Forbidden Falls (Virgin River, #8)by Robyn Carr Published 29 Dec 2009
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VIRGIN RIVER IS ABUZZ WITH THE NEWS THAT A STRANGER BOUGHT THE TOWN'S ABANDONED CHURCH ON EBAY. THE BUYER, A YOUNG WIDOWED REVEREND, IS A LITTLE LIKE THE BUILDING ITSELF: IN NEED OF SOME TENDER LOVING CARE.
Noah Kincaid arrives ready to roll up his sleeves and revitalize his new purchase, but he's going to need some help. An ad in the local paper brings and improbably candidate his way.
"Pastor's assistant" is not a phrase that springs to mind when Noah meets brassy, beautiful Ellie Baldwin. With her colorful clothes and even more colorful past, Ellie needs a respectable job so she can regain custody of her children. Noah can't help but admire her spunk and determination, and she may just be the breath of fresh air he needs.
The unlikely duo may come from two different worlds, but they have more in common than anyone would have expected. And in Virgin River lasting happiness is never out of the question.
"Forbidden Falls (Virgin River, #8)" Reviews
Once again Robyn Carr makes me cry. And laugh. It's good.
A widowed pastor and a former stripper restore the old, abandoned church in Virgin River. There's more to it than that, of course, with child custody and self-esteem issues but it has a very sweet romance.
This one was kind of a change-up coming off of Paradise Valley (was that the last one?) which focused pretty strongly on three different romances. This entire story focused mostly on Noah and Ellie. We had a side story about Vanni and Paul where Vanni got to be a little dramatic, as is her wont, but that was nice for a few tears as well.
I liked the previous one more, but this one was a nice, uplifting, and satisfying read.
5 stars – Contemporary Romance
Sitting down with a Virgin River novel is like eating your mom’s or grandma’s home cooking.....just pure comfort food for the soul!
I’m a huge fan of this series, but I’ll be honest and admit that I wasn’t too keen on a story with a minister for a romantic hero. I was worried that Carr might lean too heavily on the religious element...ala Catherine Anderson, which isn’t really my preference when reading romance books. Well, I’m happy to say that Carr blew me away yet again with this sweet, touching, romantic tale of a widowed pastor and a single mother ex-stripper, both of whom defy assumptions and stereotypes, who develop a deep bond of friendship that turns to passion, and of course, leads to love.
Fancy me super surprised by the fact that I found minister Noah Kincaid such an incredibly tenderhearted, yet sexy as all get out, romantic hero! Ellie Baldwin is a spirited, funny, glass-half-full heroine who maintains an affectionate, generous, positive, and upbeat attitude, despite having a painful past and a hard life filled with bitter disappointments. I loved their witty, sarcastic, spicy banter, and when they finally took things to a “romantic” level?!...Yowza!
It’s an emotionally moving read and another wonderful addition to the extraordinary Virgin River series! 5 stars!
What a great book to start off the new year! It was nice that majority of the novel was focused on Noah and Ellie's lives. Book 4, I believe was the last time this happened. Most would call Noah and Ellie an odd couple just from hearing their occupations but they fit together perfectly. A great pace with their relationship as well. From the work relationship to genuine friends to something more. There was also a light banter going on between them throughout the book, a quote from Ellie to best describe it, “girls tease the boys they like.” Hah, cute! These two shared a lot wonderful scenes. And to top everything off, they had an adorable proposal that left me all smiles.
Paul and Vanni took up a small part of the book. They have a big turn of events happen in their lives and once again it seems like the fates were testing them. I have to be honest, I had a hard time with Vanni in the beginning of this story but the ending with how everything turned out nearly brought tears to my eyes.
The town people were amazing as usual. It was nice to visit old friends again...Preach and Paige, Brie, Rick, Dan, Walt and Muriel...Not a lot of Jack and Mel which surprised me especially since I consider them the center of the VR series. Jo Ellen and Nick Finch had cameos in previous books but they, particularly Jo, had a big role in Ellie's life. I'm very happy I read book 8 first before reading this one because Nate and Annie make small appearances. The mystery surrounding those pups is solved. Shelby and Luke, one of my favorite couples, were planning the next step in their relationship. I was extremely pleased at the ending scene, so sweet. Overall, yet another pleasing Virgin River novel. 4.5 stars!
Reviewed for THC Reviews
"4.5 stars" As always, it was a pleasure to be back in Virgin River, visiting with all my favorite characters in my favorite little town. Since Robyn Carr wrapped up most of the loose ends in the last book, Forbidden Falls was almost like starting over. All the main characters from past books were here in the background, but she brought some new characters to town and beefed up the roles of a couple of existing characters, while leaving more focus on the main hero and heroine than she usually does. The story was a tad less compelling than some of the previous books of the series, but no less enjoyable.
