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Skye (Women of Primrose Creek) Mass Market Paperback – July 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Series: Women of Primrose Creek (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket (July 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671042467
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671042462
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #947,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Linda Lael Miller is the author of seventy historical and contemporary romance novels, many of which are set in the American West. She was awarded the Romance Writers of America's prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. --This text refers to the Unbound edition.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

Primrose Creek, Nevada

Spring 1869

She stood facing him, hands on her hips, elbows jutting, feet firmly planted, as though to sprout roots and become a part of the landscape, like the giant pine trees around them. Her brown eyes flashed beneath the limp brim of that silly leather hat of hers, and tendrils of dark hair, its considerable length clasped at her nape with a gewgaw of some sort, danced against her smooth cheeks. In that moment, for all that she stood barely taller than his collarbone, Skye McQuarry seemed every bit as intractable to Jake Vigil as the Sierras themselves.

The last time they'd met, months before at a dance in town, she'd been a mite more gracious. Now, in her unwelcoming presence, Jake, well over six feet and brawny after years of swinging axes and working one end of a cross-cut saw fourteen hours a day, felt strangely like a schoolboy, hauled up in front of the class for some misdeed. It made him furious; he, too, set his feet, and he leaned in until their noses were only inches apart. He would have backed off if he hadn't been desperate, and never gone near her again, but there it was. He was fresh out of choices, or soon would be.

"Now, you listen to me, Miss McQuarry," he rasped, putting just the slightest emphasis on McQuarry, since the name alone, to him at least, conveyed volumes about ornery females. "I made you a reasonable offer. If you're holding out for more just because of that little bit of gold you've been panning out of the creek, you're making a foolish mistake."

Skye tilted her chin upward and held her ground. She couldn't have been more than eighteen, and though she was pretty as a primrose, she showed no signs of wilting, either from the unusually hot May sunshine or from the heat of his temper. "And if you think you're going to strip my land of timber -- for any price -- you are the one who's mistaken!" Amazingly, she stopped for a breath. "These trees haven't stood here for hundreds of years, Mr. Vigil, just so you can come along and whittle them to slivers for fancy houses and railroad ties and scatter the very dust of their bones across the floors of saloons -- "

Jake was at the far reaches of his patience. He'd already explained to this hardheaded little hoyden that the land was choked with Ponderosa pine and Douglas fir, among other species, that thinning them would merely leave room for the others to thrive. He closed his eyes and searched his thoughts for an argument he hadn't already raised.

She took advantage of the brief silence and rushed on. "Furthermore, these are living things -- I won't allow you to murder them for money!"

They were standing in the middle of a small clearing -- Skye's portion of an enviable bequest -- with tender spring grass at their feet and Primrose Creek glittering in the sunlight as it tumbled past. In every direction, the timber seemed to go on and on, dense as the hairs on a horse's hide, skirting the Sierras in shades of blue and green. It was in that tenuous moment of reflective silence that Jake remembered his own lost timber and was inspired to take another tack.

"It's only May," he pointed out, "and we went all of April without rain." He jabbed a finger toward the thickest stand of timber, where the trees stood cheek-to-jowl, their roots intertwined, competing for soil and sun and water. It was a natural invitation to fire on a truly horrendous scale, and Jake had seen enough flaming mountainsides to last him until the third Sunday of Never. "What do you think is going to happen to those precious trees of yours if we get a lightning storm?"

She paled at that, and, though he supposed he should have taken some satisfaction in the response, he didn't. "I'll tell you what, Miss McQuarry," he went on furiously. "They'll pass the sparks from one to another like old maids spreading gossip over the back fence!"

Her mouth -- it was a lovely, soft mouth, he noticed, and not for the first time, either -- opened and promptly closed again. Then, in the next moment, her gaze narrowed, and her brows drew closer together. Her hands sprang back to her hips. If he hadn't known she was a McQuarry, her countenance would have given her away all on its own. "You're just trying to scare me," she accused.

"Ask Trace," Jake challenged. Trace Qualtrough, the first outsider brave enough to marry into the hornets' nest of McQuarry women, was Skye's brother-in-law, having taken her elder sister, Bridget, to wife. Damn, but that family was complicated; it gave Jake a headache just trying to sort them out. They were hellions, every one of them, that much was certain; two pairs of sisters, first cousins, and the best land in the countryside was deed to them, free and clear.

