Title: Shelter Mountain
Author: Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 19th – 20th February 2020
5th sentence, 74th page: The kid’s no trouble.
Welcome back to Virgin River with the books that started it all…
FOR THE SECOND TIME IN A YEAR, A WOMAN ARRIVES IN THE SMALL TOWN OF VIRGIN RIVER TRYING TO ESCAPE HER PAST
John “Preacher” Middleton is about to close the bar when a young woman and her three-year-old son come in out of the wet October night. A marine who has seen his share of pain, Preacher knows a crisis when he sees one – the woman is covered in bruises. He wants to protect them, and to punish whoever did this, but he knows immediately that this is more than just instinct. Paige Lassiter has stirred up emotions in this gentle giant of a man – emotions that he has never allowed himself to feel.
Then Paige’s ex-husband turns up in Virgin River. And if there’s one thing the marines’ motto of Semper Fi – always faithful has taught Preacher, it’s that some thigns are worth fighting for.
I started reading this book practically as soon as it landed on my doorstep. After all, I absolutely devoured Virgin River, so I couldn’t wait to find out about Paige and Preacher. Especially since they do feature in the Netflix show. Which I’m kind of obsessed with. Plus, the idea of a storyline dealing with an abused woman isn’t one that I’ve often had the chance to read. I like the fact that so far in this series, the people have some pretty serious damage in their pasts…
In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have picked this book up when I did. I have a huge to do list, and not much time to complete it. But, I really, really wanted a happy, feel good, easy read. Which is surprising. This story deals with some pretty intense storylines and issues. Yet, the fact that there is a happily ever after for the vast majority of the characters makes it somehow still feel good. I certainly turned the last page with a happy smile on my face… and then drifted off to sleep with lots of happy thoughts in my head.
This is a great slow-burn romance. One of those stories that you know they’ll end up together, but it takes quite a while for that to actually eventuate. It’s nice to read a story in which there isn’t any insta-love. Rather, it’s the kind that is slowly built around trust and communication. The fact that it also is built up around her child and the falling in love doesn’t just involve the woman… the creation of a family in a beautiful, open little town. It’s really a sweet tale.
I love that although the second book in the Virgin River series is about Paige and Preacher, it isn’t really all that focused on them. Yes, they’re still the centre of the storyline, but Jack and Mel still feature quite heavily in their new lies together. As do Rick and Liz, another couple who have faced challenges in the first book. I’ve never read a romance series which reflects so strongly on a past couple, normally they just make a cameo. And, since I really wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to any of the past couples, it was really nice. Now I’m going to buy more of these books… and the Grace Valley ones too, since they’re often mentioned throughout these two books.