"Wanted: Midwife/nurse practitioner in Virgin River, population six hundred. Make a difference against the 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 a former marine cements them into place.
Melinda Monroe may have come to Virgin River looking for escape, but instead she finds her home.
For the record, I’d like to announce that I didn’t doubt Holly when she told me that this book was really good, when I picked up the book and read the first chapter…I just wasn’t in the mood to read the book but a few weeks later, I picked the book up again and read and read and read until I finished it and I’ve got to say that Holly has struck again because I absolutely loved this book. So thanks to Casee for sending the book to Holly and making her fall in love with it and then thanks to Holly for sending me home with it so that I can enjoy the book as well because enjoy it, I certainly did.
In this book we have Melinda Monroe who is a nurse practitioner from L.A. who is grieving over her dead husband who was shot and murdered on his way home from work. She loved her husband deeply and his death devastated her and she was tired of her life in L.A. being a constant reminder of Mark and everything they built for themselves so she wants out. She’s tired of everyone feeling sorry for her and asking her twenty million times a day how she is, if she’s okay and all that stuff so she ventures out to Virgin River, answering an ad from the newspaper. She thinks that a fresh start in Virgin River where no one knows her and will pity her is just what she needs.
So off she goes to Virgin River with pictures of cozy little cabins and fresh air in mind. No drive by shooting victims or cracked out hookers in crowded hospital waiting rooms anymore…just small town medicine, easy peasy…
Small town medicine comes with it’s own adventures and Mel in her journey to move on with her life after her tragic loss finds herself falling in love with the small town of Virgin River, after quite a few downfalls, she finds what she’s looking for in the small town hidden away from the world.
Enter Jack Sheridan.
Jack Sheridan owns the only bar/restaurant in Virgin River. He’s a 40 year old ex Marine who is the Captain Save a Hoe in Virgin River. He is all that and a bag of chips, a great BIG bag of chips. And I lubs him a lot. He was smart, solid and oh so sexy and the way he fell for Mel was just too cute, even if it broke my heart a lot.
What I liked most about this book was that the problems that these two main characters went through were real problems and they felt real. I connected with both Mel and Jack, even though I’ve never personally went through what they went through. I felt Mel’s pain at the loss of her husband and I felt the emotions she went through, especially in the scene where she broke down, in the rain, against the tree. I heard her cries, I felt her pain, it was almost as if I was standing right there when all of it was going down, watching Jack rush to her side and hold her.
Having to compete with a dead ghost for the affections and the love of the only woman you’ve ever loved…oh man, I felt his pain. I felt the hollowness in his heart when he ran back into the house to hold Mel for just a little longer because he was a man in love to come upon her crying to her dead husband, the heartache that must have done to Jack, I totally felt that and I think that Robyn Carr did a fantabulous job of getting the reader to feel apart of this book instead of just reading it. I highly enjoyed the emotions this book evoked in me.
It made me laugh out loud many a times and I just liked the whole small town feel to the book and the country hospitality this small town showed to the newcomer, Mel. I loved how Jack was so protective of her and so understanding…you saw how much he loved her and how much he wanted her anyway that he could get her.
I loved the friendships between Jack and his Marine pals, even with Preacher. I loved how he took care of Rick, how he was there for Rick and how he cared about the people of the town. I loved the relationship between Mel and her sister, Joey. I loved meeting the Sheridan brood and seriously, I just loved this whole book. The secondary characters were great and Doc Mullins was a riot and I absolutely loved his character, he rocked my socks! The whole town of Virgin River did and I cannot wait to start Shelter Mountain, even though I’m not sure how I feel about Preacher (who in my mind looks like Mr. Clean and I do NOT find Mr. Clean sexy, AT ALL) as a hero…
If I had to pick one thing bad about this book, it would only be that the book started out slow but that didn’t deter me this time around, I pushed right through the first few chapters and as soon as I got to know the characters, I fell right in with the rest of the story and I just loved loved loved it.
Read this book because seriously, it’s the bomb!
The con was supposed to be simple: Get in, get the money, and get out.
When dark family secrets come to light, Mattie must be silenced. Someone will do anything to keep her mouth shut—even commit murder.
Asking for help will cost her as much as keeping silent. When the ones she loves are threatened, Mattie will have to become what she hates most to save them. Will she have the strength?
Holly: I want to start out by saying I loved Muse. It was well written and had a great creepy factor to it that kept me glued to the story and anxious to turn the pages. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for A Year of You.
I have one word for this book. Painful. This was like the worst train wreck in the history of train wrecks. As I was reading it, I forged on thinking that the book could not possibly get any worse. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Casee: Painful is a great way to describe this book. That and confusing.
Let me tell you the plot, then I’ll get to the many issues I had with this book. It might seem a tad confusing…b/c, well, it is confusing.
