by Robyn Carr
Series: Sullivan's Crossing #3
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
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.
The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr is the third book in her small-town contemporary romance series, Sullivan’s Crossing. Dakota Jones has left the military and comes to spend time near his siblings before heading off on another adventure. Family weddings, crisis, and unconditional love find their way into this delightful, heartfelt tale.
Once again, Carr brings the romance, characters and small town to life. I would love to spend the summer in one the cabins on the lake. I could see myself having a meal in the quaint Colorado town and taking long hikes with my husband. This is one of the things that draws me to Carr’s small-town series. Like the Virgin River series, Sullivans Crossing shares siblings, newcomers, and townsfolks making the reader feel as if they are returning for a visit.
With Dakota’s story comes some interesting threads. Carr added some suspense which brought back a familiar character that stalked Dakota. Dakota takes an interest in a relationship-shy bartender. I enjoyed the friendship that developed from volunteer work to personal growth. It was fun seeing it slowly turn into more. The suspense angle could have complicated this fragile relationship, and I love that Carr didn’t go there. Instead, she gave us level-headed, mature characters.
Of course, we spend times with the Jones and their significant others. We even get to attend a wedding. The Jones children had an unusual childhood with a mentally ill parent, and all of them worry about falling prey to the disease. Carr did an excellent job of showcases mental illness as she highlights symptoms and treatments. She did this while allowing us to experience the effects on self and family. It was well done and carefully researched.
A situation with Connie and Sid had me in tears, but I trusted Carr to take care of them. Sierra has a central part in The Family Gathering that allowed all of the Jones to grow and has our hero longing to connect with family again and to change his long-term outlook.
For me, The Family Gathering was the strongest book of the series to date as we traversed from storyline to storyline. Carr had me wanted to pack my bags and head to Sullivan’s Crossing. Each of the books in this series will work as a standalone. Carr does a great job of filling in the backstory. However, I recommend reading them in order of release.
[bctt tweet=”Suspenseful, romantic and heartwarming, The Family Gathering by Robyn Carr will have you longing to spend time in Sullivan’s Crossing. #NewRelease #mustread” username=”kimbacaffeinate”]
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
I always see this authors books everywhere but I have to admit the covers never really pulled me in and I am a shallow cover-love reader DD: But your review makes me think that I should give them a go. I love reading romance and probably read it too much. I don’t read too many small town cute family ones, but this actually appeals to me!
I hope you do. Now see the cover makes me want to sit there and drink coffee..lol
I have this one, but now I wonder can it be read as a standalone?
The romance is standalone. I think Carr does a good job of filling in and reintroducing characters, so you could read it on its own.
This one sounds really good. I like that he is trying to understand and be understood by his family and find himself after the military. This seems like a great DTE book. I have to put this on my TBR List.
I get caught up in her characters. Thanks, Mary!
Katherine @ I Wish I Lived in a Library
I loved this one too! This is the first series I’ve really fallen in love with from Carr (I haven’t read any from Virgin River and only one from the other) but I absolutely love it. I can’t wait for the next book!
Virgin River is still my favorite. Honestly, I cried when it ended.
Lovely cover. I want to be there. I have seen so many great reviews for this author.
Me too JoLee.
Ok it’s time for me to put this series higher on my priority pile. Thanks Kim for the review. I miss reading her and after reading your review I really want to pick her up again.
I miss her Virgin River series 🙁
This sounds so enjoyable. I think I would like to get to know these siblings more!
I love that we get to know them.
Suzanne @ The Bookish Libra
That cover is so lovely that I had to sit and there at it for a few moments before moving on to your review. This sounds like such a lovely read. I think a thing for books that are set in small towns, probably from having grown up in one myself, and I also have a thing for books that can make me cry so this book sounds like it could be a great fit for me as well.
I know exactly what you mean Suzanne. I hope you get a chance to read this. I too love the cover. It is so peaceful and inviting.
Whenever Robyn Carr comes out with a new Sullivan’s Crossing, I get nostalgic for Virgin River. I miss all of those characters and wonder what’s going on at Jack’s Bar with Jack, Mel, Preacher, and the gang.
Oh yes. I cried when that series ended. I loved the holiday editions each year. The lighting of the tree at Jack’s always got me in the holiday mood.
oh it’s great to have a small town romance series like that!! I need to try this author!
I enjoy her books. I hope you get the chance to try her Melliane.
I can’t resist books that are set in small towns that are all about family! I will have to look this up.
Yep, I am a sucker for them too Heidi.
Isn’t that cover scene beautiful! I would love somewhere with that kind of view. You couldn’t help but be romantic there!
Right. I’d back my bags.
I am a relatively new fan of Robyn Carr, having read a couple of books in the Virgin River series, and the first two books in this series. I have requested The Family Gathering from the library (Overdrive), but I may have to buy it if it doesn’t come soon! I do love these characters.
Happy reading when you do.
I’ve only read one book from her Virgin River series, but I agree that the ‘coming home to friends and family’ vibe was definitely there. I plan to finish the series and get to this one at some point.
I cried when that series ended.
Tanya @ Girl Plus Books
I don’t usually gravitate to small town romances but I really like the sound of this one. And any time there are mature, level-headed characters who act their age and behave in a believable way… I’m in. (Sometimes less is more when it comes to drama.) Great review, Kim!
I love mixing them in and enjoy the realism that you find in them.
why are the guys always interested in people who are not interested ?
Ha, well she is but terribly afraid to trust her own judgment. I always found that when I was in a relationship, suddenly other men started showing more interest.
I love that cover, Kim! It’s so calming! The setting and story sound really lovely here. I have never read a Carr book but looks like that needs to change!
I loved her Virgin River’s series and cried when it ended.
I thought the same thing, I love the cover! The story sounds awesome too.
Thanks, Lexi and yep it makes you want to go there.
That’s great you enjoyed this one, and thought it was the strongest of the series so far. Small-town settings can be really fascinating for me – I tend to want to live there! hah 🙂
Yes! I am always wanting to grab my bags and go.
This one sounds good and it reduced you to tears! What a great review!
Oh, I am a softie, particularly with the subject matter of one thread..