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Virgin River by Robyn Carr - Romance>Contemporary
Welcome back to Virgin River with the books that started it all...
Wanted: Midwife/nurse practitioner in Virgin River, population six hundred. Make a difference against a backdrop of towering California redwoods and crystal-clear rivers. Rent-free cabin included.
When the recently widowed Melinda Monroe sees this ad, she quickly decides that the remote mountain town of Virgin River might be the perfect place to escape her heartache, and to reenergize the nursing career she loves. But her high hopes are dashed within an hour of arriving: the cabin is a dump, the roads are treacherous and the local doctor wants nothing to do with her. Realizing she's made a huge mistake, Mel decides to leave town the following morning.
But a tiny baby, abandoned on a front porch, changes her plans...and former marine Jack Sheridan cements them into place.
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Mel squinted into the rain and darkness, creeping along the narrow, twisting, muddy, treeenshrouded road, and for the hundredth time thought, Am I out of my mind? And then she heard and felt a thump as the right rear wheel of her BMW slipped off the road onto the shoulder and sank into the mud. The car rocked to a stop. She accelerated and heard the wheel spin but she was going nowhere fast.
I am so screwed, was her next thought.
She turned on the dome light and looked at her cell phone. She'd lost the signal an hour ago when she left the freeway and headed up into the mountains. In fact, she'd been having a pretty lively discussion with her sister Joey when the steep hills and unbelievably tall trees blocked the signal and cut them off.
"I cannot believe you're really doing this," Joey was saying. "I thought you'd come to your senses. This isn't you, Mel! You're not a small-town girl!"
"Yeah? Well, it looks like I'm gonna be—I took the job and sold everything, so I wouldn't be tempted to go back."
"You couldn't just take a leave of absence? Maybe go to a small, private hospital? Try to think this through?"
"I need everything to be different," Mel said. "No more hospital war zone. I'm just guessing, but I imagine I won't be called on to deliver a lot of crack babies out here in the woods. The woman said this place, this Virgin River, is calm and quiet and safe."
"And stuck back in the forest, a million miles from a Starbucks, where you'll get paid in eggs and pig's feet and—"
"And none of my patients will be brought in handcuffed, guarded by a corrections officer." Then Mel took a breath and, unexpectedly, laughed and said, "Pig's feet? Oh-oh, Joey—I'm going up into the trees again, I might lose you..."
"You wait. You'll be sorry. You'll regret this. This is crazy and impetuous and—"
That's when the signal, blessedly, was lost. And Joey was right—with every additional mile, Mel was doubting herself and her decision to escape into the country.
At every curve the roads had become narrower and the rain a little harder. It was only 6:00 p.m., but it was already dark as pitch; the trees were so dense and tall that even that last bit of afternoon sun had been blocked. Of course there were no lights of any kind along this winding stretch. According to the directions, she should be getting close to the house where she was to meet her new employer, but she didn't dare get out of her swamped car and walk. She could get lost in these woods and never be seen again.
Instead, she fished the pictures from her briefcase in an attempt to remind herself of a few of the reasons why she had taken this job. She had pictures of a quaint little hamlet of clapboard houses with front porches and dormer windows, an old-fashioned schoolhouse, a stee-pled church, hollyhocks, rhododendrons and blossoming apple trees in full glory, not to mention the green pastures upon which livestock grazed. There was the pie and coffee shop, the corner store, a tiny one-room, freestanding library, and the adorable little cabin in the woods that would be hers, rent free, for the year of her contract.
The town backed up to the amazing sequoia redwoods and national forests that spanned hundreds of miles of wilderness over the Trinity and Shasta mountain ranges. The Virgin River, after which the town was named, was deep, wide, long, and home to huge salmon, sturgeon, steel fish and trout. She'd looked on the internet at pictures of that part of the world and was easily convinced no more beautiful land existed. Of...
Virgin RiverBy: Robyn Carr