Book Review: The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts

July 27, 2015 Book Reviews 8

Book Review: The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Perfect Hope Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Berkley on November 6, 2012
Pages: 337
Source: the library

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Ryder is the hardest Montgomery brother to figure out - with a tough-as-nails outside and possibly nothing too soft underneath. He's surly and unsociable, but when he straps on a toolbelt, no woman can resist his sexy swagger. Except, apparently, Hope Beaumont, the innkeeper of his own Inn BoonsBoro…

As the former manager of a D.C. hotel, Hope is used to excitement and glamour, but that doesn't mean she can't appreciate the joys of small-town living. She's where she wants to be - except for in her love life. Her only interaction with the opposite sex has been sparring with the infuriating Ryder, who always seems to get under her skin. Still, no one can deny the electricity that crackles between them...a spark that ignited with a New Year's Eve kiss.

While the inn is running smoothly, thanks to Hope's experience and unerring instincts, her big-city past is about to make an unwelcome - and embarrassing - appearance. Seeing Hope vulnerable stirs up Ryder's emotions and makes him realize that while Hope may not be perfect, she just might be perfect for him…

Third in The Inn Boonsboro Trilogy cozy and contemporary romance series and revolving around the three Montgomery brothers in Boonsboro, Maryland, tucked into the Blue Ridge Mountains. The couple focus is on Hope Beaumont and Ryder Montgomery. And Lizzy and Billy.

My Take

I hate this. I hate this. It’s the last book in the series, and I want this perfect world to keep going! I adore the characters. I ADORE the brothers’ interaction with the kids!!! Man Night will crack me up for the rest of my life! The love and support of this tight group of people will also stay with me. And I’m definitely including Billy and Lizzy in this group!

The whole family — the Montgomerys and their extended family *grin* — get involved with their resident ghost, sensing what she’s feeling, especially when she gets mad, lol. Discovering who she is, what happened to Lizzy and why is important to all of them.

“…she’d discovered…[that]…she wasn’t just content, but happy.”

That’s not all the feeling that goes on in this. Okay, lol, yes. Ryder and Hope get some feeling in as do Beckett and Clare and Owen and Avery. But the feeling I’m talkin’ about here is how the inn feels. The care and thought that goes into every detail in every room. (It’s such a fun and easy way to decorate for me, lol.)

I don’t know if I’m obtuse or what, but it wasn’t until The Perfect Hope that I realized Lizzy is playing matchmaker, and she has a unique way of bringing couples together. I did wonder a lot at the start if the relationship between Hope and Ryder was actually going to occur. It was hard work to believe that Hope was even attracted to Ryder. That perhaps their not being attracted to each other would be a twist on the romance trope, and it seemed as if Roberts was trying too hard to make Hope seem aloof.

Of course, Ryder isn’t contributing, at the start, to the idea of an attraction existing. Then, as things heat up, they both start to enjoy the dance as they dip in and out. There are rocks that get in the way. And there are friends and moms to help Hope over them, to understand them.

Wedding plans are on track for Avery and Owen’s wedding — that dress sounds perfect. Business management plans are also underway with Hope suggesting meetings to coordinate marketing and events.

It’s the perfect approach with Clare’s boys. Murphy’s the runt who’ll get screwed to the wall by his shoes. Upside down. While pb and j will help with the locks while Harry gets the headlock, lol. It truly is sweet as the boys get their own tools and do actual work that has them beaming. Yep, these boys are MEN. And sending Ryder back into his memories of his dad doing the same thing with him.

“The beauty of Man Night is broccoli is never on the menu.”

Argghh, when Jonathan shows up, I wanna smack him into next week, but Hope is a true professional and very gracious. I’d never be able to manage that! He was such a jerk! He “feels partially responsible for all these changes” Hope’s been through. Yeah…!?!?! How very big of him. I cannot believe he is THIS clueless.

“‘You kissed her again?’ Owen demanded.

‘The other times she started it. I was starting to feel cheap and used.'”

Poor Ryder, lol. He keeps trying to figure Hope out, and she keeps throwing him for a loop. Then there’s the scheduling for sex. Oh, man, lol.

“The constant surprise of her kept him off-balance in a way he’d come to appreciate.”

It’s sadly sweet as Ry recalls Beckett fixating on Clare in high school. On Clint loving his Clare. Then there’s Murphy as he talks about his “girlfriend”. India. When Ryder asks what kind of a name is India. Murph says “it’s India’s name.” I mean, duhh, lol.

Eliza’s family history is revealed. It’s typical for the time period, and not a happy one. Billy’s state of mind is open to us as well as he lays there on that battlefield, thinking of his Lizzy. And Ryder dreams the horror of war.

It’s that whole deal with movie night that settles it all for me. I’m in love with Hope!

