Sandy M’s review of The Last Boyfriend (Inn Boonsboro Trilogy, Book 2) by Nora Roberts
Contemporary Romance published by Berkley Trade 1 May 12
I’ve anxiously waited for this second book in Nora Roberts’ latest trilogy. I fell in love with the Montgomery brothers in The Next Always, and I now wish there’s more than just three of them to read about. As the finishing details are quickly put on Inn Boonsboro, Owen finds himself falling for a friend he’s known forever.
Where we got the construction phase of the inn in the first book, this time we’re invited inside to watch all the detail work done for the grand opening. The brothers’ mother and aunt, along with Hope, the new manager, decorate with elegance and verve. As in TNA, I enjoyed the step-by-step descriptions of these final touches. It’s fun to go along with the women as they choose lamps and bedding and linens and bookshelves and then tease with the boys on where to hammer in nails and brackets. The fun continues as Avery and then other friends spend the night in each of the historic-named suites to make sure all is well before reservation guests arrive. These scenes never get tedious with Ms. Roberts’ wonderful way of pulling you into the enthusiasm and chaos with the characters.
Owen is the organized one, a place for everything and everything in its place, lists for any and all projects and budgets – you name it and Owen is on top of it. Avery is the spontaneous one but also a hard worker. She owns Vesta Pizza, just across the way from the inn, where everyone hangs out, Owen taking a little more time there in quiet times to get extra work done. They’ve known each other since childhood. Owen was Avery’s first boyfriend. Though their earlier feelings never totally vanished through the years, suddenly they’re looking at each other in that light again, only from a more mature viewpoint.
Avery wants to take it slow, work their way into a relationship again. Owen is all for diving right in, facing it head on and see what happens. Whatever they do, however they do it, it’s wonderful to watch them from the inside track come together. The one thing on their minds is what if getting together now ruins the friendship they cherish? But each time they’re together, those scenes are fun, teasing, serious, loving, just everything you’d want in a relationship. Even doubt and shutting down when life seems to throw more at you than you can handle. That happens to Avery late in the story.
The resident ghost is still a big part of the book. We learn more about her and why she’s still at the inn. She has a sense of humor amid all that heartbreak, and it’s nice to see that as we get to know her. We also get to catch up with characters from the previous book. Beckett and Clare’s wedding is in the works, so more frenetic energy on top of the inn happenings. Turn the Page bookstore is still going strong. I had a great time when Owen discovers his mother and Avery’s father are having a “thing.” That scene in her kitchen when Owen stops by for breakfast is hilarious. And the scenes with Hope and Ryder still give us the antagonism that started early on between them. It’s going to be interesting to see how Ms. Roberts brings romance into their lives.
But in between all of this the romance with Owen and Avery is front and center. Nora Roberts is the best at that. They’re upfront and open with one another once they decide to pursue the relationship. They have fun, having the inn opening in common. It’s a big thing in town and Avery wants to be part of it. Owen is there for her when her life takes an unexpected turn and she realizes she needs to include him if they’re to have a future together. Their loving is sweet and intense. And family is most important for both of them. I love Avery’s relationship with her father.
And I love everything about these books. From the storylines to the covers, even the pages of the books are slightly frayed and uneven, giving it an old-fashioned look and fit this series perfectly. Of course, I’m one of those readers who thinks Nora really can’t really do any wrong. So all of these extras just makes her stories that much more wonderful.
Owen is the organizer of the Montgomery clan, running the family’s construction business with an iron fist—and an even less flexible spreadsheet. And though his brothers bust on his compulsive list-making, the Inn BoonsBoro is about to open right on schedule. The only thing Owen didn’t plan for was Avery McTavish…Avery’s popular pizza place is right across the street from the inn, giving her a first-hand look at its amazing renovation—and a newfound appreciation for Owen. Since he was her first boyfriend when they were kids, Owen has never been far from Avery’s thoughts. But the attraction she’s feeling for him now is far from innocent.
As Avery and Owen cautiously take their relationship to another level, the opening of the inn gives the whole town of Boonsboro a reason to celebrate. But Owen’s hard work has only begun. Getting Avery to let down her guard is going to take longer than he expected—and so will getting her to realize that her first boyfriend is going to be her last… Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: