Slade Barlow, the divorced Sheriff of Parable Montana, grew up as the illegitimate son of wealthy rancher, John Carmody, who never acknowledged him as his son Now that he is dead, Carmody decides he s going to come clean with the town s worst kept secret by including Slade in his will Slade now shares half of his estate with his half brother, Hutch, who was raised by Carmody with all of the rights and perks of that legacy Joslyn Kirk returns to Parable following the shame of her stepfather s crooked actions that cheated many of the town s residents in an investment scheme While she had nothing to do with his activities, Joslyn makes it her mission to atone for his actions in a town hostile to her return.This was an entertaining story of small town western life in the big sky state of Montana Slade s conflict over his father s bequest, having his teenage stepdaughter live with him for the summer and his struggles with his obvious attraction to Joslyn were the central issues I never quite understood why he and Joslyn tried to deny their attraction and it became irritating The secondary characters have potential in making the series very interesting but their roles seem to drift and they ended up pretty one dimensional, never really taking life For example, Kendra Shepard, Joslyn s best friend who took her in and has her helping out in her business,inexplicably left town for a few months, leaving her real estate company unattended and then suddenly returns months later when Slade and Hutch decide to do something risky.While I enjoyed the story, I never really engaged with any of the characters except Jasper the dog and the plot seemed to meander I m hoping the next book in the series is interesting. This book was just eh I love contemporary romances about cowboys as much as the next person but this one was lackluster The heroine, Joslyn, has had guilt over a scheme that her stepfather perpetuated when she was a teenager She has let this affect her entire life and she has come back to her hometown for some reason that is never really explained to the readers This is completely unbelievable as a plot point and Miller never took the time to really flesh Joslyn s character out to make it seem a little believable The hero, Slade, is just as bad He is the illegitimate son of a local rancher who inherits half of his father s estate upon his death Since Slade was never acknowledged by his father this came as a complete shock to him and his legitimate half brother Huh Okay, this is an interesting plot point, but all of the characters Slade, his half brother, and his mother were all so shallowly built that none of this was believable either Then, after one roll in the hay, Joslyn and Slade ignore their feelings until the day of a race between Slade and his brother which was itself a cool plot point that was wholly under utilized he tells her he loves her and she reciprocates There was no talk of their feelings growing stronger throughout the book so this was also random and unbelievable.I think Miller was being lazy when she wrote this book She didn t make great, complex characters that were memorable She set up this little town and the beginnings of some interesting characters, but didn t flesh them out enough to make any of their actions ring true It felt like she tried to push characters into situations that she wanted for a story rather than creating a set of strong characters and letting their personalities dictate their actions.I give this story a B for boring. The First Lady Of The West, 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 Big Sky Country is the first book in Linda Lael Miller s new series, Swoon Worthy Cowboys I am a huge fan of Linda Lael Miller and have found another great series to love This book is about so many things The love of a step father, the hurts that a father can cause, forgiveness, acceptance, overcoming the past, healing Slade Barlow is the sheriff of Parable, Montana He was raised modestly by a single mother in this very town, all the while being completely ignored and unclaimed by his wealthy and affluent father The book starts with the reading of this same father s will Of course, all believe that his assets and many millions will be left to his legitimate son Hutch Carmody Surprise, surprise old John Carmody splits everything between his two sons Hutch would like nothing than to buy Slade out and keep Whisper Creek Ranch in the family To add to the mix, Slade s 16 year old step daughter from his previous marriage is back in the picture and needs her dad to make life better Joslyn Kirk, prom queen, beauty queen, homecoming queen has returned home after the death of her step father She, her mother and housekeeper Opal fled Parable, Montana after her step father swindled many of the towns people out of their hard earned savings in a get rich quick scheme She s back to face the townspeople and take responsiblity for his actions In the process she finds herself.Slade not only has to make a decision about Whisper Creek Ranch, but the rest of his life, as well Does he really want half the ranch or is he just holding out to aggravate his half brother Can he adjust and be what his 16 year old step daughter needs Can he convince Joslyn that she doesn t have to make amends and do penance for the sins of her step father Pros This is a great book It s a bit slow in parts, but that s normal for a first book in a series Linda did a great job in creating the characters and relationships between them She lays great groundwork for the upcoming books I can not wait to read the next books in this series.Cons Weirdly enough I only have one Joslyn and Kendra have been lifelong best friends Yet, there are so many secrets between them This is very unbelievable to me Kendra is described throughout the book as one of the only 2 people of Parable, Montana to standby