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What I Liked: I really liked this story and have to admit its my favorite of the series. Something about one of the title characters being spreadsheet obsessed really gave me something to relate to. Who wouldn't love a gentle giant with an obsessive need to make lists and ensure everything is as prepared as can be?
As the reader, I can definitely tell that Nora Roberts feels that the soul of the series resides within the Montgomery brothers, as one of the predominant themes is the connection between family, those of blood and those we choose. And I like that. I often wish I saw more of my own siblings so I really enjoy reading about brothers that are obviously best friends well into their thirties. Maybe its because I'm a new mom to a baby boy, but the obvious love the and closeness of the Montgomery family really hit a tender chord in me.
I also rather liked Avery, although I'm usually annoyed by Robert's "bouncy, spontaneous" female leads. While Avery was prone to dancing in place (yuck) and over-enthusiasm (blech), Avery's personality had a solid core based in hard work and determination that came through loud and clear, which gave her more substance than I expected.
Overall I thought the story hit all the right notes for a romance: the main focus of Owen and Avery's evolving relationship was interwoven with between fascinating and heartfelt side stories that touched on Clare and Beckett, the expanded Montgomery family and Lizzie's history with the Inn.
What Drove Me Nuts: I still think the ghost story is totally unnecessary.
Rating: By far my favorite of a series I thoroughly enjoyed.
Also Read By This Author: I've read almost all of Nora's books, and a full book list can be found on her website. I've reviewed: The Collector, Shadow Spell, Dark Witch, Thankless in Death, Concealed in Death, The Next Always
Reviewed By: Tami