Tag: Robyn Carr (page 1 of 2)

Sunrise Point by Robyn Carr

Sunrise Point by Robyn CarrSunrise Point by Robyn Carr
Published by Mira Books on April 24th 2012
Genres: Romance
Pages: 378
Source: Borrowed: ebook
Goodreads
two-half-stars

Tom Cavanaugh may think he wants a traditional woman, but in Virgin River, the greatest tradition is falling in love unexpectedly....

Former Marine Tom Cavanaugh’s come home to Virgin River, ready to take over his family’s apple orchard and settle down. He knows just what the perfect woman will be like: sweet, decent, maybe a little naive. The marrying kind.

Nothing like Nora Crane. So why can’t he keep his eyes off the striking single mother?

Nora may not have a formal education, but she graduated with honors from the school of hard knocks. She’s been through tough times and she’ll do whatever it takes to support her family, including helping with harvest time at the Cavanaugh’s orchard. She’s always kept a single-minded focus on staying afloat...but suddenly her thoughts keep drifting back to rugged, opinionated Tom Cavanaugh.

Both Nora and Tom have their own ideas of what family means. But they’re about to prove each other completely wrong... (

You can’t see my face, but my face is just still right now. This was the next to the last book in the Virgin River series and it was such a letdown. I think that having it be about a character we heard about here and there from the previous books was the main issue. I had no interest in Nora from the previous books and I was wondering why she kept popping up. Also Nora being 23 and like I think 5 feet with two kids and her being attracted to Tom didn’t work. Probably because based on what I read, Tom  had to be at least in his late 30s or early 40s. There is no real tension in this book either, it’s just reading about two people kind of doing their own thing but slowly becoming attracted to each other. When we do get a love scene I maybe sort of yawned my way through it. We once again get an epilogue in this book that I was surprised to see. It didn’t really work for me, but oh well.

Nora is a single mother with two little kids doing her best to keep her head afloat. She goes looking for work at Tom’s family’s apple orchard. He initially turns her away thinking she is too young and small to be able to do much good, but his grandmother makes him hire her. Nora starts to think of Tom romantically, but tries not to when he starts dating another woman.

Tom. Eh. He is a former Marine (mostly all of the men in Virgin River are former Marines. Thinks about it, yes I think they are) who is determined to meet and marry a “classy woman”. He decides that type of woman he is looking for is a widow of a friend of his that died in Afghanistan. At least Tom realizes this woman is completely selfish and she and he would not make a good match, but I did get a kick out of his grandmother ready and waiting to throw this woman out of their shared home.

We have references to previous characters per usual. But there is not really a B plot in this book at all. The majority of the book is dealing with Nora and Tom and Nora has a whole host of things going on.

I think the romance was lacking as I already said because I didn’t really get a sense while reading that these two were hot and bothered for each other. Nora was mostly like a little sister to Tom through the whole book so maybe that is why I found it jarring.

two-half-stars

Redwood Bend by Robyn Carr

Redwood Bend by Robyn CarrRedwood Bend by Robyn Carr
Published by Mira Books on February 28th 2012
Genres: Romance
Pages: 377
Source: Borrowed: ebook
Goodreads
one-star

Former actor Dylan Childress left the L.A. scene behind years ago for a quiet life running an aviation company in Montana. But with business slowing down, Dylan is starting to wonder whether he should take one of the offers Hollywood keeps sending his way. He figures a motorcycle trip to Virgin River with his buddies might help him decide what path to take. But his own troubles are left at the side of the road when he spots a woman stranded on the way into town.

Katie Malone and her twin boys' trip to Virgin River is stopped short by a tire as flat as her failed romance. To make matters worse, it's raining, the boys are hungry and Katie is having trouble putting on the spare. So when some bikers pull up beside them, offering to help, all Katie feels is relief. Then she sees sexy, leather-clad Dylan Childress, and in one brief moment the world turns on its axis.

Katie's a sensible single mother and Dylan's a die-hard commitment-phobe. Neither one is looking for long-term romance. But sometimes it takes only a moment to know you've found something that could change your life forever.

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This was one of my least favorite books in the series. A male and female lead that were lame together and a male lead that sucked. I think Carr was going for a reformed rake story-line taking place in contemporary times, but honestly it didn’t work. And I loathe contemporary romances where the male lead is all I am only here to get laid and am not interested in a relationship and the woman is maybe I can change him. Stop it!

I wish an author would have the woman saying okay I can do that, and having her go merrily on her way after the hook-up. Have that guy chase after her and have her honestly not be interested and not acting as if she is not interested in order to get him to be interested. Did you all follow that?

Dylan sucks. I think that if Katie had been single with no kids I wouldn’t have cared. But she did have kids and I think that it was in Jerry Maguire that Cuba Gooding Jr. said to Tom Cruise’s character, you do not mess with single mothers unless you plan on being there. And I kind of want to know what Katie is thinking since she doesn’t seem smart at all.

Katie has left behind what she thought was a promising relationship with a dentist (poor dentists, the romance world hates you all) and takes her two twin boys to be with her brother Conner for the summer. Katie is also a widow (Virgin River, you strike again) and you would think she would be cautious about introducing her kids to men unless she’s dating them. I try not to get judgey with fictional characters too much (total lie, I am super judgey, I love books but certain things drive me up the wall while reading) but I honestly wanted to tell Katie to find a vibrator and just leave Dylan alone.

Dylan’s plot was laughably bad. He is a former child actor who is trying to keep his flight business in Montana afloat. It’s not doing well so he goes back to acting. After like a 10 year or 20 year break. I can’t even remember because I just rolled my eyes. He’s terrible towards his mother and half brother and sister because he sees them as only being there to just suck him dry and use him to get their own careers back on the track. Besides a few paragraphs here and there that was all you get there dealing with them.

Dylan sticks around Virgin River a bit (even though his business is failing) to get laid. Seriously. He decides he is attracted to Katie though he is not interested in a relationship and based on his dialogue cannot really stand her kids.

Image result for hated it gif

I know there were other people in this book, I just can’t recall them besides Conner and Leslie from the last book. Most of this book really dealt with Katie weeping over Dylan and trying not to show him she missed him and then a curveball is thrown in that  had me vibrating with the urge to dropkick my Kindle. I did not do that since I had a brand new Kindle Fire HD for Christmas from my brothers, and I don’t treat gifts from family like soccer balls. Back to the book, it was a terrible idea to introduce, and I think the only reason why was in order to have this couple be together because even Carr I felt like was not too enthused about them.

one-star

Hidden Summit by Robyn Carr

Hidden Summit by Robyn CarrHidden Summit by Robyn Carr
Published by Mira Books on December 27th 2011
Genres: Romance
Pages: 347
Source: Borrowed: ebook
Goodreads
two-half-stars

Sick of running into her cheery ex-husband and his new wife, Leslie Petruso accepts a job at the Virgin River branch of Haggerty Construction and takes the high road right out of town. Now she's got Paul Haggerty's business running like a well-oiled machine. In fact, things are so busy Paul jumps at the chance to hire an extra set of hands.

Just like Leslie, Conner Danson has been burned by love. But if Leslie was disappointed by her relationship going bad, Conner was decimated. He's got no time for women... although he spends an awful lot of time pretending not to notice Leslie. And she's pretty busy "ignoring" the chemistry between them.

According to Conner and Leslie, they have only one thing in common—they're done with love. But everyone in Virgin River can see that things are heating up at Haggerty Construction. And as far as Paul Haggerty can tell, the best thing he can do is hang on to his hard hat and watch the sparks fly!

Ack. I don’t know what to say. This was kind of the beginning of the end of my love for this series. This book had a really ludicrous plot and the resolution to it was kind of laughable to me. I did love the female lead, but the male lead, no, not even a little bit at all.

Leslie Petruso moves to Virgin River to get away from her ex-husband and his new wife. She knows Paul Haggerty due to her working for his father, and she ends up going to work for Paul as his office administrator in Virgin River. The many reasons why I loved Leslie, because she goes after her ex twice in this book, and both times had me howling with laughter. I have had that whole let’s be friends after being dumped by a guy before. I wish I had went after him with a fire extinguisher. I also adored Leslie’s older parents who are still out there doing what they can to enjoy their lives. Leslie’s mom’s comments about her ex had me laughing too. Honestly anything just dealing with Leslie, her family, and ex worked. I did have a bit of a problem with Leslie in the end pitying her ex, he was and is an ass.

Conner Danson…boy oh boy nope. I don’t want to spoil for potential readers, but I have no idea why this was in a romance book. For a minute I thought I was reading about a Lifetime movie that I could have sworn had the same plot. And Conner and his comments about women to himself…ugh. I just didn’t like the guy at all. He has a tie to another Virgin River character (Brie) and I hated their scenes together. He acted like an ass and I wanted Brie to kick the crap out of the guy. I also hated that most of the story deals with Conner lying to Leslie, but she gets over it in like two sentences.

