I usually enjoy LLM's books more than I did this one. Not that I didn't like it, but I usually am more engaged in her stories. Though I didn't mind thI usually enjoy LLM's books more than I did this one. Not that I didn't like it, but I usually am more engaged in her stories. Though I didn't mind this book, something about it just didn't fully hook me.
Series Note: This book has oodles of series connections. It's the first book in LLM's newest "Creed" trilogy...which has a connection to the first "Creed" trilogy and a "Creed" historical. It is also connection to the "Stone Creek" series, which is connected to the "McKettrick" series. All in all, there are A LOT of books this connected to, but I think you could do well enough reading this book on it's own.
Summary: Melissa O'Ballivan is the local prosecutor in Stone Creek, Arizona who is feeling a disconnected from everything. Her job doesn't require much since there isn't much crime in the area, and though she would love to have kids, she's afraid to get involved with a man. Then Steven Creed walks into her life.
Steven recently became the adopted father of his late best friends' little boy. To give young Matt the best life possible, he buys a ranch in Stone Creek where he plans to raise Matt and do some pro bono legal work. The second he meets Melissa, though, he's drawn to her. But considering that his last girlfriend dumped him when he decided to adopt Matt, he's very wary of getting involved again.
It doesn't help that the two are continuously clashing over a local troubled youth who Melissa is prosecuting and Steven is defending. Both will have to learn to put their pasts and differences aside and focus on the feelings between them.
Review: I'm sadly at a loss over what to say about this book. I read it a few weeks ago and nothing has really stuck in my head about the story. LLM's books usually make more of an impression on me, so I guess that says something.
A few things I can think to say: Melissa definitely wasn't one of my favorite LLM heroines. She's not entirely likable. She's kinda temperamental and judgmental. The things she got mad at Steven over were kind of ridiculous and you wanted to tell her to get over herself. And the psychosomatic pet allergy (don't ask) was just really bizarre. I didn't have the best impression of Melissa from previous book in these series and my opinion didn't really change as I read.
The story was rather predictable. It was easy to see where everything was going, even the very minor suspense aspect of the story. There were no surprises. Sometimes I found the character of Byron more interesting than other parts of the book.
I did like the ambiance of the story...quiet, old fashioned Western town. Characters with values and morals you can appreciate. And you get to catch up some with past characters of the various series. I also like that she referenced some of the historical tales in the series, as they have been some of my favorites.
I wish I could say more about the book, but that's all I can think of. So I guess that makes it a fairly average story. LLM usually engages me more emotionally in her stories, but this one was pretty basic with a few things that turned me off. But I still didn't mind it. I think LLM fans will like it enough....more
This one was by far my favorite of the McKettricks of Texas trilogy. The story had a lot more meat and intensity to it than the others. Which made itThis one was by far my favorite of the McKettricks of Texas trilogy. The story had a lot more meat and intensity to it than the others. Which made it much more interesting to read.
Series Note: I'd recommend reading this trilogy (the three McKettricks of Texas books) in order. But you don't have to read the other McKettricks books to read this trilogy.
Summary: Due to back problems, Austin McKettrick's career in the rodeo is over. So he returns home to heal...and is more than a little annoyed to find out his brothers have hired nurse Paige Remington to be his "babysitter" to make sure he takes it easy. He and Paige have a messy past full of broken hearts. But neither has forgotten the other.
As Paige spends more and more time with Austin, her feelings for him can't help but return. And with her two sisters fluttering around preparing for their weddings to Austin's two brothers...well, it's got a girl thinking crazy thoughts. But first, she'll have to convince Austin he's ready for family life...unlike when he broke her heart all those years ago.
Review: I liked the first two books of this trilogy, but they were just missing something to keep me from really liking them. I thought this book had that missing element. There was a lot more intensity and bite to this story. Made it more readable and interesting.
Some of that may be because of the build up to Paige and Austin's story. Miller has been setting it up since the first book in the trilogy so there's a lot of anticipation waiting to see what would happen between these two. But even so, something about these two was just more intense than the other two couples. The chemistry was stronger, the antagonism, the push/pull between them. It made me want to read more whereas the other two books were a little softer.
