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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.
Posted November 23, 2010
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).
8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 5, 2010
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.
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Posted December 16, 2010
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".
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 19, 2013
It's been 6 months since my last foray into one of Robyn Carr's Virgin River series and it was 6 months too long for me. I absolutely love this contemporary romance series by Robyn Carr. Every time I pick up one of her books I fall in love with the town and the people she has artfully created.
I'm not a big fan of contemporary romance novels but this is one series that always has me coming back and the stories always make me feel better which is why these are the novels I turn to when I'm really down.
Promise Canyon is one of my favourite books in the Virgin River series. I loved Clay and Lilly both as individual characters. The chemistry between the two of them was amazing and they seemed to go together just right even if both have demons from their past that rear their ugly heads in the story.
I loved that the author took her time to draw the romance out through the novel and everything was perfectly paced. One of the many things Robyn Carr excels at is creating realistic romances with realistic characters that are neither perfect physically, mentally or spiritually. The characters all have wonderfully human flaws which is the main reason I love reading her novels and this was no exception to the rule.
The other good thing about me finally reading Promise Canyon was that I was able to catch up with the other characters in the series which she thankfully includes in her novels. I think it's great that I can pick up a book in the series and still visit and catch up with couples from the previous book and see what kind of mischief they're up to.
When I read promise Canyon I found myself laughing a lot because of Clay and Lilly both trying not to get so attached to one another and by the antics of other characters. I can always count on these books to make me laugh and sometimes tear up because Robyn Carr really knows how to evoke emotion with the romances in Virgin River.
As nice as it was to meat Lilly and Clay and a few other characters there's always a sadness in the books to help the reader appreciate the lovely romance going on and sometimes it's necessary to have to say good-bye to a much loved side character every now and then and it hurts but the good thing is the reader can always re-read the series and seed those long gone characters again.
As always, this was a phenomenal romance novel and I'm so glad I finally sat down long enough to read it. It rekindled my love for the series and I've already got the next two books in the series sitting on my night table waiting to be read.
I would recommend Promise Canyon to anyone who has read the Virgin River series up to this point and if you haven't started the series yet I highly suggest that you do but I recommend starting at the beginning of the series where you can be properly introduced to the town. This is the best contemporary romance series out there in my opinion and it will make you want to give up your big city dreams and make you move to this make believe town and you'll fall in love with the characters.
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Posted August 10, 2012
I love this series but this is my least favorite so far
It is a bit slow with lots of details on horses
Also i dont like how carr took a lot of time to give info from previos books Not necessary since ppl will read from beginning
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Robyn Carr is an exceptional storyteller. I loved this sweet romance with a down-home feel. Very well-written and lovely.
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Posted January 7, 2015
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Posted September 21, 2014
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.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 5, 2014
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Posted October 4, 2013
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.
Posted August 22, 2013
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Posted January 29, 2013
What a beautiful story! I just couldn't get enough of it. The book left me in quite an emotional state. Lost my husband of 49 yrs. and I'm finding some comfort in the visits to Virgin River. The people feel like friends and the scenery breath-taking. Thanks Robyn! LA-TXN
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Posted January 21, 2013
*a starry figure appeared. She scared the rougue off when she appeared* Faithleaf, I dont really know what to do. Im a med cat and I know the herbs, bit as a spirit, I cant touch herbs. I...i... i... *she breathed hard* Ill try. She grabbed a stick and put it in her mouth. Bite on it when it hurts. Dried oak leaves. She chewed the oak leaves and spread it around the cut to keep i fection away. Then she added cobweb to it. To the birthing, she made Faithleaf eat juniper berries, thyme and borage leave.
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Posted January 22, 2013
The rouge got up dazed. When he saw Hopesplash he ran. Faithleaf meowed weakly thank you Hopesplash. She ate the herbs. Five minutes later she had kits. Seven of them. Redoak will be so happy. I need to tell him. I will name them Hopekit (after Hopesplash) Sagekit Mintkit Stormkit Hollykit Breezekit and Oakkit (after Redoak)
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