Mattie Delacourt goes to Florida at the request of her estranged (and very wealthy) biological grandmother, Ruth Ellen McKendrick. Though she had no intention of going, she was blackmailed and threatened into it by her stepbrother. Though she is one of the long-lost McKendrick daughters, she’s posing as the other daughter, Elaine, who disappeared when she was 6. The daughter that she is not. Her grandmother wants Mattie to pretend to be Elaine while trying to find Elaine’s dead body. Mattie will do anything to prevent her stepbrother from harming her daughter, even if it means breaking the law. Desperate to get her hands on enough money to make him ago away, Mattie travels to Florida prepared to lie, cheat, and steal.
Total chaos and confusion ensues.
Holly: That’s an understatement of massive proportions.
The family dynamics here are completely dysfunctional. The reader is warned about this by the author in the beginning of the book. That wasn’t really my problem. My problem started on page 8. While Mattie’s stepbrother (whom she calls “K”), sends her off, we get a little family background. The woman who raised Mattie (whom at that point I thought was her mother), married K’s (I hate this nickname, btw) father 12 years earlier. Then we learn that K raped Mattie for the first time when she was 8 years old. That would make her around 20 years old, assuming that she was 8 when they got married. Not. It’s later revealed that she’s 28. Twenty eight. That’s not the only mathematical error here. You know the daughter? The one Mattie is trying to protect? She’s a product of one of K’s rapes. Still on page 8, we learn that Mattie’s daughter, Molly, is 14 years old. Fourteen. How can she be 14 if she didn’t even meet K until 12 years before? At the end of the book when we actually meet Molly, she’s described as a 13 year old teenager. WTF?
Casee: Really? I thought she was 13 when she got raped for the first time. I guess I didn’t pay close enough attention. Of course, it was kind of hard to pick up on all that kind of stuff when there was so much going on. Moving along…
After Mattie arrives in Florida, she quickly falls for Brant West, her half-sister Emeline’s boyfriend. West and Emeline have been a couple for three years. He is blind to her faults. Completely and totally blind. Unbelieveably blind. While the three of them plus a few of Emeline’s friends are at a nightclub, Mattie sees her getting it on with two guys. West refuses to believe his own eyes, even when Mattie points out that she’s wearing the same lime green that Emeline was wearing. Mattie ends up dragging West out of the club and into the car where (presumeably) they’re going to wait for Emeline. West is in denial. Then Mattie and West start going at it in the car. When Mattie starts performing oral on him, West is thinking “I hope you see this, Em. I hope you see your sister blowing me“.
This is about the time I started getting pissed off at the book. I mean, he catches the love of his life in an extremely compromising position with two guys and he still wants her? And the fact that Mattie went down on him while he was thinking about her sister just set the tone of the book for me….and it wasn’t pretty.
Holly: Seriously, could it get any worse? The answer is yes.
The book description describes West as a “moody musician” when he’s actually a business owner. He owns a nursery and landscaping company. While he does have passion for music, he puts everything he has into his business. So after Em’s father tells West that he’s calling in his loan (which will bankrupt him), he goes and proposes to Emeline. Who flat out refuses him. Says she can’t marry a landscaper that lives in a trailer. That she never intended to marry him. Just basically emasculates him. And he goes back for more. This guy has some serious issues. So he goes to find Mattie and spills out all his feelings. Mattie then offers to marry him. Sprinkled between all the dysfunction that’s going on, Mattie has learned that she has a trust fund of 3 million dollars. If she’s married, she can access the money after three months, thus saving West’s business. She offers West marriage as a business proposition. She also hopes it will help keep the money away from K. After West accepts, they go to tell the family and Emeline (who just refused his proposal 20 minutes before) tells him that he can’t marry Mattie, he is supposed to marry her. West starts changing his mind about marrying Mattie until Em’s father tells him that he will never let his daughter marry a man like West. So West goes charging off after Mattie again.
Casee: During the wedding ceremony at the Courthouse, West stared at Emeline the whole time he was being married to Mattie. The wedding night? Mattie once again performed oral on him and when he didn’t return the favor, she pulled out a vibrator right in front of him. The rest of the book was so wishy-washy, I could barely keep up. One day West would decide that he couldn’t give Mattie up. Then Emeline would call him or he’d run into her and he’d forget all about Mattie. Another day, West and Mattie would be screaming “Bite me!” to each other, some name-calling thrown in between. West called Mattie a bitch at least once a page. Mattie said “Fuck you” just as often. I swear, I felt like I was watching fights between two teenagers. The phrase “Bite me” was used way too much. Way, way, too much.
Holly: .Meh, I skimmed this part. Ok, well, I pretty much skimmed everything after this part, too. I just couldn’t deal with West. Or Mattie. Or the rest of the fam damily.
