Tag Archives: Virgin River

Bring Me Home for Christmas by Robyn Carr

Overview
Bring Me Home for Christmas, Virgin River by Robyn Carr | 9780778317630 |  Booktopia

Title: Bring Me Home for Christmas
Author: Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River #14
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 5th – 8th August 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Something like maybe we’d better get this settled between us and move on.

Synopsis

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

This year, Becca Timm knows the number one item on her Christmas wish list – getting over Denny Cutler. Three years ago Denny broke her heart before heading off to war. It’s time she got over her silly college relationship and moved on.

So she takes matters into her own hands and heads up to Virgin River, the rugged little mountain town that Denny calls home, as an uninvited guest on her brother’s men-only hunting weekend. But when an accident turns her impromptu visit into an extended stay, Becca finds herself stranded in Virgin River. With Denny. In very close quarters.

As the power of Christmas envelops the little town, Becca discovers that the boy she once loved has become a strong and confident man. And the most delicious Christmas present she can imagine.

Thoughts

Denny’s story was something that came a little put of left field in Wild Man Creek. It was incredibly unexpected, but you immediately fall for the happy, easygoing young lad. I didnt realise that Bring Me Home for Christmas would be about him. But when I realised that it would be… oh, my heart melted.

Becca is a great female lead. She has so much gumption and independence. The fact that she tricks her brother into doing what she wants to start her whole adventure just made me love her even more. She is so fun and independent. And the perfect woman to go toe to toe with Denny.

I was expecting there to be a bit more of a hang up with Becca’s current boyfriend. But, that whole relationship just kind of… dissolved neatly. It was pretty much no hurdle at all. I’m not even entirely sure why he was there as a plot line. But, it still worked and the angst really wasn’t there. So I suppose it’s not too bad.

This is yet another beautiful Virgin River Christmas story. Its simple and sweet. About two people finding their happily ever after, but also about community spirit and supporting one another. Its always the kind of story that just makes you want to live in a small mountain town in a great community.

<- Harvest MoonHidden Summit ->

Image source: Booktopia

Harvest Moon by Robyn Carr

Overview
Harvest Moon – RobynCarr

Title: Harvest Moon
Author: Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River #13
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 21st – 26th July 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: She’s right outside.

Synopsis

Return to VIRGIN RIVER with the books that started it all…

The recipe for happiness:
making it up as you go along

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 LA, 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?

Thoughts

One of the things that I love about the Virgin River series is that there is always a bit of a brief hint or introduction to the romance in the next story. It just makes you want to pick up the next book so much more – because you’ve already begun to feel partly invested within the relationship in the first place. You knew that Kelly and Lief were going to be a match at some point – they had their little stunning moment of realisation in Wild Man Creek. It was subtle, but it was enough to draw me in and leave me feeling somewhat intrigued.

Pulling in a struggling teenage daughter and the death of a mother really helped to raise the stakes in this story. In fact, I found it a little hard at moments to read this. I seriously felt for Courtenay and Lief – they’d not only lost someone, but were struggling to find their new way in the world. I loved that Carr was able to write from both perspectives – you understand why Lief is so confused and hurt by Courtenay’s decisions and actions. But you also get why she’s acting the way that she is. And, ultimately, she’s a teenager – they’re not exactly the most well balanced of people.

Reading this story honestly made me hungry. Food was such a centre point of Kelly’s life that every moment made you want to… well, eat. It was filled with so much delicious morish-ness that I honestly needed a snack for most of the reading of this. And, I kind of need one now that I’m writing my review the morning after finishing this…

I probably didn’t quite connect to Lief and Kelly as much as some of the other Virgin River couples (hence the fact that it lost 0.5 stars for me). But I did still love and enjoy them. I liked how their challenges were totally unique to the others within this series. normally by the thirteenth book in a series, it starts to feel a little same, same, but that isn’t the case with the Virgin River series. Every relationship, every romance, every challenge feels new and fresh.

