Review: One Wish by Robyn Carr

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You know the best thing about this book? It brought me back to 14 years of age, reading a teen novel about a figure skater… On Thin Ice, or Champion On Ice… I can’t remember the title, but I can remember the pink paperback cover, the worn spine, the old Volvo that almost didn’t get the skater to the rink one morning. I wish I still had that book. In the blink of an eye I would step into that teenage world for 150 pages and love every 1980s minute of it.

I can’t get a hold of that book, but I CAN get the same nostalgic feeling, vicariously through the main character of One Wish. Grace used to be a champion figure skater. She left the drama and the pressure to open up a flower shop in Thunder Point. Where she meets Troy. The teacher who likes to have fun during his time off. Outdoor fun. Athletic fun. Fun with women. Fun with Grace!

One Wish tells more than just the romance between Grace and Troy, though. We see Grace’s struggle with the past, her talent for the florist business, her ambivalence toward her mother, and her friendship with Iris.

I enjoyed the wedding planning, the return of old characters, the Ray-Anne subplot, and the sense of community coming together to support one of their own. Carr put heart into One Wish… And although Troy was occasionally a bit smarmy, most of the novel rang authentic. I shed some messy tears, both happy and sad.

Carr fans, you must read this book. I was SO EXCITED to read a Thunder Point novel that measured up to the Virgin River series – a high standard, indeed.

-calliope

P.S. I just KNOW that Ray-Anne’s Gingersnap will be a central character in an upcoming Thunder Point novel. I CAN’T WAIT!!!

buy ONE WISH (really! you must!)

Review: The Promise by Robyn Carr

20140623-230542-83142578.jpg Robyn Carr, you’ve done it! You’ve created a Thunder Point novel that I fell in love with, just as I fell in love with the Virgin River books. The Promise was SO satisfying. From the small-town doctor’s office to the big-time ex-boyfriend cardiologist, from the romantic tension between widower Scott and newcomer Peyton to the comfortable companionship of Carrie and Rawley, I was completely taken by The Promise.

I was glad Carr took the time to give me her usual update on characters from past books, and even happier that this installment centered on a romantic relationship or two. Or three. I was pleasantly surprised to find Rawley making a move … And making no apologies for it!

Some of the most fun parts to read were of Peyton’s visits to her family farm. I could feel her joy and relief when she stepped foot on the property: a place of safety, respite, love, and dancing! Peyton’s family was warm and embracing, a lovely counterpart to the misunderstandings and dilemmas facing Peyton. And the food… Ohmygoodness my mouth was watering. I wasn’t even hungry and I was jonesing for a fresh baked baguette, olive oil, and just-picked tomatoes.

The Promise really has it all: food, family, fun, love … oh! and two new babies. Irresistible. I’ll read it again unless Book 6 is waiting in the wings.

Ms. Carr? Possible publish date for book 6? Hello?

-Calliope

buy THE PROMISE

Review: Four Friends by Robyn Carr

20140315-230110.jpg I’ve been a fan of Robyn Carr ever since Virgin River … And I’ll always be a fan. But Four Friends is nothing like the nature-filled, adventurous, romantic tales of Virgin River or Thunder Point.

Four friends is about four neighborhood women, each in a different phase in life, each with struggles, and each with strengths. They bring each other wine, pull each other out of bed to join the daily morning walks, and save each other’s lives. Literally.

The more I think about this book, the more ambivalent I am about it. I liked it, but there were some parts that just annoyed me!

For example:
I’m a sucker for a good tale about marriage, but I hated that there was cheating going on. I appreciate Carr being a champion for victims of domestic abuse, but some of that story seemed contrived. Crystal-toting Sonja lent a cool quirkiness that I loved… and then the rug was ripped out from under me when Sonja wasn’t really who she appeared to be. And Andy’s love life was great for her, but her new man was so timid and tepid that I couldn’t feel the attraction.

I think I felt like I was looking in on a pretend world when I read Four Friends. I was totally entertained, and the friendships were terrific. But I wasn’t drawn in to the story… I wasn’t in the pages with the characters… They just weren’t real to me.

All in all, from the outside looking in, Four Friends is a fresh take on women’s friendships with each other and the struggles they overcome in their relationships with men.

–Calliope

Buy FOUR FRIENDS

Review: The Chance by Robyn Carr

20140222-221620.jpg This continuation of life in Thunder Point, Oregon, isn’t as good as the others. Though I love Robyn Carr and her pacific coast characters, the Chance seemed to be rushed — with more telling than showing.

What I did like was that I got to know Ray Ann a little better, and she finally found her soul mate. I also liked the three-teenagers-taking-care-of-their-sick-mom subplot, and the focus on Eric’s garage.

Eric and Laine weren’t really believable as a couple. She’s type-A FBI, he’s a mellow mechanic with a criminal record. I don’t know, it just didn’t jibe for me. I liked their individual stories – he’s the boss of some new Thunder Point characters, she’s the daughter of a demanding surgeon who is showing signs of Alzheimer’s. But together? I couldn’t see their attraction to each other.

One technical thing that bothered me was that there were a lot of typos and misspellings. I realize I read an Advance Review Copy, but a handful of erroneous phrases like “towed the line” instead of “toed the line” cropped up repeatedly.

I enjoyed The Chance. It just didn’t wow me like I expected a Robyn Carr novel to. I will absolutely read Carr’s next novel, Four Friends, because I believe when you write more than one novel each year, there is bound to be one that doesn’t impress me like the rest. I know Robyn Carr excellence is up next.

–Calliope

If you’re a Thunder Point fan and want to read Eric’s story:
Buy The Chance

Review: The Hero by Robyn Carr

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5 stars!

Oh, Robyn Carr, I do love your talent. Who else can make an ensemble cast and a main character develop simultaneously in the same novel? Romance leads the way while family life and suspense follow closely behind.

I liked the romantic element in The Hero — Devon runs away with her daughter from a drug dealer-run commune — and ends up falling in love with a new guy in a new town (Thunder Point). He’s her hero in a way.

And I liked the family and community themes EVEN MORE. Rawley, the antisocial, grouchy old coot who helps Cooper at the beach restaurant, finally finds a social niche. Rawley found Devon walking along the road, saved her, and gave her a place to stay — a physical home and a home in his grandfatherly heart. Devon and her daughter Mercy are the family Rawley never had. He is Devon’s hero, too.

The women of the town quickly take to Devon, meeting her for coffee and lending an ear. They make her feel part of the town, without requiring that she repay them. The women’s friendships save Devon emotionally. They are her heroes.

By the end, we see the many ways Devon is a hero – to herself, her love interest, her daughter, Rawley, the doctor’s office. And she finally sees it too.

Around Devon’s story, Robyn Carr masterfully weaves in updates on the rest of the characters, whose stories began in Thunder Point books 1 and 2: Eric and Ashley, Cooper and Sarah and Landon (and Eve), Mac and Gina, Spencer and Austin… their relationships continue to grow and develop in wonderful ways. There are new homes, engagement rings, new jobs, a new school year, and even a beach wedding.

The Hero was a combination of the best romantic elements from The Wanderer (book 1) and the well-developed family elements in The Newcomer (book 2).

Thank you for a great escape, Robyn Carr! I lived in Thunder Point for a night and enjoyed every word, every chapter.

–Calliope

Buy It Now The Hero