The Next Always (Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy, #1) The Next Always discussion


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message 1: by Stellmaria (last edited Nov 04, 2011 08:10PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Stellmaria I was so looking forward to an engrossing yarn about three handsome brothers refurbishing an inn. Instead the book features one of the laziest romances in NR history; the characters don't have to labor or fight to be together; there is no conflict or drama. The writer throws in mind numbingly boring details about paints, nails, plaster, bed linens, wood shavings and even (I kid you not) dry wall into every conversation the brothers have. It all just runs together and seems to just be there to pad the book. The whole town is ridiculously happy so there is absolutely no conflict, instead you just tick off the days until the couple finally marries. Roberts tries to "talk tough" when writing for the male characters; one example, Roberts uses "crossing c*cks" as a euphemism for alpha male behavior when simply using "crossing swords" would have sufficed. I don't know any brothers who talk to each other that way. I can't believe this is the same Roberts who wrote Rising Tides.

Becket and Clare are forgetable but Hope and Ryder at least have a bit of spark to them; I recommend skipping over the Home Depot supply talk and the Becket/Clare stuff to get to the more interesting Hope/Ryder scenes.

message 2: by Jennifer (new) - added it

Jennifer I think you just saved me a few dollars- after the bride quartet- i was looking forward to this new series..i may skip it now.

Christina I personally thought it was pretty good. Sometimes you just don't want a romance novel that the significant others want to fight what they feel. Of course she had to talk about the details in what goes on in renovating an Inn, its the same way she had to explain the details that it goes to in planning a wedding and what each character feels and sees in a creative viewpoint, as she did in the Bride Quartet series. This is book was entertaining to me, it made me laugh, it made me cry and at some point got me a little scared. I am glad to have this book in my collection and I have read it 3 times already.

Lisa I liked it but to me, she's never recaptured the level of tension that you find in her earlier books. Tears of the Moon or Rising Tides or Face the Fire - all brilliant examples of how people are often the conflict that disturbs the romance. There's realy emotion and drama. Even her romantic suspense is losing its edge, Chasing Fire was an exercise in perseverence. I actually read it in sections; something I never would have done with The Reef.
I agree she's getting a bit vanilla with the latest stories...also, why are there six months between new books!!

Sharon I personally really liked it.. It was cool to read the book and see how they described the renovations and then go on line and see the actual finished product.
The inn in this series is actually owned by Nora and her husband and the rooms are beautiful...
I think it was nice that a teenage crush could end up with the couple ending up together. And I thought it was wonderful that Beckett wanted to have a relationship not only with her but her kids.
In my opinion not every book in a series has to have that absolute spark. I admit I will anxiously be awaiting the story of Hope & Ryder because of their spark. But I still feel that Beckett & Claires story was just as good and very romantic even with all the remodeling talk.

Donna This book is really no different than any of the other books that the author has written in the past five years or so in that it focuses more on the subject at hand more than the couple's relationship. Tribute, The Search, Chasing Fire, Black Hills, The Bride series--they all had the word research branded into them. It is good to know that Nora Roberts wants to write authentically, but I believe she should remember that her audience is looking for suspense and romance, not a manual on how to refurbish inns or train dogs or fight fires or plan weddings. Still, I enjoyed this book for what it was--a comfort read. It isn't literature, after all. But maybe the author should slow down and take her time with her books, writing fewer of them each year. I would rather wait a full year for a good book than six months for a mediocre one.

message 7: by Nattaporn (new) - added it

Nattaporn Oh NO!
I was palining to read the book!
If it no different from other I think I wouldn't waste my time for such a same old same old stuff.

Angela Considering this was my first foray into Nora Roberts, I actually enjoyed the story, even the Clare/Beckett love story. It was nice to read about a couple getting together without all the problems that are normally involved in one of these genres. I mean realistically, people getting together in real life dont have all these problems so why do we always expect it from the characters in romance stories.
I personally thought the ghost was the most interesting character of the story and the way Roberts used her in the end of the novel was makes the reader ask if they would believe that such a situation could exist.
The intertextuality was great and added to the story, especially when they were describing the way in which the way the rooms would represent each literary couple.
It has actually made me want to read more Nora Roberts and from the comments here, I could only imagine I would enjoy them just as much, if not more.

