Review: Angel’s Peak by Robyn Carr

Posted on March 4, 2010

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I didn’t think things could get much worse at work but it has. This week has been hellish and emotional due to work. I’m embarrassed to admit that I cried so much the tears could fill a bucket. Baby size bucket, that is. Why do people use their position of power to intimidate others who are lower on the ladder?  Does it really sit well with them to play with other peoples’ feelings? Okay geez, no more whining because I don’t want to embarrass myself online as well.

On a happy, happy note I’m still in a reading frenzy. I’m all smiles when I pick up a book to read and able to finish it quickly. Yay! I love reading consistently. I’ve been so ecstatic to read that I haven’t stopped to review any books read in February. I read a total of 17 books straight. Woot. February monthly review to come much later, of course!

I’ve decided though to take a mini break to share my thoughts on some of the books read. Otherwise, I will put them off infinitely. Besides, I don’t want to recap 17 books in the monthly post, lol. So here’s the first of, hopefully, many February reviews.

Series:Virgin River #10

Hero: Sean Riordan

Heroine: Franci Duncan

Four years ago, Air Force sweethearts Franci Duncan and Sean Riordan reached an impasse. She wanted marriage and a family. He didn’t. But a chance meeting proves that the bitter breakup hasn’t cooled their sizzling chemistry.Sean has settled down in spite of himself—he’s not the cocky young fighter pilot he was when Franci left, and he wants them to try again. After all, they have a history…but that’s not all they share.

Franci’s secret reason for walking away when Sean refused to commit is now three and a half: a redheaded cherub named Rosie who shares her daddy’s emerald-green eyes. Sean is stunned—and furious with Franci for the deception.

News travels fast in Virgin River, and soon the whole town is taking sides. Rebuilding their trust could take a small miracle—and the kind of love that can move mountains.

Robyn Carr is an almost-new-to-me author. I say almost-new-to-me because I read one book by her, Temptation Ridge, and couldn’t finish it. So technically she’s still new to me since I barely read two chapters of the book before I chucked it. To a friend, not the trash, because I don’t believe in throwing out books. To do that would be blasphemy. Anyway, I digress. Could my lack of interest then have been the start of my reading slump? Who knows? I picked up Angel’s Peak because I skimmed a few pages in the store and I liked it.

The story involves a secret baby. A baby Franci took great pains to hide from the father. Sean and Franci were quite young when they were dating. Still planning a career ahead of him, Sean didn’t want to settle down and Franci left him when she couldn’t force him to commit. She literally did the vanishing act and made no attempt to notify Sean of his fatherhood.

I won’t go into whether or not I agree with Franci’s decisions. Or what an injustice Franci did to Sean by withholding his parental rights from him. It’s obvious that when a secret baby is involved, something or someone went wrong. In this instance, combined with the unremorseful act of Franci’s decisions she was clearly in the wrong. Oops, I just revealed that I didn’t agree with Franci. But – I sympathized with her reasons.

Sean wasn’t quite a man when he and Franci were dating. Sure, he was good at loving her but he didn’t really take care of her beyond the intimacy. He wasn’t interested in learning her interests, befriending her friends, or getting to know her family. It was all about Sean and what he likes to do and who he wants to hang out with. Sean was twenty-eight, carefree, and enjoying life at the height of his career. The last thing he wanted to do was settle down and he thought Franci would’ve felt the same since she was younger than him by two years. Their break-up was nasty but Sean thought in time Franci would come around. Instead, she disappears.

Unexpected encounter four years later, Sean still remembers Franci and goes after her as if they could pick up from before their nasty words. Not only does Franci shoot him down [verbally], she does it hostilely and insistently asks him to stop bothering her. Because she doesn’t want him to find out he has a daughter. Of course, Sean finds out or we wouldn’t have a story.

Sean’s reaction to meeting his daughter was to take some quiet time to regroup. I found his behavior to be more believable and true to his character better than if he immediately accepted and demanded his parental rights. The time Sean spent with little Rosie shows much growth in his maturity. He was not the same self-absorbed man he was at the beginning of the story. This is evidenced by Sean’s revelation admitting that four years before he might have abandoned his child if Franci told him that they were expecting a baby and he was forced to a commitment. The revelation doesn’t show much of the man he was then but it was honest and I like him all the better for his honesty.

I’m not too partial to Franci. Not only is her character wishy-washy, she also cheats on the man she was dating, a professor colleague at the college she teaches part-time. After promising T.J. that their relationship is exclusive, she jumps into bed with Sean the instant he kiss her which was moments after her date with T.J. She doesn’t break it off with T.J. either when he calls to ask her how things were going between Sean and Rosie. T.J. wasn’t the nicest man, quite a selfish jerk in fact, but she could’ve broken things off with him rather than lying and leading him on. I understand that Franci wasn’t planning on resuming a relationship with Sean and I could forgive that their attraction took off before she could put a handle on it but the lying was uncalled for.

Another thing that didn’t endear Franci to me was the deliverance of Sean’s relationship to Rosie. Franci allows Sean to tell Rosie that he was her father without preparing the little girl for the announcement beforehand. Franci wasn’t present either when Rosie was told. The leniency in which Franci permits Sean to reveal the truth to Rosie is very unrealistic maternal behavior, especially since Franci has been insistent on protecting her daughter from being hurt by an unwanted father figure. I really tried but I couldn’t bring myself to like Franci.

There are number of character appearances interjecting throughout the book. I’m new to the series and was overwhelmed by the recurring characters, their roles, and the side stories. Some of the side stories came across as filler stories. Also, the blurb is a bit misleading to say that the townspeople were taking sides. There were parts of the story that really dragged and tempted me to stop reading but I forced myself to finish and I don’t recall the people taking sides. At least, I don’t recall any particular person or group being overtly vocal.

However, despite the complaints, I did enjoy reading this book. The friendship and familiarities between the townspeople is comforting, conveying close relationships that only small town families can impart. As such, I may go back to check some of the books earlier in the series.

The Virgin River series are loosely reminiscent of Debbie Macomber’s Cedar Grove series. I was a follower of Ms. Macomber’s Cedar Grove series but I’ve stopped reading them because her books went in a direction that required a certain level of patience and mood from me to read. I hope the same won’t happen with the Virgin River books.

Grading: C

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Posted in: C Reviews, Reviews