Plus, there was a stronger storyline in this book as well. The other two books came across too mundane for me. Just not enough going on. But in this one, the trilogy-wide plot over rustling at the ranch and someone having it out for the McKettricks comes to a head and it led to some really tense moments. The whole aspect of the book kept things moving and added some snap to the story. Unlike the other two books, I didn't feel like I was reading a bunch of every day events.
Those two aspects of the book made it so much better than the others. But it wasn't perfect. I did wish that Paige and Austin had spent a little more time talking about the mistakes of the past and putting them behind them. And also, I had a little issue with trilogy continuity in one area. In the last book, Tate was talking about walking away from the ranch if his brothers didn't help out more and it was a big thing and I'm not sure it even got mentioned once in this book. That seemed off to me. So that could have been done better.
On the whole, though, I liked this one. It's a solid contemporary romance. And the trilogy is good as well. Probably not a favorite of mine, but it was worth reading....more
I'm waffling between 3 and 3.5 stars for this one. Probably more like a 3 because there was something missing from this story. It didn't suck me in anI'm waffling between 3 and 3.5 stars for this one. Probably more like a 3 because there was something missing from this story. It didn't suck me in and have me wanting to keep reading.
Series Note: Second book in the "McKettricks of Texas" mini-series and 12th McKettrick book overall. I think you could probably read this one on its own, but I would generally recommend reading the Texas trilogy in order.
Summary: Garrett McKettrick has an up-and-coming career as a politician, but his dreams take a hit when the Texas Senator he currently works for creates a huge scandal. Garrett returns home to the McKettrick ranch to regroup. Which is where he runs into Julie Remington and her young son Calvin. Julie is staying at the ranch while her rental house is being worked on.
From the start, the two are attracted to each other, but Julie tries to deny it. They're just too different for each other. But Garrett persists. And as he and Julie get to know each other, Garrett finds that maybe being a rancher is what he wants to do with the rest of his life.
Review: I think with a few tweaks, you could almost paste my review from Tate's book into this one. I had virtually the same exact issues and thoughts on the two books.
There was just something missing from this book. It didn't have the spark to pull me in and give the story some sizzle. There's lots of mundane and minutiae about going to work, cooking, letting the dog out, etc etc etc. It got boring.
And like the first book, the romance comes up kind of sudden between the two characters. These are two people who have been acquainted since high school, who saw each other very recently, then suddenly they meet again and its lust at first sight. That doesn't work for me. Plus I didn't think the dynamic between Garrett and Julie lived up to its build up. They're made out to be adversaries, but you really get none of that in the book. They just sort of fall together like they're perfect for each other. And one thing that I really hated was near the end when Julie thinks to herself that she's probably be in love with Garrett since high school. That seemed so ridiculous to me I wanted to smack my head into a wall.
The thing that annoyed me the most about this book, though, was the character of Julie. She was so freakin' wishy-washy. She was constantly tearing up, sniffling, having her throat tighten, her chest constrict. She was like a damn water fountain. It was ridiculous. I don't really want to read about a heroine who cries at the drop of a pin. It was especially annoying because she was described as always having been the bold one of the Remington sisters...the one who had a goth phase, who did what she wanted, etc. So to have her be so wishy-washy in this book was irritating.
Even though there were a lot of things that annoyed me in this book, it was bad by any means. It just could have been a lot better. The romance between Garrett and Julie was okay...a bit underdeveloped, but not bad. I liked the interaction between the McKettrick brothers and look forward to seeing how they resolve the issues between them in the last book of the trilogy. The cattle rustling thing added a little excitement. And I liked the set up for Paige Remington and Austin McKettrick's book. Their romance looks like it will be good.
