Don’t Look Now

High Country Bride

In Your Dreams

The Man from Stone Creek

McKettrick's Luck

McKettrick's Pride

One Wish

Springwater

Springwater Wedding

Two Brothers

The Vow

 
McKettrick’s Heart
by Linda Lael Miller
(HQN, $7.99, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-77194-0
***
This is the best of the McKettrick series so far, with an engaging heroine, a hero who is only a tad bit too stubborn and a plot that holds interest. While this story stands on its own, there are so many references to past characters and issues; it may feel confusing to someone who has not read the previous two stories.

Keegan is the last of the McKettricks to actually work for their multi-million dollar international business. (Interestingly, he is never at work in this story; all of his hard work appeared in the previous installments). Keegan is also divorced with one daughter, 10 year old Devon. His ex-wife is a selfish shrew who is living with her “trainer” and uses her daughter as a bargaining tool for more money. Now she is threatening to move to Paris and enroll Devon in a boarding school there. Keegan promises he won’t let that happen. In addition, the rest of the family (from multiple cities) all wants to put the company up on the stock market and go public. Keegan is one of the few opposed. The last major conflict he has to deal with is his best friend dying of cancer.

Psyche Thayer has been his friend and at times, his sweetheart, since they were young. During one fight, Keegan ran off and ended up married to Shelley. Psyche ended up married to Ryan Thayer. Ryan was a snake, never being faithful to her. One time, Keegan even ran into him and his current mistress in Flagstaff. Ryan is also the man whom Shelley was dating prior to her marriage with Keegan.

The mistress was Molly Shields, a successful literary agent from California. She met and thought she was in love with Ryan. She also thought he was single and available. It was only when she told him she was pregnant that the truth came out. In a weird scenario not fully explained until the end, Molly gave up her son Lucas to Ryan and Psyche. Ryan is dead and Psyche has been raising him for the last 18 months. Now that Psyche is dying, she has asked Molly to come to Arizona, where she offers her the chance to “adopt” him and raise him. The caveat is that she is making Keegan her executor and Molly will have to stay in Arizona and raise Lucas there.

Keegan and Molly are less than thrilled. Keegan resents Molly and out of love for Psyche treats her horribly. Molly finds herself attracted to him and is angry about it. Obviously when Psyche suggests that they are fighting their attraction and should marry, the sparks start flying. The sexual sparks do fly. The conflict around dealing with emotions from Psyche dying, and past betrayals aren’t enough. Now Shelley decides she is willing to “sell” her custody rights for a lot of money. When the question comes up about Devon’s real father, things get interesting.

What made this the best book of the series are the characters. Keegan and Molly are both likable. They do stupid things at times but they are generally engaging people. This is in contrast to the other two entries, where at least one of the major players was hard to like.

The plot gets a little convoluted at times. Keegan is a hot head and seems ready to fight the world. Molly cries more than most women, especially one who is supposedly the CEO of her own business. Molly was able to drop everything to come to see what Psyche wanted and Keegan talks about the importance of his work, but we see no evidence of it. It seems unrealistic that even as millionaires, that they can just not do their work. Devon is awfully mature for a ten year old, but with a mother like she has, it is probably not as outlandish as it seems at first.

Overall, I enjoyed this story. McKettrick’s Heart is the heart of the series and a fine ending for all.

--Shirley Lyons


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