Written by: Robyn Carr
Narrated by: Therese Plummer
Length: 12 hrs and 23 mins
Series: Virgin River, Book 1
Publisher: Recorded Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Small Town
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0
Fan-adored author Robyn Carr presents the story of a woman who "needs a change [and] gets something very different than she bargained for" (Booklist).
Recently widowed, grieving Los Angeles midwife/nurse Melinda Monroe answers a small upstate town's ad for help. Nestled amongst California's giant redwoods, quaint Virgin River is host to many quirky characters - including bar owner Jack Sheridan, who may be just the man to make Melinda smile again.
©2007 Robyn Carr; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC
Melinda, a midwife/nurse, left the busy hospital in Los Angeles to take a job in the remote town of Virgin River. She seeks to escape the familiar places that remind her of her grief over the murder of her husband. She loves being a midwife and the woman who recruited her to Virgin River assured her that she would be provided with a cozy cabin and a position working with the town's aging doctor.
Melinda arrives to discover that the cabin is filthy and dilapidated. When she meets the 70+ year old doctor she learns that he is a curmudgeon who objects to the idea of help. She heads to the local bar to get warm, get something to eat, and find out where she can stay but there is no other accommodation in town. Things don’t look too promising and she plans to leave the next morning.
The bar owner, Jack Sheridan, is immediately smitten which is new for him. Unmarried at 40, he has been fine with friendly flings and no attachments. He sees the sadness in Mel and wants to find a way to keep her in town so he can make her smile. Fate steps in the next morning when they discover an abandoned baby on Doc’s doorstep. Melinda moves in with Doc, determined to make sure the baby is okay before she leaves. Jack goes to work fixing up the cabin as a surprise lure to keep Mel from leaving.
A day becomes a week, a week a month, and bit by bit Melinda makes friends and becomes invested in the lives of the people of Virgin River. She views Jack as her best friend in town but she still hasn’t told anyone about her dead husband. Jack knows there is something holding her back from sharing feelings and time with him. He is willing to pursue her patiently but persistently.
Melinda and Jack are nice strong characters who carry the story. The secondary characters add a lot of interest and fun as well. I enjoyed the tension and the sweet development of friendship and love. Melinda visits nearby towns including Grace Valley where she meets June and Jim. I mention this as it was nice to revisit with those characters that I met in the very first Carr book and trilogy that I read years ago.
Ms. Carr does a wonderful job of developing real characters in real circumstances. The story is character driven with enough plot and action to keep it moving at an easy pace. I did enjoy this but I‘m not sure I would make it through 19 books in the series. I recommend this to readers who enjoy small town romances with life-like characters.
Audio Notes: Therese Plummer does a fine job with the narration. It isn’t over the top in voice accents but she succeeds in sharing the emotional intensity. The audio enhanced my enjoyment of this story.
This has been in my Audible library since 2012. This qualifies for my TBR list, my Audio Book Challenge and V in Alphabet Soup Challenge.