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High Country Bride

(McKettricks #1)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  4,732 ratings  ·  249 reviews
One ranch. Three sons. Only one will inherit...and on one condition.

Tired of waiting for his sons to settle down, Arizona-territory rancher Angus McKettrick announces a competition: the first son to marry and produce a grandchild will inherit Triple M ranch. Now, three distinctly different, equally determined cowboys are searching high and low for brides.

If Emmeline Hard
Mass Market Paperback, 435 pages
Published December 1st 2002 by Pocket Books (first published 2002)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,732 ratings  ·  249 reviews

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Oct 14, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I often wonder, why a writer would go a certain way with a character and if they cannot rescue the characters from said certain way, why insist on going that way at all?

I asked that question about Rafe and Emmaline in this book from the beginning to the end.

Linda Lael Miller decided to make Rafe and his brothers, both heroes in subsequent books I imagine, rascals. We were introduced to Rafe and his brothers through their father's and the housekeeper's eyes: they were wasting their lives away wi
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: highly-recommend
I loved this book, I will be reading the next book in the series. Minus one star for a single detail that grated on my nerves but I will not spoil it. Lol
Jun 06, 2013 rated it it was ok
I didn't feel the love!

Rafe and Emmeline seemed as much like strangers at the end as they did when they first met. There was almost no communication between them and I hardly ever felt like they really even liked each other. They were kind of just co-existing. Sometimes they'd go off alone and talk, but it was pretty boring and I didn't feel like they got to know each other that well. I think Emmeline had more meaningful conversations with Holt and Rafe with Becky.

A lot of times, I felt like th
Sandra ~ ♥ Cross My Heart ♥
Historical Western Romance done right! Loved this book! There's a lot at stake when Rafe McKettrick sends away for a mail-order's his chance to be the first son to marry & give his father a grandchild, and if he manages to marry & produce an heir before his brothers, his father will give him the massive ranch - his brothers will work for him! Emmeline Harding lives in her aunt's brothel...though she doesn't "work" there. And then one night, she decides to dress up, head downstairs, & ...more
BJ Rose
I nearly put this aside several times - a girl who was raised in a brothel couldn't be that ignorant, could she?! Even when I was able to accept that premise, the book didn't grab me until over halfway, when other factors - and characters - made it much more interesting. The 2nd half gets 4*, but the first half is a very weak 3*, but that stronger ending made me want to pick up the next in the series.
Jul 19, 2011 rated it really liked it
Ok, so I love me some Mckettricks!!! This is the first in the McKettrick series and is the story of Rafe and Emmeline. First off, I totally fell in love with Angus, the dad! He is a hoot! It's a historical romance with not much depth, but it is so stankin' sweet! I have to say there are a few "steamy" if that's not your thing beware. But, they aren't every other page, so you could skip over it. Rafe is a hard headed piece of work, but Emmeline keeps him in line! It's just a good little ...more
Willow Brook
Dec 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
4 1/2 stars. Excellent beginning to the stories of 4 brothers set in 1880's Arizona. Patriarch Angus McKettrick decides his sons need to settle down and tells them that the first to marry and produce a grandchild of either gender will get the lion's share of their ranch. Rafe, the oldest son, immediately sends for a mail order bride, determined to win their father's contest. Meanwhile, in Kansas City Emmeline is bored out of her mind. Raised by her aunt who runs a brothel, Emmeline has been kept ...more
Feb 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: romance lovers/cowboy lovers
A really fun book! I enjoyed this read a lot. Emmiline is a brave young women trying to find her place in the world. When she runs away from home in Kansas City by marrying by proxy through a mail order Bride service, she unwittingly signs on to the McKettrick family. Rafe is a man trying to win the ranch before his brothers do. So sent away for a bride. Neither of the two know what to expect from one another, but are definately drawn to each other. This is a story not only of love found but of ...more
Jul 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
So I LOVED this book and have fallen in love with this series! I was lucky enough to get and ARC of one of her other books in this series (review coming closer to release date) but after reading and enjoying it, had to start at the beginning. I'm happy to say, I wasn't disappointed!

