Whispering Rock (Virgin River Series #3)

Whispering Rock (Virgin River Series #3)

by Robyn Carr

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

Virgin River has sheltered more than a few lost souls over the years—and there's always room for more…

Virgin River became a safe haven for Sacramento prosecutor Brie Sheridan after she nearly lost her life at the hands of a crazed criminal. Though she still has fears she can't escape, she also has someone who wants to show her just what it means to trust again.

A decorated marine reservist, LAPD officer Mike Valenzuela was badly wounded in the line of duty. Twice divorced, he secretly longs for the kind of commitment and happiness his marine buddies have found—a woman who can tie up his heart forever.

Mike will do anything to help Brie free herself from painful memories. Passionate, strong and gentle, he vows to give back to her what she's so selflessly given him—her heart, and with it, a new beginning.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780778314288
Publisher: MIRA Books
Publication date: 02/26/2013
Series: Virgin River Series , #3
Edition description: Original
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 44,731
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About 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.

Read an Excerpt

Mike Valenzuela was up and had his Jeep SUV packed long before sunrise. He had a long drive to Los Angeles and meant to get an early start. Depending on traffic around the Bay Area, the drive would be eight to ten hours from Virgin River. He locked up his RV, which was his home. It sat on the property at Jack's bar and grill; Jack and Preacher would keep an eye on it for him, not that Mike expected any kind of trouble. That was one of several reasons he'd chosen to live here—it was quiet. Small, peaceful, beautiful and nothing to disturb one's peace of mind. Mike had had enough of that in his former life.

Before coming to Virgin River permanently, Mike had made many trips to this Humboldt County mountain town for hunting and fishing, for gathering with an old Marine squad that was still close. His full-time job had been with LAPD, a sergeant in the gangs division. That had all ended when he was shot on the job—he'd taken three bullets and had a lot of hard work getting his body back. He'd needed Preacher's robust food and Jack's wife Mel's assistance with physical therapy on his shoulder.

After six months, Mike was as close to completely recovered as he'd get.

Since moving to Virgin River he'd been home only once to visit his parents, siblings and their families. He planned to take a week—one day driving each way and five days with that crowd of laughing, dancing Mexicans. Knowing the traditions of his family, it would be a nonstop celebration. His mother and sisters would cook from morning to night, his brothers would stock the refrigerator with cerveza, family friends and cop buddies from the department would drop by the house. It would be a good time—a great homecoming after his long recovery.

He was three hours into his drive when his cell phone rang. The noise startled him. There was no cell phone reception in Virgin River so the last thing he expected was a phone call.

"Hello?" he answered.

"I need a favor," Jack said without preamble. His voice sounded gravelly, as though he was barely awake. He must not have remembered Mike was heading south.

Mike looked at the dash clock. It wasn't yet 7:00 a.m. He laughed. "Well, sure, but I'm nearly in Santa Rosa, so it might be inconvenient to run over to Garberville and get you ice for the bar, but hey—"

"Mike, it's Brie," Jack said. Brie was Jack's youngest sister, his pet, his favorite. And she was really special to Mike. "She's in the hospital."

Mike actually swerved on the highway. "Hold on," he said. "Stay there." He pulled off the road onto a safe-looking shoulder. Then he took a deep breath. "Go ahead," he said.

"She was assaulted sometime last night," Jack said.

"Beaten. Raped."

"No!" Mike said. "What?"

Jack didn't repeat himself. "My father just called a little while ago. Mel and I are packing—we'll get on the road as soon as we can. Listen, I need someone who knows law enforcement, criminology, to walk me through what's happening with her. They don't have the guy who did this—there's got to be an investigation. Right?"

"How bad is she?" Mike asked.

"My dad didn't have a lot of details, but she's out of emergency and in a room, sedated and semiconscious, no surgery. Can you write down a couple of numbers? Can you keep your cell phone turned on so I can call you? With questions? That kind of thing?"

"Of course. Yes," Mike said. "Gimme numbers."

Jack recited phone numbers for the hospital, Jack's father, Sam, and Mel's old cell phone that they'd charge on their way to Sacramento and then carry with them.

"Do they have a suspect? Did she know the guy?"

"I don't know anything except her condition. After we get on the road, get the phone charged and we're out of the mountains and through the redwoods, I'll call my dad and see what he can tell me. Right now I gotta go. I gotta get down there."

"Right," Mike said. "Okay. My phone will be in my pocket twenty-four-seven. I'll call the hospital, see what I can find out."

"Thanks. Appreciate it," Jack said, hanging up.

Mike sat on the shoulder, staring at the phone for a long minute, helpless. Not Brie, he thought. Oh God, not Brie!

His mind flashed on times they'd been together. A couple of months ago she'd been in Virgin River to see her new nephew, Jack and Mel's baby. Mike had taken her on a picnic at the river—to a special place where the river was wide, but too shallow for fishermen to bother.

They'd had lunch against a big boulder, close enough to hear the water whisper by as it passed over the rocks. It was a place frequented by young lovers and teenagers, and that big old rock had seen some wonderful things on the riverbank; it protected many secrets. Some of his own, in fact. He'd held Brie's hand for a long time that day, and she hadn't pulled it away. It was the first time he'd realized he was taken with her. A crush. At thirty-seven, he felt it was an old man's crush, but damned if it didn't feel awfully like a sixteen-year-old's.

When Mike met Brie for the first time a few years back, he'd gone to see her brother while Jack was on leave, visiting his family in Sacramento right before his last assignment in Iraq. Mike was oblivious to the fact that his reserve unit would be activated and he'd end up meeting Jack over there, serving under him a second time. Brie was there, of course, recently married to a Sacramento cop. Nice guy, so Mike had thought. She was a prosecutor for the county in Sacramento, the state capital. She was small, about five-three, with long, soft brown hair that flowed almost to her waist, making her look like a mere girl. But she was no girl. She put away hardened criminals for a living; she had a reputation as one of the toughest prosecutors in the county. Mike had immediately admired her brains, her grit, not to mention her beauty. In his past life, before the shooting, he'd never been particularly discouraged by the mere presence of a husband, but they were newlyweds, and Brie was in love. No other man existed for her.

When Mike saw her in Virgin River right after Jack's son was born, she was trying to recover from a painful divorce—her husband had left her for her best friend, and Brie was shattered. Lonely. So hurt. Mike immediately wanted to take her into his arms and console her, for he was hurting, too. But Brie, crushed by her husband's infidelity, was determined not to put her heart on the line again, and she wanted nothing of a man, especially another player who'd had more than his share of women. A further complication—this was Jack's baby sister, of whom he was so protective it verged on ridiculous. And Mike was no longer a driven, devil-may-care Latino lover. He was a cripple. The body just didn't work right anymore.

It had been only a couple of weeks since he'd last seen her. She had come back to Virgin River with the rest of her family to help erect the frame of Jack's new house. Preacher and his bride, Paige, were married in that framed structure the very next day. For a man who could barely walk six months ago, Mike had given Brie a fairly decent twirl around the dance floor at the wedding. It was a fantastic party—full of that good old country food, barbecues flaming, the chairs pushed back and the band set up on the foundation of Jack's unfinished house, the frame strung with floral garlands. He grabbed her, laughing, into his arms and whirled her around with abandon, and whenever the tempo allowed, pressed his cheek close against hers, whispering in conspiratorial amusement, "Your brother is frowning at us."

"I wonder why that is." She laughed.

"I don't think he wants you near a man so like himself," Mike speculated.

That seemed to amuse her a great deal. She tipped her head back and laughed a little wildly. "Don't flatter yourself," she said. "It has nothing to do with your great success with women. You're a man, near his baby sister. That's enough."

"You're no baby," he said, pulling her closer. "And I think you're having too much fun with this, getting him riled up. Don't you realize he has a dangerous temper?"

Unmistakably, she held him tighter. "Not toward me," she whispered.

"There's a devil in you," he said, and looked death in the face by kissing her neck.

"There's a fool in you," she said, tilting her head just slightly to give him more of her neck.

In years gone by he would have found a way to get her alone, seduced her, made love to her in ways she'd dream about later. But three bullets had decided a few things. Even if he could spirit her away from her brother's protective stare, he wouldn't be able to perform. So he said, "You're trying to get me shot again."

"Oh, I doubt he'd actually shoot you. But I haven't been to a good old-fashioned wedding brawl in ages."

When they'd said goodbye he had hugged her briefly, her sweet scent like a cinch around his mind, feeling her cheek against his, his arms around her waist, pulling her close. A bit more than just a friendly gesture—a suggestive one, which she returned. He assumed she was having fun with the flirtation, stirring things up a little bit, but it meant far more than that to him. Brie held his thoughts in a disturbing way that suggested if he were capable of giving her love, she would capture his heart and mind in that powerful way that wipes all other women out of the past. He really didn't have that to offer anymore. Although that didn't keep him from thinking about her, wanting her.