<- Wild Man CreekBring Me Home for Christmas ->

Image source: Robyn Carr

Wild Man Creek by Robyn Carr

Overview
Wild Man Creek – RobynCarr

Title: Wild Man Creek
Author: Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River #12
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 10th – 13th July 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: Of course she had no idea how authentic the seeds were or how the finished fruit or vegetables would taste, but this was the first step – seeds were available.

Synopsis

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…

Thoughts

There is something about the Riordan brothers that you honestly can’t help but love. They’re such a wild bunch of Irish lads, but they all have this amazing, honest core that makes you fall head over heels from them from the very beginning. Colin is one of the brothers that is barely mentioned (until you get to Promise Canyon), and I loved finding out a whole lot more about him. Now, there’s only one left… and I can’t wait to get to his story later either!

Jill’s brief appearance in Promise Canyon, along with her sister and two friends definitely drew me in and intrigued me. The more that I found out about Jill, and her impulsive tendencies, the more I fell in love with her. There was just something so lively and filled with gumption about her that made me unable to look away and stop diving further and further into her story. plus, who doesn’t like the idea of leaving behind your life and starting a whole new one? And one farming? I tell you, I have frequent daydreams about it.

I love that Colin and Jill’s story is kind of unique in that there are no outer influences who are trying to make them reunite. Rather, it is Colin’s own realisation and maturity that helps him to realise what is right and good. There were no huge dramas, and I kind of needed that. After all, I read this while on holidays and pregnant – I didn’t want anything that could make me cry. I just wanted easy and happy. This is exactly that kind of story.

As with all of the other Virgin River stories, there are a number of cast members and side stories that help to draw you in. You get to visit with the other Riordan’s again and again. The rest of the town and just fall in love with everyone again and again. There is always something so peaceful about revisiting this well-loved place. And it doesn’t make me want to quit my job and live off the land in the country at all

<- Promise CanyonHarvest Moon ->

Image source: Robyn Carr

Promise Canyon by Robyn Carr

Overview
Promise Canyon :HarperCollins Australia

Title: Promise Canyon
Author: Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River #11
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 6th – 10th July 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: But they ran to him when he arrived.

Synopsis

Welcome back to Virgin River with the books that started it all…

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 II except II Lilly Yazhi.

Lilly has encountered her share of strong, silent, II traditional II mean 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. Lilly can’t deny his gift for gentling horses, but she’s not about to let him control her. There’s just one small problem – II she II can’t control her attraction to Clay.

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

Thoughts

It’d been a little while since I’ve had the chance to return to the beautiful world of Virgin River. And, honestly, it was about damn time. I’ve been hanging to throw myself back into this beautiful series. And for the first time in a long time, I actually stayed up past my bedtime reading. I mean, it was a weekend, but still it ft wonderfully indulgent.

I was honestly surprised that this story featured two Native Americans. Pleasantly so, but most of the Virgin River books so far haven’t really had culture and tradition as a huge part of the characters’ background. I really enjoyed this idea! I mean, I’m completely ignorant if these Peoples. But I enjoyed the glimpses I found in Lilly and Clay of how their background constructed their identities.

The bonding over horses for Lilly and Clay really hit my happy spot. I love any story staring animals, and, although I’m not really a horse person…. I appreciated their presence. Plus, it was more than just a story about moving on from the past and falling in love. It was one about falling in love with an animal and all of the comforts that brings.

What I like to think of as the “core cast” was very much present in this story as always. Whilst it was Lilly and Clay’s tale, I was also the town’s… just as it should be. Having all the familiar faces and some teasing hints of new ones really felt like coming home… and luckily I have the next novel, Wild Man Creek, all ready to go in my hot little hand…

<- Midnight ConfessionsWild Man Creek ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

Sheltering Hearts by Robyn Carr

Overview
More Than Words, Volume 6 (Virgin River, #10.1) by Joan Johnston

Title: Sheltering Hearts
Author: Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River #10.1
In: More Than Words: Volume 6 (Joan Johnston, Robyn Carr, Christina Skye, Rochelle Alers & Maureen Child)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 24th October 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Harlequin
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: He put a finger under her chin and lifted her face up to his.

