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
Publisher: Mira Books
Publication Date: January 20, 2009
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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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