Here's the blurb for Shelter Mountain-
For the second time in a year a woman arrives in the small town of Virgin River trying to escape the past
John “Preacher” Middleton is about to close the bar when a young woman and her three-year-old son come in out of a wet October night. A marine who has seen his share of pain, Preacher knows a crisis when he sees one – the woman is covered in bruises. He wants to protect them, and he wants to punish whoever did this to her, but he knows immediately that this inclination to protect is something much more. Paige Lassiter has stirred up emotions in this gentle giant of a man– emotions that he has never allowed himself to feel.
But when Paige’s ex-husband turns up in Virgin River, Preacher knows his own future hangs in the balance. And if there’s one thing in the marines’ motto of Semper Fidelis – always faithful – has taught him, it’s that some things are worth fighting for.
We met Preacher in Virgin River. A former Marine who served in Jack's unit, he's now the cook for Jack's bar. A shy, quiet man, he spends most of his time in the kitchen or out in Mother Nature. His looks are intimidating & he's got a scary reputation, but his biggest dream is to find a woman to settle down with.
We meet Paige when she shows up at the bar on a stormy night right before closing. She's got her young son with her & she's obviously exhausted. Preacher's compassionate nature takes over & he offers her a place to stay. It's obvious she's been beaten, but he doesn't say anything. He gets her clean towels and gets her settled down for the night.
Where Jack & Mel's relationship would be termed passionate, the romance that blossoms between Preacher & Paige is what I'd call sweet. He's afraid to hurt her & when she first shows up she's married. He doesn't want to poach, but she fascinates him. She's able to get a divorce & things progress from there.
What I like is that they became friends first before they became lovers. Preacher is protective of her & wants to take care of her. He falls in love with her little boy & he's overwhelmed by the feelings he has for her. When they finally do make love, it's a very sweet, very romantic scene.
Shelter Mountain has more action & insanity than Virgin River did. Paige's exhusband is a fruit & he refused to let her go. I'm not giving anything away, because it basically says that in the blurb. What I won't tell you is how it all ends. :) Trust me when I say it's a great story.
My Rating: A