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Promise Canyon (Virgin River Series #13)
     

Promise Canyon (Virgin River Series #13)

4.0 256
by Robyn Carr
 

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After years spent on ranches around Los Angeles, Clay Tahoma is delighted to be Virgin River's new veterinary assistant. The secluded community's wild beauty tugs at his Navajo roots, and he's been welcomed with open arms by everyone in town—everyone except Lilly Yazhi.

Lilly has encountered her share of strong, silent, traditional men within

Overview

After years spent on ranches around Los Angeles, Clay Tahoma is delighted to be Virgin River's new veterinary assistant. The secluded community's wild beauty tugs at his Navajo roots, and he's been welcomed with open arms by everyone in town—everyone except Lilly Yazhi.

Lilly has encountered her share of strong, silent, traditional men within her own aboriginal community, and she's not interested in coming back for more. In her eyes, Clay's earthy, sexy appeal is just an act used to charm wealthy women like his ex-wife. She can't deny his gift for gentling horses, but she's not about to let him control her. There's just one small problem—she can't control her attraction to Clay.

But in Virgin River, faith in new beginnings and the power of love has doors opening everywhere.…

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Carr's 11th Virgin River novel (after 2010's Moonlight Road) reads less like a story and more like a history book. Chapters of background lead to more chapters about horse colic, the characteristics of hoarders, and posttraumatic stress. Interesting characters pop up, but aren't really part of the story. And somewhere in there is the rather sweet tale of Clay Tahoma and Lilly Yazhi. Clay, a 34-year-old Navajo veterinarian, moves to Virgin River from Los Angeles after a failed marriage; Lilly, 27 and Hopi, has lived in the tiny Northern California town most of her life. The two bond over the rehabilitation of two troubled horses. There's a misunderstanding or two, and old hurts are aired at length, but this is more of a look through a window or a long gossip over coffee than a tightly plotted narrative. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
"Carr's new novel demonstrates that classic women's fiction, illuminating the power of women's friendships, is still alive and well." -Booklist on Four Friends

"A thought-provoking look at women...and the choices they make when they realize their lives aren't exactly what they expected-or thought they were." -Kirkus Reviews on Four Friends

"Carr's gift for writing lovably flawed heroes and heroines is evident on every page."

-Publishers Weekly on The Homecoming

"An engaging romance that is sexy, funny and intensely touching."

-Library Journal on The Chance

"The captivating sixth installment of Carr's Thunder Point series (after The Promise) brings up big emotions."

-Publishers Weekly on The Homecoming

"In Carr's very capable hands, the Thunder Point saga continues to delight."

-RT Book Reviews on The Promise

"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:
9780778329213
Publisher:
Mira
Publication date:
12/28/2010
Series:
Virgin River Series , #13
Pages:
342
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.50(h) x 0.90(d)

Read an Excerpt

Clay Tahoma headed into the mountains of Humboldt County, Northern California, along Highway 36, a narrow road that had lots of sharp turns along the way. According to his GPS the next left would lead him to a town called Virgin River. It appeared to be the nearest town to his destination, the Jensen Veterinary Clinic and Stables, and he wanted to check it out. He was nearing the turnoff when he noticed something up ahead—some pickups parked at the side of the road.

He slowed down and pulled over, curious to see what was going on. He got out of his truck and walked past a number of vehicles toward a large flatbed truck. There were men standing around watching as a forklift with a large cable attached pulled away from the edge of the road. Clay approached one of the men. He was as tall as Clay and wore a plaid shirt, jeans, boots and ball cap. "Whatcha got, friend?" Clay asked.

"One of our town slipped off the road and got stuck—luckily came up against a big tree not too far down the hill. That's how he managed to get out and climb back up."

"Who's pulling him out?" Clay asked.

"Aw, one of our boys has a lot of construction equipment. He's a contractor up this way." The man put out his big hand. "Jack Sheridan. You from around here?"

"Name's Clay Tahoma, originally from Flagstaff and the Navajo Nation. Lately from L.A. I'm up here to work with an old friend, Nathaniel Jensen."

Jack's face took light at that. "Nate's a friend of mine, too! Pleasure to meet you."

Jack introduced Clay to some other men who were standing around—a guy named John, who they called Preacher; Paul, who owned the flatbed and forklift; Dan Brady, who was Paul's foreman; and Noah, the minister whose truck slipped off the road. Noah smiled sheepishly as he shook Clay's hand. No one seemed to react to the sight of a Native American with a ponytail that reached past his waist and an eagle feather in his hat. And right at that moment Noah's old blue Ford truck began to clear the edge of the road.

"Don't you guys have a Highway Department or Fire Department you could call to do this?" Clay asked.

