Nora Roberts is one of my favourite go-to authors when I want a hit of romance and The Perfect Hope delivered. It is the third book in the Inn Boonsboro Trilogy and while I haven’t read the second book in this series, that didn’t matter. The first book, The Next Always, set me up beautifully.
The Perfect Hope tells the story of Hope Beaumont, the inn-keeper of the Boonsboro Inn, who gets together with surly but good-looking Ryder Montgomery. These two have nothing in common but lust for each other, but in a romance novel, that’s enough to tell a story. I even enjoyed the story of a ghost who haunts the Inn.
Characters from The Next Always wandered in and out of the story and I loved reading about the Boonsboro Inn itself, which I was thrilled to learn some time ago is a real place in Maryland, USA. I decided then that if I’m ever in Boonsboro I’m going to book in to either the Elizabeth and Darcy Room or the Buttercup and Westley Room, I can’t decide which. In The Next Always the building was being renovated after having become derelict, but by the time The Perfect Hope got going, the Inn was a thriving business.
I wasn’t as crazy about Ryder as I have been about other of Nora Roberts’ romantic heroes, as he was too rude, grumpy and uncommunicative for my taste, but apparently some people like that in a man… I was also slightly thrown by Ryder’s mother’s extraordinarily open attitude to sex and her discussions about the same with Hope, her son’s girlfriend, but again, each to their own. I usually skim the sex scenes anyway.
While The Perfect Hope probably isn’t the best romance novel I’ve ever read, I loved the familiarity of the characters and the setting, and Nora Roberts’ inclusive style, which makes me feel as if I could wander into one of her books, perhaps as a paying guest at the Boonsboro Inn which she owns in real life. Now to convince He Who Eats All of Our Leftovers…