And by "marriage made in heaven", I'm not talking about anything that happens in the story, I'm talking about the audio marriage between Robyn Carr an..Show More »d Therese Plummer. Sometimes, they get it so right, and this is one of those times. I like Therese Plummer no matter what she reads, but I will always associate her with Robyn Carr's books, because when she reads them, it's as close to a perfect audio experience as it gets.
I approached this book as a dedicated Virgin River fan. I have listened to every single Virgin River book on Audible, and I get sucked right in to each and every one. While some were, admittedly, better than others, I can't think of a single one I didn't like. The town of Grace Valley is mentioned often in the VR books, as were some of the characters, and I was looking forward to visiting there myself.
That's what you do in a Robyn Carr book. You visit the places. You meet the people. You become invested in their lives. Her books are extremely character driven. In Deep in the Valley, you meet many of the Grace Valley residents, for better or worse, warts and all. They are a eclectic bunch of small town characters, and that is what Carr does best.
For those who've read the VR series, as I have, she keeps to her style of flashing back and forth between characters and sub plots. As usual, she sucks you right into the goings on and takes you along for the ride. This story's main character is Dr. June Hudson. As the book begins, she is welcoming Dr. Stone to town. He seems a good family man and the perfect fit for Grace Valley's medical needs, but is he? Then there's the mountain family led by a PTSD suffering father and hideously scarred mother, the town's drunken wife beater and his battered family, the lascivious Presbyterian minister and his jealous wife, the Native American sheriff, the old "no nonsense" judge, June's aging father and her eccentric novelist aunt, her chain smoking nurse and her goth receptionist. The list of characters is a mile long. I've only brushed the surface here.
Oh, and then there's the hero. A bit of an afterthought really. Which is why I rated this book 4 stars instead of 5. In a ten and a half hour book, I'd be surprised if an hour of it had anything to do with the central romance. Perhaps, as a trilogy, Carr decided to focus on building the setting and getting us all acquainted with the characters in this book. Still, this book was billed as a romance, and there's a certain expectation of that based on the VR books, but this book is barely a romance. While it didn't really take away from my enjoyment of the book itself, I felt almost cheated in hindsight. I can't complain much, since I loved the book, but I couldn't quite rate it a 5 star either.
One other minor problem was the huge (and I mean huge) number of characters. I would advise readers to grab a notebook and jot down names and relevant information from the start, because otherwise, the book can become very confusing. I've read other reviews on Goodreads from people who read it in print who felt the same. The sheer number of different characters gets a bit overwhelming rather quickly, and you start trying to sort out who is who.
Would I recommend this book? You bet I would. My small criticisms aside, it's a wonderful novel. Find a time to listen when you're not likely to be disturbed, because you won't ever want to hit the pause button.
This is the 2nd book in the Grace Valley Trilogy. It was just as good as the 1st. Therese Plummer as always, was amazing! This story has a lot of thi..Show More »ngs going on around the town at one time. I wish that instead of squeezing everything into 3 books that she could have drawn it out a little more. I LOVE the Virgin River Series and this Trilogy is just like it with different people. Definitely worth the credit, especially if you like Virgin River!