The Story

The Montgomery boys are putting the finishing touches on the bakery and progressing nicely on MacT’s Restaurant and Tap Room. And it seems that the bakery is not the only one with a bun in the oven. Clare has her own surprise, a very surprising surprise.

Justine’s “bun” happens to be the decrepit building behind the inn, as she envisions a state-of-the-art fitness center, Fit.

Then Jonathan shows up with insulting offers. At least Ryder knows some of what he’s supposed to do…

The Characters

Hope Beaumont is the innkeeper, the Owen in a skirt, the Montgomerys were lucky enough to hire in The Next Always, 1. The Wickhams’ loss is very much the inn’s — and the Montgomerys’ gain. She’s also best friends with Clare and Avery.

Lizzy, the inn’s ghost in the Elizabeth and Darcy room, is actually Eliza Ford, one of Hope’s ancestors. Billy is the young man for whom Lizzy defied her father. Catherine Darby was Lizzy’s sister who founded the Liberty House School where Hope had gone to school. James Darby is the man Catherine married.

The surly, unsociable, yet sexy Ryder Montgomery is the third brother and the head contractor for Montgomery Family Contractors. Dumbass is his mutt and constant companion…and a skilled food fielder. Betts is his cleaning lady. Jen is one of Ry’s old girlfriends.

Owen is the list-, schedule-, and ledger-obsessed brother whose story is in The Last Boyfriend, 2, who has become engaged to Avery MacTavish, who owns and runs the Vesta Pizzeria and Family Restaurant across the street from the inn and very excited about the progress on her new place, MacT’s Restaurant and Tap Room. She’s moved in with Owen and they’re getting a deaf-in-one-ear pug named Tyrone as well as Spike, the new puppy. Dave is one of Avery’s employees at the pizzeria.

Beckett is the architect brother whose story began in The Next Always and continues with Clare and their boys: Harry, the Wii boxing champ; Liam; and, the youngest, Murphy. Ben and Yoda are their young Lab mixes. Clare owns Turn the Page, the village bookstore. The two of them got married in The Last Boyfriend.

Logan and Luke, a.k.a., Wolverine and Skywalker, will be the new arrivals.

Justine is the Montgomery boys’ mother, and she’s a powerhouse, always coming up with one idea after another. And one surprise after another. That one about Willy B, Avery’s dad and the late Tommy Montgomery’s best friend since childhood, in The Last Boyfriend, has her boys all agog. Atticus “Cus” and Finch are Justine’s Labs. Carolee is Justine’s sister and the assistant innkeeper. Darla is Carolee’s daughter who’s on a health kick.

Jake is one of the painters. Chad is doing detail work. Deke is one of the laborers. Shawn was a carpenter Lizzy didn’t like.

Dick is a barber outside of Sherry’s. The Crawfords. Lacy is the new baker who’ll be taking on Icing Bakery. Mina Bowers and Chrissy Abbot saw that kiss. Denny is one of the town cops; he’s married.

Guests at the inn include:
Donna and Max Vargas as part of a birthday gift; April and Troy are newlyweds; Courtney is one of three sisters staying; Bob Mackie is a Civil War buff and his wife, Connie, is into antiques; The Pill, Lola Redman, is a pain and her husband, Austin, knows it; Jake and Casey Karlo are into ghosts; Mike and Deb; and, Chip Barrow and Marlie who are eloping. Myra Grimm is Brent‘s older sister, and she will book a small wedding.

Jonathan Wickham was the cheating bastard. Sheridan Massey Wickham is Jonathan’s new wife. He’s sure she’ll adjust to Hope being back. Jerald is Baxter Wickham‘s security.

The Cover and Title

This cover is peaches with touches of cream as a sheer curtain flutters in the breeze. A wood-framed accent chair in a cream-on-cream satin brocade sits in front of a chest of wood-paneled drawers with huge gold bosses in the center, a bouquet of white flowers on top along with a couple of candles and a framed picture. One golden post of a four-poster bed frames the right edge.

The title is Hope, The Perfect Hope for the inn and Ryder, who appreciates who she is, chinks and all. The perfect hope for MacT’s and the town of Boonsboro.

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8 Responses to “Book Review: The Perfect Hope by Nora Roberts”

  1. Lorna

    I read each of these as they came out and loved all of them. I live about an hour away from Boonsboro and the Inn really exists. I want to go stay there so bad but it’s pretty expensive. Nora’s bookstore is in Boonsboro as well and I want to go there too 🙂

    • Kathy Davie

      Oh, too cool, Lorna! Yeah, I’ll bet it’s expensive. If it’s anything like the one in the book, whooeee. When you hit that bookstore — is it called Turn the Page? — I’ll be with you in spirit. I gotta confess, I’m already wanting to reread the series!

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