BIG SKY COUNTRY - Linda Lael Miller
Big Sky Series , Book 1
HQN
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-77643-6
June 2012
Contemporary Romance

Parable, Montana Present Day

Sheriff Slade Barlow works hard, doesn't need much to make him happy, and keeps the peace in Parable. He's been looking at a ranch on the outskirts of town, thinking he might have enough money saved up to put an offer in. Even though he likes his job as a lawman, all he ever wanted to do was raise horses and work a ranch. His mother, Callie, struggled while he was growing up; there were times they barely had enough to eat or new clothes to wear, but still, they managed. They lived in an old run down trailer on the outskirts of town, behind Callie's Curly-Burly hair salon. It wasn't fancy, but it was home. Not like the large and opulent Whisper Creek Ranch, where Slade's biological father ran one of the largest cattle spreads in the county.

Slade has resented his father all his life. John Carmody never once acknowledged him as his son. Heck, the entire town of Parable knows the story; how Slade was born after an affair with Callie Barlow.  But John Carmody turned his back on Callie, married another woman, and never looked back. Slade's resentment comes from John's lack of support.  All the while Callie struggled to keep food on the table, John Carmody never once gave her any financial help. Well, the man is dead now, but today, Slade learns that he's inherited half of everything John Carmody owned.  This adds up to several million dollars in cold hard cash, and half of Whisper Creek Ranch.

Joslyn Kirk grew up the child of wealthy parents. But when her step-father, Elliot Rossiter, swindled most of the people in Parable with one of his get-rich-quick schemes, he was arrested, leaving Joslyn, her mother, and their housekeeper Opal to slink out of town in the dark of night.  Even so, Joslyn went on to a lucrative career in software design.  But recently, people in Parable are getting mysterious checks in the mail.  Rumor has it that someone is paying the people out of Elliott Rossiter's stolen booty.

Fireworks and tension plague Joslyn and Slade from the first moment they meet. They aren't strangers. They grew up in the same town, went to the same schools, but Joslyn hung out with the popular crowd that included Slade's half brother, Hutch Carmody. And there's no love lost between these brothers, especially now when they receive the news of their father's last will and testament. Hutch wants to buy out Slade's half of the ranch, but Slade isn't so sure.  Ranching is his heart's desire, and now he can afford to follow his dream. Meanwhile, Joslyn's return to Parable is a homecoming for her.  She doesn't have much money, but her best friend, Kendra, gave her a place to stay and a job.

Parable, Montana is BIG SKY COUNTRY!  Slade wants to make his future in Parable, just as soon as he can figure out what to do with his unexpected inheritance. What he can't get out of his mind is how beautiful Joslyn is.  He is definitely attracted to her, but every time he sees her, she's hanging around his brother Hutch.  However, Joslyn doesn't feel even one little tingle when it comes to Hutch Carmody. It's Sheriff Slade Barlow who causes her pulse to race.

BIG SKY COUNTRY is the first in a new series by Linda Lael Miller. The second book, BIG SKY MOUNTAIN, is next up, coming in August 2012, to be followed later by BIG SKY RIVER.  Wonderful characters populate these pages.  BIG SKY COUNTRY is a novel you will not put down!  Full of love, laughter and pets, this book is a total winner! John Carmody's old dog, Jasper, appears after being lost since John's death, and a very pregnant kitty named Lucy-Maude shows up looking for love.  Now, as soon as Joslyn and Slade can find a way to overlook their demons, they just might be able to see a future that is as clear as that BIG SKY COUNTRY!

Diana Risso