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Big Sky Secrets (Hqn) Mass Market Paperback – December 31, 2013
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"Miller's fans will find all her comforting standbys: romance with a dollop of humor, a few charming animals, and an optimistic happy ending"-Publishers Weekly on Big Sky Secrets
"Linda Lael Miller creates vibrant characters and stories I defy you to forget."-#1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber
"Miller has created unforgettable characters and woven a many-faceted yet coherent and lovingly told tale." –Booklist on McKettrick's Choice
"Miller's name is synonymous with the finest in western romance."
-RT Book Reviews
"Full of equal parts heart and heartache, Miller's newest western is sure to tug at the heartstrings from the first charming scene to the last."
-RT Book Reviews on Big Sky Summer
"Miller's down-home, easy-to-read style keeps the plot moving, and she includes...likable characters, picturesque descriptions and some very sweet pets."
-Publishers Weekly on Big Sky Country
"A delightful addition to Miller's Big Sky series. This author has a way with a phrase that is nigh-on poetic...this story [is] especially entertaining."
-RT Book Reviews on Big Sky Mountain
"A passionate love too long denied drives the action in this multifaceted, emotionally rich reunion story that overflows with breathtaking sexual chemistry."
-Library Journal on McKettricks of Texas: Tate
"Miller's prose is smart, and her tough Eastwoodian cowboy cuts a sharp, unexpectedly funny figure in a classroom full of rambunctious frontier kids."
-Publishers Weekly on The Man from Stone Creek
"Miller's return to Parable is a charming story of love in its many forms. The hero's struggles are handled in an informed and heartwarming way, and it's easy to empathize with the heroine's desire to start an independent, new life in this sweetly entertaining and alluring tale."
-RT Book Reviews on Big Sky River
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.
Top customer reviews
Miller is leaving Parable.. *pouts* I love this place and have been looking all over the Montana map to find it.. Kidding (sort of). While I regret saying goodbye to yet another favorite series, it's always nice when an author knows it's time.
Big Sky Secrets tells the story of Landry Sutton, brother of Zane Sutton from Big Sky Wedding, and Ria Manning, newcomer. These two connect with all the LLM glory. Funny and witty, charming and whimsical.. two people with their own issues, their own lives and their own struggles. LLM doesn't disappoint with the secondary characters either. This time we have.. The Butler.. yep Landry has a butler, a character somewhere between a traditional English butler and Cleo and Opal.. totally fun. And yes there is a young relative in need of guidance, friendship and family, this time it's Kate's niece. Who surprisingly enough finds and adopts a stray dog. I know that might sound predictable but this is Parable and life is supposed to be about family.. The connections are fun.
While Ria is an outsider she makes great connections and has a respectable reputation. Something that doesn't exactly matter to her.. except that she wants to fit in, in her new home. She is a widow and while her marriage was good, it wasn't perfect. And she still suffers from some of the consequences that came from it. Added to that, her sister, is a royal, self righteous, stuck up, pain in the rear who wants Kate to drop everything and help her but hardly speaks a civil word to Kate. Seems Kate's mom was the trophy wife and big sis, well her mom was the woman dad really loved.. and she never lets Kate forget it! A thoroughly unlikeable character and yet Kate manages to accept and forgive her, she is family.
Landry on the other hand is well her sister in the male form. He is not really a snob, ok yes he is, but he is more than that. He and Zane were raised poor by a mother who adored them and ever since his mother's death they have drifted apart. This time in Montana is Zane and Landry's chance to reconnect. It's hard but he is trying. But life is getting a little crazy for Landry and it all evolves around the sexy widow next door. Seems his pet buffalo and her calf have a crush on her. Yes you read that right.. his per buffalo has a crush on Ria.. which means she is ever wandering over there and destroying Ria's livelihood. Landry has some pretty fast talking to do before Ria is going to forgive him.
Ria allows her niece to visit for the summer and together they support each other through life's tragedies but big and small. It is a stereotypical relationship for one of the residents of Parable (said in the best possible manner). The people of Parable care for each other, family comes first! And Ms Miller does a consistently wonderful job sharing that with us.
Like I said, this is a fun book in a sweet and silly series.. but there are some moments in this book that just don't belong. Seems Landry and Ria go to the local honky tonk and she gets a wee bit toasted.. some catty woman posts it on the Internet and tries to slam Ria's rep. It leads to nothing and is quickly shut down by the townspeople. While it shows how decent and good most of the townspeople are it was a wasted scene. I keep wondering who hated Ria so much that she did something like this and why? Also, Landry's father shows up.. while there is a bit more meat to that sub plot it was still superfluous information and didn't need to be there. There is enough going on with these two individuals without added scenes.
There are also a couple of ongoing things that haven't been all tied up in a pretty bow.. Subplots that run throughout the series.. I have to wonder if the new town police chief is ever going to get his comeuppance.. will Parable finally say enough's enough? Slap him upside the head? A minor inconvenience but it will nag at me..
But these issues are little, the overall tone of the book and series overrides any negatives and we have a wonderfully charming series..
Like I said, I will miss Parable, but I am looking forward to Ms Miller's next adventure.. I only hope it's as fun and heartwarming as the people of Parable have been.
This review is based on the ARC of Big Sky Secrets, provided by netgalley
No guns, no car chases, no explosions. No vampires, no international spies, no kinky sex with an audience. Her books are about quiet lives in quiet towns, real people with real problems, who just set about to handle them as best they can. And find like-minded souls to continue the journey with them.
It's refreshing. It's empowering. And it's ultimately beautiful.
When Landry is thinking about his ex-wife who loved him, despite that he never loved her:
"I’m sorry, he told Susan silently, over the months and the miles, over the intangible but real wreckage the two of them had left in their combined wake. Fat lot of good being sorry now did, he reflected.
High above his head, above the clouds and the orbiting space junk and the ozone layer, stars were beginning to pop out, stars so old and so far away that some of them had been dead for millions of years. Still, their light traveled on, silvery and ghostlike, and bright enough to chart the routes of ships and airplanes."
Miller also knows how to poke fun at what surely must be "her people" when she fondly writes:
"Landry didn’t comment— not that she could have heard him over all that ruckus if he had. The jukebox had been silenced, only to be replaced by a live band, equipped with amplifiers, electric guitars and belting out some serious twang.
The lyrics were familiar, poignant and oddly comforting— faithful old dogs breathing their last, trucks breaking down , train whistles piercing dark and lonely nights, Mama passing on before she ever got that washing machine she’d been promised and, of course, the inevitable prison term, admittedly deserved."
I wasn't sure what the pictures of the drunken Ria had to do with the story. And it was never really dealt with. That's why it's not 5 stars. That part didn't feel resolved, or even necessary.
However, if you're looking for a straight-up romance set in small town Montana, this is the book for you. Actually, this is the series for you, too.