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The Last Boyfriend (Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy) MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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About the Author
Nora Roberts is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels. She is also the author of the bestselling futuristic suspense series written under the pen name J. D. Robb. There are more than 400 million copies of her books in print.
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I loved this book, I don't see why people who read and enjoy Ms. Roberts expect something different, when she writes these trilogies, there is a formula, if you don't enjoy it don't put yourself through it! I loved it and can't wait for number three!
Avery and Owen have been friends forever. When Avery was 5 and Owen 8 she proposed to him. Fast forward 20 or so years and a romance develops...very slowly. It seemed like forever before Roberts got down to the romance and left the particulars of the inn's progress and furnishing behind. Friends often do make good lovers, but there wasn't much chemistry between the two of them even tho Roberts tried to write in some.
Maybe I'm Nora Roberted out, but reading this seemed like she created a mish-mash of characters in Owen and Avery from her other books. She uses much of the same language. Love scenes often are slow, languid with a sudden punch as someone slides effortlessly.... Words that any Roberts fan will recognize from other books. Now this is a pet peeve, but what is with Nora and coffee??? It seems like lately in her books her characters can't function without coffee. They get up in the morning and "is that coffee I smell?" They can't live without their coffee.
This particular series also has a ghost interwoven in it. A good ghost, but that said, some of the scenes revolving around the ghost and ghost research were very similar to the Blue Dahlia/Black Rose/Red Lily series and a bit from the McCade Brother series. This one also featured a dog named Dumb Ass that seemed the reincarnation of the dog from Blood Brothers named Lump. Now I do realize after writing 200 books, originality may not something Roberts can capture totally again. She seems to do it though with her JD Robb Eve Dallas series. Yes, she reuses some phrases and coffee and slow, languid sex with a punch exist in them too, but the plots are fresh, the dialogue is true to the characters and new characters have their own spark. With the Inn Boonsboro series it just felt like a rehash of all her other romance novels.
The main reason I gave it two stars is that I felt it was a blatant advertisement for her Inn Boonsboro. I looked it up on the Internet and many of the details in the book had been executed in the various rooms at her physical Inn. The room names were the same etc. as well as the bookstore name 'Turn the Page' which is the name of her husband's bookstore. The detailed information about renovating the property took away from the romance too. Although I think writers do best when they write what they know in many instances, purchasing a three book series that is a fictional account of a property she owns kind of seems blatant advertising and off to me. Just my opinion. Obviously others reviewing this book don't agree.
In previous books Roberts seemed to capture the essence of her characters quickly as she moved them through the pages in a developing romance. Lately her books have changed (Bridal quartet series and Inn Boonsboro series). The characters seem less important than the details of how to decorate wedding cakes, restore an inn or cater a function. While detail makes a story believable and adds to a characters credibility, when it becomes more prominent than the story or romance, well I find it to be a wasteful use of words that could be used to further the story and characters.
If Roberts is going to continue to churn out romantic fiction, I'd like to see a return to stories where the people and plot are more important than the details of whatever subject her characters are involved in. If she is going to continue to churn out trilogies where she always seems to rehash the same characters then at least freshen the dialogue and consult a thesaurus for new words to describe love scenes. Do simple things like have a character who can't exist without her/his morning tea (like Fox in the Pagan Stone series who craved coca cola) instead of everyone dying for a hit of coffee. Simple things. Simple changes.
Another 15 to 20% of the book is the ghost. People run up to her area to talk to her. She pouts and slams doors. She seems to carry a Honeysuckle air diffuser and can blast people with it at will. She gives clues to her identity and sends people off to try and solve her puzzles. Now, I realize I'm sounding like a grumpy old ninny here but if the ghost can communicate her name and draw hearts on a mirror and even attend Bridal Showers then why can't she just write "Find me Billy (whatever his name is). He used to live (wherever) and I need to talk with him before I move out of your Inn."
So after all that there is a bit of a story here about a guy and a girl who have always liked each other, they take it to a deeper level, and they need to communicate better. Not too much meat to the romance angle here.
There is a TON of recycled feeling to this one right down to the worthless unloving Mother who is so much like the worthless unloving Mother from the Bride's series that it is kind of irritating. Nora Roberts has now published over 200 novels and she certainly doesn't need input from me on how to get it done. But this one, where nearly every business owned is a stand-in for a business owned by Nora Roberts or her family (And now we've brought in the Fitness Center too!), just feels extremely self-serving and off to me - way too little book and just too much travel brochure and self-congratulation here for me to say "Go Read This!"
I wavered between 2 and 3 stars but I just can't bring myself to put 2 stars on a Nora Roberts book. I was > < that close though so be warned.