Big Sky Country
by Linda Lael Miller
Series: Swoon-Worthy Cowboys #1
Publication date: May 29, 2012
Buy:Barnes and Noble /Amazon /Book Depository
The "First Lady of the West," #1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller is back with a new series about Parable, Montana-where love awaits. 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.(synopsis from Goodreads)
Big Sky Country is the first in a new contemporary romance series called Swoon-Worthy Cowboys by popular author Linda Lael Miller. If you follow my blog, you know I am not a huge fan of contemporary romance. There are two exceptions; small towns and heroes in cowboy boots. I have read several of Miller's series and loved them. In particular The McKettrick’s and the Creed’s. Big Sky Country offers a new town and cast of characters to fall in love with. Each of Miller’s books are designed to be read as standalone. I enjoy reading them in order and building relationships with the characters.
This new series takes place in the small town of Parable, Montana. The tale offers us Joslyn Kirk’s and Slade Barlow’s story. Joslyn has just returned to the town of Parable after her family left years ago in the middle of the night. She and her mother where shamed into leaving when her step-father was sent to jail for swindling half of the town folk out of their money. Joslyn has recently sold her successful company and has secretly begun paying them back. Parable has always been home to her and so she returns. Her best friend, Kendra Shepherd, gives her a job as a receptionist in her successful real estate business. Joslyn finds herself living in the guest house of the home she and her family once owned. Swoon worthy Sheriff Slade Barlow is living in limbo after a painful divorce that left him more upset about the lost of his step-daughter then his wife. He is due for re-election, but secretly dreams of owning his own ranch. Things are about to get a little crazy for him. He learns the father who never claimed him as a son has left him half of Whisper Creek Ranch. As if that wasn’t enough he bumps into Joslyn the former beauty and rodeo queen who stirred something in him as a teenager. The chemistry between them is all fireworks. Both are hung up on their own personal demons and neither knows how to react. They choose avoidance…however this doesn’t work at all, and the tale that unfolds is delightful.
I love the town of Parable and we meet some memorable characters. There is Hutch the legitimate son of John Carmody and the half-brother of Slade. Kendra Shepherd looks like a million bucks and personifies success, but inside she is lonely and fearful of love. Other characters make the tale and the town come alive and I look forward to hearing more of their stories. I likes both Slade and Joslyn, they are good people and their pasts present them with a lot of emotional luggage. Seeing them dance around the fireworks that occur whenever they are near each other is hilarious. When the two of them finely connect..the results are smoking! While there is some sexual content it is mostly implied and shouldn’t offend my more delicate readers.
Overall I enjoyed Big Sky Country and recommend it to fans of small-town western romances. I am looking forward to reading the second book in this series called Big Sky Mountain which will release in August of 2012. It is my hope to bring you that review as well. Linda Lael Miller is on my favorite author list and I encourage you to check out her other series as well.
I want to thank netGalley and Harlequin for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review.
I gave this novel 3.5 coffee cups out of 5.
Linda Leal Miller