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The historic hotel in Boonsboro 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. Beckett is the architect of the family, and his 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.

After losing her husband and returning to her hometown, Clare Brewster soon settles into her life as the mother of three young sons while running the town’s bookstore. Busy, with little time for romance, Clare is drawn across the street by Beckett’s transformation of the old inn, wanting to take a closer look . . . at the building and the man behind it.

With the grand opening inching closer, Beckett’s happy to give Clare a private tour - one room at a time. It’s no first date, but these stolen moments are the beginning of something new - and open the door to the extraordinary adventure of what comes next . . .

11 pages, Audio CD

First published November 1, 2011

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About the author

Nora Roberts

2,110 books49.3k followers
Nora Roberts is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than 200 novels, including Hideaway, Under Currents, Come Sundown, The Awakening, Legacy, and coming in November 2021 -- The Becoming -- the second book in The Dragon Heart Legacy. She is also the author of the futuristic suspense In Death series written under the pen name J.D. Robb. There are more than 500 million copies of her books in print.

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5 stars
34,680 (42%)
4 stars
27,791 (34%)
3 stars
14,829 (18%)
2 stars
3,078 (3%)
1 star
1,227 (1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 4,208 reviews
Profile Image for Jilly.
1,838 reviews6,165 followers
February 9, 2018
I might as well just admit that I have become a Nora Roberts junkie. I can't seem to make myself stop. It's like crack - or in my case - chocolate.

I guess there are worse addictions. Look at how stupid the bird guy looks!

To like this book, you have to really really like remodeling/renovation shows. And, be willing to read all about it, instead of seeing it. It takes vision to read all about the furniture, flooring, fixtures, and paint colors of a room that is being built. And, maybe a little patience. Luckily, for me, I enjoy all things home-improvementy.

I don't recommend this drinking game with this book. Your liver thanks me for helping you dodge that bullet.

But, even with me enjoying that kind of thing, I admit that there were some slow parts because of the endless descriptions of the building process - which is why I only gave it three-stars.

The guy in this book is Beckett, an architect and all around handy guy. He and his family have purchased an old hotel that they are renovating to be the coolest inn ever. Each room is named after a famous couple like Elizabeth and Darcy, Rochester and Jane, etc.... and , even cooler for Nora Roberts fans: there is an Eve and Roarke room!! Sure, it may seem gratuitous, but for those of us who read her books it is the best thing ever.

*Super Ovaries Activate!!*
Dammit. I just ovulated. I need to read some Kristen Ashley alpha-holes now to shrivel them back up.

The girl in our book is named Clare, and she is a widowed mother of three boys under the age of 10. Now, Clare is nice, Beckett is awesome, but these boys freaking steal the show. They are the most adorable things ever! It had me remembering my own adventures in raising little boys with their super-hero costumes and craziness. Everyone is always telling me how chill of a person I am (maybe not so much here - this is my venting place), and I think it's from raising boys. After a while, there is literally NOTHING that can shock you. Nothing.

I knew the price I would pay for trying to use the bathroom without an audience.

One of the funniest, and best parts of the story is where Beckett is reaching out to Clare's boys and he goes back to tell his own two brothers (grown men) about how one of them said that he wanted little coffins to bury his dead action figures in after the superhero battle/war. The brothers get so into the idea, that he ends up bringing them personalized coffins with headstones that he hand-made out of wood. Of course, he's now a hero in their eyes. And, I have to say, that would have been a huge winner with my boys too. The hubs was always making them fake wooden swords, but they would have loved little coffins.
Although.. they would have probably buried stuff in them that wasn't meant to be buried, like the car keys, my driver's license, the hamster...
It was probably for the best.
Still, the interaction between a man and children always get us ladies in the feels.

Oh my gosh, the baby! That is so freaking cute!

By the end of this book, the inn is still not completely completed, so we will see if they finish it in the next one, where I guess another brother will fall in love.
Profile Image for AliciaJ.
1,323 reviews92 followers
September 7, 2014
I have never been so disappointed in a Nora Roberts book. It felt like she basically phoned this one in. There was no romance, no plot, no storyline basically. It was a bland account of how to build an inn in a small town, with a few interactions between a man and a woman with three kids. Blah. Oh, and then there was the supposed bad guy tossed in the mix, I guess to try and create some tension in the story? I'm not sure what the point was, really. This is definitely one of those books I wish I hadn't wasted my time reading.
Profile Image for peachygirl.
267 reviews649 followers
November 2, 2020
Either I don't know how to pick them or my friends have grossly exaggerated about how awesome Nora Roberts is!
This entire book was meh. The characters were boring and one dimensional. The writing was so-so. Does anyone want to suggest me some decent books by this author before I write her off?? I'd be extremely grateful.
Profile Image for Talya.
117 reviews6 followers
December 4, 2013
I absolutely loved this book!
I will admit, I'm biased. My review is slanted to my love of beautiful packaging and this book is beautifully presented in this pretty cover. I'm also biased because I'm from MD and I have had the opportunity to visit Boonsboro, and the Inn this book is based on.

