Review: Virgin River by Robyn Carr

Posted August 3, 2020 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 20 Comments

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I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: Virgin River by Robyn Carr
Virgin River

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Series: Virgin River #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Harlequin MIRA
Released on October 22, 2019
Pages: 430
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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The Delight

Several years ago, I read Bring Me Home For Christmas and was introduced to the world of Virgin River, a little community in the mountains of Northern California where the rugged terrain and people can be a challenge, but friendship and romance can flourish, too.  I had every intention of going back and starting the series at the beginning, but got sidetracked.  With the TV series adaption, I was reminded again that I wanted to read the books before seeing the show so I finally picked up book one to enjoy where it all began.


Virgin River opens with Melinda Monroe’s impractical car sliding into a ditch along a lonely mountain road in a rainstorm.  She took the job sight unseen to be the midwife/nurse practitioner for a small community in Northern California as far as she can get from the big city emergency room where she once worked and the place where she was a widow and unable to heal from her husband’s death.  But, one look at the dirty mountains, the horrific cabin, and the shabby little town has her cursing her impulsiveness and swearing she is out of there as fast as she can get.
But, the kindness of the bar owner, Jack Sheridan, fresh air, a good night’s sleep, the best food she’s had in a while, and a surprise bundle on the clinic’s doorstep followed by an emergency birthing has her softening toward the place and willing to give it a few days.

Jack has come to Virgin River for his own need for renewal after many long years in the Marines.  He wants to fish, run his bar, and help his neighbors now and then.  What he never thought he’d want is the beautiful and achingly sad, Melinda, to stick around and give him and Virgin River a chance.  He wants it badly enough that he is willing to wait as long as it takes for her to get past what has her broken and sad and in the meantime fix up that dilapidated cabin she was given and showing her the best side of Virgin River while watching the city gal discover that this is no bucolic scene with no dangers and no challenges.

I was taken with the story right away.  I grew up close enough to the settings in this story that I knew exactly how very different Virgin River was from Mel’s life back in LA.  She gets quite the introduction and I had to laugh at it all.  I fell in love with Jack long before she did, but I was on her side from the get-go.  She was hurting so badly and I loved seeing her slowly heal as the community and the place slowly worked on her.

I was really into the description of Melinda’s midwifing work and her work with old Doc in the clinic and out in the rural areas around the community.  They had to make do with what they had away from the conveniences in health care and other community services that a big city could offer.  It was neat that since the author introduced her career into the story that Mel’s career got a lot of page time and there were several conflicts and exciting moments with it.

The friendships Melinda made had me feeling like they were my own new and lovely friends.  I loved getting to know the people and the setting.  I forgot how much the author could pull the reader inside the story that way.

But, best of all, was the gently-paced friendship and romance between Mel and Jack.  The chemistry is there early on even when she is absolutely convinced she is dead inside.  She is truly a grieving widow to a guy who was pretty special and the author doesn’t cut corners on that nor does she rush Mel’s grief recovery.  Jack had to be oh so patient and understanding.  It was hard on him and particularly when Mel kept her past to herself at first and he only had her emotional walls to go by.  He was selfless and his actions showed his love so she couldn’t help falling in love with him particularly as she got interested in Jack’s past that she learned from meeting his friends and his family down in Sacramento.

Most of the book felt like the first in a series with the careful set up and introductions, but it didn’t lack for conflict and riveting moments throughout.  It had a pretty heart-stopping climax in the end after some big relationship moments that were the perfect finish to an already fabulous book.

All in all, I was pulled inside a sensational story and world that I was reluctant to leave.  I’m so glad there are plenty more books in the series and oh so many wonderful characters that I can’t wait to get their stories.  Those who enjoy heartwarming yet spicy romance, an amazing setting and cast of characters in a small town contemporary romance need look no further.

I rec’d this book from Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met

Mt. TBR #51
COYER Quarantine #55
Books N Tunes #29 CMA Artist’s Forever Country


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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Lover of Romance
1 year ago

Great review Sophia! I read this one a while ago and really liked it. It was different but loved the setting and the endearing cast of characters. Glad you enjoyed it.

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

I wish I hadn’t waited so long to start the series. I loved the setting and characters in the one I grabbed up years ago.

Debbie Haupt
Debbie Haupt
1 year ago

Wow now this is a definite blast from the past it makes me want to go back and reread the series. Thanks and I’m so glad you finally bought your ticket to Virgin River Sophia Rose

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

Haha! Yeah, it takes one back especially since the series is up in the double digits and she’s releasing another one just this year. 🙂 I’m looking forward to more. I’ve already checked out book two from Prime.

sherry fundin
1 year ago

pretty cover and i have read a book of two of her. impressive…a netflix series
sherry @ <a href=””> fundinmental</a>

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  sherry fundin

I relax just looking at the cover and it matches the setting so well. I’ve only read one other, but I want to read more and even her other series.

1 year ago

I’m so happy you were able to start this series from the beginning now. It sounds wonderful!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Ethan

I think getting on a series from book one makes the consecutive books have more meaning. It was like going camping up in the woods feeling.

Anne - Books of My Heart

I have many friends who love this series and now there’s the tv series. Someday. Great review!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago

Same here! I’m hoping to catch up on the series and then the show.

1 year ago

I had a good time with the TV show

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Melliane

Oh good! I’m looking forward to it.

Angie Elle
1 year ago

Girl, this review slayed me! I have been wanting to read this series for so long, and you touched on about a bazillion things I love in books! I cannot wait to get to this series!

Great review!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Angie Elle

Oh wow, thanks for saying so. Glad I could match you up with one that seems right up your alley, Angie. 🙂

1 year ago

It sounds like Doc Hollywood meets Northern Exposure? Maybe? My neighbor watched the series and said it’s really good. Maybe I’ll give the book a go. Thanks!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Jen

Maybe? I’ve not watched Doc H, but the Northern Exposure part is in the ballpark.

I want to try the show after reading a little further into the series just in case the show covers more than one book. Not that it will be a hardship to read more. 🙂

1 year ago

Yay! I love this series soooo much! I’ve read almost all the books and you’re in for a treat. I wished there was a town like Virgin River I could move to! I’m loving the series, even if they did change a couple of things. One in particular I’m not pleased about, but I’m hoping it’ll go away pretty quickly in the 2nd season. Hope you love the rest of the series, Sophia! The audios are fantastic, btw. Therese Plummer!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Rachel

I’ve got book two on a Prime borrow and just won book four. I can’t wait. Oh so glad the series is a hit even after you read the books and hopefully that little blip will go away for you.
Love Therese Plummer so I’m looking to see if the library has the audios. 🙂

Carole Rae
1 year ago

Gotta love a world you do not want to leave!

Sophia Rose
1 year ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Exactly! Why couldn’t it be real? LOL