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The Family Gathering (Sullivan's Crossing,…

The Family Gathering (Sullivan's Crossing, 3) (udgave 2018)

af Robyn Carr (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
1665124,442 (3.68)2
Dakota Jones is the second youngest of four children who had a difficult upbringing living with parents who struggle with mental illness. He escaped his family as soon as he could by joining the military. Now, after several tours of duty he has been discharged. He has nowhere to go and no solid plans for the future. Refusing to return home to his parents he arrives in Sullivan's Crossing where his brother Cal and sister Sierra have each experienced the healing power of the place and its people. Nestled at the crossroads of the Colorado and Continental Divide Trails, the area attracts those looking for answers or direction or a new lease on life. Dakota will come to terms with his less-than-perfect family and will plant the roots he's never had.… (mere)
Titel:The Family Gathering (Sullivan's Crossing, 3)
Forfattere:Robyn Carr (Forfatter)
Info:MIRA (2018), Edition: Original, 352 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek

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The Family Gathering af Robyn Carr


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Viser 5 af 5
The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr is a sweet, family-centric romance. This third installment in the marvelous Sullivan's Crossing series can stand on its own, but I highly encourage readers to read the previous books for important backstory.

Dakota Jones shocks his brother Cal and his sister Sierra with his unexpected arrival in Colorado. The former Army Ranger has not exactly kept in touch on a regular basis so no one in the family is aware of what has been going on with their brother recently. Since he rarely stays in one place for very long, Dakota surprises himself by renting a cabin and finding a job soon after coming to town. Even more astonishing, he strikes up a friendship with romance potential but their relationship is complicated by her trust issues and interference from hairstylist Alyssa and overly aggressive Neely Benedict. An additional and very unanticipated complication arises when the siblings' sister Sedona comes to town sans family and they discover she, too, has not emerged from their tumultuous childhood unscathed. Will this unforeseen drama send Dakota running? Or will it be the impetus he needs to finally put down roots?

Dakota joined the Army as soon he graduated from high school and rarely looked back. His sporadic visits to the family farm have gradually tapered off but he always kept in touch with his siblings. Following his surprising exodus from the Army, Dakota is ready to spend some quality time with his siblings but he is not quite ready to make a commitment to remain permanently in Colorado. However, as he becomes more enmeshed in his siblings' day to day lives and their extended families, Dakota discovers walking away won't be as easy as it proved to be in the past.

Although he is not looking for a permanent relationship, Dakota is not averse to a no strings fling. The first woman who briefly catches his eye is Alyssa but she comes across as a little too desperate to hold his attention. Dakota next meets Neely whose hot and cold attitude is not exactly his thing and he quickly falls victim to her penchant for wreaking havoc once she realizes his interest lies elsewhere.

Dakota is quickly smitten by a very unexpected woman but she is not at all ready for a romance. His patience with her finally pays off when their easygoing friendship gradually tips into a physical relationship but she is wary of committing to anything other than a temporary fling. Dakota is initially fine with the status quo but when his feelings for her deepen into something that looks a lot like love, will he convince her to take a chance on taking their relationship to the next level?

On the family front, the only sibling whose life is without complications is Cal. Sierra and her firefighter boyfriend are contemplating the next step in their relationship but are they ready for an even bigger change in their lives? Always considered the "normal" one, Sedona's life is nowhere near as perfect or untroubled as everyone else (including Sedona) assumed and she is finally forced to face her worse fears. Instead of running away from these obstacles, Dakota surprises himself and his siblings by eagerly stepping into the fray.

The Family Gathering is an emotionally-charged, engrossing novel with a thought-provoking storyline and a lovely cast of colorful characters. Dakota is a wonderful lead protagonist and watching him make peace with his past while discovering what he wants for the future is incredibly gratifying. Robyn Carr keeps the story moving at a brisk pace as she wraps up a few dangling storylines from earlier works. With a great cast of characters, a hint of suspense and a delightful love story, old and new fans will find themselves charmed by this newest addition to the heartwarming Sullivan's Crossing series. ( )
  kbranfield | Feb 3, 2020 |
The Family Gathering is the latest release in Robyn Carr’s Sullivan’s Crossing series. I waffled mightily on how to rate this one. The first two books of the series were pleasant. For the most part, I enjoyed them and rated each one four stars, but I felt that they still had some weaknesses that left me wanting more. That said, though, with each new book the series has been getting a little better, and after reading this one, I felt like the author might finally be starting to hit her stride with the Sullivan’s Crossing stories. There was quite a bit going on in The Family Gathering that held my attention pretty well, probably even better than the first two books, but at the same time, I found some similar weaknesses to the previous two books. However, since this book ended up being my favorite of the series thus far and had some emotional and heartwarming moments, I decided it needed to be rated just a bit higher and finally settled on 4.5 stars.

