Big Sky Summer by Linda Lael Miller ( web | tweet )
Publication Date: 5/28/2013
Publisher: Harlequin HQN
Target audience: Adult
Keywords: country music, children, cowboys
Format read: ARC from Publisher via NetGalley (Thanks!)
Summary: Casey is a well-known country music artist who has traveled all over the world, and Walker continues the family tradition of working rodeos. For years and years, Casey and Walker have kept the secret that her two teenager kids are actually his. But as Walker watches the kids grow up, he realizes he wants to be a part of their lives as “Dad” and not “uncle.” He’s also still in love with Casey. Can the two move on for the past and make a relationship work? Will their kids ever forgive them for the lies?
You had me at cowboy.
Walker is a hat-tippin, horse-riding gentlemen with a soft spot for country star, Casey Alder, and her two fantastic kids. Two kids that are his, evidence of two passionate nights with a woman he has been forced to love from afar. Kind of crazy isn’t it? Despite Casey’s popularity, the tabloids and the gossip columnists have not uncovered the fact that her kids were not product of test-tube pregnancies. But as they grow older, the resemblance becomes more evident, and Casey and Walker believe they finally have to tell their kids the truth.
I love that Casey and Walker have a history that spans the years when they were young and on the cusp of success. While I wish that Miller concentrated on their earlier moments together instead of informing readers in bits and pieces, this really amped up the tension between the two. THEY CANNOT KEEP THEIR HANDS OFF ONE ANOTHER.
Casey’s resolution to all the lies and craziness is marriage. Telling the kids the truth and then getting hitched to Walker. I don’t know if I necessarily agree with that jump in her decision making process. It seems hard enough to deal with a daughter who is very hurt and it felt the the decision was more about appeasing her fans and the public then her kids. But it also forces them Casey and Walker to share a bed. So there is that. (Although it is NOT cool to not tell your partner that the condom broke. I don’t care how old you are or what the circumstances.)
Despite that hiccup, I was really impressed with Miller’s dialogue. It’s often the case with romance novels that everything starts to blend together and I thought she did a nice job of bringing humor and affection to the story. It’s also interesting to see what happens to two characters who made certain choices when they were young, and watch them wrestle with those choices years later — not necessarily regretting them but certainly figuring out where they could have done better.
If you like a mega-country setting or are a fan of the television show, Nashville, I’d say you best pick this one up. Though I warn you, the country tunes will be two-stepping in your head for sure.