Saturday, February 19, 2011

Wild Man Creek by Robyn Carr ****

Wow, this is getting to be a very long series! This is number 12 in the Virgin River series, and I've read all but 1 so far. (OK, I dnfed one too.) I liked this one above average - 4 stars - but none of them have quite matched the first one, Virgin River, for me.

In this one we have 2 sort of newcomers to Virgin River - Colin Riordan, whose brothers Luke, Sean and Aiden have lived in Virgin River and are now married to the women they met here. (Jack says it's something in the water.) Colin is recently recovered from his helicopter crash, his addiction to pain meds and a short stint in jail for illegal drugs.

Heroine Jillian Matlock returns to Virgin River where she spent a vacation week a year ago. She's come to lick her wounds from a bad experience at work: she had an affair with a co-worker who then sued the company for her sexual harrassment of him. She's always been driven, ambitious, corporate, and she finds it hard to slow down and smell the roses - but she soon realizes she can slow down enough to GROW the roses. She is able to transfer her work ethic to gardening, and takes it on like a Corporate CEO, tilling, planting, weeding an organic garden as part of a business plan to sell produce to 5 star restaurants.

As with all of the books, there are always other characters - wrapping up the previous book's couple with a wedding or a child or something, bringing in Jack and Mel and Preacher, and introducing another back story. In this case, the secondary couple isn't another love match, but the result of one: a young fellow claiming to be Jack's love child from 25 years before.

And without even reading the blurb for book #13, I picked up on it right away: Jill's sister Kelly is going to fall for the newest resident with a surly teenaged daughter.

The books are pretty dang predictable, beyond the obvious HEA for the Main Couple, but she writes so well that I just sit there and pretend I'm another of the gossipy Virgin River residents, listening to someone talk about what's going on in Virgin River today. Gotta go, I'm meeting the gang for poker at Jack's Bar tonight...

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