Shelter Mountain by Robyn Carr: 3.75/5 --> B
published by Mira in May 2007
Picking almost where Virgin River left off, Shelter Mountain starts with the arrival of Paige and her little son, Christopher, during a rainy night at the bar that Jack and Preacher co-own. After seeing Paige's bruised cheek and split lip, Preacher figures that the woman is down on her luck and out of goodness, offers her to stay the night. Soon enough, Preacher learns that Paige is not simply out of luck, but she has an abusive spouse and is on the run before he kills her.Genre: contemporary romance, small-town
Preacher cannot understand what kind of man would pummel a woman such as Paige and decide to help and protect her and the kid... Thus, slowly, Paige and Christopher settle in a routine; however, trust is difficult to give. Meanwhile, Jack is worried for Preacher, as he's never seen his friend getting hooked on a woman. In addition, his newly-wedded wife will soon give birth to their first child... and his protégé, Rick, is in trouble.
Series: Virgin River trilogy, Book 2
Review: Hmmm, I'm a bit torn about this book. I do have some issues with the book, but at the same time, I enjoyed them. Still, one thing I'm sure is that I enjoyed the first one better :P
The Characters - You could say that the main characters of this book are Preacher and Paige... at the same time, the book doesn't solely focus on them and so, Jack and Mel do play a significant part in the book. Anyway, Preacher is this huge man, that is a lot intimidating and and a bit frightening and he knows it... which makes him shy around women and children. And this makes him quite special from most romance heroes. He's not the lady's man, he's not even comfortable around them. He's very quiet, but strong when you need. As for Paige, well she's a bit stereotypical of an abused woman. Worried, scared, paranoid... but luckily, her character is saved by the storyline.
Jack disappointed me a little bit... at first, he didn't seem to be the same man as he was in Virgin River. I understand he's worried for Preacher, but his questioning of Preacher's judgement didn't seem like something he'd do in Virgin River. However, no worries, he does redeem himself.
Two other characters that are re-visisted are Mike and Brie. Mike is a LAPD cop and has served in the military along with Jack and Preacher. He's going to be the main character in the third book and it was interesting to see his build-up story. He's quite different from Jack and Preacher, which is something I appreciate a lot. Anyway, back onto the story, Mike gets shot by a gang member and almost doesn't make it. After surgery, he needs therapy to get back into shape... a bit overwhelmed in Los Angeles, he decides to go to Virgin River for his recovery. As for Brie, she's Jack little sister, a hot shot defense attorney, who's getting a divorce from her husband, who's been cheating on her with her best friend. She's strong, but vulnerable... Definitively, going to be interesting to see their story unfolds in Whispering Rocks.
The Story & Writing - The writing was good and very similar to Virgin River. I liked how time passes by and goes by smoothly. If I was an author, I'd be the kind who'd have to write about every single day of what's happening. However, my trouble with the timeline is that it does seem short.... I would have thought that 6 months have passed instead of 3. So although it was very well written, it seemed unrealistic. I usually like my book to be focus on my main characters, which wasn't the case in this book. At the same time, I didn't want to read a book based solely on an abused woman, re-discovering love and safety, so I guess this book was a great compromise. Finally, I have to admit that I don't usually enjoy the "abused woman" plotline because they're quite stereotypical: woman is abused, fears for her life and her children, runs away, meet hero, start to trust and love, but abusive husband inevitably shows up and mayhem happens. Although Paige's storyline did show some similarities with the plotline I've just described, the great thing is that Ms Carr did try to take a new direction and I've learnt some interesting stuff. So there was some bad stuff that were made good, and some good stuff that were made bad.
The Cover - I liked it, it does give me an image of the inside of the bar :)
Am I keeping this book? Yes, so far I am. Probably will, since I liked Virgin River so much.
Anything else? Yes, for those who usually dislike kids in their book, no worry... Christopher is not annoying. He barely talks, but his presence is known. Ms Carr is definitvely talented with her writing :D