Auntee's Reviews > A Virgin River Christmas

A Virgin River Christmas by Robyn Carr
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really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary-romance, tortured-hero
Recommended for: Fans of the series

This was a really sweet, tender romance, that had me in tears sometimes, but put a smile on my face at the end.

This is the story of Marcie Sullivan, a young widow, and former Marine Ian Buchanan. Marcie recently lost her Marine husband, Bobby, due to injuries he suffered while serving in Iraq. Bobby and Marcie were childhood buddies, then sweethearts, before marrying as teenagers. Bobby enlisted in the military, while Marcie worked in an insurance office. They were in love and had a bright future ahead of them until one day Bobby was severly injured in Iraq from a car bomb explosion. If it wasn't for his Sergeant and best friend, Ian Buchanan, who hauled him to safety amidst enemy fire, he surely would have died on the streets of Fallujah. And even though Bobby never recovered from his injuries, and basically was totally incapacitated, Marcie was grateful for the additional three years she got to spend taking care of Bobby and just being with him. It's been a year since Bobby's death, and Marcie would like to move forward with her life, and get a little closure. But in order to do that, she needs to track down her husband's best friend from the military, Ian Buchanan, and thank him again for saving Bobby and give him a few momentos she thinks Bobby would like him to have. It might be a tall order, because it seems Ian has dropped off the face of the earth.

Since that day in Fallujah 4 years ago, Ian's life hasn't been the same. He had planned to serve 20 years in the Marines, but after he saved Bobby and sentenced him to a life as a total invalid, he suffered such enormous guilt that he let it wreck his life and his career. Once a well-liked and respected man with a bright future, he broke up with his fiancee, got in meaningless fights with other soldiers, and was basically forced out of the Marines. He wishes he had let Bobby die in Fallujah, thinking he has sentenced him and his family to more grief than they would have suffered if he had just died on the battlefield. Ian decides to just drop out of life for a while, living a minimal existence selling firewood on a mountaintop near the small California town of Virgin River.

With a little luck and some dogged persistence, Marcie tracks Ian to the quaint little town of Virgin River. She hears rumors about a mountain man who likes to whistle and sing and lives hermit-like in a small cabin just outside of town. Could this be Ian?

When Marcie meets up with Ian, he is almost unrecognizable from the picture of the handsome man she carries with her. With his dark hair tied back in a long ponytail, a bushy red beard and wearing tattered clothes, and living in a small one room cabin without indoor plumbing, Ian looks and acts like a dropout from life. He tells Marcie he just wants to be left alone, but of course Marcie, being the stubborn girl she is, will not hear of it. She's determined to break through all the walls Ian has placed around himself. She only has a few weeks before she's due home for Christmas--will that be enough time for her to convince Ian to rejoin the world and start living again? And can she help Ian heal his wounded heart? And will Marcie learn something about herself in the process?

While this wasn't my favorite of all the Virgin River books, it certainly was enjoyable. It was fun to revisit that small California town again--after Marcie's first encounter with some of the residents, it was like I never left. Some of the past characters have small roles, including Preacher and Paige, Mike and Brie, Doc, and with larger roles, Mel and Jack. ********possible spoiler******************* I like that a romance between Marcie and Ian didn't happen right away, although now that I think of it, 10 days is pretty fast! But it just seemed that Marcie and Ian got to know a lot about each other in that time, and each also knew a lot about the other through Bobby's letters home and Marcie's letters to Bobby. And once Ian came home with a hair-cut and a closely trimmed beard, I knew the fireworks would start to happen between the two! And they did--they provided a lot of 'heat' for that small, one-room cabin! There were some tear-jerking moments too, when Marcie relates the circumstances of Bobby's death, and when Ian lets Marcie go home for Christmas. I wanted him to beg her to stay!*********************************************************** The ending was heart-warming and beautiful, but I could have used a few pages more, to let me in on what would happen in the future. But that is not a problem--I'm sure Robyn Carr will cover that ground in her next Virgin River novel, titled "Second Chance Pass" due out in February 2009. That's one I can't wait to read!
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Reading Progress

June 15, 2008 – Shelved
June 15, 2008 – Shelved as: contemporary-romance
October 25, 2008 –
page 1
0.35%
October 26, 2008 –
page 52
18.25%
October 26, 2008 –
page 135
47.37%
October 26, 2008 –
page 150
52.63%
October 26, 2008 –
page 209
73.33% "Here comes the tears..."
October 26, 2008 –
page 258
90.53%
Started Reading
October 27, 2008 –
page 384
100% "Finished..review to follow..."
October 27, 2008 – Finished Reading
August 17, 2009 – Shelved as: tortured-hero

Comments Showing 1-19 of 19 (19 new)

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message 1: by Eastofoz (new)

Eastofoz How many kids do Mel and Jack have now Auntee?


