Feature book: Big Sky Country
Growing up as the unacknowledged illegitimate son of the wealthiest rancher in Parable raised by his single mother, Slade Barlow is shocked to discover his father has left him half of his estate in his will, millions of dollars and half of a very successful ranch. Slade is confident and a man’s man, who grew up with the whispers of his paternity on the ‘wrong side of the tracks’. While he is the county sheriff, he has always longed to be a rancher. Could this be his opportunity now that he is one of the owners of Whisper Creek Ranch?
Joslyn Kirk has returned to Parable to make things right. Her stepfather conned most of the town out of their life savings. Joslyn was the pampered princess, the beauty queen and homecoming queen, the rich kid who had it all. Joslyn has always felt that Parable was home and has done everything possible to right the wrongs of her stepfather—going so far as to sell her successful company and anonymously pay back the people of the town.
As soon as Joslyn and Slade meet again the sexual tension is thick and the attraction is instantaneous. Both are unsure of what the other is thinking, with Joslyn believing she will be run out of town for her stepfather’s crimes and Slade’s crush on Joslyn from high school. Joslyn has no idea if she even has a chance with Slade.
The secondary characters all add that something extra to the story: Hutch, who is Slade’s half-brother and Joslyn’s ex high-school sweetheart; Kendra, Joslyn’s best friend (also ex-flame of Hutch); and Shea, Slade’s teenage stepdaughter from his previous marriage. Slade has never gotten along with his half-brother Hutch (Joslyn’s high-school sweetheart) and the relationship is strained to say the least. Adding to the animosity is the will reading and Hutch’s desire to buy out Slade’s share of the ranch. Are they to be rivals in romancing Joslyn as well?
Slade and Joslyn’s relationship slowly unfolds throughout the whole book. Both are unsure whether to proceed with a relationship; will Slade’s teenage stepdaughter Shea be an issue when she stays in Parable for the summer and is Joslyn even staying in Parable, or is she back for selfish reasons?
I have to say I enjoyed Big Sky Country immensely. I found Slade and Joslyn’s reactions to their attraction amusing. Joslyn fights her unwanted feelings for Slade with an attitude that I found frustrating. While Big Sky Country has a western feel, it is at heart an enjoyable romance story. Big Sky Mountain (out 31 July) is the second in Linda Lael Miller’s Swoon-Worthy Cowboy’s series and features Hutch and Kendra. While I’m interested in their reunion I have to admit I’m more interested in the continuing relationship between Hutch and Slade.
reviewed by Aimee
A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher. All ARRA members who leave a comment will go in the draw to win the book. The giveaway closes 12 September 2012.