Saturday, April 21, 2012

Review: Paradise Valley by Robyn Carr (e-book)

First line: Walt Booth was feeling lonely.

Synopsis from B&N: Marine corporal Rick Sudder is home early from Iraq—his tour ended abruptly on the battlefield. The carefree boy is gone, replaced by a man who believes his future is as bleak as his mirror image. But can the passion and commitment of a young woman who has never given up on him mend his broken body and shattered heart?

As the people of Virgin River rally around Rick, another recent arrival tests the tightly knit mountain town's famous welcoming spirit. Dan Brady has a questionable past, and he's looking for a place to start over. He'd like it to be Virgin River…if he can find a way in. But he never expects to find it in the arms of a woman who was as much an outcast as himself.

For a favorite son returned from war and an outsider looking for a home, Virgin River offers them a chance to make peace with the men they once were…and to find the dreams they thought they'd lost.

My thoughts: This is the 7th book in Robyn Carr's Virgin River series. I am loving this series and love getting to know all the inhabitants of Virgin River. If you haven't read this series yet, I highly recommend it, but I would strongly  recommend reading them in order as the characters grow from one book to another and many of the stories are carried over. 

Paradise Valley centers around four couples - Rick and Liz, Abby and Cameron, Dan and Cheryl, and Muriel and Walt. Rick is wounded in Iraq and returns a bitter, sullen young man, shunning all who care about him, including Liz and Jack. Dan Brady, who we have met in earlier books only as Shady Brady shows up after having turned himself in and served his time, and ends up making a connection with Cheryl Creighton, the former town drunk who has completed rehab and is living a sober life. Dr. Cameron Michaels ends up in Virgin River after having a really brief affair with Vanni's friend Abby with unexpected consequences. Walt is struggling with being separated from Muriel, who is in Montana filming a movie.

The theme of Paradise Valley is about rebuilding from a damaged background - Dan and Cheryl are coming back from some painful experiences and Rick is back in California recovering from a war injury. A point in Robyn Carr's favor is that the characters do not easily bounce back. Instead there is struggle and while the book ends with hope, it is clear the characters are due for more work in their individual futures.

I am looking forward to picking up the next in this series - perhaps we will see more of Dan and Cheryl? Or maybe a new person will be moving to this idyllic little town. Have you read this series? Do you have a favorite character?

(I bought this e-book.)

Books in this series:
  1. Virgin River                                  11.  Moonlight Road
  2. Shelter Mountain                         12.  Midnight Confessions
  3. Whispering Rock                          13.  Promise Canyon
  4. A Virgin River Christmas          14.  Wild Man Creek
  5. Second Chance Pass                    15.  Harvest Moon
  6. Temptation Ridge                        16.  Bring Me Home for Christmas
  7. Paradise Valley                            17.  Hidden Summit      
  8. Under the Christmas Tree       18.  Redwood Bend
  9. Forbidden Falls                           19.  Sunrise Point - due out end of Apr 2012
  10. Angel's Peak

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