"If we had all day," Jack said. "We tend to take care of ourselves out here. But the big problem is that weak shoulder. Highway Department reinforces it every time we have a slide, but what we really need is something more permanent. A wider road and a guardrail. A long and strong guardrail. We've requested it, but this road doesn't see a lot of travel so our request just gets ignored or denied." He nodded toward the stretch of road he was talking about. "We had a school bus slide down that hill a couple of years ago. Minor injuries, but it could'a been horrible. Now I hold my breath every time there's ice on the road."

"What's the holdup on the guardrail?"

He shrugged. "Real small population in an unincorporated town in a county in recession that has bigger challenges. Like I said, we get used to taking care of things the best we can."

"There's no ice in August," Clay said. "What happened to the pastor?"

"Deer," Noah said. "I came around the curve and there she was. I hardly swerved, but all you have to do is get a little too close to the edge and you're toast. Ohhhh, my poor truck," he said as the vehicle made it to the road.

"Doesn't look any worse than it did, Noah," Jack said.

"Seriously," Preacher said, hands on his hips.

"What are you talking about?" Noah returned indignantly. "It's got several new dents!"

"How can you tell?" Jack asked. "That old truck is one big dent!" Then he turned to Clay and said, "Go easy around these curves and tell Doc Jensen I said hello."

Clay Tahoma drove his diesel truck up to the Jensen Veterinary Clinic and Stables. His truck pulled a large horse trailer that he'd filled with his personal belongings. Shutting off the engine, Clay jumped out of the truck and looked around. The clinic consisted of the veterinary office attached to a big barn, a nice-sized covered round pen for exams, several large pastures for the horses to exercise, the horses' turnout and a couple of small paddocks for controlled, individual turnout. Horses can't be turned out together unless they're acquainted; they can get aggressive with each other.

Opposite the clinic, across what functioned as a parking area large enough for trucks and trailers, was a house built for a big family. The whole lot was surrounded by trees, full with their summer green, barely swaying in the early-August breeze.

He sniffed the air; he smelled hay, horses, dirt, flowers, contentment. There was honeysuckle nearby; his nose caught it. He got close to the ground, sitting on one boot heel, touching the dirt with his long, tan fingers. He was filled with a feeling of inner peace. This was a good place. A place with promise.

"Is that some old Navajo thing you're doing there?"

Before he could rise Dr. Nathaniel Jensen was walking out of his veterinary office door, wiping his hands on a small blue towel.

Clay laughed and stood up. "Listening for cavalry," he said.

"How was the drive?" Nate asked Clay, stuffing the towel in his pocket and stretching out a hand.

Clay took Nate's hand in a hearty shake. "Long. Boring until I got closer—some guys from Virgin River were hauling a truck up a hill. The town minister slid off the road avoiding a deer. No injuries, just a lot of grumbling. How's the building coming?"

"Excellent. I'll get you something to drink, then take you on a tour." Still shaking Clay's hand, Nate clapped his other hand on his friend's shoulder and said, "I'm really sorry about Isabel, Clay."

Clay smiled with melancholy. "If we hadn't divorced, I wouldn't be here. Besides, not much has really changed between us, except that I moved out of L.A."

"A divorce that hasn't changed much?" Nate asked, tilting his head in question. "Never mind," he said, shaking his head. "Don't tell me. It might be more than I want to know."

Clay laughed in good humor, though he wasn't sure it was funny. He and Isabel weren't right for each other, but that hadn't stopped them from falling in love. They were nothing alike and had little in common beyond the equine industry—and even then they were on completely opposite ends of it. She was a rich horsewoman, a breeder and equestrienne of Swedish descent—a ravishing, delicious blonde who had grown up privileged—while he was a Navajo farrier and veterinary technician who had been raised on a reservation. They had been impossibly attracted to each other, had gotten married, and then encountered predictable problems with communication and lifestyle choices. There was also the resistance from her family, who probably thought he was marrying her money. When Isabel had suggested they divorce, Clay had known it was coming and didn't argue. Divorce was for the best and he'd agreed to her terms, but they hadn't stopped caring about each other. They hadn't stopped sleeping together, either. But Isabel's father probably slept better at night knowing his beautiful, wealthy daughter was no longer legally attached to a Navajo of simple means and some old tribal notions. And he hadn't exactly been thrilled that Clay had a son prior to marrying Isabel. Gabe lived back on Navajo Nation with Clay's parents and extended family, but he was still very much a part of Clay's life and he knew Isabel's family wasn't too happy about that history.

Nate Jensen worked with Clay years ago in Los Angeles, long before Nate took over his father's veterinary practice near Virgin River. It made sense that Nate would have called Clay to ask if he could recommend a good vet tech; Nate's tech had retired after working first for Nate's father and then himself.

"I can think of a number of excellent people," Clay had replied. "But I'm looking for a change and I have family up that way. Any chance you'd consider me?"

Nate jumped on that; Clay was a much-sought-after tech and could function as a farrier, as well. And so here they were.

