For the second time in a year, a woman arrives in the small town of Virgin River trying to escape her past.

John “Preacher” Middleton is about to close the bar when a young woman and her three-year-old son come in out of the 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 to punish whoever did this, but he knows immediately that this is more than just instinct. Paige Lassiter has stirred up emotions in this gentle giant of a man—emotions that he has never allowed himself to feel.

Then Paige’s ex-husband turns up in Virgin River. And if there’s one thing the marines’ motto of Semper Fi—always faithful—has taught Preacher, it’s that some things are worth fighting for.

Eagerly I began devouring the story in Shelter Mountain, as I had met some of the characters in the first book of the series and already developed a soft spot for the inhabitants of the little mountain community. Some of the original characters had returned for this outing, and I had an additional connection to them from watching the first season of the Netflix adaptation of Virgin River.

When you hear the expression “it takes a village,” you might think of a community like Virgin River, where the residents are protective and nurturing. You might also decide that some of them are nosy and too much “up in my business,” but at the end of the day, you would probably overlook that quality.

My favorite characters are Jack, Mel, and Preacher…and after reading this book, I know I will want to spend more time with them all.

I liked how Paige, a new character, came into the story and brought the issue of domestic violence into the mix. An especially relevant theme for characters who are protective and nurturing.

Now I can’t wait to continue all the stories with characters I love. 5 stars.



  1. You make me want to go back and read these books, Laurel. I loved this series. Oh, did you hear that the Sullivan’s was optioned for another tv series? I saw the announcement retweeted on Twitter yesterday! So exciting 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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