Temptation Ridge (Virgin River, #6) by Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River #6
Also in this series: Virgin River, Whispering Rock, , , , , , , , , Sheltering Mountain
Publication Date: March 1st 2009
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At twenty-five, after five years as her mother's caregiver, it's time for Shelby to experience freedom and adventure. Time for travel, college and romance.
But when she visits Virgin River, she runs into Luke Riordan, decidedly "not" whom she has in mind. A handsome Blackhawk pilot, Luke exited the army after twenty years, four wars and having been shot out of the sky three times. At thirty-eight he's tough and jaded. His major was in one-night stands, with a minor in commitment avoidance.
Technically, these two are all wrong for one another. But sometimes what you want and what you need are two different things...two very "good" things.
Temptation Ridge is technically the 6th book in Robyn Carr‘s Virgin River series, but the series is broken up into two trilogies (so far, I believe there will be more books to come in the future) so if you don’t want to read all 5 previous books, you can start with Second Chance Pass.
Although each book in this series features (for the most part) one main romance, they’re also about the town of Virgin River and it’s inhabitants. So don’t be disappointed when the focus shifts from the main couple to what’s going on with previous couples and/or other townsfolk.
The Main Romance: I really enjoyed Shelby. I think she saved this book with her practicality and straightforward look on life. Although she put her life on hold for years to care for her mother she isn’t a pushover or wishy-washy. She knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it. I love that she continued to put herself out there and didn’t shy away from her feelings or Luke’s.
Luke was harder to pin down. At first I really enjoyed him and understood his reasons for keeping Shelby at arms length, but as the novel progressed I found myself more irritated with him than anything. I know what he experienced as a young man in the army was tough to deal with, but I had a hard time believing a man of almost 40 would still be so immature about his feelings. I realize men mature at a much slower pace than women, but he seemed far too stuck in the past.
Other than his hangups from the past I thought he was a wonderfully drawn character. It was good to see him interact with the other inhabitants of Virgin River and settle in despite himself.
The Other Storylines: Parts of this were very heart wrenching. Carr really excels are writing emotionally engaging stories and this was no exception. I full on cried several times while reading this. While all the usual players were present there were also several new additions – all of which added flavor to the story. Carr tackled some deeper issues here and I appreciate how they were handled. The emergency the town has to deal with was wonderfully written and definitely emotionally compelling. I was on the edge of my seat, unable to turn the pages fast enough to see what would happen.
Dr. Cameron Michaels – who was introduced in Second Chance Pass – is back and I have to say, I was very annoyed with the direction Carr took his storyline. I may reserve this topic for another post (Read: rant), but the way Abby – his heroine (and I use the term very lightly) – acted was completely out of line. For as much as I loved Shelby I hated Abby just that much. I don’t know what’s up with Carr writing heroines that do such lousy things.
Walt and Muriel’s (who were also introduced in SCP) romance continues here and I have to say while I enjoyed them, I don’t think they added much to the overall story arc. A mention of them would have worked better for me than chapters dedicated to their POVs.
Although elements of the novel didn’t work for me, overall I found it to be just as emotionally compelling as the other entries in the series. Carr has proven herself to be adept at drawing readers in to her small California town.
4 out of 5