Forbidden Falls

Forbidden Falls

4.3 200
by Robyn Carr
     
 

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Welcome back to Virgin River with the books that started it all… 

Reverend Noah Kincaid moved to Virgin River to reopen an abandoned church he bought on eBay. Like Noah, the place is a little empty inside, but all it may need is some loving care… 

The young widower arrives ready to roll up his sleeves and

Overview

Welcome back to Virgin River with the books that started it all… 

Reverend Noah Kincaid moved to Virgin River to reopen an abandoned church he bought on eBay. Like Noah, the place is a little empty inside, but all it may need is some loving care… 

The young widower arrives ready to roll up his sleeves and build a place of worship and welcome, but he needs some help. And the Lord works in mysterious ways. 

With her tight shirts and short skirts, pastor's assistant is not a phrase that springs to mind when Noah meets brassy, beautiful Alicia Baldwin. The former exotic dancer needs a respectable job so she can regain custody of her children. And Noah can't help but admire her spunk and motherly determination. 

Noah and Alicia are an unlikely team to revitalize a church, much less build a future. The couple has so many differences, but in Virgin River anything is possible, and happiness is never out of the question.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A pair of emotionally fragile protagonists make their relationship work in an engaging romance that is sexy, funny and intensely touching."

-Library Journal on The Chance

"As usual, Carr delves into the lives of others in town, laying the groundwork for future books. This cozy read satisfies." -Publisher's Weekly on The Chance

"Carr focuses her superior storytelling on one couple for a can't-put-down read."

-RT Book Reviews on The Chance

"A touch of danger and suspense make the latest in Carr's Thunder Point series a powerful read."

-RT Book Reviews on The Hero

"With her trademark mixture of humor, realistic conflict, and razor-sharp insights, Carr brings Thunder Point to vivid life."

-Library Journal on The Newcomer

"No one can do small-town life like Carr."

-RT Book Reviews on The Wanderer

"Carr has hit her stride with this captivating series."
-Library Journal on the Virgin River series

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781460340189
Publisher:
Harlequin
Publication date:
09/30/2014
Series:
Virgin River Series , #8
Sold by:
HARLEQUIN
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
6,853
File size:
587 KB

Read an Excerpt

Recently ordained minister Noah Kincaid was surfing the Internet, killing time, when quite by chance, he happened to find a church being auctioned on eBay—in some little place he'd never heard of—Virgin River. He laughed at the very idea, but was intrigued. He'd been waiting patiently for an assignment to a church of his own and thought it couldn't hurt to take a look at the place himself. If nothing else, it would be a good excuse to get out of town for a day and see something different. He'd heard Northern California was very beautiful.

The first thing that struck him was the overwhelming beauty of the mountains, redwoods and rivers. The town was a little washed out and the church was a wreck, but there was a peacefulness and simplicity there he couldn't dismiss. Or forget. It seemed uncomplicated, fresh.

No one really noticed him in the little town; the local men he'd seen either had hair shorn in military fashion or ponytails and beards, just like the fishermen Noah had worked with over the years. He fit right in—he wore scuffed boots, his jeans were almost white with wear, ripped here and there, his denim shirt was thin on the elbows and frayed around the collar and cuffs. His black hair was too long and curled over his collar; he planned to get it cut the second he was assigned a church of his own. But for now, he fit right in, looking like any other laborer after a hard day's work. He was fit and toned like the local Virgin River men; years of working on a fishing boat and dockside, dragging nets, hauling in tons of fresh catch will do that.

The church had been easy to locate and he hadn't needed a key to get inside—it was boarded up and appeared to have been abandoned for years, but the side door wasn't locked. The place had been stripped bare and filled with years of trash, probably litter from transients who'd taken shelter there at one time or another. Almost all the windows had been broken before being covered over with plywood. But when he got to the sanctuary, he discovered a stunning stained-glass window, boarded from the outside to keep it safe. It had been left untouched.

