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Virgin River #2

Shelter Mountain

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For the second time in a year a woman arrives in the small town of Virgin River trying to escape the past.

John “Preacher” Middleton is about to close the bar when a young woman and her three-year-old son come in out of a wet October night. A marine who has seen his share of pain, Preacher knows a crisis when he sees one—the woman is covered in bruises. He wants to protect them, and he wants to punish whoever did this to her, but he knows immediately that this inclination to protect is something much more. Paige Lassiter has stirred up emotions in this gentle giant of a man—emotions that he has never allowed himself to feel.

But when Paige’s ex-husband turns up in Virgin River, Preacher knows his own future hangs in the balance. And if there’s one thing in the marines’ motto of Semper Fidelis—always faithful—has taught him, it’s that some things are worth fighting for.

384 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published May 1, 2007

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About the author

Robyn Carr

187 books10.7k followers
Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, eleven-time #1 New York Times bestselling author of sixty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series. Robyn's new women's fiction novel, A FAMILY AFFAIR, was released in April 2022. The fifth novel, THE FAMILY GATHERING, in her fan-favorite Sullivan's Crossing Series was released in Jan. 2020 and a Sullivan's Crossing TV series is in production with season 1 to be released in 2023! Season 4 of the worldwide fan-favorite Virgin River TV Series is now streaming on Netflix (July 2022) with season 5 coming in 2023.
Robyn is a recipient of the Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award 2016, and in 2017, VIRGIN RIVER was named one of the HarperCollins 200 Iconic Books of the past 200 years. Robyn currently resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit Robyn Carr's website at https://www.robyncarr.com/.

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5 stars
16,811 (40%)
4 stars
16,560 (39%)
3 stars
6,938 (16%)
2 stars
980 (2%)
1 star
257 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,256 reviews
Profile Image for Pamela.
Author 77 books4,198 followers
October 23, 2010
I hate myself. I read this entire book in a few big gulps rather than working on the novel that is already late to New York. Go me.

Why? Well, for starters, I've gotten really attached to the whole damned town of Virgin River. I had to see what would happen to Mel and Jack and Preacher and Paige and their buddy Mike and poor Rick and Liz.

The book weaves together all of these couples and their story lines, and it's told from a myriad of perspectives. So while the story ostensibly focused on Preacher and Paige, there was a lot to the story that didn't involve them.

Paige is the quintessential abused wife who accidentally winds up in Virgin River at Jack's bar while trying to escape her S.O.B. of a husband. She and her little boy come under Preacher's protection — and the relationship between them builds over time, first as she goes about trying to set up a life free of abuse and then later as she and Preacher fall in love.

As with the first book in this series, Virgin River, I enjoyed the midwifery aspects of the story. And it was good to see the issue of spousal abuse — I like that more than the term "domestic violence," which sounds friendlier somehow — explored with authenticity. It's a topic I've covered a lot as a journalist, and Paige seems to go through all the classic responses.

Because we get all these characters' continuing stories, there are ups and downs for everyone. I couldn't stop from getting teared up over the tragedy that befalls Rick and Liz.

But I need to NOT buy the next one until I'm done with my own book, because clearly once I start I'm just done writing until I'm done reading. If that makes any sense....

So I end the evening with the glow of having read a wonderful book and the all-consuming guilt of an author who made precisely zero progress on her own manuscript today.
Profile Image for ♥Rachel♥.
1,909 reviews852 followers
March 21, 2016
I want to live in Virgin River!

Loved sweet, gentle Preacher! Paige and Christopher went through so much they deserved a strong, steady, loving man like him. Her ex-husband was a monster! So was her jerk of an older brother!

I was thrilled that Jack and Mel's story continued in this installment, and I got to be in on such a wondrous event with them!

Rick and Liz's story was sad and tragic. I didn't really get a read on Liz, not much of a personality here, but Rick was amazing. My heart just broke for them. Rick was just seventeen but he behaved like a man thanks to Jack and Preacher's example and mentoring. I teared up at the final scene between Jack and Rick. I hope that boy ends up safe and okay!

I was so livid for Brie (Jack's baby sister)! I hope that man is sorry in the end. I feel the romance a-brewing between Mike and her. Can't wait for the next book!

I listened to the audio-book version and Therese Plummer is excellent. She narrated the last book, as well.
Profile Image for Stacia (the 2010 club).
1,045 reviews3,982 followers
February 28, 2013
Losing friends in...


2.5 stars. Yes, I know. Everyone loves Virgin River. Yet again, I've found another train I won't be jumping on. *cue sadface*

I didn't read the first book, so my opinion of the series is only from book 2. Shelter Mountain was a buddy read that I couldn't pass up because of a dear friend and my curiosity to learn about this person's similarities to a character in the book.

And that was the best part of reading - getting to see this person's book alter-ego.

The story itself was not my thing. Why, you ask? I just don't care enough about everyday life to want to know how other people live everyday life, even when you throw in a crazy ex or some other obstacle. That's about it in a nutshell.

By about the halfway mark, I was skimming. I read the first sex scene and the last couple of chapters and was ready to be done. This is why I don't have much to write by way of review.

Sorry, fans. I was bored. :(

I feel kind of guilty. Kind of. At least a little.
Profile Image for Mlpmom (Book Reviewer).
3,009 reviews379 followers
December 13, 2019
Still having fun with this series and honestly, it was completely unexpected. Love small town settings like this one!
Profile Image for NMmomof4.
1,548 reviews3,982 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
October 12, 2016
DNF @ 39%

Well, I at least made it past my 30% mark!

On a positive note -- I really, really enjoyed this H. He was awkwardly sweet and protective, and don't get me started on his relationship with the h's son!! He was awesome.

