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The Creed Legacy (The Creed Cowboys) Mass Market Paperback – June 28, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: The Creed Cowboys
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: HQN Books (June 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780373776009
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373776009
  • ASIN: 0373776004
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #165,172 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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 LindaLaelMiller.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Lonesome Bend, Colorado

Ranching, Brody Creed thought, shifting in the saddle as he surveyed the sprawling range land from a high ridge. It can mend a broken heart, this life, and then shatter it all over again, in a million and one different ways and twice that many pieces.

There were plenty of perils. Cattle starved or froze to death when a hard winter came around, which averaged once a year up there in the high country. Spring calves and colts fell prey to wolves and coyotes and sometimes bears, hungry after hibernating through the coldest months.

It was now May, and all was well, but come summertime, wells might dry up for lack of rain, and turn the grass to tinder, ready to blaze up at the smallest spark. He'd seen wildfires consume hundreds of acres in a matter of hours, herds and houses and barns wiped out.

Year round, good horses went lame and pickup trucks gave up the ghost, and every so often, somebody drowned in the river or one of the lakes.

On the other hand, Brody reflected, the beauty of that land could heal, take a man by surprise, even though he'd called the place home all his life. That day, for instance, the sky was so blue it made Brody's heart ache, and the aspens, cottonwoods and pines lining the landscape were shimmering splashes of green, a thousand hues of it, ranging from silvery to near-indigo. The river wound like a ribbon through the valley, clear as azure glass.

After a few moments, Brody adjusted his hat and sighed before giving the gelding a light nudge with the heels of his boots. The buckskin, long-legged with a black mane and tail, picked his way cautiously down the steep slope that led to the water's edge.

Behind them and a hundred yards farther along the riverbank, in a westerly direction, hammers clacked and power saws screeched, and Brody glanced back, pleased, as always, to see the steel-and-lumber skeletons of his house and barn rising.

Not so long ago, there had been a campground and RV park on the site, owned by Tricia McCall, now his sister-in-law and therefore a Creed. The picnic tables and the concrete fire pits were gone, along with the public showers and electrical hookups for trailers. Only the log building that had once served as the office remained; Brody had been baching in it since last Thanksgiving, when he'd moved out of the main ranch house.

The peace between him and twin brother, Conner, could be a fragile one at times, and they both benefited by a little distance.

Now, ready to get moving, Brody clucked his tongue and gave the gelding, Moonshine, another tap with his heels.

"Come on, now," he told the buckskin, his tone reasonable. "The water's shallow here, and it's real calm. If we're going to be working livestock on both sides of this river, then you've got to learn how to cross it."

Moonshine, recently acquired at an auction in Denver, was young, and Brody hadn't had a chance to train him in the ways of a cow pony.

No time like the present, he figured.

Brody was about to get down out of the saddle and lead the horse into the water, which lapped gently at the stony shore that used to be a swimming beach, back when the River's Bend Campground was a going concern, when Moonshine suddenly decided he was willing to get wet after all.

He plunged into the water, up to his chest, making a mighty splash in the process. Brody, gripping the barrel of that horse hard between his knees, just to stay in the saddle, laughed out loud before giving a whoop of pure delight.

His boots filled, and within moments his jeans were soaked to the tops of his thighs, but he didn't care. Moonshine swam that river like he had Olympic aspirations, his powerful legs pumping, his head high and his ears pricked up.

"Good boy," Brody told the horse, with gruff appreciation. "You're doing just fine."

Reaching the other side, Moonshine bunched his haunches for the effort and bunny-hopped up the steepest part of the bank, water pouring off him in sheets. Once he'd gained level ground, the animal shook himself like a dog and Brody laughed again, for no other reason than that life was good.

He was home.

And, for the most part, he was happy to be there. Drenched, he got down from the saddle to pull off his boots, empty them and yank them back on over his sodden socks. When he got to the main house, he'd swap his wet duds for dry ones from Conner's closet.

Having an identical twin brother had its advantages, and one of them was access to a whole other wardrobe.

There'd been a time when Conner would have groused about Brody's tendency to borrow his stuff, but last New Year's Eve, Brody's "little brother," born a couple of minutes after he was, had taken a wife. Conner was happy with Tricia, and these days it took more than a missing shirt or pair of jeans to get under his hide.

They were on a perpetual honeymoon, Conner and Tricia, and now, with a baby due in three months, they glowed, the both of them, as if they were lit from within.

Brody mounted up again and reined Moonshine toward the home-place, feeling a mixture of things as he considered his twin's good fortune.