"I have tea and lemonade in the house," Nate said. "Can I help you unload anything?"

"I think I'll leave everything in the trailer for now," Clay said. "You're sure you don't mind if I just use the tech's overnight quarters?"

"It's yours for as long as you want it. There are other options, of course. You're welcome to share the house with me and Annie—it's just the two of us and there's lots of room. If you want something larger for yourself, we can help you find a house. It's all up to you, my friend. I'm just so damn glad you're here."

Clay smiled warmly. "Thank you, Nathaniel. The tech's quarters will be fine. Let's test that lemonade and look around."

"Dinner with us tonight, Clay?" he asked.

"It would be a privilege. I can't imagine a woman who would be willing to marry you—I look forward to meeting her."

"Annie will blow you away. She's amazing."

Clay was thirty-four and had been reared by Navajo men of legend; there was a long history of chiefs, elders, World War II Code Talkers, mystics and warriors. They were naturalists and spiritualists. His father and uncles had been a lot to take with all their tales and teachings while he was growing up, but eventually he came to appreciate the value of some of their lessons. More than once they'd come to his rescue, banding together to help him turn his life around, and for that alone Clay owed them his respect and gratitude.

He grew up in the mountains and canyons around Flagstaff, on a large family ranch on the Navajo Nation. There was plenty of poverty around the reservation, but some families did well. The Navajos didn't erect casinos but they were rich in magnificent land. The Tahoma family was well-off by comparison to most. They lived simply, then saved, invested, expanded, built and increased the value of what they had. They were not considered wealthy but Clay and his sister grew up in a fine, comfortable home in a family compound that included aunts, uncles and cousins.

When Clay was sixteen, he had a girlfriend. She was a young girl he met at a football game and they fell in love, but under pressure from her parents, she broke up with him. He made a desperate attempt to get her back some months later and found her pregnant. Though she denied it, he knew he was the father, and he was nothing but a boy.

He had no choice but to go to his parents and uncles with the embarrassing news. They, of course, went to the girl's family. The family claimed Clay had nothing to do with their daughter's situation; they had arranged an adoption to a very comfortable Arizona family who had no ties to the Native community.

Legal help was readily available to the Tahoma family through the tribe, and there was no tribe on earth that easily lets go of one of their own. When it became clear how far the Tahomas would go to keep this baby if it proved to be Clay's, the girl's family simply gave up. There were laws protecting Native Americans from being adopted away from their families against the family's will. Clay's son, Gabe, who looked too much like him for anyone to deny their relationship, was brought home to the family.

Clay had raised Gabe while living on the Navajo Nation, and even when he moved to L.A. to try and build his career, he visited his son as often as possible and still talked to him almost every day. But what he really wanted was to have his son with him, close by. Now that he was divorced from Isabel and her intolerant family no longer played a role in his life, maybe he could think about moving Gabe out here with him. Clay's sister, Ursula, had long ago offered to take Gabe in, but Clay's dad insisted she focus on her own children, saying Gabe was fine out in Flagstaff with the Tahoma family. But perhaps Clay could bring him out here now…maybe they could finally be a real father and son. Gabe could benefit from being around horses here at the stables, just as Clay had been around horses when he was growing up.

Clay had bonded with horses at an early age—he seemed to understand them and they understood him. It made sense that he would end up in the horse industry, but he didn't start there. Clay began his education at Northern Arizona University studying business. Classmates who weren't Navajo asked him why he wasn't enrolled in Native American Studies. He said, "You're kidding me, right? I'm a Tahoma—I grew up in Native American Studies." After a couple of years of college, he started working as a farrier, with the skills he'd learned from his father and uncles. He worked rodeos, stables, farms, eventually being formally trained as a farrier and vet tech and doing out-of-town jobs here and there. There were some real rough patches along the way, but by the time he was twenty-eight he was offered a good position with a Southern California breeder of racehorses. He would manage the stable and several hands would work under his supervision. It was hard to leave Gabe and his family behind, but the opportunity was such a good one, and he thought he'd be there for a long time and could eventually move his son out there with him.

But then he fell in love with the breeder's daughter, Isabel. And the rest was history.

The call from Nathaniel, looking for a vet tech and assistant for his relatively small operation, came as a surprise, but it shouldn't have. Nathaniel Jensen had always aspired to own and operate a large equine clinic, breeding horses for competition and racing. His father's large animal practice had been built to provide care for the local livestock, including horses, and the practice became Nathaniel's when his father retired. With the right help, he could do both—breeding and veterinary services. He was expanding, building a second barn that would be complete within weeks. Nate's fiancée, Annie, was an accomplished equestrienne who could teach riding, and Nate was a talented vet. The location might be a bit off the beaten track and served mainly farmers and ranchers who made their living off the land, but there was no reason Nathaniel couldn't make a significant impact on the racing and show industries.

