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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