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on May 9, 2007
A former Marine, John "Preacher" Middleton has found peace in Virgin River, California. Working as a cook in his best friend's bar, Preacher does what he loves most; he cooks. When closing up one night, Preacher is surprised to see a soaked woman carrying a child in. Virgin River is a small town and strangers are few and far between. Never feeling strong emotion for any woman, Preacher is somewhat shocked by his urge to protect Paige Lassiter and her son, Christopher.

Paige Lassiter is on the run. Leaving after almost getting beaten to death by her husband, Paige intends to change her identity to protect herself and her son. Hoping to find somewhere to stay the night, Paige ends up on the road that leads to Virgin River. With the weather so bad that she can hardly see, Paige can do nothing more than take the kindness of a stranger. John Middleton looks like he's as far from a guardian angel as a man can get. Already leery of men, Paige accepts his offer to stay the night but insists on leaving in the morning.

This is an amazing story of love and courage. While content in his life, Preacher never expected to have feelings as intense as the ones he has for Paige and Chris. Vowing to protect them both, Preacher is a solid presence that Paige so desperately needs. Paige soon finds herself falling for Preacher. While they are both sure of their feelings, they each have doubts that the other will receive those feelings well. Preacher doesn't want to run Paige off by telling her how he feels. Paige doesn't want to have to leave because Preacher doesn't feel the same way she does. Fortunately the misunderstanding does not dominate the book. There are a lot of returning secondary characters that will make you laugh and cry. Robyn Carr has a unique gift of bringing the reader right into the pages and making them want to stay.
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on January 3, 2008
The Virgin River Series:

Virgin River

Shelter Mountain

Whispering Rock

A Virgin River Christmas (Nov 2008)

Robin Carr's stories unfold smoothly. Never boring or pointless. Never totally predictable. Surprises throughout. Always emotional and realistic. Before you know it, you realize that you've read half the book without stopping. You can truly get lost in these books.
As I mentioned above, this is definitely a sequel. It is the second book of the series. The first book, "Virgin River", introduces you to a lot of the characters for "Shelter Mountain". There are a couple of important characters who are newly introduced in "Shelter Mount", but the majority are already in your heart from the first book.

So... if you haven't read "Virgin River" yet, don't ruin this book by reading it first. Become a part of the Virgin River family with book 1, then come back for "Shelter Mountain".
Here is the link to the first book:
Virgin River (Virgin River Trilogy, Book 1)

For those whom have already read "Virgin River":

Quiet, shy, and with a heart bigger than his 6'6" height, John Middleton is affectionately known to his friends as "Preacher". While his marine buddies ran off to drink and use women, he stayed behind to honor the values his mom taught him as a boy. Now, in his early thirties, Preacher is happily running Jack's bar. Jack has moved into his new wife's cottage, leaving an empty apartment over the bar.

Late one night, just before Preacher closed the bar for the night, a woman came inside. Soaked from the pouring rain, and carrying her sleeping 3- year- old son, Paige is desperate to find a safe place to spend the night. Preacher immediately notices her bruised face and split lip. He offers to let her stay in the upstairs apartment for as long as she needs. As a man who tends to frighten women and children with his size, tattoos, earring, and bald head, Preacher wishes he could have a family like this woman and her child. He can't understand how her husband could have abused these blessings. Knowing he could never hope to have a woman like Paige for his own, Preacher commits himself to seeing her freed of her abusive husband. He'll give everything he has to help her make a new start, then he'll quietly let her go when she is ready to move on.

Upon first meeting John, Paige is intimidated. He's much larger than her abusive husband. If he were to get angry, he could do far worse damage. Once she realizes that he has a big soft heart, she knows she can't stay in Virgin River long. Her husband will come after her. When he finds her, anyone who helped her hide will be at risk. Somehow, John keeps convincing her to stay a few more days or weeks. Before she knows it, Paige and her son have become a part of the Virgin River family. There is not a single resident in the tiny mountain community who will not offer to help shield her.

Preacher has it bad. Not only is he head- over- heals for Paige, he has come to love her son as his own. Little Christopher is happier than he has ever been in his young life. He has a giant best buddy who spends a lot of time reading to him, playing with him, teaching him to cook, and keeping him and his mommy safe. Christopher never wants to leave John. Paige can see what a blessing John is in both their lives. How many men would take the time to make a new leg and sew it on a little boy's ragged teddy bear? She has found a miracle man in John Middleton. Now she only has to teach him how beautiful and worthy he is.

Paige's threat has come to Virgin River. Now she has no choice but to either flee or fight. With John, Jack, and all of their friends behind her, Paige is ready to stand up for herself and Christopher. For the first time in years, she sees a bright future. One that she is thrilled to spend with John. When the law can't protect her, her new family will. John has claimed Paige and Christopher as his own. He won't let his woman, or his boy, be harmed ever again. Whether it takes lawyers or guns, Preacher will keep his family safe.