I didn't get that much feel for the h (except pity for the situation she is in), to have an opinion one way or the other about her. I didn't expect her to jump into a relationship right away, but it is just moving way too slow for me. I felt like there was just too much going on that wasn't necessary for the h and H's story. It became distracting tbh. We have a side story about the teenagers being pregnant, the side part about the friend's sister being cheated on, and the side story about the cop being shot by some kid gang member. They know these people, so I guess they relate to their story in some way...but I just don't get it! Why did we need to know these things in (long) detail?!? The h and H have interacted and gotten closer, but there just hasn't been enough focus on them to keep my attention!

I'm sure others loved this book, but I became just too distracted and bored to continue...sorry :(
Profile Image for Melody Cox.
1,499 reviews144 followers
September 29, 2022
Loved Preacher's story. It is an absolute must read.

John "Preacher" Middleton is about to close the bar for the night when a woman and her three year old son walk in the front door. A former Marine who has seen more than his fair share of pain, Preacher is well aware of a crisis when he sees her walk in. This young mother is covered in bruises and Preacher wants to protect them, and pummel the person who left his mark on her. It doesn't take long for Paige to stir up emotions in this huge tough guy. He has fallen for her and her son.

Paige is a young mother who has been through hell with her soon-to-be ex husband. When he shows up in Virgin River, Preacher knows his very own future with this lovely young woman and her son hangs in the balance.

Thought I would throw this in for those of you who love safety info. Preacher, whom I adored, is in his early thirties and a virgin! Loved this aspect of the book.
Profile Image for Alba Turunen.
679 reviews209 followers
April 26, 2021
5 Estrellitas. Aysss ¡Qué libro más bonito! Me ha tenido toda la lectura con los ojos haciendo chiribitas. Si bien el primer libro me gustó, pese a que había visto antes la serie de TV, no sabía bien qué esperar de Predicador y Paige, pues su historia es taaaaaan difusa comparada con la real. Leerla simplemente me ha entusiasmado y ha hecho que coja con más cariño ésta serie de libros.

En "Un lugar para amar" tenemos la historia de amor de John Middleton (Predicador) y Paige Lassiter. En esencia parecida a la de la serie de TV, pero mucho mejor en su propia historia.

Predicador es el cocinero del bar de Jack, un ex marine y un hombre bueno y honorable que siempre hace lo correcto, y al contrario que Jack, muy tímido y nada mujeriego.

Una noche tormentosa de otoño, entra en el bar de Jack una mujer con un niño pequeño. Predicador está solo y a punto de cerrar, pero al ver a la mujer, con signos de haber sido maltratada y al niño enfermo, algo se revuelve dentro de él y sabe que tiene que hacer todo lo posible por protegerlos. Así que se ofrece a ayudarlos dándoles alojamiento y cualquier cosa que necesiten.

Paige Lassiter sólo está de paso. Está pasando un auténtico infierno y ésta es su única oportunidad de escapar de su marido maltratador. Lo único que ha podido hacer es coger a su hijo Christopher y llevarse el coche y huir de Los Ángeles. Pero una noche de tormenta no ve nada en la carretera y tiene a su hijo con fiebre, así que se baja en el pueblo de Virgin River, en el único bar que ve abierto, por si pueden ayudarla.

Lógicamente Paige tiene miedo, miedo de que Wes vaya tras ella y ésta vez la mate. Aunque está lejos, Virgin River no le parece un lugar seguro, y menos el hombre enorme que le abre la puerta en el bar y la invita a pasar la noche en la habitación de arriba.

Paige sigue alerta, pero su situación es tan desesperada que acepta quedarse... más tiempo del que pretendía. Gracias a la hermana abogada de Jack, acepta poner una denuncia a su marido y pedir el divorcio, pero el fantasma de la persecución de éste no desaparecerá de Paige.

Por otro lado, los sentimientos de los personajes están muy bien definidos. Paige es una mujer herida, para la que no es fácil volver a confiar en un hombre, no ha habido buenos ejemplos en su vida; pero John es tan bueno y desinteresado, trata tan bien, con tanto mimo y cariño a su hijo, que algo se remueve dentro de ella cuando está con John.

Mientras que Predicador es tan tímido. Tan grande y torpe que nunca ha sabido qué decirle a una mujer. Pero es un verdadero encanto y lo único que sabe es que Paige es una mujer preciosa y adorable a la que le gustaría cuidar y proteger como se merece, al igual que al pequeño Chris.

Desde que Paige y Chris entran en el bar de Jack, la vida de Predicador se tambalea y no volverá a ser igual. En seguida les ofrece ayuda y protección, y no lo serán menos Jack y el resto de sus amigos militares y retirados.

El romance es muy bonito y cocido lentamente, casi hasta la mitad del libro no lo ves, pero es lo esperando siendo los protagonistas cómo son y sus circunstancias; pero Robyn Carr ha sabido llevarlo y la historia de Paige y Predicador no será la única, pues la autora también destina algunos capítulos a otras parejas, como a Liz y Rick, con los que he llorado mucho por lo que les pasa.

Y por supuesto no se ha olvidado de Mel y Jack. Tras su felices para siempre en el libro anterior, la historia continúa para ellos, pues Mel está de verdad esperando un hijo y el capítulo en que lo tiene es tan precioso e impactante, que me ha encantado.

Eso me ha gustado, que la autora no se haya olvidado de otros personajes y nos regale un poquito más de lo que fue de ellos. Pero también miro con muchas ganas los que serán las historias siguientes, pues Mick y Brie me han dejado con ganas de conocer su historia y en éste segundo libro los coges mucho cariño. Espero no tardar en leerlo.
Profile Image for Bookphenomena (Micky) .
2,496 reviews405 followers
November 15, 2020
I could happily binge this series but I’m pacing myself. The second book, Shelter Mountain was Preacher’s story in the main but it had such a great, interwoven continuation of Jack and Mel’s life, that it was pitched so well. I love the sense of family in Virgin River but apart from the scenery, it’s not idyllic and it feels real.

