I've been looking for another author who can write an interesting story, develop his/her characters and give me a smile on a regular basis without dragging me through some long drawn out mistaken perception and hurt feelings. I think I've found her in Robyn Carr. She has all the qualities I love about Nora Roberts' stories, without the graphic descriptions of the violence that so often seems to anchor a romance story. This story is about a young woman whose husband is tragically murdered causing her to leave LA for a more peaceful place. From the start, you know that Virgin River isn't exactly peaceful, but is full of "characters" in the true sense of the word. Hope, Doc and Preacher are wonderful foils for the main characters Mel and Jack. Sure the romance develops a bit rapidly, but it's a romance novel after all. The love scenes are tasteful while steamy and the relationships delightful. I'm already in to the third book of the series and they just seem to get better. I'm so glad there's more!
This story pits two lawyers against each other, competing for a partnership in their firm. It's exceptionally well written with characters you care for, a story line that moves along and has witty repartee. I would have given it 5 stars but I personally don't care for a story line that has a lot of conflict in it. This is a PG version of Julie James, not the steamy side you see in her FBI series. I highly recommend it.
When I read the other reviews, I knew this was going to be a story that focused more on the airline industry and the strong woman pilot than romance, but didn't realize it was from a story she wrote in 2005. I really like Robyn Carr, and usually get to know and love her characters. However this book treats three main characters almost equally, so you don't ever get inside the head of any one of them. The very mild G-rated romance of one of the secondary characters (Dixie) is sweet but hardly draws you in, and the expected happily ever after ending for the main character (Nikki) is wrapped up so quickly and neatly at the end that I was left saying, huh? This is a perfectly pleasant read (listen) but if you're expecting Virgin River, you'll be disappointed.
While the Virgin River series just built upon the general relationships, this story was exclusively just a continuation of those started in the Wanderer. It started off with all sorts of things going wrong, and didn't ever reach the laugh out loud, sweet moments I so love with her books. I'll continue reading the series, but they won't be the first thing I download anymore.
I love the Virgin River series, and was hoping this was more of the same. However, unlike Virgin River, I didn't find myself smiling at the characters and situations and there was no steam-- not even hot water. Had I read this book first, I probably wouldn't have tried her others-- what a shame that would have been since she's now my favorite author! Terese Plummer was wonderful as always, but even she couldn't pull out this rather sad, rambling story. It wasn't terrible, but just simply wasn't good. While the VR books use the underlying poverty and crime in the area to highlight just how good the people of VR are, this book just never got there. And given that the romance between June and xxx (don't want to spoil it for those who do read this) didn't really happen until the last few chapters, then ended with 'her clothes fell to the floor in a pile' disqualify this as a romance novel to me. I purchased the second book before starting this, expecting to want to jump right in after finishing as I did all the VR books, but I plan to return it for a credit. I love Robyn Carr, but not this series!
While the story is sweet, it drags a bit and just isn't the 'page turner' that books in this series usually are. I loved some of the new characters, like Maxie Cavanaugh, but felt too much time was spent on the going-no-where relationship with the extremely unlikable Darcy. While most of her books have the main characters getting together initially half way through, it didn't happen until near the end in this one. The side plot of Cooper and Jack (which clearly is setting up a future main character) was also not a fun nor very interesting one. I still love the Virgin River books, and can't wait to listen to the next in the series, but I doubt I'll listen to this one again.
If you're this far in the series, you know that Virgin River books will be endearing, entertaining, humorous and amorous. So rather than extol the virtues of Ms. Carr's writing style and the fantastic Therese Plummer's narration, I'll just say that the story line of a guy who accidentally witnesses a murder and is put in Virgin River to hide out until the trial is one of my favorites so far. His love interest Leslie is feisty and strong, with a nutty ex-husband who just won't leave her alone. The way Leslie fends him off is hilarious. Add to that the smokin' hot chemistry between Leslie and Connor, and you've got another winner.
This was such a wonderful listen. Since I don't like books that dwell on the tragedy that sets up the inevitable happy ending, I'd score this one a perfect 10 for giving you enough background to understand where they were coming from, but not so much that it dragged out. The book just kept getting better from there, making me laugh, making me cry and making me fall in love with the characters. Jillian and Collin had wonderful real-life qualities and quirks, and a chemistry that made Robyn Carr's trademark love scenes steam up your glasses. Although I'm not a gardener, I greatly enjoyed hearing about all the intricacies of ... whoops, that would be a spoiler. Let me just say that her research paints a vivid backdrop for the love story. Throw in the other sub-plots with Denny and her sister, and you've got a winner. Can't wait to start the next book in the morning!
Bella seems a little shallow at first, but as the book goes on, you see that she has more layers, as does her relationship with Jacob. I have to agree with other reviewers that this is more a steamy Harlequin romance than story, but the story does keep you wondering 'who dunnit' and is fun. The narrator is tolerable, but has almost no differentiation between characters' voices, and when she does, it sounds strained. If you liked this story, then be sure to read/listen to the Animal Magnetism series. It has much better character development and plots that keep you turning the page.
This is another great addition to the Sullivan series as we follow Smith Sullivan's journey to find true love. It has Bella Andre's characteristic upbeat feel that will make you smile as well as steam up your glasses. The underlying plot of a woman who doesn't want to get involved with an actor, is strong enough to carry the story, but there are several spots in the book where the dialog is just cheesy enough to warrant an eye roll. That said you can't help but fall in love with the characters and wish your family was as perfectly imperfect as the Sullivans. Eva Kaminsky continues to do a good job as narrator, though I do wish she would try some other technique for a male voice than to lower it to a whisper. I find that running the story on 1.25x speed is just right for not changing the inflections, but keeping things moving along. If you want an author who is nearly as funny and can create interesting characters like Nora Roberts, but with 3x the steam, Bella Andre is a sure bet.
I'm with the other reviewers who have noticed that the story lines in this series just keep getting better. The reluctant widow (Megan) who doesn't want to get involved with another man in a risky job (Gabe- the firefighter) is a surprisingly endearing plot that is well crafted. I found myself listening even when I wasn't commuting just to find out what was going to happen next. On to book 4!
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