Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Next Always (Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy #1)

by Nora Roberts, MacLeod Andrews (Narrator)

From The Publisher...

The historic hotel in Boonsboro has endured war and peace, changing hands, even rumored hauntings. Now it’s getting a major facelift from the Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother. Beckett is the architect of the family, and his social life consists mostly of talking shop over pizza and beer. But there’s another project he’s got his eye on: the girl he’s been waiting to kiss since he was fifteen.

After losing her husband and returning to her hometown, Clare Brewster soon settles into her life as the mother of three young sons while running the town’s bookstore. Busy, with little time for romance, Clare is drawn across the street by Beckett’s transformation of the old inn, wanting to take a closer look . . . at the building and the man behind it.

With the grand opening inching closer, Beckett’s happy to give Clare a private tour - one room at a time. It’s no first date, but these stolen moments are the beginning of something new - and open the door to the extraordinary adventure of what comes next .

From Me...

The description above is probably the worst part of this book.  It's so much more than the run-of-the-mill romance novel that is described above.  First of all, the renovations of the inn are at times dazzling and always charming.  Each room in the inn is named a famous literary couple with a happy ending.  No tragic Romeo and Juliet room here, but there is a Darcy and Elizabeth, my personal favorite. ;)

What is completely missing from the description is the supernatural element.  The inn is haunted by a subtle yet romantic ghost whose story is untold.  She is more of a specter than a shadowy figure, since you never see her, but that doesn't mean she isn't involved in the telling of  Clare and Beckett.

The romance is this book seems to follow he normal Nora Roberts form.  Strong manly man who is also sensitive, falls for a beautiful woman who is also intelligent.  They are drawn together by chemistry, then stay together as they fall in love.  Seriously, its a romance surprised can you be?  The character and appeal in the novel come from the telling of this romance and the difficulties encountered along the way.

Clare would be sympathetic enough simply as she is a war widow, but she has three little boys whose father is gone. She is raising them on her own while doing my dream job; she owns a bookstore.  The scenes with the brothers are fun and sometimes laugh out loud funny, and not just the tiny brothers.  Beckett is one of three sons as well, and the banter between them is genuinely and hysterically male.  This is a hard element for a female romance writer to accomplish.  Many times, male interaction scenes are too stunted or cliche, making the scene feel and sound like a woman making up what she thinks guys sound like.  In this case, Roberts finds a nice balance. She also uses the older brothers and the younger brothers as interesting literary devices, having their scenes mirror each other throughout the book.  While reading this, you really have to wonder if men are truly just overgrown little boys.

I enjoy Nora Roberts, so its no surprise that I enjoyed this one, but I really did.  The setting, the topic, the characters and the plot, all kept me interested and intrigued.  It's a great quick read that will charm you.

Favorite Quotes...

***“I've wanted to be with you when I didn't have the right to.”*** -Beckett

***So, you’re hitting on Clare the Fair."
      “I’m not hitting on her. I’m exploring the possibility of seeing her on social terms.”
      “He’s hitting on her,” Owen said around a mouthful of chips. “You’ve still got that thing you had for her back in high school. Are you still writing bad song lyrics about heartbreak?”
       “Suck me. And they weren’t that bad.”
       “Yeah, they were,” Ryder disagreed. “But at least now we don’t have to listen to you playing your keyboard and howling them down the hall.” ***
                                       - Montgomery Brothers

***“Men are boys in bigger packages.”  -Avery

***“Told you not to tell her.”
       “That's not how I work things. That's not how you build a relationship.”
       “Build a relationship.” Ryder snorted as he sent the drill whirling again. “You've been reading again.”
       “Blow me.” 
                                        - Montgomery Brothers


  1. Hi Amy,

    Congrats! You have won a book in my Mega November Giveaway but you didn't leave an email. Please contact me at amusedbybooks at gmail dot com to claim your prize.

    Have a great day!

  2. Well, I have not heard of the author, but this sounds interesting.
    LOVED your review, Amy
    Adding this to my TBR
    Your reader,

    1. I can't believe you have never heard of Nora Roberts! You will like her!


Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the Glamour Amour kit by Irene Alexeeva and the Oh La La kit by NewLifeDreams Design