McKettrick’s Luck

McKettrick’s Pride

The McKettrick Way

Montana Creeds: Logan

One Wish

Springwater

Springwater Wedding

Two Brothers

The Vow

A Wanted Man

 

 
Montana Creeds: Dylan
by Linda Lael Miller
(HQN, $7.99, R)  ISBN 0373-77358-7
***
An enjoyable book in the series about three brothers, Montana Creeds: Dylan does require the reader to stretch in believing the “suspense” part. This sets it apart from the first story about Logan.

Dylan is the middle son of Jake Creed, a father who lived hard and not always in a way that endeared him to the town or his loved ones. Dylan was close to both of his half brothers and was devastated when Tyler’s mother committed suicide. He tried to keep in touch with both brothers after their major fight on the day of Jake’s funeral, but was only somewhat successful. He has decided to return to Stillwater Springs to take his place on the ranch. But he has baggage this time that he never had before.

Her name is Bonnie and she is the two-year-old spitting image of her dad…Dylan. Her mother abandoned her in his truck one night, with a note saying she was his to raise. Dylan had known about Bonnie and sent Sharlene checks every month, but he had never really had a relationship with her. He was both thrilled to have her and scared that he would turn out like Jake.  

Dylan also has history in town in the form of one Kristy Madison, the local librarian. Kristy and Dylan were an "item" and looked to be in love until the night of Jake’s funeral. Dylan got released from jail with his brothers after the bar fight and told Kristy he was leaving town. He needed to get away. He broke her heart and for the past five years, she has really never gotten over him. One broken engagement later, Kristy has bought an old Victorian home that she is remodeling and she is the town librarian, a job she loves since she gets to be around kids that she figures she’ll never have. And Kristy is right back in love with Dylan the minute she sees him and his darling little girl.

There are several entwined stories in this tale, including Dylan's decision to seek full custody of Bonnie and his relationship with Kristy. But Kristy has issues of her own. The sheriff, an old family friend who is about ready to retire, tells her that he is digging up her horse, Sugarfoot, because he believes there is a dead body buried in the same grave. It turns out that Kristy suddenly remembers a night when a drifter, hired on as a ranch hand on her family's ranch, ended up in her room when she was just twelve years old. Her father confronted him and ended up shooting him. Scared, he called a friend and they buried the man without telling a soul. Up to this time, Kristy had blocked it out. But that friend, who happened to be that same sheriff, knew and can no longer live with himself. The suspense comes in when there is not one but two bodies buried with the horse. When weird break-ins start occurring, there is worry about the identity of the murderer and what Kristy might know.

This was a weak plotline and even the resolution was stretching it. But it did give Dylan and Kristy a reason to be together and build on their strong sexual relationship. Due to the macho charm that Dylan exudes and the down home warmth that radiates from Kristy, these two make a couple that a reader can fully embrace. They argue and are each strong in their own way, but together they are better. Miller has a way of keeping the reader engaged in that part of the story even when not engaged in the sidebars. 

Montana Creeds: Dylan is a good addition to the series and adds to the picture of the three boys raised by Jake Creed.  Tyler's story is set up nicely. If you are reading the series, Dylan's tale is a good match. It doesn't stand alone, however, with too many loose ends from the earlier story woven in. 

--Shirley Lyons


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