Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Romance Annotation

Author: Nora Roberts
Title: The Next Always 
Genre: Romance
Publication Date: Nov. 1, 2011
Number of Pages: 241 pgs.
Geographical Setting: Boonsboro, Maryland; nestled at the foot of South Mountain, between Hagerstown and Frederick
Time Period: Not specified; contemporary
Series: The Inn BoonsBoro (Book 1)
Plot Summary: “#1 New York Times bestselling author Nora Roberts introduces you to the Montgomery brothers Beckett, Ryder, and Owen as they bring an intimate bed-and-breakfast to life in their hometown.

The historic hotel in Boonsboro has endured war and peace, the changing of hands, and even rumored hauntings. Now it’s getting a major face-lift from the Montgomery brothers and their eccentric mother. As the architect of the family, Beckett has little time for a social life. But there’s another project he’s got his eye on: the girl he’s been waiting to kiss since he was sixteen.

After losing her husband and returning to her hometown, Clare Brewster soon settles into her life as the mother of three young sons while running the town’s bookstore. Though busy, Clare is drawn across the street by Beckett’s transformation of the old inn, wanting to take a closer look at both the building and the man behind it.

With the grand opening inching closer, Beckett is happy to give Clare a private tour. It’s no first date, but these stolen moments are the beginning of something that could arouse the secret yearning that resides in Clare’s independent heart and open the door to the extraordinary adventure of what comes next.” (Penguin Random House, 2011)

General Subject Headings:

BISAC Subjects:

Library Subject Headings:
Architects; Fiction.
Widows; Fiction.
Single mothers; Fiction.
Bed and breakfast accommodations; Fiction.
Man-woman relationship; Fiction.
Boonsboro (MD); Fiction.
Love Stories.

Genre: Contemporary
Tone: Heartwarming; Strong sense of place
Writing Style: Descriptive; Richly detailed (EBSCO, 2011)

3 terms that best describe this book:
The PowerPoint from our readings this week lists these Romance Characteristics that are included in this novel:
·         A love story dominates the plot
·         A happy ending is assured
·         Writing allows the reader to experience the emotions vicariously
·         Characters grow and develop into their romance
·         Often get the view of both protagonists
·         Lovers are always together at the end of a real romance
 The 3 terms that best describe this book are: contemporary romance, heartwarming, and has a strong sense of place. “The Romance Writers of America defines a romance novel as a story with ‘a central love story and an emotionally satisfying and optimistic ending.’…Readers…demand at least a ‘happily for now’ ending in a romance novel… In the end, each reader brings his or her own definition of what is romantic to each book he or she reads…As readers, we can forget our own lives briefly and revel in vicarious pleasure…If (the characters) …strike a chord within us so we identify with them, the book comes alive…” (Dunneback)

 Similar Authors and WorksThese books support the Rule of Three from our readings.
 Harmony Harbor - Mason, Debbie
Reason:  These series share: the genre 'Contemporary romances' and the subjects 'Small towns' and 'Men/women relations'.

Haven Point - Thayne, RaeAnne
Reason:  These series share: the genre 'Contemporary romances' and the subjects 'Small towns' and 'Men/women relations'.

Hellcat Canyon - Long, Julie Anne
Reason:  These series share: the genre 'Contemporary romances' and the subjects 'Small towns' and 'Men/women relations'.

Lucky Penny Ranch novels - Brown, Carolyn, 1948-
Reason:  These series share: the genre 'Contemporary romances' and the subjects 'Small towns', 'Men/women relations', and 'Small town life'.

Magnolia brides - Austin, Lynnette, 1949-
Reason:  These series share: the genre 'Contemporary romances' and the subjects 'Small towns', 'Men/women relations', and 'Small town life'.

Haven Point - Thayne, RaeAnne
Reason:  These series share: the genre 'Contemporary romances' and the subjects 'Small towns' and 'Men/women relations'.

 3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Boonsboro (Images of America) Paperback – August 6, 2012 by Tim Doyle  (Author), Doug Bast (Author), Foreword by Nora Roberts (Author) (978-0738592398)

Nora has lived in this area since 1972 and her two sons went to school in Boonsboro. The Boonsboro Inn trilogy feature a map of Boonsboro on the inside cover. Anyone who reads Nora’s books would enjoy learning about the author and the town she supports and loves.
Product Details
Mysteries & Lore of Western Maryland: Snallygasters, Dogmen, and other Mountain Tales (American Legends) Paperback – July 16, 2013 by Susan Fair (9781626190245)
Susan Fair is the chief docent and museum assistant at the Boonsboro Museum of History. She works in materials management at Carroll County Public Library. I think readers of this trilogy, which has a paranormal element, would enjoy reading about other mysteries and lore about this area.

