Tag: Robyn Carr

Retro Review: Shelter Mountain by Robyn Carr

Posted May 10, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 12 Comments

Retro Review: Shelter Mountain by Robyn CarrReviewer: Rowena
Sheltering Mountain by Robyn Carr
Series: Virgin River #2
Also in this series: Virgin River, Whispering Rock, Temptation Ridge (Virgin River, #6), , , , , , , ,
Published by Mira Books
Publication Date: May 1st 2007
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 376
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
five-stars

For the second time in a year a woman arrives in the small town of Virgin River trying to escape the past.

John “Preacher” Middleton is about to close the bar when a young woman and her three-year-old son come in out of a wet October night. A marine who has seen his share of pain, Preacher knows a crisis when he sees one—the woman is covered in bruises. He wants to protect them, and he wants to punish whoever did this to her, but he knows immediately that this inclination to protect is something much more.
Paige Lassiter has stirred up emotions in this gentle giant of a man—emotions that he has never allowed himself to feel.

But when Paige’s ex-husband turns up in Virgin River, Preacher knows his own future hangs in the balance. And if there’s one thing in the marines’ motto of Semper Fidelis—always faithful—has taught him, it’s that some things are worth fighting for.

******As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

Holly: Rowena and I used to love this series. I remember falling into Virgin River (book 1) and never wanting to leave the little mountain town.

This review was originally posted on October 4, 2007.
In the second book of the Virgin River trilogy, we follow John “Preacher” Middleton and Paige Lassiter on their adventure toward true love, a true love that will last forever and ever, Amen. We meet Paige Lassiter when she stumbles into Jack and Preacher’s Bar and Grill on a stormy night. She’s carrying her three year old son, Christopher and he’s sleeping and she’s in desperate need of …help. She’s very wary of Preacher, being the big bear of a man that he is and because she’s been badly beaten, Preacher does his best to help her, so his first order of business is to try to convince this young woman to stick around town for a little while so she can heal. She finally agrees and as the days pass, a love bond is formed between Paige and John and they slowly become a family unit, one that will go to the ends of the earth to help, protect and love the hell out of each other.

Now, I’m not going to lie and say that I was so looking forward to reading this book after reading the masterpiece (well in my eyes anyway) that was Virgin River. You see, in Virgin River, John “Preacher” Middleton is described as a big, bald motherbrother with bushy eyebrows, likened to Mr. Clean.

Mr. Clean? Yeah…not so my choice for Sexiest Man of the Year, if he’s yours, more power to you but for me? Not so much. So, being the shallow young woman that I am, I had a hard time getting excited about reading his book because, well…I wanted a hot stud of a hero and to me, Preacher just wasn’t it….but, I was happy when I started this book to learn that even though Preacher wasn’t the most hottest of heroes, he was still a very good and solid hero, one that I ended up loving (in a purely sisterly way of course) the hell out of, so that just goes to show you just how good, Robyn Carr is…I loved Preacher!

In this book, Jack and Mel are having their baby, Mike Valenzuela, their Marine friend is shot on the job and out on disability, Rick and Liz go through some really rough patches in their journey to adulthood and Preacher leans on the support of his friends to help Paige and her little boy fight the big bad monster that comes in the form of Paige’s evil ex husband, Wes Lassiter.

There was so much going on in this book and it should have left me feeling confused, miffed even because a lot of pages were dedicated to the townfolk of Virgin River and then to the setting up of the next book, Whispering Rock, which will star Mike Valenzuela and Brie Sheridan. The kicker of it all though, is I wasn’t mad, I didn’t feel cheated out of John and Paige’s story because I felt that Robyn Carr did a fabulous job of incorporating everything into this one book. I don’t feel that John and Paige needed more page time for their story because I felt that there was the right amount of EVERYTHING in this book.

I fell right in love with Paige and Chris for Preacher when I was reading this book and though I enjoyed the bits and pieces of their story that was laid out for me to read, I felt that the other parts of this book, the Rick and Liz parts, the Mike parts, the Jack and Mel parts were all creatively included in this story and made me feel like I was apart of the town of Virgin River, not merely reading about them.

