Early Review: The Newcomer (Thunder Point), by Robyn Carr

June 17, 2013 Book Reviews 8 ★★★★

Early Review: The Newcomer (Thunder Point), by Robyn CarrThe Newcomer by Robyn Carr
Series: Thunder Point #2
Published by Harlequin MIRA on June 25, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Source: the publisher through NetGalley
Goodreads
four-stars
Also in this series: The Wanderer, The Hero, The Chance, The Promise, The Homecoming, One Wish, A New Hope, Wildest Dreams
Also by this author: My Kind of Christmas, The Wanderer, The Hero, The Chance, The Promise, The Homecoming, 'Tis the Season, One Wish, Never Too Late, A New Hope, Wildest Dreams, What We Find, The Life She Wants

Single dad and Thunder Point's deputy sheriff "Mac" McCain has worked hard to keep everyone safe and happy. Now he's found his own happiness with Gina James. The longtime friends have always shared the challenges and rewards of raising their adolescent daughters. With an unexpected romance growing between them, they're feeling like teenagers themselves -- suddenly they can't get enough of one another.

And just when things are really taking off, their lives are suddenly thrown into chaos. When Mac's long-lost -- and not missed -- ex-wife shows up in town, drama takes on a whole new meaning. They're wondering if their new feelings for each other can withstand the pressure...but they are not going down without a fight.

I received a review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

Review

I enjoyed The Newcomer even more than the first book in the series, The Wanderer. But given the blurb above, I was a little surprised by how seldom Mac and Gina take center stage together in this book.  Perhaps I shouldn’t have been. Carr has always woven her romances with other storylines, whether about other couples or individuals. The Thunder Point series takes this tendency even further than the Virgin River books did; the romantic relationships become simply threads in the tapestry, rather than the central motif.

And there are a lot of threads to follow in The Newcomer!  Gina and Mac’s relationship, which finally got started toward the end of the last book, is still developing. So is the love between Cooper and commitment-shy Sarah (The Wanderer.) Both bonds are tested in this book. Mac’s gorgeous ex-wife turns up, apparently interested in rebuilding ties with both Mac and their children – though her reappearance isn’t as straightforward as it seems. Meanwhile, Gina’s 16-year-old daughter Ashley goes through hell after her college baseball-star boyfriend dumps her. In the Cooper-and-Sarah department, Sarah faces a game-changing career decision which threatens not only her relationship with Cooper but her beloved brother’s senior year as a star football player. And Cooper gets some very unexpected news of his own.

What keeps all this from becoming a soap opera is the ordinariness of most of the people and situations. For the most part, Carr’s characters aren’t rich and glamorous, and they don’t usually wallow in drama (with the occasional exception.) They are everyday folks going about their everyday lives the best they can; they could be my neighbors, or yours. Carr is particularly good at making me care about all her characters: Mac and Gina, Sarah and Cooper, Ashley, Eve, and Landon, and even minor characters like Aunt Lou. And while the end of The Newcomer doesn’t promise a magically perfect happy-ever-after, the love and commitment of the two main couples shines clearly. I’m looking forward to the next installment, and hoping we see more of all these characters.

*     *     *

The Thunder Point series in order:   

  1. The Wanderer  (review)
  2. The Newcomer  (review)
  3. The Hero  (review)
  4. The Chance  (review)
  5. The Promise  (review)
  6. The Homecoming  (review)
  7. One Wish  (review)
  8. A New Hope  (forthcoming)
  9. Wildest Dreams (forthcoming)

 

 

 
four-stars

About Robyn Carr

Robyn Carr is the RITA award-winning author of over 40 books. Set in small towns, her Virgin River, Grace Valley and Thunder Point series blend romance and women’s fiction, and often deal sensitively with issues including war-related injuries, PTSD, alcoholism, bullying, rape, and single parenthood. In 2010, she won RT’s Career Achievement Best Author Award for Contemporary Romance.

8 Responses to “Early Review: The Newcomer (Thunder Point), by Robyn Carr”

  1. kimbacaffeinate

    Wonderful review, mine will post on the 25th and I agree with you. I love that the people of Thunder Point feel like everyday people, with everyday problems and the romances are realistic and build slowly.

  2. Susan

    Yay! I’m so glad you enjoyed this one and that it’s even better than THE WANDERER. I just got an ARC of it in the mail — can’t wait to read it! Especially after reading your review 🙂

  3. Herding Cats - Burning Soup

    Very nice review Lark. I’m glad I stopped by for it. I have an on again off again thing with Carr. I absolutely LOVE the books of hers that focus on one main couple and have some minor secondary storylines but have a very hard time with ones like this one where there are so many of them going on. Thanks for the heads up!

  4. Amanda Reyes

    I just love Robyn Carr and I’ve been thinking about picking up the first book in this series. Definitely going to have to read this one soon!!