Hidden Summit - A Virgin River Novel, Book 17
By Dorine Linnen
Nov 27, 2011 - 4:40:55 PM

Connor Danson witnesses a murder behind his hardware store in Sacramento.  The store is then mysteriously burned down.  When Connor receives a threat, the District Attorney moves Connor and his sister, Katie, into protective custody.  The District Attorney believes the murder suspect is "connected" and will do whatever it takes to keep Connor, who is the sole witness to the crime, from testifying against him.

Not sure if there's a leak in his office or not, the District Attorney turns to his former colleague, Brie Valenzuela, to assist with temporary relocation.  Connor is relocated to Virgin River, while Katie is sent to Vermont.  Keeping them separated by miles until the trial is over is the safest plan for Katie and her twin boys.

Connor has been like a father to Katie's twins since her husband died in Afghanistan.  Katie and Connor had been close since their dad passed away and they inherited his hardware store.  But they became even more inseparable when Katie lost her husband while she was pregnant with twins.  Keeping these siblings separated now when danger threatens them all, including everything they've always known as home, and their ability to earn a living is the most difficult situation either has faced.

Recently divorced, Leslie Petruso is looking for some place peaceful where she won't have to look at her ex-husband and his new pregnant wife on a daily basis.  Her ex is determined that they'll be the best of friends, even though he was the one who prompted their divorce.  Leslie has had enough of being the victim in his twisted reality.  She turns to her good friend, Paul Haggerty, to give her a job in his construction business at the Virgin River branch.  It doesn't take Leslie long to impress Paul and his crew with her organizational skills, not to mention her ability to pleasantly keep them all in line without them knowing how it happened.

Connor is angry that he and his family are in this situation to begin with but he cannot walk away from doing what's right.  His anger soon subsides as he succumbs to the community spirit well known in Virgin River.  And then there's Leslie.

Connor and Leslie butt heads starting with their very first meeting, but they can't ignore their attraction.  Connor is hired as a carpenter at Haggerty Construction, so they're bound to bump into one another.  Each moment together begins to tear down the walls they've built around themselves.  Neither wants a relationship, but can they deny the desire that's bubbling to the surface, threatening an inferno at any moment?

I've been recommended the VIRGIN RIVER series by several reader friends, but have never had the opportunity to read one until jumping in at book seventeen, HIDDEN SUMMIT.  The sense of community in Virgin River stands out and, of course, I'm now anxious for book eighteen, REDWOOD BEND.

I loved the sense of responsibility for their neighbors in HIDDEN SUMMIT, as well as the humor woven into the characters' interaction with each other.  I also enjoyed the layering of the plot, leaving a trail of clues, resolving some by the end and others left to be answered in upcoming books.  Robyn Carr has an engaging style which draws you right in.  What I appreciated most was the ease of trying this entertaining series in the middle without pause.  That speaks volumes to the talent of Robyn Carr and has effortlessly gained her another enthusiast.  The secondary characters, some well known to the fans of the series, intrigued me enough to seek out some of Ms. Carr's previous books, as well as looking forward to what's next, but at no point did I feel lost in a world I didn't know.  The novel flows smoothly, creating an immediate connection to the characters as if you've always known them. 

HIDDEN SUMMIT is an uplifting piece of woman's fiction filled with laugh-out-loud moments, feel-good camaraderie, a sensual romance and a protective, supportive community with a compelling plot to absorb yourself in for a few hours.

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