Friday, December 12, 2008

Shelter Mountain by Robyn Carr ***

I might be in a reading slump, or maybe I can blame it on Preacher's "voice" - I liked this book but not nearly as much as the first one in the series, Virgin River. I found Preacher's POV a little too - too good, too humble, too unbelievably platonic and a little too gosh-ish. And I found his tendency to think of violence in reference to the husband - who, after all, was a violently abusive man, a little creepy too. Maybe that was realistic, but still...

This is Preacher's story. An obviously abused woman shows up in the bar at Virgin River with a 3-year-old, and Preacher manages to convince her not only to stay for the night in an extra room over the bar but also to see Mel, the midwife/heroine of Virgin River, the next day. In the cocoon of all the great folks of Virgin River, Paige and Christopher slowly come out and admit to the horror that was their life before - Wes, the abusive over-achiever husband, was out for blood. He hadn't wanted Christopher, and he really didn't want the baby she carried now. She was on her way to a safe house in Oregon when she got lost trying to use back road to avoid detection.

It might seem that John/Preacher would be the last man she'd be attracted to - at 6'6", he's a bear of a man but really, make that Teddy Bear. He's shy to the point of never acting at all on his attraction - and he's head over heels for Christopher, for whom he is a true role model and hero.

As in Virgin River, the hero and heroine are not given the most copy in the book (hence the genre women's fiction, not romance) while we learn the story of teenagers Rick and Liz, who are expecting a child from their one encounter without a condom, more about Mel and Jack and how Mel is doing with her pregnancy. We also meet Jack's sister Brie and his Marine buddy Mike who are the focus of the next book (which I read out of order: Whispering Rock). Because of the way the books are structured, they make more sense and you enjoy the characters more if you already know them and their back story, which is not recreated in the sequels.

I did like it - maybe 3.5 stars - but I found John/Preacher's voice - ponderous? Well, it grated on me after a while - it was almost like he was simple aka mentally disabled, although I'm pretty sure we're supposed to get that he is merely extremely shy and inexperienced with women, and simple as in simple tastes.

So it gets 3 stars "liked it" from me.

No comments: