A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Thursday, May 5, 2016

What We Find by Robyn Carr- Feature and Review

Join Robyn Carr, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Virgin 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.


What We Find (Sullivan's Crossing, #1)What We Find by Robyn Carr
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What we Find by Robyn Carr is 2016 MIRA publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

This is the first book in the Sullivan’s Crossing series by the amazing Robyn Carr. I have been very curious about this new series and I eagerly dived into it.

Maggie is dangerously close to meltdown territory after a series of huge professional dilemmas takes place, and her personal life implodes, as well. Heeding the advice of friends, Maggie decides to take a leave of absence and visit her father, Sully, who lives in the small community of Sullivan’s Crossing in the Colorado mountains.

But, her plan to escape from life’s pressures are quickly dashed when Sully has a heart attack, and Maggie must tend to him, which means sticking around much longer than she had anticipated.

Cal is in Sullivan’s Crossing with a top secret mission of his own. He hangs round the general store helping with chores while Sully regains his strength, which gives him time to get to know Maggie.

Initially, Maggie is wary of Cal, who seems like a man without direction, or goals, and no apparent need to work a real job. But, there is no denying an underlying attraction to him, and it could be that Cal is just the soothing balm Maggie needs right now. But, once the summer is over, will Cal move on?

First of all, the setting for this book is perfect. While I consider myself more of a beach person, this book had me pining for the Colorado mountains. The slower pace of life is evident and I could feel the stress Maggie was under slowly begin to ease, the more times she spends here. This setback in her life also offers her the opportunities to address old resentments, which helps her strengthen her relationship with Sully, and realize the sacrifices he made for her.

However, there were a few issues with this series debut, one of which, for me personally, was Cal’s understated personality. He was too cool for school sometimes, personifying his parent’s hippie background with a kind of laid back response to almost anything, which is charming at first, and his playful teasing draws Maggie out of her depression. But, he remains too calm even in life’s most poignant moments, or in situations that are extremely heavy, dire, or dangerous, or just plain stressful or emotional. I wanted him to show some kind of righteous indignation on Maggie’s behalf, to wipe away a few understandable tears, or feel his heart beat out of his chest during harrowing moments, but I never picked up that vibe from him, and it’s a little odd for a person not to respond to those situations with more gusto. In real life, I think someone like Cal would drive me nuts. But, he is super sweet, too, and really comes through for some folks in a big way, and I knew he had a big, generous heart, which eventually won me over. I also appreciated that his character was a little offbeat, his unusual background, and his approach to Maggie and the building of their relationship.

The other issue with the story was the pacing, which unfortunately is almost a death knell for this book, because of its sluggishness. I had a very hard time staying focused and fought hard not to skim over some areas.

However, Maggie more than makes up for any of Cal’s blandness, and single handedly saves the story with her exploits, which come out of nowhere sometimes, and are often hilarious or exhilarating, giving the story a strong shot in the arm at just the right moment. Maggie is the heart and soul of this story, and her journey to Sullivan's crossing, and all the trials she faced, will open her eyes to all there is to be thankful for, will teach her some very important life lessons, and open doors for her that are far more appealing than the life she was living in Denver.

I also enjoyed the quotes that started off each chapter, and loved seeing two people with huge, life altering issues to face down, helping each other move upward and onward to bigger and better things, learning what is most important in life, accepting that fate has plans for them, they didn’t expect, and finding the courage to embark on a new path, working things out as they go, and are rewarded with peace, contentment and true love.

Although, the road was a bit rocky, overall, this is a solid start for this new series.





A RITA award-winning author of 25 novels, Robyn Carr has found a whole new following with her stories about the independent women and former marines of Virgin River."

RT's Career Achievement Best Author Award winner (2010) for Contemporary Romance.

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