He could not bear to think about all that mischief and sass lying broken and violated in a hospital. His heart was in pieces, aching for her. Dying to know that she was going to be all right.

He put the SUV into Drive, looked over his shoulder and got back on the freeway. He gunned the engine and veered across two lanes of fast-moving traffic to make the exit to Sacramento.

When Mike got to the county hospital a couple of hours later, he called Sam's cell phone number and left a message to say he'd arrived and wanted to know where they were. A prosecutor, the victim of a crime, was not going to be with the general population—she would undoubtedly have security.

Sam came to the hospital entrance, extending his hand. "Mike. Good of you to come. I know Jack will appreciate it."

"I was on my way south and was almost here anyway. Brie's a special friend. I'll do anything I can."

Sam turned and headed for the elevators. "Unfortunately, I'm not sure what you can do. She's going to be all right. Physically. I have no idea what a woman goes through after something like this____"

"Tell me what you know so far," Mike said. "Did she know her attacker?"

"Oh, yes. Remember that terrible trial she had about the same time Jack's son was born? The serial rapist? The media circus? It was him. She identified him for police."

Mike stopped walking and frowned. "She's sure?" he asked. That was such a sick, bold move for someone who'd just gotten a free pass. Brie had lost that trial and it was a hard loss, especially coming on the heels of her divorce. It was as if the sky was falling on her. Also, it wasn't something men like that did. Typically, they bolted. Got away from anyone who had the balls to go after them, as Brie had.

"She's sure," Sam said.

Mike couldn't help but wonder—was she hit in the head? Hallucinating? In and out of reality because of the trauma? "Her injuries?" he asked.

"Her face is battered, there are two broken ribs and the usual…" He paused. "The usual injuries incurred during a rape. You know."

"I know," he said. Tearing, bleeding, bruising. "Has she been seen by a rape specialist and police?"

"Yes, but she wants Mel. Understandably."

"Of course," Mike said. Jack's wife, Mel, was the nurse practitioner and midwife in Virgin River and had had years of experience in a huge L.A. trauma center. She was an expert in battery and sexual assault and if she could be the medical eyes and ears, maybe Mike could cover the police angle. "I heard from them at seven this morning. They should be here in two or three hours, depending on how fast they got out of town."

Mike noticed a uniformed Sac PD officer standing at the entrance to a room; undoubtedly that's where Brie was. "Well, let me talk to some people, see if I can find out anything at all. But first, I'll say hello to the family." He moved to a large clot of people in the waiting area just down the hall. Jack's three other sisters, their husbands, a few of his nieces. Mike was embraced and thanked. Then he got about the business of talking to nurses, got the number of the detective on the case from the officer guarding the room. All the detective could tell Mike at this time was that the suspect was still at large. The doctor would discuss her injuries, that was all. But it appeared that apart from being horribly assaulted, she would recover physically.

It was almost three hours later that Jack, Mel and baby David arrived. Jack embraced his father, then looked in surprise at Mike. "You're here?"

"I was already close," he said. "I thought I'd come over. If I can help, it's better for me to be on-site."

"Oh, man, I didn't expect this," Jack said.

"Hell, you've done more for me," Mike said. "And you know I love Brie. Mel," he said, reaching for baby David, "she said she wants to see you the minute you get here."

"Of course," Mel said, handing off the baby.

"I think she needs Mel's opinion of how the rape evidence was collected," Mike said to Jack. "Go hug your sisters. By that time you'll be able to see her."

"Have you seen her yet?" Jack asked.

"No. It's family only. But I've talked to some people, trying to gather whatever facts they'll share."

"God," Jack said, gripping Mike's biceps hard. "Thanks. Mike, I didn't expect this."

"You should have." He laughed, jostling little David a little. "That's how it is with us. Right?"

Jack sat by his sister's bedside at the county hospital for almost twelve straight hours. He had arrived at eleven in the morning and it was now 11:00 p.m. Outside her door, in the hallway, the family had gathered for most of the day, but as evening had descended they'd drifted home because she was out of danger and sedated. Mike had taken Mel and the baby back to Sam's, but Jack hadn't wanted to leave Brie. Brie was close to her entire family, but it was Jack with whom she had the deepest bond.

