This was the first work I’ve read by Linda Lael Miller so I don’t know much about the other books by her, other than they’re all related in some way. So I guess I missed out on a lot of background, which is ok, I still was able to understand most of what was going on in this book (it is the first of ITS series after all). I thought, as far as romances go, that it was average. There were some good parts but there were also many flaws that I found as well.
Steven Creed has become the newly adopted father of his dead friend’s son. Sensing that his high powered life isn’t a good fit for the boy, he buys a run down old ranch in Stone Creek and sets up a pro-bono defense lawyer’s shop there. He and his son Matt are adjusting well, especially when he gets the chance to scope out local prosecutor, Melissa. Melissa too is instantly drawn to the new cowboy in town but she has a lot of other things on her plate as well. She is the parade committee chairman this year (it accompanies their annual rodeo) and someone she put in jail has just been released and has come back to town. She just doesn’t have time for romance, and even if she did, she wouldn’t want to risk getting attached again anyway.
The characters in this book were only half developed. We knew a little bit about them but not really enough to ever know what their motivations were in this book. I didn’t see what the attraction was (aside from looks) between Melissa and Steven. Matt was cute but he was kind of just an add-in to say quippy little lines and throw the two together. All the other side characters had their roles, and I actually thought they were written better than the main characters.
As far as plot goes I suppose this is what could go on in a small town, but some of it felt contrived and rushed, especially towards the end. I did like the concept of a high powered lawyer going rancher, but then since he decides to work full time as a pro-bono lawyer, it took that away. Miller’s writing is full of references to current pop culture as well. Maybe its just me, but I’m not a big fan of this, it ages the book too quickly and makes it less relevant for later times (references to the show The Bachelor in here as an example). There are also a couple of sex scenes so this book may not be appropriate for those who aren’t fans of reading about this aspect of romance. I know it sounds like I’m throwing out a lot of negatives, but this book did end up entertaining me. I don’t ask a lot from the romances I read, they are just brain candy, and a good way to settle down and relax. Which I was able to do with this book.
I just don’t think this is one of the better formulated romances out there, but as said before I was entertained. I’ll probably take a look at some of her other works as well just to learn about the widespread families that are mentioned in this book and are the main characters of her others.
A Creed In Stone Creek