**spoiler alert** I love the whole premise of this book/series. But I have to say that High Country Bride was a bit lackluster. It just didn't capture...more**spoiler alert** I love the whole premise of this book/series. But I have to say that High Country Bride was a bit lackluster. It just didn't capture me in any way.
I liked all the characters. They are an interesting bunch. Rafe and Emmaline had a good chemistry and worked together as a couple. The problems the face are interesting and realistic. I think they needed a bit more of an emotional bond though. Their connection at times was rather superficial. The addition of Holt, though, worked for a story. I liked him and he was a great character.
I think my problem with this book was that the storyline was very two-dimensional. It was just the characters and their relationships. There wasn't anything else going on, and the parts that did exist just needed more. I don't know, there was just something lacking in this book. I had a hard time keeping my head in it.(less)
**spoiler alert** Shotgun Bride was a bit more interesting than the previous book in the series. The addition of a semi-suspense plot really added to...more**spoiler alert** Shotgun Bride was a bit more interesting than the previous book in the series. The addition of a semi-suspense plot really added to the story as a whole and made it much more interesting to read.
Kade is a fabulous character. He's got so many dimensions. On one hand, he's a rough and tumble rancher and bad boy, but on the other hand, he's a bit of an intellectual. Mandy is a good character as well. She's pretty much the antithesis of the typical proper miss. Together, they have a great chemistry. I enjoyed reading about them.
As for the story as a whole, and the plot, it was pretty good. I didn't have as much trouble reading this book as I did the last one. The threats and the tension added a whole other dimension to the story that made it more well-rounded. Also, the further storyline of Holt and his existence was a good addition. And John and Becky's small side-story was sad, but interesting. Even so, I can't say this was a top-notch book. It was good, but I've read better.(less)
**spoiler alert** I also liked this one better than the first book in the series, but it was probably equal to the 2nd one.
Chloe and Jeb's relationshi...more**spoiler alert** I also liked this one better than the first book in the series, but it was probably equal to the 2nd one.
Chloe and Jeb's relationship is...interesting, and odd. Most of the time they are antagonistic toward each other, but they have a pulling chemistry. Their trials and tribulations are a good read. But like the other 2 books, they lack that deeper emotional connection that I like to see between romance book couples.
Overall, it was a decent story. The continuing story of Holt was a good addition. I liked reading his parts in this series. And I enjoyed the whole McKettrick family dynamic. The resolution as to who would win the ranch was good, even if a bit unrealistic. Basically, I guess the book was just pretty typical. There wasn't anything special about it, but it was a decent read.(less)
**spoiler alert** I was looking forward to Holt's story. The book was, I don't know, a little disappointing. It wasn't great, and it wasn't bad. It wa...more**spoiler alert** I was looking forward to Holt's story. The book was, I don't know, a little disappointing. It wasn't great, and it wasn't bad. It was just okay.
Holt and Lorelei make a fascinating couple. They had a great passion between them. But too much of the book was spent on their conflicts and not enough on the connection between them. There weren't enough...softer...moments between them. They spent so much time fighting, that at the end, when they admit they love each other, it was just slightly off. I was also a little annoyed by how mean Holt tended to be to her. In all the other books in the series, he is always so kind and gentle to females, but right off the bat with Lorelei, he is contrary and high-handed. It didn't quite work for me.
My other complaint about the book was that it was too focused on the storyline. I really didn't want to read so many details about a cattle drive. I wouldn't have minded more about Holt and Lorelei. It just got kind of boring. But all the side characters were great.
Anyway, the book was okay...there was just something about it that kept me from loving it. Not sure how to explain it. As for the series as a whole, it was okay as well. Miller's writing isn't bad, but she often times sticks to the surface of things and doesn't get down to the nitty-gritty emotions that drive people. It was worth reading, I suppose, but it doesn't make any of my 'best' lists.(less)
After peaking at the end of this book, and the end of book 2, I decided to put this series on hold for now. When I read romance, I want an HEA and so...moreAfter peaking at the end of this book, and the end of book 2, I decided to put this series on hold for now. When I read romance, I want an HEA and so far, this series doesn't have it. The relationship still appears to be unsettle when book 2 ends. I don't really feel like reading something like that right now. Plus, first-person stories (romances) drive me nuts. And on top of that, from what I can tell, these books are told solely from the heroine's POV. I hate that! It makes me feel so disconnected from the hero. So yeah, for now, these two book of this series are going to be put on my new "on-hold" shelf. I don't even know if Miller plans to continue it, and if so, when. We'll see what happens...(less)
The Rustler is the third book in Linda Lael Miller's Stone Creek series. It wasn't my favorite of the series, but I did like this one q...moreRating: 4.5 / 5
The Rustler is the third book in Linda Lael Miller's Stone Creek series. It wasn't my favorite of the series, but I did like this one quite a bit. There's something about this series as a whole that's just really likable. The books in this series can probably be read as stand-alones without any problems, but you get a better feel for the setting and characters if you read the books in order.