To the book, I absolutely enjoyed the story of Beckett and Clare rediscovering each other as more than friends and finding love. The banter between grown brothers Beckett, Owen and Ryder was also such a cute and clever parallel to the banter of Clare's little boys Harry, Liam and Murphy. Many wonderful supporting characters, one really bad guy, and a surprise paranormal twist go into this rich and cozy setting as well.
Profile Image for Erin .
1,233 reviews1,143 followers
April 6, 2018
Say what you will about Nora Roberts, she sure knows how to paint a picture with words and pull you in. As I read The Next Always I could picture the town of Boonsboro and felt like I had been to that small town. Nora Roberts novels aren't High Art. That's not the type of author she is and she's not trying to be that author. I saw an interview she did in which she explained why she writes her books, she said she writes books for busy women who have too much to do and not enough Me time. She wants her readers to be able to disappear from real life and enjoy a world in which women always get a happy ending.

I don't often read Nora Roberts novels but when I do I usually enjoy them for what they are. Just fun light romances.

No rec.
Profile Image for Ashley.
40 reviews13 followers
December 12, 2014
After her last series, The Bride Quartet, I had high hopes that Nora Roberts had found her voice again. However, with the first book in her new The Inn BoonsBoro trilogy, I can sadly say that is not that the case.

I found the three Montgomery boys to be typical Nora Roberts male leads and the three females also seemed to fit the typical mold for a Roberts trilogy. Now, don't get me wrong, as a long-time romance novel reader, I understand that there are really only a handful of character types that the readers will enjoy. But when you are as formulaic as Roberts has become, it just seems worse.

My least favorite aspect was The Inn BoonsBoro parts. The place sounds lovely, but the fact that it is a real location and that Roberts took copy from the website to describe the rooms just made it seem like an ad for the place. This totally turned me off.

All-in-all, I was just underwhelmed by the story and am now not very interested in the next two books. So, read it if you'd like, but I'd wait to borrow it from the library rather than paying for it yourself!
Profile Image for Belinda.
1,331 reviews181 followers
June 17, 2020
4,25 sterren - Nederlandse paperback.🦋
Tweede kans liefde. Ik weet niet wat ik heb de laatste tijd, maar ik lees veel romantische verhalen. Ligt het aan de zomer, mooi weer, en roseetje, al drie jaar single? Ik weet het niet, maar ik weet wel dat ik van dit verhaal genoten heb. Een boek voor tussendoor? Lekker zwijmelen zonder alle harde adult scenes erin? Dit is je kans. 🌹
Profile Image for Catherine.
523 reviews539 followers
November 14, 2011
Ah, it was nice to drop back into a world created by Nora Roberts. She has a gift with character creation and storytelling, and this book was no exception. Usually in Romance we find that it’s the heroine that has had a secret crush on the hero for quite a while. The author decided to flip the standard here and cast the hero as the one with the secret crush.

Beckett has been in love with Clare since high school. He’s a self assured guy who has never had a problem with the ladies—unless that lady is Clare. He is absolutely hopeless at being smooth with her. He hid his crush and never acted on it because she never really saw him. They weren’t even close friends. They were friendly, sure, but she was friendly with all of his brothers. Unfortunately for him, Clare was in love with someone else in high school and went on to marry him and move away. Fast forward quite a few years and a widowed Clare, with three kids, has moved back to her home town and opened a business. Beckett still never acts on his crush, but he hasn’t forgotten it. He has to remind himself daily that it doesn’t matter.

I found it absolutely adorable that Beckett was the one with the crush. He was such a sweetie! His brothers loved to razz him about it, but he took it in the good natured spirit it was meant and never became too sensitive about it. I felt a little sorry for him since everyone could see it but Clare, but he was able to eventually get it together enough to make a move. Beckett was quite a likable hero. I can’t say that he’s one of my favorite NR heroes—boy, can she write some delicious ones—but he certainly wasn’t hard to read about. ;) I really liked his friendly attitude toward Clare and her kids. Who can resist a guy that falls for the kids as well as the mom?

I thought it was very clever of Roberts to write a book centered on the construction of her real life business. One, there’s no need to spend extra time researching—she’s already an expert. Two, it is a great way to stir interest in the Inn. I, for one, couldn’t resist googling for more information when Beckett called a family meeting in the “Eve and Roarke” room. FYI, there really is one! Each room is modeled after a romantic couple in literature who got their HEA. How fitting that Eve and Roarke are in there. :) At times the time spent on the rehab slowed the book down, but I enjoyed the details for the most part. Plus, it provided a realistic way of Beckett’s family being able to hang around so much. And I wouldn’t have traded Beckett’s scenes with his brothers for the world. They were so funny!
"Told you not to tell her."

"That's not how I work things. That's not how you build a relationship."

"Build a relationship." Ryder snorted as he sent the drill whirling again. "You've been reading again."

"Blow me."

