Tidings of the Crew – maybe this time (Jennifer Crusie)

Ahoy there mateys!  Though the First Mate and I have very different reading tastes, occasionally we do recommend books to each other.  Books the first mate introduced to me included xom-bholes, and the perks of being a wallflower.  He and I both read the following:

maybe this time (Jennifer Crusie)

We read and talked about the book and I enjoyed his viewpoint so I ordered asked him to write a review.  So you get one from me and a bonus additional review from me crew.  Please note that I write like I talk and the First Mate writes like he thinks.  Hope you enjoy!

From the Captain:

I thought romance books weren’t for me.  That is until I read this one!  The romance is not the point.  Ye know that Andie and North are going to get back together.  It is the how that rocks.  The story involves ghosts, murders to solve, a spooky house, a spookier housekeeper, an exorcism, and two maybe crazy kids.  But it wasn’t scary.  It was silly and awesome.  I listened to this one on audiobook and loved the narrator.  The quirky situation combined with the narrator kept me smiling as I listened.  I couldn’t figure out how events were going to unfold but I was continuously engaged and laughed often.  I loved all of the (many, zany) characters.  I even enjoyed the actual romance bits.  This kept me guessing and I was satisfied by the ending.  I would certainly read more books by the author.  Arrr!

From the First Mate:

For my money, no one wrote better contemporary romances in the 90s/early-00s than Jennifer Crusie. Likable, interesting protagonists with suitably appealing love interests plonked down into circumstances that were either wholly relatable or just outrageously fun and always resolved in a perfectly satisfying manner.. Maybe This Time falls into the outrageously fun category.

Maybe This Time is a second chance romance. Our protagonist, Andie, has been divorced from her ex-husband, North, for ten years. They’d gotten married too young and too quick. The marriage fell apart when North’s workaholic ways left Andie alone and neglected. When we meet them in the opening scenes, it’s clear that they still love each other but that there’s a lot of anger and resentment. Being a second chance romance, it’s clear from their first scene together that Andie and North will end up together, but getting there is a fantastic ride.

I saw online that some people compared this book to Turn of the Screw, which I’ve never read. Still, it seemed to have more in common with the comedic supernatural romance films from 60s/70s Disney. Well, other than a couple of sex scenes. We get two people who should be together, a couple of orphans who refuse to leave a gothic house, a disagreeable old housekeeper named (no lie) Mrs. Crumb, a spiritual mother, a disappointed ex-mother-in-law, a conniving news reporter, a jilted fiancé, an uptight paranormal debunker, a super cranky medium with an even crankier spirit guide, and a trio of absolutely real spirits who are up to no good. There’s a certain point in the book where I couldn’t stop smiling and wondering who else would walk through the front door. And all the time I was reading, I couldn’t help but think about how the scenes would play on screen, and then I’d smile all the more.

I found Maybe This Time to be considerably more satisfying and unexpected than I’d expected from the initial chapters. While it was clear that Andie and North would patch things up, the route to that ending surprised me. I expected to hate the kids, and they really grew on me. All the extra characters (considerably more than was strictly necessary for the story) were simply an unexpected delight. Nor could I have ever predicted how satisfyingly twisty the ending got for so many of the characters.

Crusie doesn’t appear to have published anything after Maybe This Time. From 1994 to 2004, she published approximately a book a year. In 2004 she published Bet Me, which is just as good as Maybe This time, just in a very different way. She collaborated with Bob Mayer on three more books in the 00s, contributed to a few collections, and then this book in 2010. If we never hear from Crusie again, she’ll have left behind a legacy of expertly crafted, incredibly satisfying romances.

Recommended to fans of paranormal romances and fun Disney paranormal romantic comedies. Avoid if romance simply isn’t for you.

Goodreads had this to say about the novel (shortened by me cause spoilers):

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 . . .

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….

To visit the author’s website go to:
Jennifer Crusie – Author

To buy the novel please visit:
maybe this time – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:
Yer Ports for Plunder List


7 thoughts on “Tidings of the Crew – maybe this time (Jennifer Crusie)

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