Virgin River: Book 1 of Virgin River series [NOOK Book]

Overview

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

Wanted: Midwife/nurse practitioner in Virgin River, population six hundred. Make a difference against a backdrop of towering California redwoods and crystal-clear rivers. Rent-free cabin included.

When the recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees this ad, she quickly decides that the remote mountain town of Virgin...

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Virgin River: Book 1 of Virgin River series

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Overview

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

Wanted: Midwife/nurse practitioner in Virgin River, population six hundred. Make a difference against a backdrop of towering California redwoods and crystal-clear rivers. Rent-free cabin included.

When the recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees this ad, she quickly decides that the remote mountain town of Virgin River might be the perfect place to escape her heartache, and to reenergize the nursing career she loves. But her high hopes are dashed within an hour of arriving: the cabin is a dump, the roads are treacherous and the local doctor wants nothing to do with her. Realizing she's made a huge mistake, Mel decides to leave town the following morning.

But a tiny baby, abandoned on a front porch, changes her plans…and former marine Jack Sheridan cements them into place.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The Virgin River books are so compelling-I connected instantly with the characters and just wanted more and more and more." -#1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber

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

"This book is an utter delight."-RT Book Reviews on Moonlight Road

"Strong conflict, humor and well-written characters are Carr's calling cards, and they're all present here.... You won't want to put this one down."-RT Book Reviews on Angel's Peak

"This story has everything: a courageous, outspoken heroine, a to-die-for hero and a plot that will touch readers' hearts on several different levels. Truly excellent."-RT Book Reviews on Forbidden Falls

"An intensely satisfying read. By turns humorous and gut-wrenchingly emotional, it won't soon be forgotten."-RT Book Reviews on Paradise Valley

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781460300275
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 12/18/2012
  • Series: Virgin River Series , #1
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 5,895
  • File size: 387 KB

Meet the Author

Robyn Carr

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 RobynCarr.com.

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Read an Excerpt




Mel squinted into the rain and darkness, creeping along the narrow, twisting, muddy, treeenshrouded road, and for the hundredth time thought, Am I out of my mind? And then she heard and felt a thump as the right rear wheel of her BMW slipped off the road onto the shoulder and sank into the mud. The car rocked to a stop. She accelerated and heard the wheel spin but she was going nowhere fast.

I am so screwed, was her next thought.

She turned on the dome light and looked at her cell phone. She'd lost the signal an hour ago when she left the freeway and headed up into the mountains. In fact, she'd been having a pretty lively discussion with her sister Joey when the steep hills and unbelievably tall trees blocked the signal and cut them off.

"I cannot believe you're really doing this," Joey was saying. "I thought you'd come to your senses. This isn't you, Mel! You're not a small-town girl!"

"Yeah? Well, it looks like I'm gonna be—I took the job and sold everything, so I wouldn't be tempted to go back."

"You couldn't just take a leave of absence? Maybe go to a small, private hospital? Try to think this through?"

"I need everything to be different," Mel said. "No more hospital war zone. I'm just guessing, but I imagine I won't be called on to deliver a lot of crack babies out here in the woods. The woman said this place, this Virgin River, is calm and quiet and safe."

"And stuck back in the forest, a million miles from a Starbucks, where you'll get paid in eggs and pig's feet and—"

"And none of my patients will be brought in handcuffed, guarded by a corrections officer." Then Mel took a breath and, unexpectedly, laughed and said, "Pig's feet? Oh-oh, Joey—I'm going up into the trees again, I might lose you…"

"You wait. You'll be sorry. You'll regret this. This is crazy and impetuous and—"

That's when the signal, blessedly, was lost. And Joey was right—with every additional mile, Mel was doubting herself and her decision to escape into the country.

At every curve the roads had become narrower and the rain a little harder. It was only 6:00 p.m., but it was already dark as pitch; the trees were so dense and tall that even that last bit of afternoon sun had been blocked. Of course there were no lights of any kind along this winding stretch. According to the directions, she should be getting close to the house where she was to meet her new employer, but she didn't dare get out of her swamped car and walk. She could get lost in these woods and never be seen again.

Instead, she fished the pictures from her briefcase in an attempt to remind herself of a few of the reasons why she had taken this job. She had pictures of a quaint little hamlet of clapboard houses with front porches and dormer windows, an old-fashioned schoolhouse, a stee-pled church, hollyhocks, rhododendrons and blossoming apple trees in full glory, not to mention the green pastures upon which livestock grazed. There was the pie and coffee shop, the corner store, a tiny one-room, freestanding library, and the adorable little cabin in the woods that would be hers, rent free, for the year of her contract.

The town backed up to the amazing sequoia redwoods and national forests that spanned hundreds of miles of wilderness over the Trinity and Shasta mountain ranges. The Virgin River, after which the town was named, was deep, wide, long, and home to huge salmon, sturgeon, steel fish and trout. She'd looked on the internet at pictures of that part of the world and was easily convinced no more beautiful land existed. Of course, she could see nothing now except rain, mud and darkness.

Ready to get out of Los Angeles, she had put her resume with the Nurses' Registry and one of the recruiters brought Virgin River to her attention. The town doctor, she said, was getting old and needed help. A woman from the town, Hope McCrea, was donating the cabin and the first year's salary. The county was picking up the tab for liability insurance for at least a year to get a practitioner and midwife in this remote, rural part of the world. "I faxed Mrs. McCrea your resume and letters of recommendation," the recruiter had said, "and she wants you. Maybe you should go up there and look the place over."

Mel took Mrs. McCrea's phone number and called her that evening. Virgin River was far smaller than what she'd had in mind, but after no more than an hour-long conversation with Mrs. McCrea, Mel began effecting her move out of L.A. the very next morning. That was barely two weeks ago.

What they didn't know at the Registry, nor in Virgin River for that matter, was that Mel had become desperate to get away. Far away. She'd been dreaming of a fresh start, and peace and quiet, for months. She couldn't remember the last time she'd had a restful night's sleep. The dangers of the big city, where crime seemed to be overrunning the neighborhoods, had begun to consume her. Just going to the bank and the store filled her with anxiety; danger seemed to be lurking everywhere. Her work in the three-thousand-bed county hospital and trauma center brought to her care the victims of too many crimes, not to mention the perpetrators of crimes hurt in pursuit or arrest—strapped to hospital beds in wards and in Emergency, guarded by cops. What was left of her spirit was hurting and wounded. And that was nothing to the loneliness of her empty bed.

Her friends begged her to stave off this impulse to run for some unknown small town, but she'd been in grief group, individual counseling and had seen more of the inside of a church in the last nine months than she had in the last ten years, and none of that was helping. The only thing that gave her any peace of mind was fantasizing about running away to some tiny place in the country where people didn't have to lock their doors, and the only thing you had to fear were the deer getting in the vegetable garden. It seemed like sheer heaven.

But now, sitting in her car looking at the pictures by the dome light, she realized how ridiculous she'd been. Mrs. McCrea told her to pack only durable clothes—jeans and boots—for country medicine. So what had she packed? Her boots were Stuart Weitzmans, Cole Haans and Fryes—and she hadn't minded paying over a tidy four-fifty for each pair. The jeans she had packed for traipsing out to the ranches and farms were Rock & Republics, Joe's, Luckys, 7 For All Mankind—they rang up between one-fifty and two-fifty a copy. She'd been paying three hundred bucks a pop to have her hair trimmed and highlighted. After scrimping for years through college and post-grad nursing, once she was a nurse practitioner with a very good salary she discovered she loved nice things. She might have spent most of her workday in scrubs, but when she was out of them, she liked looking good.

She was sure the fish and deer would be very impressed.

In the past half hour she'd only seen one old truck on the road. Mrs. McCrea hadn't prepared her for how perilous and steep these roads were, filled with hairpin turns and sharp drop-offs, so narrow in some places that it would be a challenge for two cars to pass each other. She was almost relieved when the dark consumed her, for she could at least see approaching headlights around each tight turn. Her car had sunk into the shoulder on the side of the road that was up against the hill and not the ledge where there were no guardrails. Here she sat, lost in the woods and doomed. With a sigh, she turned around and pulled her heavy coat from the top of one of the boxes on the backseat. She hoped Mrs. McCrea would be traversing this road either en route to or from the house where they were to meet. Otherwise, she would probably be spending the night in the car. She still had a couple of apples, some crackers and two cheese rounds in wax. But the damn Diet Coke was gone—she'd have the shakes and a headache by morning from caffeine withdrawal.

No Starbucks. She should have done a better job of stocking up.

She turned off the engine, but left the lights on in case a car came along the narrow road. If she wasn't rescued, the battery would be dead by morning. She settled back and closed her eyes. A very familiar face drifted into her mind: Mark. Sometimes the longing to see him one more time, to talk to him for just a little while was overwhelming. Forget the grief—she just missed him—missed having a partner to depend on, to wait up for, to wake up beside. An argument over his long hours even seemed appealing. He told her once, "This—you and me—this is forever."

Forever lasted four years. She was only thirty-two and from now on she would be alone. He was dead. And she was dead inside.

A sharp tapping on the car window got her attention and she had no idea if she'd actually been asleep or just musing. It was the butt of a flashlight that had made the noise and holding it was an old man. The scowl on his face was so jarring that she thought the end she feared might be upon her.

"Missy," he was saying. "Missy, you're stuck in the mud."

