Reviewed by Helyce
Grace Dillon moved to Thunder Point to get away from her old life and start a new one. She took over the town’s flower shop and has a successful little business going. For the first time in her life, she is calling the shots and she is happy with her independence. Though she’s made some friends, she’s a bit lonely at times, and she’s just not quite sure what to do about it.
Troy Headly is a coach and teacher at the local high school. He’d met Grace through a mutual friend and sensing that they might have some things in common, appoints himself her “fun coach”. As they begin to spend time together, though, friendship begins to turn to something much more.
Soon, though, Grace is forced to confront her past and Troy finds himself questioning their relationship. Was it just friends with benefits, or could it be more?
It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of Robyn Carr’s writing and her Virgin River series would be somewhere in my top ten must read series for sure. When she introduced this new series and ended the VR series, rather abruptly in my opinion, I latched on to Thunder Point like a life line. The early books were disappointing to say the least. So many similarities to the VR setup and characters that mirrored VR characters and storylines with only small changes to them felt off and too deja vu for me. But, as Ms. Carr does, she expertly began to introduce new characters and storylines and I was pulled into this series as I slowly fell for each one.
I enjoyed Troy’s character since he was introduced and played a rather large secondary role in the previous book. He’d fancied himself half in love with Iris, a co-worker of his at the high school. But Iris, after only one date, knew that Troy was not for her and she ended up married to someone else. Troy was a bit heartbroken but his love of life and adventurous lifestyle quickly pulled him out of his funk as he sets his sights on Grace. Initially, theirs was truly just a friendship. Grace and Troy find they have a lot in common and more than that, they have a lot of fun together-laughing and joking-beyond comfortable with each other.
But Grace has some secrets. She is a world class famous ice skater who is on the outs with her domineering mother. When Grace had had enough of her mother’s manipulating ways, she left the world of ice skating for good and has since made a life for herself and Grace is happy. But because she’s living with this secret that she’s chosen not to share with her new friends in Thunder Point she can’t really be 100% herself. Troy seems to sense this and it all comes to a head when Grace’s past comes back to haunt her.
The conflict introduced felt a bit contrived and when the source of it all was revealed, I was a bit disappointed. What worked for me, though, was that both Grace and Troy go through some major character growth through this and I enjoyed seem them experience the many varied emotions that this brought to their budding relationship.
Grace learns some devastating news about her mother and though she had been the source of so much from Grace’s past that she wanted to forget, she rallies and does what she needs to do for her mother. Some might think that Grace forgave her mother too easily, but this part of the storyline worked for me because I continued to see Grace’s strength and independence continue. She took charge, made life changing decisions and all of it was on her terms.
But in doing so, she failed to see how some of these revelations would affect Troy. I was surprised by Troy’s initial response to this part of the story. I felt his “happy go lucky” character would just adapt, but no–he struggled immensely with much of what is revealed by Grace about her past. He tried so hard to be that stand up supportive guy and I was disappointed that what Troy found the most difficult to accept was that Grace was rich–not the fact that she’d withheld so much about herself as they were getting to know each other.
Troy is forced to re-look at the whole situation when Grace reveals yet another secret that will change their lives forever. I was not too happy with the introduction of this as I feel it is sometimes used too often to help a couple find their way back to each other. In this story, though, I was pulling for Troy to get his head out of his ass and so if this is what it took, so be it.
Secondary characters and storylines are always a huge part of Ms. Carr’s stories as we are teased with possible future relationships. I very much enjoyed Grace’s relationship with her old skating coach, Mikhail Petrov who she had kept in touch with even after leaving the skating world. We also meet a very depressed young woman, Ginger, who has lost a child and is the cousin of Ray Anne-an on going character in Thunder point. Her story is very heartbreaking, but I look forward to seeing where it goes.
This series continues to surprise me and I’m sure I will keep on reading because the author always succeeds at pulling me into the drama and I just can’t stop. Next up, A New Hope due out June 2015.