Avery McTavish’s life is pretty settled. As the owner of Boonsboro’s favorite Italian Restaurant, Vesta, she is lucky enough to have her two best friends Hope and Clare living in the same town. She is also very good friends with the Montgomery brothers, owners of the Boonsboro Inn. In particular, she is close with Owen Montgomery, being friends since childhood.
The ghost of the inn, Lizzy, appears on and off to Owen and Avery, and Owen starts to search for her story, with Hope, the innkeeper, helping him. Lizzy helps Avery and Owen act on their feelings towards each other by orchestrating their first kiss. They decide to start a causal relationship, knowing their friendship is strong enough to survive the turmoil of a relationship.
The budding romance takes a knock when Avery’s runaway mother unexpectedly shows up. Avery handles with the shock by blocking all her closest friends, including Owen, out. His mother tells him to persist in finding out what happened, and when she finally confides in him he gets her to realize that it isn’t her fault her own mother doesn’t love her. With that knowledge, she starts to work on including him even when she doesn’t feel like it, but still reacts very cynically when they talk about marriage. After a while, she confronts him about the sudden strain on their relationship. They fight, and afterwards she accepts his marriage proposal.
Nora Roberts wrote a solid trilogy in the three books of the Boonsboro Inn. I really enjoyed the second installment, even if the characters were generic and their way to a relationship not very original. The book is written in our current times, with iPads, cellphones and internet. That seemed more realistic to me, but I am almost sure Nora did a deal with Apple – the amount of time word “iPad” was mentioned in the book is very suspect. I would recommend this book to most romance readers.