Joslyn when her step father shamed the family Yet, Kendra hides past relationships and her feelings about them She doesn t lean on or call in the middle of the night for support when her ex husband is dieing and requests Kendra at his bedside I get the secrets are important for the next book But, it s very hard to swallow that any friends, least of all best friends would be this closed off emotionally from one another. This book was such a disappointment compared to most of Miller s other books It is the first book in a new series and I don t understand why she has to throw so much into every book Her books are so formulaic now that you know exactly what is going to happen, but this one was even worse.SPOILERS maybe The book takes place in Montana a girl coming home Her stepfather had swindled the towns people out of money in the past The beginning of the book was about how she had made money at a software company then sold it and sent checks to the families her stepfather had stolen money from The people in the town weren t very happy to see her because of the hurt her stepfather had caused then BAM That story line totally disappeared from the book.She meets Slade, the sheriff, they think each other are hot, but they barely spend anytime together, it takes until the end of the book before they even kiss, then all of a sudden they are in love Slade has a step daughter that shows up for no reason to carry the story along I don t understand why LLMiller feels the need to already have kids in most of her stories This was not a plausible situation Kids keep adults from having time to get to know each other and spend time together and I just don t understand why there is always a kid in her story And a lot of the times, the child doesn t even belong to the main character.Anyway, I think this book was just not up to par, but it introduced characters for the next in the series, so maybe that one holds potential She had lots of better books to read than this one. I really liked this book It starts out with Slade and Hutch at the reading of the will Slade is a fairly laid back guy who is pretty slow to anger He also tends to think well before he speaks or acts He has always resented the fact that his father never acknowledged him or gave his mother any kind of support, but has made a good life for himself in spite of it Hutch is ticked that Slade has been given half of everything that he always expected to be his, and is determined to buy Slade out so he can have it back Every time the two of them are together the tension is up Joslyn has come back to Parable, which she still considers her home She is deeply ashamed of what her stepfather did, and sold her software company and used the money to confidentially repay the people he cheated There are some people who have welcomed her back, and others who haven t, but she still feels at home here She has also felt an immediate attraction to Slade, but doesn t expect anything to come of it Slade also feels the attraction and is very interested in seeing where it goes Slade also ends up with his teenage stepdaughter staying with him I loved seeing her and her interactions with people Slade is trying to curb her rebelliousness with work and rules, while Shea tries to get away with what she can She also seems to have no filter between brain and mouth and says some pretty interesting things to both Joslyn and Slade There are also some good scenes with the dog who adopts Slade and the cat that adopts Joslyn The dialogue in the book is great, with sarcasm and humor and tenderness all there While there wasn t any really intense conflict in the book, there was enough emotion to really suck me in I m looking forward to book two, which is Hutch and Kendra s story, and book three I expect will be that of Boone and probably Tara. Well, I should start by saying I m a huge LLM fan I ve read all her stuff and loved most of it, however, this book falls short It was extremely dull at points and the h spends most of her time talking to a cat The book is 370 odd pages and the H and h don t even kiss until around page 265 The romance is flat, they spend forever talking to their pets, then they kiss, fall into bed, and the end I realize the first book of the series needs to set up for the following books, and it sometimes takes a while to get things rolling but I was beginning to wonder if this book would ever end If this had been written by anyone other than the wonderful Ms Miller, I would have stopped reading around page 200 Hopefully the next installment in the parable series will be better. rating 3.5 new series..Big Sky Country is the first in a new contemporary romance series called Swoon Worthy Cowboys by popular author Linda Lael Miller If you follow my blog, you know I am not a huge fan of contemporary romance There are two exceptions small towns and heroes in cowboy boots I have read several of Miller s series and loved them In particular The McKettrick s and the Creed s Big Sky Country offers a new town and cast of characters to fall in love with Each of Miller s books are designed to be read as standalone I enjoy reading them in order and building relationships with the characters.This new series takes place in the small town of Parable, Montana The tale offers us Joslyn Kirk s and Slade Barlow s story Joslyn has just returned to the town of Parable after her family left years ago in the middle of the night She and her mother where shamed into leaving when her step father was sent to jail for swindling half of the town folk out of their money Joslyn has recently sold her successful company and has secretly begun paying them back Parable has always been home to her and so she returns Her best friend, Kendra Shepherd, gives her a job as a receptionist in her successful real estate business Joslyn finds herself living in the guest house of the home