Aside from all of this, you will get to read the continuing story of Jack and Mel. Their first child is born. They build their dream home. And they surround their loved ones with unending support.

Rick and Liz's story continues as well. This is one of the most emotional relationships of the series. Two teenagers are forced to become adults much too soon. Rick, being raised by Jack and Preacher for the last few years, is determined to do what is right.

Jack's youngest sister, Brie, faces some harsh twists in life. Mike, one of Jack's former marines, has faced some very hard times as well. The two become friends. Their friendship is leading up to the third book in the series:
Whispering Rock (Virgin River Trilogy, Book 3)

So many great and tragic things happen in "Shelter Mountain". Yet it all fits together into one flowing story. After reading "Shelter Mount", I'm even more attached to the characters than I was after "Virgin River". I can't wait to read Mike and Brie's story.

Here is the whole series of links in read order. There are three more Virgin River books scheduled to be released in early 2009.

Virgin River (Virgin River Trilogy, Book 1)

Shelter Mountain (Virgin River Trilogy, Book 2)

Whispering Rock (Virgin River Trilogy, Book 3)

Coming next: "A Virgin River Christmas", scheduled for Nov. 2008
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on August 3, 2014
Virgin River, the town where everyone is pregnant and act like they're 20-40 years older than they are.

The synopsis would lead you to believe that this is a romantic novel between the two protagonists, Paige and Preacher/John. However, this couldn't be further from the truth. The vast majority of the book is about Mel and Jack, the two protagonists from the first book, and surrounding cast. While it's not usually necessary to read the first novel in a romance series, it felt that you MUST go back and read the first one with the shear amount of references to the book. Not only that but there were several continuances from the first book. Had the author fostered a fondness for her other characters within you, this might not have been a bad thing but I felt nothing for any of the characters. Even the first meeting between Paige and John felt ridiculous-- it was like he was talking down a bank robber.

In all honesty, I got to the halfway mark and ended the struggle. I couldn't finish it.
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on February 28, 2011
The 5 Star Review:

I will admit I'm a sucker for a damsel in distress. This is a beautiful, contemporary love story about a wonderful man called Preacher who heroically saves the life of a young woman in need. Paige is a sweet, lovely mother on the run from her scary, abusive husband. The writer does an excellent job of capturing this woman's trauma and healing process. I loved reading about the love blossoming between the giant scary-looking Preacher (who has a heart of gold) and the sweet young woman. I even enjoyed the small child in the story and it was endearing to read about the growing relationship between Preacher and the boy.

The town of Virgin River is seriously addictive. It is charming and beautiful- like the perfect little town. I have to admit I crave reading about the town of Virgin River!! It would be a dream if this place existed.

The 2 Star Review:
Warning: **** SPOILER **** SPOILER **** SPOILER ****

As much as I loved parts of this novel (seriously one of the better romances I've read)... there were certain things that were just off or wrong to me. First of all, Ms. Carr's obsession with female genitalia and anatomy. I let this go in the first novel of the series because the main character was a midwife. But apparently, this goes beyond a story line. This novel (in parts) reads like a PSA for a woman's clinic. The writer is making very obvious "statements" about the use of anesthesia during labor (she's obviously against it) as well as the proper way to handle a teenage pregnancy... amongst other things. I will let any reader judge for themselves of course, but these parts of the novel stood out to me and felt awkward. Like they were "inserted" simply to make a statement and didn't seem to flow with the novel. In fact, sometimes it felt like the book had completely changed stories and I was wondering what was happening with the main characters.

Also, and this is the SPOILER part, I had an issue with Paige's reaction to her miscarriage. Namely, her lack of one. After she has her D and C she goes back to the restaurant apartment and continues on. When you encounter her again in the story, she's become suddenly aware she's in love with Preacher and starts to flirt with him and that becomes her new focus. I was uncomfortable with the character's complete lack of emotion about losing her child. Her sudden personality shift was a bit much. Like... because she was suddenly no longer pregnant she was now free to be in love with a new man. Eh... not sure about that part. Especially considering the strong views the writer seems to have about women and pregnancy, I was surprised with this plot element.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon October 7, 2014
Once again I decided to have a break from my normal diet of heavy thrillers and settle down with a light romance. This is #2 in the very popular romantic series by Robyn Carr which explores the dynamics of very small-town USA and the effect the town and its people have on traumatically bruised characters who seek refuge in the town.

This time Paige Lassiter is on the run from her abusive husband. She ends up in Virgin River hoping to find somewhere to stay with her son until she can change her identity to protect herself from her husband. In foul weather she walks into the local bar when John Middleton (Preacher to his friends) is about to close. John doesn't look like a guardian angel, over 6 foot tall and muscular with shaved head and tattoos. Preacher has been on active service with the Marines for years and has settled down in Virgin River because his old Sergeant Jack Sheridan runs the local bar and restaurant.

