Nora Roberts was my first introduction into contemporary romance years ago. Before that, I didn’t even know the genre existed. I thought all romance was either Fabio’s bare chest on a cover or the Christian romance I read at my Grandma’s where couples (even married couples) didn’t even kiss on the lips.
I’ve read most of Nora’s books, and I’ll go ahead and spend a little extra to have a new Nora Roberts book as soon as possible. She’s my number one go to author, because even when I don’t love one of her novels, I still enjoy it. Admittedly, I don’t love some of Nora’s more current releases. While the Wedding Quartet series was enjoyable, I got bored with all the wedding stuff and skimmed A LOT. Same with The Search and all the dog training stuff. I read a romance for the romance, not all the details of the character’s jobs.
So, I was a little concerned when I bought The Next Always. Most reviews I read said it focused too much on the renovating of the inn, that it felt like a travel brochure for the town. I guess because my expectations were a little low, I really enjoyed this book.
The beginning is a little slow, and there is a lot of renovation talk I’m not super interested in. I also thought the stalker side story was kind of lame and underdeveloped. But, I read romance for romance and the romance between Beckett and Clare was sweet and fun to read. It’s not super angsty, which is exactly what I’m looking for. I loved that Clare was a mother and widow, but she didn’t have any of the eye-rolling tendencies of many romance mothers and widows. She was smart, capable, and realistic. She was no super Mom, but faced real Mom problems and I really liked seeing that.
Overall, this is your typical Nora. A little detail heavy, but at it’s heart a strong romance that draws you in and takes you along for a fun ride.
I read this in one sitting. And stayed up far too late doing it.