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Big Sky Country: Book 1 of Parable, Montana Series [Kindle Edition]

Linda Lael Miller
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (187 customer reviews)

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Book Description



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.



Editorial Reviews

Review

"Miller tugs at the heartstrings as few authors can." -Publishers Weekly

"Linda Lael Miller creates vibrant characters and stories I defy you to forget."-#1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber

"Miller excels at creating extended-family dynamics in an authentic western small-town setting and richly populating her stories with animal as well as human characters."-Booklist on A Creed in Stone Creek

"[Miller] is one of the finest American writers in the genre."-RT BookReviews

About the Author

The daughter of a town marshal, Linda Lael Miller is the author of more than 100 historical and contemporary novels. Now living in Spokane, Washington, the “First Lady of the West” hit a career high when all three of her 2011 Creed Cowboy books debuted at #1 on the New York Times list. In 2007, the Romance Writers of America presented her their Lifetime Achievement Award. She personally funds her Linda Lael Miller Scholarships for Women. Visit her at www.lindalaelmiller.com.

Product Details

  • File Size: 570 KB
  • Print Length: 381 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0373776438
  • Publisher: HQN Books (May 29, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007JJE0U6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,724 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
4.5 stars.

Big Sky Country is the outstanding first installment of Linda Lael Miller's newest series set in Parable, Montana. A beautifully written, complex novel that will capture your heart as love slowly grows between Sheriff Slade Barlow and Joslyn Kirk.

Slade Barlow is the classic strong silent type. Despite being from "the wrong side of the tracks", he is comfortable in his own skin and oozes self-confidence. Slade is calm and in control, rarely acting on impulse. Slade shares a strong bond with his mother, Callie and he is on friendly terms with his ex-wife and stepdaughter Shea. His unexpected inheritance complicates his already contentious and competitive relationship with his half-brother Hutch.

Growing up in Parable, Joslyn Kirk was a rich kid who had it all. Wealthy stepfather, big mansion, and fancy car until she, her mother and housekeeper/friend fled Parable following her stepfather's arrest. Feeling disconnected and on the fringes of life, Joslyn returns to the place she considers home. Her homecoming proves to be a learning experience as she discovers a few truths about herself as she renews old friendships and begins a new life. She fights her unwanted attraction to Slade with a bristly attitude that is sometimes quite frustrating. She is relatively inexperienced with men and her shyness is an unexpected delight.

The secondary cast of characters is well-developed and quite likable. Joslyn's friend Kendra Shepherd is an enigmatic character with a bit of a secret past. She and Hutch share an explosive past and the sparks continue to fly between them. Slade's stepdaughter Shea is a typical teenager and her relationship with Slade reveals just how kindhearted he is.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
By T.G.
Format:Mass Market Paperback
One star is as generous as I can be. The characters spend most of the book running into each other accidentally where two things happen: She gets flustered. He gets aroused. That's it. That's your story. Ms. Miller spends most of the book setting up the plot of the next one. Not that I'll bother with it if #1 is any indication of what I can expect.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Whole Lot of Nothing - Boring 1.5 Stars June 25, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I seem to be very hit or miss with Linda Lael Miller titles. I just finished a marathon reading session of the author's action packed Clare Westbrook romantic suspense series and loved it. So I picked up this new title with great expectations only to have them very swiftly dashed.

I'm afraid this new Big Sky series has kicked off with a dud. In a the most concise form possible - this story is boring. It's a complete action vacuum. The entire storyline, pretty lightweight to begin with, drags along at an excruciating pace. There's just too much repetition, introspection, an indecision. In the end it seems like the hero and heroine spend more time relating to supporting characters than each other. For the first half of the novel Josyln literally spends more time talking to her cat than the hero. Hey, I'm just as much of an animal lover as the next girl but...seriously? Furthermore, watching Slade and Joslyn constantly glance at each other, blush, and skitter away is as entertaining as watching water drip from a faucet. At this point I'm not sure I'll ever be able to finish this novel - and that doesn't happen often.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
Linda Lael Miller's writing is usually great for an enjoyable afternoon read; however, this plot drowns in minutiae. The story is cluttered with facts that do not seem to contribute to the plot at all and with random actions that have no conclusion. For instance, the heroine's bff is called to London to attend her ex's deathbed then dashes back to view a horse race. What happened in London? Just too jumbled for me. This is book one of a continuing saga, but does not inpire me to purchase the next installment.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another Excellent Western Romance June 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This was another wonderful western romance by Linda Lael Miller. I feel that I can depend on her for heart-warming romances. Joslyn is back in town after leaving in the night with her mother and housekeeper when the scandal broke that her stepfather conned a large number of people out of their life savings in a scam. She had been a pampered princess until this time. Since then she has grown up, gone to college, and started a software company but there was always something missing. She sold her company and used the money to anonymously pay back the people her stepfather defrauded.