She lowered her window and the mist wet her face. "I.I know. I hit a soft shoulder."

"That piece of crap won't do you much good around here," he said.

Piece of crap indeed! It was a new BMW convertible, one of her many attempts to ease the ache of loneliness. "Well, no one told me that! But thank you very much for the insight."

His thin white hair was plastered to his head and his bushy white eyebrows shot upwards in spikes; the rain glistened on his jacket and dripped off his big nose. "Sit tight, I'll hook the chain around your bumper and pull you out. You going to the McCrea house?"

Well, that's what she'd been after—a place where everyone knows everyone else. She wanted to warn him not to scratch the bumper but all she could do was stammer, "Y-yes."

"It ain't far. You can follow me after I pull you out."

"Thanks," she said.

So, she would have a bed after all. And if Mrs. Mc-Crea had a heart, there would be something to eat and drink. She began to envision the glowing fire in the cottage with the sound of spattering rain on the roof as she hunkered down into a deep, soft bed with lovely linens and quilts wrapped around her. Safe. Secure. At last.

Her car groaned and strained and finally lurched out of the ditch and onto the road. The old man pulled her several feet until she was on solid ground, then he stopped to remove the chain. He tossed it into the back of the truck and motioned for her to follow him. No argument there—if she got stuck again, he'd be right there to pull her out. Along she went, right behind him, using lots of window cleaner with her wipers to keep the mud he splattered from completely obscuring her vision.

In less than five minutes, the blinker on the truck was flashing and she followed him as he made a right turn at a mailbox. The drive was short and bumpy, the road full of potholes, but it quickly opened up into a clearing. The truck made a wide circle in the clearing so he could leave again, which left Mel to pull right up to…a hovel!

This was no adorable little cottage. It was an A-frame with a porch all right, but it looked as though the porch was only attached on one side while the other end had broken away and listed downward. The shingles were black with rain and age and there was a board nailed over one of the windows. It was not lit within or without; there was no friendly curl of smoke coming from the chimney.

The pictures were lying on the seat beside her. She blasted on her horn and jumped immediately out of the car, clutching the pictures and pulling the hood of her wool jacket over her head. She ran to the truck. He rolled down his window and looked at her as if she had a screw loose. "Are you sure this is the McCrea cottage?"

"Yup."

She showed him the picture of the cute little A-frame cottage with Adirondack chairs on the porch and hanging pots filled with colorful flowers decorating the front of the house. It was bathed in sunlight in the picture.

"Hmm," he said. "Been a while since she looked like that."

"I wasn't told that. She said I could have the house rent free for a year, plus salary. I'm supposed to help out the doctor in this town. But this—?"

"Didn't know the doc needed help. He didn't hire you, did he?" he asked.

"No. I was told he was getting too old to keep up with the demands of the town and they needed another doctor, but that I'd do for a year or so."

"Do what?"

She raised her voice to be heard above the rain. "I'm a nurse practitioner. And certified nurse midwife."

That seemed to amuse him. "That a fact?"

"You know the doctor?" she asked.

"Everybody knows everybody. Seems like you shoulda come up here and look the place over and meet the doc before making up your mind."

"Yeah, seems like," she said in some self-recrimination. "Let me get my purse—give you some money for pulling me out of the—" But he was already waving her off.

"Don't want your money. People up here don't have money to be throwing around for neighborly help. So," he said with humor, lifting one of those wild white eyebrows, "looks like she got one over on you. That place's been empty for years now." He chuckled. "Rent free! Hah!"

Headlights bounced into the clearing as an old Suburban came up the drive. Once it arrived the old man said, "There she is. Good luck." And then he laughed. Actually, he cackled as he drove out of the clearing.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 272 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(144)

4 Star

(56)

3 Star

(41)

2 Star

(16)

1 Star

(15)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 275 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    delightfully amusing small town character study

    Nine months ago her beloved husband Mark Monroe was murdered during a convenience store robbery. The physician¿s widow Melinda, a nurse and midwife needs to escape Los Angeles which over night went from her home to a place of trauma for her. She accepts a job as a doctor¿s assistant in the small isolated Redwoods town of Virgin River. --- However, nothing is quite what was advertised as her cottage is a filthy dilapidated cabin and the crusty elderly Doc Mullins does not want her. Though restaurant owner Jack Sheridan is welcoming, she plans to leave and to stay with her sister in Colorado. Her plans change when she finds the newborn left on Doc¿s doorsteps. As one day leads to another and new patients arrive, Melinda has found a new home though she is unaware that Jack loves her but is patient as he knows her heart belongs to someone else. --- VIRGIN RIVER is a delightfully amusing small town character study that enables the audience to see deep into the souls of several key players but especially Melinda, Doc, and Jack. The support cast augments the solid story line whether they are the baby, the ¿realtor¿, the cook or patients. Fans of character driven poignant contemporary tales will want to drive the winding mountain road to VIRGIN RIVER. --- Harriet Klausner

    14 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2012

    GREAT BOOK!!!

