Big Sky Summer
By Linda Lael Miller
Parable, Montana #4
I really like this series and like it a lot. It centers around a few men and women in the town of Parable, Montana who individually landed here through one circumstance or another. Each has had issues from their past resurface to create obstacles for romance in the present. There is one constant, however...some of the most delectable cowboys west of the Mississippi River.
The Set Up
Casey Elders, a red-haired, feisty Country & Western singer recently bought a home in Parable. The plan was to give her children, 14-year old Clare and 13-year old Shane, a place to call home after being on the road touring all their lives. She chose this city because it's where Walker Parrish's ranch is located. He's their father but no one knows that, including her children, and Walker is fed up agreeing to keep a secret he never wanted a part of.
How do you explain to your children that the family friend they've adored is really their father? Especially since having a father and a family has always been their dream. Walker and Casey have a turbulent history but the weight is on Casey for creating the obstacles in their romance and the lie. They have no problems whatsoever when they're between the sheets but seem to do nothing but bicker with each other the rest of the time.
Casey and Walker's relationship was complex, steamy (never had issues between the sheets) and uneasy. She was all about maintaining her independence and Walker was such the confident cowboy he reduced her to a puddle with just a smile. Their kids were pretty interesting, too, and their differing reactions to the news complicated the story even more. The downside of celebrity is also presented, shining a light on issues that never occurred to me and the impact on their daily lives. The couples from the earlier stories appear here with updates on their situations and, although they really don't have substantive roles to speak of, it added to the enjoyment.
What Didn't Work Quite so Well
Casey frustrated me quite a bit. While her rationale for hiding the children's paternity was logical, it didn't fit the man Walker was defined to be and she was stubborn to a fault. And, his passivity was annoying at times and seemed out of character.
Loved the story, Casey and Walker as a couple and parents, their children and the conflicts. Everyone involved paid a price for the decisions Casey made and no one gets off easy. When they come together as a family, it's messy, heartwarming and romantic. The bonds between the friends make this series special, along with the Western scene and culture as a foundation. Loving it. I'm ready for Brylee!