Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Paradise Valley by Robyn Carr

Rick & Liz's story (in part)

Paradise Valley

By Robin Carr

Book Blurb:

Marine corporal Rick Sudder is home early from Iraq--his tour ended abruptly on the battlefield. The carefree boy is gone, replaced by a man who believes his future is as bleak as his mirror image. But can the passion and commitment of a young woman who has never given up on him mend his broken body and shattered heart?
As the people of Virgin River rally around Rick, another recent arrival tests the tightly knit mountain town's famous welcoming spirit. Dan Brady has a questionable past, and he's looking for a place to start over. He'd like it to be Virgin River...if he can find a way in. But he never expects to find it in the arms of a woman who was as much an outcast as himself.
For a favorite son returned from war and an outsider looking for a home, Virgin River offers them a chance to make peace with the men they once were...and to find the dreams they thought they'd lost.

I think that Paradise Valley may be my least favourite book of the series so far. I actually just wanted to get through it. I am going to take a pause after this book just to give me a break from Virgin River. I've read them all back to back to this point and I think a little change would make anticipate reading the next book Forbidden Falls more. 
The book blurb makes mention that Paradise Valley's main protagonists are Rick and Liz but it just didn't feel like it. Rick suffered a sad incident in Iraq and he took the ENTIRE book to get over his pity party. It was devastating what happened to him so I did give the storyline the benefit of the doubt. It was just wah wah wah for me to read. I just wanted to knock him up the side of the head for the self inflicted pity. 

I also feel that Rick and Liz's characters are too young for me to get into. I don't feel they have the strength of matured seasoned character for the load of main protagonists. I suppose that could be the reason their story was shared by others. Problem was, I don't feel the secondary characters were strong enough either. So it ended up being a bunch of little stories gathered together hoping to make one big one. Didn't work for me. 
Muriel and the General had some great moments. I really like the movie star Muriel. I picture a very Meryl Streep type of looking character. Perhaps that is what Robyn Carr had in mind when she created the name Muriel? 
Shady Dan's story just seemed to be filler. It feels like he is meant to be this totally cool character but he keeps changing from one book to another. I feel a little lost with him. He has gone through quite a transformation since we were first introduced to him. Military Marine to marijuana grower to convict to a father that had a young son die and finally he seems to have landed on a mentor to Rick. Toss in construction worker with a hidden disability and there you have it; Dan. 
Dan seems to be courting the town ex-drunk Cheryl. Now Cheryl is the one with the major transformation. From the early books she was overweight and pot faced to apparently, now beautiful. (Well Dan thinks so) Their story is really slow. As it should be. But not entertaining. It feels really forced.
Due to the lack of energy and the fact that I didn't really harbour much care for the characters in Paradise Valley, I will just take a step back for now and return when I am in the mood to continue. And I do want to continue. 
Teasers: Jack can't help but butt into other's business, Twins!, getting healthy, church on ebay

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