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Moonlight Road by Robyn Carr
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Moonlight Road (2010)

by Robyn Carr

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Virgin River (11)

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With her beloved younger siblings settled and happy, Erin Foley has empty nest syndrome. At age thirty-five.
So she's hitting the pause button on her life and holing up in a secluded (but totally upgraded—she's not into roughing it) cabin near Virgin River. Erin is planning on getting to know herself…not the shaggy-haired mountain man she meets.
In fact, beneath his faded fatigues and bushy beard, Aiden Riordan is a doctor, recharging for a summer after leaving the navy. He's intrigued by the pretty, slightly snooty refugee from the rat race—her meditating and journaling are definitely keeping him at arm's length. He'd love to get closer…if his scruffy exterior and crazy ex-wife don't hold him back.
But maybe it's something in the water—unlikely romances seem to take root in Virgin River…helped along by some well-intentioned meddling, of course.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. In the two weeks Aiden Riordan had been in Virgin River, he'd hiked over a hundred miles and grown himself a pretty hefty dark red beard. With his jet-black hair and brows and his bright green eyes, this legacy of his ancestors gave him a wild look. His four-year-old niece, Rosie, who sported a full head of red curls to go with her green eyes, had said, "Unca Aid! You're a Wide Iwish Rose, too!" For a man without a mission for the first time since he could remember, this lay-back time was working out to his liking. Since undergrad in premed, he hadn't been without incredibly stiff goals. Now, at age thirty-six, after fourteen years in the navy, he was between jobs, completely unsure where he'd land next, and he felt good about it. Motivation interruptus had turned out to be a delightful state of being. The only thing he was certain of, he wasn't leaving Virgin River before the middle of summer. His older brother Luke and sister-in-law Shelby were expecting their first child, and he damn sure wasn't going to miss that. His brother Sean would soon be home from Iraq and planned a short leave before heading with his wife, Franci, and daughter, Rosie, to his next assignment, and Aiden looked forward to a little time with him, as well. The June sun beat down on him. He wore fatigue pants, hiking boots and a tan T-shirt with salty perspiration rings under the arms. He was wet down his chest and back and smelled pretty ripe. He carried a camouflage backpack for protein bars and water, and strapped to his belt, a machete for clearing any brush that got in his way. He had a ball cap on his head and his black hair had already started to curl out from under the edges. A four-foot-tall walking staff had become his constant companion, and since a chance encounter with a too-confident mountain lion, he now carried a bow and a quiver of arrows. Of course, if he ran into a real cranky bear, he could be toast. He wandered up a winding dirt road. It looked like it could be someone's driveway or an abandoned logging road, he was never sure which. He was aiming for a ridge he'd seen from below. At the end of the drive, he came face-to-face with what appeared to be an abandoned cabin. Experience had taught him the difference—if the path to the outhouse facilities was overgrown and it was especially run-down, it was probably vacant. There were no guarantees on that, however. He'd made that assumption once and an old woman had leveled a shotgun at him and ordered him to scram. Now, he gave the place a wide berth and walked through the woods toward the ridge. Of course, there was no path; he used the machete to chop away some of the overgrowth. He came out of the other side to the most amazing, intoxicating sight. A woman wearing very short khaki shorts was bent over at the edge of her deck, backside pointed right at him. Even given his expertise in that department, he couldn't tell her exact age, but that was one beautiful booty on top of a couple of magnificent, long, tan legs. By the collection of ceramic pots and a watering can on the deck, he assumed she was potting plants. One flowerpot was balanced on the deck railing above her. She appeared to be digging in the earth, scooping dirt into a big pot. He did know a couple of things. That butt and those legs belonged to someone under the age of fifty and there didn't appear to be a shotgun in sight. So, he chopped his way through the trees intending to say a friendly hello. Still bent over, she looked at him through her legs. A beautiful strawberry blonde, which made him smile. She let out a huge, bloodcurdling scream, straightened abruptly and hit her head on the deck railing, knocking off a ceramic pot, which hit her on the noggin. And down she went. Splat! "Damn," he muttered, running toward her as fast as he could. He dropped the machete and staff about halfway there. She was sprawled facedown, out cold, so he gently rolled her over. She was stunning. Her face was as gorgeous as the rest of her. Her pulse was beating nice and strong in her carotid artery, but her forehead was bleeding. He'd seen the pot hit her in the back of the head, but she must have struck her forehead on the sharp edge of the deck going down, because in the center of that lovely brow, right at her hairline, there was a gash. And it was gushing, as head wounds like to do. Aiden pulled out his handkerchief, which was, thankfully, clean, and pressed his hand over her cut to stanch the bleeding. She moaned a bit, but didn't open her eyes. With his thumb, he peeled back her lids one at a time; her pupils were equal and reactive to light, a good sign so far. While applying pressure to the wound, Aiden shrugged off his backpack, quiver and bow. Then he scooped