Jack was torn to pieces as he looked down on his little sister. Her face was horrific; the bruising and swelling was terrible. It looked much worse than it was, the doctor promised. There was no permanent damage; she would regain her former beauty. Every few minutes Jack would reach over, gently smooth back her light brown hair, touch her hand. She wrestled in her sleep now and then, despite the sedatives. If not for the ribs, he might have taken her into his strong arms during these struggles. Instead he would lean over her bed, touch her face where there was no swelling, drop a tender kiss on her forehead and whisper, "I'm here, Brie. You're safe now, baby."

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

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

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

"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

Customer Reviews

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Whispering Rock (Virgin River Series #3) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 151 reviews.
Alison818 More than 1 year ago
This was a really great addition to the series. The story of Mike helping Brie recover from a brutal rape, was handled honestly and tastefully. As you watched Brie get stronger, you also got to see a former womanizing marine and cop turn into a very tender, devoted lover. Having also been the victim of a brutal attack, Mike knows just what Brie needs to get through it all.
SusieinPA More than 1 year ago
Robyn Carr is a special author. She creates delightful characters and she seems to have a real grasp of human nature. Her stories are filled with love and kindness as well as drama. I love reading her books.
harstan More than 1 year ago
After being injured on the job, womanizer and twice divorced LAPD officer Mike Valenzuela recuperates in the Redwoods town Virgin River, where his Marine buddies Jack Sheridan (see VIRGIN RIVER) and Marine John 'Preacher' Middleton (see SHELTER MOUNTAIN) own a bar and grill. His plan is simple, heal and return to work. However, everything changes with one phone call from Jack his district attorney sister Brie was brutally raped by Jerome Powell, who she tried to recently prosecute for violent crimes, but lost.-------------- Though frightened Brie physically heals but emotionally is off her game. However, she knows that and vows to see that Powell goes to prison as she refuses to take crap from this a-hole. Meanwhile Mike seems to always be there for her. As Mike becomes the Virgin River police, he and Brie fall in love in spite of their marital failures.------------------- The third and final Virgin River tale is a wonderful compassionate romantic suspense with the focus being on Brie, recovering from the rape. As with the previous thrillers, the story line intelligently handles a traumatic social issue that becomes very personal when it happens to you. Robyn Carr provides a great final to one of the best insightful character driven sagas of the year as these real people struggle with harrowing personal problems caused by brutes intruding, in this case physically leading to mentally, into their lives.-------------------- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
another awesome book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Wonderful story line; all in the series are captivating and will keep the reader interested throughout their reading experience. Not only is this series of books exciting and spellbinding; but these books stand well on their own. Each character pulls the reader in and yet each character also adds to every other character in the series. Can't wait for more from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hetty10 More than 1 year ago
I bought one of the Virgin River series and was hooked. Ended up buying the rest starting with #1 and reading them in a row. i feel like I know all the people in that town and sure wish I could stop by and say "hi" and have a drink at Jack's.
Emmasage2u More than 1 year ago
Robyn Carr is a great author. She writes engaging books where the people become friends. I can't wait to get to the next one!
teri3 More than 1 year ago
I have read all the books in the Virgin River series and they are Great. I am waiting for the next to come out next week. They capture your inner emotion and you fall in love with all the people in the stories. Even if you don't read them in the order they come you will enjoy them all.
sammy444 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I absolutely enjoyed this book. I thought the only thing that could have made this book better was editing some of Jack and Mel's scenes. While I did truly enjoy them in the first book, they started to become slightly annoying in this book. I think Carr needs to focus on the main characters in each book and lean away from Mel and Jack.
mom2lnb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first two books of the Virgin River series had left me feeling slightly underwhelmed. They were good, but not quite as good as I was expecting based on the rave reviews they tend to receive. Perhaps because of this I went into reading Whispering Rock with lower expectations, but it ended up being a wonderful read for me. Maybe it truly was a better book, or maybe I'm finally getting used to Robyn Carr's writing style, but this time I really connected with the hero and heroine as well as all the secondary characters and their sub-plots. Even though pages and pages could go by without seeing the main hero and heroine, I wasn't as bothered by it as I was the last time. I did roll my eyes once when the umpteeth woman turned up pregnant (there really must be something in the water in Virgin River ;-)). I think I'm beginning to understand why some other readers tire of all the births and women's health issues that come up in these book, but ultimately, it didn't bother me as much as I initially thought it might either. In fact, I