Monday, August 26, 2013

Big Sky Wedding by Linda Lael Miller

Title: Big Sky Wedding
Author: Linda Lael Miller
My Rating: B+

Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Parable Montana #5
Main Characters: Brylee and Zane
Release Date: August 2013
Publisher: Harlequin
Purchase Links: 
Sexual Intensity: spicy

Story Overview:
The "First Lady of the West," #1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller, cordially invites you to Parable, Montana-where love awaits. 

Wedding bells are ringing in Parable, Montana, but Brylee Parrish hasn't enjoyed the sound since being jilted at the altar by Hutch Carmody. She's over Hutch now, and running a multimillion-dollar business is challenging enough for this country gal. So she should avoid falling head-over-boot-heels for A-list actor Zane Sutton. He's come home to his rodeo roots, but Hollywood lured him away once and just might again. Yet everything about him, from his easy charm to his concern for his young half brother, seems too genuine to resist....

Zane didn't come to Parable for love-but count on a spirited woman to change a jaded cowboy's mind. Problem is, Brylee's not convinced he's here to stay. Good thing he's determined to prove to her, kiss by kiss, that she's meant to be his bride.

My Review:
Hmm, I'm not sure I like the story description on this one. While technically, I guess it's accurate, it doesn't really capture the heart of the story.

Brylee's had a hard time getting over being jilted at the altar by Hutch. She's kind of lost herself since that happened. She goes to work. She lives at the home on the ranch she grew up on (the apartment in the back) with her brother Walker and his wife and family and is day by day feeling more and more like the spinster aunt, although she's still in her twenties. She's lost the vivacious, outgoing person she used to be.

Zane is also struggling to reassert exactly who he is. He fell into his Hollywood role directly from the rodeo circuit and has discovered that he doesn't want that anymore, so he heads to the Montana ranch that he and his brother bought as an investment, but has no real plan besides make the ranch livable again. He starts out alone, but along the way gathers his 12 year old half brother, Nate, his old bossy housekeeper, Cleo, and his full brother, Landry, who is obviously hiding his own secrets.

The two ranches sit side by side so it's only natural that Zane and Brylee are constantly running into one another and it quickly becomes obvious that they are very attracted to each other. But Brylee is scared to trust her heart again and Zane simply doesn't know what he wants anymore, but the story follows these two as the relationship deepens. 

For me, the story was made by Zane's ragtag family. Zane, Landry, and Nash's dad is not a good father. Nash, who is only twelve and lived through way too much in his short life, is still clinging to his ideal of his father and lying to himself. It tears Zane apart to know what Nash has been going through...and not without a good dose of guilt. I loved the scenes between the two of them because it really established what kind of character Zane is. He's a good guy, but has just been too caught up in his own proclivities the last few years. He sees that now and is trying to make the reparations to make up for that. 

This was definitely an enjoyable story. Linda Lael Miller tends to get a little bit cliche in her western style of writing which bothers me in some of her books, but this book seemed to have much fewer of those moments that took me out of the story. As such, I really could sit back and simply enjoy the small town, family-oriented, western romance. If you like that style of story, I think you'll like this one. And I have to admit, I'm fervently hoping that Landry's book is next. I'm dying to know what is going on with him and hoping to get to follow this family of brothers more.

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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