Book Review – Virgin River by Robyn Carr

Posted by Ing on 13 December, 2010 // ★★ 2 Comments ★★


Book Review – Virgin River by Robyn CarrVirgin River by Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River, #1
Published by MIRA on January 1, 2007
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance
Pages: 432
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WANTED: Midwife/nurse practitioner in Virgin River, population six hundred. Make a difference against a backdrop of towering California redwoods and crystal-clear rivers. Rent-free cabin included.

When the recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees this ad she quickly decides that the remote mountain town of Virgin River might be the perfect place to escape her heartache, and to re-energize the nursing career she loves. But her high hopes are dashed within an hour of arriving: the cabin is a dump, the roads are treacherous and the local doctor wants nothing to do with her. Realizing she’s made a huge mistake, Mel decides to leave town the following morning.

But a tiny baby, abandoned on a front porch, changes her plans...and a former marine cements them into place.

Melinda Monroe may have come to Virgin River looking for escape, but instead she finds her home.

My Synopsis:
Melinda Monroe has suffered a tragic loss this past year. She was left a widow after her husband was shot during a robbery late at night on his stop to pick up milk. Melinda and Mark were married for four years prior to the tragedy. Melinda had loved him tremendously and thought they would always be together. Mark was a doctor and Melinda a nurse practitioner in the city of L.A. After Mark’s death, Melinda needed a change of scenery and a less stressed life. She puts her resume in with the nurse’s registry and one of the recruiters brought the town of Virgin River to her attention. After speaking to Hope McCrea the woman who posted the midwife job for Virgin River, Mel decides to take the job. Her sister Joey thinks Mel is crazy and wants her to move to Colorado to be closer to her only family left. Mel refuses because she needs a place where she can escape the memories for a while. Picking up her life and moving to a small town with a population of 600 was what Mel needed. Hope McCrea had promised Mel a place to stay and a year’s salary. With that promise and nothing left for her in L.A., she packs up heads to Virgin River in northern California to begin her new life.

On her way to Virgin River, Mel’s BMW doesn’t make the trip up the narrow muddy mountain road and gets stuck. She gets help from a crusty old man who pulls her car out and she follows him the rest of the way. After arriving late at night to the town of Virgin River she is surprised to find that the place is nothing like the picture that Hope McCrea sent her. The dreamy little cabin she envisioned was anything but dreamy. Also, the man who helps her, Doc Mullins is the town doctor and wasn’t even aware that she was hired to help him out. The only great thing about the place so far is the little bar that Hope takes her too where the food was delicious. Mel meets Jack Sherridan the bar owner and John Middleton aka Preacher the cook. Jack is instantly attracted to Mel and knew she was going to be trouble for him. He senses that she has experienced some kind of tragedy in her life and tries to make her feel welcome. After spending one night in the town Mel thinks she has made a mistake and decides to move to Colorado to be near her sister.

The next morning she sets off to leave but there is an unexpected bundle outside of the home of Doc Mullins that morning. A little baby girl left in a basket. Mel realizes she can’t leave this baby and decides to stay until a home can be found for the baby girl. She doesn’t plan to stay long but as the town rallies around her and this baby, Mel finds that life in Virgin River might not be so bad after all. It doesn’t have all the city life amenities and convenience but with all the neighborly friendliness and the friendship of the sexy bar owner Jack, Mel might actually heal and find a new home.

My Review:
I thought I’d post this on my blog today because this is what I had written for a fun event that we are doing on Robyn Carr’s yahoo group.  I read this book around the time it came out but I didn’t write a review.  So here it is.

Ahh… Virgin River.  The book that started it all.  Welcome to Virgin River, CA population of 600.  Where the men are men and the women are kick butt and sassy.

I picked up this book after Anne one of my reading buddies who is a bookseller recommended this to our little group of friends.  I put off reading it for a while but finally picked it up about a month later.  I wasn’t expecting much going into this book but boy did I come out with a whole lot of love for the story, writing, characters, and the small town of Virgin River. I finished this book in one night. I think I fell in love with Jack in the second chapter.  He was such a man’s man but was sensitive and caring.  Jack made the book for me.  Don’t get me wrong I loved Mel but boy did I love the way Jack loved Mel.  The best thing about this book was the development of their love.  It wasn’t something that happened in a week it happened over a course of 6 mos.  I as a reader appreciated this because I saw the friendship, the attraction, emotional, and physical development happening so when the relationship finally happened it was believable and real because I was able to see it develop with Robyn’s writing.  These were two adults who were in a relationship and when they had any issues they talked.  There were no long periods of misunderstanding or miscommunication.  It was refreshing to read.  When Mel had her breakdown…OMG did I cry buckets!  I didn’t think I could cry so much for a fictional character but Robyn’s writing made me feel Mel’s pain and devastation.  I normally avoid reading books set in small towns with several of the characters making a significant appearance in the books.  I always find that the focus on the love story suffers from all these other side stories but not with this book.  For the first time, I actually wanted to know more about these side characters.  They added to my love of this book.  I love that Mel goes on break and watches soap with Connie and Joy.  That Ricky a teenage boy is so respectful to others. That when your sick or need a helping hand people weren’t afraid to come by or lend a hand.  That the pace is slow and you can just appreciate what’s around you. I laughed and cried and was totally sucked into the life of these characters.  I wanted to know more about Preacher, Doc, Hope, Ricky, and Liz.  I found out that northern California woodlands are a heavy area known for pot growing.  See who says you can’t learn anything from a romance novel?  I couldn’t wait for the next book.  Like many readers, after reading this book I wanted to find my own Jack and move to Virgin River but Robyn said it’s only in her imagination…sigh…I guess I’ll stick to reality.

This is a book and series that I can highly recommend.  It’ll make you feel like you’re visiting with old friends each time you pick up a new book in the series.  It’s a comfort read.

★★ Book was read in May 2007. The review copy source was my own personal paperback copy. ★★

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