We are introduced to Conner’s sister Katie who will be the star of the next book and also we get a lot of looks at previous characters from the series.

I don’t have much to say unless I spoil the book, but Conner’s whole story-line was the main reason why I just gave this 2.5 stars.

two-half-stars

Harvest Moon by Robyn Carr

Harvest Moon by Robyn CarrHarvest Moon by Robyn Carr
Published by Mira Books on February 22nd 2011
Genres: Romance
Pages: 361
Source: Borrowed: ebook
Goodreads
three-stars

Rising sous-chef Kelly Matlock's sudden collapse at work is a wake-up call. Disillusioned and burned out, she's retreated to her sister Jillian's house in Virgin River to rest and reevaluate.
Puttering in Jill's garden and cooking with her heirloom vegetables is wonderful, but Virgin River is a far cry from San Francisco. Kelly's starting to feel a little too unmotivated…until she meets Lief Holbrook. The handsome widower looks more like a lumberjack than a sophisticated screenwriter—a combination Kelly finds irresistible. But less appealing is Lief's rebellious stepdaughter, Courtney. She's the reason they moved from L.A., but Courtney's finding plenty of trouble even in Virgin River.

Kelly's never fallen for a guy with such serious baggage, but some things are worth fighting for. Besides, a bratty teenager can't be any worse than a histrionic chef…right?

I 100 percent did not get the love story between the two leads (Kelly Matlock and Lief Holbrook). I seriously felt like since they were the last two single people in Virgin River it was the only reason why they did get together. At least Carr didn’t have them jump right into bed together though.  Due to Lief’s backstory both of them were hanging back on being together. But besides a love scene or two, everything else is just referred to after the fact.

I don’t know. I think I was supposed to like Kelly. But I had a hard time when you find out that Kelly is working at a restaurant to be near the man that she is in love with (married chef Luca Brazzi). In fact, I think the only reason why Carr made sure that Kelly and Luca were never together was just so readers didn’t have a hard time rooting for her. But her kissing the guy, but refusing to be with him until he is legally divorced didn’t interest me much anyway. After being confronted by Luca’s wife and passing out, Kelly decides she needs to make a change. Working in the world of restaurants and dealing with abusive managers and chefs is not what she has in mind. So Kelly packs up all of her stuff and heads to Virgin River to go and stay with her sister Jillian. Stopping at Jack’s bar along the way she ends up meeting Lief who does some insta-love/lust nonsense and starts to feel like Kelly is his immediately.

Image result for whatever man gif

Lief has moved to Virgin River to give him and his stepdaughter Courtney a chance to start again after Courtney’s mother’s death. I think I said in another review that Virgin River does attract the recently or almost recently widowed.

Besides Lief and Kelly’s POV we also get Courtney’s POV and man oh man I wish that had been cut. Courtney and her therapy sessions and all over horribleness to Kelly was just continuous. I really needed a break and could see why Kelly is 100 percent reluctant to start a relationship with Lief. I would have been out of there so fast.

We do have Kelly and Jillian interacting, but not enough for me. I really wish we had gotten more interaction between the two. They are sisters and definitely have been through a lot. But we just hear that Jillian is up early dealing with the garden, Colin is upstairs painting, etc. All Kelly does by the way is cook/bake through the entire book. Kelly and Preacher even have a cook off at one point that we don’t get a real sense of, it’s just put out there as a throwaway line.

I do think that due for once that so much is going on with the A plot stuff, there was very little B plot going on.

I really thought that this book just like the last one was just repetitive after a while. I was tired of reading about why Courtney had trust issues. I was tired of reading about Kelly and her crush on Luca and how dumb she felt. I was tired of reading about how Kelly’s food was making Colin fat.

The ending for once actually has an epilogue, I think this may be the first one that the series had. It picks up I think 6 or maybe 9 months later and I think that Carr did that to fast forward the series a bit. I think this was the first time I actually even saw a physical date in the books instead of me trying to figure out how much time has passed depending on some of the previous characters kids ages.

three-stars

Wild Man Creek by Robyn Carr

Wild Man Creek by Robyn CarrWild Man Creek by Robyn Carr
Published by Mira Books on January 25th 2011
Genres: Romance
Pages: 361
Source: Borrowed: ebook
Goodreads
three-stars

Welcome back to VIRGIN RIVER with the books that started it all…

Sometimes love takes root in unexpected places—if you'll only let it grow

Colin Riordan came to Virgin River to recuperate from a horrific helicopter crash, the scars of which he bears inside and out. His family is wonderfully supportive, but it's his art that truly soothes his troubled soul.

