The Man from Stone Creek
By Linda Lael Miller
Harlequin Books S.A.
I don’t usually get into “romance” novels very much, but I do love historical fiction. "The Man from Stone Creek" is a western pseudo-romance (you know, no graphic sex scenes) filled with gunslinging rangers and women of questionable character, as well as the upstanding members of the small town of Haven, Arizona.
Maddie Chancelor runs a small shop (as well as the post-office) and tries to keep her younger brother out of trouble. But when Sam O’Ballivan shows up in town as the new school teacher, both he and Maddie are taken by surprise with the attraction that develops between them. Sam, however, is hiding a secret. He’s really a lawman trying to take down a gang of thieves. And when things go south, Sam is forced to realize what’s really important to him and to his future.
The criminal aspect of the story is actually pretty interesting. I particularly liked the character of Vierra, a Mexican who comes across the border to try to help Sam capture the gang of thieves. There were some good twists and turns with that part of the plot.
I enjoyed the book, but thought there were a few avenues that could have been better explored. There were a lot of characters in the book that weren’t very likable and at the conclusion of the story that fact really stood out to me. But all in all, I was glad I read it. And I might read something else by this author again in the future.