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Promise Canyon (Virgin River)

Promise Canyon - Robyn Carr Robyn Carr brings readers back to her town of Virgin Rock with another emotionally gripping love story.Clay Tahoma arrives in Virgin River to help his good buddy, Nathaniel Jensen (Under the Christmas Tree) at his Veterinarian practice. Clay is an experienced and well known farrier and is excited to help Nate as his new vet tech. Clay seeks the quietness and solitude of his work. Clay is sort of a “horse whisperer” and people in the equine industry want him to work with them to use his talents. However, Clay has had enough of people using him in his life and this opportunity in Virgin River is just what he needs.Lilly Yazhi, a Hopi Indian, takes one look at the new vet assistant and is immediately drawn to him but he represents everything that she is afraid of. Clay is strong, independent and a Navajo Indian. Years ago, Lilly found herself in love with a Navajo and he burnt her badly. When she sees that Clay is a traditional Native man, she is frightened that her independence would be smothered and she will get hurt again.I like that there is some diversity coming into Virgin River. The characters all look alike and they feel like carbon copies at times but in this book, Lilly and Clay stood out. Maybe it is because I like Native American romances, that I enjoyed the cultural aspect of the story. I really do love Clay. He is now one of my favorite heroes in the series, besides Preacher (Shelter Mountain). I love that he is traditional and loyal. He really knows what he wants and he doesn’t let anyone stop him, even his ex-wife who returns to get him back.Lilly starts off strong but she keeps a lot of pain inside and it is very annoying and unrealistic at times. Her reasons for keeping Clay at arms reach is that she was hurt when she was thirteen by a Navajo man (he was 18 yrs old) and at first it is acceptable. Then once she and Clay get together, she holds on to this. She is an adult so why can’t she let go of a childhood love that went wrong. Eventually she pulls it together and realizes she is acting immature but it takes a while. I also wish she would have stood up to Clay’s ex-wife. Then there is the side story that brings a lot of changes to Virgin River. Hope McCrea, the old woman who I have dubbed the town’s executor, dies really unexpectedly. She names Jack in her final will of testament as the executor of her money and the town’s expenses. Being typical Jack, he believes that everyone should be involved in this process but what he gets is everyone’s hand out, trying to get a piece of Hope’s money. Tension builds and some friendships are lost as Jack struggles with his new role. I personally like the fact that Jack is still strong in this book but he and the other side characters (some will be characters in future books) did not take over the book as Robyn Carr did in the past. She stays focus on Clay and Lilly for the most part.Overall, I do believe long time fans of the Virgin River series will be pleased with the latest addition.