Customer Reviews: The Next Always (Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy)
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on November 1, 2011
Beckett Montgomery leads a pretty happy and satisfied life. He enjoys his job as a architect and loves that he, his brothers Ryder & Owen and their mom run a successful construction firm. There's one thing that's missing from his life and that's a chance to get to know Clare Brewster closer. He has had a crush on her since high school but never acted on his feelings.
Clare came book to Boonsboro after her husband was killed and runs her own bookstore in town. Her three sons and she are happy with the life they built and Clare doesn't have the time to date. And she never realized that Beckett is interested in her.
But suddenly things change and the two are no longer just good friends. Will they be able to get their own happy ever after?

Like always I was super excited to read the new books by Nora Roberts and like (nearly) always I loved my reading experience. I enjoyed the relaxed pace, the cozy and lovely setting and the lovely characters. The pace and how the book is built was similar to the books in the bride quartet series which I adore. The pace might be a bit too slow for readers that enjoy fast-paced books, but for me it was just perfect.

Boonsboro is a great place to set the book and thanks to all the little details Nora Roberts added to the story I was able to imagine the town and it's buildings very easily. And of course it's pretty cool that Boonsboro and the buildings described in the book really exist. Hopefully I will one day get the chance to visit the town.

The love story was very sweet and I loved the way it progressed. Especially the way Beckett handled Clare's boys was amazing and so sweet. Both main characters were strong and I'm excited to see more of them in the next two books of the trilogy.

There are two more plot elements in the story and both made it even more interesting. I want to tell you a bit about one of them, but will let you get surprised by the other one. One of them is a ghost, but don't worry, you don't have to be a big fan of paranormal stories to enjoy the ghost. The ghost lives in the Inn and I think her presence fit to the old building and it's history. The ghost is only a small part of the story so don't worry, the book is still a contemporary romance.

I loved reading about the relationships between Beckett, his brothers and his mom. Their scenes together made me laugh and smile a lot. I liked all three brothers and I'm excited to read Owen and Ryder's story. Owen's will be next and it's already clear with whom he will get together. I definitely can't wait to go on with the series and read more of the three brothers, the women they love and Boonsboro.


final appraisal
Loved the book! The cozy, relaxed pace, the lovely setting and the sweet romance worked perfectly for me and made me excited for more books in the series.
I would recommend this book to all fans of cozy and romantic books.

Inn Boonsboro series
1. The next always
2. The last boyfriend (May 2012)
3. The perfect hope (November 2012)
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on November 16, 2011
I am a HUGE NR fan and own every one of her books (including the In Death series) and I've never contemplated not finishing a book of hers until now. I love how she usually finds an area of interest to focus on in books... I've learned so much about ballet, fire jumping, flowers, wedding planning and so much more. However, the detail that she goes into with this book is just ridiculous. I'm about a third of the way through and it feels like I've spent about 5 minutes with the characters and hours reading about fence pickets, color schemes and copper tubs. I'm so disappointed. I agree with some of the other reviews that I feel like I'm reading a travel brochure rather than a romance novel and resent that it's a brochure for her real life town and businesses. It's like she's using her fan base for free advertising but it's only free to her... we've paid for it. As I've told so many people throughout the years, Nora's strength as a writer is how she can make you fall in love with not just a single character but entire groups of characters and you can't wait to know their story. The hotel is the character in this book and I could care less about it's story.
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on November 8, 2011
Yes, all the books are mildly similar. Girl meets boy or boy meets girl. Fall in love. Issue arises. Issue resolved. They get married. The comfort that provides is wonderful.

