Wednesday, June 5, 2013


Big Sky Summer (Swoon-Worthy Cowboys, #4)Series: Swoon-Worthy Cowboys #4
Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication Date: 5/28/13
Format: eARC
Pages: 320
Source: Received from publisher for review

The "First Lady of the West," #1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller, welcomes you home to Parable, Montana-where love awaits.  
With his father's rodeo legacy to continue and a prosperous spread to run, Walker Parrish has no time to dwell on wrecked relationships. But country-western sweetheart Casey Elder is out of the spotlight and back in Parable, Montana. And Walker can't ignore that his "act now, think later" passion for Casey has had consequences. Two teenage consequences! Keeping her children's paternity under wraps has always been part of Casey's plan to give them normal, uncomplicated lives. Now the best way to hold her family together seems to be to let Walker be a part of it-as her husband of convenience. Or will some secrets-like Casey's desire to be the rancher's wife in every way-unravel, with unforeseen results?

Big Sky Summer is essentially a story of second chances at love and family. I always enjoy a good second chance love story, but this one was a bit of a hard sell. And while I did enjoy the story overall, there are a couple of reasons why I didn't fall quickly into the story and become invested in the romance.

The first reason is that Casey and Walker initially fell in love fifteen years before the story began. And that's fine, as long as I have something to go on and reason to believe in that love. There wasn't much back story, just some bits of info here and there, and we don't even actually learn how they met or of what really happened until nearly the end of the story. But the present day love story was kind of sweet and charming. I always love to see a romance that leaves the woman rattled and flushing and the man flustered and hot under the collar. I enjoyed seeing the two slowly reveal their feelings for one another.

The second, and perhaps biggest obstacle was the fact that when Casey and Walker did fall in love the first time, Casey ended up pregnant. Fearing that Walker would hold her back, she lied and told him the baby wasn't his. Move ahead about a year, and Casey winds up pregnant -- again -- by Walker, and knowing that he wouldn't buy her lies again, she confesses that this and her first baby are both his kids. So...instead of telling their kids the truth, and having an honest relationship, Casey and Walker go on letting everyone believe that he's only a family friend. So now fast forward thirteen or so years, and Casey and the kids now live on the ranch next to Walker's, but the truth about their paternity is still hidden. This leads us to the big storyline of Big Sky Summer, Casey and Walker finding a way to tell their kids the truth, and becoming a family.

Okay, so I try really hard to judge a story by the writing and not by the character's bad choices. But in this case, I have a hard time believing that Walker, a solid, honest man who loves Casey and loves their kids, would allow Casey to talk him into this decision. It just doesn't quite fit with the image of this man I've been given, and makes Casey fairly unlikeable for me. I did like how she completely took responsibility for her selfish and harmful decisions. And I think the author did a really good job with the kids' frustrations and pain at the lies they'd been told.

Despite how very frustrated and puzzled I was at the characters, I did like Big Sky Summer. I really enjoyed Casey and Walker's present day relationship, and find it nice to read about grown people who are trying to find their way. I would say this story would be a good fit for those who like a down home romance.

Favorite Quote:

  Walker looked up just at that moment -- luck wouldn't have had it any other way, Casey figured sadly -- and when their glances connected, the planet slipped off its axis for the length of a heartbeat.  ~eARC, 18%

Purchase Big Sky Country at:


Connect with Linda Lael Miller at her Website .



  1. Though I like the sound of this one, I would probably be pretty confused, too. I'm also a bit puzzled by Casey's actions and Walker's, I guess, inaction. I don't know that I could reconcile with that. However, I love this thoughtful review! :)

  2. hmmm I don't think I would buy that either. Why the heck wouldn't they just tell the kids? And like you said, Walker doesn't seem like the kind of man who would be OK to just live next door. Those are his freaking kids man! I won't be picking this one up because I think it would just make me mad!

  3. Great review! Sorry this one was tough for you at times. Its always hard to look past bad decisions, at least for me.

  4. I think I would have a bit of trouble with Casey too - I'm generally not very good at accepting characters' bad choices. And I would definitely need some solid backstory to be fully invested in a romance like this. Despite the flaws, I'm glad you enjoyed this overall! Lovely review. :)

  5. I couldn't see him doing that either. I just don't get why she wanted to hide it so badly. I think I would be very frustrated by this book!

  6. I think I'd have a real hard time with this story. When a character's choices
    are frustrating for much of the read or don't jive with the kind of character written, I usually don't enjoy the story. Great review, Andrea. :)

  7. oh man this looked interesting, but when you put it that way... ugh lol...

    Yeah I don't think i would understand how Walker would let it go on this long, especially if he lives around them. On top of the fact that that when she told him about the kids, they where young enough to still catch it...

    but ok.

  8. Holy.. It seems like they don't think about the kids at all O_O I'd be angry as hell if my parents had done this to me. Hmhh.. At least it's a sweet romance book. I didn't know about this story before and after reading your review I'm not that keen on the idea of picking it up. Maybe someday, but definitely not in the near future.

  9. I don't know if this is something I would like or not, but thanks for the informative review.

  10. Hmm...the setting might appeal to me, but I don't like feeling frustrated by the characters. Thanks for the review babe!

  11. We struggled with the same things..but oddly enough I enjoyed it, I think perhaps because of the other characters, small-town happens and because when they did connect it was good..LOL Great review!

  12. Second chances at love and family is such a powerful theme!

  13. I think I would have the same issues you did. It seems a bit farfetched that he would just let his kids go like that when he knew they were his. I have heard good things about this author and this series so someday I may give them a try. I'm glad you still enjoyed the book!

  14. I got this one at BEA and thought about reading it but now I'm thinking I'll pass. Thanks for the great review.

  15. I have read all the others in this series and have been really curious about Walker and Casey's relationship and some of the decisions that have very obviously been made. Looking forward to reading this one and hopefully getting some answers!

  16. Great review Andrea! I hate when the backstory is missing! I try not to jude a book by the character's choices either, but I can see how you would he frustrated! I think the story does sound difficult to buy into! I'm glad that even though this story wasn't amazing, you were still able to enjoy it overall.

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

  17. The photo looks so happy, I don't know whether I like this book, but thanks for your share!

  18. I'm going to pass on this one, I don't think it would appeal to me. Thanks for the honest review!


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