Thursday, April 26, 2018

Review: The Family Gathering

The Family Gathering (Sullivan's Crossing - Book 3) by Robyn Carr

Publication Date: 04/17/2018
Publisher: Harlequin
Imprint: Mira
Genre: Women's Fiction
Pages: 352

(Received for an honest review from Mira via Netgalley)

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, itunes

Robyn Carr on the WEB: WebsiteTwitter, Facebook, Goodreads

Books in the series:

Sullivan's Crossing

1. What We Find
2. Any Day Now
3. The Family Gathering

Coverart: Click the image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.

Excerpt from The Family Gathering, courtesy of Amazon's Look Inside feature


An exceptional storyteller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr beautifully captures the emotionally charged, complex dynamics that come with being part of any family. Readers will laugh and shed a few tears as they discover what it means to be loved, supported and accepted by the people who mean the most.

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.


Robyn Carr brings readers a novel about families and the bonds that hold them together. The Family Gathering is the third book in the Sullivan's Crossing series and shares the heartfelt emotion and love that every Robyn Carr book has. Carr has a way of storytelling that you won't soon forget. With amazing characters and real life situations, Carr draws the reader in and holds them to the very end. Readers looking for a read that will make them smile, cry a little and feel genuinely satisfied after, will love this one.

What I liked:

I don't know about you guys, but I have serious soft spot for military men. Their heart for service and love for family and country is something that speaks to me. In Robyn Carr's latest book, The Family Gathering she gives reader a main character that may not be perfect but he has a good heart and a code of honor. Dakota Jones is one of my favorite leading men ever, from Carr's writings. The character embodies the idea of a man who wants to come to terms with his past and build a future that matters. After his unexpected exit from the Army, Dakota comes to Colorado where some of his sibling's have settled. It's an eye opening experience as he begins to really get to know his family. I loved the way Carr was able to show how important family is and what each person adds to the mix. Such a good character.

The family dynamic in this book is just wonderful. These kids went through an intense childhood together but never really got to know each other as adults. I know that feeling from my own experience. My family is close knit but I don't often feel that I know my siblings as people. I loved that Carr explores the ins and outs of the family bond in this novel. Though it is a romance as most of Carr's books are, the idea of family and what that means is weaved heavily throughout the book and it's such a nice aspect of it. I loved seeing Dakota interact with his brothers and sisters and how that changed him as a man.

Mental illness is not something you often see tackled in a romance novel. But in The Family Gathering, sister Sedona is dealing with the possibility that she is dealing with schizophrenia passed down from her father. The family gathers close around her and how they work through this situation is heartrending. I felt like I had actually learned quite a bit about a disease that most people don't really want to talk about. Carr not only entertains with this book but also educates and that's a pretty big challenge.

The romance was really kind of secondary for me. It was really good. I liked Sid. She was spunky and sassy and just the right compliment to Dakota. She had some issues of her own and she had to deal with the other single women being after Dakota, but she really held her own. I was so happy that Dakota was able to see himself with someone and settle down. That was very satisfying. But the family relationships in this novel were everything. It was nice to see how Sid fit in with this dynamic family group.

What I didn't like:

Why is it that a new single guy in a small town is fresh meat? And what's more, Dakota becomes stalker bait. I'm not faulting Robyn Carr's writing at all. It's the truth of what often happens. Are we that desperate people? lol... I'm not. Hope you aren't either.

Bottom Line:

Such a good book. I love Carr's writing. She is one of my favorites and this book really showed her ability as a writer. The family bonds were amazing. I loved watching these siblings get to know each other in real and meaningful ways. I loved how they pulled together for Sedona and I hope that Carr returns to Sullivan's Crossing again soon. I haven't had quite enough of this family yet. You'll be hooked for sure once you read the first page. 

The Family Gathering is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.

I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag

About the Author:

Robyn Carr is a RITA® Award-winning, eleven-time #1 New York Times bestselling author of almost sixty novels, including the critically acclaimed Virgin River series. The third novel (THE FAMILY GATHERING) in her fan-favorite new series, Sullivan's Crossing, will be released in April 2018. Robyn is a recipient of the Romance Writers of America Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award 2016 and in 2017, VIRGIN RIVER was named one of the HarperCollins 200 Iconic Books of the past 200 years. Robyn and her husband live in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit Robyn Carr's website at

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