Series: Inn BoonsBoro Trilogy
Author: Nora Roberts
Read copy: Paperback
Published: May 1, 2012
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...
Owen and Avery have known each other since they were children, he was her first boyfriend when she was five, his mother was her surrogate mother when her own left, he was there for her when things were good and when they were bad, his family gave her the opportunity to open her first restaurant, his brother's fiancée is her best friend, her father is sleeping with his mother (and yes, it's a little weird), and ever since that surprise kiss in the renovated inn, Owen and Avery have these strange feelings for each other.
But is that just the spur of the moment or maybe residual happiness from the pairing of her best friend and his brother...Is it the matchmaking ghost residing at the inn, or is it the simple fact the two have loved each other all of their lives?
I loved the story, I loved Owen and Avery together, I even loved the mommy-abandonment issues that prompted Avery to sometimes push people she cared about away, because it showed Owen's determination to keep her and not to be shoved aside, thus helping Avery see and realize she wasn't "less".
But, yes, there's always a "but" involved, I couldn't help the feeling this second instalment was just a filler between the first and third book in the trilogy. Granted, I loved Owen and Avery and I adored their story, but I felt like there was so much more we could've known about them, seen about them as a couple.
Instead, almost everything they did and experience together was somehow tied into the preparations for the inn's opening, Beckett and Clare's wedding, and researching Lizzy's (the ghost living at the inn) history. And every conversation, Owen and Avery had, every realization about their relationship and what they wanted in/from it, came as a direct result of something involving the inn, the wedding, and the ghost. Everything they did was more of a reaction than a direct action, and it was rather distracting and somewhat disappointing.
Don't get me wrong, I was excited about the inn (I really have to see it "live"), I was happy about the wedding, and I can't wait to see what happens with the ghost (a very lucky coincidence indeed she's a distant relative of one of the trilogy protagonists, and it explains the initial reaction of said protagonist when she visited the inn for the first time, and met her hero), but I wanted to read more about Owen and Avery "the couple" not as Owen and Avery "the friend/brother/chef/contractor/bridesmaid/organizer".