Wild Man Creek, which will be released later this month, is more typical of the Virgin River series than what Promise Canyon (released this week) was. Like all the Virgin River books, Wild Man Creek is set in the small northern California town of Virgin River, and it is a romance. Typical of the series, the hero,
Colin Riorden, is ex-military, in this case a Black Hawk pilot who was injured in the line of duty (and also in the book, Promise Canyon), and thereafter became addicted to pain medications. He is visiting his brother Luke, staying in one of the vacation cabins, while he continues to recover and tries to decide what to do with his life. The heroine, Jillian is a PR professional for a software company. She works eighty hour weeks and has no social life until she finally succumbs to the advances of the new guy in the department. Unfortunately, he is after her job, and is willing to cry "sexual harassment" in order to get it---even though HE pursued her. She ends up on an extended "leave of absence" and heads for Virgin River, where she, along with her sister and high school girlfriends, had spent time the summer before (also mentioned in Promise Canyon). Once there she settles into a large Victorian house and starts and organic farming business. She and he meet; neither one is looking for anything permanent, and yet....
I liked this story. Besides the romance, there is a major sub-plot about Jack (owner of the local bar, and all-around good guy featured in all the stories). A young man shows up in town, they become friends and then the young man reveals a secret--but there is another secret he doesn't know. While Jack's reaction to the news may have been unrealistically good, I still enjoyed this part of the story.
It's a romance, of course everyone lives happily ever after. Yes, the characters end up in bed together, and no, they don't wait very long to get there. Like the other Virgin River books, we have appearances of characters who serve no purpose in this story and I suspect I know who will be the couple in the next book, but I'll keep that opinion to myself. In short, if you like the Virgin River books, you'll like this one. If you hate them, this one is no different. If you haven't tried them, this is as good a one to start with as any--while part of a series, each of the books stands alone well.
I'd like to thank the publisher for providing a complimentary digital galley via Net Galley.