Review of Robyn Carr's VIRGIN RIVER

    Virgin River (Virgin River, #1)Virgin River by Robyn Carr

    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    I flipping loved this book.

    It's my first Robyn Carr book. I've read a lot of good things about her here on Goodreads and also on Amazon, and I ordered several of her books this spring, hoping to get some time to read them.

    Recently widowed Melinda Monroe, a certified nurse midwife, decides that to move beyond her grief she must start her life again. She sells almost everything she owns and moves to Virgin River, a tiny town in the middle of the California forest. At first it seems the transition from the violence of working in the hospitals in LA to living in a town that doesn't even seem big enough to be a town is going to be too much for her. But she quickly finds herself drawn closer to this tiny community and its resident, particularly Jack Sheridan, a former U.S. Marine who runs the closest thing the town has to a bar/restaurant. Watching Mel and Jack fall in love was pure pleasure.

    I particularly loved the medical realism of the midwifery scenes. I read in reviews that some readers didn't like all the pregnancy/childbirth/breastfeeding talk that naturally goes with Mel's career, but as someone who had two midwife births and breastfed for a long time, I really appreciate that. Though certainly motherhood isn't for every woman, I think having a baby is the most amazing thing women do, and having a midwife as a heroine was truly wonderful. The birth scenes were realistic, but not gory at all.

    The quality of the author's research was apparent not only with regard to midwifery, but also the hero's military background and law enforcement aspects of the story, as well as the milieu of the small town and the surrounding countryside, where some residents are wonderful people and some are not.

    I also enjoyed the fact that the heroine was strong but not "kick ass." I just don't enjoy reading about heroines who kick butt and are oh so tough. Bores me. I much prefer feminine heroines who can be strong — but in a feminine way. Call me old fashioned, but I prefer the hero to be the one who kicks ass. Heroines with knives, tattoos, and tough ninja moves who swing through the skyscrapers on ropes braided from their own chest hair just don't do it for me.

    Though profanity doesn't bother me — how could it? My books are full of it — this book has only mild profanity. The sex is romantic and descriptive rather than erotic and extremely detailed. That's fine with me, because I can take either, provided it's well written. I just like a well-crafted love scene.

    I found Carr's style to be captivating. Let's put it this way: I didn't plan to read a book tonight. I sat down with this kind of by accident at about 9 PM and read it in one sitting, finishing at about 2 AM. That doesn't happen for me very often — maybe once a year or once every other year.

    Thanks, Ms. Carr, for the hours of enjoyment. Looking forward now to the rest of this series.

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