The Next Always is book one in the Boonsboro trilogy. It focuses on the lives of the Montgomery brothers, and in this book in particular, Beckett Montgomery. He and his brothers, Ryder and Owen, own Montgomery Family Contractors with their mother. Their current project, a dilapidated inn in Maryland, is situated in Boonsboro, where they grew up.
Beckett’s attraction to Clare Brewster stems from their youth, but he considers the now widowed mother of three out of his league. Clare, whose husband died while on duty in Iraq, moved back to Boonsboro to raise her children. Even though she has a lot of support, she obviously deals with a lot – not only is she raising three boys on her own, she also owns Turn the Page, a local bookstore.
After the help of the resident ghost at the inn, Beckett and Clare start to act on their attraction. It is difficult with the children around, but Beckett starts including them in his life as well, making it easier for Clare to manage hers. After many bumps, they start a relationship, and things start to become serious between them. However, when Clare repeatedly ignores the advances of Sam Freemont, a small town bully, he decides to get nasty and starts to threaten and stalk her. No matter what, he persists, and eventually Beckett warns him off, which results in Beckett’s truck’s tires getting slashed. When he stops his stalking, Clare relaxes, thinking he got the message. One night, she finds him in her house. Beckett and his brothers are tipped off by the ghost, and rush to save her.
The Next Always really is typical Nora Roberts. There is the usual initial resistance, the denial of feelings, the obstacles, fights and love scenes. Even though it isn’t original, at all, it really is interesting and fun to read. Romance novels aren’t often read in the search of original material, but like with this one, it works out fine. I am already done with the second book in the trilogy, and nearly at the end of the third. Read this if you like romance novels!