My mom used to pass me books to read all of the time, one of the last series she got me started on was Virgin River. I mentioned in the Grace Valley post that the first book and series have the same title, what I didn’t mention is that there are 20 books in the VR series, two of those are novellas. I recently had the urge to begin rereading these books and have worked my way randomly back and forth through the series as the books come available in print or e-books through my local library. I’m not going to try to cover all 20 books in one post no worries that would be way too much. We’ll go with 10 and make this a two day total post.
So book 1: Virgin River is the story or Melinda “Mel” Monroe, a nurse midwife searching for a change in her life. She needs to get away from her crazy adrenaline filled job, out of the house that reminds her daily of her dead husband, she answers an ad for a position in tiny Virgin River in Northern California in the redwood forest. Mel arrives late at night to find the lovely cabin she was promised is a disaster, the doctor she’s supposed to assist wants nothing to do with her and the town is nothing like advertised. The woman who hires her takes her to the only local eating establishment Jack’s Bar. Jack the owner immediately falls for Mel and is desperate to keep her in town. When Mel goes to leave the next day she spots something on the step of the doctor’s office. What she finds is an abandoned newborn. Mel decides to stay until the baby is taken care of. Jack jumps on the chance to find a way to convince her to stay. Each in their own way Jack and Mel suffer from PTSD. While helping each other and the town they might just find something they never thought they’d have.
Jack’s partner in the bar is his Marine buddy Preacher a gentle giant who looks like a biker bad boy. Preacher takes center stage in book 2: Shelter Mountain when a young mother and get soon take refuge in the bar overnight. Paige is running from her abusive husband. She couldn’t have landed in a better place than not even a speck on the map Virgin River a town that takes care of its own. Preacher especially helps care for Paige and her young son. Also seeking shelter/refuge during this book is Mike Valenzuela, another Marine buddy of Jack and Preacher. Mike is a cop on a gangs unit and had been shot on the job. He comes to Virgin River for Mel to help him heal.
Mike then moves to the forefront in book 3: Whispering Rock. As the survivor of a violent crime he’s the perfect person to help Jack’s little sister Brie recover after being raped by a serial rapist that she as an assistant district attorney was unable to get convicted. Mike is approached to take on the job of town constable just as Mel begins to suspect there is a teenaged date rapist on the loose in town. Virgin River also welcomes to town former the star general Walt Booth and his daughter Vanessa, the pregnant wife of yet another of the Marine buddies.
As many authors do Robyn Carr tends to write her series in sets of three. Also as many other authors do she occasionally fills the time between trilogies with a Christmas book which is what she does here in A Virgin River Christmas. Marcie the widow of a Marine is searching for her husband’s friend and war buddy Ian Buchanon. She finds him in a run down cabin outside of Virgin River seemingly hiding from the world. She wants to connect with him, the man who dragged her husband onto a medical transport saving his life. Bobby went on to live for four years. Marcie has sent letters to Ian throughout that time with no response so she finally decides to hunt him down. She’s determined to get to know him it helps when they get snowed in.
Book 6 brings us back to Vanessa. We also meet up with Paul Haggerty again, another of Jack’s Marines. Paul seems to have a little issue with a woman he had been dating back in his hometown of Grant’s Pass. Vanni’s father Walt finds a surprising new relationship and her little brother Tom tries to keep up his relationship as he heads off to West Point.
More former Army comes to town in the form of Luke Riordan a retired Blackhawk pilot. ONe of the first people he comes across in Virgin River is Shelby McIntyre, Vanessa’s cousin visiting to get away from it all after caring for her ailing mother for the past several years and before going to nursing school. As with all of the other books we get a chance to catch up with everyone else in town.
This is the point where it gets quite difficult to share details on some of the books without spoilers but I’ll do my best.
Rick Sudder is home from Iraq in Paradise Valley. There is also quite a bit of time spent with Walt and Muriel. We also spend time with Cameron and Abby.
Time for another Christmas story, novella Under the Christmas Tree is in the book That Holiday Feeling. Virgin River is putting up their annual Christmas tree in town. Annie McCarty has stopped into town she and Jack find a box of puppies under the tree. Annie agrees to help take on the care of the puppies with local veterinarian Nate Jensen. What might happen with a little time spent together over a box of puppies at Christmas time?
I was going to stop at ten books but that would leave us in the middle of a trilogy so I’ll go to 11 just to round things out.
Reverend Noah Kincaid has bought the church in Virgin River and sets out to get the church open with the help of young mother Ellie Baldwin desperately trying to get custody of her children back from her ex-husband.
In Angel’s Peak we meet Luke’s brother Sean come to Virgin River to visit. On a trip to a neighboring town to hit a bar Sean crosses paths with his old girlfriend Franci Duncan. She is less than pleased to see him in part because she has been keeping a secret from him for several years.
Moonlight Road brings together the families of two characters we’ve met previously. Marcie’s big sister Erin needs to get away for a vacation and is frightened by a rather rough looking hiker in the woods. That hiker is Aiden Riordan, yep another Riordan brother, there are five of them after all, and yes you’ll see the others take center stage in stories yet to come.
So need a little vacay, take some time, pick up a book and visit Virgin River. I’ll be back another day with the rest of the books. Any fellow Robyn Carr fans out there??