Preacher and consequently Paige’s story was centred on surviving domestic violence; it was a moving start to the story. I felt the emotions of fear and desperation and I couldn’t settle the whole story with that anxious anticipation. Preacher was such a character to be fond of and yet I still felt by the end that I wanted to know him more. Maybe as with other characters, Preacher will be revealed further in future stories. I loved his shyness and lack of confidence. His friends were the epic push to move forward.

There were a bunch of other storylines going on, less in focus, but still important and I do enjoy this writing style, where the main characters aren’t everything. I think Mike is going to be interesting and I’m convinced we’ll see more of Rick.

I can tell this whole series is going to be the perfect comfort read whenever I want that easy, familiar setting and characters. I’ll definitely be back for more.

Rounded up to 4 stars.

Thank you to Mills & Boon for the review copy. This one is already out and has been for 9 years!

This review can be found on A Take From Two Cities Blog.
Profile Image for Tina Loves To Read.
2,534 reviews1 follower
May 16, 2022
This is a Women's Fiction/Romance, and this is the second book in the Virgin River series. I have read and reviewed the first book in this series, and I think this is a series that needs to be read in order. This book picks up right from where the first book leaves off. There is a Netflix TV series that is based on this book series. I feel this book covers John “Preacher” romance so much better than the Netflix TV show did. This book shows a different side of Preacher, and I loved it. Of course there is drama. You also get an update on the other characters from the first book. I loved this book so much. I read this book via Kindle Unlimited/Library and I am voluntarily leaving my honest review of this book.
Profile Image for Shawna.
3,548 reviews4,575 followers
October 9, 2014
5+ stars – Contemporary Romance

This second book in the Virgin River series about a rustic small town with a population of roughly 600 people finds ex-marine John “Preacher” Middleton, a mountain of a man, providing shelter in more ways than one for an abused wife on the run with her three-year-old son.

When Paige seeks refuge from a storm in Virgin River’s local tavern while passing through town with her son Christopher, Preacher immediately recognizes that she’s a troubled woman in need, and she stirs up protective instincts in him that he’s never felt before. Preacher has lived a rather solitary life and was resigned that he would never find a woman to share his life with. His appearance is misleading (he’s described as looking like a rough bouncer and a bit like Mr. Clean), and he’s convinced that women and children only see him as a tough, scary-looking guy. Preacher is such a tenderhearted, shy, gentle-giant-of-a-man with a heart that’s bigger than his biceps, and his quiet strength, gentleness, inner peace and calm, loyalty, love, and fierce protectiveness turn out to be exactly what Paige and Christopher need. Although he might be a man of few words, his actions speak volumes of his heart, and he guards and loves Paige and Christopher like a proud, loving papa bear.

Preacher and the whole town become a harbor, a safe haven for Paige, and the shelter and solace they provide allows her to heal and find her own confidence and inner strength. I liked Shelter Mountain even better than the first book in the series. There were tearful and laugh-out-loud moments and the romance is oh so sweet in this one. This story, and the series, is about healing, love in unexpected places, and acts of kindness that make a true family. Very big 5 stars!
Profile Image for ᴥ Irena ᴥ.
1,652 reviews216 followers
July 16, 2014
Let's get something out of the way first: I liked this book. Whatever bothered me doesn't make this less well written.

There is a reason why I am not overly fond of women's fiction genre. It doesn't have to be a sole driving force behind the plot, but in 98% cases there is cheating involved . Fortunately, the first book didn't have that or I wouldn't have read this one. Let me be clear - nobody cheats here, but it is mentioned; someone close to them got that nasty surprise. Now, this is my personal preference, and no matter the genre, that always changes something in the story. It's a good thing that these people are so perfect.

Next, I loved Preacher and there is no freaking way that people like him exist. Tell me I am wrong. Please.
You have to suspend your disbelief quite a bit the first time they meet. I know he is great, she doesn't. I kept thinking she isn't really careful. But I managed to get over it because I want to believe people like Preacher exist. That, and what's the point of reading a story like this and not do it.
The annoying thing is that this was supposed to be Paige and Preacher's story. There are so many other issues and they are huge that these two almost disappear.
But I loved how slow their relationship progressed. They weren't in each other face all the time, and all the insecurities and questions got resolved pretty fast. You know, adults talking as adults and all that. Their romance is sweet, understated and believable.

I did not expect this book to be this dark. There are so many terrible issues compared to the first book. It was very brave to use almost the same thing twice in the same novel. But my problem with this book is how much everyone and their grandmother got space in this story. It went so far that I almost forgot the main couple (mild exaggeration, but you get my point).
Profile Image for Naksed.
2,992 reviews
January 11, 2020
Disappointing follow-up to Virgin River. The story centers on a battered wife and mother fleeing her psychotic husband, a smarmy, big city hotshot who has been able to work the system for years and never get punished for any of his horrendous transgressions against his wife. Battered and bruised, at the end of her rope, with adorable kid in tow, she stumbles upon a bar in an isolated, postage-stamp town lost in the California Redwoods. There, she meets the broad-shouldered, steel-muscled ex-marine who has been waiting for her to walk into his life forever. It’s a predictable plot, all the way to the concluding kidnapping, ambush and shootout with the bad guy.

The author also picks up the threads of many of the characters introduced in the first volume of the series, while developing new characters obviously teasing future volumes. A lustful, irresponsible teenaged couple get their comeuppance in a gruesome stillbirth scene. A feisty prosecutor has to pay alimony to her cheating bastard of an ex-husband, who shacked up with his wife’s ex-best friend. Disturbingly, the local nurse repeatedly breaks her duty of confidentiality and privacy towards her patients by routinely disclosing their most intimate details to all and sundry. The scene where she takes photos of the massive bruises on the traumatizes battered wife’s body assuring her that no one will see them without her consent, then immediately shows them to her husband because he needs to be aware of the newcomer in town was absolutely mind-boggling 😔 I was pretty disappointed with this one.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Duchess Nicole.
1,258 reviews1,547 followers
February 19, 2013
Quick review...

