I started reading this series back in Sept 2019, going through a few books at a time here and there. I recently finished up My Kind of Christmas the other day with plans of reading Return to Virgin River soon, most likely when it’s released in paperback (I’m one of those people who are picky when it comes to their books and I like them all to match). This is a series that I’ll forever love and may even reread at some point in my life, at least with most of the books, as it’s a fun, good-loving, series that I highly recommend if you enjoy smooth romance, some hard-headed characters, laughter, and some crying at some points as well. All of the books in the series averaged around a 4-star rating from me, for the exception of Moonlight Road as that story didn’t really have that much excitement but all those before and after brought a lot out of me whether it be laughing outloud, tears, anger, or just over-all happiness.
I’ve seen a lot of questions about whether the series should be read in order or not, it can very well be read as separate books, however, I strongly recommend reading them in order as it allows you to grow with the characters as they all seem to pop-up at one point or another in the following books after their story, allowing the reader to get a sense of how they’re getting on with life. It’s one of the main reasons why I love series, as I’m always wondering what happened to the other characters.
I’m not going to go too deep into each of the books that I’ve read since my last review on Promise Canyon, but I will say that I sure do favor those Riordan boys.
If I had to choose a favorite out of all 21+ books in the series I would have to say that Sunrise Point (book #19) was the best. I absolutely loved the story about Nora Crane and Tom Cavanaugh; it was as if I could feel their chemistry exploding from each page and by the end I was so giddy by their happy ending that they both got. I wouldn’t have it any other way with those two!
We first meet Nora in Becca and Denny’s story, Bring Me Home for Christmas, when they take one of the Christmas boxes to her home. They come to find that she has been up and left in Virgin River alone in a tiny run-down house taking care of a set of daughters, Berry who is two and Fay who is only six-weeks. They have next to no furniture (not even a fridge!), hardly any food or clothes, and with the cold winds of winter creeping in through the windows and doors. Nora was only mentioned for a mere few paragraphs in that story, but she stuck with me hardcore the rest of the time and I was really wanting to know what happened to her and the girls. I was very excited to find that they were given their own story.
Nora may have been down on her luck a good portion of her time but she fought hard to take care of her children, doing everything she possibly good to make sure they were well cared for. Thankfully, with a town like Virgin River, there were others to help her out as well. She finally caught a break when she was able to land a job at the Cavanaugh apple orchard. Granted, Tom didn’t want to give her the job due to her lack of experience, not to mention her small stature, but thankfully, Tom’s grandmother Maxie, came to the rescue on that front! Every day Nora would end up walking 3.4 miles downhill to the orchard and back uphill to make it back home after a grueling 10 or so hours picking apples all to make sure she showed that she meant business with keeping her job (not to mention she didn’t have a car at the time).
And then here comes Tom Cavanaugh to save the day!
Tom has recently returned from fighting overseas, coming home to Virgin River to help out with the apple orchard owned by his grandmother, Maxie, and to finally settle down with a family of his own. However, he was going about it all wrong. ALL WRONG! I can’t remember hating a character anywhere in the series any more than I hated that of Darla. Self-centered, manipulative, lazy-ass Darla. She was the complete opposite of Nora. Darla refused to carry her own luggage into the house, hardly touched a bite of the dinner that was made, making it so Tom would take her out to dinner pretty much every time she showed up at the orchard. She wouldn’t help out with anything around the home such as something as simple as washing dishes, instead, she would sit there and watch Maxie do so. And when it came to poor Duke, the family dog, she wouldn’t let him come within an inch of her due to his furriness. Gods forbid she got a fur on her over-priced outfit. Made me want to push her into a puddle.
Thankfully, after only a few visits with Darla, Tom finally got his brain screwed in correctly, but even though he tried to come up with one excuse or another for her not to come to the orchard, he didn’t exactly tell her that he had no interest in her and no longer wanted her around. I mean, I could understand his situation a bit as she was the widow of one of the men that were under him when he was overseas so he thought he owed it to his friend to make sure Darla was taken care of, but boy howdy, he should have dumped her ass in the dirt after the first weekend of her being there. Men, can’t help but think with their manhood most of the time it seems.
It made me so happy once he finally started to realize how much better he would be with Nora in his life. Yes, she was the complete opposite of what he wanted as he didn’t want someone with as much baggage as Nora, especially with her already having two children with a deadbeat that was sitting his ass in jail and he saw Darla being the one to fill that void as she was unattached and came from a good family. But damn, was she a bitch and he realized that right quick. Not to mention, I think Maxie would have killed him (and I believe she also mentioned this a few times herself throughout) if she ended up marrying Darla.
Thankfully, and as expected, things turned out as they should (and I’m sure you could guess) Nora and Tom came to find that the two of them were the best for each other, kidlets and all.
About Sunrise Point
Tom Cavanaugh may think he wants a traditional woman, but in Virgin River, the greatest tradition is falling in love unexpectedly….
Former Marine Tom Cavanaugh’s come home to Virgin River, ready to take over his family’s apple orchard and settle down. He knows just what the perfect woman will be like: sweet, decent, maybe a little naive. The marrying kind.
Nothing like Nora Crane. So why can’t he keep his eyes off the striking single mother?
Nora may not have a formal education, but she graduated with honors from the school of hard knocks. She’s been through tough times and she’ll do whatever it takes to support her family, including helping with harvest time at the Cavanaugh’s orchard. She’s always kept a single-minded focus on staying afloat…but suddenly her thoughts keep drifting back to rugged, opinionated Tom Cavanaugh.
Both Nora and Tom have their own ideas of what family means. But they’re about to prove each other completely wrong…
A list of Robyn Carr’s books can be found on her site here – Book List