Afterward, he had driven the neighborhoods in town, which hadn't taken long, had a cup of coffee at the only eating establishment, snapped a few digital pictures and left. When he got back to Seattle he contacted the woman who was auctioning the church on eBay, Hope McCrea. "That church has been boarded up for years," she said in her gravelly voice. "This town has been without religion a long time."

"You sure the town is in need of religion?" Noah asked her.

"Not entirely sure," she answered. "But it could damn sure use some faith. That church needs to be opened up or razed to the ground. An empty church is bad mojo."

Noah couldn't agree more.

Despite being busy at the college where he taught, Noah couldn't get Virgin River, or that church, out of his mind.

He took the idea of buying the church to the presbytery and found they were already well aware of its existence. He showed them his digital pictures and they agreed, there was great potential. Placing a minister there appealed to them; the population was just the right size to build a congregation and it was the only church in town. But the renovation, not to mention the accoutrements, would put the costs too high. There was no way they had the budget. They thanked Noah sincerely and promised him he would get his own church real soon.

What the presbytery didn't know was that Noah had recently come into some money. To him, a small fortune. He was thirty-five and since the age of eighteen had been slaving and studying. While attending the university, he'd worked on boats, docks and in fish markets out of the Port of Seattle. A year ago his mother had passed and, to his surprise, had left him a hefty portion of her inheritance.

So, he offered to lighten the presbytery's financial burden by taking on the renovation costs of the church as a donation if they would see fit to assign him as the pastor. The proposal was an appealing one for the Presbyterian church.

Before closing the deal, Noah called his closest friend, and the man responsible for talking him into the seminary in the first place. George Davenport thought he'd lost his mind. George was a retired Presbyterian minister who had been teaching for the last fifteen years at Seattle Pacific University. "I can think of a thousand ways for you to throw away that money," George had said. "Go to Las Vegas, put it all on red. Or finance your own mission to Mexico. If those people needed a pastor, they'd go looking for one."

"Funny that church is still standing there, useless, like it's waiting for a rebirth. There must be a reason I happened to see it on eBay," Noah said. "I've never looked at eBay before in my life."

After much debate, George conceded, "If it's structurally sound and the price is right, it might work out. You'd get a big tax write-off with the donated renovation cost, and a chance to serve a small, poor congregation in a hick mountain town that doesn't get cell-phone reception. Sounds perfect for you."

"There is no congregation, George," Noah reminded him.

"Then you'll have to gather one, son. If anyone can do it, you can. You were born to do it, and before you get all insulted, I'm not talking about your DNA. I'm talking about pure talent. I've seen the way you sell fish, I always thought there was a message there. Go—it's what you want. Open your doors and your heart and give it all you've got. Besides, you're the only ordained minister I know who has two nickels to rub together."

So Noah inked the deal with the presbytery and hoped his mother wasn't spinning in her grave. Truth be told, she'd always quietly supported him when, years back, he had been determined as hell to run away from the ministry. She had good reason. Noah's father was a powerful, semi-famous televangelist—and a cold, controlling man. Noah had run away while his mother could not.

If someone had told Noah seventeen years ago, when he fled his father's house at the age of eighteen, that he would one day be a preacher himself, he'd have laughed in their face. Yet here he was. And he wanted that church. That wreck of a church in that peaceful, uncomplicated mountain town.

Several weeks later Noah was in his fifteen-year-old RV, which would be his home for a good long time, towing his twenty-year-old faded-blue Ford truck. En route to Northern California, he called George's office, placing the call from his cell phone before the signal was lost in the mountains and tall trees. "I'm on my way into Virgin River, George."

"Well, boy—how does it feel?" George asked with a deep chuckle in his voice. "Like you pulled off the sweetheart deal of the century, or like you'll be dead broke and out in the street before you know what hit you?"

Noah laughed. "Not sure. I'll be tapped out by the time the church is presentable. If I can't drum up a congregation, I could be back in Seattle throwing fish before you know it," he said, referring to an old job of his working the fish market on Seattle's downtown wharf. He'd literally thrown large fish across the market. It had been like theater and it was where George had discovered him. "I'll get started on the improvements right away and trust the presbytery won't leave me out in the cold if no one shows up to services. I mean, if you can't trust the church…"

That comment was answered with George's hearty laughter. "They're the last ones I'd trust. Those Presbyterians think too much! I know I wasn't keen on this idea at first, Noah, but I wish you well," George said. "I'm proud of you for taking a chance."

