Source- TBR pile
Publisher- MIRA/ Harlequin
Publication date- 2007
Synopsis- “Wanted: Midwife/nurse practitioner in Virgin River, population six hundred. Make a difference against the 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: the cabin is a 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 a tiny baby, abandoned on a front porch, changes her plans…and a former marine cements them into place.
Melinda Monroe may have come to Virgin River looking for escape, but instead she finds her home.
Review- The Virgin River series by Robyn Carr was recommended initially by Marg at Adventures of An Intrepid Reader and then I was further encouraged by a bunch of positive reviews of the series by Bree over at 1 Girl 2 Many Books. Unable to find a copy of Virgin River at my local second hand book exchange ( I did pick up book # 2 though- Shelter Mountain), I ordered it online for a good price and it turned up just in time to take away overseas with me. It’s a small, light and compact book but lengthy enough to keep me entertained over a few sittings.
Virgin River is a contemporary romance set in an isolated town in Arkansas known as Virgin River. It’s character-driven with just enough suspense and plot advancement to make for an entertaining read.
Melinda Monroe hopes a change of scenery and escaping her every-day life to the small town of Virgin River to become the new midwife will help her heal from the grief of her husband’s death. But when she arrives to find her new home is a run-down old cottage and her new job is alongside a grumpy old doctor who didn’t approve of her position in the first place she realises she’s made a huge mistake. Vowing only to stay a day or two despite the encouragement of handsome local bartender Jack, she is unable to let her guard down to see the value in small town living.
Just when Melinda has had enough, a newborn baby turns up on her doorstep which ignites many of her hidden desires- to have a baby of her own, to work with mothers and infants and to undertake new challenges- she decides to stay, at least until the baby finds a home. But a few days turns into a few weeks and week’s turns into months and Melinda’s position in the tight-knit community becomes engrained.
Jack is an ex-marine, he’s tough demeanour on the outside is pleasantly complimented by his sensitive and gentle nature. He’s the kind of guy the whole town can rely on. Never been one to be tied down in a relationship until Mel comes to town and makes him want to be a different kind of guy, maybe a family man after all. He owns the local pub and they quickly develop a friendship. Jack becomes a figure of stability and security for Mel and helps her overcome her first impressions of Virgin River and give her something to look forward to. Their friendship naturally evolves into a physical relationship and then an intense emotional connection which was both realistic and satisfying to read.
I enjoyed Melinda’s story and how the story spans not just the romance but her former grief, her occupation, overcoming the challenges of country nursing, her love/ hate relationship with the cranky doctor and the much-deserved romance. A very good read and I look forward to reading more books in this series… undoubtedly there are a lot more to get my hands on!
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