Friday, May 31, 2013

Big Sky Summer - Linda Lael Miller (HQN - June 2013)

Series: Parable MT (Book 4)

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?

Very good book.  There's a lot of heat between Casey and Walker as they now have to deal with their feelings for each other and with the consequences of their longstanding relationship.  Casey has been on the road for years, raising her two children as best she could.  She's tired of the lifestyle now that she has met all the goals she set for herself.  She wants to give the kids a stable home and the chance to go to school and make friends and just live a normal life.  She settles in Parable, where her "friend" Walker lives.  She has done a great job of keeping the secret of who her kids' father is, not wanting them to become part of a media circus.  But now that they have settled down Walker wants his proper role in their lives. 

I liked Casey.  She has been a terrific mother, raising Clare and Shane to be pretty good kids.  They don't seem to have any of the problems that most celebrity kids seem to have.  They have known Walker for most of their lives, but only as a family friend.  When she got pregnant (both times) she wasn't ready to settle down and convinced Walker that staying anonymous was the best way to handle things.  Now she realizes that that maybe wasn't the best way to do it.  Both kids have made it clear that they wished they had a real father.  She goes to Walker and agrees with him that it's time they tell the kids the truth.  Casey is really scared.  She is afraid that the kids will hate her for not telling them the truth.  She also knows that she still can't resist her physical attraction to Walker.  They have always been physically compatible but can't be together for five minutes without finding something to argue about.  Casey tends to start the fights as a way to keep Walker at a distance.  Casey has a lot to deal with once the truth comes out.  Her son seems to take the news well, but her daughter is having a hard time with her feelings of betrayal.  Casey decides that she and Walker should marry to protect the children, but she doesn't want to risk her heart on a real marriage.  She soon realizes that her heart is already at risk because she has loved Walker all along and wants nothing more than to be a real wife to him. 

Walker has long wanted to be a real father to his kids.  He is tired of just being the family friend and wants to tell the kids the truth.  He finally tells Casey that she has to tell them.  I liked the fact that he lets her know that they will do it together, that he is not going to try to take the kids or anything like that.  He just wants to be a real dad.  I really enjoyed seeing him become that father rather than just the cool friend.  He soon realizes that being a father is a little more complicated than he thought but I thought he handled it very well.  I also enjoyed the way that he made sure that Casey knew that he was there for whatever she needed for the kids or for herself.  I also liked the way that he finally admitted to himself that Casey's desire to keep his fatherhood secret had allowed him to not have to deal with the hard things.  Once they married he finally got a taste of the things she had had to deal with all those years, especially the tabloid reporters.  This made him appreciate her even more.  I liked the way that he finally admitted his love for her. 

One of the best things about the book was the way it showed how hard both Casey and Walker had to work to make their relationship a success.  Both of them had to learn to compromise and both of them had to learn to actually talk to the other one.  Casey also had to face up to her mistakes even though she had made them with the best of intentions. I liked both kids also.  They were both realistically done without being obnoxious or too sweet.  I also enjoyed catching up with the characters from previous books.  I'm looking forward to the next book and seeing Brylee finally get her own happy ending.

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