Noah Kincaid arrives ready to roll up his sleeves and revitalize his new purchase, but he’s going to need some help. An ad in the local paper brings and improbably candidate his way.
“Pastor’s assistant” is not a phrase that springs to mind when Noah meets brassy, beautiful Ellie Baldwin. With her colorful clothes and even more colorful past, Ellie needs a respectable job so she can regain custody of her children. Noah can’t help but admire her spunk and determination, and she may just be the breath of fresh air he needs.
The unlikely duo may come from two different worlds, but they have more in common than anyone would have expected. And in Virgin River lasting happiness is never out of the question.
This book may contain explicit intimate scenes, so if you are not 18+ then I probably wouldn’t recommend it for younger readers.
When I first read the book’s synopsis, my first thought, a former stripper and a pastor paired together… how odd and eat interesting. I smelt something good a brewing when Ellie first graces the pages. She was a spit fire cracker jack from the start. I found her highly humorous and entertaining. She also had a great positive personality, always thinking and hoping things will be better. Everyone in Virgin River liked her from the moment they met her and she seemed to make friends really easy. Plus she was a great mother to her kids, Danielle and Trevor. There wasn’t a solid thing she wouldn’t do for them.
Thinking about Noah made it difficult to remember that there would never again be a man in her life. Ever, ever, ever. She’d been hurt by men too often. Okay, there hadn’t been many, but the three major contenders had been totally horrible. Death, prison and weirdness. If there’d been even one lucky break where love was concerned, she might consider another stab at it down the line a bit, but not likely. She had already proven she didn’t know how to pick a man, and it was doubtful she could start now. But he was very attractive, the preacher man. Six feet, ink-black hair with a lock that fell over his brow sometimes. Expressive dark brows over the most beautiful blue eyes she’d ever seen. And lips that just screamed Come to Papa. Then there was that smile. Or, all those smiles—the one that indulged, the one that mocked, the one that burst out of him before he could stop it. He couldn’t hide the fact that for a devout sort of guy there was some bad boy in him that he was barely keeping under control. His smile came with dimples that almost brought her to her knees. Six feet of delicious man with strong shoulders, long legs and big, hard hands. Yeah, he could get her in trouble.
“I love it when you stay, but I think you’d better go. I feel like I’m playing with fire every time I let you talk me into bed. I don’t want to become too dependent on you. And I don’t want the whole town to know we’re sleeping together. I have children to think about.” “Are you cutting me off?” he asked nervously. She smiled at him. “Did you just whine?” She chuckled at him. “Noah, much as I love cuddling up to you, I don’t want your new town, your future congregation, to think the worst of you.” “I’m not worried about that. I think I’d get a standing ovation for finding you. But, to ease your mind and your reputation, I’ll be very discreet,” he said. “That’s about half the problem… There are also children to think about…” “We’ll be very cautious there, sweetheart. They’re your top priority, which makes them mine also.” Then he pulled out his secret weapon. He kissed her. Hard and deep. He pulled her against him and it took her less than fifteen seconds to melt into him and fully enjoy his arousal. When he released her lips, she said, “You are a very bad boy and no one with an ounce of sanity would take you for a minister.” “Could I be taken for a man who wants the woman he loves?” “Yeah, you qualify,” she said.
I will say I never read a book with the hero being a preacher. Noah made an interesting character and I loved his first initial reaction to Ellie, whom is a tall built woman that looks like a bombshell. At first, all Noah saw was her long legs and boobs which he kept thinking “Jesus, Help me”. I thought that was hilarious as Ellie never flirted or made a pass at Noah, but by god, she was just irresistible to him. He loved her outlook on life, her grama’s life sayings, her witty humor, and the way she was with her kids. He over looked her past pretty early on, ending up helping her with her kids, her but so ex husband, and eventually falling in love with her.
“Let me come up,” he said. “I want to be sure your room is totally safe.” “Noah, Arnie just called me a half hour ago. No way he could have driven over here and hidden under my bed.” “Okay, point taken. Let me come up anyway. I want to kiss you good-night.” “Listen, I’m bad with men. I seem to make all the wrong choices, which is why I decided it would be best if I gave them up, at least until my kids grow up, move out and own their own real estate. And I’m sure not getting involved with some guy who’s just going to chuck me in a couple of weeks because, believe it or not, I’m just not casual about stuff like this. And you’re too easy to like, so stop trying to trip me up.” He laughed at her. “Come on, Ellie, it’s good you like me. We shouldn’t be kissing if you don’t like me. And I would never chuck you—I’m considerate. Responsible.” “In order for me to even think of going off my man-diet, I need more than considerate and responsible. I want someone who isn’t going to die or stick up the night manager or treat me and my kids bad! Or leave! Or let me leave! I’m looking for soul-deep, lifetime, unbreakable, unbearable passion. Love to the nth degree. The real thing for once, not some poor excuse for it. And certainly not just consideration. I’m not looking for some polite version of love, but the real thing.” Then she backed away. “No, forget I said that. I don’t even want that—it would just mess up my already messed-up life. Don’t make me want you. Now go home and don’t press your luck!” [….] She opened the door with a frown. “What are you doing?” “Pressing my luck,” he said. He walked in, pushed her gently out of the way and closed the door. He put his hands on her waist and pulled her to him, going after her lips at once. It took her exactly two seconds to melt to him, moan, reach her arms around his neck and return the kiss.
