Wild Man Creek - Virgin River, Bk 14 Author:Robyn Carr SOMETIMES LOVE TAKES ROOT IN UNEXPECTED PLACES -- IF YOU’LL ONLY LET IT GROW — Colin Riordan came to Virgin River to recuperate from a horrific helicopter crash, the scars of which he bears inside and out. His family is wonderfully supportive, but it’s his art than truly soothes his troubled soul. — Stung personally and professi... more »onally by an ill-advised affair, PR guru Jillian Matlock arrived in town via golden parachute. She’s bought an old Victorian with a promising garden and is looking forward to cultivating something other than a corporate brand.
When Jillian finds Colin at his easel in her yard, there’s an instant connection. But both are holding romance at arm’s length -- looking to simplify, not complicate, their lives. And Jill may yet be lured back to Silicon Valley...
No one arrives in Virgin River without a story, and no one leaves -- if they ever do -- unchanged.« less
Virgin River still going strong, Wild Man Creek did not disappoint. Virgin River is my favorite series, I recommend it to everyone and now half my neighborhood is reading it. Even though it just rolls along, nothing too crazy, it captures me every time. I found myself just opening Wild Man Creek and in no time I was half way through it, it was that smooth. Colin and Jillian's story was sweet and mature, no major conflicts, but not boring. My only conflicting thought was that Colin in WMC was not the same character as described in the previous books before the accident. I liked this one better, more mellow and lovable. I need to find this hidden commune of Virgin River men!
No matter how many books I have on my TBR shelves, once any book from Robyn Carr comes in the mail everything comes to halt! Never can I let a book from this author sits too long, wished she can write a little faster...
This book really touch my heart for the simple fact that both H/H have different dreams but was still able to make it work. And its so fun to see a woman in the corporate world achieve so much and once backstabbed and defitted by her boyfriend still have the courage and determination to try something as simple as a hobby that turned to career of heart(wished I can do that). Once again, thumbs up for Robyn Carr for the best book ever!!!
Tracy F. reviewed Wild Man Creek (Virgin River, Bk 14) on
Helpful Score: 1
This twelfth book in Robyn Carr's Virgin River series is my first experience with Carr's books, and despite the wild popularity of the series, I had some issues with this one in both style and content. While the plot was okay conceptually, the narrative had some problems. There was a lot of repetition and readers are told again and again about things ranging from Jill's experience with gardening as a child, to Colin's plans when he leaves, to Jill's plans with the high-end veggies, and more. And when the narrative isn't bogged down with repetition, it's overburdened by excessive exclamation. None of the characters seemed to say or think things, they say! or think! them, as if everyone was either perpetually cheery or consistently emphatic. Not only did that get old quickly for me as a reader, but it stripped away much of the emotional range that rounds out characters, making them seem rather two dimensional and superficial. And exclamations were especially off-putting in Colin's dialogue. That's probably a personal preference, though. I like my big broody men to be big and broody, and the exclamations just seem too darn chippy.
Beyond that, I had a lot of trouble liking either of the main characters. Within pages I knew I was going to have trouble with Jill, not for getting taken in by the jerkwad boyfriend, but for calling him again and again when she learns of his duplicity. The lack of common sense and appalling disregard for dignity really bothered me. I had higher hopes for a woman of obvious intelligence and competence. Thankfully, she improved, but the improvements lead to other issues I'll mention later.
There was also little to recommend Colin as a romantic lead. I found him arrogant, self involved, and abrasive when he dealt with his brother (not that I liked Luke either for how he treated Colin), and so very shallow in all other areas. His constant assertions about getting back to flying didn't make him seem dedicated to me, they made him seem oblivious and ungrateful for his many gifts. And I'm sorry, but when he was thinking about his sexual past I actually shuddered when I read this:
"He had never had a shortage of female company, that's for sure. One of his favorite things was to wash lipstick off his favorite organ in the morning-after shower..."
Seriously? This is the character that is the romantic lead in this contemporary romance? A guy who plans to leave - and reiterates those plans again and again throughout the book - and who not only thinks with his joystick, but devotes favorite pastimes to it? There just wasn't much that could be done after that to redeem his character for me. Not that much was tried. And that leads me to another bone of contention.
There was no growth in the characters and no conflict in the story to spur that growth - either internal emotional conflict or external plot-based conflict. In fact, beyond the issues that drove them to Virgin Creek to begin with, absolutely everything goes exactly their way. Jill decides to start gardening professionally and everything falls into place beautifully. She's rich, and a hard worker, but come on - the lack of any obstacles was boring. And where was the angst over the past? It seemed like once she got to Virgin River and dug around in the dirt a bit she was completely unaffected by what had happened to her.