Synopsis

In her story, New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr brings her fans back to her beloved Virgin River country, to focus on the plight of single mothers in need, as her way of honoring Rhonda Clemens, founder of Zoe Institute.

Thoughts

This was such a beautiful story. Which, really isn’t surprising. Because pretty much every Robyn Carr story seems to be beautiful. I just can’t get enough of the woman! The fact that it’s loosely set within the Virgin River series just makes me fall all that much harder for this story. Even though there is just a peripheral attachment / appearance of Mel and Paige.

This isn’t as romance-heavy as the rest of the Robyn Carr stories. Although, I did like that fact. Because it was more about the heroine finding her own way and creating a legacy that will help support other single mums. Actually, the romance is completely secondary to the rest of the story and it was gorgeous. Although, a hunky fire fighter was still very much appreciated.

There were some nice moments of humour throughout this. Particularly in the moments when Clay tries to help by getting a little revenge… but, mostly, I loved this story because it highlighted the difficulties that all single mums have. Not just those who have an abusive background…

<- Moonlight RoadMidnight Confessions ->

Image source: Goodreads

Midnight Confessions by Robyn Carr

Overview
Midnight Kiss – RobynCarr

Title: Midnight Confessions
Author: Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River #10.5
In: Midnight Kiss (Robyn Carr, Jean Brashear & Victoria Dahl) & ‘Tis the Season (Robyn Carr)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 29th September 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Harlequin
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: “Uh-oh,” she said.

Synopsis

TAKE A RISK

At the inaugural New Year’s Eve party at Jack’s Bar, two lonely revellers decide the best balm for their broken hearts might just be each other.

Thoughts

Well, that rounds out the romances of the three Foley siblings beautifully. I was a bit surprised when Drew made an appearance, but after the first page, I fell for him just like I did Erin and Marcie. I also loved the fact that Marcie’s story was a bit of a Christmas one, and Drew’s was a New Years Eve one. It just felt kind of celebratory and full circle.

New Years Eve isn’t really a time of year where I get super, crazy excited. But I did like that this took the idea of new beginnings and created something a little… extra about it. It’s probably the only thing that I truly do on New Years Eve these days – try and finish all of my currently reading books so that I get to start afresh with a new literary slate. It’s probably completely insane, but I do like that both Drew and Sunny manage to find a new beginning in this story. Kind of like my fresh TBR every year… (alright, books and relationships, a little different, but I don’t care).

Nate and Annie and many of the other originals as I call them also make an appearance in this story. In fact, one of my favourite parts of this story is the way in which Annie is able to manipulate Sunny into giving Drew a chance, and to honestly, stop being such a chicken shit. After all, we all need to take a risk every now and again. Or at least, that’s the way I see it…

<- Sheltering HeartsPromise Canyon ->

Image source: Robyn Carr

Moonlight Road by Robyn Carr

Overview
Moonlight Road – RobynCarr

Title: Moonlight Road
Author: Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River #10
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 17th August – 11th September 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: Are you going to be a beautician when you grow up?

Synopsis

With her beloved younger siblings settled and happy, Erin Foley has empty-next 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.

Thoughts

One of my favourite things about any romance series is the way in which the characters are all intertwined in some way, shape and form. And Carr is able to bring this talent to a whole new level – the further into the series of Virgin River that I go, the most intertwined everybody becomes and the more I get sucked into this amazing world. I love that it kind of reflects real life (at least in my small part of the world) in that everybody is connected in some way, shape or form.

The meet cute between Erin and Aiden is probably my favourite so far in this series… after all, he scares the crap out of her and manages to get her to knock herself unconscious. Alright, maybe not the meet cute that I would have wanted in my life. But it was still a great beginning in a romance book. The fact that they are both already connected to past characters within the series – Marcie, Sean, Shelby, etc. just made their meeting all that much cuter (see what I did there).

