Shelter Mountain (Virgin River, Book 2)

Shelter Mountain - Robyn Carr This is the second book in the Virgin River series and just as enjoyable as the first! SPOILERS-SPOILERS-SPOILERS!!!!! DO NOT READ THIS UNLESS YOU HAVE ALREADY READ THE BOOK!!!!! This is the story of Preacher who is the cook and partner in Jack's bar and a fellow Marine. When a clearly battered and beaten woman named Paige arrives at the bar with her small son Christopher, Preacher offers them a room to stay in, his old room above the bar. What starts out to be a night's shelter turns into a week, two weeks, and then longer particularly when emotions become involved both by Paige and Preacher. Preacher has never been a lady's man and sees himself as a scary looking brute who no lady would be interested in. In reality, he is a gentle giant who reads Chris a book every night and quickly has the small boy helping to bake cookies, rolling out pie dough and just wrapped around his finger! Shortly after arriving in Virgin River, Paige finds out she is pregnant. It doesn't take long for Paige's evil husband, Wes Lassiter, to track them down! He throws Paige to the ground, kicking her; also pushing Mel out of the way. All of the men come in a rush and the husband is beaten by Jack and should be scared to ever return to the town. He is found in possession of drugs, arrested for this and for the battery. Paige loses the baby because of Lassiter's brutal kick, which just shows you how crazed her ex husband is!Meanwhile, Jack's young friend who is more like a son to him, Rick, is totally infatuated with Liz who is Connie's (another resident of the town) niece and who was sent to Virgin River by her mother to help settle her down as she had become generally a wild teenage girl. Rick and Liz mess up and do not use protection one time and Liz winds up pregnant. She is only 14 years old and Rick is only 17. Rick steps up to the plate like a man and is there for Lizzie, winding up with her staying with him at his grandma's house. When it is time to deliver, it is found that the baby boy died in vitro and everyone is just crushed by this news. Paige and John's relationship grows stronger and stronger! Her divorce is granted and though still worried about her ex husband, emotions begin to calm down. Mike, one of Jack's marine buddies has come to town to recuperate after taking 3 shots in LA where he worked as a cop. He is staying with Jack and Mel at the cabin. Mel's pregnancy progresses well. After having back labor all day, that Mell doesn't realize is back labor, she takes the truck to go home and take a shower and nap. There is a storm that kicks up and has downed a pine tree in the middle of the road to the cabin. Mel has her first contraction which distracts her just as she comes upon the tree. The truck gets stuck and Mel has to walk the rest of the way to the cabin in the rain and wind! When she arrives, she finds there is no electricity and the phone is also out! Being a mid-wife herself, Mel prepares to deliver the baby by herself if she has to, though she prays for Jack to arrive! When Mel doesn't answer the phone, Paige makes a comment about back labor, which causes Jack along with Rick rushing to the cabin to find Mel preparing for delivery, such a shock!! Jack sends Rick back to town to call the Dr. (John) to come as soon as possible. John finally arrives as the baby's head is crowning and Jack delivers the baby!! The baby is born healthy and loved, so loved! Mike decides to stay in Virgin River and buys an RV and sets it up in Jack and Mel's backyard. Jack's youngest sister Brie arrives to see the baby. Sometimes when she goes to sit on the porch at night, she can hear Mike in his RV playing the guitar and she loves to listen to him play. After being there about a week, Mike invites her to go fishing with him, really trying to give Jack and Mel some alone time. They have a picnic by the river and talk and talk. This may be the author's way of setting up a new love story for another book, but I'm not sure! There is one last evil trick by Wes Lassiter; he kidnaps Paige as she is taking out the trash. He is crazed and high on drugs. He drives around ranting and raving in a stolen truck taking her to the top of a hill on an old logging road, duck taping her hands and feet and placing a strip on her mouth. He thinks Preacher will find her and then he plans on shooting Preacher, Paige and then himself. When Jack goes into an old haunt (bar) of his in the town of Clear River, and speaks with Charmaine, his woman friend before Mel comes along, one of the growers in the area named Dan overhears the conversation about Paige being kidnapped. Mel had helped Dan when his woman was delivering a baby. The mother and baby would have died if it wouldn't have been for Mel's intervention, so Dan feels obligated to help them out; very discreetly helping. He comes across the scene that Lassiter has set up. Dan warns Jack, Preacher, and the rest of the search party what is going on and the group plans their attack and rescue. Though Preacher is shot in the arm, Paige is rescued, Lassiter is knocked out and handcuffed, where after the trial will not get out of prison for like 45 years. Rick enlists in the marines, and Lizzie is back at home with her mother attending school. Jack found and purchased a piece of land to build a new house on. The men framed up the house, and it was the scene of John and Paige's wedding! Both of them so happy! The book ends on this happy note, but I cannot wait to pick up the next book and continue the story of Virgin River!!