Publish Date: November 1, 2011
Series: Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy #1
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Turn the Page (You can get an autographed copy from TTP)
Synopsis: “America’s favorite writer” (The New Yorker) begins an all-new trilogy-inspired by the inn she owns and the town she loves.
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…
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Nora Roberts will always be one of my favorite authors. She has the gift and talent to write a love story that will resonate in your heart for many days, months, and years to come. Roberts knows how to create a world and write beautiful characters; characters that you want to love and save a spot for, in your heart. When Roberts writes a series, they are filled with love and comfort. Yes, this is brand new series, but she has a way with writing that just allows you to pick up the book and have this sense of familiarity.
Nora Roberts’ latest series, The Inn BoonsBoro trilogy, starts with The Next Always. The story begins with an introduction the Montgomery brothers and their mother. Together they own a construction company, each playing a key role within the company. The contractor, the organizer, and finally we have our main character Beckett, the architect.
Beckett Montgomery has pined for Clare since high school. Sadly, Clare has only loved Beckett’s friend, Clint Brewster, whom she eventually married. They moved away and had three handsome sons together. She moved home a few years ago, when Clare become a widow. She chose to have support from her family and her home town. She owns and manages the Turn the Page bookstore and seems to be strong and independent now as she has ever been.
I enjoyed Beckett’s innocence. It was refreshing that a guy wasn’t an aggressor when it comes to the romance. Sure, he was a little more aggressive than Clare, but he wasn’t too overpowering. Beckett had his shy tendencies and I adored him for it. Even though Beckett had this huge crush on Clare, he was a gentlemen towards her and her sons. Let’s just say, I died each time he spent time with Clare’s sons. Heart-warming moments, definitely! I loved how he and his brothers loved their mother whole-heartedly. I think that was my favorite part. The dynamic between mothers and sons was revered throughout this book.
Clare was a different female lead. I haven’t read a book with many single moms. I liked it. Clare was strong in her own way, yet vulnerable when it came to her heart. She was reserved to feel love, especially after her husband died, but it was something that I don’t often read about. Clare struggles with the guilt to love her late husband and to open her heart up to Beckett. She never thought that she could feel the same way again, but the feelings were inevitable. There were many emotional moments, and it was written so beautifully.
I didn’t enjoy The Next Always as I much as I loved Vision in White (Bride Quartet #1), but this was different. This trilogy revolves around brothers, and Roberts definitely knows how to write the trilogies about brothers. I loved how the Montgomery brothers somewhat mimic Clare’s sons. It was kismet, and Roberts must have intended it. There was a lot of symbolism throughout this book; something that is familiar in Roberts’ work. It’s been a while since I’ve read one of her books, so it was nice and comforting.
The setting of this book was different. Each aspect of the town, the stores, and the inn described beautifully. Like Beckett and his family, Roberts not only has a financial investment in the town, but an emotional one as well. I never realized how much of Roberts’ own life was written and weaved in the story line. While I heard others say that it was a walking advertisement, I think the opposite. We rarely see factual details of an author’s life in the story. Usually it is written as an altered person or place. I loved it actually. It made me feel closer to Roberts.
The cover of The Next Always is gorgeous. I couldn’t help but stare at it a few times. And the pages were cut in the french style. Sorry, I don’t remember what it’s called. It’s the jagged edging. I loved it all.
Great read about love. Great tribute to mothers and sons. And definitely, a great tribute to finding beauty within.