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Moonlight Road by Robyn Carr
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Jul 29, 2011

really liked it
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This is the 10th novel in the Virgin River series and Robyn Carr keeps on keeping on when it comes t o giving her readers another compelling love story. There are carry-over characters in all these stories and for me that just makes the context richer with each succeeding story. Several of these novels have featured the Riordan family and here we meet another of the brothers.

This story revolves around two people who are at loose ends, a critical juncture in their personal individual history. Erin has raised her siblings and her entire life up until this point has been taken up with finding ways to empower them to find their happiness. Now she is alone, delighted that they are settled and happy, but still alone. She has so many projects to fill her time, to help her get back in touch with herself, to help her find her own path. For some reason she is just simply bored. Now what?

Aiden Riordan has come home from many years as a Navy doctor and is taking the summer to be near his brother Luke, to spend some time in the outdoors, to hike and explore, to unwind after the pressures of being on ship and in the Middle East. He knows he will continue to practice medicine but not where that will happen. He has really put the future on hold but in spite of a rich family heritage and wonderful relationships with him mom and brothers, he is, for all intent, alone. He's not really sure he wants to be alone, but that's where he is right now.

This novel is really how these two people begin what is initially a rocky acquaintanceship that moves into tentative friendship, companionship, some bed frolic, and so and so forth. Neither is really sure whether they want this relationship to escalate into more--actually Aiden knows before Erin does--so they spend time doing things that Erin hasn't ever done and which Aiden hasn't done since before his Navy days. His initial meeting with her is nearly enough to kill any chance between them permanently--he nearly scares her half to death because he looks like a scruffy mountain man who is prowling the Northern California mountains as a sexual predator. But they get past that and their friendship is launched.

Once again Ms Carr has produced a novel that is full of authentic humanity, with relationships that are good and not so good, with people who are enduring and surviving and some who are living abundantly. There is doubt about the future, hope and disappointment all mixed together. There are con artists and those who are angry when others are happy, and these sick individuals keep trying to pollute the good in other people's lives. They are in this story, too. Erin and Aiden both struggle with trust issues--with accepting the good that life offers, with opening themselves up to the joys of imperfect but exciting human connections, with allowing the future with its mystery and risks to just be there for them. This is their journey of discovery, and while Erin and Aiden are finding their way toward each other and learning to circumvent the potholes in life's road, other residents of Virgin River--those we have met and loved in previous stories--continue to be challenged with their own joys and sorrows.

I find these novels so endearing. I am excited everytime a new one appears. I know that some readers think the stories are all the same. I don't. I never tire of the human drama, of the players on life's stage, of observing and learning from the experience of others. This novel once again makes that possible. And in her usual expert style, Ms Carr continues to bring the existing residents of Virgin River alive for us while introducing new people and expanding our acquaintance with additional residents. Many decide to remain in Virgin River. It is, after all, a microcosym of life. Others come to that special place, experience what they need to move forward in their lives, and settle elsewhere. What really matters is that Virgin River brings all these people together and as their lives glance off one another, all are made better.

Moonlight Road is a delightful and winsome love story. I hope you'll read and enjoy as much as I did. I give it a rating of 4.25 out of 5.

This review was originally posted on Book Binge by Judith.
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