Sure, he was glad things were working out so well for Conner, but he was a little envious, too.

Not that he'd have admitted it to anybody.

Tricia was beautiful, smart and funny, and she'd taken to ranch life with surprising ease, for a city girl. Essentially a greenhorn, she'd gone horseback riding almost every day since the wedding, when the weather allowed, anyway—until her pregnancy was confirmed. Then Conner had put a stop to the pursuit.

No more trail rides until after the baby's arrival.

Period, end of discussion.

Brody grinned, recalling how adamant his brother had been. For the most part, the marriage appeared to be an equal partnership, but this time, Conner had laid down the law. And Tricia, normally the independent type, had capitulated.

That was just common sense, to Brody's mind, though a lot of country women continued to ride when they were expecting a baby, herding cattle, rounding up strays, checking fence lines. Conner's strong opposition was a no-brainer—Rachel Creed, Conner and Brody's mother, had continued to enter barrel-racing events long after she learned she was carrying twins. There hadn't been a specific incident, but soon after giving birth to Brody and Conner, Rachel's health had begun to go downhill.

She'd died when her infant sons were less than a month old.

Blue Creed, their father, hadn't lasted much longer. Overwhelmed by the responsibility, he'd brought the babies home to the ranch, right around their first birthday, and handed them over to his brother, Davis, and Davis's wife, Kim. Soon afterward, Blue himself had been thrown from a horse and broken his neck. He'd been in a coma for six weeks, and then died.

Now, crossing the range between the river and the two-story house Conner and Tricia had been sharing since they got hitched, the grass rippling around him like a green sea, Brody did his best to ignore the clammy chill of wet denim clinging to his legs—and the old, deep-seated sorrow rooted in his soul. He did take some consolation from seeing the cattle grazing all around, most of them Herefords, with a few Black Anguses to break the red-brown monotony. Two dozen broncos, specially bred for the rodeo, and six Brahma bulls completed the menagerie.

Clint and Juan and a couple of the other ranch hands wove in and out among the different critters on horseback, mainly keeping the peace. Brody touched his hat-brim to the other men as he passed, and those who were looking his way returned the favor.

By then, Moonshine was restless, trying to work the bit between his teeth, so Brody gave him his head. That cayuse might be skittish when it came to crossing rivers, but he sure did like to run.

Brody bent low over the buckskin's neck, holding his hat in place with one hand and keeping a loose grip on the reins with the other.

And that horse ate up ground like a jet taxiing along a runway before takeoff.

Brody was enjoying the ride so much that the corral fence sprang up in front of them as suddenly as a line of magic beanstalks.

Moonshine soared over that top rail as if he'd sprouted wings, practically stretched out flat, and came in for a magnificent landing about one foot short of the place where Conner stood, looking like he'd had rusty nails for breakfast instead of bacon and eggs.

Brody gazed down into a face so like his own that the sight of it even took him aback sometimes, and he was used to being pretty much an exact duplicate of his brother.

Conner was scowling up at him, through swirls of settling dust, and he looked as though he'd like to grab hold of Brody, haul him off that horse and beat the holy bejesus out of him. So much for personality improvements resulting from wedded bliss!

"Oops," Brody said cheerfully, because he knew that would piss off Conner and he still enjoyed doing that now and again, even though they'd been getting along well for a respectable length of time. "Sorry."

He swung down and faced Conner, who was taut with annoyance, his shoulders squared, his fists clenched and his attitude contentious.

"Damn it, Brody," he growled, "am I having one of my invisible days, or are you going blind? You darn near ran me down, and it'll take me the better part of the morning to get this mare calm enough to work with again!"

Prior to the leap, Brody hadn't noticed his brother or the pinto mare, now nickering and tossing her head over on the far side of the corral, but he didn't think it would be smart to say as much. Instead, he decided to come from a place of helpfulness.

"You starting horses you...

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.'

Customer Reviews

Fun and relaxing to read.
older wiser
I like the Cowboy love stories and all of the characters in these stories.
Nancee L Beach
This story just wraps you right into it, it was wonderful.
Deborah K. Epperson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By hmr on June 30, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read LLM books for a while now, and I'm sad to say I've noticed a downhill trend. I read Connor's book and thought that it was just okay. This book was just okay as well. There was way too much wordiness (as seen in the previous book). I'm truly hoping that this isn't becoming a habit of the author. There was quite a bit of repetition. Every time Brody or Connor would experience something that brought back memories of losing their parents at such a young age, LLM would repeat the story. Every time. I knew after the first time that the mother died in childbirth and the father fell off a horse. Both were also mentioned in Connor's book, but for those that didn't read that book it still isn't necessary to repeat the same portion of the story so many times. I think that LLM's favorite word must be "proverbial." It's mentioned 6 or 7 times in this book (thankfully I can search for things with my kindle app). Many times the reader will understand the saying. Reiterating "proverbial" is annoying and a waste of word space for more entertaining writing.

