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.
Book 2 of the Virgin River series left me much the same impression as book 1. I liked the characters enough but I especially liked the community and I am really sorry that Hope, who seems intent on not letting the town die, doesn't show up more.
It felt a bit like "more of the same" that some other woman shows up running from her past but Paige was a nice character. Her problems are indeed serious and, while I'm no expert on the subject, I did like how things were handled and how she was encouraged to face her fears and who threatened her. Preacher on the other hand seemed a bit too good to be true. Can you actually go to war and see so many bad things and retain the purity of spirit that he has? Still I can't help but like him and he is so good and tender hearted in so many ways. I loved how he dealt with Paige's son Christopher.
I did like to revisit Mel and Jack, to be honest I think I like them more now that they are together than when they were getting to know each other. I found Rick and Liz story heartbreaking. I do hope they show up in future books ( at least Rick) so we know how he is doing. However I am starting to see a pattern here of women who are grieving/hurting and finding a male who helps make them whole and I wonder if that is going to continue throughout the series.
Once again a story that I liked but didn't love. I keep feeling that I should like it more than I actually do. Let's see if I find one that totally satisfies me in the next books.