October 20, 2011

Review: Bring Me Home for Christmas by Robyn Carr


Source: we received an e-ARC of the book through NetGalley for review purposes.

I have read all of Robyn Carr’s books and I have liked most of them although for a second there I was ready to quit Virgin River because I was getting fed up of all the babies and annoying recurring characters, but the latest books have been really good and after finishing Harvest Moon I couldn’t wait to see what would come next.

Bring Me Home for Christmas is the 14th book (I know!) in the Virging River series, and is her annual Christmas story. This means that it’s a bit of a stand-alone in the sense that it isn’t part of a trilogy, but it’s very much part of the series since the hero is a recurring character that was introduced several books back. Despite that, I think you could pretty much jump right in even if you’re unfamiliar with the series, there are some familiar faces but nothing that will spoil the previous books or that will get you confused because of your lack of background.

In this new installment we meet Becca Timm, her boyfriend is talking marriage but she is afraid that she hasn’t really gotten over the ex-boyfriend who broke her heart a couple of years ago. Given that her brother is her ex’s best friend and about to go on a hunting trip with him, she decides to tag along so she can end all the unfinished business between them.

Denny Cutler was living an almost perfect life; he was a proud Marine, had fantastic friends and was in love with the most wonderful girl. But everything came crashing down when his mother got cancer and in her deathbed confessed that his father wasn’t his father but a guy named Jack who lived in a town called Virgin River. He broke up with Becca and went to war, but when he came back he realized his mistakes and asked her forgiveness, which she angrily denied him, and so he went in search for his father. If you are familiar with the series you know that Jack wasn’t really his father after all but in Virgin River Denny found friends, a job and a place to belong.

When Denny planned having his friends come for a visit he didn’t know that Becca would show up with them, he still loves her but he understands the damage he did and wants to see her happy even if happiness means someone else. What neither of them planed was Becca breaking a leg and having to stay with Denny while she recovered, and in the process dealing with the issues that separated them.

This was a sweet story about love and forgiveness. Both Denny and Becca were likeable characters. Becca was a bit immature at times and once you find out how the whole thing between them went down -the first time and the second time- you will see that one of their problems was the lack of communication due to the fact that they were too young. At one point in the book one of them mentions that they weren’t ready to be in love and I couldn’t agree more.

You will see tons of familiar faces, Jack, Mel, Preacher, all of them have cameos, but it’s just that, I don’t like it when former leads take over the plot, and this has happened in the past, but it isn’t the case here and I was particularly happy to see that no one gives birth or gets pregnant. If you haven’t read any of the books you might not get why I say this, but I know that if you have, then you know exactly what I mean.

This book wasn’t as charming or engaging as some of her previous books, especially A Virgin River Christmas, which is one of my favorite books in the whole series and not just among the Christmas stories. But it is a good addition to the series. I particularly liked Denny ever since he first appeared in the books so I was happy to see him get his happy ending.

As usual everything gets wrapped up nicely at the end, and it does it in an almost miraculously fast way, the leads go from trying to move on and not liking each other, to professing undying devotion in the blink of an eye, but this is a common occurrence in this series.

Carr has a very distinct voice and this means that all the books start to sound very much alike, especially now that we are in book 14, so that might get old if you are a returning reader, but the stories are light and a fun way to spend some free time.

Bring Me Home for Christmas isn’t the best book in the series, but it is a good addition to it. I’m happy to see that the series is taking a new direction that will give it a renewed feel and keep it fresh and I believe that if you are in the mood for a nice light read then this will be a good choice to make.

Review by Brie
Grade: 3
Sensuality: McSexy

Synopsis:

This year, Becca Timm knows the number one item on her Christmas wish list—getting over Denny Cutler. Three years ago, Denny broke her heart before heading off to war. It's time she got over her silly high-school relationship and moved on.
So she takes matters into her own hands and heads up to Virgin River, the rugged little mountain town that Denny calls home, as an uninvited guest on her brother's men-only hunting weekend. But when an accident turns her impromptu visit into an extended stay, Becca finds herself stranded in Virgin River. With Denny. In very close quarters.As the power of Christmas envelops the little town, Becca discovers that the boy she once loved has become a strong and confident man. And the most delicious Christmas present she can imagine.

MIRA Books. October 25, 2011.

16 comments:

  1. I am a lover of Virgin River and I cannot wait for this book to come my way.... I love her series and I especially like her holiday themed books...

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  2. Hi Kathleen!

    I’m addicted to this series and each year I can’t wait to get my annual fix of Virgin River. And just like you I love her Christmas specials, my favorite was A Virgin River Christmas, that book was so sweet and romantic!

    I hope you enjoy this book, come back once you read it and let me know!

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  3. Sounds like you know exactly what you're going to get with these books. Which can be good when you're in the mood for this kind of story. At least you won't be disappointed. Denny sounds like an interesting character. I'm not sure about Becca though. Anywho, Nice review Brie.

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  4. Hi Jade,

    Well it is the 14th book, so if you don’t what you’re getting is because you haven’t been paying attention! Denny was nice guy and he deserved his happy ending. Becca was a bit annoying though. But overall it was a nice story.