The hero of this book is Dakota Jones, brother of Cal (What We Find) and Sierra (Any Day Now). After getting into a bit of trouble and being discharged from the military, he’s trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life. While he contemplates his options, Dakota decides to visit his brother and sister in Timberlake, check things out, and maybe stay a while until something more interesting comes along. He’s always had a bit of wanderlust, but once he’s there with his family and getting to know people in town, he finds it to be a nice place to hang his hat for a while. His decision is only solidified by his burgeoning relationship with the bartender at the local bar and grill. Dakota quickly discovers that she’s all he could want in a woman, and he isn’t averse to the idea of making things more permanent with her. Dakota is similar to a lot of Robyn Carr’s ex-military heroes, some of whom have also been doing a bit of soul-searching. He’s dedicated to his siblings and would do anything to help them out, which I admired. However, most of his backstory is told rather than shown. In addition to his troubles in the military, he also had a serious girlfriend who was killed in a terrorist attack, but I never felt like either event played into who he is now in the way they probably should have. Upon first coming to Timberlake, he also piques the interest of a couple of female troublemakers from the previous book, one of whom turns stalker, which added a touch of intrigue to the story. Mostly Dakota is just an all-around nice guy who was a good hero. I liked him, but he wasn’t necessarily a stand-out to me.

Our heroine is Sidney, known as just Sid to her family and friends. She’s a sister to the owner of the bar and grill, who went through a very ugly divorce, after which she fell into a deep depression. Before that she was a brilliant physicist, working on a highly specialized quantum computing device used to develop artificial intelligence. She had worked her butt off not only for her job but also to put her husband through medical school, only to have him reveal that he’d been having an affair for two years. When the break-up affected her so deeply, Sid’s widowed brother came to California to get her and take her back home to Timberlake where she could heal. She’s been working as his bartender ever since and helping him take care of his two children, while trying to decide whether to go back to her field of expertise. Sid is a no-nonsense girl who is a little reluctant to get involved with Dakota when he first starts flirting with her, which is understandable after what happened to her, but it doesn’t take too long before she can no longer resist his charm. Much like Dakota, she’s dedicated to her family, stepping up to be a mother-figure to her nephews. I would say that the only issue I had with her is that Robyn Carr has never been very accurate in writing introverted characters. She gives lip-service to introverts, but then those characters in her stories who supposedly are, always end up as extroverts anyway. As an introvert myself who has studied personalities extensively and who’s also married to a fellow introvert who’s a techno-geek like Sid, I felt like her character, in that respect, just didn’t ring true. A small percentage of introverts can project an air of extroversion when they want and/or need to, but it’s not possible for us to suddenly get a personality transplant and actually become extroverts in the way I felt was being portrayed in Sid’s character. Also her genius IQ is never really shown in any satisfying way. She could have been just any old small-town girl rather than a Mensa-level brainiac. Sid, like Dakota, is a very nice, likable person, but there were simply aspects of her characterization that I felt needed to go deeper.