"Thanks, George. I'll keep in touch."

"Noah," George said soberly. "Good luck, son. I hope you find what you're looking for."

It was the first of July when Noah rattled into Virgin River and pulled right up to the church. Parked there was a big old Suburban with the wheels jacked up and covered with mud. Standing beside it was a tiny old woman with wiry white hair and big glasses, a cigarette hanging from her lips. She wore great big tennis shoes that didn't look as if they'd ever been white and, although it was summer, she had on a jacket with torn pockets. When he parked and got out of his RV, she tossed the cigarette to the ground and stomped it out. One of Virgin River's stunning beauties, he thought wryly.

"Reverend Kincaid, I presume?" she said.

From the look on her face, Noah assumed she was expecting someone a bit more refined. Maybe someone who dressed in khakis and a crisp white button-down? Shiny loafers? Neatly trimmed hair? Clean shaven at least? His hair was shaggy, his whiskers itchy, and he had a healthy bit of motor oil on his jeans, a result of a stop a hundred miles back when he'd had to work on the RV. "Mrs. McCrea," he answered, putting out his hand.

She shook it briefly, then put the keys in his palm. "Welcome. Would you like a tour?"

"Do I need keys?" he asked. "The building wasn't locked the last time I was here. I looked it over pretty thoroughly."

"You've seen it?" she asked, clearly startled.

"Sure did. I took a run down here before placing a bid on behalf of the Presbyterian church. The door wasn't locked so I helped myself. All the presbytery really needed from you was the engineer's report on the building's structural competence. I gave them lots of pictures."

She pushed her oversize glasses up on her nose. "What are you, a minister or some kind of secret agent?"

He grinned at her. "Did you think the presbytery bought it on faith?"

"I guess I didn't see any other possibility. Well, if you're all set, let's go in to Jack's—it's time for my drink. Doctor's orders. I'll front you one."

"Did the doctor order the smokes, too?" he asked with a smile.

"You're damn straight, sonny. Don't start on me."

"I gotta meet this doctor," Noah muttered, following her.

Hope stopped abruptly, looked at him over her shoulder as she adjusted her jacket and said, "He's dead." And with that she turned and stomped into Jack's bar.

Noah had only been in town a couple of days before the need for cleaning supplies sent him in the direction of Fortuna. The narrow, winding mountain roads led him toward the freeway, and he marveled that he had managed to get his RV to Virgin River at all, especially while towing his truck. He wasn't quite halfway to Fortuna before he had his first lesson in how dramatically different mountain life was from life in the city, the campus and the Seattle wharf.

He spied a motionless animal by the side of the road and by pure coincidence there was a wide space on the shoulder just ahead. He pulled over and got out of his truck. When he was within a few feet, he realized it was a dog; perhaps some family pet. He went closer. Flies were buzzing around the animal and some of its fur looked shiny with blood, but Noah detected a slight movement. He crouched near the dog, whose eyes were open and tongue hanging out of its parted mouth. The animal was breathing, but clearly near death. The condition of the poor beast tore at his heart.

Just then, an old truck pulled up and parked behind Noah's vehicle and a man got out. Noah took him for a farmer or rancher; he wore jeans, boots, a cowboy hat, and walked with a hitch that suggested a sore back. "Got a problem there, bud?" the man asked.

Noah looked at him over his shoulder. "Dog," he said. "Hit by a car, I guess. And a while ago. But it's alive."

The rancher crouched and took a closer look. "Hmmph," he grunted. He stood. "Okay then. I'll take care of it."

Noah waved away the flies and gave the dog's head and neck a stroke. "Easy now—help's on the way." He was still stroking the dog's neck when the man's boots came into view beside him, as well as the business end of a rifle, aimed at the dog's chest. "Might want to move back, son," the man said.

