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 filmmaker by trade, but he's still 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 guardian is the gorgeous new Mustang Creek 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 into 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 an unexpected threat emerges, she'll discover just how far Slater will go to protect what matters most—and that love is always worth fighting for.
Readers are transported to Mustang Creek, Wyo., in this marvelous contemporary western trilogy launch, loosely connected to several of Miller's previous books. Filmmaker Slater Carson is one of the three Carson boys, regarded as something like royalty in the small town. He's barely finished shooting his latest documentary when Grace Emery comes storming into town with her teen stepson, Ryder, in tow. Grace made the move from Seattle to Mustang Creek in an attempt to build a new life for herself after a divorce. Even though she's no longer with Ryder's father, she still loves Ryder like he's her own. Grace and Slater's paths don't so much cross as spectacularly collide, and the typical getting-to-know you dance is fraught with amazing chemistry. Current hot-topic issues such as blended families and nontraditional parenting are integrated seamlessly with a well-told romance. Faces familiar from Miller's Bliss County series provide a warm counterpoint to the sizzling attraction and hint of mystery that draw the protagonists together. A dash of storytelling magic keeps the pages turning even as the way is paved for the next two books.
As always, Linda Lael Miller has a truly delightful contemporary western in Once a Rancher. The characters are people you want to meet. There are just the right amount of twists and turns to the plot. Wyoming and the Tetons are beautifully described. All together it is a true five star read.