Stung personally and professionally by an ill-advised affair, PR guru Jillian Matlock has rented an old Victorian with a promising garden in Virgin River. She's looking forward to cultivating something other than a corporate brand.

Both are looking to simplify, not complicate, their lives, but when Jillian finds Colin at his easel in her yard, there's an instant connection. And in Virgin River, sometimes love is the simplest choice of all…

This was not my favorite. Maybe because I thought that the romance between the two leads (Jillian Matlock and Colin Riordan) was a foregone conclusion, so reading about how Jillian was being so strong and whatever made me roll my eyes. Or maybe I just read too many of these books back to back and it put me in a mood. Hard to know. I love romance novels. Absolutely adore them. But I think I can pinpoint that right around this book or the next I started to see a slide in the series and I was pretty disappointed with the next couple of ones and then the last book in the series.

There is honestly not much to say here except I thought the whole thing that brings Jillian to Virgin River was dancing towards absurd, and her new chosen profession (decides she will start to do an organic farm) came out of nowhere and did not fit her at all. Jillian is a Vice President for Corporate Communications for a software manufacturer and due to a workplace harassment issue, is cautioned to take some time off while her boss/mentor deals with it.  Yeah. Like that would really happen. I bring up Jillian’s job though because I had a hard time reconciling what she does with her later decision to start an organic farm.

I also think that Carr honestly rushed the resolution to Jillian’s backstory and I pretty much rolled my eyes at the guy who shows up (and acts like an ass by the way) since how did he get there, why would he be stupid to do so based on everything that went before, etc. I think it was just a way to have Colin punch the guy or something. I don’t know. It just didn’t work with the story that I think Carr wanted to tell.

Also, I really have a hard time believing that in a matter of weeks that Jillian can just have an organic farm up and running. Apparently Virgin River has magic soil. And I really didn’t get why Jack Sheridan who is renting the house to Jillian is okay with her gardening as much as she is in a house she doesn’t own. Hey I have rented homes before, you can of course ask the homeowner about certain things, but I have never lived in one place that was all yes of course you can grow whatever you want and totally change the grounds.

Colin and his family drove me batty. Maybe because Luke Riordan decides he will be the twin of Jack Sheridan and stick his nose in where it’s not wanted or needed. I was also really tired of the women coming along to have sensible talks with these idiots. It gets old after a while and I know that I was 100 percent sick of it.

Unlike in previous books I don’t think that Carr had much knowledge about painting/gardening. Colin starts painting and apparently is such a great painter/photographer that he can sell his works for thousands of dollars. Jillian is somehow going to turn her farm into a million dollar enterprise though she and only one other person works the grounds? I can’t even recall how many acres Jillian has, but I maybe muttered BS a few times while reading this.

We have a reappearance of Jillian’s sister (who will be in the next book) and of course other characters we have become familiar with. I totally booed the entire story-line with Jack Sheridan and Denny Cutler. It made absolutely no sense, and then towards the end we have Denny throwing out a line about something that made me go wait a minute, what? I think it was an editing error that no one caught, but it bugged me endlessly.

The ending was too much and I really hated the whole woman who is grieving because she told her man to go off and do what he needed to be happy. I was just really over both of them. The romance was so-so and I was happy that the book finally ended.

three-stars

Promise Canyon by Robyn Carr

Promise Canyon by Robyn CarrPromise Canyon by Robyn Carr
Published by Mira Books on December 21st 2010
Genres: Romance
Pages: 342
Source: Borrowed: ebook
Goodreads
four-stars

After years spent on ranches around Los Angeles, Clay Tahoma is delighted to be Virgin River's new veterinary assistant. The secluded community's wild beauty tugs at his Navajo roots, and he's been welcomed with open arms by everyone in town—everyone except Lilly Yazhi.

Lilly has encountered her share of strong, silent, traditional men within her own aboriginal community, and she's not interested in coming back for more. In her eyes, Clay's earthy, sexy appeal is just an act used to charm wealthy women like his ex-wife. She can't deny his gift for gentling horses, but she's not about to let him control her. There's just one small problem—she can't control her attraction to Clay.

