Former Marine Tom Cavanaugh’s come home to Virgin River, ready to take over his family’s apple orchard and settle down. He knows just what the perfect woman will be like: sweet, decent, maybe a little naive. The marrying kind.
Nothing like Nora Crane. So why can’t he keep his eyes off the striking single mother?
may not have a formal education, but she graduated with honors from the
school of hard knocks. She’s been through tough times and she’ll do
whatever it takes to support her family, including helping with harvest
time at the Cavanaugh’s orchard. She’s always kept a single-minded focus
on staying afloat...but suddenly her thoughts keep drifting back to
rugged, opinionated Tom Cavanaugh.
Both Nora and Tom have their own ideas of what family means. But they’re about to prove each other completely wrong...
Comment: This is one of the last installments of the Virgin River series. There's only one left after this one. This series has been with me since January of last year, when I decided to embark in the journey to this small town. As it happens with most series, I have my favorites and my least enjoyable installments. I'm glad this one belongs to the first category.
This is the story of Nora Crane, we've met her in previous books and she's a struggling young single mother of two, she's had disappointments in her life but now she's trying to build a new life and be respected by her actions and protection of her children. She wants to work by picking apples in the Cavanaugh orchards but Tom Cavanaugh doesn't seem to think she would be up to the task, because it is a hard job. The two seem to clash at first but with time comes understanding, respect and something more...but will they listen to what they're both thinking?
I had high expectations for this one. I can't say it's the most wonderful book in the series but it wasn't bad either. Still, I hoped for a more passionate story, not as politically correct, I wanted the protagonists to be overwhelmed by their feelings but everything was dealt with time and polite comebacks. I had the feeling, when the book was finished, that they didn't show passion in that entrancing way I wanted. It was more polite than super amazing, as I wanted. So, it wasn't bad, but not amazing either.
The story focuses on the protagonists quite a lot. We learn how Nora's life was, her relationship with her mother and how she thought her father left..it's good to see Nora crossing the bridge when she finds out her father looked for her. Of course, much of Nora's scenes are about her dedication to the work, to her children, to her developing friendships, Tom's among that, and she is a good young woman. I think that despite her past experiences, she was too polished in the story, I wanted some hard edges to balance her more friendly manner. She had reasons to be unhappy with some aspects of her life and it would have been more believable if she were to talk or act more angry, at least in the beginning or something. She was too polished, again, the word in my head about her.
As for Tom, his scenes are very much around his grandmother, who is a lovely character, and Darla, a widow of one of his buddies from the war. When he returned from the war, he dedicated himself to the orchard but he kept contact with Darla because her husband talked about her and Tom wanted to check if she was alright. They start to date, sort of..but while Tom wants to deepen his feelings for her Nora is always in the back of his mind. Throughout the book we learn how Darla really is and why they don't match. Ok, I didn't have much empathy towards Darla but she was more like a tool to compare to Nora and turn obvious Tom's choice in the end.
In the end, the story was fulfilling but I think it lacked those special things to make it memorable. Still, it was much better than some of the other installments.