Big Sky River
By Linda Lael Miller
Book #3 in the Parable, Montana series
Western Romance, Contemporary Romance
Boone Taylor, the sheriff of Parable County, is still mourning his wife who died a few years ago and still hasn't brought his two young boys home. Even though he's moved on with his life, he's still stuck in time with his property in decay and his sons still living with his sisters in another town. Meanwhile, his prickly neighbor, Tara Kendall who has been very critical of how he's not maintained his property, is reinventing herself after moving to Parable from New York. Her painful marriage behind her, she's making the best of her new life in spite of her stubborn but handsome neighbor.
This series just gets better with each book. I knew Boone's book would be more complicated given his personal circumstances and my instincts were on target. His friends had gently urged him in the past to bring his sons back home but he was reluctant to disrupt their lives. It took a crisis in his sister's life to get him to take action. Boone's initial struggles were so realistic, facing those issues most single parents encounter with the added complication of them not really knowing him that well and the shock of a different standard of living.
When Tara's twin stepdaughters, who she raised from toddlers and adores, come to visit, it gives her and Boone opportunities to see each other differently. Their romance was heartwarming as it developed around their families and friends. I'm a sucker for kids in these stories as they tend to bring out the best in the adults as it did here. Friends from the previous books in the series also play a role and we get nice updates on their lives. The only criticism I have is that the ending felt a little rushed, satisfying, but culminating a bit faster than I thought it should have.
Boone and Tara's story took its time to develop with the layers of their lives, past and present, unfolding richly. I loved their story and it's my favorite of the series to date. I'm looking forward to the next book as it will be about Casey Elder and she's got some secrets yet to be revealed.
(I received an ARC from NetGalley)