At this point it should be obvious why I got this book so I’ll skip that part and go straight to the review, especially because I’m running out of ways to explain why I’m a fan of Ms. Carr’s books.
Sunrise Point is the story of Nora Crane. She is in her early twenties, already a single mother of two girls, and desperate. Her boyfriend, a drug-addict and an ass, left her and their daughters abandoned in Virgin River. For the past few months she’s been getting by thanks to the help of everyone in town but she wants better for her kids so she decides to get a better-paying job. The opportunity comes in the form of the local orchard, so she decides to apply for a job picking apples.
Tom Cavanaugh has decided to settle down once and for all. His work running the family orchard is his dream, but he wants a wife and kids. His ideal woman is classy, willing to move to Virgin River, and most importantly, baggage-free. So when Nora comes asking for a job the instant attraction is unwelcomed, after all, she never got married, she has two young daughters, her ex is in prison and she’s almost homeless. He even refuses to hire her because she has no experience and doesn’t even look strong enough to handle the job. But his grandmother can see beyond that and makes him help her, so Nora ends up working for them.
Nora doesn’t want a relationship either, so once that’s settled, they become friends. Nora has to deal with her new job and Tom begins dating another woman. But is that what they really want? Nora dreams of having the stability that comes with a family and a home like Tom’s, and Tom keeps fighting the attraction he feels towards a woman who couldn’t be farther from his ideal. But love has other plans so it’s time to adapt.
Believe it or not, this is the nineteenth book in the Virgin Rive series, the nineteenth! I don’t know how she does it but she keeps getting new ideas. I confess that I wasn’t sure about this book. The last two books were more miss than hit so I even considered not reading it. Howeve I can’t resist the temptation and I’m really glad I read it because this is by far the best of the latest trilogy.
Nora was a great heroine. Really young but mature given the circumstances, not only with the kids but also her family and background. Hardworking and a little bit stubborn. Not much different from all the other Virgin River heroines. Tom was also very likeable, he had many things in common with Nora, the stubbornness in particular, and he had a very clear idea of what he wanted, in fact, most of the book, if not all, is about him getting over his expectations and realizing that what you think you want is not necessarily what you get and really want.
The best thing about this book, and what I think marks the biggest departure from Ms. Carr’s usual stories, is the fact that the romance develops really slowly. Yes, there is an instant connection, but the leads are not ready to be together, they don’t even want to. So they become friends instead. I found this to be such a refreshing change, Nora and Tom meet in the book, but it’s almost like a friends-to-lovers story. Obviously if you are into instant gratification the fact that they don’t even begin dating until way past the middle mark may throw you off, but I personally enjoyed it. I don’t like insta-love so the fact that the leads get to know each other before falling in love was wonderful.
There’s a villain in the book, and she was absolutely ridiculous and cartoonish. She’s the woman Tom dates before Nora and I found her one-dimensional and evil. I get it, she’s there to cause trouble and help the hero realize what he really wants, but why not give her some depth? You can have an antagonistic character that isn’t evil, or at least give him/her a reason to be that way. Also, the hero’s attitude got on my nerves. His ideal was unattainable and it takes him way too long to understand it. But those are the only complaints I have, and regardless of them, I really enjoyed the book.
This book stands alone perfectly well. You don’t need to read any of the previous books to fully appreciate Sunrise Point. It’s a great contemporary romance recommended to fans of small town stories. If you’re a fan of the Virgin River books, then you probably already read it, and if not, I’m sure you will love it.
ETA: if you have a Kindle, the book is only $1.99
, that's an awesome deal and I'm not sure how long it will last. (Thanks to Sonya for pointing out that this deal is just for US residents) The promo has ended, the price is $6.15 now.
ETA: if you have a Kindle, the book is only $1.99
Review by Brie
Former marine Tom Cavanaugh has come home to Virgin River, ready to take over his family's apple orchard and settle down. He knows just what the perfect woman will be like: sweet, decent, maybe a little naive. The marrying kind.
Nothing like Nora Crane. So why can't he keep his eyes off the striking single mother?
Nora may not have finished college, but she graduated with honors from the school of hard knocks. She's been through tough times and she'll do whatever it takes to support her family, including helping with harvest time at the Cavanaughs' orchard. She's always kept a single-minded focus on staying afloat…but suddenly her thoughts keep drifting back to rugged, opinionated Tom Cavanaugh.
Both Nora and Tom have their own ideas of what family means. But they're about to prove each other completely wrong.…
Mira. April 24, 2012.