her up in his arms and carried her across the deck and through the French doors that were standing open, into the cabin. "Anybody home?" he called as he walked inside. Since there was no answer, he assumed the woman lived here alone and that the big Lincoln SUV was hers. The leather sofa looked like a good bet—better than a bed or even what appeared to be a very new and expensive designer area rug and not something she'd want to bleed on. He placed her carefully on the couch, her head slightly elevated. He looked around. From the outside, the place looked like an ordinary old cabin with new siding and a freshly painted, covered, railed deck with chairs. Inside, it was a richly furnished, very classy showplace. He gingerly lifted the handkerchief; the bleeding had slowed to a trickle. There was blood on her white T-shirt, however. The first matter at hand was ice, then a bandage of some kind. He was in a large combination living/dining/kitchen area. A table sat in front of the opened French doors out of which he now saw the view he'd been in search of. He'd been so taken with that fine butt, he hadn't noticed the cabin was built right on the ridge. Aiden looked around for a phone, but didn't see one. Then he washed his hands and rummaged through the freezer for ice, which he wrapped in a couple of dish towels—one for the front of her head, one for the back. The dish towels still had price tags on them. He propped her head against one ice pack and laid the other on her forehead. Even the application of cold didn't rouse her, so off he went in search of a bandage. The kitchen was on the west end of the cabin, but on the opposite side were two doors. The one on the left led to a good-size bedroom, and on the right, a large bathroom. From the bathroom, the most obvious place to find first-aid supplies, another door connected to the bedroom. Sure enough, under the sink, he found a blue canvas zipper bag with First Aid emblazoned in white on the canvas. He grabbed it and hurried back to the woman. In his experienced hands, it took only seconds to apply a little antibacterial cream and a butterfly to close the wound, covered by a Band-Aid. He reapplied the ice pack. The next immediate order of business was getting her to an emergency room for a head CT; the loss of consciousness after a blow to the head could mean trouble. The longer she stayed unconscious, the more it concerned him, but he had moved fast—she hadn't been out more than a couple of minutes so far. He saw a purse on the kitchen counter and went to rifle through it for a phone, car keys, ID, anything. He unceremoniously dumped the contents and was bent over the counter, sifting through the loose items, when a shriek rent the air. His head came up sharply and he whacked it on the cupboards that hung over the counter. "Ah!" he yelled, grabbing the back of his head. He pinched his eyes closed hard, trying to get a grip through blinding pain. But she continued to scream. He turned toward her. She was scooting away from him on the leather couch, screaming her head off, her ice packs spilled to the floor. "Shut up!" he ordered. She stopped abruptly, her hand covering her mouth. "We're both going to have brain damage if you don't stop doing that!" "Get out of here!" she commanded. "I'll call the police!" He rolled his eyes and shook his head. "Great idea. Where's the phone?" He lifted a cell phone from the things on the counter. "This one has no signal." "What are you doing here? Why are you in my house? In my purse?" He walked toward her, her purse hanging in his hand. "I saw you hit your head. I brought you inside and put ice and a bandage on the wound, but now we have to—" "You hit me in the head?" she screeched, digging at the sofa with her heels to scoot away again. "I didn't hit you—apparently I startled you when I came out of the forest and you jumped. You hit the back of your head on the deck railing and one of your pots fell on your head. I think you got the cut on your forehead when you hit the deck on the way down. Now where's the phone?" "Oh God," she said, her fingers going to the bandage, touching it carefully. "The phone's going to be installed tomorrow. Along with my satellite dish. So I can have Internet and watch movies." "That isn't going to help much. Listen, it's a small cut. Head wounds bleed a lot. I doubt it'll even leave a scar. But losing consciousness is—" "I'll give you money if you just won't hurt me." "I bandaged your head, for God's sake! I'm not going to hurt you and I don't want money!" He lifted the purse in his hand. "I was looking for your car keys—you need a CAT scan. Maybe a couple of stitches." "Why?" she asked, her voice quivering. He sighed. "Because you lost consciousness—not a good sign. Now, where are your keys?" "Why?" she asked again. "I'm going to drive you to the emergency room so you can get your head examined!" "I'll do it," she said. "I'll drive myself. You can just go now. Right now." He took a couple of steps toward her. He crouched so he wouldn't be looking down at her, but didn't get too close because he wasn't su... ( )
  buffygurl | Mar 8, 2019 |
Erin was pushed into taking a leave from her job, so she comes to her brother-in-law's Virgin River cabin to hide out for a while. Aiden is taking time off after leaving the Navy to decide what's next, staying near his brother in Virgin River. Letting his hair and beard grown, and taking long hikes in fatigues, he scares Erin when he spies her at her remote cabin. But after he scares off a bear that got into Erin's house, she decides he's OK. Back story of older widow Maureen hooking up with Noah's seminary professor, and agreeing to travel the country with him in an RV, sending her sons into apoplexy. ( )
  nancynova | Nov 3, 2017 |
The Virgin River series by Robyn Carr is like a visit with family. It's nice to see what is going on in the town, and what new people you may meet along the way.

