Author: Robyn Carr
Series: Sullivan's Crossing, #1
Published: April 2016, MIRA
Format: ARC E-copy, 384 pages
Source: Netgalley via Little Bird Publicity
Join Robyn Carr, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Virgin River and Thunder Point series, as she explores the healing powers of rural Colorado in a brand-new story of fresh starts, budding relationships and one woman's journey to finding the happiness she's long been missing
Between the urban bustle of Denver and the high-stress environment of a career in neurosurgery, Maggie Sullivan has hit a wall. When an emergency, high-risk procedure results in the death of a teenager, Maggie finds herself in the middle of a malpractice lawsuit—and experiencing levels of anxiety she's never faced before. It's in this desperate moment that Maggie's boyfriend decides he can't handle her emotional baggage, and she's left alone, exhausted and unsure of what her future holds. One thing is certain, though: she needs to slow down before she burns out completely, and the best place she can think to do that is Sullivan's Crossing.
Named for Maggie's great-grandfather, the land and charming general store at the crossroads of the Colorado and the Continental Divide trails have been passed down through the generations and now belong to Maggie's estranged father, Sully. Though raised by her mother and stepfather after her parents divorced, Maggie has always adored Sully—despite his hands-off approach to fatherhood. When she shows up unannounced in Sullivan's Crossing, he welcomes her with opens arms, and she relishes the opportunity to rebuild their relationship.
But when Sully has a sudden heart attack, Maggie's world is rocked once again. Consumed with his care, she's relieved to find that Cal Jones, a quiet and serious-looking camper, has been taking over many of Sully's responsibilities as he recuperates. Still, Maggie is suspicious of this mysterious man's eagerness to help—until she finds out the true reason for his deliberate isolation.
Though Cal and Maggie each struggle with loss and loneliness, the time they spend together gives Maggie hope for something brighter just on the horizon…if only they can learn to find peace and healing—and perhaps love—with each other.
My thoughts: I was so excited to hear that Robyn Carr had a new series coming out. I loved her Virgin River and Thunder Point series and was so bummed when both came to an end. But luckily we have this new series, Sullivan's Crossing to focus on.
First books of a series are always interesting - a lot of time is spent setting everything up, introducing us to the new characters that we are going to end up spending time with and setting up the new community. It's a lot like laying out the blueprints for the entire series - providing the foundation for which the other books will build upon. This first installment does that and so much more. In some ways it's a simple story, but when you stop and think, you realize it's more layered than you initially thought.
The story focuses on second chances. Maggie and Cal are both at a crossroads in their life and happen to end up at Sullivan's Crossing at the same time. These two strangers develop a friendship that turns into a sweet romance, albeit at a slow pace. Each does, after-all, have their own issues they need to work out. I loved taking this journey with Maggie and Cal - it's sweet and endearing, filled with some humorous moments as well as some tender-hearted ones, too.
While most of this story is character-driven, there are some events that take place that not only challenge Maggie and Cal, but also act as a way to introduce more characters. I'm not sure the direction this series is going to take - will it continue to follow Maggie and Cal, or will each book have a new romance/set of characters that we follow as they deal with whatever issues they are facing at the moment?
I think this will be a great series and am excited to see how it plays out. I have come to count on Robyn Carr for those charming small town stories with big hearts and I have a feeling Sullivan's Crossing is not going to disappoint.