Romance Book Review: Nora Roberts' The Next Always

Author: Nora Roberts
Series Connection: Inn at Boonsboro
ISBN: 978-0-425-24321-3
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Ghost story/ Paranormal
Publisher: Berkley Trade


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With all the hype based around this book even before it came out, I was a little worried I would be seeing a big advertising banner on the inside cover of the book from the Chamber of Commerce and the city of Boonsboro, Maryland. Instead what I found was a delightful story based upon an area that the author seems to know and appears to be quite fond of.

Authors often write about areas they are familiar with or cities that they love to visit. When Nora Roberts wrote this book it was evident that she took great pride in the process of restoring the Inn at Boonsboro, but move past that and you have one the best stories I've read by her in a while.

At times funny and a little quirky and certainly very descriptive, The Next Always tells the story about the Montgomery brothers. The three brothers, along with their parents, grew up in the town Boonsboro and have long wanted to resurrect the Hotel on Main Street. The Inn has been around since before the Civil War and is in need of a lot of work.

As an architect, Beckett can see it all new again. With the help of his mother's eye for antiques and furnishing, his brother Owen's organization skills and his brother Ryder's carpentry skills he plans to bring the hotel back to life. Now nearly there the town is getting really excited about seeing the changes.

Beckett has been in love with the widowed book store owner down the street since high school, but she went off and married another. Now she's home with her three sons and living her own crazy life. Beckett never thought he could be part of her life, but now that she's finally noticed him he may have his chance.

Clare, and her friend Avery, has been really excited about seeing the changes to the hotel. When she gets an invitation to stop by anytime from Beckett, she runs with it. She can see everything just as they plan to build it and falls in love with the place, while she falls in love with Beckett.

The story continues from there-- running past some hurdles, getting to know the ghost at the hotel, three beautifully crafted young boys and a spunky and fun best friend pizza restaurant owner. In the end the readers has a chance to build a fondness for the Montgomery's and the residents of Boonsboro.

I'd say this book hits the mark of starting a trilogy romance series. At times the story may take us into too much exhaustive details about the hotel, but all and all the fun, excitement and even a little suspense is in the mix.

Description:
The historic hotel in BoonsBoro, Maryland, 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. As the architect of the family, Beckett's 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...

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