Barb I didn't think there was a lot of conflict in this story but it laid a lot of foundation for the stories to come in the series. If you like Nora Roberts stories it is worth the time to read.

Ruthie It definitely was not one of NR's best efforts but by the end of the book I was looking forward to the next one. I’m hoping that it will have less tedious renovation descriptions but if not I’ll probably read it anyway.

Melissa I was surprised to find out that Robert's actually owns this inn! I drove past it a few months ago and plan to book a reservation to see how authentic her story telling is. And yes, the book store is down the street (owned by her husband) and the pizza place, Vesta Pizzeria (owned by her son) is just across the street. Very quaint little town.

Cyndi I really enjoyed this book and am looking very forward to the next in the series (Hope & Ryder). I didn't miss the conflict in this story - instead I relished the quiet ride to Becket and Clare ending up together. The shop talk about all the renovation details just made the story more real for me, but then I am an HGTV junkie! I hope to see the Inn live and in person someday!

message 13: by Jill (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jill I am sad to say I agree, Beckett and Clare were certainly not the best couple she has ever written. They weren't passionate at all, well I certainly did not feel it.
I loved the idea of the inn and the brothers building it( the eve and roarke room made me smile). But I did find myself skipping all the details.
The other couples, Owen and Avery, hope and Ryder had me way more interested. Sorry to say but this one just didn't do it for me.

Bridget Jennifer wrote: "I think you just saved me a few dollars- after the bride quartet- i was looking forward to this new series..i may skip it now."

Yeah, this book is definitely a library check out don't waste your money. I read the Bride Quartet series and love it, but THE NEXT AlWAYS falls too short of Nora Roberts' best.

message 15: by Bridget (last edited Mar 01, 2012 07:54PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Bridget This book was not that great and like others wrote I skipped certain parts as well just to get through it, I wish I could get my money back or get another book in its place.

Fiona I enjoyed it, very much along the lines of the Bride Quartet but this time involving construction instead of weddings, I could see though how it could end up being predictable!

Darlene My review: Y..A..W..N. I felt like I was reading the script for a 'This Old House' show. Lots of info re: how to renovate an old house.

Heather I enjoyed reading the book. I thought it was cute. Not what I usually read. My favorite so far was the bride quartet but I havent read much else by her. It was predictable and that kinda got old. I pretty much figured out who will be together for the next 2.

Paula I enjoyed this book but in the last few years I find myself speed reading through her books. They lack the intensity and fire of her books back in 80's and 90's.
When she writes under J.D.Robb, that's sit on the edge of your seat bite your nails reading.
I will still read this series, sometimes I think we all need a break from every day problems and a feel good book can't hurt anyone.

message 20: by Susan (new)

Susan I really liked it! I understand what you mean though. But I enjoy all of the talk about building. But woven around the that tool talk is the love story / attraction.... I can;t wait til my library gets the sequel.


Christy I had a mixed opinion on this one. I love Nora Roberts, but I really felt like this book was more of an ad for her real life Inn of Boonsboro and Turn the Page bookstore. It did feel like it was so much more about the design of the inn than it was about what the inn meant to the brothers and the family. I also didn't really understand why Sam Freemont fixated on Clare and was obsessed with her. There wasn't some point in the story where she was especially kind to him or helped him such that there was a reason for the obsession.

message 22: by Lori (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lori Baldi Well, I've been a fan of Nora's books for many years and have read every one of the books on the backlist. She is an admirable writer in so many ways and I'm very proud to say that I've met and spoken with her at a book signing about 8 years ago. The Inn that this book is based upon is very intriguing and I would love to visit it some day. But I'm thinking that her writing is something that I've grown away from at this time. I found so much of both this book and the Bride Quartet to be tedious and yes, I agree, YAWN. I love the subject matter of the bridal planning business and also love home repair and building projects. But somehow these subjects don't work for me where it collides with romance novels. I'm hoping that the people who find this book to be enjoyable will give her earlier books a try. They are never outdated and are very good. Never boring or tedious. Still love you Nora!