What I really enjoyed about this story, is the way it’s told. Robyn Carr writes her stories, making the reader (well, this reader anyway) feel as though she’s sitting on a bar stool at Jack’s at the end of the day, beer in front of them, while they watched everything going down around them. I felt what the characters felt, I grieved with the characters and I was steamed right alongside, Preacher, Jack and Mike when Wes came into town, interrupting their town life. I was scared right alongside Paige, when she walked out of the corner store, coming back from watching Soap Opera’s to find the one man that has the ability to render her scared out of her wits, Wes. I felt Jack’s rage when Wes pushed Mel down and I raged right beside Preacher…I could even taste the cookies that Preacher and Christopher made, RC is that good with a pen.

This book was more than just about Preacher and Paige finding love together. It’s about the small town that they live in and the people that surround them. It’s about unity and family and those are things that I really enjoy in a book. This book certainly does not disappoint. I fell right in love with this story as I did when reading, Virgin River.

Gosh, I’m hoping against hope that RC decides to write, Rick’s story because I have come to love the hell out of that boy. I got all teary eyed when all the crap went down with him and Liz, my heart broke right along with him and when he chooses to become a man and make Jack and Preacher proud of him, my heart swelled because I have fallen head over heels in love with this little boy who is growing up to be such a wonderful man. I’m rooting him on because I love him that much and I hope to high heaven that he gets his own story because I think he totally deserves one. Another man in this story that I fell like a rock for was, Mike Valenzuela. Goodness, even all sick and “weak dicked” this man to me is one sexy motherbrother. I already started his book and am counting the minutes until I can read the book again, that’s how much I loved Mike in this story, I already approve of his heroine choice and I’m soaking up the words as fast as I could because this series is just fantabulous!

I’m giving this book an A because I just loved it to pieces and thought RC did a fabulous job writing this, she’s totally going on my Auto-Buy list because of this series, kudos, Mrs. Carr, well done.

5 out of 5

five-stars

When It’s Time to Let Go: 5 Series I’m Breaking Up With

Posted October 22, 2015 by Rowena in Discussions | 17 Comments

break up
There comes a time in every book nerds life when they have to make difficult decisions. Decisions like what to read next or who our book boyfriend of the week is and when it’s time to let go of a book or series. It’s never an easy decision to give up on characters before the series is done. I mean, you still have stories to read and characters to get to know but sometimes, it just has to be done.

For me, what it all boils down to are two things. My enjoyment and time.

There’s too many books on my TBR list. Hundreds and hundreds of them and I know that I’m not going to read them all. There’s just no way. So that’s all the more reason to start calling it quits with the series that I’ve fallen out of love with.

Here are the series that I’m breaking up with this…for good.

1) The Dark Hunters series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. This was the first paranormal series that I ever read and that was way back in the day. So long ago that I can’t even remember what year it was. It was back in our years on the JGBB, that’s for sure. I remember when Holly and I used to be obsessed with all things Dark Hunter. We would spend hours upon hours talking about books, characters, share our theories with what was coming up and we loved everything about the world that Sherrilyn Kenyon created for these supernatural characters. Over time though, she started moving away from the rules she created for her own world and our enjoyment of the books started dimming, not to mention she kept writing book after book after book. There’s like 100 books in the series now (not really but you get the idea) and I just don’t see myself ever picking up another book to read. I still have quite a few DH books in my possession but those will sadly go unread. shrugs Oh, well.


gif credits
2) The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. I know that this series was turned into the hit TV Show that everyone and their Mom loves. I know that Jamie is all kinds of wonderful and is one hot ginger. I had every intention of reading this series because one of my old book friends absolutely adored it and would not stop pimping it to me so I bought the first three books in the series and almost had a heart attack when I saw how big those suckers were. Have you seen how big those suckers are? Their sheer size has intimidated the hell out of me and when I read the first book, I really enjoyed it but thought that it could have been chopped in half and still been a really good read. I even wanted to read the next book in the series but every time I passed it while browsing my books, I always skipped it. That was years ago and so much time has passed that meh, I’m over it. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’m never going to finish this series…but I might rent the series and watch that.

