April 24, 2007
January 30 - February 7, 2023
For the second time in a year a woman arrives in the small town of Virgin River trying to escape the past.
John “Preacher” Middleton is about to close the bar when a young woman and her three-year-old son come in out of a wet October night. A marine who has seen his share of pain, Preacher knows a crisis when he sees one—the woman is covered in bruises. He wants to protect them, and he wants to punish whoever did this to her, but he knows immediately that this inclination to protect is something much more. Paige Lassiter has stirred up emotions in this gentle giant of a man—emotions that he has never allowed himself to feel.
But when Paige’s ex-husband turns up in Virgin River, Preacher knows his own future hangs in the balance. And if there’s one thing in the marines’ motto of Semper Fidelis—always faithful—has taught him, it’s that some things are worth fighting for.
I started reading these books because of the Netflix series. I adore the Netflix series! Unfortunately, I do not adore this book series and I think this will be the last one I read.
Shelter Mountain is the second book in the Virgin River series, which the Netflix series is based on.
Shelter Mountain is the story of John (whom we know from book 1 as Preacher) and Paige. When Paige shows up at the bar Preacher runs with his pal Jack searching for an inn with a room for the night for her and her young son, she completely shakes Preacher’s world.
I like Preacher. And I think that’s in large part because of how he’s portrayed on the TV series. He looks like a tough guy, but he’s a softie at heart. His immediate connection with Paige’s son (I think they aged him up in the TV show, he seems much younger in the book, though I don’t recall them specifying his age) is absolutely heartwarming.
Paige meanwhile acts as I would expect a woman running from an abusive ex would act. She has her defenses up, but over time we see her realize how good a man Preacher is, and it was nice to watch that relationship grow at her pace. It was weird to me how Paige really seemed to have no clue how computers and the Internet work. A quick Google search tells me the book was published in 2007 and the Internet was definitely around long enough that even if Paige’s husband banned her from using it, she would’ve had experience before she met him. It was just odd to me.
As for the setting, the book mostly takes place at the bar where Paige stays. It’s a small town in the middle of nowhere, and as a city-suburbs girl, I do enjoy the quiet, slower pace of life portrayed in the Virgin River series and others like it.
So, why the 3 star rating? Honestly… I was kind of bored. There were no surprises. There were also too many parallels to book 1. I did like this book better than the first in the series, mostly because of the characters, but the book wasn’t unputdownable for me. I know that there are plenty of readers who adore this book, and I’m glad it exists for you. As for me, I’ll be moving onto books that are more to my liking.