Casee: A few days after that, Mattie was abducted from her grandmother’s nursing home, while waiting for West (who was with Emeline) to pick her up. Beaten up and left by the side of the road, West vows that he won’t leave Mattie alone to be hurt again. Yeah, that lasted about a day. When Mattie is driving home from the drug store after buying a pregnancy test, someone runs her off the road. She crashes through some brush and into a tree. When West arrives, all he can think about is that Mattie purposely wrecked the truck that was all he had left of his dad. Seriously. That night while they’re having sex (after West accuses Mattie of all sorts of wonderful things), West calls her “Em”. Lovely. Just lovely. The next day, West goes back to tow the truck back to his property and finds a disposable cell phone that K gave Mattie. He calls, wanting to know who it is and K tells him that Mattie is his, blahblahblah. Then he goes to Mattie and tells her that he wants answers. She tells him a little bit of what she went through as a child. West was properly horrified.
Holly: Describe “properly horrified” for me, will you? Because I must have missed the memo. Especially after what happens next…
Casee: Though his wife has almost been killed at least three times, all West can worry about is Emeline. When it comes to light that Mattie is a McKendrick and Emeline is, in fact, not a McKendrick, West tells Mattie that her coming to Florida ruined Emeline’s life. This guy really has his priorities straight. He’s also crying while he’s telling her this. Though he just found out that a sociopath is after Mattie and she’s pregnant with his child, he’s worrying about Emeline.
Again with the Emeline. I mean, the woman was a straight up psycho bitch. She was selfish and immature and often threw temper tantrums. She wanted to party – and party hard – and wasn’t concerned at all about West, or anyone else. As long as it made her happy, that’s what counted. I think the worst part of it for me is….West admits to himself more than once that Em isn’t who he makes her out to be in his mind. He admits she’s selfish and immature. He admits she cares only about herself and the only reason he’s so obsessed with her is because he did nothing to save Elaine (if you remember from above, Elaine disappeared when she was 6 and Mattie is pretending to be her while she searches for her body). He feels responsible for what happened to Elaine because they were close and West thought he saw something strange the night she disappeared, but didn’t tell anyone. So it isn’t Em herself he loves, but instead he’s obsessed with protecting her, as he didn’t protect Elaine.
Then the shit really hits the fan. K arrives with his goons and abducts Mattie and West. They soon learn that Emeline has also been abducted. K insists that Mattie pretend that she’s kidnapped Emeline for money. While West and Emeline are tied up, Mattie is gang raped in front of them. West is more concerned about Emeline than the fact that his wife was violently attacked. When Mattie convinces K that there is money to be dug up on West’s property, she goes to say goodbye to West, knowing she’ll never see him again. What does he say to her? You guessed it…”Fuck you”. Are you freaking kidding me?!?!?! He just saw the woman he apparently loves, his PREGNANT wife get raped by at least 2 men and he says “Fuck you”? OMFG.
Holly: This is where I completely lost it and said “fuck this, I’m not reading anymore”. Not because Mattie got gang raped. I mean, that sucks big donkey balls, but I wasn’t horrified at the violence. I was horrified at West. Emeline was FINE. There was nothing wrong with her. But Mattie, the woman he married and the woman who is pregnant with his child is brutally raped in front of him and his only concern was for someone he described as selfish and hurtful?
Holly: If you’ve stuck with me this far, kudos to you. I haven’t even gotten into all the subplots or the subplots of the subplots. The inconsistencies in the book were amazing. In one scene, Mattie dressed in jeans and a tank top. In that same scene, while West and Mattie were walking around the property, they started going at it against a tree and West put his hands down her loose gym shorts. I had to actually go back, thinking I’d missed something.
That’s just the tip of the ice berg. There were so many inconsistencies and plot holes I was tempted to bang my head against the wall.
Casee: I would give this book a DNF, but I finished it. Unlike Holly, once I start a book, I’m in it until the bitter end. I actually liked Steia’s book, Muse, better than this one. Though I gave Muse a 1 out of 5, the writing wasn’t bad at all. This seems to be written by a different author entirely. She also needs to get a new editor b/c some of the grammar in this book is atrocious.
Holly: I am giving it a DNF. I just couldn’t finish. I think I ended up skimming to…I don’t know. I know I couldn’t get to the end, though.
Casee: 1 out of 5
Pretty much every epub has a notice on their website telling us that we cannot share the ebooks that we buy. They go on about it being illegal and they list all the reasons why ebook sharing is a faux pas. Some of them are that ebooks are well priced so there is no need to share. It takes money away from the authors. It’s immoral. That first one kills me. Ebooks are well priced! That’s news to me. Lately I have been paying the same as, or more for ebooks than print books.
