Sunrise Point by Robyn Carr was my first trip to the lovely town of Virgin River in northern California. But I don’t think it will be my last. Not just because the town was beautiful, but because the people who live there are ones I’d like to see again, to catch up on their stories. And because the love stories that seem to happen there, like Sunrise Point, involve terrific characters and great storytelling.
Nora Crane is a single mother with two very young daughters. Her daughters’ sperm donor (father is so the wrong word) abandoned her in Virgin River in a house that not only wasn’t ready for winter, it wasn’t even fit for habitation. The whole town pitched in to help Nora get by.
But Nora wants to stand on her own two feet. The school of hard knocks is a rough teacher, but she’s learned better than to be dependent on anyone ever again. She was young and stupid when she dropped out of college to follow a minor league ballplayer who ended up a drug dealer, but she’s not stupid anymore. Now she’s still young, but she’s pragmatic as she can be.
And she needs to work to support herself and her girls. Harvest time at Tom Cavanaugh’s orchard is the best paying work she can get now that school is out for the summer and her teaching assistant job is temporarily over.
It doesn’t matter that the orchard is over 3 miles outside of town, that she has no car, and that Tom Cavanaugh is ruggedly handsome, overly opinionated…and only hired her because his grandmother made him take pity on her situation. Nora will prove to herself, and Tom, that she can learn the back-breaking, callous-making hard work of picking apples.
The thing is, Nora is all wrong about the reason Tom didn’t want to hire her. Oh yes, he’s worried about her learning the job, but everyone is new once. Tom’s problem is that he finds Nora much too attractive, and he doesn’t want to get himself involved with someone who works for him. And he’s just back from serving with the Marines in Afghanistan. He’s thinking about settling down, but he’s not ready for a ready-made family either.
Nora is both an employee, and a single mother. He should be declaring her completely off-limits.
And Nora has already made some seriously bad decisions about men once in her life. Getting involved with her boss is all kinds of bad.
But the heart wants what the heart wants. The head can be so totally wrong about these things. Especially in Virgin River.
Escape Rating B+: Watching Nora and Tom court and spark is the fun part of this story. When they are thinking and not feeling, they think they are wrong for each other. But when they simply interact, everyone around them can see they are so very right for each other. It just takes them a long time to see it. Their obliviousness is funny, and almost heartbreaking. The wrong choice does loom over them for a while.
There are two sets of background characters. The set that are part and parcel of Nora and Tom’s story are terrific. I’m not sure there is anyone who wouldn’t want Tom’s grandmother Maxie for their own. Or at least to borrow her for awhile. She’s marvelous. The story of Nora’s childhood, and the resolution, that part introduces some good things as well.
The other piece of the story is probably the setup for the next book, with some characters who had their HEA in a previous story and one new one. Because this was my first trip to Virgin River, I was a little bit lost in the parts with Luke, Jack and Cooper. But I think Cooper’s story might be the next book, since Luke (Temptation Ridge) and Jack (Virgin River) have already had their stories.
Speaking of temptation, I’m tempted to go back to find out exactly what their stories are. Before book 20 in this series comes out. I want to catch up with everyone!
For more of my thoughts on Sunrise Point, check out Book Lovers Inc.