With her younger siblings settled and happy, Erin Foley has empty nest syndrome. At age thirty Five.

So she's hitting the pause button on her life and holing up in a secluded cabin near Virgin River. Erin is planning on getting to know herself... not some shaggy-haired mountain man.
In fact beneath his faded fatigues and bushy beard Aiden Riordan is a doctor, recharging for a summer after leaving the navy. He is intrigued by the pretty, slightly snotty refugee from the rat race. He'd love to get closer...if his scruffy exterior and crazy ex-wife don't hold his back. ( )
  oldriverbooks | Mar 2, 2015 |
Again, Robyn Carr proves that she can make you fall in love with Virgin River again and again.
In a new perspective of Virgin River, we know more about some secondary characters, like Aiden and Erin, and be in touch with all the others.
This is what I like the most about Robyn Carr novels, especially these ones, everything is told, the new as a place with the old and you can feel a continuous sense of gathering and love. That is what Virgin River is to me, a safe harbor.
Also, it's funny, tragic and beautiful. It's a ray of light for those who need to feel a little loved. ( )
  Lost_Lenore | Oct 15, 2013 |
Moonlight Road was another fabulous installment in Robyn Carr's Virgin River series. This one focuses primarily on the rather large and still growing Riordan clan. We also get to see a fair bit of Ian and Marcie (A Virgin River Christmas) for the first time since their book. Many other current and former Virgin River residents pop in for a visit although some are merely in the background. This time the story was a little less about the town, and a little more about both Aiden and Erin's family ties. I absolutely loved this though, because the Riordans and Foleys still projected that warmth and comfort that I've come to expect from a Virgin River novel.

Like all of his brothers and many of the male residents of Virgin River, Aiden is a military man, ex-Navy to be precise. Not wanting to be assigned to a ship again for the next two years, he resigns his commission to look for work in the private sector. Out of all the Riordan boys, Aiden is the one who has wanted a wife and children the most, but also the one who has had the worst luck with women. After his brief but tempestuous marriage to a “crazy woman,” he's been rather wary of relationships despite his desire for a family. He finally realized that being in the Navy wasn't helping any in his search for the right woman. Before finding a steady job and settling down, he decides to sojourn in Virgin River for a few months while awaiting the birth of his first nephew. In my opinion, Aiden leans toward being a beta hero. As an OB/GYN, he's very sensitive toward women's issues, and overall, he's a pretty romantic guy. Even though he doesn't exactly get off on the right foot with Erin, which leaves her less than accommodating, he is very gentle and takes the time to get to know her. I love how he was secretly doing little things for her without her knowing about them. He was kind of her own personal gardening and handyman fairy which was really cute. It was also incredibly romantic how he gave Erin the prom that she'd missed out on, and I love how he taught her to just relax and have fun. Add to all this the fact that Aiden is a tender lover who patiently awakens Erin to things she's been missing, and he's pretty much the perfect guy. I've liked Aiden since he was first introduced in Luke's book, so I was very excited to finally get to his book. It certainly didn't disappoint, and I think he found the perfect match in Erin.

