Publisher: Penguin Books (May 17, 2007)
ebook: 384 pages
Series: Virgin River #1
Add on: Goodreads
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
“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.
After all these years reading Nora Roberts and other miscellaneous romances, I have always had this very romanticized notion about “small town life”. I imagined this great community and adorableness and awesome. Virgin River started out by frightening me a lot. There is minimal to no cell phone coverage, no local restaurants, and the neighboring town is 30+ minutes away. It’s a scary thought for a city gal, like myself.
However, once I got past that initial scare, it was a very cute, very heartwarming romance. We have Melinda who is looking for a way to start over, and Jack Sheridan, a former U.S. Marine, who has settled in town as the owner of a bar/restaurant of sorts. There’s an instant attraction between the two that has Jack trying to keep Melinda from fleeing too quick when the small town life wasn’t quite as advertised.
As Melinda starts settling into life in Virgin River, we get to see that it might be horrifyingly rustic, but the charm certainly starts to show through. It’s a slow process of getting acclimated to the life, the locals, and the pace of life, but Melinda takes to it. And it’s worth seeing her move past her grief into something more with Jack, who is patient and all sorts of wonderful. As a former U.S. Marine, he does have his own demons to battle and Melinda steps up to bat for him just as well as he did for her.
The reader can tell how much research, time, and effort went into this book. It’s more than just a romance, it’s a story of this place, Virgin River, and the lives of its inhabitants. Virgin River is a great choice for any romance fan who is looking for a good meaty series to dig their teeth into.
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