Montana Creeds: Dylan
It should come as no surprise to most romance readers that Linda Lael Miller has a tremendous number of books on her backlist. As this represents my first book by the author, you may wonder why I chose to begin at this particular point in time and the answer is quite simple: It was the synopsis. I like the idea of a wild man settling down with a quiet woman. I like the premise of returning to one’s hometown where an old flame awaits. And I like stories featuring a librarian as a heroine. But despite its many romance clichés, this mostly simple romance worked for me – that is until the final quarter.
Dylan Creed knows he’s a handful. Not only is he a Creed, a family name that raises eyebrows all around his hometown, but as a champion bull rider, he’s known as “rodeo’s bad boy.” Dylan has lived life on his own terms never really considering another’s needs. Taking care of his two-year-old daughter, Bonnie, has, for the most part, meant giving her mother plenty of money – that is until he returns to his pickup late one night to find Bonnie waiting alone and unexpectedly in the cab of his truck.
Determined to gain sole custody of his daughter and never again give her mother another opportunity to leave her alone, Dylan decides that night to change his life and provide Bonnie with a decent home. Things between father and daughter are both tender and quite amusing at times as Dylan learns just what it means to take care of a toddler. He quickly concludes that he needs help of the female variety.
Kristy Madison, as she constantly reminds herself, leads a good life – she really does. She loves living in the town where she grew up, is surrounded by friends she has known for years, has a great job as town librarian, and lives in a wonderful old Victorian home. What if she’s around thirty and doesn’t have a man in her life? She’s perfectly fine with that situation until she hears Dylan Creed, the man who broke her heart years ago, is back in town – and with a daughter, no less.
As Kristy reads to a group of children at the library one day, Dylan arrives with Bonnie for the reading circle. Not only do the two feel the old attraction, but Bonnie and Kristy seem to bond almost immediately. In addition to their reignited flame and mutual care for Bonnie, Dylan has piles of money and it is used to bridge almost any gap. Without a doubt, his money’s soothing power felt contrived.
Still, the book tells a moving romance between two characters who aren’t quite mature but effectively strive toward that end. There were moments I clearly felt a few pangs of sympathy for Kristy as Dylan proves his penchant for leaving still lurks somewhere inside him and at the most inopportune times. I must also point out that much of the story is seen through Dylan’s POV.
Montana Creeds: Dylan is the second of the Montana Creeds series featuring three heart-stopping, bad boy brothers, with Logan’s story published in February 2009 and Tyler’s soon to follow in April. Here, Logan is a significant secondary character as the brother who is attempting to bring the estranged brothers together after years of anger and misunderstandings. Tyler, who is sure to be the most tortured hero of the lot, gets a significant setup in this book. But series aside, this book works well as a stand-alone.
As I read through the final fourth of the book, I quickly moved from the thoughts of “what a touching simple love story” to the “oh, come on” camp. The book dragged seriously as too many insignificant plot details were mulled over or brought to a conclusion. And although I prefer books with a larger page count, this is one book that would have fared better with fewer pages and side stories.
Regardless, this is one I am keeping to read again because the romance, as formulaic as it was, worked as an uncomplicated comfort read for me. Not only will I eventually read Logan’s book but I have marked my calendar for the release of Tyler’s book. Now there’s a difficult man who needs the right woman to calm him down.