Last Christmas Marcie Sullivan said a final goodbye to her husband, Bobby. This Christmas she’s come to Virgin River to find the man who saved his life and gave her three more years to love him. Fellow marine Ian Buchanan dragged Bobby’s shattered body onto a medical transport in Fallujah four years ago, then disappeared as soon as their unit arrived stateside. Since then, Marcie’s letters to Ian have gone unanswered.
Marcie tracks Ian to the tiny mountain town of Virgin River and finds a man as wounded emotionally as Bobby was physically. But she is not easily scared off. As Marcie pushes her way into his rugged and reclusive life, she discovers a sweet but damaged soul beneath a rough exterior.
Ian doesn’t know what to make of the determined young widow who forces him to look into the painful past and, what’s worse, the uncertain future. But it is, after all, a season of miracles and maybe, just maybe, it’s time to banish the ghosts and open his heart.
In honor of my birthday today, I’m posting the review for my FAVORITE romance read in 2013. A VIRGIN RIVER CHRISTMAS was ahh-mazing. This is the fourth book in the Virgin River series, and timeline-wise, it takes place at the same time as the third book, WHISPERING ROCK. Sure, you can read this one as stand-alone, but why would you want to miss out on the first three books filled with Virgin River goodness?
A VIRGIN RIVER CHRISTMAS begins with recently widowed Marcie Sullivan trying to find the man who saved her husband’s life in Iraq four years earlier. Ian Buchanan pulled severely wounded Bobby Sullivan to safety, but once stateside, Ian disappeared. The two Marines were close friends, and even Marcie developed a friendship with Ian through letters after Bobby’s injury, but then his letters stopped. But hers didn’t. She continued to write him at a general delivery address in the mountains of Northern California, so that’s where she begins her search.
Ian has become a reclusive, mountain man-type, with a bushy red beard on his face and an outhouse in his yard. He’s just fine being shut off from the rest of the world, even if it means living in a one-room cabin with no plumbing or electricity. On top of a mountain just outside of Virgin River is as good a place as any to hide from his demons, until stubborn and determined Marcie Sullivan shows up and forces him to face his past.
A VIRGIN RIVER CHRISTMAS is a tender and moving love story that had me tearing up a few times. The characterizations of Ian and Marcie were perfect – Ian as the emotionally scarred ex-Marine and Marcie as the young widow trying to find the strength to move on. I know it sounds like a sad tale, but it was also heartwarming and uplifting and even funny at times. I’m very curious to see what becomes of Ian and Marcie, and I’m hoping they make an appearance in future books.
Loved it! I highly recommend this book and this series!
Rating: 5 Stars