Love how Preacher is such an unconventional man...big, shaved bald, ex marine who now is a cook in his buddy's bar, and perfectly fine with his life. Love even more how instantly protective he is of this woman and little boy.

This book danced the edge of brutal in the abuse department. There are no allusions...this punk comes after Paige with a vengeance, and right in the middle of Virgin River. Big no-no there! She's under the protection of not only Preacher, but the whole town.

There is a lot going on in this book...four different stories, really. Simultaneously continuing the last book and setting up a future book or two. And I'm not talking a couple of pages here and there. At one point, the story veers from Paige and Preacher for 34 pages! It really interrupted the flow.

However, having said that, I'm stoked for the next few books and to continue reading about this quaint little town with such amazing people.
Profile Image for Beanbag Love.
565 reviews246 followers
January 11, 2010
I'm not really going to review this one too much. It's good. The story is very engaging and hard to put down. I think this series would be better described as a 'serial'. It's like a soap opera. There's been a romance in each of the first two books, but so many other stories are being told that it's like watching an ongoing, multi-threaded show. Hence my likening it to a soap opera.

Not that I'm disappointed in that. I'm enjoying it very much. I had a very hard time not just going straight into the next book in the series after this one. It's just different. And I think the 'serial' aspect is what leads me to get the feeling of 'meandering'. In both of these books the first half was devoted mostly to the romance. Then the romance took a kind of backseat to other goings on. As with the first one, the ending seemed kind of arbitrary. Oh, it ended on a good capper event, but by that time it didn't really feel like that was what we'd been leading up to or anything. It could have ended anywhere, really. I think, if I read to the end of what's available in the series, I'll go a little crazy. I mean, what if Days of Our Lives only aired once or twice a year?

Also -- tear jerkers. There are some amusing bits, and a real homespun likability, but both of these books had me crying real tears. I've noticed in other reviews that people have 'gotten the tissues out', so that should also be expected when embarking on this series. It's emotional.

And just as an example of how strongly Carr attaches the readers' emotions and imaginations to her characters, there was a rather major earthquake in the area where this series is set yesterday, and I couldn't help wondering how Jack and Preacher would have handled it. LOL.

This is a good series. I understand now why some of my GR friends have called it 'crack'.
Profile Image for Ian.
1,365 reviews188 followers
April 7, 2020
I love this book and I love CR. But I read a review from way back in 2013 that a friend wrote and it made me laugh.

Here is Stacia's review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

And I understand what she's saying. CR isn't for everyone and some people find Robyn Carr's characters annoying. I personally don't....well I usually don't.

But, the main reason I love this book is because I am Preacher. If there is a fiction character who is closest to me, to the way I deal with things. To the way I react to things, it's Preacher.
Profile Image for Ivonne.
Author 1 book98 followers
February 2, 2020
Auch wenn ich eine Weile gebraucht habe, bis ich das Buch gelesen hatte, hat mir auch der zweite Teil von Robyn Carrs Virgin River Reihe unglaublich gut gefallen. Wenn man diese Bücher liest ist es, als würde man in eine total andere Welt abtauchen. In eine Welt, in der man nichts anderes braucht als den Mann an seiner Seite den man liebt, und eine Stadt voller Freunde, die einem immer zur Seite stehen, ganz gleich was auch kommen möge. Diese Einfachheit dieser Geschichte ist es, die mich so beeindruckt. Die Menschen dort sind so einfach und normal gestrickt, dass man sich unglaublich gut mit ihnen und mit der Geschichte selbst identifizieren kann. Man fühlt sich von der ersten Seite an wie zu Hause. Während des Lesens kommt tatsächlich ein unglaublich heimisches Gefühl auf, so als wäre man schon mal selbst in diesem kleinen Ort namens Virgin River gewesen und als hätte man all diese wunderbaren Menschen kennen gelernt, von denen in dem Buch die Rede ist.

Robyn Carrs Schreibstil verstärkt dieses Gefühl noch. Diese locker luftige Art zu Schreiben, ohne großartiges Drum-Herum-Geschwätz, ohne viele blumige Worte aber mit einer ausgesprochen liebevollen Art, macht dieses Buch so wunderbar, dass man gar nicht mehr aus dieser Welt auftauchen möchte. Die Geschichte erscheint einem, wie aus dem realen Leben ersprungen und ich glaube deshalb, kann man sich auch so gut mit den Menschen identifizieren und ihre Worte und Handlungen so gut nachvollziehen. Nichts ist an den Haaren herbei gezogen oder wirkt irgendwie unrealistisch oder übertrieben.

Auch die Charaktere sind einfach wunderbar. Es ist unglaublich, wie sehr man sich an einen Menschen aus einem Buch gewöhnen kann. Man bindet sich so stark an sie, dass man richtig mit ihnen mit fühlt. Ich habe mehr als einmal bei diesem Buch geweint, vor Freude und vor Trauer. Robyn Carr schafft es mit ihrem Schreibstil tatsächlich, den Leser zu Tränen zu rühren, sei es nun auf eine gute oder traurige Art und Weise. Auch beschreibt sie manche Dinge so detailgetreu und intensiv, dass ich echt Gänsehaut bekommen habe.

Im Gegensatz zum ersten Buch finde ich die Charaktere jetzt nicht mehr "zu perfekt". Die Geschichte wirkt eingespielter und auch die Charaktere lernt man jetzt um einiges besser kennen.

