Reviewed by Doris
One of the most prolific writers in the world, Roberts is called the “Queen of Romance” for good reason. Her books are vastly popular, filled with gorgeous men and women, sassy dialogue, and the fairy tale ending that romantics expect. Often writing trilogies or quartets that involve sets of brothers, sisters, or friends, Roberts can lay out romantic settings and love stories with enough twists and turns to make even the most cynical of us go, “Awwwwww.”
Roberts has a new trilogy set in the town of Boonsboro, a real town in Maryland where Roberts lives. Inspired by a renovated inn owned by her husband and his family, Roberts details small town Boonsboro with all its best characters and small town quirks. Following her proven formula for success, Roberts writes about three brothers named Montgomery. Ryder is the oldest, hardest on the outside and maybe even inside. Owen is the organizer who keeps everyone on schedule and holds a tight rein on the budget. Beckett is the architect and visionary for the family projects. Their mom is Justine who rules her boys with an iron glance and unconditional love. She and Beckett are the ones who see a building and transform it into something very special. Center to their vision is the renovation of a derelict inn that anchors the main street and pre-dates the Civil War.
The Next Always is Book One and tells the story of youngest Montgomery brother Beckett and beautiful Clare. All through high school he had a crush on Clare, but Clare was in love with another guy. After her husband is killed in Afghanistan, Clare returns to Boonsboro with her two little boys and pregnant with her third. Beckett, who has always had a way with the ladies, finds himself totally tongue-tied around Clare but just as attracted to her as he was at fifteen. Along with the developing friendship and trust between Beckett and Clare there is also the beginning of the renovation of the inn which becomes a central character in this trilogy. And, there is Lizzie. Lizzie is a ghost who haunts the inn and who seems to love the Montgomery boys. Sweet, funny, tender, the love between Clare, Beckett, her boys, and the whole Montgomery family is delightful.
The Last Boyfriend is Book Two and this time it is middle brother Owen Montgomery and fiery Avery McTavish . At six Owen gave Avery a Cracker Jack engagement ring and was her first boyfriend. Both moved on to other relationships but always stayed close as friends. Now it seems they find themselves wondering what it would be like to take their friendship to a new level. While Book One laid down much of the ground work for the whole trilogy and introduced all the characters, this book looks at friendship and family. There’s the background story of Beckett’s and Clare’s wedding and the renovation of the inn. We also find out a bit more of Lizzie’s story and her love for her Billy for whom she is waiting. (There is a scene in this book that is priceless involving Owen and his mother that will make you laugh and cry at the same time.)
The Perfect Hope is Book Three and the story of oldest brother Ryder and Hope who has come to Boonsboro to be the innkeeper at the inn. Hope is best friends with Avery and Clare. She is also drop dead gorgeous, smart, and totally capable of holding her own with the often surly Ryder. From the first moment he met her, Ryder has been less than friendly to Hope who he thinks is just too perfect to be real. Hope isn’t sure why he dislikes her so much, but she knows her heart stopped the first time she saw Ryder. Meanwhile the Inn at Boonsboro is thriving. Then, a past mistake turns up to haunt Hope which makes Ryder take a longer look at his innkeeper. Just maybe he has been all wrong about her. With a little help from friends, family, and Lizzie, Ryder and Hope will wrap up the love stories of Boonsboro. (This book has not yet been released.)
* Roberts has used real businesses in Boonsboro for these stories. Avery’s pizza parlor - Vesta’s-is near the real Inn at Boonsboro as is Clare’s floral shop, the gift shop and the bookstore so detailed in the trilogy. Check out Roberts’ website at www.noraroberts.com to visit Boonsboro and see the real Inn at Boonsboro and the town. By the way, each suite in the Inn is named after a happy, fictional couple such as Tatiana and Oberon, Jane and Rochester, Nick and Nora, Elizabeth and Darcy, and the décor is done accordingly—just as it is written in the trilogy.