Apr 26 2012 10:30am

First Look: Nora Roberts’s The Last Boyfriend (May 1, 2012)

The Last Boyfriend by Nora RobertsNora Roberts
The Last Boyfriend (Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy #2)
Berkley / May 1, 2012 / $16.00 print, $9.99 digital

Owen is the organizer of the Montgomery clan, running the family’s construction business with an iron fist—and an even less flexible spreadsheet. And though his brothers bust on his compulsive list-making, the Inn BoonsBoro is about to open right on schedule. The only thing Owen didn’t plan for was Avery McTavish...

Avery’s popular pizza place is right across the street from the inn, giving her a first-hand look at its amazing renovation—and a newfound appreciation for Owen. Since he was her first boyfriend when they were kids, Owen has never been far from Avery’s thoughts. But the attraction she’s feeling for him now is far from innocent.

As Avery and Owen cautiously take their relationship to another level, the opening of the inn gives the whole town of Boonsboro a reason to celebrate. But Owen’s hard work has only begun. Getting Avery to let down her guard is going to take longer than he expected—and so will getting her to realize that her first boyfriend is going to be her last.

After writing 200 books, there is no question that Nora Roberts certainly knows how to write characters, and the stories of hers I enjoy most feature long-time friends whose thoughts regarding each other change drastically, usually due to a spontaneous, world-rocking kiss, and suddenly they begin to see each other in a new romantic light.

In her Bride Quartet series, Savor the Moment was my favorite. In that book, everyone’s unofficial big brother Delaney Brown starts to rethink his feelings for his sister’s best friend, Laurel McBane, after she lands one of those world-rocking kisses on him after she tires of him treating her like a little sister.

Nora’s latest story takes place under the backdrop of the beautiful Bed and Breakfast, the Inn Boonsboro. The Montgomery Brothers have brought the 200 year old Inn back to life; Beckett is the architect, Ryder is the builder and Owen is  the organized, level-headed manager of the family business. Bringing the Inn back to life is a boost for the town, as well as all the local businesses on Main Street.

The pizzeria across the street from the Inn is owned and run the Montgomery Brothers’ long-time family friend, Avery McTavish. Avery and Owen’s fathers were childhood friends and they all grew up together. After Avery’s mother abandoned her and her father, the amily connection enjoyed by the Montgomerys was something Avery envied and dreamed of.

Even more, the quirky and vibrant Avery has always had a soft spot for quiet and over-thinking Owen. She still remembers the day that Owen proposed to her. Of course, she was only six and he was a mature eight. She still has the plastic engagement ring he gave her tucked away.

For his part, Owen always felt the need to watch over Avery. He believes that she works too hard trying to prove her worth, but only to herself. There is no one in town who doesn’t love Avery and admire the business that she grew all on her own.

Then comes that fateful moment while touring the newly completed Inn, and Avery is knocked into Owen’s arms and that world-rocking kiss takes place and knocks their years-long friendship into something so much more.

“What now?” She picked up her glass of scotch again. Hell, she wasn’t driving anywhere. “We rip each other’s clothes off and go to bed. If I’m any judge, we have really exceptional sex. But since you ask, you’re already thinking what-if and what then in addition to what now—taking that rational and mature route. So you go home, and consider the what ifs and what thens until you figure it out.”

“The what-ifs and thens matter, Avery.”

“You’re right. You’re absolutely right.”

“You matter. You and me—you and all of us—matter.”

“I know. The fact that you’re thinking about that instead of ripping my clothes off is part of what makes you Owen, and part of the reason I’d have let you rip my clothes off.”

No one can present this type of friends-to-lovers romance like Nora Roberts. This kind of romantic love story doesn’t need clichéd storylines of the old girlfriend lurking to cause trouble, or the creepy boss trying to force the heroine into a relationship. It is wonderfully sweet in the simple storytelling of two wonderful people who didn’t realize just how much they meant to each other until they took that one scary step of turning their long-time friendship to that of lovers.


Lucy Dosch writes book reviews for her blog 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.

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Carmen Pinzon
1. bungluna
I love this trope and am looking forward to this book. The first one was a bit of a disappointment for me but this one sounds right on the money.
Heather Waters
2. HeatherWaters
This sounds good. I'm such a sucker for this trope that it's a little ridiculous. Thanks, Lucy!
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