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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Promise Canyon (Virgin River Series #11) 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 256 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Clay Tahoma comes to Virgin City, California as the veterinary assistant and "horse whisperer" at the Jensen Veterinary Clinic. His friend veterinarian Nate Jensen offered him the job so the former Navaho Nation resident left Los Angeles for Humboldt County. When Clay and Hopi Lilly Yazhi meet, they are attracted to one another. However, when she was a teen, Lilly liked a boy from her tribe, but he broke her heart. She vowed then never again and has adhered to her pledge, but now has doubts thanks to Clay. He has issues too having been divorced from Isabel just prior to asking for this job. Because they work closely together on helping a horse she rescued, she cannot avoid him. As they begin to fall in love, Clay's former wife arrives in town. Will Lilly move passed her teen hurt or will she use the ex spouse as an excuse to avoid risking hurting her heart again. The latest Virgin River rural romance is a wonderful tale whose prime plot focuses on second chances starring two fascinating lead protagonists whose matchmaker is a horse. As always a myriad of supporting segues on other town characters enhance the feeling that a reader is in Virgin River; however that experience also will bewilder newcomers who will feel somewhat disconnected unless they read some of the previous warm tales of love (see Moonlight Road and Angel's Peak). Harriet Klausner
sebe More than 1 year ago
Going back to Virgin River is always fun, interesting and insightful. Promise Canyon is about the love story between Lilly and Clay. She is Hopi and he is Navajo Indian. Reading about their traditions is very interesting. They also have a love of horses that they share. He is the new vet tech for Nate Jensen. Jack Sheriden is put in charge of the Virgin River Trust after the death of Hope McCreau. He fines it is not easy to be in charge of the money and what best to do with it to benefit the Virgin River community . In the book you also find the Riordan family facing a situation when Aiden has an accident. They always are their for each other and show a strong family bond. Promise Canyon is a book that once you start reading it you will not be able to put it down.
dhaupt More than 1 year ago
Clay Tahoma is looking for a new beginning and he thinks he's found it as a veterinary assistant to his old friend Nate Jensen in Virgin River. What he doesn't expect is to find love. Lilly Yazhi thinks she's satisfied with her life working in her grandfather's feed store in Virgin River, little does she know that just around the corner waits a larger than life Navajo who's got her in his sights. Little does he know that she's sworn off men especially men of the Navajo persuasion. Is Clay ready for another relationship and can he overcome the stigma that Lilly's attached to him. Is Lilly ready to rethink her feelings on being with someone like Clay. They have a lot to overcome and they both know that sometimes love is not enough. This is my first trip to Virgin River and my first read by Robin Carr and yet I feel as if I know all the characters intimately. Ms. Carr does a great job of setting the stage for this novel and introducing all of her inhabitants of Virgin River enough that it makes the reader feel comfortable with the information and yet makes us eager to want to read the series in it's entirety. Her storyline is ageless in its simplicity and yet she draws her audience into the plot with her vivid descriptions and dialogue. Her characters are all over the map, some being quirky and some being staid but all fit very well and play their parts excellently. Her hero and heroine are both deliciously attractive in each of their Native American roles and makes a WASP like me envy their heritages. The romance is filled with emotional pitfalls but they are also very deserving of their happiness and we readers will enjoy their ride into the sunset. The love scenes are steamy and sensual and will warm any cold weathered reader as we see their love develop and cultivate. So if this is your first journey to Virgin River like me or if you're a fan from the very first novel you won't be disappointed. If you love Native American romance or western romance you will love this. Or if you're simply looking for that romance that will warm those cold winter nights, look no farther than "Promise Canyon".
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book, the whole series is wonderfull, but not knew. Be aware
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am now finished with #11 in virgin river series. Love all of the books. Want to start #12 and cannot find it in the nook store..Every book is my favorite book. Murial has turned out to be a really fun person. I am so very glad I discovered Robyn Carr as she writes some fun stories.
TammyK1 More than 1 year ago
Robyn Carr is an exceptional storyteller. I loved this sweet romance with a down-home feel. Very well-written and lovely.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great series but this was presented as a new book WRONG a reprint waste of $$
SaraBetty More than 1 year ago
Love the book and love the series. Read and enjoy!
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Where is #12 of the Virgin River series? The title would be good. Thanks.
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This is one of my favorite books of this series. The story was great, and the characters were amazing!!
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I have never written a book review before. I must say that I am compelled to do so now. I started reading the Virgin River Series a few montha ago and I had to read all of them. There is something about Robyn Carr's writing that is addictive. I am now reading the Thunder Point Series and they took hold of me just like the Virgin River Series. Next, I'll read her novels. Robyn Carr must do tons of research because there is much to learn in her books. Zee
candycaneMM More than 1 year ago
i want to live in virgin river with all of my new friends
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