|Linda Lael Miller has now expanded her McKettrick series to include the women in the family. Meg is a character introduced before and those familiar with the series will find much more enjoyment in The McKettrick Way, as there are people from the previous books making appearances. I count myself in that number.
Meg has had a difficult time of it. Her mother, Eve, had a breakdown when her sister was kidnapped and Meg grew up fast. Luckily, she had lots of aunts, uncles and cousins to support her, since her father was persona non grata. In fact, she has never known who he was. On top of that, the love of her adolescence was Brad O’Ballivan. Brad is part of the other legendary family in the area around Stone Creek and Indian Rock, Arizona. He left Meg to seek his fortune in the music industry, where he made his mark as a country and western singer/song writer. He left just when Meg discovered she was pregnant with their child. But she never told him and she ultimately miscarried the child.
Now Brad is back, set to retire and take over the ranch that he was able to save and restore with his money. Sadly his grandfather, who raised Brad and his sister, has recently died, but Brad is determined to enjoy the ranch life and give up the Hollywood lifestyle he is sick of. He has hopes that he and Meg can get back together.
Meanwhile, Meg has a lot going on in her life. She never really got over Brad and is secretly thrilled when he returns. Yet she is heartsore and not sure she can survive another breakup. When circumstances throw them together, she starts to take that chance. Complications arise when Meg’s father shows up toting a twelve-year-old half-sister for her. He says he is dying and wants Meg to finish raising Carly…a young girl who is about the age Meg’s child would have been had she lived.
Like many of Miller’s work, there are folksy feelings and a sense of the past. In fact, there are even ghosts, which were introduced in the other books in the series, but much more prevalent here. Miller also writes a good romance and although the sexual action is tame for her, it is still engaging. Brad is a man who is ready to settle down and yet feels vulnerable that he is putting his feelings out there. Meg is a hard-headed McKettrick but that is not her whole personality. In fact, there were times when the tale could have used the old misunderstanding as a plot device, and Miller went in the opposite direction. It was refreshing!
There is a side story about a horse and Brad’s sister, Olivia, that nicely sets up her story. And a new character is introduced right at the end, leaving one wanting to know how he plays in it. With this set –up and some old history about Eve and other members of the family playing a major part in the story, this tale probably does not stand alone.
As a part of the series, however, The McKettrick Way is funny, poignant and romantic.
It is a well written and engaging entry that I think Miller’s many fans will enjoy.