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
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.