The Next Always by Nora Roberts

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From Goodreads:
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…

First things first; I am not a regular romance kind of girl. I must have something else in order to digest it. It could be something paranormal or a murder mystery but the story simply has to have something else going on. The Next Always just didn’t have that extra something.

I live very, very close to the real inn this book is based on so when it became this Month’s book club pick I was happy to give it a try. Ms. Roberts actually owns the Inn Boonsboro in Boonsboro, MD, which she and her husband restored. It serves as the backdrop for this book and the catalyst for the story’s budding romance. You can tell that the Inn was a true labor of love just by the descriptions. They are so detailed; you instantly fall in love with the idea of staying there. I’ve never had the privilege, but it sounds wonderfully tranquil. The book is like a vacation brochure.

The book is undeniably well written by a seasoned author. The descriptions and detail that went into recreating the small town feel is well done. The characters banter and play off each other, which make them seem real and more like someone you know. The kids in the book add a little fun and spontaneity. No need to eat that candy bar, this book is super sweet with enough sugar to cover you for a couple of days.

But….

The characters are likable, but regular. These are just regular people doing their regular thing. I’m a regular person (my kids may disagree) who does regular things. It’s boring. I read to escape my boring life, not relive it. Halfway through it got to be a little tedious. It just wasn’t much fun reading about someone’s monotonous days, even with a little romance thrown in. Go to work, do laundry, cook, clean, run errands, help with homework, go to bed, wake up and do it all over again. I don’t need to read it, I live it and it’s exhausting.

If you enjoy romance as the main event in a story and don’t need anything extra, you’ll probably enjoy this one. It’s sweet and pleasant. It’s well written and the Inn will put you in the mood to decorate. But, if you’re like me and prefer your romance as a perk instead of the main event, this one may not be the best fit.

View this book on Goodreads.
View this book on Amazon.

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