But in Virgin River, faith in new beginnings and the power of love has doors opening everywhere....

This once again showcases a couple I absolutely adored and wanted to keep reading more about in later books. At least we get to see both of them in subsequent books though. “Promise Canyon” follows Clay Tahoma and Lilly Yazhi. Both of these characters are Native Americans and I loved, loved, loved that we finally got a minority couple in this series. I honestly didn’t even realize til after the fact that besides Mike Valenzuela, there does not seem to be any other minorities running around Virgin River.

Clay relocates from Arizona with his son in order to become a veterinary assistant to Nate Jensen. While meeting Nate at his farm he runs into Lily and is instantly intrigued with her, though Lily wants nothing to do with him. Now here’s the thing, I know nothing about Native American groups at all. But it becomes apparent that Carr took her time and did some research and she includes a lot of details about the differences between the Navajo (which Clay is) and the Hopi (which Lily is). I can honestly say that I was intrigued the whole book because it was great to see why Lily wants nothing to with a strong man like Clay who raised Navajo would be more into traditional ways than Lily is.

The romance between the two of them was hands down a crowd pleaser, and you will love it. There’s a backstory to Lily that explains why she is so cautious around Clay, and I did enjoy that aspect of things, though once again at times I could feel myself getting a bit impatient with Lily. She seemed hell-bent on holding Clay responsible for everything every man/boy had ever done to her and even I was a bit sick of it towards the end of the book.

We also of course get sightings from old favorites (Noah, Jack, Preacher, Paul) and we get some updates, but I honestly was not the least bit interested in anyone else since I just wanted to stay focused on Lily and Clay. And can I say that there was way too much other B plots in this book. I of course read the other books so I definitely know that Carr wanted to set up the characters more so that readers would remember them, but boy oh boy I almost pulled my hair out.

We have off the top of my head, a group of women who come to Virgin River to vacation (two of them, Julian and Kelly Matlock will have their own standalone books). One of the town’s residents passes away and that leaves Jack as the unofficial mayor (I maybe booed that whole thing). And one of the Riordan family members (Colin) ends up being shot down while flying a Blackhawk (I am also tired of reading that word in these books, is everyone a Blackhawk pilot) and of course the whole Riordan family and others react to this.

The ending was great and I loved that Lily decides to fully move on with her life and I am disappointed that we readers don’t get to see their wedding ceremony in later books because I think that would have been awesome to include.

four-stars

Moonlight Road by Robyn Carr

Moonlight Road by Robyn CarrMoonlight Road by Robyn Carr
Published by Mira Books on March 2nd 2010
Genres: Romance
Pages: 409
Source: Borrowed: ebook
Goodreads
three-half-stars

WITH HER BELOVED YOUNGER SIBLINGS SETTLED AND HAPPY, ERIN FOLEY HAS EMPTY NEST SYNDROME. AT AGE THIRTY-FIVE.

So she's hitting the pause button on her life and holing up in a secluded (but totally upgraded --- she's not into roughing it!) cabin near Virgin River. Erin is planning on getting to know herself ... not the shaggy-haired mountain man she meets.

In fact, beneath his faded fatigues and bushy beard, Aiden Riordan is a doctor, recharging for a summer after leaving the navy. He's intrigued by the pretty, slightly snooty refugee from the rat race --- her meditating and journaling are definitely keeping him at arm's length. He'd love to get closer ... if his scruffy exterior and crazy ex-wife don't hold him back.

But maybe it's something in the water --- unlikely romances seem to take root in Virgin River ... helped along by some well-intentioned meddling, of course.

This is another Virgin River book that I got a kick out of and was happy to re-read. I had forgotten most of the details about it, but this deals with a character we haven’t seen since “A Virgin River Christmas, Virgin River Book #4” and another one not since “Temptation Ridge”. The male and female hero/heroines in this book are Aiden Riordan and Erin Foley. They have what I consider a really messed up meet-cute (he finds her unconscious after she knocks herself out) and she thinks he is a vagrant coming to steal/assault her and has no idea he is a doctor.

It takes a while for that to unravel and then they both start to look forward to spending time together. I think I was a little bit bummed since even though I like long sweet romances, the one between Aiden and Erin lacked some sparks for me. I think it’s because they just looked at each other and kind of went okay, you’ll do. Or at least it felt that way to me. That is not to say there are not sweet moments between the two of them. But I definitely wanted a little bit of heat and was a bit disappointed.

