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

One Wish

Springwater

Springwater Wedding

Two Brothers

The Vow

A Wanted Man

 

 
Montana Creeds: Tyler
by Linda Lael Miller
(HQN, $7.99, R)  ISBN 0373-77364-1
****
Tyler’s story had been hinted at in Logan’s tale and expanded upon in Dylan's. Now we get the whole picture in Montana Creeds: Tyler. Tyler is the most intriguing and his character has more facets than either of the two other brothers. Lily is a good match for him and this story a most fitting end to the series.

Tyler is the youngest of the three Creeds and his mother committed suicide, leaving all three boys without the woman who showed them all care and love. Tyler never really got over the fact that she left without saying goodbye. He adored his older half-brothers and was hurt the most when they had their big fight following their father, Jake Creed's funeral. Tyler has been out on the rodeo circuit and did a stint as a movie stunt man, making all the money he would ever need.  He found a woman he thought he could love, only to lose her in a car accident. The real love of his life, though, was Lily, the daughter of the local veterinarian. Lily and Tyler were hot and heavy in high school, even though they never made love. Lily was devastated to learn that Tyler would leave her and go to an older woman who was supposedly teaching him all he needed to know about lovemaking. 

This woman did teach Tyler a lot, but he really did love Lily. He was just as hurt when they broke up as she was. Now older, and ready to settle down, Tyler moves back just as Lily returns to care for her father after his heart attack. Lily has a six-year-old daughter named Tess, who was born during her marriage to an airplane pilot. Burke was a womanizer and he committed suicide when Lily told him she wanted a divorce. His mother is rich and powerful and threatens to fight Lily for custody.

Meanwhile, Tyler discovers he might be the father of a 13-year-old rebel. The boy has tattoos and piercings and his mother, the older woman, states she really doesn’t know who his father is, but doesn’t rule out that the timing is right for Tyler to be a candidate. Throw in the need for Tyler to reconcile with his two brothers and one would say he has a full plate.

This is one of the stronger of the three stories, primarily because of the depth given to Lily and Tyler. Dylan and Logan were good heroes in their stories, but Tyler is both tortured and macho.  He is confused, and yet knows what he wants. He just isn’t sure how he can have what he wants and not have to eat any crow. Luckily his sulks don’t last long and his innate good sense comes through. 

Lily is a match for him. She had her own heartbreaks and isn't sure Tyler is the answer to her prayers. But she is drawn to him and finds that she can easily fall back into love with him again.  She is torn between this love and her need to prove herself. Her struggles felt real and her victory all the sweeter.

This story also does a good job of bringing the three brothers full circle. All the secrets are revealed, all the hurts are brought into the open and healing is started. Since this is the third in the series, one will have to read the other two to make any sense of the innuendos about the past.  While Lily and Tyler's story stands on its own, the context in which it is set will not make any sense without the information from the two previous accounts.  I liked how Miller finished this family story, without real villains or heroes…just a group of brothers trying to make sense of tragedy and life as they grow and find lives for themselves.  

--Shirley Lyons  


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