Schade fand ich auch, das manche Charaktere, wie z. B. Doc, der von Anfang an wirklich mein Liebling war, nur noch sehr selten in der Geschichte vor kamen. Ich habe diesen alten, exzentrischen, grausigen Mann einfach sehr vermisst. Hinzu kamen in diesem Teil aber auch ein paar wunderbare neue Personen, Paige und Christopher, die ich gleich von Anfang an in mein Herz geschlossen habe. Auch von Jack und Mel gab es wieder viele, tolle Sachen zu lesen und diesmal gab es auch mehr von Mike, einem alten Freund von Preacher und John, und Brie - Johns kleiner Schwester - zu lesen, was mich sehr gefreut hat.

Eine weitere Sache, die ich unglaublich toll an Robyn Carr und ihren Büchern finde ist die, dass sie es schafft, so viele verschiedene Geschichten miteinander zu verstricken und so zu erzählen, dass sie realistisch rüber kommen. Da wären Rick und Liz mit ihrer unglaublich traurigen Geschichte, dann Jack und Mel, Preacher und Paige, zusammen mit Christopher, Mike und Brie und natürlich auch der brutale Wes. Ich finde das einfach nur faszinierend und das ist auch mit unter ein Grund, weshalb ich diese Virgin River Reihe so sehr in mein Herz geschlossen habe. Ich bin wirklich froh, dass ich auf diese tolle Autorin und ihre wunderbaren Bücher aufmerksam wurde.

Fazit: Ich kann diese Bücher einfach nur jedem empfehlen. Ich kann gar nicht mehr sagen, außer das, was ich bereits oben beschrieben haben und das, dass diese Bücher einfach großartig sind und in jedes Bücherregal gehören. Falls ihr die Bücher schon gelesen habt, lasst mich doch wissen, wie ihr sie findet. Ich bin sehr auf eure Meinungen gespannt :-)
Profile Image for Carvanz.
2,101 reviews747 followers
October 12, 2019
Audiobook: Narrator – Therese Plummer

I really enjoy listening to this narrator. She does such an excellent job of not only the female characters, but the male as well. I know it’s all subjective to what each listener likes or dislikes, but her voice fits my ear quite nicely and I could listen to her all day. Add what is a performance, rather than a reading, to the experience and I’m all set to listen to anything she narrates. She certainly sold me on this installment of the series and insures that I will continue on with the next.

I am hopelessly in love with every single one of the characters I’ve met in this series! I’ve said it before, I hate getting into a series, but it’s too late. I dipped my toe and I’m well and truly caught in this absolutely heart melting story of the people in this small town and all the drama, joy, and love they experience.


This began with Preacher’s story, introducing Paige as his love interest. She’s been violently abused for years and is on the run from her husband. I loved how Preacher was quick to catch on and careful of how he handled her while he offered her not only a safe place to rest, but options so she never felt trapped. I adored everything about both of these characters. They touched every part of my heart to the point it felt like it was going to burst at times from all the emotions they wrought within it.


This also had a lot about Jack and Mel. It takes us through the ups and downs of her pregnancy and how they are each dealing with it. Some are laugh out loud moments, others will leave you breathless, and even more will cause a lump to form in your throat. Initially, I was a bit aggravated that Jack and Mel intruded into Preacher’s story and took over, and to be honest I still think it wasn’t right. But I can’t deny I loved everything I read about them. I think I would have preferred it to have been in a novella though because Preach and Paige deserved their spotlight moment just as Jack and Mel had theirs. But to be honest, I’m just greedy and want all of Jack and Mel without losing time with Preacher and Paige.


There is a heck of a lot of drama here. Things start out pretty fast and it never slows down even as the scenes change as well as the circumstances. Different characters facing different issues and all of it coming together to create a beautiful collage of life in a small town and all the heart and soul that goes into truly knowing your neighbor.

I laughed, I cried, I wanted to grab a shotgun and hunt the sorry son of a gun that needed shooting. And when it was all over, I wanted to listen to it again. But instead, I queued up the next book.

Multi POV
Profile Image for SB*needs low angst books*.
339 reviews189 followers
July 15, 2016
2.5 to 3 Upon reread
I went back and reread this book because the first time I was going thru a book slump and thought maybe I was just being extra critical. Upon a reread I could give it another star or half star because I did like the man couple and the hero was so totally awesome. The problem for me is when a book series when it reminds me of a soap opera in that you have so many side stories and don't totally focus on the main couple. It makes the book longer of course but it can work against a book when you either don't care for other couples or don't like the story for them either.

The story is about Paige and her son Christopher. They are on the run from her ex husband when they stop at a bar and met John aka Preacher. She has been beaten badly and her son is coming down sick but because she is trying to go into hiding she doesn't want to stay. But after she gets some real help and understanding from Preacher she decides to stay and get help. This is how they begin and it is a slow burn type of fall. They are attracted but both are kinda shy and not sure how to proceed. But once they get it then it is sweet. I really liked them

My problem was the side stories. I got to get stuff about previous couple, a young teenage couple dealing with teenage pregnancy, then also got some stuff on the previous couples family and some drama going on with that hero's sister. Then we have the story of an old friend of hero and previous hero and him coming into town and the set up for him and sister for future story. This is all just one book. I don't mind setup of another couple but I didn't really want to get so much about all the other people. You know how a soap opera hops around to all these different characters lives and you get to see things they go thru. It felt just like that and I am not a fan of this type of read.

So while the main couple was great all the extra for me just took it down, made it slower, and made me want to skip so much just to get back to main couple. So it downgraded what could have been a good story to me.

Previous review
Profile Image for Whitaker.
294 reviews510 followers
December 22, 2010
This is Part II of my Defence of the Romance Novel. Part I is here, and if you want to know why I feel compelled to do this, well, take a look here. And just for NGE because she means so much to me:

Here I want to talk about quality of writing. To do this, I'm going to have to compare two extracts.
Extract 1

A fierce and unseasonably cold September wind blew chilly rain against the windows. Preacher wiped down the bar, and while it was only seven-thirty, it was already dark. No one in Virgin River would be out on a night like this. After the dinner hour was past, people tended to stay in on cold, wet nights. The camper and fishermen in the area would be locked down tight against the storm. It was bear-and-deer hunting season, but it was unlikely any hunters would pass en route to or from lodges and blinds at this hour in such weather... As soon as the fire burned down a little more, Preacher planned to switch off the Open sign and lock the door.

