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The Perfect Hope and The Perfect Conclusion
on December 15, 2012
THE PERFECT HOPE was a wonderful conclusion to the Inn Boonsboro Trilogy. This is Hope and Ryder's romance. It is also the conclusion to Lizzy and Billy's story.
We have been watching Hope and Ryder spar and interact since the first book of the series - when they are not avoiding each other. They seem a very mismatched couple. Ryder is not a talker or fan of social interaction. He is abrupt and brutally frank. Of course, he is also handsome, loyal, hard-working and surprisingly perceptive. Hope is an innkeeper. She is beautiful, smart, socially adept, hard-working and loyal to her friends. Hope seems to Ryder to be a sophisticated city girl. Ryder prefers spending time at his house in the woods with his dog Dumbass as his only companion.
It was fun to watch Hope and Ryder's relationship grow and see it transition from a strictly sexual, no-strings-attached relationship to a deep loving one. Of course everyone around them could see where the relationship was headed but both Hope and Ryder were stubbornly refusing to see.
Hope's former boyfriend - the jerk who was stringing her along while pursuing a relationship with a woman in his social class - shows up. Jonathan tries to lure her back into her old job at the family hotel and into a new, formal relationship as his mistress. Hope is angry and insulted and turns to Ryder to show Jonathan that she has moved on and chosen someone better. Ryder is willing to play along since he has been reluctantly attracted to Hope since she first came to Boonsboro.
The relationship escalates when Jonathan's new wife comes to town and accuses Hope of having a continuing relationship with Jonathan. She throws a fit and actually slaps Hope. Since she chose to have this fight in the parking lot of the inn, she has quite an audience including Ryder who is rehabbing the building next door and Ryder's mother who is Hope's boss at the inn. Ryder takes it upon himself, without consulting with Hope, to deal with the problem of Jonathan and his new wife. This creates the biggest conflict in Hope and Ryder's relationship because Hope is angry that he didn't talk to her before taking action.
The resolution of the on-going plot of the ghost who haunts the inn and who is searching for her lost love is also resolved in this story. I will have to say that the resolution brought me to tears. Roberts has a way of writing emotional scenes that always works for me.
The strengths of this story for me were the the strong relationships among the characters. Hope and her best friends Clare and Avery, Ryder and his brothers Beckett and Owen, the brothers relationship with their mother, the women's with their men, and especially the relationship the brothers had with Clare and Beckett's three young sons all added to the story. This whole trilogy was about building the bonds of love and family.
Fans of contemporary romance and fans of Nora Roberts will not be disappointed in this final book in the Inn Boonsboro series. I loved it and look forward to reading the whole series - THE NEXT ALWAYS, THE LAST BOYFRIEND, and THE PERFECT HOPE - again when I need some feel-good romance.