The historic hotel in Boonsboro has endured war and peace, the changing of hands, and even rumored hauntings. Now it’s getting a major face-lift from the Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother. As the architect in the family, Beckett’s social life consists mostly of talking shop over pizza and beer. But there’s another project he’s got his eye on: the girl he’s been waiting to kiss since he was sixteen.
After losing her husband and returning to her hometown, Clare Brewster soon settles into her life as the mother of three young sons while running the town’s bookstore. Though busy and with little time for romance, Clare is drawn across the street by Beckett’s transformation of the old inn, wanting to take a closer look… at both the building and the man behind it.
With the grand opening inching closer, Beckett is happy to give Clare a private tour - one room at a time, in between blueprint meetings and kindergarten pickups. It’s no first date, but these stolen moments are the beginning of something that could arouse the secret yearning that resides in Clare’s independent heart - and open the door to the extraordinary adventure of what comes next....
©2011 Nora Roberts (P)2011 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
I really enjoyed this story. I just finished the second story, and I thought I would share my comments here also as they apply equally to both. The narration was driving me INSANE - he speaks so slowly and deliberately. Then I found the setting to speed up the audiobook playback to faster. WHAT a relief, I am actually enjoying the story now. His female voices are still poor and his kids' voices make me cringe. All the adult characters sound very similar except Ryder. Too bad this is Beckett's story. I like the family, I like the locale, and I like the pets, especially D.A. (Dumb Ass)!
The Inn Boonsboro Trilogy is also very unusual, in that Boonsboro is a real town and the businesses named really exist and are actually owned by Nora Roberts and/or her family. They rehabbed the historic inn, had a terrible fire while it was under construction and had to start over. You can actually go and stay in the rooms, which are all named after famous fictional couples, although I suspect the ghost in the Elizabeth & Darcy room is a literary device! I also thought it was great fun that they have an Eve & Roarke room, the husband and wife team that is featured in 40+ Eve Dallas stories by Nora Roberts writing as J.D. Robb (my all-time FAVORITE series, with fantastic narration by Susan Erickson; what a joy they are to listen to!)
Turn the Page Bookstore is owned by the Roberts and it is where all her book signings take place, in fact it is the only bookstore to offered books signed by the Nora. Vesta Pizza is real and really offers room service to the Inn, and Gifts Inn Boonsboro is real too. If you go to Nora's website there is a link to the bookstore and Inn.
I think it is fun that she used her actual experiences of going through the rehab, setting her fictional characters against a true setting. But I think I would like it better if Nora was open about her connection to these businesses. Without the open acknowledgement, it smacks a bit of a sneaky marketing ploy. I wouldn't mind if she was up front about the connection. Perhaps there will be an acknowledgement at the end of the third book when it comes out.
Still, I am enjoying the series very much and will probably listen again, now that I found out how to set my audiobook playback to FASTER! Sure wish we did not have to wait so long for the final installment!
This book is a classic example of how narration can hurt a story. I really liked the story line and can't wait for the others, but the performance was just so bad. MacLeod Andrews made Nora Roberts' characters seem flat.
First of all this narrarator was horrible. He's good with male voices but his women are whiny and when he did the yongest boys voice I cringed. (I have a five year old boy, they don't sound like that!) As far as the story goes, I wonder if I would have liked it more if I had read it. I get that it's the first in a trilogy so there is a lot of groundwork to lay for the rest of the books but it just seemed so flat. I'm not giving up on Nora, she has brought so many wonderful stories to life and I know she can bring her magic to books two and three.
I read Nora Roberts’ very first book. I haven’t read ALL the books she’s written since. That would almost be a full-time job. I don’t know how she manages to be so prolific while maintaining the quality level she does. But I have read and enjoyed many of her books (and even disliked a few of them). So now comes this newest book, the first of a new trilogy in a town called BoonsBoro.
BoonsBoro is very much like Mitford (without the religion). It is even in the same general region of the country. I think all of us yearn at times to live in a small town like this where everyone is your friend. Where there are plenty of people ready and willing to help out a neighbor. I can’t tell you what a pleasant change this is from a typical novel written by men in which the vast majority of people are jerks–incompetent, undependable, unhelpful, and stupid.
Yes, BoonsBoro and Mitford are fictional, utopian. But so very many towns written by men are just as fictional, dystopian. Sometimes I’m in the mood for a hard-bitten detective who’s seen too much of life fighting his way through all the unpleasant people to solve the brutal murder, yada, yada, yada. But sometimes my soul is feeling trampled, and I want something healing. This book really filled the bill. I will be listening to it again and again when I’m feeling in need of comfort.
One reviewer said this book was somewhat predictable. And so it is. Also predictable are murder mysteries with tough-as-nails private dicks. What matters within a given genre is not whether it is predictable but how well it carries out its tale within the parameters of that genre. I found that this book did an outstanding job. I loved the town, I loved the inn, and I loved the people (especially the children). Every novel needs some conflict to fuel the plot; even a novel as cozy as this one. I thought she did a good job with that too.
I see that several reviewers didn’t like the narrator. I liked him a lot. Where someone found his narration flat, I found it relaxed and laid back–completely congruent with the story. There have been a few occasions when I absolutely couldn’t listen to a romance novel narrated by a man. I pictured the actor reading this romance stuff and could only imagine him hating every moment of it and hating the fact that the need for money forced him to do this sort of distasteful work. Not with this narrator. I felt that he was enjoying the story too. I don’t imagine I really know the inner workings of the narrator’s mind, but I felt very comfortable with his narration. Also, someone hated the way he handled the kids’ voices. I thought the way he did them was a total hoot. I liked it.
So to sum up... If you just finished a hard-hitting political thriller by Clancy or Ludlum and want more of the same, keep looking; this isn’t it. However, if you just finished reading a hard-hitting political thriller and now want something calming and sweet to get all that evil out of your head, this is the book. I really enjoyed it. I hope you will too.
Loved the Book, read it frist them got the audio. This Guy just cant do women and Kids. If they wanted him for the books they should think about someone else doing the other parts
Will get the next book don't know yet weather the audio is worth it.
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If you like Nora Robert's romance novels you will enjoy This first book in the Inn BoonsBoro trillogy. It is a sweet, romantic story. The town of BoonsBoro sounds amazing, as does the Inn.
Perfect example of how poor narrator came spoil a story. I love Nora Roberts, but the narrator spoils this book.
I don't know why, but whenever I hear or read the narration is by a man, especially for a book of romance, I duck. I just have rarely ever heard a man's voice that even comes close to a woman. It's generally a turn off for me from the get go. I only wish producers would listen to us, the listeners when choosing the readers for their authors. So, I'm sure that this book could have been better if read by someone like Lauren Fortgang who is an outstanding reader of romance novels. For example listen to the sampler of Bad Boys Do. It certainly could have made a huge difference for Ms. Roberts audio book. In fact most of her books could do with better narration.
This was awful, who picks the narrators for books? I purchased this for my nook and I love the book, but not the recording. I will not be purchasing the rest of the series if the narrator is the same.
Although a bit predictable, a very entertaining read-- and I shed real tears, too. MacLeod Andrews did a fantastic job with the narration; one of the best I've heard in a while.
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