Friday, November 9, 2012

Nora Roberts - The Next Always

Meet the Montgomery brothers - Beckett, Ryder, and Owen - as they bring an intimate Bed-and-Breakfast to life, in their hometown.
The historic hotel in Boonsboro, Maryland, has endured war and peace, the changing of hands, and even rumored 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, 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 ...

Comment: Like I've said before, I'm a big fan of this author. She wrote many romances I've loved reading and are still comfort reads for me. So, it's natural I try to read anything she writes and when it comes to her trilogies or series I prefer to wait and to have them all so I can read in following months. I still remember the year it took me to read so many other of her trilogies only to read them as a bigger book.
Anyway, this is the first book in her most recent trilogy and now that the third book is almost here, I've picked the book and got on with it.

This is the story of Beckett and Clare. They've known each other for years and Beckett has had a crush on her for that same time. But Clare has lived her life, became a mother and a widow and now it's back with her business and her children. Beckett is the youngest of three brothers, redoing a building to open an inn and hopefully to create a strong business. At the same time they slowly try to discover each other more intimately and perhaps to even start a relationship.

I liked the book. I think it's very difficult for the author to maintain the same tone of her older novels and I couldn't help but feeling a certain feel of perfection here, it's like nothing and no one was meant for imperfection...what I mean is, the story felt good but too good. Everything fit a place and there wasn't almost anything to look for because all the pieces were already put in place and the reader just had to glimpse things, not wait to discover them, you know?
Now, like I said, I liked the book because it's a romance and it has a beautiful couple, three cute kids and a promising love story in third book (I hope it won't be a disappointment) but I wasn't completely dazzled.
I've read many people say they didn't like the huge amount of story dedicated to the construction of the inn and its related stuff. Yes, I agree, we have many details explained and inserted but I have to confess, personally, I felt this was much more obvious in her Bride Quartet. In this new trilogy it was there, the technical side of things, but in the Quartet it was much more. I think, to me, after comparing the two I have to appreciate this trilogy more because of that.
The story was very simple. A bit unusual way to think of a romance, and I think it would have been better if the main couple were to have shown a little more of doubt before embarking in a relationship...ok, many people want forthrightness but I'm a romantic and it felt like they have a subject to deal with and after they did, where was the magic? Having Beckett take flowers to Clare wasn't enough, no sir.
Of course, the best part were the secondary characters, especially Clare's kids and Ryder and Hope. I can't wait for their story, at least we're having sparks already and by the time they'll have their story it's like more time has gone and their falling in love will be more believable.
About this one, it's very simple, enjoyable like all books by the author are, but I feel like the magic of previous books by hr is slowly breaking up to give space to practicality...and thus making the stories feel more robotic. I hope this doesn't happen all the time...


  1. We agree! The secondary characters were the best in this book. I thought the romance was lackluster to say the least -- and there just so much wasted potential there. Sigh... not like Nora at all!

    I hope you enjoy the next two books. I'm in the process of reading the last of the trilogy at the moment.

  2. Ohh I hope it's as good as it promised...mine is still on the way, almost three weeks traveling, unbelievable.

    Was the second one believable? I mean, they didn't look anything else but friends in the first and there wasn't even a look or a comment about it...