So yeah...fairly average book. Wasn't great, wasn't bad. I didn't feel like it was a waste of money, but I'd hoped for more from it....more
This was a fairly average book for me. Maybe a bit above average. I liked it to a certain point, but I thought it could have been much beRating: 3 / 5
This was a fairly average book for me. Maybe a bit above average. I liked it to a certain point, but I thought it could have been much better. The story just didn't hit the spots it needed to for me.
Series Note: This book is part of the continuing McKettrick series (which ties in to the Stone Creek series and Creeds series), but it is not necessary to have read those to read this one (and the other 2 in the trilogy).
Summary: Libby Remington and Tate McKettrick were high school sweethearts who planned to get through college, get married and live happily ever after. Then while Tate was at law school, away from Libby, he slept with another woman and got her pregnant with twins. Tate does what he thinks is right and marries the woman, breaking Libby's heart.
Tate's marriage doesn't last, his ex-wife is a manipulative nag, and so he has been a single part-time father for several years. He and Libby mostly avoid each other but after seeing her one day, Tate decides it's time to win her back. Libby is reluctant because Tate has already broken her heart once, but Tate is persistent and Libby can't help that she still loves him. They'll have to deal with annoying relatives, Tate's ex-wife, his kids, a death and other sundry things before they can completely resolve their relationship, though.
Review: Usually I like to write my reviews by starting off with what I liked about the book and then talking about what didn't really work for me, but I can't really think of anything that completely worked for me in this book. Pretty much every element needed some tweaking. The book never completely clicked for me. But that's not to say I didn't like it. I did, but I thought it could have been a lot better.
One thing that bugged me right off, was the sort of lack of connection to the other books. I mean, I like that this trilogy is going to be able to stand on its own from the previous McKettrick stories, but at the same time, as someone who has read all those, I wanted to know how these McKettricks of Texas tied in to the other McKettricks. I kept reading and reading, waiting for the connection to be talked about, and there would be some small reference here or there, but it wasn't until the end that you learn how they tie in together. I thought this part of the book could have been much stronger.
The start of the romance bugged me as well. It seemed so abrupt. These two have a long history together and have been in the same town for years with both being single and neither trying to reunite. Then one day Tate stops by her coffee shop to get smoothies for his kids and suddenly decides to win her back. It made no sense at all. It was too sudden and just felt off.
Aside from that, the romance was okay. I liked both characters, but didn't feel any special connection to them. Neither really stood out. Which made the romance a little lackluster. And it really annoyed me that these two never had a serious conversation about what Tate did all those years ago (cheating on her). They never talked about why he cheated, how each felt and all that. I kept thinking, how can you reunite without getting the past out of the way?
I think part of the larger problem with the book, though, was that it didn't have anything to give it any kick. The whole thing seemed so mundane, just sort of going through the trials and tribulations of daily life - Libby's crazy mom, her coffee shop, problems with her car, Tate's kids, his bitchy ex-wife, his brothers' problems, a death of a friend, etc etc. Everything came off so ho-hum and there wasn't any story hook that really breathed some life into the story. Just all very mundane.
Plus, was it me, or did anyone else think that the kids in this book (Tate's twins, and Libby's nephew) were ridiculously written? I mean, the twins are 6 or so, the nephew 4 and they all act like little adults with perfect speech, pronunciation, vocabulary, talking about things like they were adults. They all acted older than they were. It was weird.
Even though this book could have been much better for me, I still plan to read the other two. I'm intrigued about Garrett and Austin...especially Austin. I'm just hoping their stories have a little more focus than this one did....more
Another enjoyable, easy read from Linda Lael Miller. There's just something about her books that while I may not ABSOLUTELY LOVE them, I enjoy them aAnother enjoyable, easy read from Linda Lael Miller. There's just something about her books that while I may not ABSOLUTELY LOVE them, I enjoy them a lot and zip right through. Miller has a very smooth writing style that makes her stories a pleasure to read.
Series Note: This book is connected to LLM's Montana Creeds series. The first three books are contemporaries, but this one jumps back in time and tells the story of one of the Creed forefathers. It's not necessary to have read the first three books to read this one, and if you've read the first three, you don't have to read this one (though it was good).