High Country Bride is about the McKettrick men Rafe, Kade, and Jeb who live with their father on the Triple M ranch in Indian Rock which is in the middle of the Arizona territory in 1884. Their father, Angus McKettric
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Read in January, 2012

Read for Fun!
Overall Rating 4.00
Story Rating 4.00
Character Rating 4.00
Challenges: 2012 TBR Challenge, Goodreads Read for Fun
Published in 2002

NOTE: I am so glad that I finally started the McKettricks from the beginning. I am a huge fan of LLM's humor and this book was full of her classic storytelling style!

What I Loved: Holy Hot Cowboy Brothers! These are some smoking hot Cowboys that are hard-headed, hot-tempered, and most off all having to do exactly what Daddy says. I love
Hmmm, so you never really know what you're going to get when you pick up a "romance" novel. I was hoping for a clean story, but didn't quite get what I wanted. I actually enjoyed the plot and thought the story was fun. I liked the main characters. However, even though Emmeline and Rafe are married their love scenes are a little too discriptive for my taste. I actually thought they lost a lot of their chemistry after they were together. For me a lot of the fun is the "courting" that goes on, the ...more
Marybeth Davis
Dec 29, 2012 rated it did not like it
Only one thing to say about this tries to do too much until the reader becomes annoyed and despondent with the main female character and everyone else.

This book took me a long time to finish. I think since it is the first in the series that every future character needs to be introduced but it takes away from the build up of the story, takes away from the main character.I kept thinking about who the other brothers would end up with and wanting to read their story.
This is going to
Jul 05, 2011 rated it liked it
This is really 3.5 stars for me. I'm not the biggest fan of the western (very much an east coast girl) but I liked this story. I liked the McKettrick family (even if I kept mixing up the younger brothers for a while - I eventually got it straight). And I liked Rafe and Emmeline. What keeps it from a higher rating is the fact there were some cliches in the writing. I thought most of the dialogue was good so when a cliched description or element sneaked in it took me out of the story for a bit. St ...more
Jul 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
I spent my holidays reading the whole McKettrick's series.

This first book was a bit boring. The heroine, Emmeline, was boring. And at the beginning she wasn't so sure about Rafe. She was a mail order bride and the first meeting with her new husband was not so good ;)

But in the end everything was fine!

Kris Althouse
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully woven story!

Linda Lael Miller is my favorite author, and this story did not disappoint! I enjoyed the colorful characters woven into the story, so vividly depicted you can almost reach out and touch them!
Dec 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Book 1 in the historical McKettrick series.

This series ties in with the Stone Creek series and the upcoming Montana Creeds. This is the book you'll want to start with.
Apr 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
My first by this author and I loved it! I read it in one day and am very quickly moving on to the next book in the series! :)
Colleen (NerdyWoman) Kayter
Apr 30, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Every now and again, I really enjoy reading Western Historicals. As the first story in the McKettrick series, High Country Bride introduces an entire cast of characters and the series-length plot which can only be defined as 'epic.'

My only wish for this story would be that the hero, Rafe, were more likeable. He's capable of being kind and considerate, but sometimes he's such a jerk, you almost want to see him get his come-uppance. All his brothers are much more appealing and I couldn't help but
Jun 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: westerns
This was good as a starter to their series 3.25 stars I'd say, but several important elements were missing. Not enough angst, a little long in the description and not enough drama to make me absolute curse the pair (Considering the size of the novel that's a little ridiculous). I found the author manufacturing "incidents" to many times and those "incidents" were often ho-hum. Her baseline plot had plenty of material to use, creating those were distracting and definitely annoying filler material ...more
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I met LLM at the Historical Romance Retreat in Spokane and bought the first book in the series. FINALLY got to it and boy I am glad I did. It is everything I want in a western romance story. Danger, intrigue, family, ranching, and mail order brides. Angus McKettrick has laid down the law and he wants a grandchild. The oldest Rafe sends off for a bride and gets Emmaline almost 2 months later. Emmaline answers the advertisement because she sees no recourse after the 'night' she had.

