When Avery was five years old she told Owen Montgomery that they would one day marry each other, and he gave her a gum-ball-machine engagement ring.
Years later the relationship between Avery and Owen feels like a very close friendship; almost like being brother and sister. Or does it? When the two are forced into each other’s arms by Lizzie, the Inn’s resident ghost, the kiss that follows seems to be telling them otherwise. Afraid to ruin a solid friendship, the two decide to take this renewed attraction further at a slow and careful pace, to see where it will take them without risking everything they already have.
Avery and Owen are very different creatures though. Where Owen is highly organised and efficient both in his professional and in his personal life, Avery’s personal life is far more flighty. And Avery has her doubts about love and commitment. Having been deserted by her mother when she was a teenager, the successful restaurant owner is afraid that she too might be unable to commit to a lasting relationship.
It will be up to Owen, her two friends Clare and Hope as well as Lizzie the ghost to show Avery that she is nothing like her mother and not only capable of having a loving relationship but worthy of one too. If Avery can overcome her doubts, her first boyfriend will also be her last one.
And while Avery and Owen sort out their feelings for each other, the Inn’s renovation is closing completion, Clare and Beckett are getting ready to get married and Owen starts research into the ghost’s background
With a Nora Roberts book you know what you’re getting into before you reach the first word, and this book is no exception. In fact, the female characters in this book and the issues they struggle with reminded me very much of those faced by characters in at least one previous romantic mini series of hers. You would expect that to have a negative effect on the enjoyment I got out of reading this book, put that wasn’t the case. I think Roberts, for me, gets away with repetition because it feels like coming home to me when I read her books. I like her characters, the strong women and the (mostly) sensible, handsome men. I enjoy that she will introduce a problem for the couple and then deal with it without feeling the need to drag it out for the duration of the book. Conversation in her books always sparkles and often makes me smile or laugh. I mean, what’s not to like.
In fact, I almost always love Nora Robert’s books. Her characters captivate me, her sexy romances seduce me and the way she tells her stories holds me in a thrall.
This book has something extra though. The characters in this book may be fictional but the Inn and the renovation project are real, as are Boonsboro and the other businesses in it. And because of that reality, because of the love Roberts obviously has for her Inn, this book almost glows. It is impossible to read this book and not want to visit Boonsboro, stay in one of the wonderful rooms in the Inn, hope to encounter (the more than likely fictional) ghost, buy some books across the street, indulge in a pizza and maybe, if you’re lucky, meet, if not the characters in this book, people quite like them.
Nora Roberts’ books bring me pure pleasure; I’ll be forever grateful that I discovered her books and that she is such a prolific author. Bring on November and the third book in this trilogy; I’m ready and eagerly awaiting.