(Image from Barnes & Noble)
It seems like I'm always talking about romance author Robyn Carr here at BBB. Simple explanation? I just love her. There's something about her books that speaks to me. Carr recently described the appeal of her novels thus:
"I think it's the sense of community and that combination of romance and women's fiction. I'm naturally drawn to strong, capable female characters ... It's very empowering to read about women like ourselves as the characters resolve the issues that threaten their happiness and peace of mind. It's also empowering to watch smart women choosing and falling in love with men of honor and integrity."Yep, that's it.
Given my love for all things Carr, it's not surprising that I turned a few (figurative) cartwheels when I found out about her new series. Not only is it Virgin River-ish, but it's set in a place that is close to my heart—the Oregon Coast. This new crop of characters all live in and around fictional Thunder Point, a small, tired town on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. Although it's got its own rugged charm, the town isn't trendy like Seaside or Cannon Beach, so it struggles to attract the tourist dollars that run the bigger beachside towns. Still, Thunder Point is populated by a cast of good, down home folks who care about their friends and neighbors. It's a tight-knit place where people look after their own.
Helicopter pilot Hank Cooper isn't looking for a place to settle down. Even if he was, the 37-year-old would never choose a backwoods beach town like Thunder Point. All he wants to do is to park his fifth wheel in a pretty spot, spend some nice, long hours enjoying his toys, and move on to the next pretty spot. But when an old Army buddy dies in a suspicious fall, Hank heads to Oregon, intent on figuring out what happened to gentle Ben Bailey. In doing so, he discovers he's the sole beneficiary of Ben's will—Hank now owns his friend's grimy bait shop/bar/convenience store, as well as the surrounding land. It doesn't look like much, but as Hank soon finds out, there are people who would kill to get their hands on his late friend's beachfront property.
Although the smartest plan would probably be to set a match to the old bar, Hank decides to fix it up before selling it. Renovating will require staying in Thunder Point for a bit, which is okay by Hank. At least for now. After all, the more time he spends in the little town, the more it's growing on him. He's getting to know its good citizens—Mac, the deputy sheriff; Gina James, the woman who's so in love with Mac she can barely see straight; strange Rawley Goode, a vet with PTSD; and, of course, there's the beautiful Sarah Dupre and her slobbery mutt, Ham. They're all so big-hearted that Hank can hardly believe a murderer walks among them. But someone killed Ben, Hank's sure of it, he just has to figure out who's hiding homicidal tendencies under their harmless facade. That's becoming more and more difficult the more Hank gets involved in small-town life, the more Thunder Point starts to feel like home ...
The first of the Thunder Point novels, The Wanderer sets the stage for what will undoubtedly become another well-loved series by Robyn Carr. It has all the elements that have made her previous books so popular—warm prose, sympathetic characters, an atmospheric setting, and a vibrant community that espouses good, old-fashioned values. Plus, it's got a little mystery to help round out the plot. While my heart still tilts more Virgin River way, I'm definitely excited to spend some time in Thunder Point. With two more books coming out this year (The Newcomer in June and The Hero in August), it will be quality time, indeed.
(Readalikes: Reminds me of Carr's Virgin River and Grace Valley series)
If this were a movie, it would be rated: R for strong language (a handful of F-bombs, plus milder invectives), sexual content/innuendo, and mild violence
To the FTC, with love: I received a finished copy of The Wanderer from the fabulous and always generous Robyn Carr. Thank you!