Monday, February 1, 2010

Virgin River

by Robyn Carr

Virgin River is the first in the series and is the story of Mel and Jack. Mel is a widow nurse practitioner and midwife. She is working in an very busy LA trauma center and after her husband (an er doc) was killed in a shooting gone bad, she decides that she needs a radical change. So she puts her resume out there and is contacted by Hope Mcrea in Virgin River. She is offered a tiny salary and a quaint cabin rent-free for the year she's under contract. When she arrives the cabin is falling apart and filthy. There's a bird's nest in the oven for criminy sake. She meets Doc, (who doesn't want or "need" her help) and Jack the owner of the diner/bar. Jack couldn't be more super awesome, but she's still grieving and can't/won't give herself permission to move on with her life.

When a newborn baby is abandoned on the steps of the clinic she stays until a home can be found. Jack meanwhile does everything in his power to make sure that she has every reason to stay. He fixes up her little cabin, and gets to know her and helps her get to know the town. When a pregnant first time mom comes to her and expresses her relief at having a woman to attend to her birth instead of a 70 year old crotchety old man (with a heart of gold). Mel stays until her birth, then the next, then one thing after another she stays. One night after a birth she and Jack share a kiss. Whatta Kiss!!! Then theres another kiss here and there.

Then one night, Mel, has a major meltdown. She's grieving her husband, the children she'll never have (since she's been told she's infertile) and she's found by Jack in the rain so swamped by emotion that she can barely stand and holding a tree. (sounds kinda hokey, but it's not!) After that night, things take a turn for Jack and Mel, they become intimate and she gets pregnant. (miracle!!) After some soul searching, and some real emotional work, Mel realizes that Jack is her future. They get married and live happily ever after.

We also meet in this book ricky Sudder the 17 year old boy who works at the diner/bar for Jack who is a surrogate father. Ricky lives with his elderly grandmother since his parents died when he was 2. Ricky meets Lizzie the new girl in town who is 14 going on 25. She's known for wearing skirts the size of a napkin, and garish makeup and appearing "fast". Ya know? Well, they start a relationship and eventually have sex. Unprotected sex. Normally I don't like to read scenes about teens having sex, seems kinda ewwy, but this story is told with such emotion, and vulnerability that you just fall in love with Rick and Lizzie. I mean, yea, I'd kill my kids, but I'm sooo involved. I can't get these kids off my mind. what will happen? Is she pregnant? OMG, she's 14.

We meet Preacher who is the partner with Jack in the diner/bar. He and Jack were in the marines together. Everyone calls him Preacher because he doesn't get drunk, and he doesn't chase the ladies. He shaves his head, and is very quiet and shy around women. When he came to Virgin River he came to help Jack and found he has a real talent for cooking.

We also get to know and love Doc, and Jack's marine buddies who come to hunt and fish and smoke cigars and play poker. There's Mike Valenzuela, and Paul Haggerty, Joe Benson and others. We also meet a dark and shady character who has dark hair, and drives a dark SUV. He's a local pot grower......Who shows up here and there mysteriously....

I'd write more, but Not today. You'll have to wait for the next installment of The Days of our Virgin River. Beware all, this series, these characters, they suck you in. You can run but you cannot hide. They will reach out and grab you by your heart until, you are laughing with them, crying with them, till you want to smack 'em upside the head, and squeeze 'em tight. You'll rejoice with them and grieve with them. If you don't want to fall in love, then don't read this book.