These books are the perfect "getting into the holiday spirit" type of read.
Marcie recently lost her Marine husband, Bobby, due to injuries he suffered while serving in Iraq. It's been a year since Bobby's death, and Marcie would like to move forward with her life, and get a little closure. But in order to do that, she needs to track down her husband's best friend from the military, Ian Buchanan, and thank him again for saving Bobby and give him a few momentos she thinks Bobby would like him to have. He had planned to serve 20 years in the Marines, but after he saved Bobby and sentenced him to a life as a total invalid, he suffered such enormous guilt that he let it wreck his life and his career. Ian decides to just drop out of life for a while, living a minimal existence selling firewood on a mountaintop near the small California town of Virgin River. With his dark hair tied back in a long ponytail, a bushy red beard and wearing tattered clothes, and living in a small one room cabin without indoor plumbing, Ian looks and acts like a dropout from life. It was fun to revisit that small California town again--after Marcie's first encounter with some of the residents, it was like I never left.
So, imagine my everlasting surprise and happiness when I discovered that the hero for Robyn Carr's A Virgin River Christmas has a beard. Ian and Marcie's story is perfectly done....their love unfolds slowly and believably as they bond in his tiny cabin. The scene at the end of the book when Ian sings in front of the memorial Christmas tree is astounding. Robyn Carr is a true master of romance.
It definitely had a 'novella' feel to it, and there weren't really any side stories going on, so I'm thinking it might have appeared first in an anthology. Definitely my favorite character of the series so far, and probably in the top five female characters I've read this year. It ends right before something I feel we either needed to see or hear about after the fact. But if you make it this far in the series, there's no way you're NOT going to read on, so just enjoy.
One of the best romance books ever. This was my second time reading A Virgin River Christmas and, yall, this book. You need to read this book. And she's determined to find his best friend and the man who risked everything to save him years earlier and then disappeared. Marcie and Ian. They're incredible. But other than that A Virgin River Christmas is a moving romance that'll bring you to tears and leave you full of hope and wonder.
Anyways, this isnt the type of contemporary romance I usually read (I like a bit of action, suspense or the occasional vampire in my mix) However the Virgin River series is so hugely popular and was recommended to me by a ton of people so I just had to check it out. Sure there were a few characters I might have enjoyed more if Id know their story but this stood just fine on its own and centered pretty much solely on Ian and Marcies heartbreaking journey of love and healing. Marcie Sullivan is looking for closure; shes come to Virgin River to find her husbands Sergeant and best friend. As Marcie cared for her husband she forged a friendship (through letters) with his sergeant Ian, pouring out her heart, frustrations and sadness to a man shed never met. Of course this leads to her almost freezing to death, catching hypothermia and Ian having to save and care for her until shes better (It is a romance after all) Marcies character is a bit of a goof and I really liked her and her adventures with living in a rustic cabin.
This book tells the story of Ian Buchanan, an emotionally scarred former Marine, and Marcie Sullivan, widow of Ian's best friend, who died from injuries sustained while at war despite Ian's attempt to save him. Marcie has been searching for Ian, feeling that there is unfinished business between them. Ian knows who Marcie is he met her at one point when he came back from the war while her husband was in a long-term care facility but he wants nothing to do with her. But Marcie becomes ill, and Ian has no choice but to take care of her. I love to read Christmas-themed romances, but most often I read historicals. This is the first contemporary romance I've read with a Christmas theme, and I enjoyed it.
I have to admit I had an initial smidge of disappointment when I realized this book didn't feature existing Virgin River characters, but introduced two new ones. But I quickly got over it because the new characters were interesting, and the old ones had big enough supporting roles to make you feel the connection to the previous books. And she can't stop thinking that if she could find Bobby's best friend and superior, Ian Buchanan, and settle some things with him, that maybe she'd finally find her way. But then Ian had disappeared after he left the Marines not long after Bobby's injury, and Marcie knows he must be hiding from the emotional scars he's suffered. I also really enjoyed how the characters from past Virgin River books had more than just passing roles. The only other thing that bothered me was that once Marcie and Ian did hook up, they were together a lot, but there was never once a mention of birth control.
I really loved Marcie as a heroine, her humor and take on life was so refreshing. This book is a stand alone so you don't need to read the series in order for this one, but you will get to see a bit of Jack, Mel, Preacher, Mike, Brie...etc.
Robyn Carr is a RITA Award-winning, eleven-time #1 New York Times bestselling author of almost sixty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series.