Friday, April 01, 2016

Review: Once a Rancher by Linda Lael Miller

Title: Once a Rancher
Author: Linda Lael Miller
Series: The Carsons of Mustang Creek, #1
Published: March 2016, HQN Books
Format: ARC E-book, 320 pages
Source: Netgalley via Little Bird Publicity

The Carsons of Mustang Creek: three men who embody the West and define what it means to be a rancher, a cowboy and a hero in this brand-new series from the queen of Western romance.

Slater Carson might be a businessman by trade, but he’s a cowboy at heart—and he knows the value of a hard day’s work under the hot Wyoming sun. So when he sees troubled teen Ryder heading down a dangerous path, he offers the boy a job on the ranch he shares with his two younger brothers. And since Ryder’s temporary guardian is the gorgeous new resort manager, Grace Emery, Slater figures it can’t hurt to keep a closer eye on her as well…

Grace Emery doesn’t have time for romance. Between settling in to her new job and caring for her ex-husband’s rebellious son, her attraction to larger-than-life Slater is a distraction she can’t afford. But when the past catches up to her in Mustang Creek, she’ll discover just how far Slater will go to protect what matters most—and that love is always worth fighting for.

My thoughts: I have really come to enjoy Linda Lael Miller's books...they are fun, sweet romances with hot cowboys - how could you go wrong with that?!? This is the first in her newest series, The Carsons of Mustang Creek, but what I love about it is that it is set in Bliss County, so if you have read her previous series, there are some familiar faces that pop up - though, not to worry if you didn't read those books...they are not necessary to enjoy this book.

This first book introduces us to the Carson family - the three brothers who are going to be the focus of this series, but this one is really Slater's story. And right off the bat, he meets the woman is he going to marry - Grace Emery. I loved their first meeting - a meeting where Grace has dragged her stepson, Ryder, over to Slater's ranch to apologize for taking something. Dating is the last thing on Grace's mind, but that doesn't mean she isn't interested. And clearly there's some crazy chemistry between the two - on both sides!

While you know that the two are going to end up together - after-all, this is a romance novel - I love reading about the journey the couple takes to get to their HEA. That's what keeps me coming back to these types of books, because each one is so different. Grace is a smart, strong, capable woman who's been down the whole marriage road before with not so great results. She's not all that eager to head down that path again. Can Slater convince her that he's worth the risk? He does come with a big family that loves to be involved - is that a good thing or not?

I loved the characters in this book and I loved that we got to see so much of all of them. I don't know if it was just because this was the first book of the series and so it was more of a get-to-know everyone thing or if that is how the whole series is going to go, but I hope the trend continues. And I loved that we got to see the gals from Linda Lael Miller's previous series, The Brides of Bliss County - I really enjoyed that series and seeing them was like catching up with old friends!

I think this is going to be a great series and am looking forward to continuing with it. It seems that Linda Lael Miller has sort of set the ground work for the other romances in this book...maybe. I guess we will have to wait and see if that is definitely the case!  

Books in this series:
  1. Once a Rancher
  2. Always a Cowboy - due out Aug 2016


  1. I enjoyed this one as well and I'm definitely excited to see where the series goes. I loved the brothers!

    1. So am I and I loved the brothers as well!

  2. Yes I agree the whole family made this book for me too. I loved the brothers betting practice!

    1. Oh, I loved all the betting that was going on, too!

  3. I'm trying to read her this year; I probably read her in the past but really can't remember.

    1. Her books are light and fun - easy reads with great characters!

  4. This sounds like a great beginning to a new series by Linda Lael Miller!

    Enjoy your weekend.

    1. It definitely does, Suko. Hope you have a great weekend, too!!!


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