This book features Wyatt Yarbro, who is the brother of the hero from the second book in the series. Wyatt, like his brother Rowdy, is considered an outlaw. After doing two years in jail, he goes back to his old ways, rustling cattle. But after a job gone wrong, he decides it isn't the life for him any more and decides to take his brother up on his offer to come to Stone Creek to live.
Not long after arriving, he meets "spinster" Sarah Tamlin, daughter of the local banker. From that one meeting, he tells Rowdy that he's going to marry Sarah. There's just something about her...
But Sarah has secrets that she believes will chase away any man who wants her. That doesn't stop her from falling in love with him. Circumstances keep throwing them together, but other circumstances seem bent on tearing them apart. To make a life together, both must face the mistakes of their pasts.
Like I said already, there's just something about this series, and the way Miller writes it. There's not a lot of action in this book. There's a lot of the mundane, everyday life. But it's a very vibrant tale and despite the slow pace and lack of action, Miller really pulls you into the characters and the life of Stone Creek.
And I'm always a fan of books with heroes that need to be redeemed. Though I wouldn't say Wyatt is a hardcore outlaw, just someone who got caught up in a way of life.
The romance was pretty good, but it's tame book sex-wise. There's hardly any hanky panky in the book. Even so, I thought the relationship build up was good and I enjoyed both characters. My one main complaint would be that near the end, there's a pretty big conflict between the H/H and I thought it was resolved too simply. I thought it needed a bit more working out.
But otherwise, great book. I enjoyed reading about the past characters from the series (all of whom make appearances). It's just a fun, feel-good book to read.(less)
This was a short, sweet, Christmas tale featuring another of the (historical) McKettricks. Since it's one of those gift-sized hardcovers that's only 2...moreThis was a short, sweet, Christmas tale featuring another of the (historical) McKettricks. Since it's one of those gift-sized hardcovers that's only 280 pages of decent-sized, widely-spaced print, I read it in only two short sittings. But it was still enjoyable to read.
The McKettrick in this story is Lizzie McKettrick, who is the little girl Holt (McKettrick's Choice) didn't know he had until she was brought to him at 12-year's of age. Lizzie is now almost 20. She's finished schooling away from Indian Rock and is returning home to be a school teacher. She's also bringing with her Whitley Carson, who she hopes will propose over the Christmas holiday. But then their train is buried in an avalanche and Lizzie sees a little too much of Whitley's true character. Not only that, she's drawn to the handsome doctor aboard the train, Morgan Shane, who is traveling to Indian Rock, at Kade McKettrick's invitation, to be the new town doctor. Lizzie knows that if they survive and are rescued, she won't marry Whitley. Whether she'll marry Morgan, she doesn't know.
I love reading about the McKettricks. They're such a fun, loyal bunch. And it was nice to get a chance to revisit all the characters from the original historical McKettrick series.
This book is just really sweet and tender. The romance is on the low-key side and doesn't really get above a PG-13 rating. Most of the story is about them stuck in the train, with a subtle building of the feelings between Lizzie and Morgan. I thought there could have been a little more outward romance. That part of the story never really kicks into high gear. The book just kinda slips from them circling each other to them engaged. There's not even a first time scene (if you know what I mean) it's just slightly reminisced about. So to a certain extent the romance angle came up a little short.
But it was still a nice, light-hearted holiday tale to read. The kind that makes you smile and feel sappy. So even though the romance was on the low-key side, it was a good book to read and I enjoyed it quite a bit. If you're a fan of the McKettricks series, then you'll probably enjoy this one as well.(less)
I'd probably give this book three thumbs up if I had three thumbs ;) It was a great, if short, read - fun and sweet, romantic and whimsical, with just...moreI'd probably give this book three thumbs up if I had three thumbs ;) It was a great, if short, read - fun and sweet, romantic and whimsical, with just enough emotional angst to keep it from being too light.
The book connects to LLM's McKettrick series and Stone Creek series (which are also connected to each other). Though this is called A Stone Creek Christmas, connecting it to the historical western Stone Creek series, it's a contemporary (i.e. modern) romance. And it more directly connects to The McKettrick Way (also a Silhouette SE release) in that the hero of that one is the brother of the heroine in this current book (and both are descendants of Sam O'Ballivan from the Stone Creek series).
