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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Virgin River by Robyn Carr | Book Review

Okay, so this is the very first romance novel I have ever read. I guess I should take that back, because I have read some of the classics. I'm not sure if you can consider Wuthering Heights a romance, but I have read that one. I am almost done with Jane Eyre, and I've been working my way through Pride and Prejudice for the better part of a year. I have to say I'm actually enjoying it quite a bit, I just keep running into modern things I can't stop myself from turning to. If you look at the books I've read other than the classics you'll see that I'm mostly a fan of science fiction and fantasy. I'm way more into cool science-fiction technology, fights, and action, than romance.

There are three reasons I read this book. One, I am a writer myself and have a couple ideas for romantic stories, but other than a few classics I've never read a romance novel. I find myself never including romance as part of the stories I write. This should probably change, and why not learn from the best? I'm glad this one was my first, because it was good. As you can see I gave it four stars. My second reason for reading this book is that I have heard the advice from so many professional published author that a writer needs to read very broadly. I've read a lot of classics, some memoirs, some pop fiction, thrillers and quite a bit of science fiction and fantasy, but no romance. I mean come on, I am a dude. I have to say though that just about any movie, let alone commercial on TV, can make me cry. Yep I am a softy. But I don't like stuff that's all girly. I have to say that as I read this book most of it was pretty palatable to me. That's not to say that there were many times that I said "oh man," or "oh brother," but hey I was reading a romance novel. So the third reason that I read this book, is because I have been reading a lot of Stephen King lately. I have really been enjoying his work and he has become one of my favorite authors, but I just wanted something totally different. I'm not really a fan of horror, and I can only take the dark stuff for so long. Some of his works that have become my favorite are the ones that are not as dark. When he's on the dude can write, and I can see why he should be called the king. This book was totally different than any Stephen King story I have ever read, obviously.

I also thought that I knew the basic pattern of the romance story from watching many movies with my wife, but this one didn't go exactly as I thought it would. It was however a very predictable story, but somehow that never bothered me. It was refreshing to read a mostly happy story. Also, there was some good action. I know that I am about as far away as a "target audience" for this book can be, and maybe that helped me to put a positive spin on what I read, but I genuinely enjoyed the story and getting to know the characters, especially the little town of Virgin River. If you've never read a romance novel, but have your reasons to want to dabble into one, maybe even just to see what they're all about, give this one a shot. I think you too will be pleasantly surprised. As a small warning there were a few sex scenes in this book, I listened to it as an audiobook and simply turned the volume down hearing a couple words here and there until I could tell the scene was over. If you find that stuff offensive you might want to think twice about reading this book, or you could just skip past those scenes like I did. They were few and far between and from the little I got of them they seemed to be done tastefully. I also think that they added to the story, and the relationships between the characters. They did not seem to be put in there simply to titillate the reader. I don't think you'll find anything worse than daytime television or some of your favorite TV dramas.

Wow, it's pretty easy to write a lot when I'm simply talking into my new iPad! I love this thing. I think I'll start writing all my blog posts on here. It is so fast! Well, I think that about wraps it up for me. So I gave this novel 4/5 stars. It did not totally wow me, it is not one of my favorites, but I was very pleasantly surprised and I love the characters in the book. The secondary character was a man's man, and that probably helped me through it. If you check out this story I'm sure you'll fall in love with the characters and the town too. The chick has written like twenty in the series, so someone likes them right? This was a good book. It was refreshing to read a happy story with just enough darkness to make it interesting. The writing was not stunning, and all of the adverbs drove me nuts, but the story has heart and lovable characters.

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