Philippa I for one loved the book but she could have done better, I'm hoping the next 2 books' characters will be more fun to read about

Tabby Lisa wrote: "I liked it but to me, she's never recaptured the level of tension that you find in her earlier books. Tears of the Moon or Rising Tides or Face the Fire - all brilliant examples of how people are o..."

This is so true. Her earlier books have been ones that I wouldn't put down until I was done with them (The Reef, Carnal Innocence, Public Secrets, Carolina Moon, Chesapeake Bay Saga, In The Garden trilogy, etc.). But here lately, I'd read some, put it down (maybe as long as a couple days) and come back to it when I had time, just so I could finish the damn thing. The Next Always was a huge disappointment to me. No sparks there. Maybe the next two will pick up the slack...

Julie It's funny. My mother and I both really enjoyed the book and look foward to reading the next. I don't recall:

"The writer throws in mind numbingly boring details about paints, nails, plaster, bed linens, wood shavings and even (I kid you not) dry wall into every conversation the brothers have. It all just runs together and seems to just be there to pad the book."

What is it with people not wanting details in a book anymore? Details make a book, how can you possibly picture the scene if you don't know details?

Are people going to start getting upset when an author tells you the color of a characters hair next?

I feel that this book stays right with what you expect in a Nora Roberts book. There is struggle just not the typical fight a bad guy or major trauma. It is just more normal maybe.

Long story short? I respectfully disagree and I believe that people shouldn't take the one review and make a decision. IF you truly like Miss Robert's newer works you will enjoy this one. If you are looking for a lot of excitement and action, look elsewhere.

message 26: by Susan (new)

Susan Hi!

I have already read and loved it! The building is real. What they describe as in how they build / remodel is REAL. The building is old, but they weave the story around the building of the Inn. I like it. I like about any true story that includes the remodling of OLD buildings. If can give a story a good Mystique.

~ Susan

Julie And there is still much more to learn about the ghost in the inn. Who is she? Why is she there? Maybe we will find out or maybe she will stay a background character but I would like to know.

Tabby Julie wrote: "It's funny. My mother and I both really enjoyed the book and look foward to reading the next. I don't recall:

"The writer throws in mind numbingly boring details about paints, nails, plaster, bed ..."

Don't get me wrong. I love Nora Roberts. Always have, she's my favorite author. It's just this book didn't up to my own hype, I guess I'm trying to say. I expected more from it. I liked it, I just didn't love it. As for details, it's characteristic for Nora to detail rooms and such (which I'm glad she does), but some authors can take it a little over the top. Anne Rice, for example. She takes half a chapter to detail one room. That's a little much for me.

Aideen I love Nora Roberts. I love Nora writing as JD Robb. The Chesapeake Bay series deprived me of sleep, as did River's End, True Betrayal, Homeport etc. That list goes on and on but stops suddenly with the Bride Quartet. I found the romance from this point onwards, secondary at best. Having said that, I enjoyed all four of that series. This newest offering though has made me wonder if Nora actually wrote it. I didn't enjoy it, at all and that's saying something. I felt like I was trapped in a renovation manual. I like detail as much as the next person but this book seriously tested my patience with descriptions of stuff that I can't even remember now. It took me a fortnight to read this book, the longest ever for a NR novel. And the stalker felt literally like someone just thrown onto the page to create some much needed tension. Sadly, he did not succeed and it pains me to say it, but neither did Nora. Not this time, at least not for me.

Sharon Redfern I bought the book when it first came out and really enjoyed it. I recently listened to it again on CD and enjoyed it as well. I agree that some of the romantic tension is gone in this book and the Bridal quartet but I liked the details about weddings and now about renovating the Inn. All of the talk of sheets, etc just made me picture more clearly what doing a project like this would entail. I want to go and stay in her Inn because it sounds heavenly!

message 31: by Susan (new)

Susan To Anyone,

Are Nora's J.D. books just as good as her others?