At times Clare could be a little frustrating, but I was able to understand and sympathize with her for the most part. I especially empathized with her difficulty leaning on Beckett after spending so much time running things in her marriage. I don’t know how well that reasoning will be received by someone who hasn’t spent any time close up with the military, but it struck a chord with me. I’ve known a lot of wives who have been changed in that exact way by the frequent deployments their husbands had to go on.

I’m not usually a fan of kids in my Romance, but Clare’s kids won me over. Maybe it’s because I saw so much of my own kids in them. The fighting, the superhero plates, the singing while they pee…it all hit close to home. I liked that they weren’t perfect little kids who existed in the story only to be precocious or wise beyond their years. They didn’t conveniently exit the stage when they weren’t being cute, either. Clare was a mom through and through and they were an integral part of the story and her burgeoning relationship with Beckett.

A (Semi) Brief Moment of Rambling:

I know that some people complain about Nora Roberts being formulaic, but that has never bothered me. I guess if the formula sucked it would be different, but it doesn’t so I don’t mind. Sure, I felt things were a little fresher with her older books, but I’ve been reading her since high school, so that’s to be expected. The fact that I still always look forward to seeing what unique spin Roberts will put on the characters and situations in the current book tells me that this author hasn’t gone stale for me.

With that said, I have struggled for years to figure out what felt different about Roberts’s present style. I still enjoy her books, but there has been some subtle change to it that has kept me from loving them the way I used to. Some people say it’s the formula, but I disagree. I think I’ve finally figured it out after reading this book. The characters and the way they think and act are still as awesome as ever, the dialogue is still dead on for the contemporary world (and funny to boot!), the setting is detailed and rich like usual, and the writing style is still the same. So what is it? Well, I think that things have gotten a little too close to real life.

The characters have become more and more reasonable and adult. If there’s a fight, it’s usually quickly resolved through well reasoned inner contemplation. The drama is close to nil because the characters are logical and they’re willing to try to work things out. And that’s great—to a point. Somehow, it has become so lifelike that it has edged out the magic and the intensity of the romance. That’s honestly the biggest complaint I have about this book and most of her other more recent offerings. The spark is gone and it’s because everything has become too reasonable and well balanced. The characters are steeped in their families and their work and the romance is no longer focused on as in depth as I prefer. It may be realistic—and kudos to the author for managing to do that—but it has lost some of the punch that I depended upon.

P.S. I almost forgot to mention that there’s a ghost in here. If you’ve read a lot of NR then you’re probably not surprised by this, but if you haven’t, heads up. :)

Favorite Quote:

Ryder sent Beckett a slow smile. “So, you’re hitting on Clare the Fair.”

“I’m not hitting on her. I’m exploring the possibility of seeing her on social terms.”

“He’s hitting on her,” Owen said around a mouthful of chips. “You’ve still got that thing you had for her back in high school. Are you still writing bad song lyrics about heartbreak?”

“Suck me. And they weren’t that bad.”

“Yeah, they were,” Ryder disagreed. “But at least now we don’t have to listen to you playing your keyboard and howling them down the hall.”

Review originally posted on Fiction Vixen.

*For a sneak peek, check out my Tempting Teaser on Fiction Vixen*
February 9, 2017
3.5 stars ⭐️

“Fairy tales, she mused. She’d always been a sucker for them. And for a happy ending where everything wrapped up as pretty as a bow in a little girl’s hair.”

* * *
“It’s nice. Being close to you without pretending I’m not trying to be close to you.”
- Beckett Montgomery

* * *
“People or dogs, I’d say it’s more about how you’re raised than bloodlines.”
- Beckett Montgomery
Profile Image for Serena Miles.
1,166 reviews41 followers
September 7, 2022
Aunque el malo me ha parecido un poco cutre, creo que es un buen comienzo de saga y me ha gustado. He disfrutado con los niños, y Clare y Beckett son muy monos. Tengo ganas de saber más del fantasma
Profile Image for Alba Turunen.
661 reviews208 followers
February 24, 2022
En realidad 3'5 estrellitas, pero le dejo las 4 porque me ha gustado mucho la ambientación.

Ésta serie de Nora Roberts nos lleva al pequeño pueblo de Boonsboro, en Maryland. Los protagonistas del libro son los hermanos Montgomery, unos muchachotes guapérrimos, que con una caja de herramientas son capaces de repararte un roto y un descosido.

En particular, éste libro, que inaugura la serie, es el destinado a Beckett Montgomery, el hermano menor, el arquitecto. Los Montgomery son dueños de una mansión enorme en el centro del pueblo, con más de doscientos años. Tras mucho tiempo cerrada y abandonada, los hermanos decidieron arreglarla y convertirlo en un hotel, el Hotel Boonsboro. Un lugar muy cuqui, con particulares y literarias habitaciones, y con uno de los elementos que más le gusta introducir a Nora Roberts, Lizzy, el fantasma particular del hotel.

Clare Brewster volvió a Boonsboro, su pueblo natal, cuando su marido murió en Irak. El suyo fue un corto noviazgo que acabó en un matrimonio intenso y feliz, pero más corto aún. Clint era soldado, y las pocas veces que estuvo en casa le dejó a Clare la mayor felicidad posible, sus hijos. Clare es viuda y con tres hijos varones de menos de diez años, el pequeño ni siquiera conoció a su padre.

