Jennifer Crusie is the queen of contemporary humorous romance. I used to say that I'd love to be the supernat**spoiler alert** (Trigger Warning Below)
Jennifer Crusie is the queen of contemporary humorous romance. I used to say that I'd love to be the supernatural Jennifer Crusie, but with Wild Ride and now Maybe This Time, Crusie is taking that crown for herself. This time out she presents us with Andie Miller, school teacher and free spirit, who wants to get on with her life. This means returning ten years of alimony checks to her ex-husband, North Archer, and marrying her fiance.
But staid, responsible North has one last favor to ask of her. And somehow Andie finds herself saying "Yes" and ending up at a crumbling mansion in southern Ohio with two orphans who have run off two nannies already. It's only for a month, until North can get them back up to his family estate, but Andie finds the situation is much stranger than distant relatives appearing better off in their old family home.
The children are bright and quite odd, right down to talking to ghosts, the housekeeper could give Mrs. Danvers a run for her money, and Andie's fiance thinks this is all a ploy by North to get Andie back. When the ex-BIL shows up with a sleazy journalist and a self-doubting parapsychologist, and then Andie starts seeing (and talking with) ghosts, the show is just beginning.
Ghosts or no ghosts? Accidental deaths or murders? Is North making one last try for Andie's love?
This book won't displace Bet Me as my favorite Crusie, but it's a great deal of fun and I expect to re-read it. Andie is a woman with heart, the kids are wonderful and real people, characters have actually grown in the ten years of knowing each other, and the humor just keeps burbling up. I might have liked a little bit more from North's POV -- having the fiance around may have split the male energy a bit -- but he turned out to be even better once he started interacting with the kids.
If you like Crusie, definitely try this one. (If you stopped reading her because you didn't care for the collaborations, it's safe to come home -- this is classic Crusie.)
Caveat -- There is a cavalier and black humor dismissal of ghostly possession of a character who is then pronounced such a slut that she would have slept with the men anyway, and indeed had in some cases already done so. For many people, "It's not rape if you're a slut" is not something to come up on without warning. So -- be warned....more
This is a darling little piece of fluff! Scandalous is a short romance, originally a Loveswept, with Christmas and couture and longtime scandals, anThis is a darling little piece of fluff! Scandalous is a short romance, originally a Loveswept, with Christmas and couture and longtime scandals, and the delightful layer of history that all good fiction possesses.
Paisley Vandermeir was born on a hippie commune, transplanted at all of seven years old to high society Manhattan, and mentored by her wild Aunt Izzy, whose Roaring 20s exploits still tarnish the family name. Paisley has never had a chance to be respectable, because Vandermeir women are expected to cause scandals. But Paisley has taken care of something she needed to do. Only one more thing is left -- cause the scandal everyone has been waiting for, and then go past it and find her own future.
Christopher Quincy Maitland, the spitting image of Aunt Izzy's scandalous lover, appears safe, dependable, and scandal proof. A touch of flirtation, a spin with all that high society does not expect her to touch, and then Paisley will be free.
But is he scandal proof? And can Paisley free herself from a man whose very glance sets her pulse fluttering in a fashion that is entirely foreign to all her experience?