Virginia Campbell's Reviews > Big Sky Country

Big Sky Country by Linda Lael Miller
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Jun 16, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, romance, western
Read in June, 2012

Linda Lael Miller is definitely a champ when it comes to creating captivating cowboys who charm their lovely ladies, and the hero of "Big Sky Country" is no exception! Slade Barlow has easy-going appeal, slow-burn sensuality, and an innate goodness. He is a divorced step-dad to a teenaged daughter whom he adores. He has a great relationship with his mother, a very unique and spirited lady who never married his father. Slade's bond with his mother, and the fact that both of them moved forward in life without bearing the name of his father, are what really makes the story line stand out. Slade's mother, Callie, runs her own beauty salon which is attached to her trailer-home. She's a lively lady with a big heart, a good head on her shoulders, and her own special sense of style. I am fortunate enough to know women like Callie in my own life, and I admire them and treasure their friendship. Slade is the sheriff in the little community of Parable, MT, and he is at a turning point in his life, trying to decide whether to stay in office or follow his heart and become a ranch owner. Life gets even more complicated when beautiful Joslyn Kirk returns to Parable to clean up the community financial ruin left behind by her deceased stepfather. Things really get stirred around when Slade learns that his late father, who never publicly acknowledged him, has left him half of his fortune. Slade's half-brother, Hutch Carmody, is irate and demands that Slade sell him his half of the estate. Slade and Hutch have always been at odds with each other, many times coming to blows throughout the years. Joslyn and Hutch had a high school romance which became a lifelong friendship, and now it's Slade who makes Joslyn's heart skip a beat. If he didn't have enough going on his life before Joslyn came home, he now can't keep his mind off her and the thought of having her as his lady. When Slade's stepdaughter, Shea, decides that she wants to spend the whole Summer with her dad, Slade realizes he has to give up his sparse bachelor quarters and find a real home. So many complicated decisions for a man who longs for a simple family life on his own ranch! Slade is a strong, quietly-idealistic man who is more than up to the challenge of handling his increasingly complicated existence. I really enjoyed Slade's dry humor and his level-headed approach to keeping the folks of Parable in line. Then there is his romantic, sexy side--he is loaded with pure cowboy appeal and irresistible masculinity. He knows it too, but you just grin along with him--you can't help yourself! Look forward to two more books in the "Parable, Montana" series. The second book is "Big Sky Mountain"--Hutch Carmody's own story.
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