Pero en Boonsboro, Clare intenta curar sus heridas, estar con su familia, y procurar darles a sus hijos una infancia tranquila y feliz. Ahora regenta una librería, y desde sus cristaleras, al otro lado de la calle, observa la reformas del hotel de los Montgomery a diario.

Podría decirse que Beckett y Clare se conocían o eran amigos desde siempre. De hecho, Beckett siempre estuvo enamorado de ella, pero Clint se le adelantó. La suya siempre ha sido una relación de amistad y cordialidad. Por su parte, Beckett nunca intentaría hacerle a Clare nada que no quisiera, y Clare no cree tener la suerte de volver a enamorarse.

Cuando el libro empieza, los Montgomery están de lleno con las obras, pero con unos resultados fascinantes. Beckett acude a diario a la librería de Clare a por un café, y un día la invita a ir con él a ver la reforma y enseñarle el hotel. Así, día tras otro, Clare y Beckett comenzarán a verse a menudo, estrechando la relación, hasta que ocurre; un beso, una cita, y un amor que se cocerá poco a poco.

Es verdad que Clare viene con mucho paquete, Beckett mismo no creía que fuese capaz de lidiar con Clare y sus tres críos, pero cuando empiece a hacerles de canguro, se dará cuenta de que la vida de familia le gusta mucho.

La verdad es que es un libro muy cuqui, muy del estilo de la autora, con el aditivo del hotel y una lección de decoración e interiorismo, cuando lo lees casi crees que estás en una revista del hogar. Pero en éste caso, el hotel y su fantasma es un elemento secundario pero de mucha importancia. Lo que interesa en éste libro son los protagonistas. La pareja me ha gustado mucho, ellos, su romance, su historia de ser amigos desde siempre hasta enamorarse; pero el mejor aditivo han sido los niños de Clare, son adorables y en ningún momento estorban o se sienten cansinos, al revés, le dan el toque más divertido.

Aunque no todo será un camino de rosas en el libro. Sí, habrá un conflicto, algo que le haga mucho daño a Clare, con el añadido del fantasma del hotel Boonsboro, que parece que delante de los niños sí se hace visible. Pero a pesar de todo, el libro tiene su miga.

Por mi parte lo he disfrutado muchísimo, me ha parecido un muy correcto inicio de serie, y me ha dejado con ganas de las historias de las amigas de Clare con los demás hermanos Montgomery.
Profile Image for Mafi.
1,109 reviews200 followers
February 28, 2017
Infelizmente só dou 3 estrelas porque achei que era mais do mesmo dentro do estilo dos livros da Nora. É previsível e achei que o casal não funcionou bem para mim. E a Nora continua com a mania de pôr toda a gente noiva quando o espaço temporal do livro são de poucas semanas ou poucos meses e as relações têm tão pouco tempo. É um pouco irreal.


O Beckett não se revelou uma personagem tão fácil de gostar como eu achava. Sinceramente até achei-o muito pãozinho sem sal, não senti aquela chama que senti com outras personagens da Nora, como por exemplo os irmãos Quinn! Acho que a autora também não desenvolveu muito esta personagem, foi sem dúvida uma das personagens mais fracas de toda a trama, Melhor fez com a Clare, a personagem feminina do livro. Temos muito mais conhecimento sobre o passado dela e de como ela é do que com o Beckett. Foi também interessante de ver uma personagem que não era só viúva como mãe de três crianças O núcleo infantil foi uma óptima adição a todas as personagens secundárias e até gostei das cenas deles com o Beckett.


Nora Roberts tem aqui um bom livro e um bom inicio de trilogia mas ficou aquém das minhas expectativas, contudo tenciono ler os próximos livros.

Profile Image for Mo.
1,351 reviews2 followers
January 26, 2019
I skimmed to the end. Not much to say about it really. It was nice enough. She threw in a bit of a ghost story ... not really up my street. Saying that, I still want to visit BoonsBoro and the Inn and the bookstore. Some day ....

There is an Eve and Roarke room there ... all we need is to have Roarke there, in person.

Profile Image for Duchess Nicole.
1,258 reviews1,527 followers
June 5, 2014
3.5 Stars :D

Listened to the audio version of this story. It had a male narrator, which I LOVED and I believe the whole trilogy is like that, so I'm really excited.

Clare is a widow with three boys, owner of the local bookstore and the secret (or not so secret) crush of Beckett Montgomery since they were in high school. It was adorable, the way that Beckett just silently loved Clare from afar. He was insecure only when it came to her; in all other ways, he was a tough, no nonsense architect with enough confidence to overshadow his small fumblings around his lifetime love.

The sex is pretty low key. Sometimes Nora Roberts gets to whimsical and ethereal in her sex scenes for my taste, but it's her thing so I can't complain. One thing that I really liked about the romance here is that it was very easy, low angst, and immediately believable. No big questions, really...it was all very easy and enjoyable.

