunting is a continual drive within this novel.

Jennifer Crusie has also written many novels including TELL ME LIES, CRAZY FOR YOU, WELCOME TO TEMPTATION, FAST WOMEN, FAKING IT, and BET ME. Yes, I would say that the book is female oriented and for those who enjoyed well-written romance novels. Crusie is a pseudonym for Jennifer Smith. She has lived the life of an Air Force wife as well as being a public school teacher.

MAYBE THIS TIME is an updated version of Henry James’ TURN OF THE SCREW. Personally, I enjoyed this unpredictable story within a predictable romance.

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