Monday, July 30, 2012

A Virgin River Christmas by Robyn Carr

Marcie Sullivan and Ian Buchanan's book

A Virgin River Christmas (Virgin River 4)

By Robyn Carr

Book Blurb:
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.

I LOVED A Virgin River Christmas. Hands down my favourite of the series so far. I thought it was crazy reading a Christmas book in July but it made no difference for the love I felt for this story. It had me on so many levels. I also loved how in the story the cabin is described almost as exactly as the front cover is shown. Isn't the cover awesome!

I was also wondering how I was going to feel about this story when the couple were two brand new characters that weren't introduced to Virgin River as of yet. I started reading and I was thinking to myself, 'who are these Marcie and Ian characters?' Never fear, they were amazing! Also, A Virgin River Christmas can totally be read as a stand alone so it will make my Christmas recommended reading list. 

I don't even know where to start here. Lets start off with Marcie. What a doll. A marine widow at just twenty three, she was on a soul searching mission looking for her deceased husband's best friend, Ian. Ian served with her husband, Bobby in Iraq and he had saved his life. However, saving his life only resulted with Bobby being paralyzed and severely brain injured living on for an extra three years. The guilt Ian suffered weighed heavily on his shoulders. Ian had so many buried emotions that he basically ended up living like a hermit in the mountains trying to hide away from the world. Even the other retired marines in Virgin River didn't know he was up there deep in the woods. 

Picture Grizzly Adams. Yeah that is pretty much the state of Ian's appearance when he first meets Marcie. He even growled at her like a big bear. What a transformation Ian experiences. Not just in appearance but in personality as well. Grumpy and uncommunicative he won't even talk to Marcie about Ian or Iraq. Unfortunately (or luckily) she gets sick with the flu and he ends up being stuck with her surrounded by snow in his bare bones cabin. He takes cares of her and clearly demonstrates his well hidden soft side. 

Marcie and Ian's banter was superb. She is such a talkative firecracker and that leaves Ian's head spinning. She can't be quiet and he is used to going days without talking to anyone. I was smirking so much. Marcie had an amazing personality. She is strong and genuine. She is just what Ian needs to bring him around. 

There are some tear jerkers scenes that just brought the book together excellently. Simply touching. I would say A Virgin River Christmas is an outstanding wintertime story full of forgiveness and learning to move forward. You don't need to wait for the cold season to enjoy. It warmed my heart and weather and season had nothing to do with it. 

The readers are still treated to a few of the regular characters. There are no real updates on their lives but they do play off as great secondary characters. They definitely enhanced the story. 

Teasers: stuck in outhouse, propane stove blast in face, bath time strip down, Christmas tree serenade

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