January 23, 2012
Virgin River by Robyn Carr
Melinda, recently widowed, needs a change in her life. So she sells her house, packs up her things, and moves from busy LA to Virgin River to be a nurse assistant there. Little does she know the ad isn't quite what Virgin River really is. The cabin is a dump, the doctor doesn't want her there, and she's sure she made a huge mistake. She gets ready to leave in just a day, but then finds an abandoned baby. Having never been able to have children of her own, she wants to make sure this young one finds a place before she moves on, but as she stays she starts to grow closer and closer to the residents of Virgin River. And handsome Jack, the bartender, is a pretty compelling reason to stay too, if she wasn't still grieving for her lost husband.
Melinda was a strong female character. She still had her weaknesses, but when she wanted something, she went out and got it for herself. And she throws herself headfirst into everything. There are a few areas where you wanted to just scream at her to exercise some caution, but alas, books apparently can not hear us, or at least not me. The doctor she worked with too was a strong willed person and watching them argue together was pretty amusing. Jack, the love interest, was ok. He was pretty much perfect actually and that tends to make me think he was kind of unrealistic. I would have liked to see a few actual flaws instead of the "good flaws" that were assigned to his character. The townspeople too were pretty diverse, and they made a good backdrop for the story.
The idea of moving on after grief is a pretty powerful one, and I think this story captured it well, although I thought the pace was pretty fast. Wanting to change everything in your life is a pretty common theme for those who have suffered and moving to a little town with no cell reception is sure to do that. There were some little side stories to this book too that were interesting, although some of them were left feeling unfinished. Maybe they're in the next books, I'm not sure, but I would have like them to be wrapped up in this book. I do have to warn that this book contains quite a lot of sex scenes, which if you're looking for a romance is just fine. But if you weren't looking for that, this book probably isn't for you. I thought they were well written at least and not over the top like some can be.
I'll definitely continue reading in the series of which this book is the first. I don't think they have to be in any certain order, but I'll soon discover if I'm wrong.