A Stone Creek Christmas features veterinarian Olivia O'Ballivan who has the unique ability to converse with animals. She can hear their calls for help when they need it. Tanner Quinn's not really sure he believes that, but he can overlook the oddity for a chance to get to know the pretty doc. Anything more than a little fun is out of the question, though. Tanner runs from commitment, and has ever since his wife was killed. But with the holidays approaching, Tanner gets a chance to see that maybe he's run long enough.
This was a fun book to read. It's quirky and cute, yet romantic and sweet. And I love books that have animals in them...and there was a lot of animal stuff in this one. Some of it had me laughing out loud. Ginger the dog was hilarious. And done discount Rodney the reindeer. Would have loved to see more of him.
Even though it's a short, sweet holiday story, there was still some substance to it with Tanner having to figure out what to do about the problems in his life. And Olivia and the rest of the O'Ballivan siblings have to face and issue from their past. Those things added some depth to the story so that it wasn't too light and fluffy.
So if you want to read a book that's full of holiday cheer, cute animals, and a nice romance, I'd definitely recommend this one. I loved it, and was smiling when I finished. Plus, if you're a reader of either of the two LLM series mentioned above, you'll probably want to read this one.(less)
I held off on starting this series until I had all three books and could read them together (which wasn't a long wait since they were released in cons...moreI held off on starting this series until I had all three books and could read them together (which wasn't a long wait since they were released in consecutive months). But I'm glad I got to finally start because I enjoyed the first book a lot.
The Montana Creeds series is a spin-off of Miller's popular McKettricks series. The Creeds are distant cousins of the McKettricks, but unlike the McKettricks, who are a very close family, the Creeds are in shambles. When Jake Creed died years ago, his three sons got into a fight and have hardly spoken to each other since.
Now the oldest son, Logan, has decided to return home. He wants to turn the neglected family farm into a working ranch once again. Secretly, he also hopes to close the distance between him and his two brothers. He hadn't counted on the distraction of beautiful Briana Grant and her two young sons, who were living in and taking care of his brother Dylan's house.
Briana had enough on her plate just trying to take care of her two children after her husband abandoned her two years earlier. The last thing she needed was a sexy cowboy sauntering into her life. Trouble is, she likes Logan and he's good to her sons. Of course, things get more complicated when her now ex-husband reappears and then someone breaks into her house twice. When Logan steps in and offers help, well, she just can't say no.
This was a very readable book for me. The characters were good, the storyline interesting, the pacing kept things moving and the story never got bogged down. I just zipped right through it, and when I finished I wanted to move right on to the next book in the trilogy.
I liked the whole dynamic of this series: three brothers who'd had a huge falling out and now they were, intentionally or not, going to have to resolve things between them. It's a different feel than the McKettrick books where everyone is close.
And I enjoyed the two main characters in this book. Logan is a good guy who can admits his past mistakes. Briana is a strong woman to have managed to succeed after the way her ex abandoned her. There's definitely some chemistry between the two from the first time the met.
At the same time, I thought the romance was a little understated. It was there, but it got a little buried beneath everything else going on in the story: single mom trying to raise her kids, ex-hubby returning to make things complicated, estranged brothers, a stalker, etc. Those elements seemed to be a little more priority than the romance. I still felt the romance, but it could have gotten a little more attention.
That was really the only area that I thought could have been tweaked a bit. Overall, the story was very engaging. There are some loose ends at the end of this book regarding the situation with the brothers, but that just makes me all the more anxious to move on to the second book, Montana Creeds Dylan.(less)
I jumped right into this book after finishing the first book in the series. And then I spent most of my free time yesterday reading because this book...moreI jumped right into this book after finishing the first book in the series. And then I spent most of my free time yesterday reading because this book was just as good - maybe even a little better - than the first book.
Montana Creeds: Dylan is the second book in the Montana Creeds series about the 3 Creed brothers (distant cousins of the McKettricks) who have been estranged for years. I wouldn't recommend reading this book as a standalone or the series out of order. The books are pretty heavily connected and need to be read in order for everything to make sense.
Dylan Creed hadn't ever planned to return to his hometown of Stillwater Springs for longer than a day visit - not after the fall-out with his brothers and then losing his girl. But now he's suddenly a full-time Dad after his ex-girlfriend dumps their daughter in Dylan's truck and runs. So Dylan does the only thing he can think to do - go home. He and his older brother Logan have made progress lately, and now he needs Logan's help to make sure he can keep his daughter.
One look at the girl he lost, though, and Dylan realizes he wants sweet, sexy librarian Kristy Madison back as well. Kristy tries to resist at first, but the love she still feels for Dylan, and his adorable daughter draws her to them. To make things more complicated, an old crime involving Kristy's father has come to light, and now somebody seems to have it out for Kristy. And Dylan will do whatever it takes to protect her.
