I am very thankful that Ms Carr remembered the heart of her story in this book. In the last book she abandoned her two leading characters and they did not make an appearance in the final few chapters. Here, at least, she remembered what was supposed to be the main story, and started and finished with the right guys!
There are a couple of things I did not like about the main love story here. The first wasn't so important, but it still irked me; Shelby, the `timid virgin' happily discussed her sex life with anybody and everybody. The second thing I did not like was that it was Shelby who did all the work in this relationship. She let Luke go, and he did not go after her. She had to return to him and just about beg to be with him! That was not romance, and it was not equality. Luke let Shelby go. And instead of realising his mistake, she had to lose all of her pride by crawling back to him. In that respect I felt the ending was not only too short, but also extremely unsatisfying.
That said, Robyn Carr has an amazing ability to create memorable characters, and much of this comes through her dialogue. There are so many times in her books when I smile, or even laugh out loud. She has a great sense of humour. Often her stories do not have much in the way of plot, but it is the characters who drive the stories.
The structure of this book was a huge improvement on most of the previous in the series. The main storyline wasn't overshadowed by the others, and things that happened in the beginning had an effect on what happened at the end. In past books the storylines have often meandered from one plot point to the next, not reading as a solid novel from start to finish. This one was far better off as a novel in its own right, rather than a continuation of a series. And that is how any book - series or no series - should be.
The side stories - the author likes to have a number of stories running at the same time - were generally far more compelling and relevant than they have been in previous books.
First of all, I'm sure there wasn't a single reader who hadn't been hurting on behalf of Cameron before this book. I was so happy to see the evolution of a relationship of sorts with him here. However, I had two issues with it. Firstly, how come this became yet another opportunity for the author to preach about birth control? That was extremely unnecessary. Secondly, I do not like how the women (Nikki in the last book, and now Abby) go running from the men and make them feel so bad.
I would have liked for Brie and Mike to have had a better story here. I love that couple, and felt as though I was short-changed.
Though others have expressed their love of the Walt/Muriel relationship, I found it boring and silly. I especially did not like the way the author made this fictional character friends with real-life movie stars. It ruined the story to hear about George Clooney and Susan Sarandon extending dinner invitations. In fact, it was downright stupid.
The thing with the Virgin River heroines is that they all have the author's beliefs and prejudices. All of them are desperate for children. All of them marry fast and start trying for children immediately. All of them have natural homebirths, with all the men of the town having a party down the hall while it's happening (there is something really wrong about that). All of them go on and on about how wonderful breastfeeding is. All of them happily talk with all of the other men in the town about having sex and giving birth.
In this book Luke does not want children. I thought - hallelujah - there's a character with a different idea about the perfect life! But no, he just needed the right housewife to `cure' him of his issue.
I'd also like to point out that there needs to be a better editor for this series. Through all of the books I have come across so many mistakes. For example, `quiet and quite' and `there and their' mix-ups.
But for all the flaws, there's a reason I stayed up until 5am to finish this book. I don't know what it is about the way Robyn Carr writes, but she really draws you in. Her previous books have been good but hugely flawed, but this one really has something good going on. I quite simply couldn't put it down.
Temptation Ridge features Luke and Shelby along with the growing list of characters as we catch up with the lives in Virgin River. The community spirit makes this endearing series one where the drama and romance are in equal measure. Mel helps the town alcoholic, something she had wanted to do for a time getting the chance she forges ahead hoping for the best outcome. Romances never run smooth this one has it's ups and downs and needs help, it comes from Luke's brother who steps in when needed as the kind hearted Luke nearly losing all.
Have the tissues ready and enjoy this amazing addition to the series.
As much as I enjoyed this instalment in the Virgin River series, the first four still remain my favourites. I just didn't care terribly much about Shelby and Luke. Their relationship was mostly based on physical attraction and their conflict was pretty non-existent until near the end of the novel--and even then, it was based on a lack of communication, which is one of my least favourite relationship conflicts for a romance novel. And I'm sure this book had more than the usual three sex scenes that Carr usually churns out. I skipped forward so many times in this audiobook because I was getting bored of listening to sex scenes. I wanted more plot!
I enjoyed finding out about what the other members of the town were up to. The storyline about Vanni's dad and his movie star girlfriend is still one of my favourites, and the sub-plots about Doc and Art were also really interesting. The town is definitely starting to feel rather unrealistic--why do so many young, retired, single marines and army guys flock there, and why are all the women drop dead gorgeous?--but it is a fun location to read about.
The person I'm most looking forward to reading about is Cameron Michaels, the doctor who previously dated Vanni and has just moved to Virgin River. He wasn't in this book a lot, but I honestly found him more appealing than Luke. Finally, a hero who isn't an ex-serviceman! It's nice to see some variety. I hope he gets his own happy ending in a later book.
Although Shelby and Luke weren't the most compelling protagonists in this series, this was still a fun instalment, and I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next in Virgin River. 3.5*
I am enjoying reading this series of books. I like the way the characters progress within each book. So after you have finished reading about them in their individual book and you move onto the next one in the series. So do they and then you have a growing community of characters. I didn't enjoy this as much as the previous five as I found it rather bitty with different romances going on but am hoping this is just a blip as I can see the potential as more storylines unfold.
Read via local elibrary. Loved this book. Loads going on which I love as stops extranreous bumpf that authors often use to fill a book if there are only 2 main characters. Its all the different relationships in one book that appeals. Just like any place, its not just one relationship ongoing at any one time. I laughed, chuckled, got a bit watery eyed with this one. Loved it and recommend the series which I prefer to the new thunder point series of which read all 3 so far. 28.1.16. Just re-read again from local elibrary as rereading series. Still loved it.
Loved all the characters in this book. Was cheering each couple on hoping only for the best! Virgin river has become a little place to escape to at the end of my day.. It can have that feel good feeling we would like to share with somewhere real..
Love reading these books. Once I'd finished one I found myself eager to read the next to see what was happening with all the characters Jack, Mel, Preach, Paige etc. they have made me laugh and cry. lovely books you can cost up with.
The magic formula continues as new people join the community and we see an absolutely intimate view of their lives The population increases by immigration and by new births. Another fascinating episode.