When Erin was first introduced in Marcie and Ian's book as the meddling older sister, I had a hard time warming up to her. After reading this book, I realize that she was simply a misunderstood character. Erin has spent her whole life taking care of her family and basically missed out on some of her formative growing up years. I have to say that I admire her commitment to her brother and sister. She was a very strong woman to put herself through law school while taking care of them. Now that both of them have lives of their own and have moved out, she's feeling adrift, not knowing what to do with herself. After doing a major remodel on Ian's primitive old cabin to make it livable, Erin takes a long leave from work and comes to Virgin River looking for a peaceful place to learn how to be alone. Sadly, she can't seem to find anything to do that interests and excites her until a scruffy-looking mountain man comes walking out of the forest into her clearing. Being a girly-girl who's into designer clothes and such, she's none too impressed with him at first, but when she finds out how nicely he cleans up, she can't help being attracted. She'd dated occasionally, but never had a serious relationship. Her already too-full life simply didn't allow for it, and most of the guys she went out with didn't really float her boat either. Aiden is different than anyone she'd known before and seems to intuitively know how to make her feel good. I enjoyed watching the personal journey Erin went on and how she grew throughout the story.

Of course, this wouldn't be a Virgin River novel without lots of secondary characters, some of whom get their own POV scenes. Luke and Shelby are eagerly awaiting the birth of their first child while dealing with some new developments for Art, the young man with Down's Syndrome who became their charge. I love how Robyn Carr gives everyone an opportunity for romance regardless of age or disability, so I thought the little side plot about Art reconnecting with his “girlfriend” was really sweet. Sean returns from his tour in Iraq, but he, Franci, and Rosie are only around for a short while before heading off to his next assignment. Momma Maureen makes good on her plan to spend her retirement traveling the country with her boyfriend, George, in their new luxury RV, which surprises a few of her offspring, and their first stop is Virgin River to be there for the baby's birth. Erin's sister, Marcie, and her husband, Ian, are also about to become first-time parents, which is partly why Erin decided to vacation fairly close to home. The only townspeople who have a major part in this book are Jack and Mel who experience a little trouble in paradise as they disagree over whether to have another child, which would be a big undertaking since Mel had a hysterectomy. I have to admit that I was a little worried about this part of the story, but I'm very pleased with how it all turned out. Lastly, was the villain, Aiden's crazy ex, Annalee. I felt so bad for Aiden for all that she put him through, both during their marriage and when she returns in this book. I'm glad that Erin didn't doubt Aiden for long and instead, trusted the things he said even though she didn't exactly have proof. Very few villains make me as angry as Annalee did, so I guess that's a testament to Robyn Carr's writing skill.

Moonlight Road got off to an incredibly amusing start with Erin accidentally knocking herself out when Aiden walked out of the forest looking like a homeless man, carrying a machete. From there it runs a gamut of emotions with lots of warm family interactions as all the Riordans come together for the birth of Luke and Shelby's baby. It wraps up with some high suspense, but I won't say any more about that because I don't want to give anything away. Overall, it was another great addition to this already wonderful series that I highly recommend. ( )
  mom2lnb | Oct 3, 2013 |
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For Toni Crandall, because the world would be a dimmer place without all the love you have in your heart. Thank you for being even more than a friend -- thank you for being a sister.
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In the two weeks Aiden Riordan had been in Virgin River, he'd hiked over a hundred miles and grown himself a pretty hefty dark red beard.
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With her beloved younger siblings settled and happy, Erin Foley has empty nest syndrome. At age thirty-five.

So she's hitting the pause button on her life and holing up in a secluded (but totally upgraded—she's not into roughing it) cabin near Virgin River. Erin is planning on getting to know herself…not the shaggy-haired mountain man she meets.

In fact, beneath his faded fatigues and bushy beard, Aiden Riordan is a doctor, recharging for a summer after leaving the navy. He's intrigued by the pretty, slightly snooty refugee from the rat race—her meditating and journaling are definitely keeping him at arm's length. He'd love to get closer…if his scruffy exterior and crazy ex-wife don't hold him back.

But maybe it's something in the water—unlikely romances seem to take root in Virgin River…helped along by some well-intentioned meddling, of course.
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With her beloved younger siblings settled and happy, Erin Foley has empty nest syndrome. At age 35. So she's hitting the pause button on her life and holing up in a secluded cabin near Virgin River. Erin is planning on getting to know herself...not the shaggy-haired mountain man that she meets. She doesn't realized the stranger is a doctor, recharging for the summer after leaving the Navy. But maybe it's something in the water--unlikely romances seem to take root in Virgin River...helped along by some well-intentioned meddling, of course.… (more)

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