Virgin River by Robyn Carr
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
Books like this are the reason that everyone thinks romance novels are sappy, mediocre, clichéd, annoying stories full of he-men, obnoxious heroines, magic penises, magical babies, pregnant ladies, magic pregnant ladies, cute little towns, the majesty of nature and any other trite turn of phrase you can think of.
I picked this up as it had many positive reviews here and in general seems to be considered a classic modern contemporary. But no. I'm actually amazed at all the good press this book has. It's slow, cumbersome, the story never goes anywhere, the writing is mediocre and I never once felt connected to either of the main characters.
Aside from all of the tropes and romance novel clichés in this, it was just generally not that good. But slightly over halfway through it I sat there wondering, when is something going to happen?!
Our heroine, Mel, is whiny, annoying and a generally exasperating character. I understand that she is a grieving widow, but really, I couldn't feel bad for her or mourn with her. The choices she makes and her actions are laughable, and her attitude was not "spunky" or "quirky," but rather tiresome and rude.
Our hero, whose name started with a J (whose name I have already forgotten (Jake?). There were an obscene number of J names in this book), is a proto-typical alpha-male ex-marine he-man character. He can build things, paint things, buys flowers, owns a bar, washes the linens, has heart-to-heart talks with teenage boys, invests his money and just generally can do absolutely anything. He was B-O-R-I-N-G.
In fact, they both were. This entire book was. The secondary characters all came from the classic book Stereotypical Secondary Characters R' Us (the Country Living Edition).
I'm only giving this 1.5 stars because the writing was somewhat passable. And I've certainly also read worse things.
Disappointing. And I was really looking forward to discovering a new contemporary author with a long backlist. No such luck here.
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