Review: Second Chance Pass by Robyn Carr

Posted February 4, 2009 by Holly in Reviews | 12 Comments

Review: Second Chance Pass by Robyn CarrReviewer: Holly
Second Chance Pass by Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River #5
Also in this series: Virgin River, Whispering Rock, Virgin River, A Virgin River Christmas, Second Chance Pass, Second Chance Pass, Temptation Ridge, Paradise Valley, Forbidden Falls, Forbidden Falls, Angel's Peak, Forbidden Falls, Promise Canyon, Wild Man Creek, Promise Canyon, Harvest Moon, Bring Me Home for Christmas, Redwood Bend, Sunrise Point, Shelter Mountain, Moonlight Road, Moonlight Road
Published by Mira Books
Publication Date: January 20, 2009
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 389
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four-stars

In the space of a few months Vanessa buried her husband, Matt, and gave birth to their son--breaking her heart while filling it with a whole new kind of love. But the one man she longs to share this love with now acts as if she doesn't exist.

Paul Haggerty lives by the marine motto: Semper Fi. Ever faithful to his best friend, he's done right by Matt's widow as best he can...considering he's been secretly in love with her for years. Now, just as he's about to make his move, another woman has staked her claim on him--a claim that will be tough to escape.

With courage, humility and not a little meddling from the good folks of Virgin River, Vanni and Paul might just get a second chance to have the love they both desire and deserve.

It’s absolutely no secret that I love Robyn Carr. Her Virgin River Series is complex and emotionally compelling and probably one of the best I’ve read in a long time. So it was a surprise to me that I ended up almost putting this book down halfway through and not picking it back up. Honestly, if this hadn’t been an eBook, I probably would have hurled it at one point. I’m glad I finished it, but it was rough going for awhile.

As always, Carr doesn’t focus on the main characters of the book, but on the town. We see a bit from each of the previous couples and some of their friends and family. This series is about a town, and the focus continues to be on all the inhabitants. Sometimes this frustrates me greatly, but in this case it really worked. Mostly because I really, really, really had issues with Vanni.

She’s a redhead with a redheaded temper. Or so we’re told. What I got from her is that she’s a spoiled child who needs to grow up. The way she constantly jumped to conclusions was frustrating enough, but the way she acted after she jumped to those conclusions was just asinine. Paul tries to tell her about a woman that’s reappeared in his life and the complications she brings and Vanni assumes he’s involved with this woman. Seriously involved. Then she refuses to listen while he tries to explain (and granted, he wasn’t doing such a great job of it, but still..), then she stomps off in a huff. Then she runs off with a doctor for a weekend, solely to get away from him.

When Paul finally corners her and explains that he loves Vanni and only Vanni, she tells him to go see what there is with this other woman. Then she stomps off in a huff. When Paul tries to corner her again, she stomps off in a huff. Seriously, this “woman” (and I use the term loosely) stomped off in a huff more than any 5-year-old I’ve ever met. It was ridiculous.

Finally she listens, realizes he really wants to be with her and only her, and commits 100%. YAY! I really liked her after that. Or I thought I did. But then, once again, later in the book she jumps to more conclusions about another situation, acts like an idiot and causes a lot of people a lot of pain. Now, I can cut her a little slack because it had to do with her best friend and us women are protective of our best friends, but this was something that she shouldn’t have been involved with to begin with, so…

However, I did love her and Paul together. I loved that they both leaned on each other and then were able to stand up together and be stronger because of one another. I also loved the way they cared for her baby. It was all or nothing for them. Paul’s family was wonderful and I love that Vanni was able to stand up to Matt’s mom and come to an understanding with her. I just wasn’t that impressed with Vanni on the whole.

I was seriously impressed with the rest of the novel, though. Carr seems to tug several strings at once, but she always manages to pull them together in a believable way. The story of Tom, Vanni’s teenage brother, and his girlfriend Brenda. Preacher and Paige having their first baby. Mel and Jack having their 2nd. The threat of fire to a town surrounded by nothing but forest. All of it seems so spread out, and yet it all came together. My only complaint is that Mike and Brie, who got their story in Whispering Rock, still didn’t get enough page time. I felt they were shortchanged in their novel and that didn’t change in this one. Course, they might be kind of boring…but still.

This novel is all over the place. I think there must have been 8 different POVs. But it worked. It worked really, really well. All of it did. It may seem like a lot to deal with in one book, but Carr brought it all together seamlessly. I really can’t wait for the next novel to come out. I want more. I’m especially curious about Ricky and Lizzie and Tom and Brenda, the two younger couples.

