Don’t Look Now

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The Man from Stone Creek

One Wish


Springwater Wedding

Two Brothers

The Vow

McKettrick’s Luck
by Linda Lael Miller
(HQN, $7.99, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-77185-1
Miller is known for writing series about brothers and this is the start of a modern day series connected to a family she has written about in her westerns. McKettrick’s Luck is the story of Jesse, the fancy-free rancher.

The McKettrick’s are millionaires and despite the fact that they have a multinational corporation, Jesse has never felt the need to be intimately connected to it. He plays at having horses, plays poker whenever he can and collects the dividends. His cousins, Rance and Keegan both work for the company, putting in many hours. Rance is widowed with two girls and Keegan is divorced with one. Jesse figures he can play footloose with the women because he has his nieces to dote on whenever he feels the urge. Jesse also owns a lot of land in the mountains on a ridge that he is determined to keep preserved in its natural beauty. He bought the land with his winnings from a large national poker tournament in Vegas.

Cheyenne Bridges is the daughter of Cash Bridges. Cash was the town drunk, always on the lookout for a quick game in hopes of making it rich. Cheyenne left Indian Creek when Cash was convicted of armed robbery. Her mother never quite got over Cash and has always believed in his innocence, despite the evidence. Cheyenne has returned to town. She works for a real estate conglomerate and hopes to buy the land from Jesse for a development. Her brother Mitch and her mother have moved back with her, settling into the old (and decrepit) family home. Mitch was injured in a four-wheeler accident and is a quadriplegic. His medical bills have stacked up and Cheyenne has hopes of making it rich with the bonus from this deal so she can help him.

The problem is that Jesse does not want to sell his land, ever. Yet he finds himself agreeing to discuss it with Cheyenne. Her beauty doesn’t hurt things. She is in a pickle because she is under contract to her boss, Nigel Meerland, a rather smarmy man who also has his good sides at times. When Cheyenne ends up working for both Nigel and the McKettrick’s she has a clear case of conflict of interest. But she can never seem to find the time to tell the McKettrick’s. When she and Jesse become somewhat of an item, things get even more complex. When she starts making friends and feeling at home in Indian Rock, things are a mess.

Miller has a style that is easy to read, involving humor, sexiness and fun. Her characters are likeable even when they have unlikable characteristics. Sadly, this tale was just way too predictable to fully endorse as a recommended read. Jesse has little depth and it is difficult to understand his motivations to be so laid back, even while you like his sexy nature and his way of looking at life. Cheyenne is the exact opposite. She works so hard she almost doesn’t know how to have fun. But it is that stereotype and her hangup about being from the wrong side of the tracks that is hard to swallow past the first few times she brings it up. You can see the big misunderstanding coming from a mile away. Her lack of integrity makes her only marginally likeable. As a heroine, she doesn’t measure up.

Mitch is the most complex character and it might be fun to see how he turns out as he grows older. The issues around accepting him with his disability were well written. There were some sexy scenes that and some humor that was both funny and at times, touching. Both Keegan and Rance are introduced and we can look forward to their stories.

McKettrick’s Luck has some satisfying moments, but it is not one of Miller’s best efforts.

--Shirley Lyons

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