“I want to love every piece of you. I want to be inside you. I want our bodies together, to make the two of us into one. I want it all, and I want it hard, soft, anything that will make you happy. I want to hold you, keep you safe, make you scream… I want to make you gasp and tremble and lose control, like I’m losing control. And tip over the edge. And fall.” He kissed her again. “And fall,” he whispered against her lips. “I want to make you fall in love with me. The way I’m in love with you.”
Aside from Ellie and Noah’s story, I liked the tidbit with Paul and Vanni. I don’t know why, but he never fails to make me snicker due to him being clueless at times in what to do in certain situations. He is just priceless. I really liked reading about Hannah too – I thought it was cute how Robyn wrote her.
Right away Noah’s thought was, You might’ve sworn off men, but I bet they haven’t sworn off you—not with that face and body. Shew. He was starting to feel a little warm. Let me seek to understand rather than to be understood. Where there is despair, let me offer hope. And dear God, could you please get her to cover up that cleavage for a while?
Also we get some hindsight on Jo and Nick and why he acts the way he does. That little bit of as interesting as well.
“Ellie! No!” He rushed to her. “God, no! You can’t be leaving me! Don’t!” He grabbed her face and covered her mouth in a hard, desperate kiss. Her eyes flew open in stunned disbelief; she stopped breathing. He released her mouth but not her face, which he held in his hands, his fingers threaded into her hair. “You can’t go, Ellie, you can’t. Don’t you know how much I love you? God, I’d be nothing without you. I never thought I’d get to feel like this again, but you brought me back to life. You took the loneliness away and brought laughter back into my life. Ellie, you’re everything to me—I can’t make it without you. If you leave, I don’t know what I’ll—” She just stared at him, a slight smile on her face. “Really? You don’t say.” “Listen, I know I’m not a good romantic, I know that. I realized just a little while ago that I—Oh, hell, I told you how responsible I was, not how much you light up my life. I told you about my vow and how I could stick to it, not how life without you would be all gray and sad and awful. I didn’t tell you everything you mean to me. I promised myself I’d take care of that tonight, for sure. I was almost too late.” “Tell me now,” she said. “Now?” he asked, dropping his hands from her face. “Right now,” she insisted. “But I haven’t prepared!” “I know. That’s the whole idea,” she said. “I’m listening.” He cleared his throat. “Ellie. Dammit, you saved my life. I was a wallowing, pathetic, self-pitying—” He stopped talking at the sound of her soft laughter. “You’re not supposed to laugh at my attempts to be romantic.” “Noah, that wasn’t romantic. That made me wonder what I ever saw in you. Start over.” He grabbed her face in his hands again. “I want to be with you forever. I want to lie beside you every night, holding you close, whispering to you that I love you more than anything in the world, that you turned my whole world upside down just when it needed to be turned upside down. I want to make forever promises to you out loud, in front of God, and I want you to promise to be my woman, my wife, my one and only love, my best friend and my conscience. You’re never easy, Ellie, but you’re sure never boring…” “I don’t know about that last part,” she commented. “God, I love you so much. If I lost you, I don’t know what I’d do. I’d go after you, that’s what I’d do. I’d find a way to get you back. You know we’re perfect together. I know you feel it because I can feel you feel it.” He grinned roguishly. “We sure fit together perfect, don’t you think? You told me you loved me—tell me again.” “I love you, Noah. I tried not to. I usually screw up love situations. But, apparently, we have that in common.” She grinned. “A good start.” “You won’t leave me?” “Why would I leave you? I adore you. And unless I’m completely stupid, you just asked me to marry you.” “I did. We should give the kids some time to get used to the idea. And we should find a house that can hold us, but as soon as we can work out the details, we should get married.” “Okay,” she said. “Am I late for rehearsal?” “We were waiting for you,” he explained. “Then Walt said he saw you struggling with luggage and thought maybe you weren’t coming, that you were leaving.” She laughed a bit. “Noah, these are Vanni’s hand-me-downs. I thought I had time to unpack them before the rehearsal.” He was shocked silent for a moment, absorbing this, then he grabbed her and kissed her hard. And he said, “I have a feeling I bit off more than I can chew with you.” “No question about that, Your Holiness.”
I will say, I wish Robyn would of stayed what happened to Arnie – what kind of punishment he got sentenced to in the end. Other than that bit, I really enjoyed reading Forbidden Falls and plan to read more of this wonderful series that I can’t seem to get enough of.