He poured himself a shot of whiskey and took it over to the table nearest the fire, then turned a chair toward the hearth and propped up his feet. Quiet nights like this were to his liking. He was a solitary kind of guy.

But the peace was not to be. Someone pulled on the door, causing him to frown. It opened a little bit. The wind caught the door and it flew open with a bang, bringing him instantly to his feet. Entering and then struggling to close the door was a young woman holding a child. The woman wore a baseball cap and had a heavy quilted bag slung over her shoulder. Preacher went to get the door. She turned, looked up at him and they both jumped back in surprise. She was likely startled because Preacher looked intimidating--he was six foot four, bald with bushy black eyebrows, a diamond stud earring and shoulders about as broad as an ax handle was long.

Under the bill of the baseball cap, Preacher saw a pretty young woman's face bearing a bruise on her cheek and split lower lip.

Extract 2

"I've met teenage girls with more testosterone than that man has."

Tamara Briggs didn't even have to look to know that Suzanne was talking about Geoffrey Ayers, because in a roomful of race car drivers, the anthropology professor would be the only one her friend would find lacking in male machismo.

But she pleaded ignorance because she didn't want to have to acknowledge that Suz might have a point about the man she was trying to convince herself she could actually have sex with on a regular basis. "Who are you talking about?"

"You know I'm talking about Geoffrey. And I'm sorry, I know he's your new boyfriend and all, but honestly, Tammy, the man couldn't grow a chest hair if his life depended on it. Look at him."

Did she have to? Tamara was feeling like if she did, all her delusions might shatter. She was working really hard to convince herself that she could be in love with Geoffrey, but if she had to look too closely, she suspected she would have to admit that wasn't going to happen.
Extract 1 is much better written. To quote an old trite aphorism, it shows, and doesn't just tell. The first paragraph not only paints the scene and atmosphere, it does so in a way that tells us a number of key facts. Preacher works in bar. It's a cold, wet and dark night. It emphasises that no one will be out on such a night. This gives the woman's later appearance much greater impact. By the time she shows up, we are already primed to find her arrival strange and unusual, but the writer does not have to rely on stating that fact to get the message across.

We get a description of Preacher, but in a way that fits naturally into the scene. It's linked to the woman's surprise, and so the telling of it feels less like intrusive exposition. It also links quite nicely to the next bit of exposition: this is a woman who has been beaten up. The two facts create by themselves an unstated tension: will she stay or will she flee in fright?

Extract 1 uses language in a manner that shows a fair understanding of how it can be used for dramatic and rhetorical effect. Look at the rhythm and pacing of these sentences:
But the peace was not to be. Someone pulled on the door, causing him to frown. It opened a little bit. The wind caught the door and it flew open with a bang, bringing him instantly to his feet.
The shortness of the sentences in the first half help to heighten the tension, and create a rhythm that resolves itself in a sudden rush in the final sentence, mimicking the manner in which the door was opened. Here language and scene reflect each other to greater effect.

Extract 2 lays it all out for us. There is no description of the room, and no setting of the scene. We are immediately told the problem, and it’s hammered home for us in expository paragraph after expository paragraph.

Extract 1 comes from this novel. Now I'm not saying that this novel is "Art" along the lines of, say, The Age of Innocence or The Rainbow. I'm just pointing out that it's written with craft and skill, a craft and skill that had to be learnt and honed. That's something that I can respect.

The novel itself was actually gripping and exciting. Both main and secondary characters are well-fleshed out. The love story is developed in a manner that is reasonably convincing. All in all, I can see why it scored so high among its GR constituency. For what it is, it well deserves its 4-star rating.

Caveat: Extract 2 comes from another novel. That novel too was highly rated, but when you read the reviews you realise that the reason its readers liked it were the sex scenes. I read a couple of them to find out for myself and I will admit that those scenes were written with considerably more attention than the extract I quoted. I can only assume that that writer knows her audience, knows what they want from her, and focuses on doing those parts well. You think sex scenes are easy to write? I will just quote here this year's winner of the Bad Sex awards, The Shape of Her by Rowan Somerville:
He caught her rhythm, pulling and releasing, cradling and crushing; pushing up through his fingers with each swing, mining up, like an otter through wet sand. Her sounds shifted from moans to grunts, insistent, almost desperate cries from the throat … He unbuttoned the front of her shirt and pulled it to the side so that her breast was uncovered, her nipple poking out, upturned like the nose of the loveliest nocturnal animal, sniffing in the night. He took it between his lips and sucked the salt from her. He hooked his fingers into her waistband, caught the elastic of her underwear and began pulling down. The knot on her light cotton trousers held fast as the fabric reached the curve of her backside. She twisted from him and stepped back.

'I want to suck you,' she said, descending … She loosed his trousers, pulled away his underwear and gripped him with fingers tender enough to hold a tiny bird.

As he felt her mouth's engulfment, he acquiesced, disappointment melting like ice in hot cream.


Naked from waist to toe, a faint wedge of paleness from a few hours of sun, streaked with shadows in the candlelight; the triangle of pubic hair, blond, a thin line bunched darkly, like desert vegetation following an underground stream. He placed his hand on the concave stretch that was her belly, letting two fingers rest in the yawn of her navel. He slipped downwards, grazing the tight skin of her waist with his fingertips. He reached her hair line and the muscles of her belly hardened as she raised herself up onto her elbows. She stayed his hand and drew him, yanked him, into a smothering kiss. She released his hair from her fingers and twisted onto her belly like a fish flipping itself, her movement so brusque his chin bounced off her head.