"Hey!" Noah shouted, pushing the rifle away. "What are you doing?"

"I'm going to put that poor creature out of its misery," the man said in a tone that indicated he found the question ludicrous. "What else you gonna do?"

"Take it to a vet," Noah said, standing. "Maybe it can be helped!"

"Buddy, look at that dog. It's emaciated, pretty much starved. That animal was half-dead before a car hit it. Wouldn't be right to leave it to lie here, dying." He aimed again.

Again Noah pushed the rifle away. "Where's the nearest vet?" he asked. "I'll take it. If the vet can't help it, he can euthanize the dog without blowing it apart."

The rancher scratched his chin and shook his head. "Nathaniel Jensen is off 36, just this side of Fortuna, but he's a large-animal vet. He's got dogs, though. If he can't help, he can give you the name of someone who can. Or put it down for you. But, buddy, that dog isn't going to make it to the vet."

"How do I get there?" Noah asked.

"Turn left off 36 on Waycliff Road. You'll see a sign for Jensen Stables and Vet Clinic, and Dr. Jensen. It's only a few minutes down the hill." He shook his head again. "This could all be over in thirty seconds."

Noah ignored him and went back to his truck, opening the passenger door. He returned to the animal and lifted it into his arms, which is when he discovered it was a female. The blood was dried and didn't soil him, but flies buzzed around the injury and he was pretty sure he'd end up with maggots on his clothes. He was about halfway to his truck when the rancher said, "Good luck there, buddy."

"Yeah," Noah grumbled. "Thanks."

Dr. Nathaniel Jensen proved to be a friendly guy just a little younger than Noah and he was far more helpful than the old rancher had been. He looked the dog over for about sixty seconds before he said, "This looks like it could be Lucy. Her owner was a local rancher, killed in an accident up north, near Redding, months ago now. He was hauling a gelding; killed him and the horse. They never found his dog, a border collie. She might've been thrown and injured. Or maybe she got scared and bolted. Oh, man, if this is Lucy, I bet she was trying to find her way home."

"Does she have family who will take care of her?"

Meet the Author

Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than forty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series. Robyn and her husband live in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit Robyn Carr’s website at www.RobynCarr.com.

