Monday, January 19, 2009

Deep In The Valley by Robyn Carr ***

My first Robyn Carr book was book 1 in the Virgin River series, Virgin River (my review here), and I loved it! I realized there was another series before it that introduced some of the Grace Valley characters that appeared in Virgin River, so I started a mini-glom. Wouldn't you know, I lost one of the books (probably packed in a box somewhere) in my move, so I ordered another and started the series last night. This one is also a trilogy, followed by Just Over The Mountain and Down By The River.

June Hudson is the town doctor of Grace Valley, daughter of the retired town doctor Elmer Hudson. She grew up there and left only long enough to get her degree. She's 37 and in addition to everything else going on around Grace Valley, her biological time clock is ticking loud in her ears.

The area's population has grown, and she interviews a new doctor to help out at the clinic. John Stone seems to fit the bill - he's a OB/GYN looking to get out of the big city and raise his family in a small town. His recommendations and references are great, he's good looking to boot - what's not to like? She just hopes he realizes that leaving the big city doesn't leave behind the troubles: Grace Valley also has a large drug problem, with marijuana growers secreted deep in the mountains and unsavory characters and activities in the shadows. Grace Valley also has other troubles - the womanizing preacher, the backwoods family headed by a Vietnam vet still suffering from PTSD, spousal abuse.

When one of June's patients implies that the new doc might have touched her inappropriately, June goes on a fact-finding mission that brings in mixed results - some of his colleagues think Dr Stone hung the moon, and others have a much lower opinion of him.

In the midst of the regular day-to-day activities of their small town, a couple of beefy guys show up at the clinic one night, one of them with a gun-shot wound. The other holds a gun on her until she patches his friend up. But something about this guy Jim doesn't fit with the criminal activity...

This series is more Women's Fiction than romance - the story revolves mainly around June and her life, and the addition of late night trysts with a secret DEA agent is just spice, without much in the way of romance. In fact, I woke up wondering if the DEA agent was a stranger to her when he showed up or if he might have actually been someone she knew before... (now I have to go back and find the references...)

I enjoyed it, but didn't find it keeper material - I'm giving it 3 stars "I Liked It". It just didn't give me the same warm and cozy feel that I got from Virgin River - I didn't end it wanting to pack up and move to Grace Valley like I did Virgin River. It fits my Serial Readers Challenge and the A to Z Challenge.

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