Feature book: The Last Boyfriend
Book two in the Inn BoonsBoro trilogy, The Last Boyfriend, is the story of Owen Montgomery and Avery McTavish. While the book can be read as a standalone, I think it helps to understand the background if you’ve read The Next Always first.
In the first book, the brothers Montgomery and their formidable mother, Justine, were in mid-renovation of the inn, Beckett and Clare got their HEA and we were introduced to the inn’s resident ghost, Lizzy. The Last Boyfriend covers the period to just after the opening of the inn, Beckett and Clare’s wedding, as well as the beginnings of the quest to find out more about Lizzy and why she seems so sad. But, mostly, it is the story of how good friends Owen and Avery become lovers and find their own HEA.
Avery and Owen grew up together and when she was five or six and he was about eight, he was her very first ‘boyfriend’ (he even bought her a ring—everyone say ‘awww’!). When Avery was 12, her mother ran off with another man, leaving her and her father to fend for themselves. Avery’s views of relationships, particularly her own, are skewed by this experience and she’s unsure whether she’s got what it takes to have a successful marriage.
The conflict in the book is very gentle—there’s not much keeping Owen and Avery apart at the beginning. Avery must learn to trust herself and believe that she is not her mother, but otherwise the couple have the support of their family and friends and there is no serial killer/stalker/ex-boyfriend trying to keep them apart.
There is a LOT of information about the inn and fittings and fixtures. I admit I skimmed over much of this at it held limited interest. The inn in the book is the same inn that Nora Roberts and her own sons restored and the gym Justine plans after the inn is finished is the same one the author has opened. There really is a Vesta Pizzeria and a Turn The Page bookstore in BoonsBoro (Nora Roberts’ husband runs TTP in real life). I admit to some occasional discomfort with the real life blurring into the fiction.
Those readers who don’t like ghosts in their contemporaries may be disappointed by this book, as Lizzy features much more strongly. I suspect in the third book The Perfect Hope (due out in November 2012) we will find out who Lizzy’s lost love is, as Ryder and Hope make their way to a HEA.
I can’t say I haven’t read better books by Nora Roberts (The Witness was just excellent) but even an ‘average’ book by her is better than most. There isn’t a lot of Owen and Avery, and a reader could be forgiven for finding it a little on the boring side—they really have a fairly smooth path to true love. While we hope for this in real life, in fiction it can drag. I did enjoy the banter between the Montgomery brothers, and the scene when Owen finds out his mother is having S-E-X was hilarious. It’s a gentle easy-to-read book with a sweet love story and I liked it. I’m hoping for more sparks between Ryder and Hope though.
reviewed by Kaetrin
A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.