I love that this is a melding of two highly trained professionals – a doctor and a lawyer. It’s not something that I necessarily come across frequently in the stories that I read – generally there is one of this sort of professional, not two trying to find their new lives and their happily ever after. The fact that it kind of becomes derailed by Analee – the most terrifying derailment so far, just helps to highlight the awesomeness of this couple. They somehow seem tougher and a little scarier than some of the other couples. I’d certainly not want to mess with them anyway!

On top of the wild ride that is Erin and Aiden falling for each other, Mel and Jack continue to have their own side story. I’m at a point in my life when quite a few friends are getting pregnant or trying to. So reading about Mel’s difficulty in dealing with her hysterectomy and the residual issues that accompany such a thing… it seemed like a fantastic time to face up to and confront such a tough topic. It’s one of my favourite things about this series – that confrontation of issues that many people face, but no one really talks about…

<- Angel’s PeakSheltering Hearts ->

Image source: Robyn Carr

Angel’s Peak by Robyn Carr

Overview
Angel's Peak (Virgin River, #9) by Robyn Carr

Title: Angel’s Peak
Author: Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River #9
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 21st – 29th July 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: It hadn’t been that long since Franci had been a college coed.

Synopsis

FOUR YEARS AGO, AIR FORCE SWEETHEARTS FRANCI DUNCAN AND SEAN RIORDAN REACHED AN IMPASSE. SHE WANTED MARRIAGE AND A FAMILY. HE DIDN’T. BUT A CHANCE MEETING PROVES THAT THE BITTER BREAKUP HASN’T COOLED THEIR SIZZLING CHEMISTRY.

Sean has settled down in spite of himself – he’s not the cocky young fighter pilot he was when Franci left, and he wants them to try again. After all, they have a history… but that’s not all they share.

Franci’s secret reason for walking away when Sean refused to commit is now three and a half: a redheaded cherub named Rosie who shares her daddy’s emerald-green eyes. Sean is stunned – and furious with Franci for the deception.

News travels fast in Virgin River, and soon the whole town is taking sides. Rebuilding their trust could take a small miracle – and the kind of love that can move mountains.

Thoughts

I had to pause in my reading of this about a quarter of the way in. I loved the premise. I loved the beginning. And then you find out about T.J…. the guy that Franci had been dating. And wow. WHAT. A. DOUCHE. I was just so disgusted and frustrated by him that I put the book aside for a while and moved onto something with a less douche-baggish obstacle to overcome.

Luckily, following this moment of heck no feelings. The story seriously picks up. It fairly quickly becomes apparent that Franci has more of a brain than you had anticipated – and didn’t succumb to the wiles of such a deplorable man. And that he really wasn’t as much of an obstacle. In actual fact, that giant hurdle that the main couple need to overcome… well, it was overcome a lot quicker than anticipated. Which, allowed for room for something that I love in Robyn Carr’s writing and Virgin River series – that the romance wasn’t really just about one couple. The other couples from past books and the potential future couples are all living their lives too.

The Virgin River series, as it develops is becoming more and more about family. In this story, not only is the obstacle about children, but whole families are drawn in. Firstly, there are the two grandmothers / mothers who are constantly renegotiating their relationships. Then, there’s the friendships, in-laws and all sorts of ties that we all have. It’s beautiful that this series is able to tie in all of the characters and give them each of their own happily ever afters.

Not only did I absolutely adore this story. Partly because although it is about Luke’s brother, but it also helps to set up the next little mini-trilogy. Primarily, it’s helping to set up Erin and Aiden, siblings of characters that I’ve already kind of fallen in love with…now I need to hunt out Moonlight Road and get my happy on all over again.

<- Forbidden FallsMoonlight Road ->

Image source: Goodreads

Forbidden Falls by Robyn Carr

Overview
Forbidden Falls (Virgin River, #8) by Robyn Carr

Title: Forbidden Falls
Author: Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River #8
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 7th – 20th July 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: Besides, there wasn’t a bubble or streak on those baseboards.

Synopsis

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

Reverend Noah Kincaid moved to Virgin River to reopen an abandoned church he bought on eBay. Like Noah, the place is a little empty inside, but all it may need is some loving care…

The young widower arrives ready to roll up his sleeves and build a place of worship and welcome, but he needs some help. And the Lord works in mysterious ways.