    I loved this book. I thought the characters were very well developed and seemed very real to me. I found myself connected to them. I absolutely adore how the landscaping is described, it definitely gave a clear, beautiful picture! As for the comments about "graphic sex" or this being "smut" or any of the comments on the sex in this book, you all are really being childish. Sex is a very natural, very beautiful part of life. I thought it was well written into the story. Teenage sex is real wether or not you like it. In my opinion it was tastefully written. If you are that offended by sex between consenting adult lovers than you have to get out more, it wasnt that graphic. In all honesty I have enjoyed every word written and I cannot wait to read more of this series!! (GRAPHIC SEX AND ALL) ;)

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2011

    Great story!

    I loved the story, the plot was good and the chatacters were well developed. The person who said it was bordering on porn must be very sheltered ot prudish because the sex in this book was very vanilla. As far as the 16yo with the 14yo, it was an essential part of the story and was well written....I mean no one wants their kids doing it but it IS a reality. I actually thought the, ove scenes could have used a little more steam but thats just me!

    8 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2011

    Oh My

    This was my first experience with this author. I was hoping for romance like Nicholas Sparks, not sex bordering on porn! I read about halfway through the book and then got rid of it. I really enjoyed the characters and storyline but I just felt so uncomfortable reading this type of skanky material. What bothered me the most was the graphic description of the teenage sex between a 14 year old girl and a 16 year old boy. WRONG!!!

    8 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2009

    I just love this book

    The whole Virgin River Series was great. The characters came to life,as if I knew each one personally.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2010

    Great book!

    I wasn't sure if I was going to even like this book. The only author I have really read is Nicholas Sparks. I figured since I was done reading most of his, I should probably find another author to get into. I picked the right one! This book was way better than I thought it would be. I couldn't put it down and when it was over, I found myself wanting more! I am excited to start the second book now.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 5, 2013

    This book is a cute book.But I like a little more action.Mel is

    This book is a cute book.But I like a little more action.Mel is delightful and real so is Jack and Doc.
    I just didnt like the going over and over things.It is very bland. but I did order number 2 in this series to see if it has a little more action.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 2, 2012

    Looking forward to reading the entire Virgin River series!

    An enjoyable book from the first page to the last! Robyn Carr does a good job in detailing each character and relationship! Very entertaining and I look forward to reading the entire Virgin River Series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 12, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Super intro to the town and characters-Beautiful!

    This book was so great. The descriptions of the town, the characters, how they are related, how they meet and the real life situations that bring them together are so touching. It makes you want to pack up and move there to such a beautiful place and meet those people who are so community and family oriented with good morals. This was just such a great book. I just finished Forbidden Falls and started Angel's peak. The entire series is so good so far and what I like the most as the characters go through real life challenges and situations that everyone does and just the loyalty of the townspeople etc. The author writes so beautifully, the new characters dont just come out of nowhere it is all a smooth transition related to characters and situations in the book. I highly recommend this series. These are not your typical romance books where there are a few characters and you know in the end the couple will hook up, this is about the growth of a new town, the lives of the people who there or come there in family or as needed in the town, romances that happen in the process of all of this and its very exciting.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    First book of the series - made you want to read all the books.

    Unfortunately, I didn't start with the first book, but after reading this one, I was able to fit all the pieces together. Very good introduction to the upcoming series.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 16, 2012

    Great Author!

    Love Robyn Carr! Great series!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 21, 2012

    Small town drama

    I enjoyed the idea of the story and the small town atmosphere. I also liked the healing process that transpired and the importance of family and friends.

    I did not like the loose moral values that abound and the detail in which they are described.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2010

    A Relaxing Read with Engaging Characters

    This is the first book I've read by this author, and have just read the second in this series and started the third - back-to-back. The characters are very good and they are an easy read - but enough plot to hold your interest. Definitely read these in sequence.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2014

    Great book. Must Read all of the Virgin Series books.

    Great book. Must Read all of the Virgin Series books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2014

    More territory

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2014

    Warriors den

    Here.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2014

    I love this and all of The Virgin River Series book. The charact

    I love this and all of The Virgin River Series book. The characters were so real that I felt like they could be my neighbors. I would highly recommend this whole series!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2014

    I enjoyed the setting and the characters but I did get bored wit

    I enjoyed the setting and the characters but I did get bored with it toward the middle making it hard for me to finish the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2014

    TRAING HOLLOW

    Lepardfur

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2014

    Well written

    The book that started it all! Now I'm hooked on her books!

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