Slade Barlow is the county sheriff now but he grew up the unacknowledged illegitimate son of the wealthiest rancher in the area. Now his father has died and has left Slade half of his estate. However, he has to get along with his half-brother Hutch when they have been rivals all of his life. He is also a man who has gone through a divorce and is a little hesitant to start a new relationship especially with a woman he thinks might leave.

Nonetheless, Joslyn and Slade do start a relationship which is complicated by the fact the Hutch is her former boyfriend and now is her friend and Slade's stepdaughter, now a teenager, wants to come and live with him. He adores her and probably, in fact, married her mother so that he could be her father but a 16-year-old girl who is giving her mother fits is pretty disruptive to his lifestyle.

Lots happens in this story as Joslyn and Slade work on their romance and Slade and Hutch also try to work out what their relationship will be. I look forward to the sequel Big Sky Mountain in August in the hopes that Hutch will find a romance too.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars So diappointed!
I was so disappointed with this book as I am such a fan of Linda Lael Miller. Her McKettrick series was awesome but this series is really lacking. Read more
Published 4 days ago by book fan
5.0 out of 5 stars Big Sky Country
It was one of three books and I didn't want to miss any of them. It takes place in a small town where people have known each other forever . Read more
Published 11 days ago by Karen Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Story
Really good romance story. It has everything I like in this kind of book, ranchers/cowboys, a lawman, smart women, and a good old fashioned love story.
Published 15 days ago by Jorjie
5.0 out of 5 stars good read
Great, simple romance with fun characters and a nice beginning to the series. If you like the west, horses and romance then enjoy.
Published 16 days ago by vocalphillips
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Definitely not one of her best starts to a series.
Published 17 days ago by Melissa Gardner
4.0 out of 5 stars I like her stories but could do without the detailed sex ...
I like her stories but could do without the detailed sex acts. Would like to share with granddaughter but won't because of that.
Published 17 days ago by mumnpapa
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Legendary
Published 19 days ago by Jacquie Kaul
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
One of the best books I have read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and plan to read the sequel. I recommend it. Really good romance and I love western.
Published 19 days ago by Phycilla Gable
4.0 out of 5 stars Big Sky Country
The lady always writes a good book. I really liked the characters and can't wait to read the next one in the series.
Published 21 days ago by Carol A Riggins
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Always enjoy reading her books. I just finished Book 2 and have started Book 3. I love to read!
Published 24 days ago by MizB
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More About the Author

In January of 2006, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Linda Lael Miller left the Arizona horse property she's called home for the past five years and listened to the call of her heart. Packing up her work-in-progress for HQN Books; her dogs, Sadie and Bernice, and her four horses, the author of more than 70 novels bid farewell to her home in the desert and returned to the place of her birth, Spokane, Washington.
The daughter of a town marshal, Linda grew up in Northport, WA, a community of 500 on the Columbia River, 120 miles north of Spokane. Her childhood remembrances include riding horses and playing cowgirl on her grandparents' nearby farm. Her grandparents' spread was so rustic that in the early days it lacked electricity and running water.

As delightful as this childhood was, Linda longed to see the world. After graduating as valedictorian of her high school class, she left to pursue her dream. Because of the success of her author career, Linda was able to live part-time in London for several years, spend time in Italy and travel to such far-off destinations as Russia, Hong Kong and Israel. Now, Linda says, the wanderlust is (mostly) out of her blood, and she's come full circle, back to the people and the places she knows and loves.

Before Linda begins her writing day, she takes her first cup of coffee while enjoying the scenic view of the wooded draw behind her new home. The first morning there, a snowfall blanketed the pine trees, something she had missed in the desert outside Scottsdale. Still enamored with the people she came to love in Arizona, she says she will still set books in that starkly beautiful area, and, of course, in other stories the action will take place in Washington.

Devoted to helping others pursue their dreams, the author will launch her sixth round of Linda Lael Miller Scholarships for Women in May of this year. A talented speaker, she donates all her speaking honoraria to her scholarship fund. The stipends are awarded to women who seek to better their lot in life through education.

It's no wonder the protagonists in Miller's novels are women her readers admire for their honor, courage, trustworthiness, valor and determination to succeed, despite overwhelming odds. 'These qualities make them excellent role models for young women,' Miller explains. 'The male leads possess equally noble traits that today's woman would be delighted to find in her life's mate.'

The author traces the birth of her writing career to the day when a Northport teacher told her that the stories she was writing were good, that she just might have a future in writing. Later, when she decided to write novels, she endured her share of rejection before she made her first sale.

Although Linda has written successfully in other genres, she is best known for stories set in the West'stories like McKETTRICK'S CHOICE (HQN Books March 2006 paperback); THE MAN FROM STONE CREEK (HQN, June 2006 hardcover) and that very first novel, FLETCHER'S WOMAN, which is being reissued in 2006. Her stories, set in yesterday's world, and today's, are historical romances, romantic thrillers, and other contemporary tales. They consistently score on prestigious national bestseller lists.

Linda has come a long way since leaving her sheltered life in Northport at age 18 to experience the world. 'Growing up in that time and place, in a family grounded in Western values, served me well,' she allows. 'And I'm happy to be back home.'


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