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Review: What We Find by Robyn Carr

What We FindWhat We Find (Sullivan’s Crossing #1)
Robyn Carr
Harlequin MIRA
2016, 352p
Copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

Blurb {from the publisher/}:

Join Robyn Carr, #1 New York Times bestselling author of theVirgin River and Thunder Point series, as she explores the healing powers of rural Colorado in a brand-new story of fresh starts, budding relationships and one woman’s journey to finding the happiness she’s long been missing

Between the urban bustle of Denver and the high-stress environment of a career in neurosurgery, Maggie Sullivan has hit a wall. When an emergency, high-risk procedure results in the death of a teenager, Maggie finds herself in the middle of a malpractice lawsuit—and experiencing levels of anxiety she’s never faced before. It’s in this desperate moment that Maggie’s boyfriend decides he can’t handle her emotional baggage, and she’s left alone, exhausted and unsure of what her future holds. One thing is certain, though: she needs to slow down before she burns out completely, and the best place she can think to do that is Sullivan’s Crossing.

Named for Maggie’s great-grandfather, the land and charming general store at the crossroads of the Colorado and the Continental Divide trails have been passed down through the generations and now belong to Maggie’s estranged father, Sully. Though raised by her mother and stepfather after her parents divorced, Maggie has always adored Sully—despite his hands-off approach to fatherhood. When she shows up unannounced in Sullivan’s Crossing, he welcomes her with opens arms, and she relishes the opportunity to rebuild their relationship.

But when Sully has a sudden heart attack, Maggie’s world is rocked once again. Consumed with his care, she’s relieved to find that Cal Jones, a quiet and serious-looking camper, has been taking over many of Sully’s responsibilities as he recuperates. Still, Maggie is suspicious of this mysterious man’s eagerness to help—until she finds out the true reason for his deliberate isolation.

Though Cal and Maggie each struggle with loss and loneliness, the time they spend together gives Maggie hope for something brighter just on the horizon…if only they can learn to find peace and healing—and perhaps love—with each other.

I love a good series and a few years ago I spent a lot of time binging on Robyn Carr’s Virgin River series. There was a lot of books in that series, somewhere close to 20 and I loved the whole community that she developed. I tried the spin off series, Thunder Point and I have to admit, it just didn’t grab me in the same way but I was willing to give a new series (removed from those two) a go and overall I think it was a pretty good start.

Maggie is a neurosurgeon who is going through what could only politely be termed as a bit of bad luck. She’s being sued, the partners of her practice are being investigated, she’s suffered a personal tragedy and on the back of that, her boyfriend breaks up with her. She flees responsibility for a while to visit her father Sully. Maggie loves her father dearly but still carries around with her a lot of issues about their separation in her childhood and his sporadic parenting thereafter. When Sully has a heart attack not long after Maggie arrives, it brings a lot of these fears and resentments to the surface as she struggles to understand things that happened years ago.

Maggie is also preoccupied from the start with one of the guests at her father’s camping ground, named Cal Jones. She doesn’t really have much of a reason to be suspicious about him but for some reason she makes all sorts of assumptions about him, most of which couldn’t be further off the mark. A long running joke is Cal telling her he’s “just Cal” and refusing to tell her what it’s short for. She tries different versions of names that Cal could be short for, occasionally googling variations in order to find out anything about him when he continues to play his cards very close to his chest. I enjoyed that a lot, and I felt like Cal brought out a side in Maggie that she desperately needed to embrace. In fact all of Sullivan’s Crossing did that. She’d spent so long studying to become a doctor and working in a high pressure environment that sometimes it felt like she must’ve not had fun or relaxed properly in years. Although she’s taking time out because of bad situations, it gives Maggie the chance to live life at a bit of a slower pace. She’s pretty uptight (evidenced by her inability to grasp what Cal is doing just hanging out). I thought the slow reveal of Cal was really well done – there are some little hints dropped to the reader that Maggie isn’t privvy to until much later when Cal finally decides to tell her exactly what he’s doing in Sullivan Crossing and why. I wasn’t sure about them together at first, their earlier interactions lacked a bit of chemistry and they seemed to go from Maggie’s suspicious looks to sharing drinks by the campfire (and more) quite quickly. But the longer it went on, the more I warmed up to it.

I am pretty interested to see where this series goes – the setting was good, perhaps the best part. Robyn Carr does do setting up a small community and building the characters within very well so I’ll definitely continue on.


Book #62 of 2016

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