Sometimes all you need is a fresh start
When the recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees an advert for a midwife in the remote town of Virgin River, she decides this is the perfect place to escape her heartache and to revitalise the nursing career she loves.
However, her hopes are dashed within an hour of arriving: the cabin is uninhabitable, the roads are treacherous and the local doctor wants nothing to do with her. But when a tiny baby is abandoned on a front porch, Mel must decide whether to stay and help or cut her losses and leave.
Helped by local barman, and former marine, Jack Sheridan Mel must face her past and finds that there may be a future in Virgin River after all.
I received a copy of this book from Mills and Boon in return for an honest review.
Virgin River begins with a familiar and popular trope in the romance genre, of grieving widow, starting over in a small town, away from everything she knew before. Bereaved Melinda, takes up a midwife and nurse practitioner post in a remote rural small town Virgin River. She is promised cosy accommodation, a thriving medical practice in need of her skills and a lovely town to live in.
What she finds is less than ideal. Layered on top of her perilous emotional state, she feels like getting back in her car and heading back to the city, even if the memories there are too painful to live with.
An emotional event makes her stay in the short term because she’s not a quitter, but a consummate professional and big-hearted woman. Little by little the town and its inhabitants draw her in and she begins to enjoy the generosity, caring spirit of a small town, even if it is accompanied by gossip and mostly well-meant interference.
This idyllic story, which captures the small town ethos, has authentic, relatable characters, who you long to know more about. They are why it is an engaging read. There are many other books in this series, so it is likely your favourite will get their own story told, in a later book.
The romance is gentle and sensitive taking account of Melinda’s loss. Although it reflects conservative values to women, this is in keeping with the culture and setting. Contemporary issues are explored too, again viewed from a small town point of view, which is interesting and realistic.
There is a successful TV series based on the Virgin River books, and the quality of the characters and charm of the contemporary story shows why this is the case.