Sunday, November 6, 2011

Review: The Next Always by Nora Roberts

The Next Always by Nora Roberts
(a spicy, full length contemporary romance published by Penguin Group)

The Historic hotel in Boonsboro has endured war and peace, the changing of hands, and even rumored haunting. Now it’s getting a major face lift from the Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother. As the architect in 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 sixteen.

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. Though busy and 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 both the building and the man behind it.

With the grand opening inching closer, Beckett is happy to give Clare a private tour – one room at a time, in between blueprint meetings and kindergarten pickups. It’s no first date, but these stolen moments are the beginning of something that could arouse the secret yearning that resides in Clare’s independent heart – and open the door to the extraordinary adventure of what comes next.

One of the things I love about Nora Robert’s stories is the way she gets you involved with the characters within just a few pages. I am a fast reader, but I can’t read her stories quickly. I especially couldn’t read this one quickly, I was so afraid I would miss something. There are so many interesting and important things she includes that make the story richer and more vibrant. I love her books. Did I already say that? Oops. *wink*

This story revolves around the Montgomery family: three men and their mother. As I met each one, I fell in love. They all have distinct personalities and appearances, they're rough and tumble and all man. They're very different from each other, but close knit and obviously a loving family.

Our heroine, Clare, is a young widow with three sons and is struggling to handle her emotions and pain. She deeply loved her husband and adores her kids. Her story is handled with love and understanding. Her children are normal, loving, rowdy boys. You can’t help but fall for them. She's a successful businesswoman who knows where her priorities are.

Beckett Montgomery has longed for Clare since high school. As an adult, he put those feelings on the back burner and just became her friend, especially after her husband was killed. But lately little electrical currents have started running between them, and all those old feelings have returned in spades.

This is definitely another wonderful story by Nora Roberts and illustrates why she's an auto-buy author for me. She has such a talent for bringing her characters to life. You feel as though you are a part of the story.

This book is touching, loving, humorous, nerve-wracking in parts and ... just when you think you have it figured out, it changes just enough to keep you interested.

There is a ghost in the Inn and a history of the building that goes back 200 years. It’s fascinating to read as it becomes renewed again. I can't wait to see what happens in later books as the ghost becomes even more present.

I didn’t want to put this book down, desperate to see how things turned out, but on the other hand, as I read more and more, I kept putting it down, because I didn’t want it to end. I don't want to wait six months for the next installment. In fact, I'm thinking about picking this book up and reading it all over again. I enjoyed it that much.

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