Once in a while, an author creates a place and people where I just wish I could crawl into the pages and join them. Virgin River and its inhabitants offers just such a place and add in the holidays and a warm romance tucked in for good measure? Ahhh!
Becca strong-arms her twin brother Rich into taking her along on a guys outdoor sports trip where he’ll meet up with his former Marine buddies which include Becca’s ex-boyfriend, Denny. Denny broke things off with her three years before when he re-enlisted and disappeared from her life. He came back after two years and tried to apologize, but she was too angry and hurt at that point to listen. Now she’s seeing a guy who has everything going for him and he’s getting ready to pop the question. Becca knows that before she can give Doug an answer; she has to find closure with Denny. She takes a gamble that she and Denny can finally talk without anger.
Unfortunately- or fortunately, things don’t go according to plan. Not long after her arrival, something happens and Becca finds herself laid up with a very good chance she won’t heal in time to return home for Christmas. Between getting laid off from her teaching job and having mixed feelings about her relationship with Doug, she just really wants to be home with family.
But then the magic of Virgin River and Denny start to work on her-
This story offered a gentle plot without being blah. There were problems needing solving without unnecessary angst. When I started reading the book, I got nervous when I got the gist of what went wrong in the romance. I thought ‘oh no, it will be the typical you hurt me and I need to make you pay before I forgive you’ stuff, but it wasn’t that way at all. These were just straight up people who had matured and were serious about sorting things out. I enjoyed the side thread of how Becca went from thinking of the community as a hick town to seeing what can be special about a small town community.
I really liked the main characters even though you get a bit more Becca than Denny when it comes to switching points of view. They were great together. The recurring characters in the story were great.
As a side note, this was the first time I have heard of a Patriotic Christmas tree where vets or former soldiers and their families come and attach their patches as ornaments. Its a great way for a community to show support and thanks for those who served.
Though this is part of a long series of books, I was easily able to read it as a stand-alone. There are mentions of characters from former books and their stories, but it didn’t feel spoilerish. I definitely want to go back and read the other books because yes, this was my first from the series.
I heartily recommend this as a good holiday read, but I think it would be good for anyone who loves small-town contemporary romances with just a little spice to the sweet.
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