 Product Details  

50 Hikes in Maryland by Countryman Press (9781581571738)
I have a feeling that after reading this trilogy, learning of Nora’s involvement in the area, as well as finding out that many of the places in the book actually exist and that they can go there to meet the author and visit the sites, readers will want to visit historic Boonsboro. The area is one of unique beauty and several of the hikes in this book are in this general location, including on the Appalachian Trail.
I searched for a travel guide for Western Maryland to include, but could not find a single one. The area is rich in Civil War history and is close to Antietam, Gettysburg, and Frederick.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors
Amazing Gracie - Woods, Sherryl . For readers who enjoy Susan Elizabeth Phillips' quirky characters and the gentle feel of Debbie Macomber's love stories. -- Description by: Joyce Saricks. (I had to include this one!)
After the rain - White, Karen
Reason:  These books are Strong sense of place, Heartwarming, and Descriptive, and they share: the genre 'Contemporary romances' and the subjects 'Secrets', 'Men/women relations', and 'Small town life'.

Heartsong Cottage - March, Emily
Reason:  These books are Heartwarming, and they share: the genre 'Contemporary romances' and the subjects 'Secrets', 'Men/women relations', and 'Small town life'.

Additional Information:
One of the reasons why I really enjoyed this novel, is that I grew up less than 15 miles from where this story takes place. I have been gone for many years and this was a really enjoyable way to “go home again.” I thought you might enjoy getting to know Boonsboro too. Nora actually lives there.
Nora Roberts and her husband purchased this inn in 2007 and began renovations. The building is one of 2 remaining stone structures in the town of Boonsboro and it was built in the 1790’s. Each of the guestrooms is named for literary lovers – who found their happy endings. Each room reflects the style of the story’s era:
Elizabeth and Darcy from Pride and Prejudice
Jane and Rochester from Jane Eyre
Marguerite and Percy from The Scarlet Pimpernel
Tatania and Oberon from A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Nick and Nora Charles from The Thin Man
Robert’s own Eve and Roarke from her JD Robb in Death series
The inn was scheduled to open in June of 2008, but a devastating fire destroyed all but the original masonry. After being assured that the stone could be saved, the building began again with the addition of a third floor which would house the Penthouse Suite and the Westley and Buttercup Suite from The Princess Bride. Local tradesmen, artisans, and products were used as much as possible. The inn officially opened on February 17, 2009.
Nora’s husband, Bruce Wilder, owns the Turn the Page Bookstore and café, where Nora signs books three nights a week and they host book signings seven times a year. Her son Dan, owns and operates Vesta Pizza.


   Bathtub from the Westley and Buttercup

Titania and Obern Suite at Inn BoonsBoro   Bedroom of the Titania and Oberon

     Sitting room of the Jane and Rochester

Photo of Vesta

Photo of Turn the Page Bookstore

Dunneback, K. T. (n.d.). Integrated Library Service: Everything Romance.
EBSCO. (2011). The next always. Retrieved from NoveList Plus:
Penguin Random House. (2011). The next always. Retrieved from Penguin Random House:
PowerPoint presentation from Files


  1. I love this series and love that you included pictures from the Inn. I would love to visit and stay at the Inn and eat pizza at Vesta. The highlighting was distracting though, I have run into the same thing on my page.

    1. Hi Jenny, thanks for your kind words. Do you know how to fix the highlighting issue? When I had the problem earlier, it was suggested to view the post in NotePad because it will show the post the way the computer sees it. You can correct the issues there, then copy it and post. Unfortunately, that didn't work here, and my daughter's boyfriend is out of the country for three weeks. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

  2. Suzanne, first I have to say, what a thorough annotation. You did a marvelous job, especially the read-alikes and the extras about the Inn.I want to find the Boonsboro title. I loved this series when I read it. I didn't realize that there was a Boonsboro or Inn. I must go visit someday!

    1. Hi Anne,
      My sister-in-law has every one of Nora's books and they are all signed copies! They live about 15 miles from Boonsboro. I have put visiting the inn on my bucket list. Thank you for your kind words.

  3. Great annotation, I like all the additional information you included as well. How interesting! In the future though, I would like for you to write the summary instead of using a blurb. Full points.