As always, Roberts imbued this story with a close knit family feelings that reached out to the entire town, giving a strong sense of community and camaraderie. There is a small paranormal aspect, another thing that is reminiscent of some of the Nora trilogies from a decade ago, most notably the In the Garden Trilogy. Only this ghostly presence is friendly. A bit of suspense that she doesn't even try to hide jumps out toward the end of the book and helps to close up any loose ends.

I'm really looking forward to Hope and Ryland's (sp?) story.
Profile Image for Bookwormgirl.
139 reviews5 followers
March 24, 2012
Okay, I love Nora Roberts. I usually buy her new stuff right away. This one I held off on for a long time. Mainly because the Inn she is writing about she owns.

The positives in this story:

I like the brothers. They are funny, snarky and pretty much just like all of the brothers she writes about.

The growing relationship between the two MC was sweet and believable.

The kids. Those three kids were adorable.

The growing relationship between the kids and Beckett was also sweet.

The negatives:

It read like a brochure to the Inn, the town and Turn the Page bookstore.

The ghost.

The stalker sub plot. It was weak and could have either been really effective and made the story more of a suspense or could have been written out completely. In this case, it was used as the sledge hammer to resolve the relationship "conflict". Which they were resolving already by *gasp* talking to each other and being adults.

Why I give this two stars:

Based on what goodreads says about two stars "it was ok", that is was I feel about this novel. It was OK. For the expectations I have for a book by Nora Roberts, it was disappointing. The problem is, I liked those brothers, so I will read book two. But for the first time for a Roberts book, I will borrow it from the library and not buy it.
Profile Image for Readaholic Jenn .
280 reviews105 followers
October 18, 2019
Not as good as some of her other books but it's still an amazing trilogy. I love the characters (well, all except for Sam) and I can't wait to read the next one.
Profile Image for Naksed.
2,985 reviews
January 7, 2020
A contractor refurbishing a historic, haunted, small-town inn romances a war widow bookstore owner with three young sons. Lots of coffee klatsches and pizza and beer round tables between contractor and his two brothers, and between widow and her two girlfriends. Love lives and interior design ideas are discussed as nauseam. Walk throughs on the construction site occur on a daily basis, sometimes several times a day: everything from tiles, bathtubs, light fixtures, towel warmers etc. are oohed and aahed over. Each room is named after a famous fictional couple (Darcy and Elizabeth, Will and Buttercup....)

In his spare time, the contractor builds little wooden coffins for the widow’s sons, who want to bury their superhero action figures in them. Everyone thinks it is perfectly healthy and normal and not at all creepy. The inn’s ghost weaves in and out of rooms leaving the scent of honeysuckle, playing matchmaker to the townsfolk, and warning them of impending peril too (Another graduate of the Detective Latoya Jackson Online Correspondence School for Private Investigation). A random crazy stalker OM is inserted into the story to create tension.

If Martha Stewart had decided to write a combined Fanfic of the TV shows Gilmore Girls and Medium, this would be it. I recommend it for fans of HGTV.

This is volume 1 of a trilogy based on the real life Boonsboro Inn and Turn the Page bookshop owned by the author and her husband in a small town in Maryland.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Shelly.
310 reviews5 followers
June 16, 2019
Reviewed 05/11/12: So, I just got the latest in the series The Last Boyfriend in the mail the other day. I was about to jump right in and thought I'd re-read my review from this book to sorta catch myself up, and saw it was a very brief and sorely lacking of detail. Of course, I had just got it on audio as well, and decided to listen to it this time and not only write a slightly better review, but also refresh myself with the characters.

I kinda wish I had just re-read the book. This audio version is not the worst I've heard, as it was okay in parts, but this narrator is terrible at women's voices and even worse at the kids. I think I could have gotten past the slightly mannish voice for all the female characters, but throw it in with the nasally and whiny kids' voices, I just wanted to cringe every time the kids talk, and they talk a lot in this book! The narrator has a decent enough voice, but it's all wrong for anything fiction. I think he did the male voices just great, but half the book is Clare, with a huge chunk of her kids, plus Avery and Hope, Clare's friends. It sorta ruined it for me the second time, but I'll not let that color my review, as reading it the first time, I loved it.

Speaking of kids, I'm not usually so crazy about kids being so prevalent in my romance books, but if the author does them well, I have no problem. This is the case here. Clare's three boys, Harry, Liam and Murphy are all boys, from the action figures, video games, wanting a dog, the arguing and stickiness, it was fun to watch Clare tame them, and keep them together somehow. It made me tired just thinking about all the stuff she did to keep day to day life going, and it made me like her a lot. She had the work/life/kids balance down, even if it was hard to struggle, she did it. Life wasn't all about work, or all about her kids, or all about herself, it was great to see that balance, something that's usually lacking in most books. Family is usually a big deal in most NR books, and I appreciate that, she doesn't kill them all off to make it convenient, and have the characters obsessed with their job, no time for a social life.

