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The Next Always (Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy #1) - Nora Roberts Romance! I know, right?? I'm re-reading the Malazan Book of the Fallen, all ten door-stoppers of it, and I needed a break, and it just so happened that I'd mention to a friend that I'd never read Nora Roberts, and BAM! Birthday present. So here we are!

First off, I LOVED THIS BOOK. The writing was effortless, the pacing spotless, the characters lovely, the world-building believable. (The latter unsurprising, as it turns out Boonsboro is real, and the author's family actually owns all the businesses mentioned in the book.)

However, the reason I love this book is because, for me, it's unabashedly wish-fulfilling. Three perfect brothers, with a perfect mother, building a perfect hotel. In a perfect town, where everyone's perfect. Three perfect women with perfect careers. One of them has three perfect little boys. And of course, she owns a bookshop. Because that's just how life rolls in Boonsboro.

It's a sweet love story with great characters. I love the banter amongst the Montgomery's and amongst Clare, Avery and Hope, and the three little dudes are AMAZING.

My only niggle is the conflict - in the form of Sam - which is contrived, unnecessary and without consequences.

There is nothing astonishing or new in this book, but it's a great, happy-making read. I grinned all the way.