April 24, 2012

Review: Sunrise Point by Robyn Carr


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

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.

Review by Brie
Grade: 4
Sensuality: McSexy
Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis:

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.

9 comments:

  1. Yup, if you’re American, you can get a good deal on this book. If you’re not (like me!), you can’t even buy it on Kindle for any price! Grr to stupid, out-dated regional restrictions!

    Great review. This was a good book because it had so much of Robyn Carr’s fantastic humour to go with the serious stuff.
    I did like the last book a lot… the ending was refreshing for this series.

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    1. I'm so sorry, Sonya. I'll fix the link to make clear the promo is just for US residents. I always forget about geo restrictions. You can't even get it on Kindle? That sucks even more. But you did get to read it, right? I'm glad you enjoyed it!!

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  2. Very nice review, Brie. I'm torn... One one hand, I think I need a break from the series. On the other, you come out with this review, saying this is the best of the trilogy LOL. At the same time, I'm thinking overall, this trilogy has been weak... Sigh.

    You know, the heroine reminds me of Noah's wife, Ellie... and that turns me off a little ^_^; I think I'm going to wait a while before picking this one up :)

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    1. Funny you should mention Noah, since he plays an important role in the book. Nora does resemble Ellie a bit, mostly because of their stories, but their personalities are quite different... Now I can't remember Ellie that well, but she was very upfront and maybe wild? Nora is more shy and calm. You didn't like Noah and Ellie's book? I loved that one! LOL

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  3. Always a fan of friends to lovers stories so the fact that the characters take time to like each other before becoming intimate is very appealing. It's good to know with the 19th novel in the series, Ms. Carr was able to bring something new and fresh to the table despite your disappointment with some of the previous novels.

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    1. Yes she did, and that's why I keep reading her, maybe I won't like all her books, but when I do they usually end up being keepers!

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  4. I'm a new Carr fan. I read Bring Me Home for Christmas recently and fell in love with the town. I can't wait to catch up on this series!

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    1. I reviewed that book here and still had to google it to remember which book was, that's what happens when you read too many books LOL! I didn't like it that much, so I'm sure you will love the series given that you did. You must read A Virgin River Christmas, that's my favorite VR book and a perfect stand alone, it's so cute! Love it!!!

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    2. I did have a few problems with the book (too many kids in the story line), but I fell in love with the town and the people in it. I want to read it in order but the newer books sound really good :)

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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.