Big Sky Country (Hqn)

Big Sky Country - Linda Lael Miller Slade Barlow, the divorced Sheriff of Parable Montana, grew up as the illegitimate son of wealthy rancher, John Carmody, who never acknowledged him as his son. Now that he is dead, Carmody decides he's going to come clean with the town's worst-kept secret by including Slade in his will. Slade now shares half of his estate with his half brother, Hutch, who was raised by Carmody with all of the rights and perks of that legacy. Joslyn Kirk returns to Parable following the shame of her stepfather's crooked actions that cheated many of the town's residents in an investment scheme. While she had nothing to do with his activities, Joslyn makes it her mission to atone for his actions in a town hostile to her return.This was an entertaining story of small town western life in the big sky state of Montana. Slade's conflict over his father's bequest, having his teenage stepdaughter live with him for the summer and his struggles with his obvious attraction to Joslyn were the central issues. I never quite understood why he and Joslyn tried to deny their attraction and it became irritating. The secondary characters have potential in making the series very interesting but their roles seem to drift and they ended up pretty one-dimensional, never really taking life. For example, Kendra Shepard, Joslyn's best friend who took her in and has her helping out in her business,inexplicably left town for a few months, leaving her real estate company unattended and then suddenly returns months later when Slade and Hutch decide to do something risky.While I enjoyed the story, I never really engaged with any of the characters (except Jasper the dog!!) and the plot seemed to meander. I'm hoping the next book in the series is more interesting.