Aiden is dealing with an ex-wife who just will not go away (and gets more and more dangerous) while Erin is worried over her younger sister (Marcie) who is about to deliver a breech baby boy.

I was intrigued by Erin though since you find out pretty soon how tough she had it being forced to raise her younger siblings after her mother passes away and it becomes pretty obvious her father can’t cope. When her father passes away Erin took over things once again. So it was nice to see her finally be a kid a little bit though I wish we had more scenes with her just doing a lot of activities she never had a chance to do. As someone who is not the oldest, but is always looked to, to take care of the other siblings, I definitely felt for Erin. I think the first time I took a vacation I had the same sort of panic because I really didn’t have one idea about what I should or should not be doing.

We have most of the Riordan clan in this book (honestly they all run together so I can’t really recall) and characters from previous books show up (George Davenport from Forbidden Falls) who is now courting/dating Maureen Riordan. I know I missed some books in between, but I can’t even remember how these two met.

I think this was a satisfying look at Virgin River, though things felt a little too rushed with this one.

three-half-stars

Forbidden Falls (Virgin River #8) by Robyn Carr

Forbidden Falls (Virgin River #8) by Robyn CarrForbidden Falls by Robyn Carr
Published by Mira Books on December 29th 2009
Genres: Romance
Pages: 371
Source: Borrowed: ebook
Goodreads
five-stars

VIRGIN RIVER IS ABUZZ WITH THE NEWS THAT A STRANGER BOUGHT THE TOWN'S ABANDONED CHURCH ON EBAY. THE BUYER, A YOUNG WIDOWED REVEREND, IS A LITTLE LIKE THE BUILDING ITSELF: IN NEED OF SOME TENDER LOVING CARE.

Noah Kincaid arrives ready to roll up his sleeves and revitalize his new purchase, but he's going to need some help. An ad in the local paper brings and improbably candidate his way.

"Pastor's assistant" is not a phrase that springs to mind when Noah meets brassy, beautiful Ellie Baldwin. With her colorful clothes and even more colorful past, Ellie needs a respectable job so she can regain custody of her children. Noah can't help but admire her spunk and determination, and she may just be the breath of fresh air he needs.

The unlikely duo may come from two different worlds, but they have more in common than anyone would have expected. And in Virgin River lasting happiness is never out of the question.

I went on a Virgin River marathon the past week just because sometimes you want to stick with a series because everything after a while feels old and familiar. This is one of my favorites from the series though there are a couple of quibbles here and there, it honestly is just a really good story.

Noah Kincaid comes to Virgin River to re-open a closed church that be buys due to some inheritance. He feels part of the community and wants to do whatever he can to build up the town around him. Realizing that he is going to need an assistant he ends up interviewing residents of Virgin River and that is how he meets Ellie Baldwin. Ellie comes with a lot of baggage, but Noah cannot help feeling more and more drawn to the single mother of two who it seems has been dealing with hardships almost from birth.

I really loved Ellie. I have to say next to probably Paige and Brie from earlier books, she is one of my favorite female characters. I always grieved a bit in later books when you would just hear about her, but the character never speaks again really which is a shame. Ellie is feisty, not afraid to do hard work, and refuses to let those around her dictate what she can wear and how she should carry herself. Fresh off of a divorce from a controlling man who now has primary custody of her two kids would be enough to have anyone feel beaten, but Ellie is determined to get a job so she can prove to a judge that she is capable of taking care of her children.  There is so much backstory to Ellie, and though I usually loathe information dumps via conversations with people, it works okay in this book since Noah is a pastor and is used to counseling people.

Noah we find out had a hard father who was also a minister, but one of those tv evangelical types who was focused more on money than souls. He still misses his wife that passed away and is not looking to start a relationship with Ellie or anyone. However, something about Ellie and her plight tugs at him while he can’t help feeling physically drawn to her.

Noah and Ellie as a couple makes sense, and Carr doesn’t draw things out too long before they are together. But it’s a relationship with a sale by date since Ellie decides as soon as she gets custody of her children she is going to move away.

We have familiar characters from previous books showing up in this one, Jack and Mel Sheridan, Mike and Brie Valenzuela, Paul and Vanessa Haggerty. Per usual, there is a secondary plot that involves Paul and Vanessa but at least once again it ties into the main characters. I don’t know how I felt about this little twist for the Haggerty family since it felt a bit too soap operaish, but Carr pulls it off in the end. I had read the previous book that was Paul and Vanessa’s (Second Chance Pass, Virgin River #5) so I was familiar with the background to it.