Noah is a Presbyterian minister who decided to buy the old Virgin River church when Hope McCrea put it up for sale on eBay. He definitely has his work cut out for him and immediately gets busy refurbishing it. Noah is the first main hero of this series who hasn't been a current or former member of the military, but he's still a lot like the other guys in Virgin River and fits right in. In my opinion, he leans toward being a beta hero, sweet, kind-hearted and gentle with just a dash of alpha protectiveness when it comes to Ellie and her kids. He totally had me the instant he picked up Lucy, an injured, half-dead dog from the side of the road and paid the outrageous vet bills to help her recover. Noah is a man who truly knows what it means to be a minister and not just a preacher. He may carry his Bible around, but he never beats anyone over the head with it. He's not afraid to go into the trenches and get dirty, so to speak. I love the way he truly wants to help people and show them God's love through his actions, not just giving them a sermon and saying good luck. The work he did with the transients in the area, visiting a lonely man in the nursing home and other people in the hospital, and generally helping out all around was wonderful, just the kind of guy I'd love to have as a minister. Noah is a really laid back kind of guy who isn't prone to being judgmental. He may have briefly hesitated in hiring Ellie as his assistant, but once he made the decision he never looked back. He wasn't overly worried what the townspeople would think if they found out she was a former stripper, and he never admonished Ellie for anything she did, past or present, even when she says bad words in church. I also love how he's always looking out for Ellie and her kids in a sweetly protective way, and the man definitely has a way with words when it comes to expressing his love and passion for her.
Ellie has been through a lot in her short twenty-five years, but somehow, she's still managed to keep a positive attitude and always look on the bright side of things. Initially, she comes off as something of a bimbo, especially when we learn that she used to work as an exotic dancer, but it quickly becomes apparent that there's more to her than meets the eye. She's a devoted mother, who only lost her kids due to the machinations and ill-will of others, and is prepared to do anything to get them back. Even though her own life is something of a mess, Ellie is great at counseling others, because her grandmother gave her a solid upbringing along with imparting all her words of wisdom. Ellie is a huge bundle of energy, and isn't afraid of hard work. I can only wish that I were as fast at housework as she is.:-) She breezed through cleaning and painting the church, and was always ready to lend a helping hand anywhere it was needed. I love how she helped Vanni in her hour of need and made a huge difference in her and Paul's lives. In my opinion, she had all the qualities a good pastor's wife should have.
I love how Noah and Ellie built a deep friendship before anything else happened between them, but I didn't feel like the transition from their friends relationship to becoming lovers was quite as smooth and seamless as it could have been. I think that some of the moments that were intended to build romance felt more like friendship, so when they suddenly became lovers, expressing all these strong feelings for one another, it seemed like things sped up a tad too quickly. Still, by the end, I was definitely sensing the romantic connection between them and was convinced that they were perfect for each other.
As I mentioned before, pretty much all the previous main characters put in an appearance. Paul and Vanni were the ones who had the meatiest secondary roles, as they deal with having a bombshell dropped on them when Paul's ex-girlfriend, Terri, unexpectedly passes away. I like how they were able to weather through this crisis and come out on top, keeping their marriage intact, even though it was primarily Vanni who had the most adjusting to do. Ms. Carr also brings back long-time, Virgin River residents, Jo and Nick Fitch, who I don't believe we've seen since the first book of the series when Nick made a pass at Mel and got his butt kicked. We get to learn why Nick behaves the way he does, and what happened to cause the rift in their marriage. They end up becoming surrogate parents/grandparents for Ellie and her kids, while Ellie helps them rebuild their marriage and reconnect in their love for one another. We also get to meet Noah's friend, George, an older, retired minister who I really liked. I hope he'll be visiting Virgin River often. Last, but certainly not least, we finally get to witness the wedding of Luke and Shelby, attended by the entire Riordan and McIntyre clans.
Overall, Forbidden Falls was an enjoyable read. It would be darn near impossible not to like one of these books. However, for some reason, I didn't find it to be un-put-down-able. I simply didn't have that, “Aww, do I really have to stop” feeling when it was time to put it down, nor that burning need to pick it back up again. I also felt like it was a bit less polished than some of the other books in the series. I detected some mild repetition that could have been tightened up. These two things almost made me give the book four stars, although it would have been a very solid four stars. There wasn't anything wrong with it per se. I loved the characters, and the story was good. It just didn't quite move me as much as some of the other books in the series have, but then Robyn Carr managed to make me teary-eyed, not once, but twice, during the final pages, which I thought warranted the extra half-star after all. Bravo, Ms. Carr for grabbing me in the end, and for writing another lovely story in the Virgin River series.
I had to put Forbidden Falls down yesterday after getting about 160 pages into it by gritting my teeth (I then skimmed the rest). I've enjoyed the previous Virgin River books, except maybe not so much Second Chance Pass. But even that book didn't make me mad! Forbidden Falls is...YUCK! Tired, overused plot with huge holes in it, characters who don't make sense, married couples who keep big secrets or make major life-changing decisions without consulting spouse, women who are supposedly super into children who can't keep from b*tching about how hard it is to be pregnant or raise children. The series is full of martyr-mothers. Then there was the cliched vindictive judge, the controlling ex-husband, the stripper with the great bod who has a heart of gold and is a great mom, and horny pastor who rationalizes his actions (Yes, I hold him to a higher moral standard, just like we don't want policeman who break the law or doctors who are have unhealthy habits.) Not to mention the authors remarks (through a character) of the questionable motives of prospective adoptive parents. I could go on and on. Yet most people have loved this book! It's getting 4 and 5 stars all over. Go figure!