Wednesday, October 26, 2011

[NOR and ARC Review]: "The Next Always"

Title: The Next Always
Author: Nora Roberts
Series: The Inn Boonsboro Trilogy (#1)
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Publication Date: November 1, 2011
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Summary (
"America's favorite writer" (The New Yorker) begins an all-new trilogy-inspired by the inn she owns and the town she loves.

The historic hotel in BoonsBoro, Maryland, 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. As the architect of the family, Beckett's 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...

Other places to pre-order The Next Always at:

My Review:

For almost 30 years, Nora Roberts has captivated and enthralled readers with her novels, novels filled with a one-of-a-kind romance that is not only believable but relatable. With the debut of her newest trilogy, the Inn Boonsboro, THE NEXT ALWAYS follows in these same footsteps. Welcome to Boonsboro, Maryland!

Clare Brewster is a widow with three young (and charming) boys who grew up in this close knit community. After moving away at nineteen, married to her high school sweetheart Clint, it was Boonsboro that she returned to when her husband died in Iraq. Now, almost six years after her return, her bookstore is doing well, her boys are growing up fast, and she finally begins to see the looks that Beckett Montgomery gives her. Looks that she finds herself giving him back...

Beckett, along with his two brothers and his mother, are renovating the town's old inn. It's a big project, but with all the love they've invested in it to see their visions of the Inn Boonsboro returned to its former glory, they know all the hard work will soon pay off. During a brief tour of the unfinished building with Clare, sparks begin to fly. Beckett has been dreaming of Clare since high school, but has never made a move before due to the way her life turned out. But after years of fighting his desire for her, the romantic atmosphere inside the inn proves to be the spark needed to start the fire between them blazing. They almost share a kiss (which Beckett later deems “The Moment”), and the brief confusion on both of their parts after leads them to consider their feelings for one another. And so their fall into love begins, as they slowly start to see each other in a whole new light.

Their romance is not particularly hot and steamy, nor is it spontaneous. Yet the gentle, sweet romance that follows fits the story and the characters beautifully, and proves to be the perfect dose for the readers as well. Their love is made more tangible, more relatable to the reader this way, and this is a gift that Nora Roberts has had from her very first novel all those years ago.

One of the reasons that her books are so well loved is due to her ability to write more than just a romance novel. The elements for it are there, of course, and very well executed. But she also writes a great story, one filled with quick wit and humor, touching relationships (outside of the bedroom and including more than just the hero and heroine), and vivid details. She weaves a story about family and community, love and passion, all in one. More importantly, she does every one of those aspects very well.

I found myself quickly falling in love with the Montgomery brothers, with the beautiful Inn Boonsboro, with the whole community and what they stand for. Roberts has the gift to do that, pulling the reader in and making them forget that they are only reading words on a page. While reading THE NEXT ALWAYS, or any of her novels, the lines between the real world and the fictional one blur and quickly disappear, until the reader is living in the novel's world, seeing the characters in front of them, being a part of their life. This was especially true in TNA, as I soon found myself seeing the majestic beauty that is the Inn Boonsboro unfold before my eyes, the four walls surrounding me fade away as Boonsboro became real, tangible, in my vision. Not even a photograph of the town and inn could have matched the vivid clarity that I saw before me thanks to Nora's talented writing. One has only to read a few chapters to see her clear love and connection to this story, to its characters and especially the inn, which is based upon the real inn, by this same name, that she owns. This is not something that can be taught—very few authors have this talent, but in my opinion Nora Roberts is the queen of it!

5 STARS! A romantic treasure sure to enchant every reader who picks it up (whether or not they've been bitten by the NR bug), THE NEXT ALWAYS is sweet and charming, witty and intriguing. It's the perfect start to a series I know will be yet another bestseller—and one I've already fallen for, hard. I'm anxious to read Owen and Ryder's stories, to see the Inn open and thriving, to read more about this small town and all the wonderful and vital characters that call it home. I love my own small town dearly, but I would willingly give it up if only I could live in this community, complete with the Montgomery brothers, of course! Nora—well done, and I can only hope you will continue to bring such treasures into our hands for years to come! All hail “America's favorite writer”!

Thanks to Night Owl Reviews, where I received this ARC for free in exchange for reviewing the book. (Free book does not equal biased review, however!) This review is the property of NOR.


Until Next Time,

*TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!


Marg said...

I can'twait to read this book! NR's straight contemporary novels are just such comfortable reads!

Blodeuedd said...

I did not know this one was coming soon, i just saw it as a WOW earlier today

The_Book_Queen said...

I have no doubt that you will love it!

I think it's fate then; you've seen it as a WOW and as a review today. It must mean you need to read it! :D Lol.

Thanks for stopping by!


Lover Of Romance said...

Sounds like a keeper!!! I will have to look into this series!!! Thanks for the great review!