How to the Read the 'Virgin River' Books in Order

Virgin River Season 3 is streaming on Netflix now and the drama series is holding tight onto its place in the Netflix top 10. The series stars Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel and Martin Henderson as Jack, who were both introduced in the first Virgin River novel by Robyn Carr. There are 21 books in total for fans to get lost in.

How to Read the 'Virgin River' Books in Order

Virgin River first premiered on Netflix in 2019, more than a decade after the first book in Robyn Carr's novel series was released. Just like the Netflix adaptation, the Virgin River novel series is set in the fictional town of Virgin River, in North California, and follows the professional and private lives of the town's residents.

The first book, titled Virgin River, was released in 2007. As seen in the first season of Virgin River, the story follows Mel (played by Alexandra Breckenridge), a midwife and nurse practitioner who moves to the small town of Virgin River.

Recently widowed, Mel jumps at the opportunity to move to the small town with hopes of a fresh start.

Whilst things don't go exactly to plan at first, everything changes when she meets local barman and former marine Jack Sheridan (Martin Henderson).

The first season on Netflix combines the storylines from the first two books: Virgin River and Shelter Mountain whilst season two combines storylines from Shelter Mountain and the third book, Whispering Rock.

The entire novel series does not just focus on the lives of Jack and Mel. There are many other characters in the novel series who haven't yet made an appearance on the small screen.

Around the halfway point in the novel series, in Angel's Peak, readers are introduced to long-lost lovers Franci and Sean, who reunite in Virgin River after years apart.

Their reunion forces them to confront some truths about their past, including the huge bombshell that Franci was once pregnant with Sean's baby.

In October 2020, Carr published the 21st instalment of the series titled Return to Virgin River.

In the latest novel, readers follow the story of Kaylee Sloan, a successful author who is mourning her mother's death.

Determined to get on with her work and cure her writer's block, Kaylee travels to Virgin River, hoping the time away from LA will help with her writing.

However, when she arrives in Virgin River, a building has gone up in flames leaving her devastated.

She heads to the famous Jack's Bar at the heart of the town where she meets many of the residents, who consider her a friend rather than a stranger.

The Virgin River books by Robyn Carr in order are:

  1. Virgin River
  2. Shelter Mountain
  3. Whispering Rock
  4. A Virgin River Christmas
  5. Second Chance Pass
  6. Temptation Ridge
  7. Paradise Valley
  8. Under the Christmas Tree: A Holiday Romance Novel
  9. Forbidden Falls
  10. Angel's Peak
  11. Moonlight Road
  12. Midnight Confessions
  13. Promise Canyon
  14. Wild Man Creek
  15. Harvest Moon
  16. Bring Me Home for Christmas
  17. Hidden Summit
  18. Redwood Bend
  19. Sunrise Point
  20. My Kind of Christmas
  21. Return to Virgin River

You can purchase the individual books from Amazon Prime now, from $3.99.

Speaking to TV Line, Virgin River showrunner Sue Tenney explained she hand-picked certain characters from the novels, explaining the Netflix series differs from the original novels and there are some huge differences in character storylines and characters themselves.

For example, Mel's husband didn't die in a car accident in the books and she did not lose a child.

Fans of the novels may have also noticed, Charmaine (Lauren Hammersley) has a major role in the Netflix series but has a very minor role in the novels.

With that being said, Tenney reassured fans of the novels "everything we do that isn't directly from the book we do in [the spirit of] Robyn's books."

The fact there are so many novels in the Virgin River series is good news for the show's future as there is plenty of source material to choose from.

virgin river season 3
"Virgin River" on Netflix is based on the novels by Robyn Carr Netflix

Tenney also explained the timeline of Carr's novels will play a vital role in the story when Virgin River comes to an end.

She said: "Ultimately, the way I look at the show is that we're going to get as many seasons as we get. And when we get to that last season, we want them to be where [book author Robyn Carr] has them."

At the moment, season four of Virgin River has not yet been given the green light by Netflix. Fans of the novel and the TV series need not worry as it is still very early days for the show's future to be decided.

One thing is for sure, Virgin River season three ended on a huge cliffhanger with Brady (Ben Hollingsworth) being arrested as a suspect for shooting Jack in season two and Hope (Annette O'Toole) ending up in intensive care, leaving the door wide open for a third outing.

Virgin River seasons 1 to 3 are streaming on Netflix now.

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