HOWEVER, this book was a complete rehash of the MacCade Brothers. Also, I don't know if she is basing these characters on real people - BUT they also seem to lack depth.
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on November 5, 2011
This reads almost exactly like the McCade brothers books, down to the inn renovation and ghost. The only real difference is the shameless self-promotion of her various businesses in the real town of Boonsboro. I love Nora, but this really isn't worth buying.
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on November 5, 2011
I love Nora Roberts; I have read all her books and I enjoy the amount of detail and research in her stories. This book is typical Nora and it is decent if you are a fan. I agree that her research is what changes from book to book and that it feels like she pulls character descriptions out of her archives. My biggest gripe is how this novel reads like a 300+ page travel brochure for her real-life hometown and businesses. I am sure I would enjoy staying at the Inn Boonsboro, but the constant cross-promotion buries the romance. I like travel books, but do not package one as a romance novel and try to fool me. The Inn was the main character; the hero and heroine felt like the supporting cast. I think Nora does much better without a financial stake in the novel's setting.
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on November 5, 2011
Regular readers of Norah Roberts books beware: this is a rehash and complilation of previous characters, from the hero and heroine to the kids and from the friends to the ghost, and of the storyline as well. The main character here is the inn and even it--on paper--looks very familiar and if it doesn't at first it will by midpoint as Roberts goes into excruciating detail describing it. Frankly, when I buy a romance novel I'm less interested in the setting--real or not--than I am the characters and storyline, both of which take a backseat here. This inn may be Robert's darling but writers have an old saying to prevent them from getting too maudlin, "Kill your darlings." If this is your first Norah Roberts it might make a pleasant read but it is in no way indicative of this writer's talent.
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on November 7, 2011
Please do not buy this book. It is a re-mix of various Nora Roberts books and it is deadly boring. You have met all the characters before, twice! You have read this plot before and even the dialogue is stale. This is not a new book; it is almost a cut-and-paste of some old ones.
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on November 8, 2011
Let's see...
3 brothers who live near each other and work together and have dogs nearby as they work (sounds like the Quinns)
Widow with small boys and a ghost (sounds like that series that all had flowers in the title)
A lot of action takes place in a bookstore (Three Sister Island anyone????)
Nothing really happens...(Bride books)

Now I like all 4 of these series. I really do. This one's got some problems.
Unlike the Quinn brothers, the brothers in this book seemed to blend in together. I couldn't see any differences between them. They all had the same personality.
The "hero" in the book does a really stupid thing. He gives not one but TWO puppies to a busy mother of 3 young boys. That's just plain stupid!
It is boring but it did allow me to get a good nap on a Saturday afternoon (which I really enjoyed)

I did like a couple of parts of the book (which is why I gave it 2 stars)
I liked the discovery process Beckett goes though as he discovers what it's like to have small children around. Kids throwing up and food fights and plans changing at the last moment. Beckett learned a lot in a short period of time.

Will I buy the next book? Probably. I see a nap in my future.
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on November 28, 2011
I don't know why I keep buying Nora Robert's latest books. The last series was slightly boring, the Search put me to sleep, but for some reason I bought this book anyway. I agree with all the reviews that say it's been played before. Not only is this boring, I have to wonder if someone started writing books for her because it doesn't even seem to be her style. As a comparison, when I was finished I picked up Tears of the Moon and the prose is so much richer in that book that's so many years old. I would have hoped she'd get better, but it's just getting worse and worse.

If you must read this book, borrow it from your library. I wish I could return mine. I won't be reading the rest of this boring series.

Nora, please stop putting out books like a factory puts out cars. Spend some time with them and start coming up with fresh ideas and go back to the rich prose. You've gone stale and you're so much better than that.
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on November 29, 2011
I have been reading Nora Roberts books for nearly 20 years. There have been trilogies I've loved (the 'Born In ...' series remains a favorite) and others I've not liked as much ('The Circle Trilogy'), but Roberts has a gift of drawing you in even if the main idea is something you don't care about.

"The Next Always" hooked me from the beginning, even if I felt like the characters were reincarnations of previous books. I loved the descriptions of the town, the businesses and, of course, the inn enough to let the fact that Beckett, Ryder and Owen were essentially Philip, Ethan and Cameron from her 'Chesapeake Bay' series slide -- then I learned this book centers around the actual inn Roberts and her family owns in Maryland. Clare's book store and the new gallery are also owned by Roberts and family in the real town. Essentially, she took a renovation project and made a book out of it.

I should have realized when I was reading about tiles and plumbing fixtures for the 15th time.

I can't help but feel a little used. Roberts didn't even think of a creative plot for this one and she used characters she's written about before -- she even made an Eve and Roarke reference, which struck more as egotistical than clever. Then, what little plot Roberts did create was resolved so quickly, it doesn't feel real.

Also, Beckett's man-to-man conversation with 8-year-old Harry is the exact replica of Simon's conversation with Bradley in 'Key of Valor.'

I had purchased the first book on my eReader, which frustrates me because now I can't even take it to a used book store. I will read the remaining two books for closure, although we already know who ends up with whom, but I will check them out from the library.

Sorry, Nora, you've taken enough of my money.
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