He was completely smitten. Jack was forty and this was the first time that he had a woman in his life he couldn’t imagine giving up.Robyn Carr, Virgin River, p 208
With it being peak season at work and my school courses starting up I’ve been slacking a bit with getting new posts out so it’s time for me to buckle down and get back to what’s important. Reading.
I finished Virgin River last night and it was a nice refreshing book compared to what I’ve been reading lately. Lately I’ve been into vampires and murder mysteries (J. D. Robb’s new book, Vendetta in Death) so I figured it was time for a change. I’m always up for a love story as most of you know and this one had plenty of love within it, however, it did seem to lack a bit for me.
The story started out great – Melinda Monroe, a nurse practitioner and midwife, had decided to start over after she lost her husband, Mark, who was murdered less than a year before when he walked into the usual market to get some milk when he strolled into a robbery in progress. The person committing the crime ended up shooting him in the chest three times, Mark dying immediately. Mel had finally gotten tired of the fast lane of Los Angeles and being surrounded by the memories of Mark, hightailing it out to the mountains after responding to an ad for the town of Virgin River asking for someone to come assist the town doctor.
The narrative was free-flowing and enjoyable, making it so easy to slip into the world of Mel and Virgin River. You get a great sense of where Mel came from what she’s used to having in her life as she was used to getting a good paycheck and being able to go shopping or the spa whenever she felt the need. However, Virgin River was the complete opposite and not exactly what she had thought it was going to be. Now some of that was Hope McCrea’s fault as she sent pictures of the town to Mel that were, well, not altogether the truth of how the place looked. The cabin Mel was to stay in or the town.
I’m always up for a good renovation but I could definitely understand Mel’s frustration when she comes across the cabin where she is to stay for the next year. Covered in inches of dust, dirt, and grime not to mention it was in the process of falling down. Since the book is called Virgin River afterall I had a feeling that even with the state of the cabin Mel was going to stick around, even though she did consider leaving that very next morning. But of course she stuck around, with constant thoughts of leaving after one situation or another was dealt with. She couldn’t find it inside herself to leave anyone that was in need of her services as a midwife, one of the reasons as to why she had come to that dinky, run-down town to begin with.
About the time I made it to the middle of the book though things started to get a bit choppy with the story. Not with the storyline itself but with how it was written. It also started to feel a bit rushed. One moment you’re getting to know the town as well as Mel and Jack becoming closer, and the next thing you know weeks have passed by from one incident to another. I know that a book can get boring quite quickly if it constantly goes one day at a time till the end, there has to be some sort of time frame that goes by to make the story flow better, but I think it could have been done in a much better manner than how it was written. I think it needed a bit more action to it as well. I did end up getting a bit bored with it as even though there were a few crazy situations here and there. There was Mel going off with a complete stranger in the middle of the night who was also a drug dealer and then Colleen having heart problems which resulted in Mel having to ride in the back of Doc’s truck for an hour with Colleen to make it to the hospital, oh, and the issue with Clinton, there really wasn’t much action otherwise. And with those parts of action, they didn’t last very long and lacked in development a bit. I suppose I favor romantic suspense a bit and Virgin River turned out to be your plain romance book.
Will I read the rest of the series? Of course I will as it was a good story and I want to know what happens with the others that are in the town of Virgin River. I won’t feel fully satisfied with the storyline until I read the series to the end. I’m also happy that they are making a Netflix series out of the books. There is always a great amount of detail that is left out between the book and movie/television show, but I’ve always been one who likes to have a book come to life on the screen as well as in my head.
If you enjoy cozy romance stories I recommend giving this book a try.
About Virgin River
WANTED: Midwife/nurse practitioner in Virgin River, population six hundred. Make a difference against a backdrop of towering California redwoods and crystal clear rivers. Rent-free cabin included.
When the recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees this ad, she quickly decides that the remote mountain town of Virgin River might be the perfect place to escape her heartache and to reenergize the nursing career she loves. But her high hopes are dashed within an hour of arriving as the cabin is a complete dump, the roads are treacherous, and the local doctor wants nothing to do with her. Realizing she’s made a huge mistake, Mel decides to leave town the following morning. But when a newborn baby is abandoned on the front porch of the doc’s house it changes her plans of leaving Virgin River in her rearview mirror…and former marine Jack Sheridan who owns the bar across the street.
A list of Robyn Carr’s books can be found on her site here – Book List