The Grace Valley Trilogy, the Complete Collection is a 3-book series that includes: Book 1, Deep in the Valley; Book 2, Just Over the Mountain; Book 3, Down by the River.
Normally, I would write separate pages for each of the books, but as I was reading, I found that they are so closely linked that I couldn't.
When you read the back blurb, you read that this series is about June Hudson and the secret relationship that she develops with Jim Post.
These books are about the towns people of Grace Valley - all of them!
Yes, June's and Jim's romance plays a part, but truthfully not a big one.
In book 1, Deep in the Valley, there's maybe 4 scenes about their romance.
The rest of book is about Elmer, June's dad, the soon-to-be retired town doctor. Or about Aunt Myrna, June's aunt, who is 80+ years young and writes horrific crime books and who's always evading talking about where her husband might be.
Or about Sam, the only gas station owner. Or George and the local cafe. Or how the local paster was ran out of town and a new one who came, even tho he had issues.
This whole series is about the small community of Grace Valley and how they come together to help other in times of need, support others when they're down or all work together when the river floods.
First, a few details.
There are several book cover reissued over the years. You'll find 3 per book.
There are no smutty details in any of the books. This book is not labeled as clean and wholesome, but it's definitely clean. All the bedroom activities are behind the bedroom door.
This book is written in 3rd person and jumps from character to character, with June being the main focus.
June is the town doctor. She's taken over from her father, Elmer (he's called Doc and she's called June).
The story is about her managing the clinic and helping the towns people when emergencies arise.
And that includes hiring a new doctor to help with the load and working together with the local police, who happens to be her best friend from childhood, as life happens.
There are long scenes about others in the community that have nothing to do with June. We get to know many of the characters, not just June.
Now the romance between June and Jim happens by chance.
He's an undercover cop, DEA, that's come to the Valley to infiltrate the pot growers that live in the back woods.
One of these guys gets shot and Jim brings him to June's clinic. And June and Jim meet. He pretends to faint and she sees this!
And then he shows up at her place and the romance grows from there.
She can't tell anyone about who he is or that she even knows him.
He's honest with her about being DEA but she's sworn to secrecy so that his work can continue.
In book 1 and 2, you'll find that the romance between June and Jim doesn't have a really big role to play in the storyline.
He's told her that as soon as he's done with going undercover, he'll come back to her. So throughout these books, we read about the midnight visits and in-home courting that happens.
And yes, this does include intimate scenes. But there's no detail in them.
They fall hard for each other. Their romance is sweet and tender.
And of course, things get interesting, in book 2, when June's ex moves back to town and she has to deal with long buried feelings. This also brings June's high school nemesis who also happens to be her ex's wife!!
Through all three books, you'll find that the plot is about the community, about life in the community.
So, there's no real problem to be solved that has a beginning, middle and end.
The story is the telling of the people and their lives.
So, while at times you'll find it drags, it's also interesting to see how the town rallies together to solve problems and help each other when the bad apples cause issues for both the police and the medical team.
And the best part happens right at the end of book 2 and continues in book 3: June gets pregnant.
Now while this isn't that big of a deal amongst todays thinking, this book was published originally in 2000 and the thinking that was added to stories back then, would make an unwed mother a big deal.
And an unwed mother in a small town who also happens to be the town doctor, it's a really big deal especially when no one knew that she was even dating.
And the funniest part is that she doesn't even realize that she's pregnant for almost 4 months!!!
So now, Jim has even more reason to finish up his undercover work and get to June.
And he shows up in the middle of town event and starts dancing with June!! Talk about a fun scene where we see all the town folk with their mouths wide open seeing her dance intimately with a man they've never seen.
Book 3, has much more about June and Jim. This book is about how Jim integrates himself into June's life and all that entails.
And it's still about the people of Grace Valley.
They deal with a pastor who has a gambling problem. Aunt Myrna's husband makes a reappearance. Some very poor people get some needed help from everyone.
And a flood changes the town forever.
It's a fun read. An enjoyable read.
I enjoyed it completely. Definitely a read worth reading again!!
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