Title: A Virgin River Christmas
Author: Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River #4
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 19th – 22nd May 2020
5th sentence, 74th page: “Will you stack it up in the shed out back and put a little on the porch by the mudroom door for me?”
Welcome back to Virgin River with the books that started it all…
Last Christmas Marcie Sullivan said a final goodbye to her husband, Bobby. This Christmas she wants to find the man who saved his life and gave her three more years to love him.
Fellow marine Ian Buchanan dragged Bobby’s shattered body onto a medical transport four years ago, then disappeared once their unit arrived stateside. Since then, Marcie’s letters to Ian have gone unanswered.
Marcie tracks Ian to the tiny mountain town of Virgin River and finds a man as wounded emotionally as Bobby was physically. As Marcie pushes her way into his reclusive life, she discovers a sweet soul beneath a rough exterior.
Ian doesn’t know what to make of the determined young widow who forces him to look into his painful past and the uncertain future. But it is a season of miracles and maybe, just maybe, it’s time to banish the ghosts and open his heart.
Marcie is my favourite, craziest, stubborn woman. She is so fiercely independent and tough, but in this great, feminine way. I also laughed again and again throughout this novel – mostly in the unwise, random instances where she finds herself in pain. Her total acceptance of Ian’s unique ways and gumption in finding him are something seriously to be admired. Something that had me flicking through the pages of this novel super fast.
This Virgin River novel moved a little further away from the first three novels in the series. Where the first three novels are seriously interconnected, there is a loser connection between Marcie and Ian and the rest of the crew. Actually, the only connection is through Marcie just blundering into the picturesque little town. Ian isn’t a part of the same Marine Corps (Troop?), they don’t know the same people and everyone is a little bit isolated. Yet, you feel like at the end of this story, they’ve begun to become a little more ingrained within the town. I hope that they’ll pop up again and again in the next books.
One of my favourite parts of this novel is that it shows a bit of a parallel with Vanessa and Paul’s story, which will be told in full in the next novel, Second Chance Pass. But, we already know of the loss of Vanessa’s husband and her connection to his best friend from Whispering Rock. Marcie and Ian certainly have an easier time of it – Marcie’s husband took a while to be gone and grieved. And Ian and Marcie had barely met. But it was a nice, simple romance that involves two people moving on from the past and embracing someone that they loved.
This was a much simpler romance than the last few Virgin River books. Where many of them are a little intense, filled with some serious heartache and tragedy, this doesn’t really have that. Yes, serious issues are still touched upon. And it’s not all smooth sailing. But it is much smoother and simpler than the first few books. Which I think my poor heart needed that gasp of breath before embarking on the more tumultuous story that I’m sure will take place in Second Chance Pass.