The Perfect Hope (Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy #3)
by Nora Roberts
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…
The perfect hope was the last story in the Inn Boonsboro series. The series has been sweet and heartwarming like all Nora Robert’s series with interesting characters and a fun plotline. I will say it seemed a bit more lackluster than I am used to from Nora. There were parts from other series (like the haunting similar to the Garden Series) that seemed a bit like recycling to try to make the overall story line more interesting. Had she just focused on the remodeling of the Inn itself and the romance lines I would have more thoroughly enjoyed the series.
Focusing only on The Perfect Hope (love the pun with the name too), the story of Hope and Ryder finally coming together was fun to read. The heat has been building from the beginning between these two and to finally see them give in to it was fascinating. The direct approach they both take to their fling is refreshing, but of course no one can separate their feelings from their flings forever. As their romance and their friendship grow slowly into love you get a small taste of how their personalities being so different allow them to blend together so well.
I was hoping for a bit more heat in the story as a lot of the sensuality inherent a Roberts’ novel was just glossed over in this story. We get a lot of hints about what is happening but very seldom do we get the details we want. Ryder is perfectly alpha and everything you could want in a man. He’s a big strong guy, who looks after all the women in his life and works to make sure that his friends and family know how much he loves them. Hope on the other hand is a little bit less likeable of a character for me. She is overly self-protective and argumentative with Ryder, but the friendships she has formed with the other women in the story give her a bit more likeability.
Lizzy the ghost of course plays a major part in this story because we finally get to find out who her Billy was and why she’s hanging around the Inn still. Though this part of the series seemed like it was recycled from other series, it was still fun to see how she interacts with the living around her and how she gets hers points across. There were some very funny scenes involving Lizzy and the guests of the Inn. And when they finally find Billy there was a moment or two to bring tears to your eyes.
Overall, this story was a decent ending to the series. All the plot lines were wrapped up and we got a sweet relationship to bring together the last two couples in the little group. There was plenty of romance in the story, though it was lacking a lot of the heat I like to see. Ryder and Hope together were a very likeable couple, and individually in the end both amiable characters. I was hoping for more of a bang with the confrontations from Hope’s past, but they seem more in the story to cause tension and hurdles for Ryder and Hope than anything. I’m hoping the upcoming series is more a return to the stories of magic, mystery, and passion that we expect from Nora, but I will definitely not stop reading.