The Virgin River Series:
A Virgin River Christmas (Nov 2008)
So many things were great about this book. It's been a long time since I've read a contemporary romance that occurred in a simple and natural environment. The country setting of Virgin River was utterly romantic on it's own. The people of the town were easy going, friendly, unspoiled, and welcoming. Everyone lended a hand when needed. Doctor appointments were paid for with jars of canned fruit. Births took place without modern medical machines or medicines. No cell phones. No shopping malls, traffic, Starbucks, etc... Virgin River has the feel of Walnut Grove, with modern twists. When a nurse from L.A. finds herself in this town, she thinks moving there was a huge mistake. She can't get away fast enough. After six months, she can't image leaving.
The hero was strong and heroic, but not arrogant. The heroine was intelligent and professional, yet she didn't have an attitude when people offered her help or protection. Both leading characters had good hearts. Watching them fall in love was endearing.
Melinda (Mel) Monroe is a nurse practitioner/ midwife from Los Angeles. When her husband was killed, she had to leave the city and find peace. Nearly a year after his death, she sells everything, quits her job at a major downtown hospital, and takes a position as a nurse/ midwife in a tiny mountain town called Virgin River. When she arrives, nothing is what she was expecting. After spending one night, she gets in her car to drive away for good. As she is leaving, she is flagged down by a town resident. He has found a newborn girl that was left in a basket on the town doctor's door step. Mel can't leave until she knows the baby has a home and family.
The longer Mel stays in Virgin River, the more involved she becomes with the town residents. Many women are grateful she is there to deliver their babies. Jack, the owner of the town bar/ restaurant is grateful she is there because she is smart and beautiful. A sworn bachelor and ex- marine, he finds himself making changes to his lifestyle in hopes of winning her heart. Mel finds she can't resist Jack's giving and unselfish soul. Feelings of guilt for her dead husband keep Mel from giving her heart completely. Jack is willing to spend his life loving her through thick and thin, grateful just to be with her, even if she never gets over the loss of her husband. What he doesn't realize is that her guilt is over knowing that her love for Jack is more powerful than anything she felt for her husband. It will take a miracle to break through Mel's protective barriers. Jack will be the one to make it happen.
Drug dealers have been using the mountain forest to grow their "herbs". One of the growers is out of control. He wants drugs from the Virgin River medical clinic. When Mel refuses to provide them, he becomes desperate. Taking Mel hostage in the clinic was a grave mistake. The grower doesn't know that he is threatening the very heart of an ex- marine. Virgin River may not have a sheriff, but Mel has a powerful hero of her own.
Want to read more of the Virgin River series? Here are the next two books. (Amazon has them listed as a "trilogy", but there are more books coming in the series.):
Shelter Mountain (Virgin River Trilogy, Book 2)
Whispering Rock (Virgin River Trilogy, Book 3)
If you enjoy romance with a simple country environmant, try these historical westerns:
Jodi Thomas's Texan Series:
The Texan's Wager
When a Texan Gambles
A Texan's Luck
The Texan's Reward
Heather Graham's Civil War Trilogy:
One Wore Blue
And One Wore Gray
And One Rode West