Beckett was pretty good too, and I like that Clare having three sons, and Beckett was one of three sons makes them a good fit. Most guys would probably be intimidated taking on that but since he knows all about being a boy, it was a breeze for him, and he actually liked it. Speaking of brothers, the interaction between them was great too and hilarious! Owen is so organized it makes me drool, in a good way! And of course, Ryder is the one whose book I can't wait for, him and Hope are going to have sparks flying, already do! The interaction between all characters was pretty good, and realistic.

I read in someone else's review, I think Willaful (hi Willa!) that most of the conflict in NR's later books is usually external. This is the case in this book, but it's not something I mind. I think there was a little internal conflict with Clare who at first couldn't handle Beckett wanting to help with everything when she was so use to taking care of things herself. This could have been a major conflict if she wasn't so incredibly reasonable and worked it out in a few days. I can see where's coming from, as I've been in that situation, albeit without three boys to take care of. My hubby is ex-military, and when they are gone, and you're in a foreign town, it's just you and your wits. You can cry and complain all you want, but it's still got to get done, and unless you have tons of money (which military doesn't provide) you have to do it yourself. I remember having a few such fights with my husband when he's get back from deployment, I was still doing everything and he wanted to help. It's an adjustment, one that even though he's been out for 6+ years, I still have to mentally make. I wish Clare would have struggled with this a bit more, but I don't think it would have made a very good conflict, as maybe not a lot of people get this viewpoint, or would have found it irritating and come as too independent. It's really not just independence, it's just a way of thinking you get use to if you're gonna be able to hang as a military spouse.

As I mentioned in my earlier tiny review, I do like the bit of paranormal thrown in. Not too much, not to little, but just right. You could have the story without the ghost, but it's a nice element, and I much prefer the ghost in it.

Obviously, if you've read NR before, especially the later ones, you know what you're getting. No big surprises, but it still works. It's nice to get into a NR book, if you like them. I appreciate the way she describes the setting, and I don't feel bogged down in details, but I can picture everything in my head. The pacing and style is comfortable to me, and I think it's pretty darn tight, no big gaps or info dumps, the flow is easy but the story is still good. It may be formulaic, but I still find her books incredibly entertaining, along with a few million others too!

Review from first reading of Nook version, 2/6 - 2/11/12Another new series from NR, and even though every time I pick up one of her books, I think, she can't keep this up, and yet she does. I wouldn't say it's the most fabulous, but I definitely like it, a lot. I can already see the trouble brewing between Ryder and 'the innkeeper' - and of course it'll be the last book. One of the reasons I love NR - she does romance with a little bit of the mystical thrown in, and it's just enough for me, interesting but not the whole focus of the book or the characters lives. In this one we have a resident ghost living at the inn. I can't wait for the rest of the series, I wish they'd print them sooner - we all know NR is about a dozen books ahead, lol.
Profile Image for Obsidian.
2,736 reviews940 followers
March 16, 2017
I would feel bad about this if I wasn't prepared for this exact outcome. I was initially going to read this trilogy along with a friend who bought all three books. She's also the friend who always prods me to keep reading the In Death series that Roberts writes under JD Robb as well. I was worried this book would not work for me (it didn't) but since I do love reading HGTV Magazine and other magazines dealing with decorating I didn't think it would be too bad. I was wrong.

I had to stop reading at the 20 percent point when I realized that the majority of this book was just a plug for real life businesses that Roberts own. She owns an inn at Boonsboro and it also sounds like the pizza place and bookstore are also owned by her as well. Which just makes the book a weird brochure to stay at this inn and go to this town to eat at this place and also buy books there. I honestly think this could have worked if Roberts had included pictures of the inn and the pizza shop and bookstore in this book. Or did something like have a character designing a website and talking about setting it up for the inn and then readers could click on it and it would take you to the site. I did like the first page which showed a diagram of the town and the locations of the other places (pizza shop and book store) so I think something like that could have made the book more fun. I guess I am just used to looking at graphic novels and comics on my Kindle Fire now that I am in love with anything that has illustrations these days.

The hero and heroine in this one (Beckett Montgomery and Clare Brewster) were dull as dishwasher. I don't even know why Beckett was attracted to Clare since there didn't seem to be anything about her that stood out to me. Roberts depicts Clare as a widow with three young boys and honestly the first thing that stood out for me is that she made her a younger version of the character in Black Rose (In the Garden #2) Rosalind Harper. Rosalind was also a widow with three sons. I also saw mixes of Zoe McCourt from Key of Valor (Key Trilogy #3) as well. I maybe rolled my eyes at Clare being widowed after her husband was killed by a sniper in Iraq. I honestly had to stop reading some of Macomber's books for a while since every heroine was a widow and her husband died while working for special forces in Afghanistan. My friend who got further than I did let me know that some random dude appears and starts to stalk Clare so I guess that was what Roberts threw in between the long descriptions of rooms, decorations, and how people smelled.

