Saturday, April 12, 2014

Robyn Carr - Redwood Bend

Former actor Dylan Childress left the L.A. scene behind years ago for a quiet life running an aviation company in Montana. But with business slowing down, Dylan is starting to wonder whether he should take one of the offers Hollywood keeps sending his way. He figures a motorcycle trip to Virgin River with his buddies might help him decide what path to take. But his own troubles are left at the side of the road when he spots a woman stranded on the way into town.
Katie Malone and her twin boys' trip to Virgin River is stopped short by a tire as flat as her failed romance. To make matters worse, it's raining, the boys are hungry and Katie is having trouble putting on the spare. So when some bikers pull up beside them, offering to help, all Katie feels is relief. Then she sees sexy, leather-clad Dylan Childress, and in one brief moment the world turns on its axis.
Katie's a sensible single mother and Dylan's a die-hard commitment-phobe. Neither one is looking for long-term romance. But sometimes it takes only a moment to know you've found something that could change your life forever.

Comment: Another book in the long Virgin River series. This small town story features two new arrivals in Virgin River and how they deal with their feelings and the changes in their lives.

This is the story of Dylan Childress, he was a former actor who left the scene after one of his friends died. His grandmother "rescued" him from that life and he grew up in a farm being the person he wanted to be. Later on, he opened a flying business but now the economy is ruining his work and he is about to go back to the world of acting to help with the money to his company. It's in a motorcycle trip to Virgin River that he meets Katie and after helping her change a tire he stays around because she seems to be the one for him.
Katie comes to Virgin River to be with her brother, to keep her family united again. Dylan is a very attractive man and she is into him, but will he stay, will he bear the responsibility of being with her? 

Well, this is my 16th story about Virgin River (I haven't read the short stories) and I must say, after all these books, this is probably the one I liked the less.
Two things bothered me a bit in the story, one of the issues more than the other, but overall, I wasn't impressed with this one. It was still a sweet story, with the usual strength of the small town's characters and personalities, the same writing style and expectations, but I still struggled to enjoy this completely.
Usually, I start a book in this series with high hopes not only for entertainment, but also for enjoyment, something captivating to grab me from beginning to end. Unfortunately, I was so focused on what I wanted to put aside, that what was left wasn't enough to save it. I mean, this isn't a bad book, only a worse one compared to the others.

The plot was interesting enough. It focuses on Katie Malone and her two sons coming to be with her brother Conner - from the previous book - until she finds some work. It was cute to see her deal with the boys and how she entered the community by Jack's bar, by being sister to Connor, by befriending some of th women, namely Leslie.

However, I can't say I was very fond of Katie herself. She just didn't win me over as the heroine. I couldn't really put aside the fact she wanted a man, I mean, she wasn't a slut of desperate, but she mentioned she missed a man in this novel, in the previous one and it got on my nerves. Then she entered a relationship with Dylan, she knew and accepted when he said he wouldn't be serious or in it long term and then she got all angry about it because it happened! I mean, of course she would feel hurt, who wouldn't, but her behavior bordered on more than annoying, it was "bitchful" I'd say. Please! The guy didn't do promises, showed regret and she still blamed him for his honesty! I was losing my patience with her at this point and despite some mitigating circumstances, she never regained any love for me. and I ended up not liking her that much.

Another issue for me was the talk about the economy, the struggle for a job and balance, in Dylan's case. It's the reality, I know and I thin ms Carr did right by not running from the subject, but it's still a depressing subject and in my escape romancelandia I don't want to see it all the time, at least when it's not an obvious fiction novel about it. This wasn't as annoying as Katie's character, but it was still big enough to be memorable in the bad column.

The romance between Dylan and Katie felt unbalanced because it never looked like they were at the same page in terms of feelings and personalities. I didn't dislike Dylan because of his past and how he changed to become better but despite Katie's courage and bravery I still can't stand her very much.

All in all, the bad things keep flashing when I thin about the book, so this had to get a worse grade than the others.
I have hopes, high expectations for the next one. I pray it won't disappoint!
Grade: 6/10

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