John has had little contact with women but is immediately drawn to help Paige and her young son Chris. While understandingly being very suspicious of men Page accepts Preacher's offer of somewhere for both of them to stay for the night and plans to leave first thing in the morning. This doesn't happen and Paige soon finds that Preacher, despite his appearance, is a big teddy bear who quickly falls head-over-heels in love with her and begins to love Chris as his own in a way that his father was never able to do.

This is a sentimental and touching story of two apparently different individuals beginning to come together as a couple and as a family. All of the other characters from the first book are there to give a helping hand especially when Paige's husband tries to find her.

Well done Robyn Carr - you have created an environment and a formula for a light romance series that will warm the hearts of many.
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on October 15, 2015
This is the second book in Shelter Mountain and while it could possibly be read as a stand alone I don't recommend it. A lot of the characters especially Jack and Mel are a big part of this book and the investment just wouldn't be there without reading book one.

This book centers around Preacher and Paige (well mostly). There is a lot of Jack and Mel as well as Rick & Liz from the first book. There is also the introduction to Bree & Mike as a couple in this book. I liked that we got to see more Jack and Mel and I really like Mike and Bree but then we also had the consequences of Rick & Liz from the first book and it was just too much for one story and I think Preacher and Paige got a little short changed. Although Preacher and Paige are both very sweet characters and well kind of boring so I'm also glad that the other couples were in this book.

The Preacher and Paige story was a very slow, sweet romance. In fact for me personally a little too sweet and slow. Preacher was a really nice guy but just didn't do much for me. Paige was also very sweet and grew to be a stronger woman through the book. I will admit though I thought that her not having much of a reaction to loosing her baby was weird. It just didn't fit with her character. She had a miscarriage and just moved on. I also just didn't connect with the Rick and Liz storyline. Having a 15 year old girl pregnant is just ICK to me no matter how you write it. It isn't sweet or tender.

This book had a lot of emotional subjects in it: physical abuse, miscarriage, divorce, cheating, death but somehow I just wasn't that emotionally connected. It should have been a tear jerker but it just wasn't for me. Still I'll try book 3 before I decide about continuing this series or not. I thought the first book was better and hope the 3rd goes back to more of that.
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on August 9, 2015
"This was a woman in trouble."

THE STORY: Paige Lassiter has come to Virgin River via a wrong turn. She is desperate and running with her three year old son from her abusive husband. When she comes into the bar, she runs into John "Preacher" Middleton. Preacher knows that the sweet woman with bruises on her face needs some protection. He offers Paige sanctuary and the big, shy man soon wants to do everything he can to take care of the sweet woman and her child when the abusive husband comes calling.

OPINION: I love the community nature of the Virgin River books. This book is the first book where there are multiple storylines going on at the same time and I really liked how characters continue to evolve (Jack and Mel) and how some stories are slow in developing. As for the story of Preacher and Paige, Preacher is such an adorable man. Shy and loving and stable, he is perfect for Paige who has been seriously hurt by her relationship with her abusive husband. I like that the romance takes place over months and allows the characters to get to know and trust one another.

Carr has such a light, sweet way of writing. Although the stories have difficult moments, there is something always bright and sweet in the stories that acts as a counterbalance to the serious dark nature of the stories.

WORTH MENTIONING: Along with the main story about Preacher and Paige, this book also deals with the continuing romances of Jack and Mel, the teenage relationship of Rick and Liz and the blossoming romance between Mike and Brie.

FINAL DECISION: I loved the sweet romance between Preacher and Paige. I am also falling in love with the town and its people.

CONNECTED BOOKS: SHELTER MOUNTAIN is the second book in the Virgin River series. It can be read as a standalone although these books are ensemble books will multiple storylines that cross books and therefore readers will be better served by reading the books in order.

STAR RATING: I give this book 4.25 stars.
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on October 4, 2015
Shelter Mountain is everything and more that I've come to expect from this author: tears, laughter, and lots of love.

Strong and silent Preacher has found his match in abused wife and mother, Paige who finds her way into his bar with her young son after she makes a wrong turn one wet and stormy night. Terror follows Paige to Virgin River in the form of Wes, her abusive husband. But Wes didn't count on Preacher standing in as not only her protector....but a whole lot more!

This is my favorite book so far from an author I've come to love. 5 stars!
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on January 10, 2016
Preach in this book is swoon worthy. Just made me sigh and warms the heart. Whenever I read a Virgin River book- have to resist the urge to get a map out and look for this town, lol. Paige and her little boy come into town- they bring out the protective instincts of Preacher and swept their way into our hearts as well. It's a great story. Love this town and love reading about all these characters.
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on May 13, 2015
How do I review a book that has do many drawing points? Jack and Mel will provide worry, happiness and chuckles. Rick and Liz show great maturity for teenagers and will also cause you to shed some tears (tissue warning). Preacher and Paige will have true growth in their love. A "bad guy" will help to save the life if Paige and catch an even worse "bad guy" while he is doing so.

This book has so much going on that I had a hard time putting it down for any amount of time. This is a MOST DEFINITE MUST READ. Now I am heading on yo book 3.
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