3) The Blue Heron series by Kristan Higgins. The first two books in this series rocked my socks. The third book? Not so much. The fourth book? Couldn’t even finish it. So yeah, I’m calling it quits on this one.

4) The Virgin River series by Robyn Carr. I absolutely, positively loved the first book in this series. I loved Jack. I loved Mel. I loved the small town of Virgin River and had such high hopes for the rest of the books. I loved the second book and enjoyed the third but I can’t remember anything about the fourth book but the fifth book? I remember that book. I remember it well. I remember that I spent most of the first read frustrated with both the hero and the heroine but the second time I tried reading it? I didn’t like it at all. Everything got on my nerves so much more than the first time I read it. The heroine? Ugh. The hero? Meh. I didn’t even finish my re-read of the book. I just gave up, on that book and since it’s been years since my re-read, I guess I gave up on the series too because I never read another book. I don’t plan to either. So it’s official, I’m dumping you Virgin Rivers.

5) The Vicious Cycle series by Katie Ashley. As much as I love those sexy ass covers, I don’t think I’d survive another book in this series. The hero and heroine in the first book drove me absolutely bonkers in both their book and the second book. The hero and heroine in the second book had such potential but the entire story just fell flat for me so I think I’m officially out of this one.

What about you? Are there any series that you’re thinking about breaking up with for good?

Guest Review: The Hero by Robyn Carr

Posted September 4, 2013 by Ames in Reviews | 1 Comment

theheroAmes’ review of The Hero by Robyn Carr.

In a moment of desperation, Devon McAllister takes her daughter and flees a place where they should have been safe and secure. She has no idea what is around the next bend, but she is pretty certain it can’t be worse than what they’ve left behind. Her plan is to escape to somewhere she can be invisible. Instead, an unexpected offer of assistance leads her to Thunder Point, a tiny Oregon town with a willingness to help someone in need.

As the widowed father of a vulnerable young boy, Spencer Lawson knows something about needing friendship. But he’s not looking for anything else. Instead, he’s thrown his energy into his new role as Thunder Point’s high school football coach. Tough and demanding to his team, off the field he’s gentle and kind…just the kind of man who could heal Devon’s wounded heart.

Devon thought she wanted to hide from the world. But in Thunder Point, you find bravery where you least expect it…and sometimes, you find a hero.

With The Hero, Robyn Carr introduces two new characters to Thunder Point, Devon McAllister and her three year old daughter, Mercy. She’s picked up by Rawley Goode on the highway after escaping the Fellowship, a quasi-religious cult. Rawley works for Cooper and he’s a quiet, but good man. Devon, after he’s shown her kindness, decides to trust him and stays with him a while to get on her feet. It’s not long before the people of Thunder Point make her feel welcome and she starts a new life there. But her past with the Fellowship haunts her and she doesn’t feel 100% safe.

I have to admit, I didn’t enjoy the Hero as much as the previous two Thunder Point books. Part of it was these characters that I have come to know so well and really enjoy, I thought their problems and stories were put on the backburner. Example: Sarah and her position in the Coast Guard. She really struggled in book 2 over staying in the Coast Guard and getting posted to Florida or remaining in Thunder Point for Landon. She hadn’t reached a decision in book 2 and then really fast in The Hero she’s made her decision and I’m sorry but it doesn’t ring true to her character. And yes it’s a decision I like the end result of, but I wanted her to have her cake and eat it too. However, I did enjoy her and Cooper’s scenes together and I’m glad they’re still part of the story.

The other one I was sad to see only a small mention of was Ashley. She’s Gina’s daughter and there was an interesting development developing in the second book for her. Well again, it’s spoken of like a done deal and I really would have liked to have seen the progression of her relationship with the boy she’s now dating. Over all, I hope we see more of Ashley if there’s more books in this series.

But back to Devon. I liked her story and development as a character. She’s come from a cult where individuality is done away with and the men make all the decisions. She has to learn to stand on her own two feet again and support herself. That was well done. Her romance happened a bit quickly for my taste, considering the man she meets is a recent widower. But I did feel that they fit together. Theirs is an understated story, but it made for a quick enjoyable read.

