THE MAN FROM STONE CREEK
LINDA LAEL MILLER
ISBN# (10): 0-373-77198-3/(13): 978-0-373-77198-1
HQN, (Harlequin Enterprises Limited)
225 Duncan Mill Road, Don Mills, Ontario M3B, 3K9, Canada
$7.99 U.S./$9.50 Canada
Rating: 4 Cups
Ranger Sam O’Ballivan believes that some train robbers and rustlers are using Haven, Arizona as their home base. Going undercover as a teacher replacement, he sets out to stop the culprits. Sam never expected going undercover as a teacher to a bunch of rough and rowdy children to be worse than chasing outlaws. His first day finds him facing a huge troublemaker in Terran Chancelor, which sends him to speak to his guardian, his older sister, Maddie.
Maddie Chancelor is a mercantile store manager. Maddie refuses to believe that her brother is a bully or a liar. Sam knows otherwise and intends to do something about the disciplinary problem. Maddie is very protective of her little brother. The mercantile is all she has, except for Terran. She depends on her wages which come from Mungo. Her boss, the contemptible Mungo Donagher, owns the store and practically runs the whole town.
Mungo Donagher is a rough and hard man. Vengeful and rich, anyone who gets on his bad side will suffer severe misfortune. He has met his match in Sam, in that he cannot intimidate him. In time Sam learns that Mungo has some outlaw sons, and he wonders if the Donagher family could be the ones staging the robberies. Thoughts of Maddie being involved begin to trouble his mind. He has grown quite fond of Maggie and Terran and does not wish any harm to come their way. After receiving a tip about a possible train robbing, his heart is torn for going after the Donaghers or staying with Maddie and Terran, who face their own peril.
I love a good western and The Man From Stone Creek is excellent reading. From romance, to bullying brats, to outlaws, with a bit of fun tossed in, and excellent dialogue, this story kept me engrossed. I enjoyed the moments with Sam in the classroom with the children, and the antics. The personal hygiene with the tub was a moment I will never forget. When Sam was not teaching, his conquest for Maddie was amusing one minute, and passionately intense the next. Linda Lael Miller composes a well-written western tale that amazes and satisfies the reader. Her love for storytelling keeps the reader engaged from the first page to the last in this superb tale. The secondary characters, along with the students, add extra dimension to the storyline, keeping it flowing smoothly. With real-life characters and a feel for the old west, this story shines.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance
Reviewer for Karen Find Out About New Books