Some epubs go as far as to say that they have and will prosecute ebook thieves. Ouch. Thieves is a harsh word to use, I think. It’s not the same as pirating satellite channels. Or is it? A lawyer I spoke with (who does not specialize in copy right law) had this to say.
“You bought the book with that limitation, you violated it. However, the proving it would be incredibly difficult. Private transfers between people would be almost impossible to prove.”
Do epubs really enforce it? If they do, should the person who posts an entire word for word ebook on a public webpage, be treated the same as 2 friends who are helping each other out?
“Hey, I just read this GREAT book, check it out. Here is the download.”
” I’m short on cash, I know you bought (insert ebook). Can I read it, please?”
“Hey, you send me (insert ebook) and I’ll send you (insert ebook).
I think it’s safe to say that many readers feel that if they pay for a book, whether in print or eformat, that they should be able to do what they want with it. I understand that. Other readers will say that it’s not fair to the author, as it brings down the number of sales they get so they don’t get as much as they would have if the book had been bought rather than shared. I can understand that, too. An author would much rather see her books being bought instead of passed around. I know if I was an author I would want that.
So, I guess it depends on individual morals. Unless a reader is personally being effected in a negative way from sharing ebooks, then I don’t think it will be that big of an issue for people who want to share books with their friends.
Thank you for asking me to do this guest review. It was really fun.
For your reading pleasure, here are 2 free romantic downloads. Enjoy.
Use coupon code “AreFree001” for a copy of Forbidden: The Claim, by Samantha Sommersby
A free download of Michelle Jerott’s book called Absolute Trouble
Reading All Night Long
When Grayson Rhodes leaves London’s beau monde, he sets out to seek his fortune. Sure, he’s the illegitimate son of a duke, but he needs to move on and make his way in the world. But did he expect to end up working Texas farmland for the widow Abbie Westland? She’s nothing like the ladies from the society balls, and she has more mystery to her than any barefoot contessa. For her part, Abbie’s convinced that this British dude is just a slacker circa the mid-1860s. Lorraine Heath rides the range with A Rogue in Texas , a delightful read from beginning to end.
Grayson is a bastard. Because he is a bastard, he will not inherit his father’s estate. So Gray and his friends, Kit and Harry (second sons), go to Texas to make their way in the world. Actually, their fathers send them there. Because they know as second sons, they won’t really have anything in England and this is a good opportunity for them. That or they just want their sons to grow up and become men. The boys agree to travel to England. What they don’t know is all the hard work they’ll have to do. Their job: picking cotton.
Although Gray feels pain and exhaustion like he’s never felt before, he also feels a sense of pride he has never felt before. Like he’s accomplishing something. He thinks of how wasteful he was back in England. Like throwing away shoes because they were scratched. He also can’t remember how he spent his days back in England.
Gray and Abbie find themselves falling in love with each other. However something from the past comes back and threatens their future.
Did I like it:
Yes, I enjoyed reading this book. My SIL had loaned me a few books by Lorraine Heath and they were all right. Someone, can’t remember who, told me the westerns were much better. They were right. Much better.
I liked Gray because although he wanted Abbie so much, he let her call all the shots. He let her grow to trust him. He was also hardworking. His friends wanted to turn around and leave, but Gray was determined to do what he was set out to do. I liked how he kept wanting Abbie to relax. He would watch her making sure everyone else was taken care of, but never took care of herself.
I liked Abbie. She was a hard working woman. She doesn’t take to Gray at all, thinking he won’t be able to pull his weight. She was also in a way devoted to her deceased husband. She didn’t love him but she did care for him. She knew he had his faults but would always tell Gray, “He gave me a roof over my head and food in my belly.” She accepted the land came first with her ex hubby. By being with Gray, she learned what is was like to be wanted and loved.
What Bothered Me:
Abbie is kind of.. skittish about men touching her. There is a scene where Gray falls in the mud. He pulls Abbie down with him, thinking it would be funny since she was laughing at him. She gets all freaked out. There is another scene where her brother comes up from no where and Abbie gets startled. The way she acts, you would think her hubby was rough with her or even raped her.
He didn’t per say. He would just tell Abbie, “I need you” and that was it. I would say her ex hubby was just dumb when it came to a woman’s needs. Now I can see where that would make Abbie not like sex but not to be fearful of a man’s touch.
My question: Did I miss something? Was she beaten or raped? Was it so subtle that I missed it? Or is just a matter of that was how Abbie dealt with that situation?
What I Didn’t Like:
I kind of predicted some things. Like, when Abby and Gray got engaged, I knew something would come up to bring chaos to that. And then I figured how that mess would be tidied up. I’m not one to figure these things out either.
Conclusion: I did enjoy reading this book. A few things bothered me but it wasn’t anything major. I look forward to reading the other books in this series.
Grade: 4 out of 5
This book is available from Avon. You can purchase it here.