Lezlie Patterson / McClatchy-Tribune News Service

“The Perfect Hope” by Nora Roberts (Berkley, $16)

Nora Roberts’ finishes another trilogy with “The Perfect Hope,” a sweet, fun and entertaining story despite the fact that it may not be among the talented author’s best efforts.

The dialogue is witty and snappy, just not as witty and snappy as it is in most of Roberts’ books.

The story is charming and engaging, just not as charming and engaging as it is in most of Roberts’ books.

The hero is compelling and dreamy, just not as compelling and dreamy as they are in most of Roberts’ books.

The heroine is feisty and fun, just not as feisty and fun as they are in most of Roberts’ books.

Get the idea?

Still — and this should be emphatically stated — even though it’s not quite as good as most of Roberts’ books, it’s still much better than most.


Because Roberts’ is incapable of writing anything bad. From her first book “Irish Thoroughbred” written in 1981, the author has displayed an incredible talent that she has only refined through the years. So even when she falls short on her own scale, her stories still rank among the richest and best written on the shelves at any given time.

In this series, the real “star” was Roberts’ hometown of Boonsboro, Md. Roberts’ promoted her Inn BoonsBoro, her bookstore (Turn the Page) and new fitness center in the downtown area. Her portrayal of her hometown was a Chamber of Commerce’s dream come true.

In the first two books of the series, two of the three Montgomery brothers found their love connection: Beckett finally married the love of his life Clare (bookstore owner), then Owen and Avery (restaurant owner) recognized their love. In the finale, Beckett and Clare are expecting twins to join their three sons from Clare’s first marriage and Owen and Avery are planning their wedding.

And Ryder and Hope fall rather unspectacularly into love. It’s a fun, sweet and modern courtship, but misses great passion and fireworks. However, the other couples — including the boys’ mother with Avery’s dad, and the inn’s resident ghost who finally is reunited with her lost love — converge to make this a book most definitely worth reading.