Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Virgin River

Virgin River
by Robyn Carr

First book in the Virgin River modern romance series. Melinda "Mel" Monroe is a recent widow, in her early 30's, from a busy L.A. hospital, who decides to accept a position as Nurse Practitioner/Midwife in the rustic, rural fictional community of Virgin River in northern California. She needs a change from her current hectic pace and hopes this will help her finish grieving the loss of her husband, murdered in a convenience store robbery nine months earlier. Her first night in Virgin River she has a delicious supper at the only bar & grill in town, owned and run by 40-year-old Jack Sheridan, retired Marine and very single. But the 70-year-old town doctor doesn't know she was recruited by busy-body Hope McCrea, and insists he doesn't need her assistance, and her rent-free cabin is less-than-ready for her (Hope didn't get it cleaned up, and the porch collapses with Mel on it). Deciding this was a mistake, city-girl Mel has breakfast the following morning at the bar & grill on her way out of town, chatting with Jack. But a newborn has been abandoned at Doc's doorstep so Mel grudgingly agrees to stay temporarily to care for the baby. Then, a woman is due to deliver in a couple of weeks so Mel stays for that. Then another woman is due in 4 weeks. And on it continues, as Jack tries to convince her to stay permanently (with the town enjoying watching confirmed bachelor Jack obviously smitten with Mel).

Being the first book in this series, you'll meet many of the neighbors to set the stage for further books (20 so far) -- farmers, ranchers, orchard owners, retired military buddies, a local boy who's Jack's surrogate son -- including the medical staff at nearby Grace Valley and Valley Hospital (from Carr's "Grace Valley" series), though in this case "nearby" means an hour's drive along winding country roads through the redwoods. The area is populated with folk who know the importance of community since they are located in such a remote environment and must rely on each other. You'll meet Jack's Marine buddies for their annual "Semper Fi" reunion (which is a favorite event in town), deal with the illegal marijuana growers, there's a break-in at Doc's that threatens Mel's life, and follow Mel on her medical rounds. Sometimes Mel is a tad naïve about country life (which can get irritating) and Jack is too perfect but, what the heck, it's a fiction book, and fun to watch the romance unfold from both Mel's and Jack's point of view. Not a sedate romance novel, the love scenes are graphic but not raunchy. This romance focuses on Jack and Mel, but the rest of the characters are well-drawn and in each successive book a different couple is the focus, yet those we've already met do not disappear into the background as their lives continue to unfold. An enjoyable read about people you'll come to care for. Read the series in order. -- recommended by Charlotte K. - Bennett Martin Public Library

[ official Virgin River page on the official Robyn Carr web site ]

Have you read this one? What did you think? Did you find this review helpful?

New reviews appear every month on the Staff Recommendations page of the BookGuide website. You can visit that page to see them all, or watch them appear here in the BookGuide blog individually over the course of the entire month. Click the tag for the reviewer's name to see more of this reviewers recommendations!

No comments: