Wanted: Midwife/nurse practitioner in Virgin River, population six hundred. Make a difference against a backdrop of towering California redwoods and crystal-clear rivers. Rent-free cabin included.
When the recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees this ad, she quickly decides that the remote mountain town of Virgin River might be the perfect place to escape her heartache, and to reenergize the nursing career she loves. But her high hopes are dashed within an hour of arriving: the cabin is a dump, the roads are treacherous and the local doctor wants nothing to do with her. Realizing she’s made a huge mistake, Mel decides to leave town the following morning.
But a tiny baby, abandoned on a front porch, changes her plans and former marine Jack Sheridan cements them into place.
This book may contain explicit intimate scenes, so if you are not 18+ then I probably wouldn’t recommend it for younger readers.
I stumbled onto this series on a whim while browsing Goodreads. I seen such great things said about the main characters, especially the hero Jack, which made me curious about it, so in the end my curiosity got the best of me.
One of these days, he said to himself, I’m going to tell her. Tell her I love her more than I thought I could love a woman. Tell her that my life started when she walked into town. But not yet. He didn’t want to back her into a corner and make her feel she had to either say she loved him, too, or run.
She felt that hand that had been on her hip slide stealthily around her, holding her at her waist, pulling her just slightly back against him. “You’re distracting me,” she said, casting again. “Good,” he said, lowering his lips to her head, inhaling. “Jack, there are people!” “They could care less,” he said, holding her against him. She looked around and saw that what he said was true—the other fishermen didn’t even glance their way. Their lines were flying around in gentle, beautiful arcs. They didn’t even look at each other. Okay, she thought. This feels good. I like the hand, the arm around me. I can manage this. Then she felt his lips on her neck. “Jack! I’m fishing!” “Okay,” he said hoarsely. “I’ll try not to bother you too much.” He pulled her just a little harder against him and began to nibble at her neck. “What are you doing?” she asked, laughter in her voice. “Mel, please… Can’t we go somewhere and just make out for a while?” “No!” she laughed. “I’m fishing!” “If I promise to take you fishing after…?” “No! Now behave yourself!” But she was smiling because it was pretty heady having this big tough guy turn weak and desperate just from the taste of her neck. She concentrated on her casting while he concentrated on her neck, his arm tight around her waist. Ahh… Nice. Very nice. After a few more minutes passed, he let go of her with a tortured moan, walked back to his truck and laid himself over the front, arms outstretched wide, head lying on the hood. She looked over her shoulder at him and chuckled. Brought him to his knees, she thought. Big tough marine. Ha!
Mel is trying to move on from her husbands sudden and unexpected death by taking a break from working as a nurse in Los Angeles, she needs to slow down and lead a calmer life which leads her to a small town called ‘Virgin River’. They need another younger doctor to help out, as their own town doctor is getting up in the years. A stipend of $600 a year and a cute swanky cabin is thrown in for good measures, but as Mel arrives, the suppose cabin is anything but cute and swanky, it is run down and in bad shape. Feeling overwhelmed and led amiss, she feels like leaving but she meets Jack, a former marine and owner of the town’s bar, then a baby is left at her doorstep. She decides to stay to care for the newborn and Jack takes a liking to her the first time she walked in his bar. He persuades her to stay by fixing up the run down cabin so Mel would have a reason to stay – and boy does the man want her to stay and give this quiet little town a chance.
“Jack renovated the cabin without being asked, while I stayed at Doc’s house,” Mel said. “About the time I was going to make a break for it, he showed it to me. I said I’d give it a few more days. Then my first delivery occurred and I realized I should give the place a chance. There’s something about a successful delivery in a place like Virgin River where there’s no backup, no anesthesia… Just me and Mom… It’s indescribable.” “Then there’s Jack,” Brie said. “Jack,” Mel repeated. “I don’t know when I’ve met a kinder, stronger, more generous man. Your brother is wonderful, Brie. He’s amazing. Everyone in Virgin River loves him.” “My brother is in love with you,” Brie said. Mel shouldn’t have been shocked. Although he hadn’t said the words, she already knew it. Felt it. At first she thought he was just a remarkable lover, but soon she realized that he couldn’t touch her that way without an emotional investment, as well as a physical one. He gave her everything he had—and not just in the bedroom. It was in her mind to tell Brie—I’m a recent widow! I need time to digest this! I don’t feel free yet—free to accept another man’s love! Her cheeks grew warm and she said nothing. “I realize I’m biased, but when a man like Jack loves a woman, it’s a great honor.” “I agree,” Mel said quietly.
“You okay, baby sis?” Joey asked. “I’m okay. I lost it last night.” She turned her head and looked up at her older sister. “Why didn’t I see that coming? You did.” “The anniversary of deaths has a reputation,” she said. “Even if you don’t remember the exact date—it’ll sneak up on you and knock the wind out of you.” “It sure did,” she said, laying her head back down on Joey’s shoulder. “I knew what day it was. I just didn’t expect such a dramatic event.” Joey stroked Mel’s hair. “You weren’t alone, at least.” “You just wouldn’t have believed it, even if you’d seen it. I was completely out of control, standing in the rain, screaming. I screamed for a long time. He just held me and let me. He kept telling me to let it out. Then he took care of me like you would a stroke victim. Undressed me, got me into dry clothes, gave me a brandy and put me to bed.” “I think Jack must be a very good man…”
He put his hands on her waist. “Kiss me,” he said. “No,” she said. “Come on. Haven’t I been perfect? Haven’t I followed all your rules? How can you be so selfish? There’s no one around—they’re busy drinking.” “I think you should go back to your reunion,” she said, but she laughed at him again. Boldly, he picked her up under her arms and lifted her high, holding her above him, slowly lowering her mouth to his. “You’re shameless,” she told him. “Kiss me,” he begged. “Come on. Gimme a little taste.”
After finishing this, knew I wanted to try more of this series as I loved the secondary characters plus Robyn’s writing. I’ve never read any of her books, so this is a first for me an I cannot express how much I love the humor she incorporates in her characters dialogs.
“What have you got in the truck? What’s that awful smell?” “A bear. Wanna see?” he asked, smiling. “A bear? Why on earth…?” “He was really pissed,” Jack said. “Come and see—he’s huge.” “Who shot him?” she asked. “Who’s taking credit or who actually shot him? Because I think everyone is taking credit.” He slipped an arm around her waist and walked her the rest of the way. She began to pick up the voices. “I swear, I heard Preacher scream,” someone said. “I didn’t scream, jag-off. That was a battle cry.” “Sounded like a little girl.” “More holes in that bear than in my head.” “He didn’t like that repellant so much, did he?” “I never saw one go through that stuff before. They usually just rub their little punkin eyes and run back in the woods.” “I’m telling you, Preacher screamed. Thought he was gonna cry like a baby.” “You wanna eat, jag-off?” There was laughter all around. A carnival-like atmosphere ensued. The serious group that had left town in the morning had come back like soldiers from war, elated, victorious. Except this war turned out to be with a bear. Mel glanced in the back of the truck and jumped back. The bear not only filled the bed, he hung out the end. The claws on his paws were terrifying. He was tied in, tied down, even though he was dead. His eyes were open but sightless and his tongue hung out of his mouth. And he stunk to high heaven. “Who’s calling Fish and Game?” “Aw, do we have to call them? You know they’re gonna take the frickin’ bear. That’s my bear!” “It ain’t your bear, jag-off. I shot the bear,” Preacher insisted loudly. “You screamed like a girl and the rest of us shot the bear.” “Who really shot the bear?” Mel asked Jack. “I think Preacher shot the bear when he came at him. Then so did everybody else. And yeah, I think he screamed. I would have. That bear got so damn close.” But as he said this, he grinned like a boy who had just made a touchdown. Preacher stomped over to Jack and Mel. He bent down and whispered to Mel, “I did not scream.” He turned and stomped off.
I loved both Mel and Jack – especially Jack. He was a great, charming hero who is extremely patient with Mel, trying to woo her and win her over even though she is still grieving for her late husband and still considers herself married to him. At times, he often feels like he is competing with a ghost, but he still pursues her because he feels like she is it for him, the one he has been waiting for. I love how he treats her with tenderness and care during her breakdown. He was totally there for her when she needed him, even if he felt like he was competing with her dead husband. Such a great read with a great hero and an awesome start to a series.
Mel was fascinated by the way they talked about their women with lusty smiles and glittering eyes. No jokes about the old ball and chain here. Rather, they sounded as though they couldn’t wait to get home to them. “How’s Patti doing?” someone asked Josh. He curved his hands over his flat belly to indicate a pregnant tummy and grinning boastfully, said, “She’s ripe as a tomato. I can hardly keep my hands off her.” “If she’s ripe as a tomato, I bet you get slapped down like crazy,” Zeke laughed. “I got another one on Christa.” “No way! I thought she said you were through!” “She said that two kids ago—but I snuck one more by her. She’s cooking number four. What can I say—that girl’s been lightin’ my fire since high school. You should see her, man. She’s lit up like a beacon. Nobody cooks ’em like Christa. Whew.” “Hey, buddy, congratulations, man! But I don’t think you know when to quit.” “I don’t. It’s like I can’t quit. But Christa says she’s all done with me. She said after this one, snip snip.” “I think I can go one more,” Corny said. “Got my girls. I feel a boy coming on.” No one could better appreciate this kind of enthusiasm for pregnant women than a midwife. Mel was loving it. Loving them. “Yeah, I’ve heard that a lot,” Jack said. “Eight nieces later, no one got their boy. My brothers-in-law have run through all their chances, I think.” “Maybe you’re packin’ a boy, Jack.” “I don’t even kid myself about that,” he laughed.