Saturday, January 3, 2015

Big Sky Secrets, by Linda Lael Miller

I enjoy Linda Lael Miller's cowboy romance novels, they are always a joy to read. In this installment we are in Three Trees and Parable, Montana where Ria Manning has moved to a small cottage on a few acres of land. She is fleeing the corporate world and the hustle and bustle of big city life. She is always leaving the family business. Her father has died and he left just about everything to her half sister. She and her half sister, Meredith Whittling, don't seem to get along really well at all.

But in Three Trees Ria has remade herself into a small business woman who is scrapping by in the Floral Business. She grows the flowers on her small farm and takes them to the Farmer's Market on Saturdays where she sells her product and makes a small but decent living.

Ria is a widow, her husband, Frank, died while fighting a fire when the roof collapsed on the Engine Company that he served with. Ria has closed herself off to emotions and to letting others in.

Then there is Landry Sutton, also fleeing the big city life and the corporate world to come live on the same ranch as his brother and sister-in-law. Landry was a successful financial investment broker but got tired of that life and has come to Parable to see what country living is like and why his brother thinks being a cowboy is such a great deal.

Landry is arrogant and proud as well as rich, at least that is Ria Manning's belief. She is humble and somewhat poor with no father, no future, no husband, etc. So, if you look at the story it is Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice tied up in a Cowboy Romance. Maybe that was not what Miss Miller intended but by golly is sure reads that way. That does not mean it is a bad story.

So, why only four stars and not five like I have given her other novels? Well, I thought that the tension between Landry and Ria was resolved a bit too soon in the book. I would have liked a bit more tension, a bit more waiting and maybe a couple of crisis to pull them together, OK, there are a couple of crisis, but I just felt that it needed more.

But don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book immensely and will be reading other novels soon by Miss Miller.

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