He grasped the side of her hips, pushed her away and pulled her to him with a slap. Again and again with more force and velocity. Tine pressed her face deeper into the cushion grunting into the foam at each thrust.

The wet friction of her, tight around him, the sight of her open, stretched around him, the cleft of her body, it tore a climax out of him with a final lunge. Like a lepidopterist mounting a tough-skinned insect with a too blunt pin he screwed himself into her.

Profile Image for Jess the Romanceaholic.
1,033 reviews472 followers
June 30, 2012
Looking at all of my friends' ratings of 4- and 5-stars for this book, I have to wonder if perhaps we may be thinking of different books.

To be perfectly fair, I have not read the first book (or any other book) in the Virgin River saga, and perhaps I would have enjoyed this one more had I done so.


I actually skimmed a large amount of this book. Much of it read as a Public Service Announcement from a Women's Health Clinic mixed with what felt like a narration of some videos from High School Health Class. There was far too much detailed gynecology and obstetrics for my taste, not to mention brutal miscarriages, graphic births of stillborn babies, preachy asides about how one should ALWAYS use condoms, entire chapters focused on people that I frankly didn't give two shakes about*, and an absolutely ridiculous final confrontation. While I get that this is an early installment of what seemed to have always been intended to be a sweeping series, there were just far too many characters distracting from the story between what I had anticipated to be the main couple.

That said, the love story between Paige and John (Preacher) was WONDERFUL, and was the entire reason I forced myself to finish this book. While I was surprised that Paige didn't show more signs of PTSD, especially with all of the emphasis on the possibility of her having the disorder, watching a big gentle giant fall for a petite battered woman and her young son was a joy.

I would recommend this one to fans of battered heroines, but I do say to understand going in that this is far more of a story about the community of Virgin River as a whole than a straight up romance between the title couple.

2/5 Stars.

*Again, this probably had more to do with the fact that I'd never read the first book -- if I had, I probably wouldn't have felt the urge to skim over Jack and Mel's enormous parts in the story -- fans of the first book will likely adore their half of the book.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Erin.
3,094 reviews484 followers
December 31, 2022
The second book in the Virgin River series focuses on Paige and John "Preacher" Middleton. Paige is a wife and mother fleeing a marital home full of violence. Preacher is the friend and partner of Jack( book 1) who cannot resist the urge to help Paige and her young son, Christopher. Preacher enlists the help of Mel( book 1) to convince Paige that Virgin River is the perfect haven away from her husband. As Paige and Preacher spend more and more time together, soon they and all those around them know this couple was meant to be. But Paige's husband, Wes, is not going to take no for an answer from anybody.

My three-star rating might make future readers wary but I didn't love this pairing as much as I enjoyed Jack and Mel who also share narrative status with Paige and Preacher. Paige came across as a little static as a character and I grew weary of Preacher always needing to protect her. We also follow the young romance of Rick and Liz who are about to get a big wake-up call to adulthood. As well, there is a little nudge that Jack's sister Brie and his friend Mike will be the protagonists in book 3. Okay, I read book 3 so I may know this to be actual fact. Overall, it was a good read and I imagine that I will spend some reading time in the future visiting Virgin River.

Goodreads review published 30/12/22
Profile Image for Somia.
2,061 reviews135 followers
December 25, 2019
John (Preacher) Middleton is about to close the bar when a young woman and her three-year-old son come in out of a wet October night. Her face badly bruised, and her body and heart worse, Paige is looking for somewhere to spend the night just so she can get her bearings and then move on, but Preacher sees a woman and child in need of a safe heaven and does all he can to gently ensure Paige feels she can stay. But when Paige’s ex-husband turns up in Virgin River, the safe heaven and home Paige and her little boy have found is under threat, as is the man she has come to care for.

I liked seeing Mel and Jack again, but I do think that at times they intruded into Preacher and Paige’s story, taking over.

A nice one time read, overall soft and cosy, even if it didn’t tightly grasp my attention and keep it ensnared - there was a layer of tension that was a times missing.

Potential Triggers:
Profile Image for Debra .
2,423 reviews35.2k followers
November 27, 2014
not my favorite one in the series but I appreciated that it earl's overly long. I do like that we got to see more of John "Preacher" and we got to see the big man show some tenderness. It was also nice to see Mel and Jack welcome their child. For a short book, the author included breast cancer, a stillborn, a healthy baby born, domestic violence issues, a divorce and sex. whew. I do like the Virgin River gang and look forward to more books in the series.
Profile Image for WhatIReallyRead.
725 reviews508 followers
February 24, 2020
When I read Virgin River, Preacher's character intrigued me so much I knew I had to read his story. And it turned out to be an enjoyable read!

Shelter Mountain had some features I really liked about the first book of the series:

- Preacher and Paige's relationship really had time to develop. Trust grows, there's increasing closeness. So when it finally got to love it was really believable.

- It was set in the same little town I've grown to love. It features the side-characters I know and follows up on some of their stories. They have a prominent place in Shelter Mountain and I loved that.

- There was actual tension and plot, the book was interesting and serious stuff was at stake. And it felt real.

I didn't love this one as much as the first book because I didn't feel as much chemistry between the main couple. Still, it was a good comfort-read.

Profile Image for Holly.
304 reviews103 followers
December 20, 2008
Wet from the rain and carrying her sleeping child, Paige Lassiter happens upon Jack's Bar and Restaurant seeking shelter. John "Preacher" Middleton was just about to close for the night when this battered and bruised young woman walked in, plainly in need of aid. Paige has had enough of her husband's abuse and with an unborn baby to protect, she's determined to finally escape. Preacher knows this woman is a flight risk, but he welcomes her to spend the night and does all he can to watch over her and her three year old son, Christopher. The following morning Paige is still determined to run, but Preacher gently points out the possibility of her being charged with kidnapping if she crosses state lines and offers her an alternative. If she stays in Virgin River and pursues a divorce and custody, Preacher promises to her that she and her children will always be safe because he and the rest of the town will be there watching over them.

