Book Review: The Next Always by Nora Roberts

If you're looking for familiarity and a plot whose direction you know, Nora Roberts is reliable.

Nora does brother stories well – my favourite trilogy at the moment is the Chesapeake Bay quartet. PHOTO| COURTESY 

IN SUMMARY

  • The three Montgomery brothers – Owen, Ryder and Beckett – are reconstructing an inn in the middle of town that is taking all their time and energy.
  • Beckett is in love with the widow of his childhood friend, Clare, who has moved back to town with her three boys.
  • But just how long can Beckett and Clare keep their romance a thing when they're really too busy for anything else outside their lives?

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I've read more Nora Roberts, surprisingly, in the past two years than ever before.

My reasons are simple: one, this woman has about a million books, this is not an exaggeration. She has books by herself and books by her under --an alias that you probably didn't even know was her. Two, it's ridiculously easy to find her books anywhere on the face of this earth. And reason number three? Nora Roberts tends to write her female characters in the same way. When you open a Nora Roberts, you know what you're getting into.

FAMILIAR

If you're looking for familiarity and a plot whose direction you know, Nora Roberts is reliable, unlike your government or SGR prices. It's comforting.

It's not as enjoyable for me as, say, a Maeve Binchy, or an Amanda Quick, but sometimes you're just in the mood for something excessively cheesy. You'll definitely get that with this book, part one of the Inn Boonsboro Trilogy.

The three Montgomery brothers – Owen, Ryder and Beckett – are reconstructing an inn in the middle of town that is taking all their time and energy. It sounds like a beautiful inn – think Gilmore Girls, i.e. rustic, small town, effervescent characters, idyllic life.

ROMANCE

Beckett is in love with the widow of his childhood friend, Clare, who has moved back to town with her three boys and is trying to start her life again – which is a whole other complication.

I mean, you grew up with her husband, and now he's dead, so...is this a free pass? I don't know. It isn't as bad as dating your friend's ex when it's your dead friend's ex. But still touchy.

Anyway, in between Beckett not knowing whether he wants to be a father, an in-house ghost and nosey neighbours, love thrives. But just how long can Beckett and Clare keep their romance a thing when they're really too busy for anything else outside their lives?

I knew how this book was going to end, and I'm sure you will too, if you read it. I bet you will also be sucked into reading the next book in the trilogy, about the next brother, Owen. And you'll want to read the third one.

Nora does brother stories well – my favourite trilogy at the moment is the Chesapeake Bay quartet, which, in my opinion, is better written. But you can read and be the judge.

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