The Bridegroom

Deadly Deceptions

Deadly Gamble

Don’t Look Now

High Country Bride

In Your Dreams

The Man from Stone Creek

A McKettrick Christmas

McKettrick’s Luck

McKettrick’s Pride

The McKettrick Way

Montana Creeds: Dylan

Montana Creeds: Logan

Montana Creeds: Tyler

One Wish

Springwater

Springwater Wedding

Two Brothers

The Vow

A Wanted Man

 
McKettricks of Texas: Garrett
by Linda Lael Miller
(HQN, $7.99, PG-13) ISBN 978-0373-77441-8
****
If you are a fan of Linda Lael Miller, you will enjoy this next generation of modern day McKettricks.  If you have never read this series, McKettricks of Texas: Garrett is a fine one to start with, since it mentions the older brother Tate and his fiancée, but you aren’t missing anything in this story. I enjoyed this and look forward to the third installment of the younger brother.

Garrett McKettrick is the middle son of a family with a long history. The three sons, now without their parents (who died in a automobile crash years ago), share in the ownership of the Silver Spur Ranch. Tate, the oldest, runs it. Austin, the youngest, has been out making a name for himself on the rodeo circuit. Garrett is the lawyer who everyone has seen moving into politics. To get there, he has been serving as an aide to a long time family friend and Senator.  Everyone expects Garrett to run for something, and Garrett has often seen that as his future.

The story opens as Garrett’s boss, Senator Morgan Cox, has just stunned the crowd at a fundraiser with the announcement that he and his soul mate, a much younger woman who happens to be a pole dancer, are going to get married, once he divorces his wife of 30 years. Needless to say, his political career is over and in the midst of the chaos, he fires Garrett for not supporting his choices. Disillusioned, Garrett heads to the Silver Spur for some R&R and to get his head together.

Julie Remington is the sister to the woman that Tate is planning to marry. She is a schoolteacher, drama coach and all around wonderful woman. She is also the mother to a five-year-old named Calvin. She has never been married, as Calvin was a result of a romance in college. She is living at the ranch in the main house because the cottage she rents needs termite repairs. They have a large tent over it to spray it and with Calvin’s asthma; it is going to take some time before they can move back in. Julie’s life is even more complicated now because Calvin’s father, who always sent money but never wanted to see him, is now married and ready to settle down. He is asking for visitation rights and Julie is a little freaked about what this could mean for Calvin.

Garrett and Julie know each other and even share a minimal past. Both are surprised at the attraction they both feel when they meet again. They share the main house even though it is divided into semi-private apartments. They try to deny their feelings but you can almost see the air sizzle when they are together. Garrett is also a gentleman and a man who is good to Calvin, letting him ride and wear his large hat. Julie allows her sentimental nature to take over and despite her misgivings, lets her heart lead her. Julie’s fear is that Garrett will be going back to Austin or to Washington, two places she does not want to be. She is happy in their small town and quite satisfied with her life.

The story has a few kinks thrown in for good measure. There is the issue with Calvin’s father that adds stress. Garrett and Tate start to suspect that their cattle are being rustled and this adds tension.  Garrett still has to decide what he is going to do and decisions don’t get easier when Tate dangles the idea that he might sell his share of the ranch in order to have time with his new wife.  Garrett has to choose between his old life, and what he might be able to build with Julie and with the ranch. Brother Austin makes an appearance too, setting up his story with Julie’s other sister Paige as the most probable love interest.

There is nothing new in this tale, but Miller’s talent at story telling gained my interest and kept me invested. Garrett is a mix of sophisticated politician and rough and ready cowboy. Julie is a blend of naiveté and strong-willed independent woman. I liked them both, making it easy to hope they could work out their issues.

The McKettricks of Texas: Garrett is a fitting addition to the mainly well-written McKettrick novels from Miller. This one will not disappoint either old fans or new. 

--Shirley Lyons


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