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.
Review Copy from NetGalley
(Release Date 2/22/11)
What I Loved: This was truly a story from the heart. I haven’t read any of the McKettrick series so I didn’t know much about any of the characters (other than what was in the blurb) before reading this book. Steven was a fantastic leading guy and Melissa was a wonderful leading lady. The fact that they were faced with a “history repeating itself” type of relationship and that they both worked through their issues showed a great deal of depth in both of their characters. They certainly were a throw back to classic love stories that we all love. Matt though who is stole the heart of the book for me. At 5, he was witty, strong, and pretty clever. I love that he was treated with the respect of a full blown character and that his story really shined through. He made me giggle a lot especially when he made Steven groan 🙂
What I Liked: I liked the glimpse of Brody and Connor. I can only imagine what their stories are going to be like and I am guessing they are the other two books in this trilogy. I loved the side love story of Tessa and Tom. It was very sweet to watch as Tom got up enough nerve to ask out Tessa. I also really enjoyed watching Melissa come to terms with the fact that a person she sent to prison really had grown up and became a good person while in there. It was a pretty realistic impression of how people can be wrong and eventually see it.
Complaints: I didn’t really like 75 out of the last 100 pages of the book. Since it was clear through out the whole book which kid was really the bad kid, the situation at the end seemed forced and a bit unrealistic. I would like to think by then that Melissa was smarter than to have a knee jerk reaction. It made her look “dumb” when I think she was anything but that. Up till then this book was a strong 4.5 or higher. Since it only is a small part of the book though it did not ruin it for me completely.
Why I gave the book a 3.75: Closings are big parts of how I rate a book. Overall this was a fantastic book and love story. The characters are multi-dimensional, fun, and lovely people to get to know. The interactions are real and the story (with the exception of the part mentioned above) seemed very plausible. I enjoyed this book and read it very quickly. I would recommend it to people to read and add to their collections.
Who I would recommend the book too: Contemporary Romance fans and Western Romance fans. Even though this book is set in a small town that has parades, floats, and rodeos the lead characters are lawyers. Don’t shy away from this book if you are passing it up because you think it is a western. It does a good job of balancing Contemporary and Western without going overboard on either one.
Author Website: http://www.lindalaelmiller.com/
Books in this series:
A Creed in Stone Creek (2/22/11)
Creed’s Honor (5/31/11)
The Creed Legacy (6/28/11)