Not my favorite in this series, but I did enjoy it. In this book we meet two new characters in Virgin River. Katie Malone is sister to Conner, hero of Hidden Summit, and a mother of twin 5-year old boys. Dylan Childress is a struggling pilot/business man from Montana just driving through on his Harley Davidson with several buddies. We do see some of the regulars around town, but not so much beyond Jack and Paul.
After Dylan spots Katie on the side of the road and helps her with a flat tire, they meet up again later in town. It doesn’t take long for their physical attraction to heat up, and they start up a no-strings-attached relationship. Dylan makes arrangements to stay in town longer, thus allowing him more time with Katie. We soon learn that Dylan was once a child star from a semi-famous family, but who hasn’t acted in over twenty years. So as a means to fund his dying business, he agrees to film a movie for some big bucks.
While I loved seeing the regulars again in Virgin River, and enjoyed a side story about bears, I had some real issues with the storyline between the H/h in this book. Unfortunately, much of it didn’t come off as overly believable for me. Dylan being able to get back into Hollywood after such a long hiatus, and apparently zero acting practice for twenty years was a huge stretch. He made it sound as if he was doing Hollywood a favor too. When a top producer calls him a ‘natural’ I had to laugh, because how would he even know?? And then there was the issue with his business in Montana. Why would anyone want to infuse a business with more capital if the business model itself was failing? He came across as a person with little business sense, and the fact he was gone from his business for several months proved that too me. Yes, we are told that he has a trusted business partner back in Montana running the show, but I saw that as a cop out. If your business is truly dying, you don’t take extended vacations, hand the business over to number-2 in charge, and then hope for the best.
Katie was also an interesting character. She plans to rent Jack’s old cabin in the woods for a few months until she can figure out her life, but besides enrolling her kids in day care (even though she isn’t working) she spends her days either relaxing or hanging with Dylan. No job hunting, career training, volunteer work…etc. She doesn’t seem too worried about money or figuring out her life, but we know she’s not rich by any means. And for a person who claims to be so independent, she relies heavily on her brother to make decisions and help with her kids.
Then there were some issues with the story itself, which were more ‘nit picks’ then actual flaws. Still, they threw me out of the story all the same. For example, in the beginning of the book Katie arranged to have her SUV ‘sent’ to Sacramento California from Florida, where she planned to pick it up again in a few days after a short vacation at Disney World with the kids. Now unless she is super f’n rich and can hire massive air cargo shipment at the last minute, there is no way her SUV will travel the 3,000 miles from Florida to California in only a few days. A truck company will take weeks, if not a few months, and a hired driver would need at least a week as well.
Dylan was my least favorite hero in this entire series so far, and Katie is just average. I didn’t buy their romance, I felt too much of it was a stretch to believe, but I did like the decisions they made in the end. The story did wrap up nicely and believable given their circumstances. I think you will be able to guess the ending pretty easily, and if you’re like me you will agree it makes the most sense for their story.
So am I done with the Virgin River series? Not a chance! Despite not loving this one, I hope this series never ends.