Category/Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: 5/28/13
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.
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 .