Much of the strength of the story and what made it interesting to me were the family interactions, particularly for the Joneses. A lot happens for several different characters besides Dakota and Sid, and most of them get their own POV scenes to play out their parts of the story. Sierra and Connie (Any Day Now) take the next step in their relationship by tying the knot and some other unexpected and very emotional things happen to them as well. I really liked their part of the story, because it tugged at my heartstrings. Sedona, the fourth Jones sibling, who we’ve only heard about up to this point, arrives to attend the wedding, but while she’s visiting, her siblings discover that she’s been hiding some very big secrets. Again, I enjoyed her part of the story, partly because looking out for her gives the other characters something engaging to do, but also because it has an element of mental illness that I found interesting. Cal and Maggie (What We Find), as well as Maggie’s dad, Sully, who became a surrogate father to the Joneses, are mostly in the background, but they help out in a number of different ways. Then there’s Tom and Lola, whose romance has been playing out as secondary characters in all three books. These fortyish divorced parents with six kids between them take their own next relationship step while facing the challenge of figuring out how to blend their families together. Sid’s brother, Rob, seems like a great guy, who could use a little romance of his own, and for the first time with this series, I’m going to speculate that he might become the hero of the next book. Then there are Alyssa and Neely who are the two women who stirred up a bit of trouble for Sierra and Connie in the previous book. We may not have seen the last of Alyssa yet and she was less of a problem in this book, only pursuing Dakota a couple of times. But Neely causes him no end of difficulties when she turns into a stalker which didn’t surprise me in the least. I’m glad Ms. Carr took her character in that direction, because she made an intriguing and kind of creepy villainous character.

As with all the “main” relationships in the Sullivan’s Crossing series so far, I felt like Dakota and Sid’s romance was a little too easy. Dakota is rearing to go right from the start. Sid puts up a token fuss in the beginning, but she acquiesces in fairy short order with no real fall-out or complications besides her still trying to decide on whether to go back to her old career. I never felt any sense of urgency with them, because they fit together in an easy-going way that left no real doubt in my mind that they would get their HEA. As I’ve noticed with many of Robyn Carr’s books, she has a tendency to skim along the surface of the characterizations and relationship development rather then diving deep. This is only exacerbated by her tendency to tell most of the story in very long passages of dialogue with few breaks for blocking or introspection. When she does engage in introspection, the passages are a little too short for my liking and also tend to stay mostly on the surface as well. However, despite these repeated frustrations, I still like her books, mainly because of the small-town atmospheres and the family dynamics. Reading her books is kind of like watching a Hallmark movie. There may not be a great deal of substance, but I know I can almost always count on feeling warm fuzzies at the end. So, I guess maybe Robyn Carr is one of those comfort authors who I can enjoy reading from time to time to get those heartwarming feelings. I’ll look forward to the next book in this series to see if I’m right about Rob being the hero, because IMHO, he’d be a really good one.

Note: I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  mom2lnb | Oct 5, 2019 |
family ( )
  Janicemo | Aug 14, 2019 |
I waited to read the latest in this series and read it in two days... that's why I try to savor a new release knowing not another book for about a year! This continued the story set at Sullivans Crossing in gorgeous Colorado and didn't disappoint, it was well written and kept the story lines changing around, just a really good read. ( )
  mchwest | Jun 11, 2018 |
I am a Robyn Carr fan. When I pick up one of her books I know that I am going to find a good romance story with wonderful, realistic characters. The Family Gathering is exactly that and more. I found a book with an amazingly unique and fun family, a storyline that I lost myself in, and a series that I am looking forward to more from.

The Family Gathering is a book with a lot going on. The main story is Dakota’s return to Sullivan’s Crossing and his trying to find his new normal. He has to adjust to having family around, having friends, and living a civilian life. In addition to Dakota’s story, the reader gets to catch up with his siblings and where they are in their lives. There were a few times that I felt like I was lost in the secondary stories and there was too much going on.

While there are tough subjects touched on within this story such as divorce, stalking, adoption, and mental illness this is a romance story. If you love a good story as much as I do pick up this book and meet the wonderful people of Sullivan Crossing. ( )
  Charlotte_Lynn | Apr 19, 2018 |
Viser 5 af 5
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Dakota Jones is the second youngest of four children who had a difficult upbringing living with parents who struggle with mental illness. He escaped his family as soon as he could by joining the military. Now, after several tours of duty he has been discharged. He has nowhere to go and no solid plans for the future. Refusing to return home to his parents he arrives in Sullivan's Crossing where his brother Cal and sister Sierra have each experienced the healing power of the place and its people. Nestled at the crossroads of the Colorado and Continental Divide Trails, the area attracts those looking for answers or direction or a new lease on life. Dakota will come to terms with his less-than-perfect family and will plant the roots he's never had.

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