Thursday, April 12, 2018

The Family Gathering - Contemporary Romance Review

Rating: Very Good
Source: Publicist

Having left the military, Dakota Jones is at a crossroads in his life. With his elder brother and youngest sister happily settled in Sullivan’s Crossing, he shows up hoping to clear his head before moving on to his next adventure. But, like every visitor to the Crossing, he’s immediately drawn to the down-to-earth people and the seemingly simple way of life.

Dakota is unprepared for how quickly things get complicated. As a newcomer, he is on everyone’s radar—especially the single women in town. While he enjoys the attention at first, he’s really only attracted to the one woman who isn’t interested. And spending quality time with his siblings is eye-opening. As he gets to know them, he also gets to know himself and what he truly wants.

When all the Jones siblings gather for a family wedding, the four adults are drawn together for the first time in a way they never were as children. As they struggle to accept each other, warts and all, the true nature and strength of their bond is tested. But all of them come to realize that your family are the people who see you for who you really are and love you anyway. And for Dakota, that truth allows him to find the home and family he’s always wanted.

Genre: Romance - Contemporary

Why I Picked This Book:
  I've really enjoyed the previous books in this series and I've really been enjoying the romances I've read lately.

My Impression:
  This is one of those romances that walks the line between women's fiction and romance.  I think the primary thread is the developing relationship but there is so much more to it than just that.  Dakota has been mentioned numerous times in the previous books I've read but this is the first time I've spent any amount of time with him.  While he was a good soldier (though didn't always get along with superiors) he is a much more complex character.  He's still carrying a lot of baggage from his chaotic childhood as well as from other tragedies.  While Sid had a more stable childhood her life has had more than its fair share of tragedies culminating in a devastating betrayal.  Neither has any real interest in committing to a serious relationship of any kind.

I loved the way the relationship developed.  While Sid initially refused Dakota's offer of coffee or dinner and he doesn't give up it isn't in a creepy or over bearing way.  He never forces his attention on her but instead puts himself out there and makes himself available for Sid to get to know.  He's also very clear on what he wants and his expectations.  There is a decent amount of discussion on consent but it never crosses the line into preachy and instead really made me like Dakota.  Early in the book there is an incident where Dakota is a victim of a rather aggressive woman and there is a really interesting discussion on handling that.

I also enjoyed seeing the couples from previous books have roles in this one.  Catching up with main and minor characters from previous books really added to the community feel that Carr has created in this series.

This is a thoroughly enjoyable entry into a thoroughly enjoyable series.  There's enough heart to keep it from being silly but enough humor to keep it from being melodramatic or overwrought.  You could jump right in here with no problems but the other books in this series are definitely a don't miss!

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?
  Absolutely!  I'm already looking forward to the next book.

Would I Recommend this Book?  If you enjoy contemporary romance this is a must read series and book.


  1. I don't usually read romance but this sounds really good.

  2. I need to read Robyn Carr. Plus the fact that you said it walks the line between women's fiction and romance is perfect. That is what I have been loving lately. Great review!

  3. I loved Robyn Carr's Virgin River series and read each and every book. I haven't started any of the ones that came after it, but I keep them in my mind for the perfect time.

  4. I've read the first two books in this series, and I'm very eager to get this one. I requested it from the library...but if it isn't available soon, I may have to buy it. LOL

    Great review!

  5. I am not a major romance fan, but the combination with women's fiction will draw me in. Thanks for the review.

  6. Yay, good to know you loved this one too. Totally agree with everything you've said.

  7. I've enjoyed a number of hers. Glad to see you had fun with it :)

  8. I'm way behind on my Robyn Carr reading! She writes way too fast for me to keep up. I enjoy the warmth of her books. Glad this was another good one :)

  9. EXCELLENT REVIEW!! I’ve been wanting to get a hold of this series. It sounds really good.

  10. I think Robyn Carr does a great job with the romance/women's fiction mash-up :) I loved this one!