Most of the men in these books fit one of three archetypes (nerdy guy who is deep down a very sexual being though you wouldn't know it, the guy who is uptight who also may be afraid to commit/is ready to commit, and the bad boy). Sometimes the male characters are all three at once, but not usually. I guess that Beckett (the name alone people) is going to fit archetype #1. I honestly thought he was interested in the owner of the pizza shop first since he had more to say to her and noticed her changing the color of her hair. But when Clare was introduced, I had to go back and double-check she wasn't the pizza shop owner.

There really wasn't enough that I read for me to comment on other characters. Beckett is one of three boys so his other brothers Owen and Ryder. Based on the names alone, who do you think is what archetype? Owen seemed humorless to me and Ryder was a smartass. That's all I got.

The writing was just one big love letter to the inn. Once the ghost entered the picture I was out. Once again, I saw shades of In the Garden and felt too annoyed to go on after that piece. The flow was hampered too since we would just randomly have one character talking about furniture or decorations and my eyes would glaze over.

I have to say though, that starting this book and DNFing it made me think about the In the Garden trilogy which honestly was the last trilogy I really enjoyed. I think I am going to go and re-read that soon.
Profile Image for Vero Rinconin.
519 reviews141 followers
December 22, 2022
Me ha gustado bastante, se lee en un plis y deja con ganas de seguir leyendo para conocer las historias de las otras parejas y para saber más sobre "el misterio del hotel"
Profile Image for Els.
303 reviews5 followers
September 26, 2020
This was a lovely story and I'm going to read the next book in the serie.
And I really hope that the ghost will have a part in that story.
Profile Image for Obsidian.
2,736 reviews940 followers
May 18, 2020
Well this is my second attempt at reading this book. I tried back in 2017 and just gave up at that point. I think it was all of the information provided about the renovations and decorating. Sorry, I just didn't care. And this was before my whole house needed to be renovated in 2018 and even then I have to say I doubt I would have cared this much still about decorative details. For readers who don't know. the Inn BoonsBoro is a real live place that Roberts owns and operates. And yes the inn does have rooms based on romantic literature pairings. There is an Eve and Roarke room which...I am sorry, still makes me laugh. The book itself was solid though when you ignored the decorating and renovation stuff. I liked the characters of Beckett and Clare. I thought that Roberts did a great job with a widow moving on so this had shades of 'second chance' romance since Beckett and Clare knew each other as kids, but not quite since they only became involved in this book. That said, this book borrows a lot from previous Roberts trilogies. I wonder at all of her single mom characters having three kids (see "In the Garden" and even "The Chesapeake Bay series" that had three boys initially which expanded to four boys.)

"The Next Always" follows Beckett Montgomery (shout-out to Jude Deveraux's Montgomery series) and Clare Brewster. Clare returned to BoonsBoro after the death of her husband. She owns a bookstore and is raising her three young sons with help from her parents and her in-laws. She thinks about romance, but no one has touched her the way her dead husband Clint did. That is until Beckett Montgomery. Clare has known Beckett for years. She now wonders about him and feels heat when he is near. As for Beckett, he had feelings for Clare way back in high school but never stood a chance with her when she fell in love with her husband. Now he has a chance with her and wants to make it work. Throw in Clare's three sons, a ghost, and a stalker, and you have "The Next Always."

I really did like Clare, I loved how open she was with still loving her husband Clint, but realizing she was developing feelings for Beckett. I hate romances which either make the dead spouse a louse and or just make it that the woman or man in question was not as big a love as the new one (looking at you Cedar Cove and Virgin River series). I think that is why most romance readers stay away from widow/widower romances, because you have to wonder at the person finding love again when the first time sucked so bad. Clare's three sons were adorable and cracked me up.

Beckett was great and we get some insight into him and his brothers, Ryder and Owen. Have to say that I loathed Ryder in this one. Him refusing to call a woman by her first damn name and just her job description ticked me off. I also liked Beckett realizing he was dating a single mother and she came in a package. He also didn't get his back up about Clare's first marriage.

The secondary characters such as Owen, Hope, and Avery were great. As said above, I hated Ryder. Can Roberts not always include some random asshole that no one calls out for his assholiness? I noticed in her later book she has pretty much done away with the alpha male trope (thank God). I am remembering how much I loved "Currents" for this very reason. We get a male who can actually discuss his feelings and not be a jerk to the woman he supposedly loves.

The mom in this one was pretty absent besides popping in and demanding her sons change things. She needed way more development.

The writing was pretty good, think the whole stalking angle was a wash though since it didn't really fit in the book, I imagine Roberts did this to add in some tension.

The setting of BoonsBoro sounds pretty cool. I have driven past this area before (I live in VA and my family is back in PA) so I have to admit I am tempted to go by it to just see if it matches what is in my head. Onto the next book in the series when it is available via the library!
Profile Image for ☕️Kimberly  (Caffeinated Reviewer).
3,039 reviews650 followers
November 4, 2011
The Next Always by bestselling author Nora Roberts is the first novel in a brand new trilogy. I have been reading Roberts’s books since I was a teen and have come to love her characters, romances and writing style. This enchanting tale has romance, suspense and a ghost.