Summary: Juliana Mitchell is totally out of options. After being virtually disowned by her brother because she wouldn't marry the man he wanted and because she wanted to teach, Juliana takes a job with the Indian school. Then the school is shut down and Juliana is left with 4 charges who have no where else to go. She knows if she turns them back over to the Bureau for Indian affairs, the will just be shipped to another "school"...which is more like an institution in many cases. So she takes the four children and sets out on her own. But her request for funds to her brother is denied and now she and the children have no where left to go.
Until she meets Lincoln Creed and he offers them a place to stay until she figures out what to do. But Lincoln soon realizes that Juliana may just solve a big problem he is having...finding a cook/governess/housekeeper to help him and his young, motherless daughter. There's also the option of marrying her. But both are determined to protect their hearts. Love has a way of prevailing, though, and both have to decide if they want to grab happiness by the horns or let it slip away.
Review: I can't say there was anything really spectacular about this book. I've read some others of hers that had more zing and drew me in more, but this was still a sweet, romantic read. I liked it a lot.
I liked that the story was set in 1910...often these historical westerns are set in the 1800's, so it was nice to get a little change of pace. I also liked that Miller gave some insight into the plight of Native American children during that period (even if it was only a small look).
I also enjoyed the fact that both the main characters were kind, good-hearted people. Often, one will be jaded, gruff and broody. But both Lincoln and Juliana were upbeat characters who were just a little wary of love. They had a sweet relationship and gave some fluffy bunny feelings when everything worked out.
I suspect this book could have easily been published as a paperback for the Harlequin Historical line, but HQN decided to make a few extra bucks by packaging it nice as a gift-sized hardcover (for the full price of $16.95...which for a 250 page book is a bit too much...so I recommend looking for it somewhere that has book discounts).
Anyway, this was a nice, enjoyable historical western - which is my favorite historical romance genre. For any of you who are LLM fans, I think you'll like this one. It's a pretty typical LLM story....more
Linda Lael Miller may not be one of my absolute favorite authors, and her books may not make my Top list, but they are still very enjoyable, easy readLinda Lael Miller may not be one of my absolute favorite authors, and her books may not make my Top list, but they are still very enjoyable, easy reads. You know what you are going to get with LLM when it comes to her intertwined McKettrick/Stone Creek/Creed series.
Summary: Ashley O'Ballivan has watched her older brother and older sister marry and start happy lives while she sticks to her life as a bed-and-breakfast owner and general homebody and continues a lingering off-and-on affair with mysterious Jack McCall. Ashley loves Jack, but he disappeared on her more than she can handle.
Then he shows back up at her home, seriously ill and trailing danger behind him. For the first time, Ashley begins to learn who Jack really is...and who he isn't. He says he loves her, but is constantly pulling away. And now she may lose him to either his job or the strange illness attacking him. Ashely has to decide if she is going to fight for the man she loves, or finally give up on her dreams of family.
Review: These days, I never really know quite what I'm going to get with a Silhouette or Harlequin book. Ever since they shortened the format, I've found the books rather unpredictable. A lot of authors just can't tell a fulfilling story in 210 pages or so. But LLM seems to be able to do that. I thought this story was solid all around and didn't short-change anything. That alone makes the book a winner.
Aside from that, though, it was an enjoyable, short romance and a great addition to the Stone Creek series. The romance was sweet but definitely had its tenuous moments, giving the book some angst instead of being all sugar and sweetness. And I loved that past characters were prevalent and we got to see how all the others are doing. I also liked that there's a smidge of suspense to the story, giving the book some tension. Jack's illness was perhaps to casually portrayed, but that's fiction for ya.