In point of fact, Bridget and Christy didn't always get along with each other, but a grievance with one was a grievance with them all, and Jake knew -- hell, everybody knew -- they would stand shoulder-to-shoulder, like their trees, against any challenge from an outsider.

As easily as that, Jake let Christy sneak into his mind. Christy, who, with her younger sister, Megan, owned the land on the other side of Primrose Creek. Beautiful, spirited Christy. A long-buried ache twisted in his heart, and, employing his considerable will, he quelled it, retreated into the familiar state of numbness he'd been cultivating ever since he lost her.

"I don't need to ask Trace," Skye said, wrenching him back from his reveries as swiftly as if she'd grabbed the back of his collar and yanked him onto the balls of his feet. "This is my land. Granddaddy left it to me, and I decide what happens here."

Jake heaved a great sigh. He'd already tried buying Bridget's timber rights, and Megan's, too, and neither of them had given him a definitive answer, one way or the other. He'd be damned if he'd approach Christy with any such request, even if it meant bankruptcy -- and it just might, if he couldn't fulfill the deal with the railroad. Besides, the finest stands of trees grew on Skye's share of the tract.

He was way behind schedule, and although he had modest holdings of his own, he'd already harvested the best stands of timber, those that hadn't burned the previous summer. To cut any more before the trees had time to come back would be plain stupid; despite appearances to the contrary, the resources of the West were not inexhaustible, and Jake knew it.

He heaved a great sigh. "I never should have wasted my breath trying to reason with a -- with a -- "

Skye raised one delicate eyebrow. "With a woman?" she asked softly. Dangerously. No doubt, she was still bristling from their conversation at the dance, when he'd suggested she leave off chasing the stallion and turn her mind to more feminine pursuits, and she'd taken offense at the remark. Neither of them had caught the bay, as it happened, but Jake figured she hadn't given up on the idea any more than he had.

"With a McQuarry!" Jake snapped. He wanted to give his temper free rein and bellow like a bull, but he knew he couldn't afford the indulgence. He had to win this argument, and soon. The fact that it seemed impossible only made him more determined.

Her very expressive mouth curved into a smile that made Jake want to kiss her and, at one and the same time, turn right around and head for his horse. Damn if she wasn't even more confusing, even more hog-headed, than her cousin Christy, and that was saying something. "If that's supposed to be an insult, you'll have to do better. I'm proud of my name."

He looked around, maybe a little wildly, at the empty clearing. He couldn't remember when he'd been more exasperated with anybody, man or woman. "What are you going to use to build with, if you refuse to cut your precious trees?" It was a gamble; she had house-room at Trace and Bridget's place, everybody knew that, and as a single woman, she might elect to live right there until she married. On the other hand, she was who she was, a McQuarry female, and her people were an independent lot, making and following rules of their own. She'd probably live in a chicken coop if she took a notion.

For all of that, he could see that her confidence had ebbed again, the way it had when he mentioned the possibility of fire. Perhaps she was envisioning vast tracts of timber reduced to charred stumps and wisps of smoke in a matter of hours, as he was.

"I've got gold," she said. "I mean to buy lumber. To build my house, I mean."

Jake grinned without humor. He set his hands on his hips again, mirroring her stance; there wasn't another lumber yard within three hundred miles, and they both knew it. "Suppose I don't want to sell?" he inquired. He was being mulish, for sure and certain, but he couldn't seem to help himself. Something about this complicated woman set his nerves to singing, and not only was the music downright unsettling, but he felt compelled to dance to it.

Color surged up Skye's neck to pulse, apricot pink, beneath her high cheekbones. Jake felt a swift, grinding ache somewhere deep inside. "That's ridiculous," she cried. "Selling lumber is your business!"

"Exactly. And I decide when and if I'm willing to sell. Just like you."

From the look in her eyes, she wanted to kick him in the shins, but she must have found it within herself to forbear, for Jake remained unbruised. At least, on the outside. "You're doing this because you have a grudge against my cousin," she said, that obstinate chin jutting way out. "Christy married someone else, and you're taking it out on me."

Her words sent such a shock jolting through him that she might as well have struck him with a closed fist. The sensation was immediately, and mercifully, followed by a sort of thrumming numbness. "I don't do business that way," he insisted, but he'd taken too long to reply. He could see that by the narrowing of those brown eyes.

"Don't you?" she countered, folding her arms, and turned her back on him, big as life. He couldn't recall the last time someone had dared to do that.

