WITH HER BELOVED YOUNGER SIBLINGS SETTLED AND HAPPY, ERIN FOLEY HAS EMPTY NEST SYNDROME. AT AGE THIRTY-FIVE.
she's hitting the pause button on her life and holing up in a secluded
(but totally upgraded --- she's not into roughing it!) cabin near Virgin
River. Erin is planning on getting to know herself ... not the
shaggy-haired mountain man she meets.
In fact, beneath his faded
fatigues and bushy beard, Aiden Riordan is a doctor, recharging for a
summer after leaving the navy. He's intrigued by the pretty, slightly
snooty refugee from the rat race --- her meditating and journaling are
definitely keeping him at arm's length. He'd love to get closer ... if
his scruffy exterior and crazy ex-wife don't hold him back.
maybe it's something in the water --- unlikely romances seem to take
root in Virgin River ... helped along by some well-intentioned meddling,
Comment: This another installment of the Virgin River series I've started reading back in January. This month it was time for Aiden's story, he's a recurrent character and brother to two of the previous protagonists.
Aiden is out of the navy. After years dedicated to his career, he was asked to undergo another mission that would take years to complete and Aiden wants more of life than work. He feels it's time for a family ad he doesn't think he'll find the right woman in a ship. Plus he's had an awful experience with a navy woman, so he wants to be on land this time.
Erin has finally seen to her younger brother and sister's happiness and careers so she feels it' time for herself. She didn't count on feeling lonely but after loosing conscience because of the sudden appearance of a man in her newly re-made cabin in Virgin River, she thinks she might have been over her head in her attempt to have a vacation...
This story, like usually, it's a nice continuation of the series. The focus is mainly on Erin and Aiden but we still see many of the others, in particular Jack and Mel and many scenes with several of the others.
Aiden has had a good life, but a bad experience with marriage. Still, after seeing two of his brothers finding women perfect for them it kind of renewed in him the faith of having a family of his own. He feels he'll have better chance at that close to Virgin River, where his brother Luke lives. After a holiday he is ready to look for a job in the closest cities and who knows, finding someone as well. He meets Erin and she has a little accident and Aiden takes her to the hospital. There is some misunderstanding between them but it's clear there's attraction there.
I liked Aiden, he is a solid characters, many god characteristics about his personality but he isn't perfect and we see that when something happens and he is close to loose his temper. Life can be a challenge sometimes and everyone has their issues.
Erin has lived her life to help her family, mostly since her mother died. She took care of her younger siblings and now that they're finally living their own lives away from home, Erin takes a vacation and tries to have personal time. But she feels alone because everything she ever did was for some goal, for someone else and she fears she can't relax. Her relationship with Aiden is interesting to see develop and sometimes it's obvious she isn't as confident about it as she is about work, but it was fun to see her trying to be careless. She has a great personality - something we've saw in book #4 where she first showed up - but we got to understand her and her wishes, her hopes...she never thought she could have a family but Aiden comes along and they fall in love.
This wasn't my favorite book in the series simply because the romance, despite being cute and all, was a bit too easy and too perfectly done, almost like a bit artificial. I wanted some more spontaneity or freshness...it wasn't bad, just a bit predictable.
Many other things happen to balance the sweetness of the romance, specially the issue about Jack and Mel, but overall, this story felt a bit unbalanced towards the sweet side. At least it felt like it for me.
What gives strength to this series is how we see many characters playing a part in the lives of everyone how wonderful the sense of family and community is. This didn't stop in this book and I can assure it's one of the best points in the story as well. I hope it can keep up like this all the time even when the main story isn't as great as our favorite installments.