Title: Shelter Mountain
Author: Robyn Carr
For the second time in a year a woman arrives in the small town of Virgin River trying to escape the past. John “Preacher” Middleton is about to close the bar when a young woman and her three-year-old son come in out of a wet October night. A marine who has seen his share of pain, Preacher knows a crisis when he sees one; the woman is covered in bruises. He wants to protect them, and he wants to punish whoever did this to her, but he knows immediately that this inclination to protect is something much more. Paige Lassiter has stirred up emotions in this gentle giant of a man, emotions that he has never allowed himself to feel. But when Paige’s ex-husband turns up in Virgin River, Preacher knows his own future hangs in the balance. And if there’s one thing in the marines’ motto of Semper Fideli ‘always faithful’ has taught him, it’s that some things are worth fighting for.
I love the Virgin River series and am dipping in and out of them, not necessarily reading them in order. SHELTER MOUNTAIN is the second in the series and shows how small communities pull together in times of crisis. But while this is a romance it cannot be dismissed with a sniff and mutterings of light and fluffy. As with the other books in the series SHELTER MOUNTAIN has depth and tackles some torrid issues such as battered women, drug abuse and teen pregnancy. There are some very uncomfortable scenes during the story including a public bashing of a pregnant woman, and a stillbirth scene and the immediate aftermath. BUT they are not gratuitous scenes put into shock the reader, they are very integral to the plot. The romance between the battered Paige and the rough gruff Preacher is very well handled, it is not rushed and time is taken to make Paige feel safe and his feelings for her are kept hidden from her until that point. This makes sense after what she has gone through. As for the rest of the community old friends are there – new ones have arrived and because I have read out of order I know how some of these new characters turn out later and it is a joy to see how they are when first meeting them.
Rating: B – Great. I really enjoyed reading it.
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