When single attorney Steven Creed becomes guardian of an orphaned five-year-old boy, he trades his big-city law firm for a ranch near his McKettrick kin in the close-knit community of Stone Creek, Arizona. Taking care of little Matt and fixing up his run-down ranch house with its old barn loosens something tightly wound inside him. But when Steven takes on the pro bono defense of a local teen, he meets his match in the opposing counsel—beautiful, by-the-book county prosecutor Melissa O'Ballivan. It'll take one grieving little boy, a sweet adopted dog and a woman who never expected to win any man's heart to make this Creed in Stone Creek know he's truly found home. .
I enjoy settling into Linda Lael Miller's series. Spending sometime with cowboys and ranchers and small towns is relaxing and and welcome break. I recall Melissa O'Ballivan from the other Stone Creek books where her brother and two sisters both found their respective spouses. I always had the feeling that Melissa might leave town, that things were just a little too small and too safe for her.
Steven Creed added the elements missing from Stone Creek for Melissa. Seeing them get to know each other and get over the emotional baggage they both had from past relationships it felt like we were really seeing them grow as people.
While I enjoyed the book there were a number of inconsistencies and mistakes in the time line and story. One was pretty minor, the couple has dinner together on Saturday night and then on Monday everyone, including the couple themselves, is talking about how they had dinner last night. For some reason this bugged me, I even flipped back to make sure I hadn't made the mistake, but it clearly says Saturday is the day of the dinner. Next, Stephen serves as an advisor or counsel to two different boys in town. Later when one of them pops up again Miller says how Stephen doesn't know Nathan as he has never met him before, but he did at the jail. Once again I flipped back thinking maybe I had it wrong. The mix-up with the day of the dinner doesn't really get anything out of whack, but not knowing a character that he agreed to advise in person on a legal matter got to me.
That said, I really did enjoy t he book and stayed up too late last night to finish it. I waited to read this first book in the Colorado Creeds series until I had the next two so I could read them back to back, or as close to back to back as I can with other review books and library books waiting for my attention!
•Pub. Date: February 2011•Publisher: Harlequin
•Format: Mass Market Paperback , 384pp
•Series: Colorado Creeds Series
•ISBN-13: 9780373775552•ISBN: 0373775555