Ms Carr's next trilogy is coming out next year, in 2009, and it'll be three back-to-back releases starting in February!! Can't wait for it. In the meantime, Mira - did I tell you I love that branch of Harlequin, has asked Ms Carr to write a Virgin River Christmas story :)
Since I loved the series, I was determined to get this book and so, here is my review of it :)
A Virgin River Christmas by Robyn Carr
published by Mira in November 2008
Last Christmas, Marcie Sullivan said a final goodbye to her husband Bobby. This Christmas she's come to Virgin River to find the man who saved his life and gave her three more years to love him.
Fellow marine Ian Buchanan dragged Bobby's shattered body onto a medical transport in Fallujah four years ago then disappeared as soon as their unit arrived Stateside. Since then, Marcie's letters to Ian have gone unanswered.
Marcie tracks Ian to the tiny mountain town of Virgin River and finds a man as wounded emotionally as Bobby was physically. But she is not easily scared off. As Marcie pushes her way into his rugged and reclusive life, she discovers a sweet but damaged soul beneath a rough exterior.
Ian doesn't know what to make of the determined young widow who forces him to look into the painful past and, what's worse, the uncertain future. But it is, after all, a season of miracles and maybe, just maybe, it's time to banish the ghosts and open his heart.
Genre: contemporary romance
Series: Virgin River series, book #4
The Story: It's almost been a year since Marcie Sullivan lost her beloved husband, Bobby; however, there's one more thing she needs to do in order to move on... and that is, to find her husband's Sergeant, best friend and savior, Ian Buchanan. She needs to know what happened to the man who saved her husband and then disappeared without a word.
Although Ian was able to save Bobby in Iraq, Bobby was severely injured and thus, lived the rest of his life without his mind and completely paralyzed. This greatly impacted Ian who didn't believe he did the right thing and blamed himself for Bobby's new life. As a result, he left the Marines and found refuge in the mountain, shutting himself from the world... and after a few years, the last thing he expected was to see Marcie Sullivan, Bobby's wife on his doorstep.
My Opinion: I think this was a great addition to the series. Ms Carr was able to keep the same spirit and atmosphere as in the previous books. I have to say, what I particularly like about this series is the different feel... because Virgin River is such a small town, it's very minimalistic... I think it puts the emphasis on the relationships and that's great.
Story-wise, A Virgin River Christmas is very interesting and very touching. I really enjoyed Marcie's character. She was a strong person that had gone through a lot, but it didn't make her bitter or overly thankful to still be alive. Yes, her experience has put things into perspective, but otherwise, she's still a normal, regular person... not scarred, not damaged, not traumatized. I enjoyed the normalcy. She was also very determined and stubborn, which could be funny at times ;) As for Ian Buchanan, he was an interesting hero and a typical man. I understood why he reacted that way and I think it says a lot about him. How he valued this friendship with Bobby... and I'm happy that Marcie was able to bring him around.
I enjoyed Marcie and Ian's interactions. How they grew closer to each other and came to understand one another. The book was spanned on maybe one or two weeks; however, the relationship didn't seem rush. I guess one thing I enjoyed most in Ms Carr's books is the pacing. It also
Ms Carr was also able to incorporate many old faces without having them steal the show. As part of the community, I think it's easier for her to do so. It was fun to see everyone and their interaction and how they welcomed Marcie. It is really different in a small town, especially a small town like Virgin River, than in big city.
My Grade: B+. A good addition to the series :) I'm sure fans of the series will enjoy it :)