This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Harlequin MIRA
Released on October 13, 2020
Through the trees, up the winding mountain road into a paradise of a little town goes another wounded soul needing a place to heal. One of my most anticipated holiday season reads met and exceeded my anticipation while making me grieve that Virgin River and its inhabitants aren’t real.
Return to Virgin River is the nineteenth installment in the series and probably would be even better when read in order, but it was still sensational reading it without the benefit of most of the earlier books since the main characters are new and there is something of an introduction for the reader through the eyes of the heroine.
Kaylee Sloan is a suspense writer who cannot write. She is drowning in grief from losing her mother, but she has a deadline on her latest book that is well overdue. She has the idea to go back to a place where she and her mother spent happy times, but isn’t her mother’s house where she is overwhelmed and hemmed in by memories. Her great idea to rent a cabin for six months where she can write in beautiful solitude goes up in smoke- literally. She thinks all is lost until another cabin is made available to her and the townspeople of Virgin River step up and make her welcome in ways that begin her healing. Then a kitten rescue and a mother dog with puppies and an attractive landlord who is a porch-setting friend and help with the strays has her in full healing. Her heart is opening once again and her pen is busy right up until the arrival of Landry’s past.
Virgin River worked its magic on me once again. I have read the first book, Virgin River, and Bring Me Home For Christmas, the sixteenth book. I had grand plans of binging the whole series so I could read this book and watch the TV adaption. Didn’t make it, but dove into this book because I wanted Virgin River at Christmas time and other than encountering lots of couples from previous books that I now want to have their stories even more, I had no trouble.
I noticed once again that the town and its people are like one fabulous character in and of itself. There’s a real sense of community. The holidays are treasured and made magical there with people stepping up and helping people and working hard to make the holidays special in their out of the way town.
The main characters are hurting people who have backstories they need to face. At first, I thought this was going to be all about Kaylee getting past her grief for a wonderful mother and friend. Incidentally, kudos to the author for writing a lovely and healthy mom and daughter relationship that is well-worth grieving over though yes, I got antsy for her to work through the process a little faster. However, no sooner is Kaylee well on the way out of her grief and ready to start living and loving than Landry’s issues rear their ugly head. I was wary when the twist came and not keen on it, but it helped that I had the sense that Landry wasn’t going to be persuaded by a chance to get a reset on his past. He knew who and what he needed though it was touch and go as he got it all ironed out.
Incidentally, I found her writing therapy choice a hoot. Kaylee was writing a romance that was mirroring her own life.
I might have only read two previous books, but I recognized several folks and enjoyed the holiday reunion feel going on in the background of this story. The animals were also an adorable addition.
What a lovely holiday ambiance and tender, friendly, and eventually, a sensual romance that left me well-satisfied. Contemporary Romance fans definitely need to put the Virgin River series on their TBR if it’s not already there.
I rec’d this book through Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.
New Release #194
COYER Quarantine #181
Books N Tunes #48 Thomas Rhett’s Christmas in the Country
About the Book
Treat yourself this Christmas by staying in with this holiday read!
#1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr returns to the beloved town of Virgin River with a brand-new story about fresh starts, new friends and the magic of Christmas.
Kaylee Sloan’s home in Southern California is full of wonderful memories of the woman who raised her. But the memories are prolonging her grief over her mother’s recent death. A successful author, Kaylee hoped she could pour herself into her work. Instead she has terrible writer’s block and a looming deadline.
Determined to escape distractions and avoid the holiday season, Kaylee borrows a cabin in Virgin River. She knows the isolation will help her writing, and as she drives north through the mountains and the majestic redwoods, she immediately feels inspired. Until she arrives at a building that has just gone up in flames. Devastated, she heads to Jack’s Bar to plan her next steps. The local watering hole is the heart of the town, and once she crosses the threshold, she’s surprised to be embraced by people who are more than willing to help a friend—or a stranger—in need.
Kaylee’s world is expanding in ways she never dreamed possible. And when she rescues a kitten followed by a dog with a litter of puppies, she finds her heart opening up to the animals who need her. And then there’s the dog trainer who knows exactly how to help her. As the holidays approach, Kaylee’s dread turns to wonder. Because there’s no better place to spend Christmas than Virgin River.
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