Good news for Virgin River fans!! You will be happy to know we have not been abandoned, Robyn Carr has simply moved us to the rugged Oregon coastline and given us a new cast of characters to fall in love with, (and, of course, a few to hate). Best yet, anyone who hasn't read Virgin River series will have no problem jumping into this series without feeling lost.
Thunder Point is the fictional town near the very real areas of Bandon, Coos Bay, Coquille and North Bend. I was lucky enough to spend two-weeks last summer traveling the Oregon coast, and I remember these great touristy towns fondly. What a great setting for a new series!! This book made me feel like I was back on that wonderful vacation.
The Wanderer was told primarily through the POV of Hank 'Coop' Cooper, a new arrival into to town after learning his buddy Ben died in an accident and left his beachfront bar and property to him. Virgin River fans might remember a tiny cameo appearance of Hank/Coop in the last book, Sunrise Point, where Luke Riordan had an old buddy (Coop) come to town to do some hunting. (Turned out Coop had an unfriendly past with Jack, but that storyline was dropped from The Wanderer.) Coop then learns of his friend Ben's death and leaves Virgin River.
Once Coop arrives in Thunder Point, he soon finds himself the owner of prime real estate (despite the dilapidated conditions of the bar/bait shop), and for the first time in a long time is not in a hurry to leave. The town fits him, the folks are friendly, and then there is the smoking hot lady who walks her dog on the beach. Sarah. So should he sell the bar, or stay around a while?
The town and the characters are the main focus of the first half of the book, but don't give up hope of a solid romance. Coop and Sarah's story dominates the last half of the book, as well as a budding secondary romance between the town sheriff, Mac, and his best pal Gina. (I can't wait for their book next!)
The Wanderer had a great mix of characters that weaved multiple story lines. There is the mystery of Ben's death, as well as a storyline of a high-school bully pushing around the new kid Landon. Landon is Sarah's 16 y/o brother, who she has helped raise since her parents were killed 10 years ago. Even he had a small budding romance, which was fun to watch.
The reason I loved the Virgin River series is because it made me laugh, smile and always care about the characters. I can see Thunder Point easily working that same magic for me. ARC copy provided by Harlequin through Netgalley.com