Skeptic scale: ♥♥♥
Here's how it went down - H & h meet under less than auspicious circumstances, then for 20% of the book they don't appear on the same page together. Then they meet again and decide they like each other. Then they meet some more and REALLY like each other. Then there's this whole drama with his ex-wife that goes on until the last 10 pages and then H & h live happily ever after. The end.
He: Aiden is a retired ex-navy doctor who is hanging out in the small town of Virgin River while he tries to figure out what he wants to do next in his life. He's a nice guy who's just happy tooling around in the garden and hanging in the great outdoors.
She: Erin is a somewhat uptight lady who's come to "relax" in the isolated town - her first vacation in 25 years. She's an extremely hardworking lawyer who's been responsible for her younger siblings from a really young age. Now that her brother and sister are out of the house and don't really need her anymore, she's suffering a bit of empty nest syndrome.
Conflict: The romance between the Erin and Aiden is actually fairly uncomplicated but there is this whole other story of Aiden's ex-wife who creates a bunch of drama that interferes with the two of them and lends to some of the tension between Erin and Aiden.
What I liked:
1) Robyn Carr writes really NICE people. Her heroes are decent, upstanding, no-games-playing lads, and her ladies are mature and sensible so you never feel like hitting your head against the wall because of some totally stoopid thing either the H or h does.
What was only "meh":
1) SO slow. So so so slow. I just couldn't keep my mind on the story because it just moved along like molasses in January.
2) Just too much going on at once. This is a weird thing for me to say given my point above about the SLOWNESS with which the story moved.
Because the main romantic story of Aiden and Erin didn't really have any built-in conflict (except for the psycho stalker ex-wife) it seemed like the author sort of just piled in a bunch of side stories and entanglements that made the whole thing seem a bit too busy and scattered.
For example, one character was dealing with the inability to have more children and she and her husband were trying to work through her difficulty fully coping with that stress. Then there was the H's mother who was in a new relationship and was rediscovering herself and her interests. Then there was some story about a man with Down's syndrome and how he forms a special bond with a lady with some other disabilities.
Carr deals with each of these relationships really sympathetically and sweetly, but honestly, I didn't see how any of it contributed to the MAIN story, which is why I was reading the book in the first place. Personal preference, I guess, but it felt like a lot of sound and fury.
Skeptic's last word: It was a sweet story, I guess. Just way too slow and I think I prefer Robyn Carr's other stories.