J is for Joaquin Judgement of Jennifer, Joyce & Jane
Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie. Finished 4-10-14, rating 4.5/5, haunted romantic comedy, 342 pages, pub. 2010
Andie Miller wants to marry her fiancé and leave behind everything in her past, especially her ex-husband. A very distant cousin of his has died and left him as the guardian of two orphans who have driven out three nannies already. He needs a very special person to take care of the situation and he knows Andie can handle anything.
When Andie meets the two children she quickly realizes things are much worse than she feared. The place is a mess, the children aren’t your average delinquents, and the creepy old house is being run by the worst housekeeper since Mrs. Danvers. What’s worse, Andie’s fiancé thinks this is all a plan by North to get Andie back.
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 fiancé. 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.
Fun, fun, fun! I loved this romp in a haunted Ohio castle. Crusie will have you chuckling out loud and leave you with a smile on your face. Andie is a great heroine, easy to like, and the kids are damaged enough to make her show her grit. And that’s before the ghosts show up. Lots of great characters, a moody castle, ghosts to sort out, a murder, and sex. What more could you want?
I love Crusie’s writing. Her books are always lighthearted and the canvas of characters is always colorful.
I consider Joyce my go-to historical romance author. I loved her Deadly series and consider it one of my all-time favorites (I reviewed the 9 romanctic suspense series here). When I checked with Goodreads, I have 23 of her 50+ books marked as read. This makes me very happy because it means I can turn to her for years to come. A must try for historical romance readers!
This was the first work of literature that I read on my own. I think I was trying to impress my freshman English teacher during our free reading time in class. I did reread it sometime after college and I watched a bunch of the movie adaptations (most are pretty good). I also saw the musical during its short stay on Broadway. It was excellent and I was sad to see that it closed early. Anyway, this is all to say that this classic gothic romance has it all: love, death, abuse, madness, money, power, a family made not born into, and finally, peace.
In 1948, four Nazis are tried for war crimes. You can’t go wrong with this all-star cast-Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Montgomery Clift, Maxmilian Schell, Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland. See the very dramati courtroom scene….
This was a hard one. I could have just as easily chosen Hugh Jackman (more easily actually), but if I am honest I find Joaquin so much more interesting. Maybe it’s his bohemian childhood and the tragedy of witnessing the death of his brother, Phoenix, but he brings such heft to each of the characters he portrays. I liked him in Walk the Line, and he was my favorite actor in Gladiator, but his latest, Her, I haven’t seen yet because the premise freaks me out a little. Have you seen it?