Overall, the storyline is typical LLM. I just wish the writing was a little better. Too much wordiness makes it easy to lose interest in the book at times. If this doesn't change, I can see LLM losing some readers.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Tooncesmom TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 28, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Carolyn Simmons and Brody Creed had a brief, tumultuous relationship until a late night telephone call took him out of her life eight years earlier. Now he's back, but the hurt he caused and her lingering doubts remain. Can these two hurting souls move beyond a dark secret and a bitter past to reach a happy future?

Brody Creed likes life on the move, and for the past eight years he's done just that...on the rodeo circuit. When he finally returns to Lonesome Bend, his attempts at reconciling with his twin brother Connor are rebuffed, but Brody has ties to the land and at last plans to settle down and run his half of the Creed ranch. He buys Tricia McCall's deceased father's run-down RV park and despite his estrangement from Connor, he begins construction on a house and barn on the property.

Family ties run deep, so Brody and Connor, who has now married Tricia McCall, are often dinner guests at their uncle Davis' and Aunt Kim's home, as is Tricia's and Kim's close friend Carolyn. Past hurts make Carolyn wary; she usually tries to escape seeing Brody, but as her biological clock ticks on, she comes to understand the Creed bad boy still has the power to turn her world upside down.

Ms. Miller delves deep into the human psyche to bring a story of love, loss and redemption in the lives of Brody and Carolyn. Filled with doubts about herself stemming from years as a neglected foster child, Carolyn cannot allow herself to trust, and Brody must come to terms with a secret that up until now, he's been unable to discuss. He must set aside his guilt in order to be the man Carolyn needs.

Another great story in the Creed series. Wonderful characters, dynamic dialogue and a setting that will make you want to move to Lonesome Bend. You will love the way these two needy characters dance around the truth, pretending their feelings are not on parade. Their epiphanies make for a thoroughly satisfying read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sarah on July 4, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Lael Miller's for a while now, and have seen the quality of her books decline. This last book in the trilogy was clearly hastily written. I thought it really lacked any substance, and the story line is recycled from previous books (could have been Tate, Garrett and Austin or Logan, Dylan and Tyler). There were a few details that obviously weren't edited correctly. In the Hidden Lake scene, Brody is said to have left his cowboy hat on the horse's saddle, then it's said he sets in on his clothes. In the following scene, the story indicates he left it in the truck at the ranch house and never even had it! Come on! The use of the term "copse of trees" or "copse of cottonwood trees" is in EVERY SINGLE book I have read! I like a good romance book, and a good cowboy story, but I might have to start looking elsewhere!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amanda from Oklahoma on August 14, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have been a LLM fan for years and have greatly enjoyed many of her books. However, her recent books have began to lose the spark that her earlier novels had. It is almost like she is just cranking them out without taking the time to really develop a good story. And really not even taking the time to edit them! I love a good cowboy book and although her last books about the Montana Creeds and the McKettricks of Texas kept me reading and had some really great qualities I still wished for a little more character development. However, I started the new Creed series with some pretty high hopes. Steven's story was ok it kept me reading....it mainly just got me interested in reading about Brody and Connor. I thought maybe she should have written in a little resentment on Steven's end toward Connor and Brody. After all his dad raised them year round and then they got the ranch when he was only there with his dad in the summers. Maybe it would have added a little more dimension to him. He was kinda boring.
Then I read Connor's book. Once again fell flat of my expectations but after reading it I was REALLY looking forward to Brody's story and thought she would surely redeem herself with that! However, it was not to be!
First of all, I totally agree with the other reviewers that mentioned that her use of "cowboy terminology" such as calling trucks rigs, calling cattle beeves and even the overall way she writes about ranch life are a little too much. I am from Oklahoma and grew up on a farm and live in a ranching and rodeo community and you can tell by reading her books I don't think she really has that kind of upbringing. I also agree that she went a little too far with rescuing a dog in EACH of these three books! I like dogs and one being rescued would be fine...But all three?
Read more ›
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