Deep in the Valley (Grace Valley Trilogy, #1) - Robyn Carr,  Therese Plummer "California Poppy Field," by Granville Redmond circa 1926.

(This is a review of the audiobook.)
Story = ★★★☆☆
Narrator’s Performance = ★★★★☆
Overall = ★★★½☆

I enjoyed [a:Therese Plummer|2964904|Therese Plummer|]’s narration of the first in [a:Robyn Carr|107767|Robyn Carr|]’s Grace Valley Trilogy. She differentiates the characters nicely, her pacing is good, and you can tell she has some fun in spots with her tone and inflection.

Nevertheless, this book is billed as a “romance” and it doesn’t quite live up to that claim. I’m not talking about the “one foot on the floor” love scenes. (That didn’t disappoint me at all.) I mean the amount of time devoted to the romance between the heroine and hero. This is June Hudson’s story; her daily life and dedication to Grace Valley and its inhabitants; the sound of her “ticking biological clock” in the background. The hero seemed to be almost a footnote. While I liked their “meet cute” and the idea of how to handle their budding romance, considering his occupation, I was less than impressed with the amount of time they spent together.

Miss Carr is great at sucking me into her story-lines with her variety of believable characters - both good and bad - and sub-plots within a small community. However, these didn’t pull me in like the Virgin River books have done. While Miss Carr seems to focus on one main issue in her books, here there was a little too much domestic violence and poverty for me. Though I don’t expect my protagonist to be perfect, I didn’t feel like the good doctor, nor the sheriff, showed the kind of judgement I expected of them.

One thing that would bring me back for more would be the Angel Pass story-line.