This book picks up the series and jumps right back into the lives of Jack, ready-to-pop Mel, Preacher, and a very pregnant Paige with the main focus, at least to begin the story, being on Vanni and Paul. Along for the ride is also Mike and Brie. There’s also Joe, an architect and close friend of Jack and Paul’s, and Nikki, best friend of Vanni, who may very well become to be regulars. Or at least I’m hoping they do.
Vanni and Paul had come into the crazy mix throughout book 3, Whispering Rocks. Vanni, who is pregnant with her first child, comes to have a hard time when she ends up losing her husband, Matt, to war overseas. For the first time in about a year, her and her father, Walt, brother, Tom, and their closest friend Paul, she was able to do a video chat with Matt and catch up on lost time. However, about a week later he was killed. It was, of course, a hard blow to them all, especially with Vanni having to give birth to their child without Matt. At least she was able to have Paul there to help support her through the most difficult of times.
The truth starts to come forward…
Paul has been in love with Vanni, to what feels to him, forever. He was actually the one that had set his sight on Vanni first, but being the shy guy that he is, it was his best pal Matt that had scooped her off her feet. And because of the brother code that they had, Paul had no intention of letting either of them know how he truly feels about Vanni, festering in his love for her for years.
Then Matt is killed fighting for his country…
Without even realizing that Vanni has fallen in love with him, not believing it was possible, Paul retreats, avoiding seeing her as much as possible. He couldn’t bring himself to step up and be there for her as he didn’t trust himself with his emotions, making Vanni think that she had done something to push him away.
The unexpected comes along…
Calling up an occasional fling one night after he returns back to Grants Pass, he spills everything he feels about the death of Matt and the girl that he’s fallen in love with but feels that he’ll never be able to have. Emotions get the better of him that night and they end up falling into bed together. He later comes to find that to be a big mistake. She comes to him a few months later, giving him the news that she’s pregnant with his child. At the same time he gets this news he also ends up finding out from Vanni that she feels the same way towards him that he does towards her. He couldn’t be in a bigger mess if he tried!
And now he just needs to find a way to explain to Vanni what’s going on with the other woman, all the while not losing Vanni in the process.
Much like the previous four books in the Virgin River series I really enjoyed this book. It wasn’t a favorite of mine when comparing it to books 1-3, but it was still good. It was a book that’s easy to glide through and has a ton of detail, making it simple to get sucked back into the lives of those in Virgin River. Every time I read a book from the series it makes me think about how I would love to live in such a close-knit, beautiful place. Lately with the books I’ve been reading I haven’t really gotten into them. Either the story lacks interest or it is horribly written and boring. This book, however, kept my interest throughout the entire thing and it was beautifully written. No annoy choppy sentences in this one!
The only problem I really found with this story was the relationship between Vanni and Paul. I thought the book was mainly going to be about them, with bits and parts of the others, however, the first half only seemed about them and their relationship. And their relationship moved way to fast for my taste. I understand that they already loved each other and that they’ve known each other for years, but the entire thing seemed rushed. I didn’t have as strong of a connection with the two of them as I did with other couples such as Jack and Mel, and Preacher and Paige.
I will admit, the second half of the book held my attention much more than the first part. The second half mainly focused on Preacher and Paige having their baby girl, Joe finally meeting the love of his life, Nikki, and Tom going off to basic. Not to mention Rick coming home for a short visit before being shipped off to Iraq. The part that really grabbed onto me though is the forest fire that was ripping it’s way through the mountainside thanks to a very dry and hot summer. At first the author makes you believe that Virgin River isn’t going to see a bit of the fire, that it will keep its distance from the town, and just overnight the thing comes barreling towards them, threatening everything they live for. The second half of the book makes me recommend the book to readers more so than the parts about Paul and Vanni. I really wish more time was spent on them but I’m still happy that they finally came together after the heartbreak of losing Matt to war.
About Second Chance Pass
Welcome back to Virgin River with the books that started it all…
The community of Virgin River saw Vanessa Rutledge through her darkest days—now she’s looking to a bright future.
In the space of a few months Vanessa buried her husband, Matt, and gave birth to their son—breaking her heart while filling it with a whole new kind of love. But the one man she longs to share this love with now acts as if she doesn’t exist.
Paul Haggerty lives by the marine motto: Semper Fi. Ever faithful to his best friend, he’s done right by Matt’s widow as best he can…considering he’s been secretly in love with her for years. Now, just as he’s about to make his move, another woman has staked her claim on him—a claim that will be tough to escape.
With courage, humility and not a little meddling from the good folks of Virgin River, Vanni and Paul might just get a second chance to have the love they both desire and deserve.
A list of Robyn Carr’s books can be found on her site here – Book List