I have to give The Hero a 3.5 out of 5. I really wanted more of the other characters I have come to enjoy.

This book is available from Harlequin. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Thunder Point series order:
The Wanderer
The Newcomer
The Hero

Guest Review: The Newcomer by Robyn Carr

Posted June 28, 2013 by Ames in Reviews | 2 Comments

Manually ReleasedAmes’ review of The Newcomer by Robyn Carr.

Single dad and Thunder Point’s deputy sheriff “Mac” McCain has worked hard to keep everyone safe and happy. Now he’s found his own happiness with Gina James. The longtime friends have always shared the challenges and rewards of raising their adolescent daughters. With an unexpected romance growing between them, they’re feeling like teenagers themselves-suddenly they can’t get enough of one another.

And just when things are really taking off, their lives are suddenly thrown into chaos. When Mac’s long-lost-and not missed-ex-wife shows up in town, drama takes on a whole new meaning. They’re wondering if their new feelings for each other can withstand the pressure…but they are not going down without a fight.

Step into the world of Thunder Point, a little town on the Oregon coast where newcomers are welcomed, hearts are broken and mended, and the dramas of everyday life keep the locals laughing, crying and falling in love.

The Newcomer (Thunder Point #2) picks up right where The Wanderer leaves off so there are going to be spoilers for The Wanderer.

The blurb lead me to believe that this book would focus on Mac and Gina but I’m pleased that that wasn’t the case. The Newcomer focuses equally on all the wonderful characters we were introduced to in The Wanderer.

First, Mac and Gina. They are both single parents, Gina has Ashley and Mac has Eve and two younger children. His wife ran out on him 10 years ago and he’s very concerned about why she’s showing up now, wanting to reconnect. Gina’s reeling over Ashley’s reaction to a breakup with her boyfriend, who has gone off to college. At first I was worried that Ashley’s drama was going to overshadow the plot, but have no fear, it doesn’t. For myself, I’m over teen girl drama. That being said, I like the way Ashley’s story is progressing and I can’t wait for more from her. But for Gina and Mac, who have been friends forever, I like how their relationship is developing.

Cooper and Sarah are in love, but Sarah is still a bit doubtful of Cooper. First, she’s got some distressing news about her Coast Guard posting. She may be forced to leave Thunder Point and head across the country. This affects her teenage brother Landon, who she has been raising since he was five. Landon is going into his senior year and he’s going to be the star quarterback. If she has to leave, she’ll be uprooting him at a very important point in his life and she doesn’t want to do that. She also doesn’t want to leave Cooper, but she doesn’t open up to him about the possible move. And Cooper isn’t free from the vagaries of fate. An old relationship rears its head and has quite the surprise in store for him. As that develops, Sarah also has to deal with a possible situation there where Cooper may not be willing to leave Thunder Point either.

That’s the nitty gritty with the main characters. But branching out from them, there’s a very rich cast of characters to Thunder Point that I hated to leave when that book finished. Aside from my concern with Ashley’s story taking over the book, I really enjoyed revisiting these characters. I would recommend reading The Wanderer just to get the whole background on each character. Like Cooper’s settling down wouldn’t seem like a big deal if you didn’t get exactly how nomadic he was previously. And why Sarah still has a wee bit of doubt over him (because of her past relationships).

Overall, I highly recommend The Newcomer. Thunder Point is definitely a setting I can’t wait to revisit.

4.25 out of 5.

The Series:
Book Cover Book Cover

This book is available from Harlequin MIRA.  You can buy it here or here in e-format.

Guest Review: Sunrise Point by Robyn Carr

Posted April 24, 2012 by Judith in Reviews | 2 Comments

Also in this series: Virgin River, Whispering Rock, Temptation Ridge (Virgin River, #6), , , , , , , , Sheltering Mountain

Judith’s review of Sunrise Point  (Virgin River series #16) by Robyn Carr

Tom Cavanaugh may think he wants a traditional woman, but in Virgin River, the greatest tradition is falling in love unexpectedly….

