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McKettrick's Luck [NOOK Book]

Overview




A classic tale of a new generation of cowboys staking claims to their land—and the women they love…

Like his celebrated ancestors, who tamed the wilds of Arizona, Jesse McKettrick's Indian Rock ties run deep. The Triple M Ranch is in his blood, along with the thrill of risk. But with his land at stake, this world-class poker player won't be dealt into Cheyenne Bridges's ...
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McKettrick's Luck

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Overview




A classic tale of a new generation of cowboys staking claims to their land—and the women they love…

Like his celebrated ancestors, who tamed the wilds of Arizona, Jesse McKettrick's Indian Rock ties run deep. The Triple M Ranch is in his blood, along with the thrill of risk. But with his land at stake, this world-class poker player won't be dealt into Cheyenne Bridges's gamble—despite the temptation she brings.

Cheyenne grew up in Indian Rock and left its painful memories behind to become a self-made woman. Now her job is to convince Jesse to sell his property. Jesse's not the kind of man Cheyenne could ever forget, but he's too wild and dangerous for a woman committed to playing it safe. Yet sparks of attraction fly, tempting Cheyenne to lay it all on the line for the passion she sees in Jesse's eyes.


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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Linda Lael Miller, the queen of western romance, kicks off a fine trilogy about the newest generation of the McKettrick men. This one pits Cheyenne Bridges against Jesse McKettrick, "the original trust fund bad boy." Cheyenne, fiercely proud, grew up poor in Indian Rock, Arizona, and returns in her designer suit and heels to do the impossible: persuade Jesse McKettrick to sell a breathtakingly beautiful piece of land inherited from his ancestors (McKettrick's Choice) so it can be developed. Still, she is highly motivated -- not by her Trump-style boss (who's always saying things like "failure is not an option") but by medical expenses for her wheelchair-bound younger brother.

There are nice cat-and-mouse moments as Cheyenne tries to persuade Jesse to sell and he tries to persuade her to spend the night. Miller uses the game of poker throughout the book to good effect, but more important matters are at stake for Jesse and Cheyenne -- learning how to gamble on love. Ginger Curwen
Publishers Weekly
The first installment in Miller's new trilogy features the present-day descendants of the heroes from her earlier McKettrick novels; fortunately, the new generation fills in admirably. Cheyenne Bridges makes a reluctant return to her hometown of Indian Rock, Ariz., her job hinging on whether she can persuade her high school flame Jesse McKettrick to sell some of his land for her employer's condo development deal. Jesse, a confirmed bachelor and committed poker player, refuses outright to sell his land-at the same time he refuses to acknowledge the feelings that Cheyenne stirs up in him. Miller's ability to bring a cast of characters to life is on full display here, as Cheyenne must decide whether to use whatever means necessary to get Jesse to sell the land or surrender to the hunky rancher and join his team. Though her plot twists are somewhat predictable, the veteran romance author doesn't disappoint in her sizzling love scenes and fine sense of place. (Feb.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459219038
  • Publisher: Harlequin
  • Publication date: 12/27/2011
  • Series: McKettrick Series , #1
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 57,623
  • File size: 320 KB

Meet the Author


The daughter of a town marshal, Linda Lael Miller is the author of more than 100 historical and contemporary novels. Now living in Spokane, Washington, the “First Lady of the West” hit a career high when all three of her 2011 Creed Cowboy books debuted at #1 on the New York Times list. In 2007, the Romance Writers of America presented her their Lifetime Achievement Award. She personally funds her Linda Lael Miller Scholarships for Women. Visit her at www.lindalaelmiller.com.


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Read an Excerpt


Mckettrick Land, Cheyenne Bridges thought stoically, as she stood next to her rented car on a gravel pullout alongside the highway, one hand shading her eyes from the Arizona sun. A faint drumbeat throbbed in her ears, an underground river flowing beneath her pulse, and she remembered a time she could not have remembered. An era when only the Great Spirit could lay claim to the valleys and canyons and mesas, to the arch of the sky, blue as her grandmother's favorite sugar bowl"a cherished premium plucked from some long-ago flour sack"to the red dirt and the scattered stands of white oak and Joshua and ponderosa pine.

It had taken Angus McKettrick, and other intrepidly arrogant nineteenth-century pioneers like him, to fence in these thousands of square miles, to pen their signatures to deeds, to run cattle and dig wells and wrest a living from the rocky, thistle-strewn soil. Old Angus had passed that audacious sense of ownership on to his sons, and the sons of their sons, down through the generations.

McKettricks forever and ever, amen. Cheyenne bit her lower lip. Her cell phone, lying on the passenger seat of the car, chimed like an arriving elevator"Nigel again. She ignored the insistent sound until it stopped, only too aware that the reprieve would be fleeting. Meanwhile, the land itself seemed to seep into her heart, rising like water finding its level in some dank, forgotten cistern.

