I’ve read other Crusie Romances, as well as a bunch of paranormal fiction, and I have to say that if you approach “Maybe This Time” wanting straight up romance a la Crusie you’re only going to be partially satisfied.

Much of this book rests on the heroine’s relationship with family. And by “family” I mean not only her ex-husband, North, her own slightly off-kilter mother Flo, but also the two very scared, very scarred children in a gothic house in Southern Ohio she’s been asked to take care of.

North and Andie divorced 10 years ago as North got wrapped up in business and Andie bolted rather than try to work things out.

North inherits a house and some orphaned children who will not be parted from that house, and on a whim, asks Andie, who is in his office after ten years returning unused alimony checks in preparation for a remarriage to someone else, to stay with the children for a month.

Andie falls in love with the children and the challenge of healing them. What she doesn’t know is that the children have some supernatural reasons why they can’t leave.

North and Andie are great. Their relationship pushes all the right romance buttons, but as I said before, much of this book is about relationships other than theirs’.

The minor characters more than keep up the pace for me, though. At one point we have a famous medium, a famous skeptic, a reporter, North’s brother, both mothers-in-law, Andie, the children, and various ghosts all together in the house which almost has a personality of its own, and entertaining mayhem and snappy dialogue ensue.

Lovely, lovely romance and entertaining ghost story all rolled up into one package.

This Book’s Food Designation Rating: one of those appetizers you can buy prerolled at the grocery store and slice yourself featuring a salami wrapped in mozzerella with pesto for the delicious core of romance encased by interesting characters’ relationships.

Crossposted to Goodreads