The writing is typical Carr with her handling what feels like a huge cast of characters, but able to keep the story-line moving. The love scenes between Noah and Ellie were great and I definitely got why they were attracted to each other.

The flow actually works much better in this once, because once again, the main characters are tied to the secondary plot so you don’t notice any abrupt changes.

I loved the ending and I liked how the story-line included characters we had met/heard about before in previous books.

five-stars

The Life She Wants by Robyn Carr

The Life She Wants by Robyn CarrThe Life She Wants by Robyn Carr
Published by Mira Books on September 27th 2016
Genres: Romance
Pages: 368
Source: Borrowed: print book
Goodreads
two-half-stars

In the aftermath of her financier husband's suicide, Emma Shay Compton's dream life is shattered. Richard Compton stole his clients' life savings to fund a lavish life in New York City and, although she was never involved in the business, Emma bears the burden of her husband's crimes. She is left with nothing.

Only one friend stands by her, a friend she's known since high school, who encourages her to come home to Sonoma County. But starting over isn't easy, and Sonoma is full of unhappy memories, too. And people she'd rather not face, especially Riley Kerrigan.

Riley and Emma were like sisters—until Riley betrayed Emma, ending their friendship. Emma left town, planning to never look back. Now, trying to stand on her own two feet, Emma can't escape her husband's reputation and is forced to turn to the last person she thought she'd ever ask for help—her former best friend. It's an uneasy reunion as both women face the mistakes they've made over the years. Only if they find a way to forgive each other—and themselves—can each of them find the life she wants.

Wow. This was a shock to my system after reading the early Virgin River books this past weekend. I went from those books to this standalone and really didn’t get what was happening in this book. We follow two women whose storyline barely merged with each other and a happy ending that really didn’t work based on all that came before it.

Emma is dealing with the fallout from her husband’s suicide and her realization that he was well on his way to being another Bernie Madoff before his suicide. She thought she had it all before she had a couple of eye opening moments realizing her entire courtship and marriage was a lie. She decides to return to her hometown of Sonoma since she only has $9,000 to her name and no way of getting another job in New York City due to her being known.

Riley is a successful businesswoman and single mother. She may still grieve over the end of her friendship with Emma, but she thinks that she is well past it until Emma returns to Sonoma.

Emma I felt for though she may leave you a bit frustrated at times. For someone who literally is attacked with a full bedpan by a victim of her husband’s schemes, I thought she was a bit too calm at times. You keep reading about how she needs to get her life together, but she falls into a romance pretty quick. That romance was boring as anything too. I mean I don’t need to read about people upside down on chandeliers, but there was no passion there. I think Emma gets involved in it because the person is safe. The male hero sees her as an ideal he has always wanted since he was younger so I felt like he was just happy to be anywhere near her. The romance doesn’t struggle or go through anything big at all so I maybe shrugged about it a lot while reading. Emma sticking her nose into everyone’s business also didn’t work for me either. It just came out of nowhere and really threw off the book. We get a  B plot that this book didn’t need. In fact when I think of it there are two main plots and two B plots. I would rather have had her interacting more with Riley and building back up their friendship.

Riley and her business (cleaning) was great. I loved that Carr adds in a ton of details so once again you know she did research or at least knew enough about the subject. I would love to see some of the employees mentioned in their own follow up books, but that’s just me. I thought Riley trying to hide from her teen daughter how she came to be was lame. This is the age of Facebook, Twitter, etc. I find it unbelievable that no one told her daughter before now about her mom’s past. Riley’s two love interests, once again I found bland as anything. It was weird, I could have done without the men since they were all pretty faceless and unimpressive in my eyes.

We have some secondary characters (two of the love interests, the third I guess doesn’t need to allow readers to be privy to his thoughts). Everyone else except for a few were interchangeable.

The writing was good because as I already said, you definitely get that Carr did research on the cleaning business. Everything else though, the investigation into Emma didn’t really work though. It just felt thrown in.

The flow was up and down. I think because the book felt like two separate stories about two women who grew up together, but then definitely grew apart.

I think there were enough elements to make this a good book, but unfortunately, the two characters never fully came together for me. I felt like I was reading two stories where the characters just happen to live in the same town. I really needed to see more interaction between Emma and Riley. Or at least maybe a huge prologue of showing them together as best friends before their rift.