Yet another lovingly romantic and oh-so-funny addition to the Virgin River series. Shelter Mountain was not so much focused on Paige and Preacher as it was on the entire town and it's inhabitants. Filled with young love and new love, there is definitely something in the water when it comes to Virgin River. With Preacher and Mel, and eventually Jack, standing behind Paige, she and her son Christopher are immediately enfolded into the group and it was wonderful to see Paige and Preacher's romance blossom. The first half of the book is mostly reserved for our spotlight couple, Paige and Preacher, but the middle is reserved for Jack and Mel and the foibles and follies and the occasional heartbreak that is pregnancy. The third half finishes up the saga between Paige and her now exhusband and the entire town rallies around her.

This book was definitely romantic and sweet but I will forever love it because of the humor. Reading about Paige and Preacher's beginning stages was so funny. One of my favorite parts was how Preacher was definitely receiving the steamy looks Paige was throwing his way, if not interpreting them correctly. This great big teddy bear of a Marine might be wholly comfortable with an M-16 and a troop of fellow soldiers hunting down terrorists, but put him in the same vicinity as a hot-to-trot female and this shy guy doesn't know what to do. Luckily he has his good buddy Jack to show him what's what in regards to that mysterious and elusive thing known as the female orgasm. Trust me, it was priceless. Also priceless was Mel's pregnancy and the eventual delivery. But amid all the humor and lovesick mooing, life in Virgin River continues on with it's ups and downs. You will have to be a fan of the town in order to appreciate the joy and to suffer through the tragedies.

Shelter Mountain is a wonderful addition to the series and I'm so happy I was able to enjoy it. This beautiful little story is not to be missed and I can't wait for more.
Profile Image for vale pao.
644 reviews358 followers
April 17, 2010
I loved this book as well. This is an amazing series. I couldn't put this book down until I was finish.

Preacher was a great hero. Although not the alpha dominant kind, but the kind who are strong, shy and not very talkative, but when it comes to protect their ladies there isn't anything they would do. I loved him.
Paige was great and I loved how she got to get through her problem with John's support. They made a great couple and the baby boy was definitely a plus.

I'm very surprised of how much I'm enjoying this series because I really don't like contemporary romance much and I never though I would like a series set in the middle of nowhere, but what can I say? I really do.

Can't wait to read Mike's story.

I didn't like all the pages used for Rick and Liz's romance. I never liked their romance, they were too young and everything developed wrong between them. I just wanted to go over those pages fast. And I know it sounds bad and kinda twisted but I'm glad how everything worked up at the end. I would never be happy in real life if something like that happened to real people but as this was a book I felt like what happened was the right thing, it's just that everything would have ended too complicated and it wasn't right.
I do feel curious to see what will happen next.

What I like a lot about the series, and it hasn't happened in any other that I have read so far, is that in one book you have a lot of different POV. And you get to follow more than one romance in town.
Profile Image for Amarilli 73 .
2,283 reviews75 followers
February 4, 2020
Come preannunciato, finito il primo mi sono catapultata sul secondo volume di questa serie che non conoscevo, ma che è indubbiamente perfetta per le atmosfere natalizie da godersi sotto il piumone.

Stavolta la Carr gioca il pezzo da novanta come trend romance, ovvero l'eroe timido e silenzioso (se vogliamo dotato di una bellezza più nascosta e non appariscente: è il cosiddetto "gigante gentile" che tanto fa impazzire le lettrici di ogni età). Ebbene, avevamo già conosciuto Preacher, il cuoco bravissimo ed ex-marine che aveva seguito Jack nel suo trasferimento nell'isolata e minuscola cittadina di Virgin River.

Oltre a scoprire il suo nome vero, lo vediamo anche sfoderare uno scudo da angelo protettivo, in aiuto nientemeno di una giovane mamma, maltrattata e in fuga dal mario violento, e del suo adorabile bambino.
Si potrebbe resistere a tutto ciò?
Io no, infatti ero già un mucchietto sciolto, in vibrante attesa di sapere se ci sarebbe stata anche una seconda possibilità per Paige.
Ma non pensiate che sia un libro soltanto coccole e sorrisi: come ho già avuto modo di notare, questa serie non manca di certo di risvolti drammatici e ferocemente commoventi.
Per una delle coppie comprimarie arrivano sviluppi durissimi (e sì, sono stata male in alcuni punti. C'è una scena in cui i membri della famiglia si ritrovano abbracciati vicino a una culla in cui mi è proprio partita la lacrima...).

Molto bello anche il secondo. E credo che durante le vacanze mi fionderò sul terzo...
Profile Image for Chan.
704 reviews38 followers
July 24, 2017
Another Robyn Carr Hit. I’m starting to think Thunder Point was a fluke.

Writing: Book 1 oriented me to Virgin River. So at this point, these are my peoples and my town. That is how good Robyn’s descriptions are. I felt like I was returning for a visit.

Characters: Just like in Virgin River, the heroine (Paige) is a mess. Preacher is a gentle giant. At times I felt like his bulk and strength was a waste.

Storyline: Paige is literally running for her life. She stumbles upon Preacher in the middle of the night and he convinces her to take a load off.

Even though this is about Paige and Preacher, I was still connected with Jack and Mel and all of the other towns’ people. And they gave me a wonderful welcome back to Virgin River.

I did think that a part of this story was drawn out a bit too much. I’m okay with anticipation, but at some point get on with it.

Intimacy Scenes: There is affection between Paige and Preacher and it is sweet. There’s not much emphasis on the sex. More focus is on the affection.

Overall: This was another winner. As much as I disliked Thunder Point, I’m actually thinking about giving book 2 in that series a try because it’s obvious the woman can write!
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