Review: Big Sky Secrets by Linda Lael Miller

Big Sky Secrets by Linda Lael Miller
Series: Parable, Montana (# 6)
Release Date: December 31, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Pages: 384
Source: book was provided by NetGalley for review

Self-made tycoon Landry Sutton heads to Hangman Bend’s Ranch to sell his land to his brother Zane. Though he’s got cowboy in his blood, Landry plans to return to city life before the dust even settles on his boots. Of course, he didn’t count on falling for Big Sky Country…or Ria Manning.

Ria’s starting to settle into country life herself…until she has a close encounter of the terrifying kind with a buffalo. Turns out the peeping monster belongs to the cowboy next door—and he has her running even more scared than his bison. She wants a home where the buffalo don’t roam, and the men don’t either. Could Landry’s homecoming be her heart’s undoing?

 

Review:   Ria’s prize flowers are in danger of being trampled by Landry Sutton’s buffalo. She’s had just about enough of the arrogant cowboy. It’s time to confront him and set things straight. He may even have to pay her for the damage. But, when Ria finds herself sputtering in front a the man she really doesn’t like, things do not turn out like she expected. In fact, she winds up agreeing to dancing with Landry Sutton!

Landry Sutton has decided to give ranching another try. Big city life is not all it’s cracked up to be. He is still filled with regrets over his divorce, and his good for nothing father is still trying to mooch off of him.

Ria’s sister is a real pill. Now her teenage daughter has left home and has decided to stay with Ria for a spell. Dealing with her niece is a real pleasure,but her sister is another story.
But, the real issue for Ria is the fact she has not been able to remove her wedding ring. She may have mythologized her marriage to Frank. The hero firefighter also confessed to having a one night stand with another woman. Ria thought she has moved past it, but now she’s beginning to realize she never did. Frank’s indiscretion has Ria wondering if she will ever be able to trust a man again. Laundry Sutton is a mighty big temptation, but the two of them will have a rocky road ahead of them. To make things even more difficult, a certain you tube video goes viral, and Landry’s butler may step over the line with Landry.

Linda Lael Miller is the queen of Western Contemporary Romance. Parable is the location in this series featuring the Sutton family. This romance featuring a widow still grieving and holding on to memories that she has allowed to morph into a idealized portrait of her marriage. When Landry comes into her life, Ria begins to contemplate the idea of getting involved with a man after all this time. Her fear of being hurt, of being unable to trust, has her feeling insecure and afraid. Laundry doesn’t help matter at all. But, he is much more perceptive than anyone seems to realize. Laundry just may have Ria’s number and he intends to prove to her that she can have her happy ever after and will never have to worry about anything when she is with Landry.

The story is told in third person. We have both Landry and Ria’s point of view. Ria is still unsettled after Frank’s death and is afraid of moving forward, while Landry is ready to show Ria the kind of man is he is and wants a relationship with her, not just a sexual encounter.

I enjoyed this installment in this series.  This book can be read as a stand alone. I like the romance between two adult people that both have their flaws, both make mistakes, both have large family problems, and decide that love is worth the risk. I could understand Ria’s need to hold on to the good parts of her marriage to Frank. She needed to hold on to that bond in order to cope with Frank’s death and to give her a kind of safety net. She had to make the choice to step out of that haze and take a chance on love all on her own. Laundry’s patience and determination to give Ria the confidence and assurance to take off her wedding band sealed the deal.

Not all of Laundry’s family problems are resolved. He still has some issues with his father to deal with and Ria still has her sister to contend with. Real life and real problems still exist , but now Ria and Landry will have each other to lean on.

Overall not a bad installment in the series. I did feel like the ending was just a little rushed. That was my only real complaint.

 

Julie