Is Virgin River based on a book? How to read Robyn Carr series in order - how many novels are there

Mel and Jack in Virgin River season 5
Mel and Jack in Virgin River season 5

Robyn Carr is a popular American author whose profile has risen considerably since the adaptation of her romance novel Virgin River into a leading Netflix original series in 2019.

Virgin River returns to Netflix for season five part one, consisting of 10 new episodes, on Thursday 7 September, with a further two festive episodes landing on the site in November.

The series stars Alexandra Breckenridge, Martin Henderson, Ben Hollingsworthm and more, and has wowed viewers with its beautiful landscapes. Although set in California the series is filmed on a picturesque Canadian island, and fans of the show can stay at one of the many hotels there.

Virgin River. (L to R) Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel Monroe, Martin Henderson as Jack Sheridan in episode 504 of Virgin River. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023
Virgin River. (L to R) Alexandra Breckenridge as Mel Monroe, Martin Henderson as Jack Sheridan in episode 504 of Virgin River. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023

Fans of the show are also likely to enjoy the novels the series is based on. This is everything you need to know about Robyn Carr’s Virgin River books:

Is Virgin River based on a book?

Yes, the Netflix series is based on the books of the same name by best-selling author Robyn Carr.

The TV show departs from the plot of the novels frequently but includes the same characters and follows the same broad strokes as the books.

The series, which has sold millions of copies worldwide, is set in the fictional northern California town of Virgin River, where protagonist Mel Monroe has moved in an attempt to leave her busy LA life and  traumatic past behind.

It is at Virgin River where Mel meets Jack Sheridan, a former Marine and owner of a local bar. The pair begin a whirlwind romance that turns into a serious relationship chartered through Carr’s novels.

How many Virgin River books are there?

So far 19 Virgin River books, and three short stories, have been published in the series. Carr published 18 of the books and all of the short stories between 2007 and 2012, averaging three books a year.

In 2020, she published her latest instalment in the series, Return to Virgin River. The 72 year old author has not announced any plans to write a 20th Virgin River novel, so the series seems to be finished.

How can you read the Virgin River books in order?

The best way to read the Virgin River series is in the order that it was published, as follows:

  • Virgin River

  • Shelter Mountain

  • Whispering Rock

  • A Virgin River Christmas

  • Second Chance Pass

  • Temptation Ridge

  • Paradise Valley

  • Under the Christmas Tree (short story)

  • Forbidden Falls

  • Angel's Peak

  • Moonlight Road

  • Sheltering Hearts (short story)

  • Midnight Confessions (short story)

  • Promise Canyon

  • Wild Man Creek

  • Harvest Moon

  • Bring Me Home for Christmas

  • Hidden Summit

  • Redwood Bend

  • Sunrise Point

  • My Kind of Christmas

  • Return to Virgin River

Which other books has Robyn Carr written?

Carr has written several other book series and stand-alone novels - these include nine unconnected historical novels, 17 contemporary standalone novels, the nine part Thunderbolt series, the Grace Point trilogy, and the five part Sullivan’s Crossing series.

Her books have sold more than 27 million copies in total worldwide, with the Virgin River series responsible for 13 million of these sales. The author has spent around 250 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.

Carr’s Sullivan’s Crossing series has also been adapted for the screen - the drama series of the same name, starring Morgan Kohan and Scott Patterson, aired on Canadian channel CTV in March this year.