The feeling was bittersweet, a complex tangle of loneliness and homecoming and myriad other emotions she couldn't readily identify.

She had sworn never to come back to this place. Never to set eyes on Jesse McKettrick again. And fate, in its inimitable way, was forcing her to do both those things.

She sighed.

An old blue pickup passed on the road, horn honking in exuberant greeting. A trail of cheerfully mournful country music thrummed in its wake, and the peeling sticker on the rear bumper read Save The Cowboys.

Cheyenne waved, self-conscious in her trim black designer suit and high heels. This was bootsand-jeans country, and she'd stand out like the proverbial sore thumb the moment she drove into town.

Welcome home, she thought ruefully.

The cell chirped again, and she picked her way through the loose gravel to reach in through the open window and grabbed it.

"It's about time you answered," Nigel Meerland snapped before she could draw a breath to say hello. "I was beginning to think you'd fallen into some manhole."

"There aren't any manholes in Indian Rock," Cheyenne replied, making her way around to the driver's side and opening the door.

"Have you contacted him yet?" Nigel didn't bother with niceties like "Hi, how are you?" either in person or over the telephone. He simply demanded what he wanted"and most of the time, he got it.

"Nigel," Cheyenne said evenly, "I just got here. So, no, I have not contacted him." Him was Jesse McKettrick. The last person in this or any other universe she wanted to see"not that Jesse would be able to place her in the long line of adoring women strung out behind him like the cars of a derailed freight train.

"Well, you're burning daylight, kiddo," Nigel shot back. Her boss was in his late thirties and English, but he liked using colorful terms, with a liberal smattering of clichés. Westernisms, he called them. "Let's get this show on the road. I don't have to tell you how anxious our investors are to get that condo development underway."

No, Cheyenne thought, sitting down sideways on the car seat, constrained by her tight skirt and swinging her legs in under the steering wheel, you don't have to tell me. I've heard nothing else for the last six months.

"Jesse won't sell," she said. Realizing she'd spoken the thought aloud, she closed her eyes, braced for the inevitable response.

"He has to sell," Nigel countered. "Failure is not an option. Everything"and I mean everything"is riding on this deal. If the finance people pull out, the company will go under. You won't have a job, and I'll have to crawl back to the ancestral pile on my knees, begging for the scant privileges of a second son."

Cheyenne closed her eyes. Like Nigel, she had a lot at stake. More than just her job. She had Mitch, her younger brother, to consider. And her mother.

The bonus Nigel had promised, in writing, would give them all a kind of security they'd never known.

The pit of her stomach clenched. "I know," she told Nigel bleakly. "I know." "Get cracking, Pocahontas," Nigel instructed, and hung up in her ear.

Cheyenne opened her eyes, pressed the end button with her thumb, drew a deep breath and released it slowly. Then she tossed the phone onto the other seat, started the engine and headed for Indian Rock.

The town hadn't changed much since she'd left it at seventeen, bound for college down in Tucson. There was the dry cleaners, the library, the elementary school. And the small, whitesteepled church where she'd struggled to understand Commandments and arks and burning bushes, and had placed quarters, after unwrapping them carefully from a cheap cloth handkerchief, in the collection plate.

She sat a little straighter in the seat as she drove the length of Main Street, signaled and turned left at the old train depot, long since converted to an antiques minimall. The rental car bumped over the railroad tracks, past progressively seedier trailer courts, through a copse of cottonwood trees.

The narrow beams of the ancient cattle guard rattled under the tires.

Cheyenne gave a grateful sigh when the car didn't fall through and slowed to round the last bend in the narrow dirt road leading to the house.

Like the single and double-wides she'd just passed, the place had gone downhill in her absence. The lawn was overgrown and coils of rusty barbed wire littered the ground. The porch sagged and the siding, scavenged and nailed to the walls without regard to color, jarred the eye.

Gram had been so proud of her house and yard. It would break her heart to see it now.

Her mother's old van, a patchwork affair like the house, stood in the driveway with the side door open.

Cheyenne had hoped for a few days to settle in before her mother and brother arrived from Phoenix, and at least put in a ramp for Mitch's wheelchair, but it wasn't to be. Her heart fluttered with anticipation, then sank.

She put the rental in Park and shut off the motor, surveying the only real home she'd ever had.

"I'll show you an ancestral pile, Nigel," she muttered. "Just hop in your Bentley and drive on up to Indian Rock, Arizona."

The front door swung open just then, and Ayanna Bridges appeared on the porch, wearing a faded cotton dress, high-topped sneakers and a tentative smile. Her straight ebony hair fell past her waist, loosely restrained by a tarnished silver barrette she'd probably owned since the 1960s. When her mother started toward the rickety steps, Cheyenne got out of the car.

