A Creed in Stone Creek, by Linda Lael Miller. (website)
When single attorney Steven Creed becomes guardian of an orphaned five-year-old boy, he trades his big-city law firm for a ranch near his McKettrick kin in the close-knit community of Stone Creek, Arizona. Taking care of little Matt and fixing up his run-down ranch house with its old barn loosens something tightly wound inside him. But when Steven takes on the pro bono defense of a local teen, he meets his match in the opposing counsel—beautiful, by-the-book county prosecutor Melissa O’Ballivan. It’ll take one grieving little boy, a sweet adopted dog and a woman who never expected to win any man’s heart to make this Creed in Stone Creek know he’s truly found home.
Okay, I’ll be honest. Up until a couple of months ago, when I won a copy of Marin Thomas’s book “Dexter: Honorable Cowboy” during a Harlequin contest, I’d never really delved into the cowboy romance genre. In fact, I was hardly even aware that it existed. And, I had even less idea that it was so popular.
After reading Marin Thomas’s book, I started to see the genre’s attractions. So I jumped at the chance to read Linda Lael Miller’s book. I’ve long been a fan, having read her vampire novels (‘Tonight and Always’, etc.) and her McQuade series (especially ‘Princess Annie’). Her books have always been some of my favourites.
This book starts off with a tender new father-son scene between Steven and Matt, on the road to Stone Creek. I don’t consider myself especially sentimental, but within the first few pages, I already was starting to feel gooey in that way that only happens when I watch movies with guaranteed happy endings (Love, Actually – to give an example).
Fortunately, wanting to learn more about Steven, and Matt, and somewhat stiff (perhaps I could dare say, hard-nosed?) Melissa kept me turning the pages. Steven and Melissa are well-matched; they’re both well-versed lawyers, ready to defend what they think is right. Each has a very definite moral compass and a strong sense of family and community (even though Melissa had to be roped into organizing the parade.)
There’s something inherently charming about the old-time chivalry and honesty of cowboys as portrayed in the cowboy romance genre. They can be modern, but there’s an underlying commitment to a cowboy code. Check out this page about Gene Autry’s song, and you could check off every one of his tenets and have your hero in a cowboy romance.
A Creed in Stone Creek was a fantastic book. It’s a perfect read for that cosy afternoon with a cup of tea while the snow falls outside (before you say that it’s spring, remember that I’m in western Canada, and this year, the snow is still falling at the end of March!), curled up on the sofa. Or, anytime you’d like.