Then there's Colin. He was horribly scarred physically and almost died in a helicopter crash, was a drug addict for all of a month (uh...yeah) and did time for buying on the street...but he didn't have so much as a single moment of emotional trauma to get over before he got groiny with a woman who might be put off by the scars or his history...and didn't so much as a flinch before he flew again? Really? And he's such a good artist that the first art gallery he goes to agrees to sell his work and he makes over a thousand dollars right away.
Maybe I'm jaded...no, wait, I know I'm jaded, but still...the absolute lack of conflict for the main characters made them and their relationship hard to believe and impossible to relate to. The only significant conflict between them at all ended up being the inevitable parting at the end of the summer, and that wasn't enough for me to hold my attention through the book.
There was one source of conflict in the book (besides Colin leaving), but as it turns out, it didn't involve the main characters at all. There was a subplot with a couple of secondary characters that added a bit of complexity to the plot, but it also served to highlight a tendency for characters to overreact in sometimes sweeping overemotional ways that weren't very appealing. Denny, the young man involved, became a completely different character than he'd been portrayed to that point and I just found it to be a bit too much to be believed.
Without a doubt, the second half of the book was better for me than the first. There was still a lot of exclamation in the narrative, and the story bounced along on the no-personal-struggle highway, but there were some highlights that were nice. I did come to like how Jill and Colin were together as their relationship progressed, and I enjoyed Jill's relationship with her sister when she came to visit. I appreciated the supportive nature that Jill had when talking to Colin about the future, and thought that she handled it better than I would have in that situation. While I never totally warmed up to Colin, it was quite obvious that he was a better person with Jill in his life, and that was also a nice thing to see.
Unfortunately, the few rays of sunshine didn't do enough to warm my reaction to the book any higher than two stars. Carr is obviously wildly successful as an author and with this series in particular. You can't get to twelve books and not have amassed a loyal following. For me, though, this book didn't have enough to keep me interested in the series and it had some things that turned me off the writing style entirely. I was left with very little to no interest in anything else that occurs in and around Virgin River, or to the characters created to be there.
One Good Book Deserves Another
Jane H. (meema10) - , reviewed Wild Man Creek (Virgin River, Bk 14) on
Helpful Score: 1
I definitely give Wild Man Creek 5 stars. A story of 2 people who have each gone thru horrific experiences in very different ways. In Virgin River, they each reach back into their past to find something that gives them peace & turns into a simpler way to make a living. For her it is love of gardening & for him it is a
love of painting wildlife. Each new Virgin River book is like catching up with old friends.
Severely injured in a helicopter crash, Colin Riordan goes to Virgin River to recuperate. Painting pictures of wildlife while he heals, Colin sets up his easel in a field owned by Jillian Matlock, a woman who is getting over the loss of her career. There is an immediate connection between Colin and Jillian, neither of which are looking for a commitment. Soon they are embarking on a relationship they know will be ending in the near future.
I was looking forward to this book since the Riordan brothers are some of my favorite characters in the series. I liked Colin but I found Jillian to be too driven. She plants a garden in the backyard of her rented home. Soon she has planted several acres with exotic vegetables, set up a couple greenhouses and hired an assistant, sinking big bucks into the project in hopes of starting a business. I can't imagine anyone jumping into a business where they have no background. I was also a bit bored with all the gardening information. Maybe that is because I do not have a green thumb. My rating: 3.5 Stars.
This was a very sweet book, even the love scenes were fun. There were no dramatics and slow in a good way. Almost like taking its time or akin to aging a good wine.
Jilly was delightful. I sympathized with her right from the start. Even though I did cringe at her calling her ex who manipulated her, I knew it was a really realistic reaction. It wasn't smart but who wouldn't want the call the jerk even just to say, "What the hell?" I loved how ethusiastic and single minded she was, to the point of obsessive compulsion. I think she needed to be or I would have a hard time imagining her as a high powered CEO.
I know one of the other reviews felt there were no character developments but I disagree. I think there were a lot but it wasn't spelled out. Like with the rest of the book, it was subtle. I think by the end of the book both Jillian and Collin were different people. I can assure you that Collin was no longer the boy's who favorite past time was to wash lipstick of his anatomy in the morning.
Really great read. After reading a few of her books, I'm so glad I found Carr. She knows how to write a series without recycling characters with a different name or using the same plotlines.