"Look," Ayanna called, pointing. "I found some old boards out behind the shed and dragged them around to make a ramp. Mitch whizzed right up to them like he was on flat ground."

Life had forced Ayanna to be resourceful. Makeshift ramps for her son's wheelchair were the least of her accomplishments. She'd waited tables, often pulling two shifts, grappled with various socialservice agencies to get Mitch the medical care he needed, sold cosmetics and miracle vitamins, all without a twinge of self-pity"at least, not one she'd ever allowed her children to see.

Cheyenne scrounged up a smile. Pretended to admire the pair of teetering, weathered two-byfours, each with one end propped on the porch floor and one disappearing into the weedy grass. Doubtless, Mitch had used them to alight from the van, too.

If when the bonus came through, Cheyenne planned to buy a new van, specially equipped with a hydraulic lift and maybe even hand controls. For now, they would have to make do, as they'd always done.

"Good work," she said.

Ayanna met her in the middle of the yard, enfolding Cheyenne in a hug that made her breath catch and her eyes burn.

She blinked a couple of times before meeting her mother's fond gaze.

"Where's Mitch?" Cheyenne asked.

"Inside," Ayanna said, her words gently hushed.

"I'm afraid he's brooding again"he misses his friends in Phoenix. He'll be all right once he's had a little while to get used to being here."

Cheyenne could empathize. She thought, with poignant longing, of her one-bedroom condo in sunny San Diego, half a mile from the beach. She'd sublet it, and that was another worry. If she couldn't convince Jesse McKettrick to part with five hundred acres of prime real estate, she not only wouldn't have a job, she'd have to stay in Indian Rock, find whatever work there was to be had and stockpile pennies until she could afford to start over somewhere else.

As she stood there despairing, Nigel's cellphone comment blew through her spirit like a cold wind scouring the walls of a lonely canyon. Everything's riding on this deal. And I mean everything.

"Come on inside, honey," Ayanna said, taking Cheyenne's arm when she would have turned and fled back to the rental car. "We can bring your things in later."

Cheyenne nodded, ashamed that she'd come so close, after all her preparation and effort, to fleeing the scene.

Ayanna smiled, butted her taller daughter lightly with the outside of one shoulder. "We've all come home," she said softly. "You and Mitch and me. And home is a great place to start over."

Home might be a "great place to start over," Cheyenne reflected grimly, if you were a McKettrick. If your key fit the lock of one of the several sprawling, rustically elegant houses standing sturdily on a section of the legendary Triple M Ranch.

If your name was Bridges, on the other hand, and you were the daughter of a charming but compulsive gambler who'd died in jail, and a hardworking but fatally codependent dreamer like Ayanna, making a clean-slate beginning was a luxury you couldn't afford.

Ordinary people had to settle for survival.

Nurleen Gentry shuffled and dealt the flop a pair of sevens and a queen. Once the cards were down, lying helter-skelter on the scruffy green-felt tabletop, she folded her hands, glittering with fake diamonds ordered from the shopping channel, and waited.

Jesse leaned back in his customary chair in the card room behind Lucky's Main Street Bar and Grill and pretended to consider his options. He felt the eyes of the other poker players on him, through the stale and shifting haze of blue-gray cigarette smoke, and gave nothing away.

"Bet or fold, McKettrick," Wade Parker grumbled from the other side of the table. Jesse allowed one corner of his mouth to crook up, ever so slightly, in the go-to-hell grin he'd been perfecting since he was eleven. Wade wore a bad rug and a windbreaker emblazoned with the logo of the beer company he worked for, and his full lips twitched with impatience. The tobacco smudge rose from the cheap cigar smoldering in the ashtray beside him.

Next to Wade was Don Rogers, who owned the Laundromat. Don squirmed on the patched vinyl seat of his chair, but Jesse knew it wasn't the wait that bothered the other man. Don was a neat freak and wanted to tidy the flop so badly that a muscle under his right eye jerked. Touching anybody's cards but his own could get a man shot in some parts, though the retribution would be neither swift nor terrible in the old hometown.

Could be Don had pocket queens, Jesse thought, but that didn't seem likely. When it came to tells, Don was easier to read than the twelve-foot limestone letters set into the slope east of town, spelling out INDIAN ROCK.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 55 )
Rating Distribution

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(31)

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(16)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 55 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2012

    Perfect Western Romance

    Amazing story full of twists, whit, & love!! Truly enjoyed this book, I was not able to put it down once I started reading it!!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly recommend...!!!

