Paradise Valley by Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River #7
Also in this series: Virgin River, Whispering Rock, Virgin River, A Virgin River Christmas, Second Chance Pass, Second Chance Pass, Second Chance Pass, Temptation Ridge, 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
Publication Date: April 1, 2009
Point-of-View: Third Person
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Marine corporal Rick Sudder is home early from Iraq--his tour ended abruptly on the battlefield. The carefree boy is gone, replaced by a man who believes his future is as bleak as his mirror image. But can the passion and commitment of a young woman who has never given up on him mend his broken body and shattered heart?
As the people of Virgin River rally around Rick, another recent arrival tests the tightly knit mountain town's famous welcoming spirit. Dan Brady has a questionable past, and he's looking for a place to start over. He'd like it to be Virgin River...if he can find a way in. But he never expects to find it in the arms of a woman who was as much an outcast as himself.
For a favorite son returned from war and an outsider looking for a home, Virgin River offers them a chance to make peace with the men they once were...and to find the dreams they thought they'd lost.
This is the seventh book in Carr’s Virgin River series and the most disappointing for me. The series that began with Virgin River isn’t the same as it was. Aside from the first book, this series is mostly about the town of Virgin River and the people that live there. I came to love the people of Virgin River, which mostly centered around Jack and Mel Sheridan. Even with that, it was clear with each book who the story really belonged to (Shelter Mountain: Preacher and Page, Whispering Rock: Mike and Brie, etc). Starting with Second Chance Pass, it wasn’t so cut-and-dried. There was so much relationship jumping that it was overwhelming.
Muriel/Walt: I can sum this up in one word: yawn
At the beginning, I found the romance between these two sweet. As the books went on, I started to find it tiresome. I was really disappointed that Paradise Valley ended with these two characters. That was a big wtf? moment for me. They got way too much face time which took away from the characters/couples that should have gotten it.
Dan Brady/Cheryl: The blurb is extremely misleading. The character that was so intriguing from Book 1 was someone I didn’t recognize in this book. He was completely different than I had come to expect. I was happy that Cheryl was able to shed her title of “town drunk”, but this “romance” wasn’t really a romance, imo.
I suppose I understand what Carr was trying to do. As a recovering addict, Cheryl has to walk a very straight line. Any straying from the line and she could fall. So I appreciated her reluctance to get involved with someone she didn’t know. Still, I found the scenes between these two extremely boring.
Cameron/Abby: The worst couple in this whole series. I loved Cameron. From when he first appeared in Second Chance Pass, I loved him. So the fact that he ended up with a bitch like Abby really sucked. Up until this book, I would have said that Vanni was my least favorite female lead. Abby beat her out by a long shot. She was mean, bitchy, and just generally unhappy. I could understand her need to be careful b/c of her situation, but the way she treated Cameron? Unacceptable.
Honestly, I have no idea how Cameron could have fallen for a bitch like her. Her “situation” only takes her so far. The fact that she wanted to take the babies away from Cameron was just unbelievable. I couldn’t forgive her for that.
Rick/Liz: Next to Dan and Cheryl, Rick and Liz got the least amount of page time. I understand that these two were already together. Still, I could count the number of pages that these two were actually together.
Rick comes home from Iraq wounded and mean. He’s not recovering well and doesn’t want anyone to help him. In his opinion, everyone would be better off without him; especially Liz. I found Rick’s reaction to what he went through extremely moving. He’s a young man that has seen more than he ever thought he would. Now he has to figure out how to live his life with a wound that he thinks makes him less of a man.
Liz was so immature in the previous books, which is what I expected here. Not the case. She has grown up and is the perfect woman for Rick. I really found her strength and courage admirable.
I went into this series with such high expectations. The first three books of this series were so amazing and I was expecting something similar. Unfortunately, these last three books just didn’t live up to the hype.
Rating: 3 out of 5.