I'm really enjoying this new series by Linda Lael Miller. It's got a little bit of everything - family, feuding, love, a smidge of suspense and mystery. And great characters.
In the last book, I thought the romance was a little understated, but in this one, the romance is much more prominent. There's a lot of time spent with Dylan and Kristy and I enjoyed reading about them. I thought Dylan's internal emotions could have been a little better conveyed, but overall, the romance of the book was very solid.
The sub-stories of the book - the revelation of a crime committed by Kristy's father, a body found, and some random acts of violence - give the story some variety. And like the first book, I found this one to be very readable with its smooth pacing and flow.
If I had to knitpick, there are two things: one being that in neither of the first two books have the ages of the characters been mentioned. You get a general idea, but no actual number. That, along with some other details, makes me feel at times like the timeline from past to present is a little off. And the second thing: my 2-year-old niece is very advanced, or Dylan's 2-year-old daughter in the book is a bit behind. The way little Bonnie was written made her seem more like a year old than two.
But those are knitpicky things. Otherwise, I really enjoyed this book. It's interesting to read about 3 brothers who are so at odds with each other but are now working things out. Both books 1 & 2 so far have just been very engaging and I look forward to reading the 3 books.(less)
I think of the three Montana Creed books, this one was probably my favorite. It had a little extra zing to it. Tyler, for as stand-offish as it was, c...moreI think of the three Montana Creed books, this one was probably my favorite. It had a little extra zing to it. Tyler, for as stand-offish as it was, came off rather endearing. And the romance between him and Lily was excellent.
Montana Creeds: Tylers is the 3rd book in Linda Lael Miller's Montana Creeds series which is about 3 brothers who have been estranged since the death of their father. It's important to note that this series should be read in order. The books are pretty connected.
Tyler is the youngest of the Creed brothers, and he's the one having the hardest time getting over what happened between him and his brothers after their father died. So he's pushed away any attempts from Logan and Dylan to reconcile. But lately, he's been feeling a need to return to his roots and to do some serious thinking. Which leads him back to Stillwater Springs. He'd hoped to sneak back into town with no one noticing, but luck isn't with him.
Before he even hits the town limits, he runs into Lily Ryder Kenyon, his teenage sweetheart and the girl whose heart he broke by having an affair with an older waitress. Then he finds a battered, rebellious teenage boy hiding out in his cabin...worse, he comes to realize that the boys mother is the waitress he slept with around just the time the boy would have been conceived. So the stealthy visit he planned to his cabin turns into something else because he can't seem to stay away from Lily and he has to know if the boy is his son.
Hmm...I took a moment just now to peruse some of the other reviews of this book. And it got me thinking. Some of the criticisms about the book are correct. Which makes it hard to decide on a rating for this book. I really enjoyed it a lot and found it to be an easy read. But there were some story aspects that were neglected. For me, they didn't ruin the story, but if they'd been addressed, I think this book (and the series as a whole) would have been 5-star reads.
On the plus side, this book us rather steamy, much more so than the first two. Lily and Tyler are hot together. I admit I was a little surprised by the sexiness of the story. Didn't put me off, of course, just surprised me.
And I enjoyed a lot of other aspects of the book - Tyler having a hard time coming to terms with what happened between him and his brothers and accepting that his dad really was a bastard. Lily working things out with her Dad and deciding where she really wanted to be. The romance between them. Tyler finding out he might have a teenage son and all the things associated with that. All those things made the story rather engaging for me.
Like I said, though, in reading some of the other reviews on this book, I agree that there were some things that could have been done better. The resolution of the problems between the brothers was done rather subtly...more along the lines of "okay, I'm over it. Let's move on" when some serious discussion would have made things more solid. And Tyler never talks to them about things he went through (like being married before and having his wife die). In all three books the brothers just never really talk that deeply and it does take something away from the renewed relationship between them.
One other thing that bothered me a little was that there was a bit too much symmetry between the three books. All three involve a single parent. All three have custody issues to a varying degree. All three have the hero proposing out of the blue for a reason other than being in love (at least they wouldn't admit that was the reason). All three had the hero taking in a stray dog.
It was just a little too much common ground. It's one thing to tie the stories together with a similar theme, but another to repeat too many main themes. But it didn't bother me all that much. I could mostly overlook it because I enjoyed the stories so much. Still, I wouldn't have minded a little more variety.
This was a still a great series, though. It's not perfect and could have used some tweaks, but I had fun reading all three books. Miller has a way of writing a story that makes me want to keep reading. (less)