Roberts, takes us to the small town of BoonsBoro, Maryland. Beckett Montgomery and his two brothers, along with their mother are restoring the BoonsBoro Inn to its former glory. Beckett is the architect in this handsome group of single brothers. I like Beckett; he is strong, confident, determined, sexy and a little unsure of himself when it comes to Clare Brewster. He has had a crush on her since he was fifteen, but she married her high school boyfriend. She returns years later, widowed with three young sons and opens a bookstore across from the inn. Beckett, finds every excuse to drop in at her book store, but always feels awkward and nervous when he talks to Clare.

Clare Brewster is a military widow, whose husband died while deployed in Iraq. She works long hours and is a great mother to her three young boys. She is independent, lonely and has always had to take care of her own. She daydreams about Beckett. Being a single working mom, she has practically eliminated dating from her vocabulary.

The old Boonsboro Inn is supposedly haunted and Beckett has heard a woman’s laughter and sometimes smells honeysuckles. When he offers to give Clare a tour something strange happens and the two of them almost kiss..What follows next is a delightfully romantic tale that will leave you wanting more.

Roberts has a way of making you fall in love with all of her characters and the towns they reside in. Her characters have depth, integrity, overcome obstacles and have a strong sense of family. These are all things I cherish about her novels. Foreshadowing in the novel gives clues as to which Montgomery boy may lose his heart next. I highly recommend The Next Always to anyone who loves romance, small towns and trilogies. The second book in the trilogy entitled The Last Boyfriend will be available in May of 2012.
Profile Image for Donna.
567 reviews6 followers
November 6, 2011
This was terrific...It has the same feel as her Bride Quartet with this trilogy focusing on a family of men.I loved the humor and the interactions between Beckett and his brothers. I liked Clare as a strong, independent woman who doesn't really NEED a man! The inn sounds wonderful and I'm really enjoying watching it unfold. The ghost was certainly interesting, Ms. Roberts has added varying levels of the supernatural in many of her trilogies. I'm completely ok with the scent of honeysuckle and the doors slamming, I'm not so sure how I feel about the mirror message. I also wonder a little bit about Beckett waiting so long to approach Clare if he's always been crazy about her. That doesn't really seem to fit with his personality, he certainly doesn't come across as shy or insecure! I'm looking forward to Owen and Ryder's stories...with maybe a romance for their mother...with Avery's father?
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jennifer☠Pher☠.
2,738 reviews230 followers
May 26, 2021
This is one of those books I've wanted to get to for a very long time. I kind of got away from this kind of story for awhile but have been on a Nora kick so I figured this was a good time for it.

I'm a little disappointed.

I was mostly bored. Not with the Inn BoonsBoro, but with the romance. I was into the construction and decor and the town for sure.

It's not easy, the dead spouse and three kids. But that wasn't even it. Mostly I feel like Beckett settled. That's probably not the right descriptor it just seems he was pining for a teenage crush and wanted it no matter what. Again, as with the last book I read by Nora, I wanted more of a arrow to the heart and I feel like Clare didn't have that. It moved toward that direction but somehow for me, it missed something. Passion maybe. I just didn't feel anything desperate between them.

I do look forward to the other brothers because regardless of my feelings, I still am interested in seeing the others find love.

Not a favorite, not horrible, just a little less than I expected.
Profile Image for b.andherbooks.
2,092 reviews930 followers
September 1, 2022

okay but which nora roberts is it where she's the single mom of three boys and he just sweeps her off her feet and plays super hero action figures with the kids, including making small toy coffins for the action figures to use after the battles?!
Profile Image for Mina.
114 reviews12 followers
January 22, 2012
Maybe more like a 2.5 rating. Nice solid "Meh."

So this was my first Nora Roberts book. I've avoided her in general because I'd gotten the impression that she was a romance writer as in verging-on-erotica-romance. So why this book? It was the cover. Seriously. I feel very lame admitting that, but the cover looked like somewhere I wanted to go. Yeah, yeah ... don't judge a book by that. I know.

Well, it was not as bad as I'd thought, content-wise. I've read much smuttier sex scenes in non-romance novels. Roberts seems to be more along the lines of a female Nicholas Sparks. I've already established that I don't really care for his books that much. I've tried very hard to like them, and I just can't. Even reading this one novel, I could feel the formula that Roberts must follow. The romance that's meant to be ... the obstacles, heartache, tragedy, which really don't seem to be horribly difficult to overcome.

I didn't mind the characters, but they weren't anything spectacular, and I did not become attached to any. There was some foul language, which tends to turn me off anyway, but this felt sprinkled in kind of randomly, like she had to put it in to make her male characters seem masculine. And I guess I get it, because they "sounded" like men being written by a woman.

This is the first in a trilogy. It ended with the one brother (of three) becoming engaged to the one girlfriend (of three). With the build-up in this and with reading the 1st chapter of the second book included at the end and the title of the third, it's clear that in book two brother #2 will end up with girlfriend #2 and that in the third book brother #3 will end up with girlfriend #3. Very tidy.

I don't know if I'll pick up the others or not as they come out. Maybe. If I need a mindless beach-read. But I may forget.
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