Luke is a retired Army pilot in need of a change. Deciding to work on the property he bought in Virgin River years ago, he rides into town on his Harley, half in love with the place already after meeting
Shelby. But as attractive as he found her, he’s a thirty-eight year old man. And
Shelby barely looked old enough to be out of high school. Except when he learns she’s of age, he has the hardest time pushing her from his thoughts.
Luke and Shelby dance around each other and with each other, eventually consummating their relationship. The secondary characters in
Virgin River are delightful, and add to this intricate courtship between a man with emotional baggage and a woman wanting more than he thinks he can give.
Shelby is a mature woman, innocent, but not ignorant of the world. She has goals, and no matter what her heart wants, she won’t be less than her mother taught her to be. The reader can’t help rooting for
Shelby’s happily ever after. Luke has been deeply hurt in the past, and the way he deals with his unhappiness is realistic and sad. At the same time, his relationship with
Shelby shows the reader how much potential and love Luke has to give. His relationship with Art is especially moving.
With TEMPTATION RIDGE, Ms. Carr has scored a hit. This is my first
Virgin River book, and despite the many characters and relationships introduced, I was never lost, but intrigued. Well-drawn, involved, and captivating characters move this book past a conventional romance into a study of life in a small town and the love that can lie deep within.
Virgin River IS it’s characters. And the romance in this book remains the focus, even as Ms. Carr deftly weaves family, conflict, and drama throughout.
I look forward to her next novel set in Virgin River,
VALLEY. If you want a heartwarming, moving story about people falling in love in a place where miracles of the heart do happen, pick up TEMPTATION RIDGE. You won’t be disappointed.