The Perfect Hope
Berkley / November 6, 2012 / $9.49 print, $9.99 digital
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 tool belt, 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.
In The Perfect Hope, Nora Roberts takes us for one last visit to the Inn Boonsboro, and while we are here, she shows that us that what you aren’t looking for might just be exactly what you need. This is not a story of opposites attract, but there is no question that Ryder is not the type of man who usually interests Hope and the same goes for Ryder—but that doesn’t stop their mutual yearning for something more.
When Hope Beaumont first walked into the Inn Boonsboro, Ryder took one look at her beauty pageant winning face, her mile high shoes which accentuated her legs, and her perfect body encased in a perfect suit and knew instantly she would be trouble. Ryder likes his woman more go-with-the-flow than list making, more beer than champagne, and certainly less drop a man to his knees perfect. Ryder isn’t interested in heading down the aisle like his brothers Beckett and Owen. He just wants to have a good time, and gorgeous or not, Hope is not his type of woman.
Still, he felt edgy and annoyed, and couldn’t quite figure out why. Until he glanced over at the inn.
Hope Beaumont. Yeah, that might account for some edgy.
She did a good job, no question about that. The fact that she was anal, obsessively organized, and a chewer of details didn’t bother him especially. He’d live and worked with that type all his life, in the form of his brother Owen.
Just something about her got under his skin, and tended to burn there from time to time since they’d locked lips on New Year’s Eve.
It has been an accident, he told himself. An impulse. An accidental impulse. He didn’t intend to repeat it.
Hope’s last relationship was with Jonathan Wickham, the son of the owner of the famous and stylishly urban Wickham Hotel in D.C. Jonathan is polished, both in his manners and his ability to charm everyone around him, and his sense of personal style that fit him right down to his thousand dollar suits.
Hope can’t understand why she can’t think of anything else but one hot carpenter who smells of sawdust and varnish, and who walks with a sexy swagger. For Ryder, dressing up is a clean pair of jeans and no tool belt. The only woman he charms is his mother. Talking with people is too much of a bother. His idea of a fancy dinner is anything he can grill or microwave. So why can’t Hope stop thinking about him?
She debated with herself a moment, thought, what the hell?
She hurried up to her apartment, grabbed her opera glasses, and jogged down again.
Definitely miserable work, she concluded as she brought that perspective close though the glasses. And oh my, my, the man was seriously built.
She’d seen it, when he had a shirt on, felt it the few times she’d been pressed against him. But…there was nothing quite like a full-on view of sweaty man with muscles rippling.
No woman alive could deny a little buzz, even if the sweaty, ripply-muscle sort wasn’t her usual type.
She saw him glance over, pull down the mask to call out something to one of the other men. He had a damn good face, too—a little scruffy and unshaven over those strong bones, but damn good. And when he laughed, as he did now, another buzz zipped along inside her.
She made a little humming sound.
For two people who know for certain how utterly wrong the other person is for them, they can’t seem to keep their hands off each other. No-one is more surprised about this than Hope and Ryder. Is there more depth to them than either expected or is the reason they never found that special someone simply because they weren’t looking for the right type?
He though about her more than he should—more than he liked—that she didn’t do what he assumed she would.
The constant surprise of her kept him off-balance in a way he’d come to appreciate.
In our last visit to Inn Boonsboro, Nora Roberts brings us a wonderful story of two people who believe they don’t belong together, but who couldn’t be more perfect for each other.
Lucy Dosch writes book reviews for her blog http://ebookobsessed.com. Her e-reader has turned her love of reading into an obsession. When she is not reading, she likes to spend time with her husband and two daughters.