Auntee In this book they have one, and Mel's pregnant again. This book takes place during the same time frame as "Whispering Rock", and I can't remember if Mel had the second baby by the end of that book?


Pamela(AllHoney) Just picked this up at WalMart a few days ago. Looking forward to reading it :)


Auntee It's a nice, easy read, Pamela.:)


message 5: by Kathrynn (last edited Oct 28, 2008 01:16PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kathrynn I checked my local Walmart and they still didn't have it (yesterday). Good thing! I ordered it and supposed to arrive Thursday.

Can hardly wait!

Feel like East, waiting for Wallflower Christmas...(did you receive that yet?)

I don't remember Mel being pregnant with child #2 at the end of Whispering Rock. Nice to read updates of the characters in her books.

Thank you for the info, Auntee Cheryl. 8-)



Pamela(AllHoney) Kathrynn, yes, I've been told Cabot is $1.98 and that's close to LR. I'm about an hour north of LR. Everything is more expensive here :)


Kathrynn That's a bummer, Pamela.

I was at a different Walmart today and saw this book! Alas, my copy will, should, hopefully, be here Thursday.



message 8: by Eastofoz (new)

Eastofoz Yes Kathrynn A WALLFLOWER CHRISTMAS just arrived :D The wait is over! Of course Rydstrom's story will be out in a few months so the itch will be back again (lol!)


message 9: by Dina (last edited Oct 28, 2010 11:28AM) (new)

Dina "I'm sure Robyn Carr will cover that ground in her next Virgin River novel, titled "Second Chance Pass" due out in February 2009."

2009? Is this an old review, Auntee?

Edit: Forget that question. I already know the answer. :)


Penny Watson Great review, Auntee! I can't wait to read this one...


Auntee LOL--yeah, I was just fixing some typos and forgot to cancel out that update page question.:)


valee I loved this one! I think it was the one I enjoyed the most in the series so far.


Beanbag Love This is my favorite one, Auntee. And the characters do show up in a much later book, although it's story is not as good as this one.

I sobbed so hard. Just thinking about it I get a lump in my throat.

Great review!


message 14: by K. (new) - rated it 4 stars

K. Nice review Anuntee. Been thinking a lot about going on with this series. I've only read "Virgin River." It was a good read but I'm not crazy about Mel (LOOOVVED Jack! ;) Unfortunately ... everyone says Mel keeps popping up in every book in a big way. AARG! LOL! Guess I should just capitulate and get on with it since I like the town and stories so well. Thanks again for the helpful review. :)
K.


♡Karlyn P♡ I agree, great book Auntee. I just finished the ARC for Promise Canyon and it was so good. I'll write a review soon but I do think it's one of the best yet in the series. Both H/h are Native American too, and dang it was hot for a VR book.
You should sign up at netgalley to see if you can get a copy of the arc.


Auntee Thanks ladies! I did love this story. I read this one a while back and was just checking to see if it was a short story (which it is not) like "Midnight Confessions" in Midnight Kiss.

K., I would say go for it! True, Mel can be annoying at times, but reading about Jack and all the other great characters more than makes up for a little bit of cranky Mel.:) And there are a few guys in the series that might even have you forgetting about Jack!

Karlyn, thanks for the rec of going to netgalley--that is something I'll definitely check out! And I'm happy to hear that it was a hot one! Do you consider it the hottest?


Penny Watson I just met Robyn Carr at the NJRWA writer's conference...she is a great speaker. I told her how much I love Preacher and she said he has a lot of fans! She talked about how she created an ensemble cast for the Virgin River series instead of just one hero/ one heroine and sort of started a new trend. She loves Jack and Mel!


Auntee Oh, that wonderful Penny! I wish I could've heard her speak! VR is my favorite contemporary series.:)


Penny Watson Auntee....you would have loved it! She was the luncheon speaker...and she was funny, well-spoken and inspiring to everyone. I also went to her workshop, and it was fascinating hearing about her writing process. She purposefully picked a midwife and a bar owner as the "anchors" to the ensemble because of their place within the community. It was also cool how she discovered this part of California was so wild and untamed it was like writing about the frontier. Cool stuff!


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