You know, I always love a good western romance. There’s a few authors out there I’d read no matter what in this genre. But Linda Lael Miller has lately gone that extra step and also given me brothers in her westerns. I love reading about brothers. Not sure exactly why. Guess maybe it’s because I don’t have any. But my first westerns by Ms. Miller were her initial McKettrick books and I loved those. Then I read her Creed brothers and enjoyed them just as much. I’m obviously a little behind in the Stone Creek series because this is my first one, and now I want to read the previous books since the Yarbro brothers are bad boys gone good and I know they’ll be a lot of fun.
Gideon and Lydia knew each other for a short time as children when her father had just died and she went to live with an aunt in Phoenix. Gideon told her that if she ever needed him, all she had to do was send him a letter and he’d be there for her. That was ten years ago and now that Lydia is engaged to a man she doesn’t love, she does feel duty weighing upon her to go through with the wedding. And she’s glad she sent that letter years and years ago and still hopes that it will catch up with Gideon to save her this one last time.
He’s headed home to Stone Creek on a special assignment for some mine owners who are trying to quash a possible strike by the miners, and as Gideon’s resting up in Phoenix, Lydia’s letter does indeed finally catch up with him. He doesn’t hesitate, finds Lydia immediately and tells her he’ll take care of everything, but now she’s not so sure that’s the right thing to do. Letting duty win over her own personal wants, Lydia asks Gideon to leave and let her go through with the marriage, but he’s got other ideas and isn’t about to let her sacrifice herself, even for her aunts and their home.
With a little help from those aunts and their housekeeper, Gideon shows up on the day of the wedding and literally throws Lydia over his shoulder and walks out of the house with her, and the whole kit and caboodle are on their way to Stone Creek — with a jilted and angry bridegroom on their tails. But once in Stone Creek and facing his brothers, Wyatt and Rowdy, former train robbers, he realizes his plan maybe wasn’t the best idea he’s ever had. He certainly doesn’t want to go to jail for kidnapping. So instead he marries Lydia to keep them both safe. However, as far as Gideon is concerned, it’s going to be a marriage in name only, but Lydia wants more. He knows there can’t be more, though, once the town and the miners find out who he is and what he’s up to. He’ll have to eventually leave town.
Of course, the scenes I really like are those between Gideon, Wyatt, and Rowdy. They constantly call him “little brother,” which he doesn’t like because he’s obviously not little anymore. But when Gideon doesn’t go to them to let his family help him with his assignment, when they learn he’ll leave Lydia behind, they talk to him like the man he is and hope he sees what they’re trying to tell him. And these are good men. All three take care of their women and their families, and it’s even sweeter for Wyatt and Rowdy considering their past and the love they never thought they’d find.
That’s why I need to get to those first few books in this series. I’d like to see how all that happens before to shape them into the men they are now, just as Lydia helps shape Gideon. Ms. Miller just has a way with the cowboy. She gets to me every time with the strong, silent type in a cowboy hat.
See my complete review at http://www.goodbadandunread.com