CR Review: The Next Always by Nora Roberts

Posted June 16, 2012 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 2 Comments

The Next Always by Nora Roberts
Series: The Inn BoonsBoro #1
Published by Penguin Genres: Contemporary Romance, Paranormal
Source: Library

The Next Always (Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy, #1)

The Next Always 
by Nora Roberts 
Book #1 in the Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy
Contemporary Romance

The historic hotel in Boonsboro 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. Beckett is the architect of the family, and his 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. 

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. Busy, 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 the building and the man behind it. 

With the grand opening inching closer, Beckett’s happy to give Clare a private tour – one room at a time. It’s no first date, but these stolen moments are the beginning of something new – and open the door to the extraordinary adventure of what comes next . . .


Beckett Montgomery is one of the three brothers who comprise the Montgomery Family Contractors. He’s the architect and together they’re renovating the old Inn BoonsBoro. Clare Brewster works right around the corner in her Turn the Page bookstore, a business she started after her husband was killed in action in Iraq. She returned home to be with family and in a community that would be helpful in raising her three young sons.

Beckett has had a crush on Clare since she was 15 years old but she only had eyes for her husband, Clint, at that time. Now, five years have elapsed since his untimely death and both find themselves drawn to each other. The whole town is watching the renovation and their burgeoning relationship (it’s a small town).

There are so many light moments in this story. Whether it’s when Beckett is interacting with Clare’s boys or his banter with his brothers, I found myself laughing out loud on quite a few occasions. Clare also has two friends, Avery and Hope, to provide girlfriend moments that help us get a gauge on where she is in her feelings about Beckett. I much prefer this approach than having to read the musings going on in a character’s mind. It makes for more interesting reading. The same is true with Beckett as he endures his brothers’ ribbings as his relationship with Clare develops.

I happen to have a great interest in interior design and building construction so I cannot gauge whether the descriptions about the two are overly so in the story. I launched the website for the actual Inn BoonsBoro while reading about the construction and decorating, which provided real time visualization and made it fun. Some might find this shameless marketing but it does seem like it was more of a chronicling of a labor of love.

I liked the romance between Beckett and Clare but, quite frankly, the romantic scenes were curtailed more than I’m used to seeing in a NR book. There were far too few interludes between this couple and not just because of Clare’s Mommy duties. However, the scenes involving Beckett and Clare’s adorable sons were heartwarming and added to the romance.

This is a story you’re going to like with characters you’d like to meet and hang out with. I like the start of this trilogy and cannot wait for the next two books.

The Next Always is available at:

About Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts was born in Silver Spring, Maryland, the youngest of five children. She married young and settled in Keedysville, Maryland where she worked briefly as a legal secretary. After her sons were born she stayed home and tried every craft that came along. A blizzard in February 1979 forced her hand to try another creative outlet. She was snowed in with a three and six year old.

Born into a family of readers, Nora had never known a time that she wasn’t reading or making up stories. During the now-famous blizzard, she pulled out a pencil and notebook and began to write down one of those stories. It was there that a career was born. Several manuscripts and rejections later, her first book, Irish Thoroughbred, was published by Silhouette in 1981.

Nora met her second husband, Bruce Wilder, when she hired him to build bookshelves. They were married in July 1985. Since that time, they’ve expanded their home, traveled the world and opened a bookstore together.

Through the years, Nora has always been surrounded by men. Not only was she the youngest in her family, but she was also the only girl. She has raised two sons. Having spent her life surrounded by men, Ms. Roberts has a fairly good view of the workings of the male mind, which is a constant delight to her readers. It was, she’s been quoted as saying, a choice between figuring men out or running away screaming.

Nora is a member of several writers groups and has won countless awards from her colleagues and the publishing industry. Recently The New Yorker called her “America’s favorite novelist.”

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I LOVE reading and am just crazy about so many series and writers. I’m open to exploring new authors and genres and appreciate those who not only write well but can deliciously craft a character and a tale. Your suggestions for new authors and titles are very much welcomed.

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