she and her family once owned Swoon worthy Sheriff Slade Barlow is living in limbo after a painful divorce that left him upset about the lost of his step daughter then his wife He is due for re election, but secretly dreams of owning his own ranch Things are about to get a little crazy for him He learns the father who never claimed him as a son has left him half of Whisper Creek Ranch As if that wasn t enough he bumps into Joslyn the former beauty and rodeo queen who stirred something in him as a teenager The chemistry between them is all fireworks Both are hung up on their own personal demons and neither knows how to react They choose avoidance however this doesn t work at all, and the tale that unfolds is delightful.I love the town of Parable and we meet some memorable characters There is Hutch the legitimate son of John Carmody and the half brother of Slade Kendra Shepherd looks like a million bucks and personifies success, but inside she is lonely and fearful of love Other characters make the tale and the town come alive and I look forward to hearing of their stories I likes both Slade and Joslyn, they are good people and their pasts present them with a lot of emotional luggage Seeing them dance around the fireworks that occur whenever they are near each other is hilarious When the two of them finely connect..the results are smoking I want to thank netGalley and Harlequin for providing this ARC in exchange for my unbiased review you can see this and other reviews on my blog Caffeinated Book Reviewer Big Sky Country is about a young lady who is paying retribution for her Father s sins in a small ficteous town in Montana.It was pretty slow although the writing was very picturous in the descriptions of the scenery.Enjoy and Be Blessed. My first LLMiller book and I appreciate that Goodreads opens reviews to all viewers I needed to keep seeing that Miller has a huge fan base and is worth trying again.My main comment on this book is that it was very sloppy We all have our pet peeves, and careful writing is one of mine The most jarring, continually throughout, was Miller s time sequences Slade and Joslyn walk into a restaurant first date , get seated and almost get served before they ordered not really, of course, but food arrived in the next sentence Another time Slade never even takes a bite before he s lashing out at Hutch and he pushes away the rest of his uneaten cheeseburger The rest Oh, you mean all of it since he CLEARLY never took a bite Then, the night of Kendra s party, the dance floor is laid at no small effort , Joslyn has one dance, and next sentence paragraph the band is finished, packing up Things like this happened all over the book.This almost reminds me of a mad lib I think those are still around The pieces just don t quite fit together you need an emotion and you get an action Hero and heroine have date, hero gets upset by snotty half brother, date ends It s done in about as many sentences and with about as much finesse.Maybe Miller has ADD She goes into SUCH detail on things and then skims right over the next It s rather disconcerting PARTIAL SPOILER In 2 pages of one chapter a portion of a day is revealed, in the next sentence 3 months pass and we are suddenly at the big race day Say what Not only is the timing of this handled very oddly what author writes off months in a single sentence in the middle of a chapter with no pause, no leading the reader from and to the before and after , but, as well, there is NO explanation as to why Slade and Joslyn never have sex for all those months after having just had it for the first time This makes totally NO sense My judgement of Miller was that she was too lazy to fill in the gap b c she just wanted to get the book done.And then, SUCH a minor detail, but it s like listening to a senile person rant about the trivial cat Lucy Mae was it I forget is repetitively mentioned as pregnant, almost ad nauseam were this a thriller you d think there was HUGE significance to this fact and then in that 1 sentence leap of 3 months to race time the cat is never mentioned again Ever She had to have had the kittens during the 3 months obviously , but she and her offspring are deleted from the story The texting use of WTF seems to fit here Why bother to introduce the fact the cat is pregnant She could have just been a cat.Another testament to sloppy is that in the beginning of the book Joslyn rarely eats and is never hungry She is CONTINUALLY starting to eat then gets upset and pushes her food away It s like a skip on the cd where the same segment keeps repeating Not only is this boring, lazy writing, it also upsets me because it glamorizes not eating, it stereotypes upset woman who doesn t eat, but most of all it is unrealistic she goes on like this for days, maybe weeks the time segments as I ve been saying here are often sketchy Unless Miller wants to turn Joslyn anorexic, the girl would be hungry Not much else to say than this Daughter Shae and mother Callie are wonderful additions to the story and there are many passages with all characters throughout the book that are enjoyable It s just too disjointed to be considered a good read It s just like having a nicely designed house built by shoddy builders The overall concept is good, but the execution is sloppy and poorly put together.It s interesting, I went ahead and read the reviews for the next book in the series and no surprise those who gave it low stars are saying Miller get caught in minutia and doesn t present a realistic cohesive story Not sure why disjointedness is such a problem with this series.I m going to try another LLMiller and see if I can find why so many love her.
www.lindalaelmiller.com, on Facebook and from Nancy Berland Public Relations, nancy nancyberland.com, 405 206 4748.
- 384 pages
- Big Sky Country
- Linda Lael Miller
- 06 August 2019 Linda Lael Miller