Releases August 31, 2010
Andie Miller is ready to move on in life. She wants to marry her fiance 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.Publisher: St. Martin's Press
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 fiance 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-in-law, and, of course, her jealous fiance. 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.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Single Title/Series: MAYBE THIS TIME is a single title, stand alone novel.
Cover Thoughts: Super cute. There's a wonderfully spooky element to the floating title and tea cup that coincides nicely with the plot.
Why I Read It: I received an Advanced Review Copy from The Book Report Network and the publisher.
Once upon a time, in a spooky centuries old mansion nestled deep in the woodlands of southern Ohio, there lived two young children and a neglectful housekeeper. They're alone this brother and sister with only each other to lean on and a couple of possessive ghosts to watch over them. But not for long for a dancing Bohemian angel is on the rescue.
Andromeda Miller is getting re-married. That is if she can finally shed the pestering thoughts of her ex-husband. Ten years ago Andie fell in love and married North Archer. Beautiful, intense and passionate, he swept her off her feet and held her beneath the melting heat of his hot focused stare. But when the death of North's uncle forced him to bear the brunt of the family's legal practice, Andie watched painfully as she disappeared wholly from his loving gaze and did the only thing she could to protect herself: she ran. Now, finally feeling safe with a man who openly worships her, Andie's ready to move on but before she can say yes to his proposal with her whole heart, she's driven to completely severe ties with North. Confrontation however does not yield closure and Andie, instead of saying goodbye forever, finds herself accepting a job as the new nanny for North's two young wards. Well, she never could say no to North especially when he plays dirty and offers to pay Andie ten thousand dollars a month plus expenses. But that familiar desire to run re-emerges when Andie's faced with the scariest house she's ever seen and civilization has never felt more far away.
There's little time for fear however when it becomes apparent that North's two young wards have been severely neglected. Sustained on a regular diet of boxed cheese macaroni and cereal by an indifferent housekeeper, Andie is introduced to two kids with sad, stoic faces. After loosing their mother, Alice, an eight-year-old sprite bedecked with spiky white blond hair and a neck loaded down with necklaces, and her brother Carter, a twelve-year-old adolescent who shines ablaze with the sharply handsome Archer features, were raised by their lovingly doting father who sadly died two years ago from a sudden heart attack. Circumstances seemed to be turning for the better however when their Aunt May came to live with them but an accident found their aunt dead in the mansion's surrounding moat. Finally, after a string of nannies are chased off the premises by supposedly "psychotic" children and even more ludicrously by psychotic ghosts, it's not hard to understand why Andie herself is met with two unimpressed kids that expect her to also run as though the hounds of Hell are after her. Well, Andie would certainly agree that the house their trapped in is Hell which is exactly why she has every intention of getting the kids out as soon as possible. That is if they'd let her...
With calm precision, Andie begins working out the kinks in Alice and Carter's life first by stocking a very bare kitchen and then taking care to put one pompous and poor excuse of a housekeeper, Mrs. Crumb, in her place. But as routine sets in and a slow trust begins to build between Andie and the kids, something very wrong begins to surface making Andie suspect that evil is afoot at Archer House. Assistance soon arrives in force however even though all weren't even close to being invited.
First there's Southie, North's ladies man of a younger brother who's developed a new fleeting hobby of ghost hunting. Bringing along his flavor of the month: the toothy Kelly O'Keefe, a news reporter who loves to highlight neglected kids but is currently masquerading as a ghost explorer to score a chance to ostracize the powerful Archers, comes along with the package deal of a one man camera crew and a parapsychologist name Dennis Graff. Costumed in a sloppy argyle sweater, he's to act as the counterpoint to O'Keefe's "piece" with his disbelief of ghosts of which he also claims to be an expert on. As if things couldn't get any more crowded, Andie's ex mother-in-law, the snooty ball-buster Lydia Archer, arrives to kick the slutty Kelly O'Keefe to the curb, save her hound dog of a son, protect North's wards, and give Andie a good dressing down that she's believed to have deserved for ten years. Next to knock is Flo, Andie's spiritual mother and Lydia's arch enemy. Of course sparks immediately fly between the two women only to find them forming a surprising tentative alliance in their determination to the vacate the premises of the nasty Kelly O'Keefe. Then there's Will, Andie's jealous fiance who's sexually frustrated and determined to bring Andie home. And finally there's Isolde Hammersmith, the medium who swiftly becomes arch enemies with Dennis, the non-believer. The only visitor there after that Andie is happy to see is North. And that's just the mortals...
As if Andie didn't have enough on her plate, with the arrival of North a war has begun brewing between her heart and her mind. Could they make things work a second time around? Well, regardless of the fate of their relationship, Andie is sure about one thing and that's her unwavering love for Alice and Carter. She's promised them forever and for the first time in her life, she's making a commitment.
Andie is a no nonsense, take charge, confident women except when faced with North. He unlike anyone else can scramble her brain to mush with one look. He's her weakness and her heart.
For a woman who has no desire to be a mother, Andie embodies superb motherly instincts. Doting, patient and reliable she shields two scared children from the wrath of enemies both seen and unseen as though she birthed them herself. Flighty to fault with her life up until this point, Andie's heart never stood a chance when faced with two lonely and sad children. Fierce in her protection and generous with her soul, she becomes the mother she never wanted to be without hesitation or complaint.
North is an intense presence from the moment he walks onto the pages. Calm, grounded and steadfast, he's a man that does his duty with no questions asked. But there is one person that can ruffle his smooth feathers and that's Andie. Determined to make things right this time, he arrives at Archer House ready to prove to Andie that she and the kids are his top priority, not the firm. Never again will they feel lonely, neglected, or abandoned.
Quirky, fun, spooky and romantic, MAYBE THIS TIME takes you on one wild but endearing ride that won't be forgotten. While many a somber moment, the book is nicely balanced with laugh out loud scenes as well as a hint of creepy terror.
Within moments of opening the book, the kids will have stolen your heart, you'll be rooting for Andie and seriously drooling over North. Set in 1992 simply for the hell of it, get ready to walk down memory lane with a Walkman on your hip and a tape player in your car.
Unabashedly fun, MAYBE THIS TIME is good time to be had by all.
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Thanks to St. Martin's Press and The Book Report Network, I have one copy of MAYBE THIS TIME to giveaway. Here's how to enter:
**Contest Open to USA and Canada Only**
***Must be 18 or Older to Enter***
****Contest Closes Thursday, August 19th at Midnight U.S. Pacific Standard Time and Winners will be Chosen Randomly and Announced Friday, August 20th****