Review: Big Sky River by Linda Lael Miller

Big Sky River by Linda Lael MillerFormat read: ebook provided by NetGalley
Formats available: ebook, large print, mass market paperback, audiobook
Genre: Contemporary romance
Series: Parable, Montana #3
Length: 318 pages
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Date Released: December 18, 2012
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Book Depository

Sheriff Boone Taylor has his job, friends, a run-down but decent ranch, two faithful dogs and a good horse. He doesn’t want romance—the widowed Montanan has loved and lost enough for a lifetime. But when a city woman buys the spread next door, Boone’s peace and quiet are in serious jeopardy.

With a marriage and a career painfully behind her, Tara Kendall is determined to start over in Parable. Reinventing herself and living a girlhood dream is worth the hard work. Sure, she might need help from her handsome, wary neighbor. But life along Big Sky River is full of surprises…like falling for a cowboy-lawman who just might start to believe in second chances.

My Review:

Who said that you never get a second chance to make a first impression?

The first impression that Tara Kendall and Boone Taylor made on each other seemed to be mutually terrible; she thought he was a redneck hick (if that wasn’t redundant) living in a rundown double-wide trailer spoiling her view of the Montana scenery.

He thought she was too much of a city-slicker to have half a chance of surviving as a chicken rancher on the outskirts of tiny Parable, Montana.

They drove each other way too crazy to be neutral about each other, especially considering that Tara bought Boone’s sister’s half of their parents’ land–the half that contained the house he grew up in.

It took a couple of years for them to come to an uneasy peace, and for either of them to acknowledge that those sparks hid something a lot hotter than mutual loathing. Loathing doesn’t burn nearly that bright.

Their children finally brought them together. Boone is forced to bring his sons home from his sister’s, four years after losing his young wife to cancer. Four years to realize that he not only had to live, but that he wanted to live.

Tara’s step-daughters were sent to visit for the summer. She came to Parable after a messy divorce. She might never have loved their father. He certainly never loved anyone more than he loved himself. But she loved his daughters as if they were her own.

Can these two wounded souls find their way together?

Escape Rating B+: Big Sky River, like the rest of the Parable, Montana series (Big Sky Country and Big Sky Mountain) is a romance that simmers slowly before it comes to a boil. If you haven’t read the previous books in the series, you have plenty of opportunity to fall in love with the “big sky” country along the way.

The good thing about Tara and Boone’s romance is that if you have read the whole series, you’ve seen the entire thing develop from their first meeting. We know how just badly it went. There’s always been a sense that where there’s this much smoke, there might eventually be fire, but this book is the first time that Boone has healed enough from the devastating loss of his wife to even think of getting involved with someone else.

There isn’t as much involvement with the town of Parable and the people there, but there is just enough to let readers catch up with old friends. Boone and Tara do live pretty far out of town.

This story is about the two of them finally finding some common ground, and about them becoming a family. The major theme besides the romance is Boone healing the rift between himself and his sons. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, has been trying to get him to see the light on that score since the beginning of the series.

This is a heartwarming western/small-town romance that I finished with a smile on my face. I want to start Big Sky Summer immediately to smile that smile again.

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