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The illegitimate son of a wealthy rancher, Sheriff Slade Barlow grew up in a trailer hitched to the Curly-Burly hair salon his mother runs. He was never acknowledged by his father—until now. Suddenly, Slade has inherited half of Whisper Creek Ranch, one of the most prosperous in Parable, Montana. That doesn’t sit well with his half brother, Hutch, who grew up with all the rights of a Carmody. Including the affections of Joslyn Kirk, homecoming queen, rodeo queen, beauty queen—whom Slade has never forgotten.
But Joslyn is barely holding her head up these days as she works to pay back everyone her crooked stepfather cheated. With a town to protect—plus a rebellious teenage stepdaughter—Slade has his hands full. But someone has to convince Joslyn that she’s responsible only for her own actions. Such as her effect on this lawman’s guarded heart.
Big Sky Country is the first in a new series by Linda Lael Miller, and as a big fan of her McKettrick series I have to say I found a new one to love!! I fell in love with these characters. The first pairing are Sheriff Slade Barlow and Joslyn Kirk. Slade grew up dirt poor the illegitimate child of rich rancher John Carmody and his mom, hair dresser Callie Barlow. Joslyn is the former spoiled little rich girl and the ex-stepdaughter of Elliot Rossiter (who’d died in prison due to the fact that he had swindled half the town out of gobs of money).
The book opens with Slade and his half-brother Hutch Carmody sitting in their dad’s lawyer’s office for the reading of the will. John Carmody may not have claimed Slade in life, but he gave him half of everything he owns in death. That adds up to 5 million dollars plus half of the Willow Creek Ranch. Slade is in shock, and Hutch is PISSED. Slade now struggles with what to do with the rest of his life. He no longer wants to be sheriff, but doesn’t want to leave the town with a bad sheriff. His life dream is to run a ranch, but is he going to do it on Willow Creek? OR is he going to sale his half of the ranch to Hutch? Not only is he struggling with all of that he has his stepdaughter from his failed marriage coming to spend the summer, and this attraction to Joslyn he fights for all of five minutes.
Joslyn and her mom left Parable, Montana after the scandal of Elliot’s crimes came out, and now she is back. She has a misplaced since of guilt about the whole situation. She feels like she profited off of these crimes, and wants to make it better. Parable has always been the place she has considered home. So now that she has sold her software company, she has come back and is going to see where this road takes her. She is going to work as a secretary for her best friend since childhood Kendra Shepherd. Who lives in and runs a real estate office in the home Joslyn grew up in. Joss is now staying in the guest house, and working in the place that holds all the ghost of her childhood. Will she be able to overcome the guilt of someone else’s crimes, and will the peeps of the town hold her responsible as well??
This book was clearly setting the scene for the future books, and did it without drowning out the story of the main characters. I came to care for not only Joslyn and Slade but everyone. Throw in a couple good sexy scenes, a horse race, and a HEA, and you have another great book by Linda!! I recommend y’all reading this one.
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