    This series and this author is outstanding! Love these McKettrick books! Just the right mix of romance, suspense and history. Thank you Linda Lael Miller.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2011

    Rerelease from 2007

    Check your library first. Good series. Great author.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved it

    I am pretty new to this author but this whole series is great. I loved all of the plots and the characters and the banter was funny. I was pulling for the characters and found myself reading more and more just to find out what happens next. Ms. Miller has a knack for capturing the landscape and scenery in the story so you feel like you are there with them peeking in on their lives. Great Series...

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2014

    Jesse McKettrick owns a piece of land that a real estate specula

    Jesse McKettrick owns a piece of land that a real estate speculator is interested in. Cheyenne is sent by the real estate guy to talk Jesse into selling the parcel of land to him. He thinks she can talk Jesse into selling because she knew him in high school and they have a bit of history. It's very important to Cheyenne to get Jesse to sell because she needs the bonus her company has promised her so that she can continue to support her mother and disabled brother. Also, if she doesn't get Jesse to sell the land, her company will close and she will be out of a job.

    Jesse McKettrick is a very attractive playboy whose family money makes him very wealthy so he has no need to work.  He rides horses, looking after the few on his property and gambles. Cheyenne grew up very poor with a gambler for a father which made her childhood unhappy.

    I didn't care for the characters and felt that the author just couldn't bring them to life; maybe the author couldn't connect with the characters while developing the story. There was nothing about Jesse or Cheyenne that grabbed me, but I did like Mitch, the disabled brother. I didn't see how Cheyenne fell in love with Jesse since she hated gambling so much and he was a big gambler.  I also thought the ending was too quick like the author just tried to tie up loose ends and get it over with.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2012

    Pp


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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2012

    Wolf Council

    "Hello. My name is Kilo. I am Head Wolf of the wolf council. We keep the peace between the packs. I run this place. It is my job. There are several places open. The Second Wolf which will take over my job when i am gone. Then there is the Judge who makes the decisions of what happens to wolves that have done bad deeds. Then there is the High Council for the leaders and retired leaders. The Middle Class Council for deputies. Then the Jury for the leader's pups and close family. Anyone that wants to join that is not related to the leader and is not the deputy will be an assistant. Thank you."

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    AWESOME

    LOVE IT

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2012

    Booyaa

    Do you like cheese? Well i like cheese

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    Tu

    Jpeq

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 16, 2009

    One of the best of this series

    This is LLM at her best - the characters are original but believable, the setting lovely, and the plot has enough twists to keep you turning the pages to the very end. Even the secondary characters are engaging, endearing, makes the reader eager to pick up the next MK story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2008

    I love Jesse

    Jesse is one of those characters that leaps off the pages and makes you fall in love. I couldn't put it down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2008

    Ya Gotta love these stubborn McKetrrick's

    I really liked Jesse - he's true to his beliefs. Cheyenne is a great character because she's gone on to accomplish a great deal despite her upbringing, true of many hard-working people.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2008

    Another Great McKettrick Saga!!!

    The McKettricks are a fascinating family - as are the women the men know and love. BUT the character Cheyenne, is a bit disappointing. Why? Someone with the drive and intelligence to get a degree on her own should not be portrayed as indecisive, and sometimes weak in character!! Otherwise the storyline is great as only Ms. Miller can write!! Of course, I will read the two books following this one - in fact I have already purchased them!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 6, 2007

    WOW!!

    I could read this book again and again. I could NOT put it down i finished it in one day. A friend of mine purchased the book at random and brought it down to me when she was finished and told me to read it. I am so glad she did. I cant wait to read the rest of the McKettrick books!!!!!

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Great romance

    She wanted to say no to her odious demanding boss Nigel Meerland, but he made it clear failure to do what he wants means firing. Cheyenne Bridges reluctantly returns to her hometown of Indian Rock, Arizona because her mother and her younger brother depend on her. Her assignment is to persuade, anyway she can, her high school boyfriend Jesse McKettrick to sell land so that Meerland can complete a condominium development deal.------------- Though recognizing Cheyenne as quite a lure, Jesse refuses to sell the land that his nineteenth century ancestors developed (see MCKETTRICK¿S CHOICE, THE MAN FROM STONE CREEK, and DEADLY GAMBLE). He also denies how much Cheyenne stirs his blood as he prefers real poker to strip poker. On the other hand Cheyenne considers seducing him to sell the desired land, but fears that the wild confirmed womanizing bachelor will call her bluff.---------------- - Linda Lael Miller displays her talent for characterization as she takes her nineteenth century McKettrick tales and brings it to 2007 with the modern day descendents starting with MCKETTRICK¿S LUCK. The story line is action-packed especially when developers forcibly push and fast-paced when the lead couple hide their cards. Fans of the previous western romantic miniseries and contemporary readers will enjoy the opening gamut of Ms. Miller¿s latest McKettrick Men (and their women) tales.--------- Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 19, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 55 Customer Reviews

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