Former Marine Tom Cavanaugh’s come home to Virgin River, ready to take over his family’s apple orchard and settle down. He knows just what the perfect woman will be like: sweet, decent, maybe a little naive. The marrying kind.  Nothing like Nora Crane. So why can’t he keep his eyes off the striking single mother?

Nora may not have a formal education, but she graduated with honors from the school of hard knocks. She’s been through tough times and she’ll do whatever it takes to support her family, including helping with harvest time at the Cavanaugh’s orchard. She’s always kept a single-minded focus on staying afloat…but suddenly her thoughts keep drifting back to rugged, opinionated Tom Cavanaugh.  Both Nora and Tom have their own ideas of what family means. But they’re about to prove each other completely wrong.


Those Virgin River characters just keep coming!!  And for readers like me who look forward to every single book in this series, this latest novel is another romp through a community that has enthralled me from Book 1.  Here our heroine, Nora Crane, continues to seek some way of putting herself and her two children in a better circumstance, and she is willing to do whatever it takes.  We first encounter her in the Christmas story when members of the community, namely Pastor Noah, discover her living in an abandoned cabin, nearly freezing to death, ill and with two small kids who are nearly starving to death.  Through the generosity of the community, Nora has done better than she ever expected after being abandoned by her kids’ father.  Yet she is fiercely independent and any future for her must be forged through her own efforts.  She is willing to work hard and she proves it as the newest employee of Cavanaugh family as a fruit picker during their apple harvest.
Unlike some reviewers, I have come to view the residents of Virgin River as good friends and as their number grows I am once again delighted to visit this unique community filled with people who come from lots of backgrounds, whose varied circumstances include some real struggles to not only survive but to thrive.  Somehow they have found their way to Virgin River and there they have found people who are accepting and generous to a fault, who will share very limited resources in order to live out a code of caring and friendship that is becoming increasingly rare in today’s world.  One of the most generous is Tom’s grandmother, a woman who was struggling with a less-than-stellar background and who was facing starvation and homelessness when Tom’s great-grandmother hired her, much the same was as Nora was hired over Tom’s objections.  This a woman who stands out as a person of wit and wisdom, seeing the value in people that may be missed by those looking only on externals, and not afraid to speak up when she encounters a person whose values are rooted in materialism instead of people.  Her encounters with the widow of one of Tom’s fellow soldiers are really funny, and the fun just grows when she brings in her best friends and cronies to assist her in slowly stripping away the facade of this woman who really only wanted Tom for any wealth he might realize if she could convince him to marry her and then sell the orchard.  I guess she found out!!
This is another wonderful story about authentic people and their ways of inter-relating to one another, of dealing with struggles and issues from the past, and never missing an opportunity to “be there” for one another.  There is authenticity in the way the care about each other, gentle loving and fierce loyalty, and the kind of friendship that won’t allow anything to come between people about whom they care deeply.  Even Tom’s prejudice against Nora as a single, unwed mother and his rejection of her because of her children had to be re-examined as he was caught between two very different women and how each affected his plans for the future.  
Perhaps the most heart-tugging part of Nora’s story was her reconnecting with her father, a man who had been a tenured professor at Stanford University and whose presence in her life had been snuffed out by a mother whose insecurities and emotional illness insured that Nora never knew her dad.  Her mom even tried to convince her that her memories were false.  I found myself tearing up as I read of their tentative efforts to once again come to know one another and perhaps the biggest of Nora’s struggles to finally be able to call him “Dad.”  And those of us who have really had to deal with some fairly hefty financial challenges in the past can understand Nora’s joy at having her own car after almost dying a year earlier because she didn’t even have clothes and food for herself and her kids.
Lots to like in this story and getting to know Nora better and being a part of a cast of characters who cheer her on is delightful.  An entertaining and enjoyable novel, beautifully written with characters who are able to hold their own in this ensemble of friends and relatives.  I have gone back and re-read a number of the Virgin River stories and enjoyed them as much or more the second time around.  I think this is going to be one that will be a joy during future “visits” and will be one of the favorites in this series.

I give it a rating of 4.25 out of 5

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.
This book is available from Mira. You can buy it here or here in e-format.