I love her wri
Oct 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
You can't help but fall head over heels for all the McKettrick men and envy the women that steal their hearts. Although I have to admit that there was more than one instance that I wanted to climb into the story and knock some sense into Rafe but he had his moments. I found it hard at first to get accustomed to how the ways are back then. Mainly how women stand in the relationships but I understood that it was a different way back then and if she had wrote differently it wouldn't feel as real. D ...more
Feb 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
It the very start of a series and fight from brothers to when their right of to take over their land but a father thinks they need to grow up and that how it all begins just a telegram and mail order bride to start and some twist along the way but the are def love Emmeline and rafe are made for each other angus their father is going to all length to get his some to grow up and what better way then but their home and all leadership on the line and it great when u do d love along the way when u le ...more
Jun 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
I was up for a good western romance and this one delivered. Rafe is that rugged cowboy that can't sweet talk you but will win you over with his pure honest charm. Emmeline is a sweet sheltered girl (though she grew up in a brothel) that isn't afraid to speak her mind. But together they have wound a wonderful love story. I'm anxious to start the next in the series.
amanda s.
3.5 stars, great but sometimes the writing confuses me.

I'm not sure if it's because of the historical theme or Linda Lael Miller's writing, but there are parts that somehow hard to understand but other than that, I definitely enjoyed this book!

Thanks to this book, now I'm sort of addicted to mail bride themed books. Haha. Can't wait to read the next installment of this series!
Nicole Hoefs
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
4 stars. The beginning was kind of slow, but the rest was pretty interesting and entertaining. I loved the back and forth between Emmeline and Rafe, but sometimes I wanted to slap Rafe for being an idiot. Can't wait to see what happens after that epilogue.
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful book loved the McKettricks Rafe and Emmeline are such a great couple. But Rafe almost messed it up love me some hot cowboys great book love all Linda lael miller books.
Average cowboy/ranch kinda book.
Sep 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
3.5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️

I was looking for a mail order bride western, kindle suggested this one. The overall rating for reviews was favorable.

I liked the premise of the story. Considering this is the first book of the series, the secondary characters were good and contributed to the overall plot.

What bothered me greatly and I just had the most difficult time overlooking was Angus’s age relative to his children’s.
His backstory was he wandered a bit before settling down with his first wife, who passed away duri
Wendy Irving
Feb 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful western style and characterization

This romance is well written and captures the flavors of life in the country in the early days of territorial ranching. There are moments of saloon fighting, troubles with cattle, and rough wagon rides, but mostly the story focuses on the relationship between the leading lady and her man, with a handful of well developed secondary characters to keep things interesting. The imagery is immersive, and the plot pacing keeps the pages turning. The subplots
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The daughter of a town marshal, Linda Lael Miller is a #1 New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than 100 historical and contemporary novels, most of which reflect her love of the West. Raised in Northport, Washington, Linda pursued her wanderlust, living in London and Arizona and traveling the world before returning to the state of her birth to settle down on a spacious property ...more

Other books in the series

McKettricks (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Shotgun Bride (McKettricks, #2)
  • Secondhand Bride (McKettricks, #3)
  • McKettrick's Choice (McKettricks, #4)
  • Sierra's Homecoming (McKettricks, #5)
  • McKettrick's Luck (McKettricks, #6)
  • McKettrick's Pride (McKettricks, #7)
  • McKettrick's Heart (McKettricks, #8)
  • The McKettrick Way (McKettricks, #9)
  • A McKettrick Christmas (McKettricks, #10)
  • Tate (McKettricks, #11)

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