Overall another excellent installment, if I look past Vanni. Since I can’t quite do that, I have to give this a:

Rating: 4 out of 5

Virgin River

four-stars


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12 responses to “Review: Second Chance Pass by Robyn Carr

  1. I can see why you’d have a problem with Vanni 🙂 I admit that she tends to jump to conclusions, but I don’t know… I’m blaming it to high emotions and hormones LOL 🙂

    As for her jumping to conclusions for Joe and Nikki. Well seriously, Nikki really handled that badly! Do you think we’ll see more of Nikki and Joe in the next book? I hope so 🙂

    I really like how Ms Carr is writing Virgin River. She doesn’t keep it cute and peaceful… It’s not stagnant… it’s changing and things that affect the whole community is happening 😉

    By the way, did you read the excerpt of Temptation Ridge? What do you think of Shelby and Luke? I’m looking forward to it.

    As for Ricky, not really interested… especially after reading the synopsis of Paradise Valley. I’ve never really liked his relationship with Lizzy… and was hoping, I don’t know, he gets a new heroine.

  2. Whew, I was worried there for a hot minute. Glad you ended up liking it overall. Guess the focus on the whole town instead of just the H/H was helpful in this book! This book is up next for me.

  3. I equate Robyn Carr books to a thick, fuzzy blanket that I just *love* wrapping up in. I really enjoyed getting back to Virgin River too.

    I’m beyond desperate for Rick’s story, which I understand will be the last in this set. I just love him and want him to be happy. This is one series that I’m completely addicted to.

  4. Nath,
    That went beyond hormones and high emotions right into stupidville. I’m sorry, but she WOULDN’T SHUT UP long enough to hear what he had to say. I seriously had flashbacks of arguments I have with my 12yo.

    I agree about Nikki and Joe, that was wrong on Nikki’s part. What bothered me is that it drug out so long. It was obvious Joe was suffering and he was truly making an effort. For Vanni to continue to treat him like a rapist was just..wrong. Srsly wrong.

    I was thinking about how she keeps things new and interesting in VR after I read it. It almost seems odd to have that much drama in one book, but it works here, because in a town, there’s going to be that much drama – more, in fact. I really like that each story didn’t stop with an HEA.

    Carr is definitely a master at her craft.

  5. Mollie,
    I was worried, too, but it turned out ok. =)

    Kati,
    That’s an excellent way to describe it. I love getting lost in her world.

    Seneca,
    Make sure you let me know what you think after you finish it.

  6. I haven’t read your review b/c I’m halfway through it, but I am loving Mel and Jack. They’re my favorite VR couple. Sigh

  7. Michelle

    I’m a big fan of the Virgin Series as well, but I also almost threw this book against the wall at several points. The person I cared about the most in this novel was Terri, and I was getting really uncomfortable about the different resource/support level she and Paul/Vanni had. For the most part, I could have cared less if Vanni (I started to refer to her as the “sainted” widow whenever she was on the scene) and Paul got together.

    I did not like Vanni much either and could not figure out why everyone thought she was all that. I also thought it was a bit crazy that a woman could lose her husband 3 months ago, have a baby 2 months ago and be ready to fall in love and get married. I found the argument that she had been a widow longer than 3 months since her husband was deployed distasteful at best.

    That said, I’ll probably buy the next two books new and quickly read them. I’m wondering if Terri and the doctor are going to appear in book 7.

  8. I know I’m a little behind on commenting on this review but I’ve been AWOL 🙁

    Michelle said: I also thought it was a bit crazy that a woman could lose her husband 3 months ago, have a baby 2 months ago and be ready to fall in love and get married.

    I have to be honest, I have yet to read this book but I’m having real issues with that. I feel Vanni should have more time to come to terms with all that has happened. Then again, I thought the same about Brie…

    And…I know people make mistakes, but I would like Ricky with someone else too. I just felt like Lizzie used him… Saying that, if anyone can redeem Lizzie Robyn Carr can 🙂

  9. Anonymous

    I loved Brie and Mike, and they never get enough attention.

    I actually don’t like Mel at all, and Jack is just okay. Mel is such a bully and a goody-two-shoes, and she always thinks she’s right. She treats everybody else however she wants because she’s ‘perfect’.

    Paige and Preacher are just okay.

    I loved that Mike and Brie were intelligent, ambitious, strong people, but Robyn Carr is only interested in Mel and Jack.

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