The ending was okay, but once again Carr throws in a infertile woman finds herself pregnant element and after reading Virgin River I am pretty good on not reading that trope in romance for a good long while.

two-half-stars

Whispering Rock (Virgin River #3) by Robyn Carr

Whispering Rock (Virgin River #3) by Robyn CarrWhispering Rock by Robyn Carr
Published by Mira Books on May 26, 2007
Genres: Romance
Pages: 363
Source: Borrowed: ebook
Goodreads
four-stars

A decorated U.S. Marine reservist, LAPD officer Mike Valenzuela was badly wounded in the line of duty, but has found hope and healing in Virgin River. When he agrees to become the town's first cop, he does so knowing it's time he settled down. Twice divorced and the lover of too many women, he secretly longs for the kind of commitment and happiness his marine buddies have found—a woman who can tie up his heart forever.

He finds that woman in Brie Sheridan, a Sacramento prosecutor who understands his drive to protect and serve. Virgin River becomes a safe haven for Brie after nearly losing her life at the hands of a crazed criminal. Though tough and courageous, she's got some fears she can't escape—but now she has someone who will show her just what it means to trust again. Mike will do anything to help Brie free herself from painful memories. Passionate, strong and gentle, he vows to give back to her what she's so selflessly given him—her heart, and with it, a new beginning.

Oh man. This one got me in the feels. The third book in the “Virgin River” series focuses on Mike Valenzuela and Brie Sheridan. There was a minor flirtation between the two in the last book with Mike still thinking about Brie. However, after a horrible incident happens to Brie, our heroine is left feeling shattered with Mike standing by to show her that he’s her guy. This love story gave me all the feels people.

Trigger warning that rape is brought up throughout this entire book.

For once the A plot (Mike and Brie) actually worked well together in one of the B plots (incidents involving teenage girls and wild parties) due to Mike being the bridge in both stories. Of course we have Jack sucking like the wind per usual in this book. At least he got cursed out by his wife and sister in this one though. Seriously though, you would think he learn.

Brie after trying to get past what happens to her has a whole host of things to work through. Not only is Brie still processing her ex-husband betraying her in the last book by leaving her for her ex-best friend (seriously though, the hair pulling people, the hair pulling would have been epic) she is dealing with being the victim of a violent crime. Brie is a tough prosecutor who realizes that maybe this is not a path she wants to be on anymore. Especially when she sees that her brother and sisters are off enjoying their families and she’s single and lonely.

Mike was actually more of the focus in this book and I was surprised. Most of the time romance books have the heroine being the main draw. But this felt like Mike’s story to me. We definitely understand his feelings for Brie and I loved how slow he was to start a relationship with her and making sure that everything was on her terms throughout. Can I also say that even though I really enjoyed book #2, I really only liked the love scenes in this book up until now. I was left rolling my eyes about the best sex ever (Jack and Mel) and Preacher and Paige were not really raunchy or anything, most of it was just sweet. Mike and Brie had a lot of fire. I think it was because he spoke to her in Spanish a lot and we got to read what he was saying to her and she to him. Accents in books do it for me all the time.

We of course get another look at Virgin River residents that many readers should know by now. We have some new characters introduced to us (Tommy Booth, his dad, and also Paul Haggerty). I maybe rolled my eyes a few times about Paul’s plot. I could have done without that one. Like I said, I liked the first few books in the series, but after a while I wondered why anyone got near the place because everyone’s spouse (if they were a man) ended up dying it felt like.

Jack is still acting like Jack and we have party to a lot of couple fights with Jack and Mel. I maybe got tired of these two by this book. Okay, there is no maybe about it, I was 100 percent sick of the two of them by this book. I was also a little put out by Preacher explaining his and Paige’s plans to get pregnant to everyone who came to the bar. I just didn’t find the whole thing funny at all. It was a bit much to me.

The writing is typical Carr, though I have to say that she definitely once again gets very descriptive with describing sex scenes, as well as brutal aftermaths of rape as well.

The flow was once again up and down a bit in this book. I think if we had just stuck with Brie and Mike the book would have been perfect. There was a lot going on in that story. I did think it was odd though that Mike was all up in Brie’s family, but they never met his at all in this book. We just heard a lot about them.

The ending was pretty sweet when it came to Brie and Mike so that made me happy. Of course I realize after the fact that the next book is Paul’s story and that’s a character I read about in later books so  I already know how that one ends.

four-stars
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