• Virgin River

  • Virgin River, Book 1
  • By: Robyn Carr
  • Narrated by: Thérèse Plummer
  • Length: 12 hrs and 36 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (849 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A Netflix original series!

Welcome back to Virgin River with the book that started it all....

Wanted: Midwife/nurse practitioner in Virgin River, population 600. 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 - 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 former Marine Jack Sheridan cements them into place. 

Bonus content included! An exclusive, behind the scenes look at the filming of Season 1 of Virgin River on Netflix!

©2011 Robyn Carr (P)2020 Harlequin Enterprises, Limited

Featured Article: Virgin River—The Definitive Explainer


Before it was adapted into a Netflix show, Virgin River was a series of more than 20 novels by New York Times best-selling author Robyn Carr. The audiobooks, all read by Audie Award-winning narrator Thérèse Plummer, are well-loved by a wide audience. The series takes place in Virgin River and revolves around new resident Melinda Monroe, a nurse practitioner and midwife. There's more to this sleepy town than first appearances suggest.

What listeners say about Virgin River

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Predictable with too much sex

The story line is predicable and lacks depth. There is way too much explicit sex that is unnecessary for the storyline. The frequent references to "my husband the doctor, my experience in a big LA emergency room, I am a nurse practitioner and certified midwife" get old and redundant. One cannot up and move to a new state and begin work in healthcare without license transfer - this is not instant - no discussion about this and it makes the story unrealistic. if Mel is such a great health care provider why didn't she get mental health interventions for her difficulty dealing with her loss instead of running away? makes one wonder . . . Basically the healthcare stuff is not accurate or realistic. The reader is OK until she tries to change her voice for different characters. This is annoying in a book - it is not supposed to be a performance. I would consider this book soft porn and the sex carries the characters/storyline - who even with it are flat and one dimensional. if you don't like explicit sex don't get this book. if you don't like shallow unrealistic characters don't get this book.if, as an adult you don't like light weight predictable stories that seem like they are focused on a teen audience don't get this book. I will be returning it.

22 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good Romantic Read

Having enjoyed the Netflix series, I decided to go back to the original source and read the books. I enjoyed the first installment quite a bit.

Since other reviewers have mentioned it, the sex scenes are descriptive, but they're not overly explicit in comparison to many other books--about the same level as the Outlander series.

The story is a lovely, romantic tale of despair reborn into hope, and I enjoyed it. The narrator is great, but I took away one star because she mispronounces midwifery, pitocin, and one of other medical term, which is inexcusable in a book that's specifically about a midwife.

Fans of the TV series will notice some differences (including one major one!), but the TV producers seem to have tried to be mostly faithful to the storyline and very faithful to the characters. As with other books turned into visual media, one simply has to accept the differences and enjoy both on their own merits.

8 people found this helpful

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Very different than show!

Loved the show. Love the book more!

A few mispronounced medical terms drove me crazy, but overall a great performance and story!

8 people found this helpful

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If you enjoyed the Netflix show, don’t bother

This is one of those instances where the TV show is SO much better than the book. All the characters in this book are flat and completely undeveloped, even Mel. Hope McCray is nothing more than an old woman who likes to smoke inside.

To make matters worse, the author forces Mel to be too young and yet pack in all this life/work experience. Newsflash: you can’t be 28 with a decade of nursing experience. Her historical time consistently doesn’t match up and it’s a bit ridiculous.

7 people found this helpful

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Great story - horrible match for narrator

I loved the story line for this book which is the only reason I finished listening.
It gets hard to follow at times because of the narrator. She would be great for a lighthearted comedy, but was a horrible match for this.
There are comedic elements at times, but with the narration you have this bouncy feeling of waiting for a punch line, even at serious points in the book. It makes it hard to absorb what the mood is at the moment with the lighthearted tone.
I'd love to listen to the other books, but noticed they stuck with the same narrator, so I guess I will skip them.
I ended up watching the Netflix series because I liked the story, but they changed some key elements in the story that gave it a totally different feel.
Maybe I will have to sit down and actually read the series.
Great character development, love the build.

6 people found this helpful

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This book is great, the tv show is not

Loved this book. Narration is great. However the Netflix series was very disappointing. It does not match the book. And to me was a lot of unnecessary drama. Not nearly as uplifting as the books.

6 people found this helpful

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Love the show, love steamy romance, hated this boo

I came to this book like many people: from the show. I love the coziness and Northern California setting and thought reading or listening to the books would let me stay in Virgin River longer. I also love steamy romances so I thought this series would keep me reading for a long time. Unfortunately, I couldn't finish it. In order of annoyed to appalling, my complaints:
The word "fanny" is used sensually which is just absurd. Fanny is a fun word but it is certainly not sexy.
The writer and characters are *way* too casual about a husband who is harassing and occasionally assaulting the women of the town because he's "flirty." Let's not normalize that bullshit.
The narrator in Mel's voice is pretty disparaging of a lot of people: people in poverty, those with drug addictions, larger bodies, and the entire city of Los Angeles. She, at multiple times, refers to LA as a war zone. She also tells us when a woman is fat and it isn't described in body positive language, but more like she's lucky anyone looks at her.
And finally, the cherry on top of this problematic book: two teenagers have explicit sex after one has to check the laws of statutory rape because the girl is so young. Let me be clear: children (because 14 is a child) having sex is not sexy. A character saying it isn't rape because he isn't 18 yet is not sexy. I felt gross listening to that scene and I was only a third in.
So alas I will not be able to curl up in Virgin River and get to know the characters I've come to love from the show.

4 people found this helpful

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Ewwwww

I really enjoyed the show so I thought I would like this book. Usually the book is better than the movie or tv series. Not in this case. First off the narrator makes it worse. Then the author seems to think it is necessary to repeat information- over and over. And finally pretty much every chapter has an explicit sex scene that to me is borrrring and just fills space. I don’t know why there’s so many great reviews. Maybe I just have no taste.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Sweet story but too predictable

I will admit I watched the series on Netflix prior to listening to the book. I enjoyed the twists and turns on the series more than the flow of the book. However, I will continue to read the book series and see if I change my mind. The narrator was a real disappointment! She mispronounced words and used inflection in the wrong places way too many times. She took away from the story. Again - maybe she too will be better in the next book.

4 people found this helpful

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Better than the series

I enjoyed the book much better than the series. There was not all this drama going back and forth between Jack and Mel.

3 people found this helpful

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Profile Image for Isabel
  • Isabel
  • 07-20-21

Lightweight escapism

So if you want an easy read/listen, and engaging characters, this is the book for you. It’s all a little too perfect, Mel the heroine meets the love of her life just a little too quickly (pass the vomit bag), but I still enjoyed it. Would I recommend it? Yes.