big sky mountain

Reading under the stars: Big Sky River

TBYL Reviewer, Tam J has been busy with some summer reading, on her camping trip! Under the stars, by the beach and around the campfire, she’s been reading Linda Lael Miller’s latest Big Sky River from Harlequin. She’s kindly shared her thoughts…

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Big sky riverWell, what a way to spend the first couple of days on my camping trip! I have just finishing reading Big Sky River, by Linda Lael Miller (Harlequin), the follow-on book to Linda Lael Miller’s Big Sky Mountain which I reviewed a few months back and I have to say I quite enjoyed this light, romantic novel.

In this most recent instalment, we follow the story of the town of Parable’s very own handsome Sheriff Boone Taylor, a man who is trying to get his life back together after the passing of his wife. His children are being raised by his sister while he is consumed with grief. We are also privy to the story of Boone’s neighbour, ex-city girl Tara Kendall who, after a painful divorce is reinventing herself and living her childhood dream – setting up a life in the country and starting a chicken farm.

I was introduced to these characters in Big Sky Mountain, and to say that Tara and Boone don’t get along is quite the understatement. Even though Tara may need the help of her cowboy neighbour occasionally, she sees him as the country hick who lives across the river from her in the run down double-wide he calls a home. In turn, Boone sees Tara as a stuck up chick from the city who has no right to call herself a country girl.

Big Sky River moves their story forward with new, major challenges. Due to a family tragedy, Boone’s two sons return to live with him and his life truly begins to change.  So does Tara’s, when her twin step daughters unexpectantly come to spend Summer with her on the ranch. She’d given up hope that she would ever be permitted to spend time with the girls she loved more than life itself, and their reunion is an emotional one.

And then, due to reasons neither Boone or Tara can explain, other than it’s written in the stars, Boone and Tara’s relationship starts to take a turn and gives them both hope – perhaps it is safe to believe in second chances?!

I enjoyed the fact that in this novel we are not only able to get to know the characters of Boone and Tara better, but we are also updated on other previous favourites such as Hutch and Kendra, and Slade and Joslyn. Not to forget the ever-involved housekeeper, Opal who continues to play mother hen and matchmaker all over again.

This was a light easy read and covered lots of the bases…romance, sexual tension, tragedy, angst, second chances, hope and lovely descriptions of country life in Parable Montana. Wonderful Summer reading!

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You can find out more about Linda’s latest Big Sky novel here…

Rugged romance: Big Sky Mountain

This week, TBYL Reviewer Tam Jenkin tell us all about Linda Lael Miller’s Big Sky Mountain (Harlequin).

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When you open this book you’ll be immediately whisked to the small western town of Parable, Montana, where Hutch Carmody is living, narrowly dodging what could have been the worst mistake of his life…

“Hutch Carmody is as much a part of the land as his favourite hideout, the mountain overlooking Whisper Creek Ranch, his home since birth. With both parents gone, he’s the sole owner, and he’s determined to keep it that way. After ditching one bride at the altar, he’s not in the market for another, but his feelings for former flame Kendra Shepherd aren’t so easy to shake off. She’s beautiful, she’s sexy and she’s smart – everything Hutch wants and admires in a woman – but she’s already burned him once, running off to England to marry a title and a lot of money. Now she’s back in Parable, with a small daughter in tow, he’s jumpy as cold water on a hot griddle.

Kendra, determined to raise her little girl with all the emotional security she didn’t have as a child, sees Parable, with its down-home values and salt-of-the- earth folks, as the perfect place to do that. She’s not about to complicate matters with a husband, having learned the hard way that’s she’s better off on her own than married. Even if she wanted a man in her life, though, she certainly wouldn’t be stupid enough to choose a renegade rancher-cowboy like Hutch.

So what if he makes her heart race like a runaway thoroughbred?”

I enjoyed this outback, western romance – a story about a town with a wonderful range of characters, all with interesting back-stories. Hutch and Kendra share a passionate past and having both drifted into different lives, find themselves both back in Parable, and both single. The attraction is immediate and the fight to resist one another is immediate. Kendra has returned home with her young stepdaughter, Madison, after her ex-husband passed away, having been granted full custody. She is hoping to bring up Madison in the small town with its values and love that she so craved when she was young. She knows that getting involved with an ex-lover who hurt her so badly is a very bad idea – but will she be able to resist?

The family housekeeper, Opal was perhaps my favourite character in this story. She is a stereotypical older woman who has a high standing in the community, who observes all the goings on, (and of course has her opinion on them), and has known everyone since they were born. She takes Hutch under her wing, inviting herself to move in and look after him after his near wedding was called off. She then takes it upon herself to get Hutch and Kendra back together, just where she believes they should be.

Big Sky Mountain is a lovely story with just the right amount of angst, intrigue, small town traditions, ruggedly handsome cowboys, and of course sexual attraction. After reading this novel I discovered that it is actually the second book in a series about Big Sky, the first being Big Sky Country, but I am happy to say that the back story is told very thoroughly throughout and I didn’t feel like I was missing anything by not having read the first book.

If you’d like to find out more about this book, check it out here…

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