Sunday, August 25, 2013

Week-End's Minis XXXIX: The Newcomer by Robyn Carr

Hi everyone! How was your week-end? I was hoping to get this mini-review up yesterday, but alas, obviously didn't LOL. Then again, it was really optimistic of me given that  it was my annual BBQ :) This time around, we settled on dinner only instead of having a day-long event... but it still involved a lot of running to get the house ready. Funny how you procrastinate thinking "Oh, they're only coming in the evening so I can clean later..." LOL. I'll have some pictures up tomorrow :P

Anyway, I did manage to write my mini-review! Yay! It's a bit on the short side, but not a bad thing given it's a mini-review LOL. Enjoy!

The Newcomer by Robyn Carr
published by Harlequin (Mira) in June 2013
Single dad and Thunder Point's deputy sheriff "Mac" McCain has worked hard to keep everyone safe and happy. Now he's found his own happiness with Gina James. The longtime friends have always shared the challenges and rewards of raising their adolescent daughters. With an unexpected romance growing between them, they're feeling like teenagers themselves-suddenly they can't get enough of one another.

And just when things are really taking off, their lives are suddenly thrown into chaos. When Mac's long-lost-and not missed-ex-wife shows up in town, drama takes on a whole new meaning. They're wondering if their new feelings for each other can withstand the pressure...but they are not going down without a fight.

Step into the world of Thunder Point, a little town on the Oregon coast where newcomers are welcomed, hearts are broken and mended, and the dramas of everyday life keep the locals laughing, crying and falling in love.
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Thunder Point, Book #2

What do you need to know? I found the blurb of The Newcomer to be very misleading because it sounds like it's Mac and Gina's book, but it is not. Instead, it's really Thunder Point community's book. As such, there are multiple story threads. The main storyline is the continuation of The Wanderer with Cooper and Sarah finally in a committed relationship. However, there are some obstacles ahead of them. First, Sarah is up for a promotion, which is great... but it'd mean she has to move, most probably to Florida. She doesn't want to uproot her brother and doesn't know if her new relationship with Cooper would survive the move, but at the same time, this job has been her whole life. As for Cooper, he finds out he has a son...

We do see Mac and Gina, but their storyline is not as predominant as the blurb makes you think. Mac's ex-wife does turn up making Mac rather suspicious of her motives. In the meantime, Gina's daughter goes through a bad break-up and plunge into depression. To get Ashley's full medical record, Gina hunts down her ex... As for Ashley, while recovering, she finds out perhaps she was in love with the wrong brother.

What did I like? Overall, I did enjoy The Newcomer. Part of me wasn't ready to let go of Cooper and Sarah in The Wanderer, so I was happy that their story continued in this book. All the storylines were quite interesting and I enjoyed how everything was handled. although perhaps it was a bit too idyllic LOL. What I liked is that nothing was too typical. For example, Mac's ex-wife coming back after years of absence. Well you didn't see Mac having second thoughts about his relationship with Gina, whether to give her a chance to his ex-wife to reconnect with her children, etc. Cooper finding out about having a son... It wasn't the typical reactions that you expect and that I liked.

What didn't work for me? As much as I enjoyed Ms Carr's writing and voice in The Newcomer, I feel like Thunder Point is starting to become the new Virgin River... and while I liked the Virgin River series, it's a strike against this new series of hers for me. I want something different, something new - not a repeat or a rehash... and that's what is happening a bit in The Newcomer.

Finally, I thought there was a bit too much drama in The Newcomer ^_^; I know, I know, I'm being contradictory here LOL. On one hand, I'm saying that I enjoyed the stories, but on the other, I'm saying it was a bit over the top... But what can I say? I just feel too many things were happening at the same time that it was a bit unrealistic. I mean Matt had his ex-wife coming back in the portray, Gina had a depressed daughter, Cooper found about a son and Sarah, her new assignment. Really?! All at once? And as I said, everything was handled a bit too well...

My Grade? B-. The Newcomer was really a transition book given the multiple storylines and the lack of focus on one couple or character. It was still an enjoyable book though. What dragged the grade down was its lack of uniqueness, the feeling that this series was turning into the next Virgin River series.