Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Book Review and Excerpt: Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller

I am taking part in a blog tour sponsored by Book Trib for this book and have an excerpt for you:

“I’ll be damned,” Hutch muttered, his voice like sandpaper. He was dressed for ranch work, in old jeans, a blue cotton shirt and a pair of well-worn boots, which probably meant he’d had no more notice about this meeting than Slade had.

“Thanks, Maggie,” Slade heard himself say as he turned to leave.
He wasn’t grateful; he’s spoken out of habit.

She got up from her chair, rounded the desk and pursued him, forcing the printout of his father’s will into his hands. “At least read it,” she said. “I’ll set up another meeting in a few days, when you’ve both had time to absorb everything.”

Slade didn’t answer, but he accepted the paperwork, felt it crumple in his grasp as his fingers tightened reflexively around it.

Moments later, as Slade opened the door of his truck, Hutch was beside him again.

Big Sky Country
Author: Linda Lael Miller
Publication: HQN Books (May 29, 2012)

Description: The illegitimate son of a wealthy rancher, Sheriff Slade Barlow grew up in a trailer hitched to the Curly-Burly hair salon his mother runs. He was never acknowledged by his father…until now. Suddenly, Slade has inherited half of Whisper Creek Ranch, one of the most prosperous in Parable, Montana. That doesn't sit well with his half brother, Hutch, who grew up with all the rights of a Carmody—including the affections of Joslyn Kirk, homecoming queen, rodeo queen, beauty queen, whom Slade has never forgotten.

But Joslyn is barely holding her head up these days as she works to pay back everyone her crooked stepfather cheated. With a town to protect, plus a rebellious teenage stepdaughter, Slade has his hands full. But someone has to convince Joslyn that she's responsible only for her own actions—such as her effect on this lawman's guarded heart.

My Thoughts: This was another wonderful western romance by Linda Lael Miller. I feel that I can depend on her for heart-warming romances. Joslyn is back in town after leaving in the night with her mother and housekeeper when the scandal broke that her stepfather conned a large number of people out of their life savings in a scam. She had been a pampered princess until this time. Since then she has grown up, gone to college, and started a software company but there was always something missing. She sold her company and used the money to anonymously pay back the people her stepfather defrauded.

Slade Barlow is the county sheriff now but he grew up the unacknowledged illegitimate son of the wealthiest rancher in the area. Now his father has died and has left Slade half of his estate. However, he has to get along with his half-brother Hutch when they have been rivals all of his life. He is also a man who has gone through a divorce and is a little hesitant to start a new relationship especially with a woman he thinks might leave.

Nonetheless, Joslyn and Slade do start a relationship which is complicated by the fact the Hutch is her former boyfriend and now is her friend and Slade's stepdaughter, now a teenager, wants to come and live with him. He adores her and probably, in fact, married her mother so that he could be her father but a 16-year-old girl who is giving her mother fits is pretty disruptive to his lifestyle. 

Lots happens in this story as Joslyn and Slade work on their romance and Slade and Hutch also try to work out what their relationship will be. I look forward to the sequel Big Sky Mountain in August in the hopes that Hutch will find a romance too. 

Favorite Quote:
She stopped just over the threshold, struck by a strange, sweet sensation of nostalgia; even though she'd never been there before, it was as though the house were welcoming her back from a long and difficult journey, almost embracing her.

It was at once pleasant and downright spooky.
I received this ARC for review because I am part of a blog tour. You can buy your copy here.

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