With her tight shirts and short skirts, pastor’s assistant is not a phrase that springs to mind when Noah meets brassy, beautiful Alicia Baldwin. the former exotic dancer needs a respectable job so she can regain custody of her children. And Noah can’t help but admire her spunk and motherly determination. Noah and Alicia are an unlikely team to revitalize a church, much less build a future. The couple has so many differences, but in Virgin River anything is possible, and happiness is never out of the question.

Thoughts

It did take me a little longer to get into this Virgin River book than I most of the others. As much as I loved the idea of the story and enjoyed both Ellie and Noah. I just didn’t bond with them quite as quickly. Yet, once I hit that halfway point, I was completely hooked. And somehow that made that moment of attachment all the more sweet…

I love that the big complication in Ellie and Noah’s relationship was all based on the custody of her children. Again, Carr finds ways to create a story in which the issues are so much more adult. And the older I get, the more I feel like these are some seriously intense and realistic complications. Instead of there being another man, or a complication which involves one or the other being seriously stupid (like in many romances) it is the idea of family and children which cause potential bumps in the road. Bumps which are completely adorable and just jump off the page.

I’ve been reading a lot of romances lately. It seems to be my latest fad. I have never read a book that features a man of the cloth as the lead male though. Actually, I don’t think I’ve read any book which features a priest or any kind of man of the cloth as any kind of main character. It was an interesting departure from what I’m used to. And, considering I have a few hang ups with the Church, it was something that I surprisingly seriously enjoyed. Add to that that he is partnered with a woman who seems to be the absolute opposite to him in every manner, shape and form… it was a great, humorous and very, very cute romance.

Not only is Forbidden Falls a great romance between Noah and Ellie. Vanni and Paul also have a number of challenges that they have to overcome again. And Shelby and Luke get married. I love that although their happily ever afters have kind of occurred… there are still so many challenges that they have to overcome. So many moments that make them stand back and realise that even after you find your happily ever after person, you will still continuously battle to have the life that you’ve always wanted. And the way that Vanni and Paul face their latest battle… wow. My heart goes out to them.

<- Under the Christmas TreeAngel’s Peak ->

Image source: Goodreads

Under the Christmas Tree by Robyn Carr

Overview
Image result for that holiday feeling book cover

Title: Under the Christmas Tree
Author: Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River #7.5
In: That Holiday Feeling (Debbie Macomber, Sherryl Woods & Robyn Carr) & ‘Tis the Season (Robyn Carr)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 13th June 2020
Pace: Slow
Format: Novella
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: “Then come with me.”

Synopsis

When the folks of Virgin River discover a box of adorable puppies under the town’s Christmas tree they call on local vet Nathaniel Jensen for help. But it’s his budding romance with Annie McCarty that really has tongues — and tails — wagging!

Thoughts

I needed to read something cute and sweet when I picked up this novella. I had been reading an amazing book (A Lonely Girl is a Dangerous Thing). But it was also kind of dark and made you feel very, very uncomfortable to read. Thus, I needed something positive and light and cute and sweet to read. So, of course I decided that I needed to revisit Virgin River and the water down there that makes everyone fall in love… it was a great way to break that feeling of discomfort.

I think one of the things that makes this novella particularly cute is that it starts with puppies. And not just any puppies, but Border Collie puppies which I have a particular soft spot for. And it is set at Christmas time. So the combination is not only fun and cute, but exactly the kind of thing that I absolutely adore. Alright, the puppies are sickly and need to be taken care of. But still… puppies.

Not only are Annie and Nate a great couple, but there are so many characters from the larger Virgin River series who make an appearance. In particular Jack, Preacher, David and Chris. Their characters and personalities are what made me fall in love with this series, so although this is a Christmas story that stands alone wonderfully on its own, it is also filled with characters and places that I have steadily fallen in love with.

<- Paradise ValleyForbidden Falls ->

Image source: Goodreads