Kimberlee I have never read a book of her's and not loved them. I love them all differently, but love them all.

Paula Susan wrote: "To Anyone,

Are Nora's J.D. books just as good as her others?


J>D. Robb's books are amazing, I would recommend them to everyone.

It's nothing like when she writes under Nora Roberts.
They are futuristic and the best mysteries, with the underlying beautiful love story of Even & Roarke

Sharon Redfern To Susan, if you like audio books, the same narrator Susan Erickson, does all of the J.D. Robb books and she is fantastic!

message 35: by Susan (new)

Susan Thanks Sharon!

I'll check that out! I like playing the audio C.D.'s on our Bose Radio. It sounds good.

~ Susan

Missy LaRae Quite honestly I don't read much NR or JDRobb these days because I feel like I'm seeing the SAME book over and over and over again with the same descriptions, "Beating, twirling, whirling into everything." I wish she'd stop using spinning words to describe how people feel.

It's disappointing to me because I am a HUGE NR fan, but even this series lacked the fire of her previous work. I liked the Bride series, bit it was REALLY predictable.

Ruthie I'm currently reading NR the Witness and I'm really enjoying it. It's holding my attention. I read a few reviews and some really liked it and others said it was to slow for them. I must have been reading some really slow books then because so far (I'm on chapter 6) I've been engrossed in the plot.

message 38: by Susan (new)

Susan I don't remember The Witness... I'll have to check that one.


Pauline I agree- I coulndt even force myself to finish the first book in this series

message 40: by Lisa (new) - rated it 3 stars

Lisa Have you read the second book yet? A lot more tension and I was back into I-have-to-read-it-all-now compulsion that Nora does best!

But, as always, the third book is going to be the best. By the sounds of it, from 2nd book, getting Hope/Ryder to pair up is going to take all 350 pages and then some...

message 41: by Melissa (last edited May 20, 2012 10:19PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Melissa Petroski This series is very simular to a series she wrote years ago about 4 brothers. There was a haunted house being restored & turned into a bed & breakfast. The setting was even in the same location.

I enjoyed this book & I'm currently reading the 2nd book in the series, however, I enjoyed the older series more.

message 42: by [deleted user] (new)

I liked it and don't usually read Nora Roberts. Thought parts were very funny especially the spaghetti supper with Clare's boys. I guess the bridal series was more to a woman's liking with dresses; flowers and cakes (and having eloped and no wedding they were fun for me to read)constructing an inn may not be something we do, but I to loved the talk about room colors; baths; linens, etc. I would get a reservation and have a hard time selecting which suite to stay in.
What is the title of the 2nd book in this series?

Melissa Petroski The second book is "The Last Boyfriend".

Kimberlee I enjoyed this book myself, but it was definitely one of her simply sweet books. It was not as engaging as some of her other books. Kind of what I label as sherbert.

message 45: by [deleted user] (new)

Melissa wrote: "The second book is "The Last Boyfriend"."

Thanks Melissa.

Alician Personally I enjoyed the first 2 books. Looking forward to the next one. It's simple and I love the ghost angle. Not as intense granted but it's cute and fun. But that's my opinion.

Leann I loved the first 2 books as well. They certainly aren't heavy reading by any means.But if your looking for an escape then you've found it. Can't wait till November for book 3.

Diane I enjoyed the book. It was definitely not one of her best but it did keep my attention. let's see how the rest of the series play out

Donna I've been reading Robert's stories for many, many years, and I have to say this was a fairly placid story, as was the second book. I'm looking forward to sparks flying with Ryder and Hope though, so let's see if the old Roberts fire is back for that one.

One of my favorite stories of hers, that I read over and over until the spine broke and pages fell out, was Honest Illusions. You can't really get into a technical discussion on magic, so the story focused on the characters more than their careers. One of her best, in my opinion.

message 50: by Kat (last edited Jul 18, 2012 01:20PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kat I read the book and then looked at the website for the B&B and it made me so angry. I agree that Roberts "...throws in mind numbingly boring details..." and these details were just blatant self promotion. I hated the fact that this book felt like reading a brochure for her B&B.

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