He watched her in helpless irritation for several moments... --This text refers to the Unbound edition.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Great read, as are all of Linda Lael Miller's books.
L. Coy
A great series, short books, easy to read but interesting.
Amazon Customer
One of my favorite authors and I wait for her new books.
Carol Corley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on June 19, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
By the fall of 1868 in Primrose Creek, Jake Vigil continues to remain stunned after Christy McQuarry jilted him at the altar to ultimately marry her true love. Living up to his surname, Jake guards his heart as he vows to never forget or forgive.

Christy's cousin Skye loves Jake, but his bitterness will not enable him to see her feelings. It takes Skye to challenge her beloved at every turn before he understands that he has another chance at love.

The third installment in THE WOMEN OF PRIMROSE CREEK mini series is a delightful romp that brings a smile to readers as they observe the battle of the sexes. Linda Lael Miller, known for her torrid western historical romances, has created a hero who will earn the hearts of the audience. Ms. Miller continues to reach the SKYE with her novels, leaving her audience waiting to see how much higher she climbs. However, August is the waiting period for the last tale, Megan,s story.

Harriet Klausner
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Luv2Read on July 13, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the second set of frontier series I have read written by Linda Lael Miller. "The Women of Primrose Creek" are truly courageous, bold, and intelligent. I am eagerly awaiting the fourth book to this series.
The main character, Skye, also the name of the book, was a feisty woman, but stubborn. Skye refused to admit her feelings for the man she loved and just waited so long to express her feelings to Jake Vigil. Everyone in the town could see that Skye and Jake were in love, except the two people it mattered the most to -- Skye and Jake.
Jake had been bitten by what he assumed was love on two other occasions, one time with Skye's cousin, Christy McQuarry, who later married the town's marshall, Zachary Shaw. Jake was a little shy at admitting his feelings now. Maybe not shy, but a little reluctant to fall into the trap again. Although in the end, he and Skye, could not deny their love. They marry; Skye becomes a mother to Jake's son, whose mother abandoned him and sent him to live with Jake. Later, Skye becomes an expectant mother, and Jake is to become a father a second time.
Each book in the series gets better than the one before. It is like a new chapter unfolding in the lives of the McQuarry women. "Skye" is about a woman who is determined, yet independent. Skye does not discuss her feelings with Jake, which sometimes causes confusion, as in the scene where Skye contacts the railroad company without telling Jake. He in turn thinks of this as an act of betrayal on Skye's part. Then the fire nearly destroys the town, but the people of Primrose Creek are determined to rebuild. All in all, love and determination win afterall.
I think it is wonderful the way Ms.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 26, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jake Vigil's heart is broken after being jilted by the tempestuous beauty Christy McQuarry. He swears to never give his heart again until he meets Christy's beautiful cousin Skye. He hardens his heart, but she stands up to him and his promise not to let love hurt him again. A business deal almost drives them apart but as their wills clash their hearts find true love. This third book in The Women of Primrose Creek series has many humorous moments in the contest of wills between Jake and Skye. It is a most pleasurable and romantic read. Ms. Miller continues to please and I cannot wait for the fourth book in the series, "Megan," ......
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By P. A. Luntsford on July 16, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I feel that the character of Skye was not as well developed as the previous characters in this series. It was a light, easy read, and amusing, but I was a bit disappointed. I am a great fan of Linda Lael Miller and was very pleased with the previous 2 books in this series, and am looking forward to the next.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
skye was an excellent read,along with bridget and megan. i would highly recommend these books to anyone who loves to read or really likes linda lael miller. im a 73 year old woman and have not been reading linda's books for long but sure enjoy them and the territory she speaks of. i didn't dislike any of the books or for that matter any of her books period.
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By A Customer on July 16, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I feel that the character of Skye was not as well developed as the previous characters in this series. It was a light, easy read, and amusing, but I was a bit disappointed. I am a great fan of Linda Lael Miller and was very pleased with the previous 2 books in this series, and am looking forward to the next.
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By Amazon Customer on July 20, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As usual, Linda Lael Miller tells a heartwarming tale about hardworking people facing adversity who triumph. This tale furthers the Primrose Creek family of characters. I really like books that link characters in completely different ways. Very enjoyable read.
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By Phyl on September 21, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I enjoyed all the Women of Primrose Creek books. Each woman has her own ideas of what she wants out of life and this one goes after it once she feels she is free to do so. There are lots of twists to the plot which keeps you interested.
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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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