Big Sky Country
(Book #1 in the Swoon Worthy Cowboys Series)
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Author: Linda Lael Miller
Publisher: HQN Books (May 29, 2012)
Genre: Romance, 384 pages
The "First Lady of the West," #1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller is back with a new series about Parable, Montana-where love awaits. The illegitimate son of a wealthy rancher, Sheriff Slade Barlow grew up in a trailer hitched to the Curly-Burly hair salon his mother runs. He was never acknowledged by his father-until now. Suddenly, Slade has inherited half of Whisper Creek Ranch, one of the most prosperous in Parable, Montana. That doesn't sit well with his half brother, Hutch, who grew up with all the rights of a Carmody. Including the affections of Joslyn Kirk, homecoming queen, rodeo queen, beauty queen-whom Slade has never forgotten But Joslyn is barely holding her head up these days as she works to pay back everyone her crooked stepfather cheated. With a town to protect-plus a rebellious teenage stepdaughter-Slade has his hands full. But someone has to convince Joslyn that she's responsible only for her own actions. Such as her effect on this lawman's guarded heart.
Joslyn Kirk is back in Parable, Montana. Coming back to mend a few broken fences from before her and her family left Parable from a scheme her stepfather cheated most of the town of their life savings. Joslyn new it wasn't going to be easy when she came back after all this time and she knew that selling her software and most of her materialistic possessions and giving back to what was lost to all those families way back when, wasn't going to change anything. But, she sure did hope it helped. Running into Slade Barlow, sheriff of Parable and half brother to her high school sweetheart Hutch Carmody, she didn't think he would stir up any emotions in her that would cause her to rethink how long she planned on staying in Parable.
This book was a bit slow for me and took a while for me to get into. But, I do think it is a good read and I do want to find out what happens in the next book of the series. I will say that I do love me some swoon worthy cowboys, though. Slade Barlow is that right mixture of the perfect man. Handsome, smart, well mannered, and has his priorities straight. And... he loves a child who isn't really his, but treats her like she's his all the same. It doesn't hurt one bit that he's just down right sexy. Mr. Barlow, please keep your cowboy hat on, thank you! Joslyn Kirk is an interesting character. She's carrying around the guilt of the scheme her stepfather cooked up and is trying hard to please everyone. She knows it's not her fault but she can't help but right the wrong that was caused by her stepfather and it doesn't help that some of the people from the town are lashing out at her.
Dislikes for this book would have to be the slow read. I really couldn't get into it in the beginning. Even when I did get into it, it was still a bit slow, but it held my attention and I kept reading. Maybe this is just the warmup before the big race? The first book of the series warming you up for the books to come? I don't know. Now, I can say I liked a lot about the book. The characters were very down to earth and when you're introduced to Opal you can't help but feel all that love she brings to the table. The connection between Slade and Joslyn was always there and kept on building every time they had an encounter. Which is probably why I kept reading, being a total lover of anything romance. I was waiting and waiting for Slade to just take her right then and there or for Joslyn to just jump his bones... but, Miller sure did keep teasin' me with those two.
I would recommend this series. Even though it was a slow read for me, I can't help but recommend this and tell you to push through it because I really do think that Miller has something in store for us in book two of the series. So, if you're looking for something light to read, I'd definitely recommend this book for you :)