If I had one real complaint it was that the details given on Jack and Ashley in the previous book, A Stone Creek Christmas, didn't entirely match up with this book. I was actually rather confused at the beginning of this one because it seemed like a big detail of their relationship was being completely skipped over. Ashley and Jack first met and started their relationship in college, the broke up before the met again because of Ashley's new brother-in-law. That's what the previous book set up, but when this one starts, all the references are only to the most recent meeting and I kept thinking, what about before? I actually pulled out that book and double checked the details (I was right). It isn't until like 60 pages into this book that the first part of their relationship is brought up. I thought that was rather odd and it gave the beginning of this book a disconnected feel. Plus, there was one detail totally left out. The previous book states that their college relationship ended because Jack cheated with a cocktail waitress, but in this one, that is never mentioned at all. Instead it says Jack went away to the Navy and they just drifted apart. Total disconnect in details there. I hate it when that happens!
Despite that, I enjoyed this book. Maybe not quite as much as the previous contemporary Stone Creek book, but I still like it a lot. I think fans of the Stone Creek series (especially the contemporary ones) will enjoy this book....more
I think this book has ended up being my least favorite of the Stone Creek series so far. Not that I didn't like it. It was still a fairRating: 3.5 / 5
I think this book has ended up being my least favorite of the Stone Creek series so far. Not that I didn't like it. It was still a fairly good, very readable book, but I just didn't like it as much as some of the past books.
Series Note: this is the 5th book in the Stone Creek series, and 4 of which are historical western romances. This book may be able to be read alone, but there are a lot of continuing characters and references to past events. If you want to understand all that, I'd recommend starting at the beginning.
The Bridegroom features Gideon Yarbro, youngest brother of Rowdy (A Wanted Man) and Wyatt (The Rustler). Years ago when Gideon was just a teenager he met young Lydia Fairmont who had just lost her father and was off to live with an aunt she didn't know. Gideon gave her a letter he'd addressed to himself with a note inside saying she needed help and to come get her. He told her to mail the letter if ever such an occasion arose.
Years have passed and Gideon is now a college-educated agent for Wells Fargo, currently taking some time off for an independent assignment. He's to go undercover working at a mine to find out if the workers are really planning a strike or any other trouble. But just before he heads to Stone Creek, he receives a letter in the mail. The letter he wrote for Lydia years ago. Determined to keep the promise he made, he rushes to her.
Lydia is in dire financial straights. Her family - herself, two elderly spinster aunts, and a housekeeper - are about to lose everything. The only recourse she has is to marry the smarmy bank owner. But she doesn't want to marry him and in a fit of panic mailed Gideon's letter. She's not sure what to feel when he actually arrives several months later, just before her wedding.
Gideon does the only thing he can do when she won't give up on the plan to marry the bank man, he kidnaps her and takes her to Stone Creek. Where he soon realizes his actions have left him with only one choice: he must marry her. So he does, but with the intention of leaving once he finishes his job at the mine. It's not in him to love her...at least he didn't think so. But when his emotions come in to play, everything changes. First, though, he must do something about the mine situation and deal with an unexpected threat.
There were two areas this book stumbled a bit for me. One was the whole thing with Gideon working undercover at the mine. Gideon was educated, had successful family in the area, a nice house to live in...yet he's working at the mine. It was rather silly, really. And even the characters in the book seemed to realize it didn't make much sense. So it made the plausibility and logic of the part of the story not make much sense and not very interesting to read.
Also, something about the romance in the book was a little flat...or something. I'm not really sure. Part of that is probably because Gideon was lying his ass off about everything, trying to hide his real job (why he was at the mine) and about other things...and I just hate it when there are big lies between the H/H of a romance novel. And there was this sort of constant push/pull going on between them, especially from Gideon. He would pull her close, then push her away, rinse, repeat. It got boring. And I just never really felt that solid connection between Gideon and Lydia that I've felt between the H/H's in the other Stone Creek books.
But all that didn't make me dislike the book, I just didn't like it as much as past books in the series. I did enjoy the fact that the past H/H's had roles in the story, and there were some big events involving them. It's always great to catch up on characters I enjoyed...especially Rowdy and Lark (A Wanted Man)...I loved that book. And there's a great family element to the story/series. So the book did have it's good points. I just thought the romance and story could have been better....more
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, cI 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. ...more
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 bookI 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....more
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 consI 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....more
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 justI'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....more