To Go: 19
81. The Next Always — Nora Roberts
The historic hotel in Boonsboro has endured war and peace, the changing of hands, and even rumoured hauntings. Now it’s getting a major face-lift 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 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, 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…
Firstly, look at that cover! That’s just gorgeous!
Anyway, as I’m sure it’s become clear over the year, I have kind of an on-and-off love of Nora Roberts. I always find that it’s hit or miss, but when she hits it she hits it good. (Hah, out of context that would sound funny…)
And this time, it was a hit. A really big hit. But, if I’m really honest, I may have been in love with the three kids more than Beckett and Clare (though I did love them a great deal). But Murphy, Liam, and Harry were so well-written and unintentionally funny that I just wanted to hug them all.
I’ve mentioned before how much I like when romance writers incorporate things like children and ex (or deceased) spouses, because it forces them to get out of the typical mould of two single people getting together; it complicates the story, and makes it that much more realistic. I definitely liked that change of pace — it was different from the usual Roberts manuscript.
On a concluding note, this is probably a series I’ll stick with into the new year. (It’s the first in a trilogy, and they’re her newest series so the other two haven’t been released yet. Boo.)
Next book: I still have three loaners from Sahar and Sharanja, so it’ll be one of those for sure.