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Forbidden Falls (Virgin River Series #8) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 203 reviews.
Katie321 More than 1 year ago
I waited very (im)patiently for this latest Virgin River book to come out. It is one of the best series I have ever read in this genre. I loved the character of Ellie, and Noah was just what she needed in her life. In these books I love catching up on all of the other characters from the series. Robyn Carr writes in a way that you feel like you know the characters and you become so drawn into their issues. I loved the sub-plot with Vanni and Paul and you can always identify with feelings and characters in these books. I read them so fast because I'm dying to know what is going to happen and that everything is going to turn out well. So now I will wait for the other two in the next two months. Some series books get less exciting as the series progresses but not Virgin River. Every book has grabbed my attention as much as the first. I love them.
AuthorKellyMoran More than 1 year ago
Author Robyn Carr is a NY Times and USA Today best-selling author, as well as a RITA winner. Other titles include: Never Too Late, Runaway Mistress, Blue Skies, and The Wedding Party. She resides in Las Vegas, Nevada with her husband. Listed as Book Eight in the Virgin River Series, Forbidden Falls follows Ellie Baldwin- a woman trying to regain custody of her two children wrongfully taken from her, and Noah Kincaid- a widow minister who just purchased a run-down church. Noah is in desperate need of an assistant to help with refurbishing the old church, so when Ellie walks in to apply for the job, he's a little taken aback. Ellie's more colorful than he's used to, but after hearing her story, he not only hires her, he's determined to help her. They may come from two different worlds, but they have more in common than either expect, and when romance looms in the air, eternal happiness can't be far behind. If only they'd give in. This was unusual, pairing an ex-stripper with a minister. The book was very laid back religiously, though had many quotes to draw it in. I suppose that was my biggest issue, was it seemed contradictory, though didn't deter me from reading. Robyn Carr writes with a narrative style, which usually makes it difficult to get into the story and relate to the characters, but she pulls it off very well. She's also heavy on the dialog, which is interesting because it propels the plot and garners great emotion. Right from page one you're drawn in and want to know more. The setting in this series is outstanding and the secondary characters make these books shine. Though part of a series, these books stand alone. A little sad, a little sweet, and a lot funny, Forbidden Falls is a keeper. Kelly Moran, Author and Reviewer
julz0170JH More than 1 year ago
I loved my return trip to Virgin River. This book brings two more wonderful characters to this town, and we also get to catch up with the characters from the other books. I feel like I have gone back home. This book also gives such a good message of hope. The heroine Ellie's character never gives up, she has faith that gets her through. No matter how life knocks her down she just keeps going on. If everyone had that attitude when things were not going their way the world would be a better place.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series is truely an amazing work of literature. The author portrays all types of personalities and situations in which connects the reader to the characters and their stories.
Dawn3 More than 1 year ago
Just started this one, but again Robyn Carr is excellent
Hope54 More than 1 year ago
After having read all of the books in series, this book is one of my favorites. The recurring characters and their support to the newcomers make this an enjoyable read. Robyn Carr strikes the right balance of keeping the series interesting, but at the same time, a relaxing read.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Hope McCrea put the abandoned church building for sale on E-Bay. Widower reverend Noah Kincaid buys the edifice after talking with Hope as he has decided to relocate to Virgin River in Northern California to bring faith to the flock. Noah arrives and immediately advertises for a Pastor's Assistant although he expects no applicants, but several do; none qualify. He hires former exotic dancer with no church experience Ellie Baldwin because he feels she has earned a second chance to prove herself as "respectable" so she can regain custody of her children. Starting with admiring her spirit and her somewhat wicked sense of humor, Noah falls in love as does Ellie. However, both understand the children and the flock come before their desires. This is an interesting addition to the Virgin River saga as two characters from different walks of life fall in love; an emotion neither wants, desires because neither has a good track record. Ellie is not afraid to open her mouth as she is brassy and amusing while the Reverend is wallowing in self pity so much so the empathetic audience as well as many locals wants to help him. Fans will appreciate the latest return to Virgin River as Robyn Carr provides a wonderful contemporary second chance at life and love. Harriet Klausner
MickiBrose More than 1 year ago
I loved this series. I read all 20 of them. After I read the last one, I felt let down because I knew I would never see these people I had come to love ever again. The continuity of the characters throughout was exceptional. I want to move to Virgin River. Thank you, Robyn Carr.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love all of Robyn Carr's books. You can relate to all of the characters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The unusual characters and the way that they interact with each other make this book a delight to read.
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arlenadean More than 1 year ago
Title: Forbidden Falls Author: Robyn Carr Publisher: Mira Books Series: Virgin River #9 Reviewed By: Arlena Dean Rating: 5 Review: "Forbidden Falls" by Robyn Carr was another good read of this author's 'Virgin River Series.' This series was of Noah and Ellie. This was a wonderful romantic story of a pastor from a new town who finds love on 'from the other side of the tracks.' There will also be a secondary story involving a past hero/heroine who will have a 'heart tugging change of events that will be brought into their lives.' Now, to truly understand this second story you may need to go back a series to see what is up with Paul and Vanessa. This author really knows her stuff in being able to put all of these series together that they seem to flow so smoothly off of the pages as you read them. The reader will also be able to find out about the secrets of the puppies and with that being said you must pick up "Forbidden Falls" to read it for yourself to see how this author will bring it all out to you. It is a good read. There will be so much going on in "Forbidden Fall" that once you start reading you will find it hard to put down and when you do you will be wanting the next series # 10 "Angel's Peak."
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KimmyzKM More than 1 year ago
Best series of books I have ever read!
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Read the series in order as written to keep the characters straight.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorites. Ellie just keeps you in stitches, and Noah just keeps loving her back.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
THE SERIES IS INCREDIBLE READ ALL 20