Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Review: The Next Always

The Next Always
The Next Always by Nora Roberts

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

When I first found out that Nora Roberts was creating her own Inn, I checked out the website. That was probably back in 2009. Now, I have a pretty good memory for words and, while the website copy has changed slightly, portions of The Next Always felt like they were lifted straight from the website's room descriptions. I also knew that Turn the Page bookstore, that the heroine owns in the book, is an actual place where Roberts does her Maryland signings. I took another look at the website before writing this, and it looks like Vesta, the restaurant where one of the secondary characters (likely a heroine of a future book) works, is also exists in reality.

So here's my verdict. If you know nothing about Nora Roberts except that she writes books you like, you will probably really enjoy The Next Always. At its core, it's a sweet story about family, community, and the hopefulness of love. However, if you have already heard of BoonsBoro, MD and checked out a website or two, The Next Always will seem like a commercial in book format. It's weird because I doubt Roberts is hurting for money and if she wants to drive traffic to the inn, lower the room rates! In this day and age, it's a lucky person who can spend $300 after taxes for one night's stay.

While I adore the J.D. Robb books, for me, in recent years, nothing Roberts has published under her own name has been able to top the Irish books (Born in Fire, Jewels of the Sun, Irish Thoroughbred, etc.). I've read everything she's put out, but the last book I actually bought was Blood Brothers in 2007. I keep hoping that she'll go back to Ireland, but, in the meantime, I'm looking forward to Celebrity in Death!

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