By Candace Salima, Contributor, US Daily Reivew.
Book: The Next Always, Book 1 in The Inn Boonsboro Trilogy
Author: Nora Roberts
The historic hotel in BoonsBoro, Maryland, 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. 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 fifteen…
From that description, one would assume this latest offering by Nora Roberts was nothing more than a sweet romance, but that is never the case with this New York Times best-selling author.
Arguably, one of the best writers of our generation, Nora Roberts has spent a collective total of 879 weeks on the NYT Bestseller list. The reason for this is because she has delivered 198 full-length novels, 49 of which debuted at Number One on the Times list.
So what turns this from a sweet romance? Humor, the supernatural, a stalker, an architect with a penchant for pizza and beer, and a woman whose husband was killed in Iraq.
It’s always lovely to have a resident ghost providing that extra dimension in a story, but consider how the appearance of a ghost might effect a widow. With this added dimension, and the delusional stalker, an element of drama and danger are added to the story.
With laugh-out-loud humor, Roberts delivers this first in the Inn at Boonsboro Trilogy with her usual style. There is no one better out there at narrative description than Nora Roberts. Her dialogue is always crisp, character personality well-developed and put to the test throughout the story. The stories pull the reader in, as any good book should always do, and carries you through until you turn the last page. And in case you’re wondering how good the book was, I was really annoyed to find that book two doesn’t make it’s appearance until May of 2012. So yes, it’s worth reading. Nora Roberts always is.
However, I did notice Roberts seems to be pushing the envelope with profanity and crassness, not usually a part of her writing style as Roberts, although it is under her pseudonym J.D. Robb. She is one of my favorite authors, and I always buy her books the first day they hit the stores. But I was disappointed that she’d chosen to develop Beckett, the main character, in this way. Without question, he is one way with Clare, and a different way with his brothers, as is usual in any dynamic. But with the language peppered with the F-word, crude suggestions to one another, etc. I was put off by that.
Therefore, although the story was fabulous as usual, and I couldn’t put the book down even though I’m sick, I’m giving The Next Always a 4 out of 5 Star rating. Roberts was dinged for the profanity and crassness.
Book: The Next Always, Book 1 in the Inn at Boonsboro Trilogy
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Berkley Trade; Original edition (November 1, 2011)