Series: Virgin River #8 & #12
Format Read: eGalley
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | ARe* | Barnes & Noble |
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Blurb from goodreads:
Together for the first time in one volume, two classic holiday stories—plus a bonus novella!—from #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr
'Tis the season for family, friendship and the thrill of a holiday romance…
Under the Christmas Tree
With snow falling over the redwood forests, secluded Virgin River is the ideal place to spend the holidays. Each year, the close-knit community gathers in the town square to decorate and light a massive tree. Carols are sung, hot chocolate is shared—and a surprise left under the Christmas tree is about to bring two special people together!
Holiday kisses don't end with Christmas—there's still the New Year's Eve party at Jack's Bar to attend. Locals and newcomers alike find themselves eager for that special countdown…and that midnight kiss.
So join us in Virgin River this year, where Robyn Carr's trademark humor, warmth and sincerity will have you celebrating the festive season in your favorite mountain town.the festive season in your favorite mountain town.blah
This was my first Robyn Carr read. Some people love her and others find her too sweet and sugary; I wanted to see for myself. She writes small town romances, which I enjoy. I thought an anthology might be a good way to jump into this series. I enjoyed the stories, though none were spectacular. I am interested enough to read more in the series and maybe I'll even start with book one. :D
Under the Christmas Tree - This was cute and sweet and grabbed right away with its hook of abandoned puppies, or boppies as one child calls them. There are adorable boppies! :D Nate and Annie were wonderful together and despite the Norman Rockwell feel to their families, felt real, like the next door neighbors. Annie was a little too perfect at times and the development of their relationship was too fast. Maybe a longer story would have helped with that. Their relationship felt rushed and the timing is a little implausible. But I enjoyed the story. 3 stars
Midnight Confessions - This was a sequel of sorts to "Under the Christmas Tree" though the leads aren't Nate and Annie but Nate's niece Sunny and Drew, an out-of-towner with local ties. The story occurs just on New Year's Eve, a week after Nate and Annie's story ends. Both Sunny and Drew are recovering from broken engagements. It's an emotional story with lots of nuance. There's a lot packed into this novella despite the short time frame. It's sweet and hopeful with a HFN ending. 3.5 stars
Backward Glance - This one was not a Virgin River story nor was it a holiday story. I'm not sure why it was included. If you like second chance romances or opposites attract, you might like this one. It didn't work for me but that had more to do with the characters themselves. HEA. My main problem was that I didn't feel the heat between the leads, John and Leigh. They had a summer romance five years when she was separated from her husband. Leigh was a genius and a scientific prodigy while John never even went to college and is a manual laborer. He was somewhat insecure at the time and she was socially awkward and insecure. They had a series of misunderstandings and split up. She went back to her husband and got a divorce while John married and divorced in a matter of months. Back together after five years, they have still more misunderstandings plus Leigh's meddling mother and her cronies. The meddling was extreme at times and personally I found it annoying. I never warmed up to Leigh, I just couldn't relate to her or understand her. John was easier to warm up to. Both of them could be annoying with their insecurities and just as important, I never felt the heat or passion or love between them. I couldn't buy into their romance. 2 stars