4+ stars. I love the Virgin River series, the stories work for me on so many levels. While each book has a unique hero and heroine, and some are more entertaining than others, we can always count on visiting with many of the town folks from previous books, hanging out at Jack’s bar, and seeing what Preacher is cooking for dinner. I honestly feel like the main characters are real, three-dimensional people that I consider friends. Crazy, I know, but I think that is what appeals so many readers to this series.
In Hidden Summit we meet several new characters, including Connor and Leslie, the H/h of Hidden Summit, Katie (Connor’s sister, and heroine of the next book) and her young kids. There is a new guy name Walt who rides a Harley, and I think we’ll see more of him too. We also meet up again with Nora Crane, the heroine of the upcoming Sunrise Point. You will remember her from ‘Bring Me Home for Christmas’ as the young mother abandoned and alone in a broken down home with no heat, refrigeration or food.
Connor, aka Danny, is hiding in Virgin River in the Witness Protection Program. He witnessed a brutal murder by a powerful businessman in Sacramento, and soon became the target of death threats. When his family’s Hardware store burned to the ground, Connor and his sister separated and both went into hiding with new identities. Connor takes a job with Paul Haggerty working construction, and soon finds himself undeniably attracted to the new office manager. To his own surprise, he finds himself going out of his way just to see her.
Leslie desperately needed a new start away from her cheating ex-husband and all his drama, so she leaves Grants Pass, Oregon to take a job in Virgin River with her old friend and co-worker Paul Haggerty. Emotionally beaten from years of trying to please a husband who only focused on himself, she finds life in Virgin River to be the best decision she ever made. While not ready to start a new relationship, she can’t help but find Connor’s charming antics at wooing her utterly irresistible.
The romance between Connor and Leslie was so utterly charming, I just loved them. These two sold me 100% that they belong together. They had me laughing and smiling quite a bit, and when things got steamy – well, they got steamy! Robyn Carr’s books are not centered around sex, but when it’s appropriate she doesn’t close the door either.
The story unfolds with Connor getting ready to testify, and his struggle with not being able to tell Leslie his true identity. As his feelings grow and he realizes he wants Leslie in his life forever, the struggle gets deeper. I won’t tell you how it was resolved, but I will say I thought it was done perfectly. This is how a great couple works out issues.
Leslie’s ex-husband is quite a clueless character, and makes several unannounced (and unwelcomed!) visits to VR in hopes of keeping a friendship with his ex. Through this we learn why Leslie needed to escape Grants Pass, and why her self-esteem was so low. To see her give her ex just what he deserves was great to watch! I loved how she got her backbone and wouldn’t cave under the pressure.
While we see many of the VR regulars, this story was nearly all focused on Connor and Leslie. There wasn’t much of a story arch for other characters, just a few introductions. I can’t wait to read more about Connor and Leslie to see how they are doing. The ending did leave me wanting more. Overall, another great read for Virgin River fans.