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  5. Hey Brie, nice review :)

    I pretty much agree with you. This was a nice addition, but after seeing how great a guy Denny is, I expected more for his story. In a way, I almost wish that Denny had met a new woman ^_^;

    Becca got on my nerves at times I have to say - just the way she was thinking. Plus, while helping others is in the spirits of the holidays, I thought there was too much of that, instead of focusing on their romance. I mean, Denny and Becca never really discussed where their relationship was going. Denny had decided to go with Becca because otherwise the relationship wouldn't have survived and then, Becca decided to stay and voila, HEA ending. It's a bit... too easy?

    I think seeing old characters was inevitable in this book because Jack and Preacher have pretty much taken Denny under their wings and the bar is the center of the community. But I think this time, Ms Carr did a good job with their cameos appearance :)

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  6. nath,

    Yes! I thought the same thing! Maybe their happily ever after wasn’t with each other. I keep reading romances where the leads are so young and they fall in love in their early twenties and feel like this is it, this is The one. And I just want to scream at them a tell them NO! It doesn’t have to be that way, you’re too young, maybe in a couple years when you’re more mature and have a different take on life and different priorities you will find the right person to spend the rest of your life with, the rest of your life is a loooooong time and you need to be careful.

    But you know, after so many books you know exactly what you’re getting with these books, so I’m not surprised by the outcome. What did surprise me was that Denny’s book was the Christmas story and not one of the regular Virgin River trilogies. The Christmas books are usually disconnected from the main story-line and act more like stand-alone novels, but for this one Carr chose a character that was quite popular and maybe he deserved a longer and more detailed book, at least IMO.

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  7. So I haven't read anything by Robyn Carr...I don't think. I kind of feel like I got everything I need from your review and I'm not feeling inclined to read the book (this is a good thing in case you there is something ambiguous about the statement).

    I think it is funny that you mention no one gets pregnant or has any babies. Haha! I actually used to love that about the romance novel formula but it doesn't seem to be part of the formula unless it is a series or trilogy or something.

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  8. You’re so sweet! (I’m not sure if Ms. Carr will agree with me though…)

    Believe me, the births and the babies were getting out of control! They were taking over the series and I felt like I was watching a maternity ward soap opera instead of reading a romance novel, it was insane!

    There were miraculous babies, virgins getting pregnant the first time they had sex, older women getting pregnant the last time they had sex, dogs getting pregnant, horses getting pregnant, homeless alcoholics getting pregnant, drug dealers getting pregnant, abandoned babies, adopted babies, stolen babies, people giving birth alone in the middle of a snow storm…. I’m not kidding, all of these things actually happened, so yes I’m happy that there’s none of that anymore and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it will stay that way!

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  9. i agree with some of the things that you said, afterall you are definitely entitled to your opinion, as we all are. I personally enjoy when Jack, Preacher, Mel and Paige are added to the books and wish she would add them more often. They happen to be my favorite characters and look forward to reading about them in all her books. I also love when they add new babies to the mix, as they can lead to more stories in the future.

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  10. your review of the book certainly does not make it sound very interesting at all. I think I will skip this one!

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  11. Hi Anon (I’m guessing both comments are by the same person, sorry if that’s not the case but my reply goes for both):

    I liked Jack and Mel in their book, and overall in the first trilogy. Then I thought that we were seeing too much of them, especially Mel. Preacher and Paige I always loved, and do enjoy seeing more of them but I never thought that they were taking over the plot as much as Jack and Mel did (my issue with Mel is that she comes across as such a meddler).

    If you’re a fan of the series I say go for it. As you said, this is my opinion so even though it wasn’t the best book for me, you might love it. I try to give a recount of the book but that’s always going to be colored by my feelings about it, perhaps you will read a review by someone who loved the book and feel like you need to read it ASAP because it sounds like the best story ever! (this has happened to me in several occasions)

    Thank you very much for stopping by, if you do read the book come back and let me know how you like it!

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  12. i've been wanting to start this series, and this book sounds great! i have been having the first one on my kitchen table for months, i think i may open it this weekend! (i might have to read this one too before i get to the others) ~dixie

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  13. Hi dixie!

    You should read the series in order, is not that you won’t be able to enjoy this book but since Denny is a recurring character is always best to get the whole picture. Of course there are 13 books before this one so it is a daunting task…. You won’t get lost if you start here, all the books in the series stand-alone well.

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  14. So I've never read Robyn Carr...I think I need to try at least one, right? :)

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  15. I think so too, at least just out of curiosity ;-D

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  16. wow, this has been so helpful to read all this info. about VR. I was late to start reading VR and was so happy b/e I liked it find that I could just keep reading. I am looking forward to reading this new book soon. Robyn tell a great, well written story. I enjoyed the new baby crazy in the first few books. But understand I had my first baby and while spending much time home with baby found this great series. I lost interest in the books in the middle of the series. I even started to skim to find parts that would talk about the original characters. Then I got caught up with the last 2 books and so am looking forward to this new book. I hope Robyn will start a new series that is based in a small town but not as remote as VR. I can't tell you the last time I turned on the tv. I just so enjoy reading her books. And as I said it just works so well with my mommy status. Also I would say I am happy that I found this web page. Great info!

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The books reviewed here were purchased by us. If the book was provided by the author or publisher for review, it will be noted on the post. We do not get any type of monetary compensation from publishers or authors.