Synopsis from back cover:
Virgin River became a safe haven for Sacramento prosecutor Brie Sheridan after she nearly lost her life at the hands of a crazed criminal. Though she still has fears she can't escape, she also has someone who wants to show her just what it means to trust again.
A decorated marine reservist, LAPD officer Mike Valenzuela was badly wounded in the line of duty. Twice divorced, he secretly longs for the kind of commitment and happiness his marine buddies have found – a woman who can tie up his heart forever.
Mike will do anything to help Brie free herself from painful memories. Passionate, strong and gentle, he vows to give back to her what she's so selflessly given him – her heart, and with it, a new beginning.
Stats for my copy: Mass market paperback, Harlequin MIRA, 2007.
How acquired: Bought.
My thoughts: I loved the first two Virgin River books, and the first book is still my favorite so far. Some of the best scenes in this one were between Jack and Mel, the hero/heroine of the first book.
We met both Brie and Mike in the previous book. Brie is Jack's younger sister, a tenacious state prosecutor who has made a career out of sending rapists and other criminals up the river. But she lost her last case, and a serial rapist walked. And then he attacked Brie and raped her. And now her entire life has fallen apart.
Mike is part of Jack's band of brothers and one of his best friends. An LAPD cop working the gangs division, he was shot down in the previous book and badly wounded. He came to Virgin River to recuperate. He's known Jack's little sister for ages, but he never made a move on her – she was happily married back then, plus there's the whole best friend's sister thing.
While Mike and Brie didn't resonate with me quite the way Jack and Mel did, or Preacher and Paige from the second book, I was still quite mesmerized with the story. As with the other books, lots of other Virgin River residents are woven in and out of the story, including characters we've already met and new characters. I got very excited halfway through the book when one of my favorites, the illegal marijuana grower, made an appearance, but to my disappointment he was only observed for a few minutes at a distance by Mike, and did not turn up again.
There's a wonderful birthing scene where we see Mel, a midwife, in action. And when Mel realizes she is pregnant again, her reaction to that, and Jack's reaction to her reaction, were a lot of fun to read. And in the last quarter or so, I cried several times.
I think this may be my favorite series now, after Outlander of course.