usually found myself eager to get back to the book when I had to put it down.Much like with Preacher and Paige in the last book, I could have done with a little more page time for Brie and Mike, but Ms. Carr seemed to make very good use of the scenes they had together. It certainly wouldn't have been realistic to have a woman who'd just been raped falling into bed right away, so I really liked the slow-building romantic relationship between this couple. I loved their quiet lunch dates and Mike frequently calling Brie just to talk. Having been the victim of a violent crime himself and a former cop who'd seen a lot, Mike was able to understand and relate to Brie in a way that her family couldn't. The author used these moments to create a truly lovely friendship between them before taking it any further, and to me that was thoroughly romantic in and of itself. Mike was a great guy, gently pushing Brie to get out a little more so that she doesn't get too depressed or lonely, and he tries to be there for her as much as he can in those moments to make her feel safe and secure. Yet he never rushes her in any other way. He just waits patiently for Brie to be ready, making it clear how much he cares for her through his actions. Brie is a very strong, courageous woman to face her attacker when he is finally caught. She is also an incredibly smart woman whose sharp attorney skills brought her through the trial with her head held high. I loved that she never had second thoughts when her ex-husband started coming around again, nor a moment of doubt about her love for Mike in spite of his previous track record with women. Mike, for his part, always treated Brie with tenderness and respect, like the precious jewel she was. I absolutely loved when he whispered sweet nothings to her in Spanish, and she pretended she didn't know what he was saying even though she was fluent in the language. Although there was only one detailed love scene between them, it totally turned me to mush and left a big smile on my face. These two were just a really well-matched couple that I enjoyed reading about.As with all the Virgin River books, there are oodles of other characters, many of whom get their own POV scenes, making it more of an ensemble cast. Of course, our core couple Jack and Mel are back. As always Jack is kind of the heart and soul of Virgin River, or at least his bar and grill is. He's keeping busy building their new house, and Mel has plenty of nursing and midwifery to handle as they enjoy their growing family. Mel did annoy me once though, because in spite of being a nurse midwife, she can be pretty dense about her own reproductive health. My favorite couple, Preacher and Paige, were back, also taking care of the bar while trying to have a baby. Preacher was just too cute with his sex drive in overdrive. I think he's trying to make up for lost time.;-) As with their own book though, I couldn't help fe
chrissywest on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am so glad I found this trilogy. Whispering Rock was just as good as the first two novels, Virgin River and Shelter Mountain. I have become attached to each and every character in this series. Robyn Carr has done an excellent job introducing new characters with each book but still updating the reader with every new book in regards to the history of the character and how they came to become a inhabitant of Virgin River. Carr has also done an excellent job at portraying what small town life is like. I just can¿t say enough about this whole trilogy. I really wish that Robyn would continue with the series. There are lots of characters to write about. What about Rick and Liz? Paul and Vanni? Tom and Brenda?
Books007 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am absolutely lovin' this series!!! Book 3 (Whispering Rock) was definitely not a disappointment. Great story of healing and love. Great contemporary romance...can't wait to read book 4!
kayceel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was sweet and a fast-read. Mike has fallen in love with Brie, but having suffered through a traumatic experience, he's forced to go veeeerrrrrry slowly with her.Romantic.
Pure_Jonel More than 1 year ago
With Whispering Rock Carr shows how life in a perfect, peaceful small town isn’t always quite so perfect. She develops a deeply heartfelt and emotionally gripping novel that also deals with the darker side of life. Death makes way for new life and love is the road to recovery from so many difficulties and disasters. The plot of this novel kept me on pins and needles. Carr also developed beautiful scenery for her loveable characters to live amidst. She makes everything easy to picture, drawing you into not only the town but also the lives of the characters. I loved getting to know Mike and Brie on this whole new level. The way that Carr draws readers into the lives of her entire cast while also highlighting the main characters is phenomenal. I really get the feel for the entire town this way. There are also so many heroes to fall in love with (and believe me, they are all heroes in their own way) and women to hang out with that I feel as if I’ve truly been there. Whispering Rock may just be my favourite Virgin River novel so far (and since I’ve read the series out of order, I’ve read many more than just 3 of them). It is a fantastic read for those looking for a romance with substance and real people to get to know. Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
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Must read all the Virgin Series books!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great series. I was wondering why angels peak is not on the nook
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CubbieCA More than 1 year ago
I have really enjoyed the three Virgin River Series books. The characters are real and the situations in the books make them interesting and good reads. Highly recommended.