Once a Rancher

Once a Rancher

4.4 20
by Linda Lael Miller

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The Carsons of Mustang Creek: three men who embody the West and define what it means to be a rancher, a cowboy and a hero in this brand-new series from the queen of Western romance

Slater Carson, the oldest brother, might be a filmmaker by trade, but he's still a cowboy at heart—and he knows the value of a hard day's work under the hot


The Carsons of Mustang Creek: three men who embody the West and define what it means to be a rancher, a cowboy and a hero in this brand-new series from the queen of Western romance

Slater Carson, the oldest brother, might be a filmmaker by trade, but he's still a cowboy at heart—and he knows the value of a hard day's work under the hot Wyoming sun. So when he sees troubled teen Ryder heading down a dangerous path, he offers the boy a job on the ranch he shares with his two younger brothers. And since Ryder's guardian is the gorgeous new Mustang Creek resort manager, Grace Emery, Slater figures it can't hurt to keep a closer eye on her as well…

Grace Emery doesn't have time for romance. Between settling in to her new job and caring for her ex-husband's rebellious son, her attraction to larger-than-life Slater is a distraction she can't afford. But when an unexpected threat emerges, she'll discover just how far Slater will go to protect what matters most—and that love is always worth fighting for.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 03/07/2016
Readers are transported to Mustang Creek, Wyo., in this marvelous contemporary western trilogy launch, loosely connected to several of Miller’s previous books. Filmmaker Slater Carson is one of the three Carson boys, regarded as something like royalty in the small town. He’s barely finished shooting his latest documentary when Grace Emery comes storming into town with her teen stepson, Ryder, in tow. Grace made the move from Seattle to Mustang Creek in an attempt to build a new life for herself after a divorce. Even though she’s no longer with Ryder’s father, she still loves Ryder like he’s her own. Grace and Slater’s paths don’t so much cross as spectacularly collide, and the typical getting-to-know you dance is fraught with amazing chemistry. Current hot-topic issues such as blended families and nontraditional parenting are integrated seamlessly with a well-told romance. Faces familiar from Miller’s Bliss County series provide a warm counterpoint to the sizzling attraction and hint of mystery that draw the protagonists together. A dash of storytelling magic keeps the pages turning even as the way is paved for the next two books. Agent: Irene Goodman, Irene Goodman Literary. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
"Linda Lael Miller creates vibrant characters and stories I defy you to forget." -#1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber

"[A] marvelous contemporary western trilogy launch...fraught with amazing chemistry." -Publishers Weekly, starred review, on Once a Rancher

"Miller delights readers... The coming together of the two families was very well written and the characters are fraught with humor and sexual tension, which leads to a lovely HEA [happily ever after]." -RT Book Reviews on The Marriage Season

"The Marriage Season is a wonderfully candid example of a contemporary western with the requisite ranch, horses, kids and dogs-wouldn't be a Linda Lael Miller story without pets... The Brides of Bliss County novels do not have to be read in order but it would be a shame to miss some of the most endearing love stories that feature rugged, handsome cowboys." -Fresh Fiction

"Fans of Linda Lael Miller will fall in love with The Marriage Pact and without a doubt be waiting for the next installments... Her ranch-based westerns have always entertained and stayed with me long after reading them."
-Idaho Statesman

"All three titles should appeal to readers who like their contemporary romances Western, slightly dangerous and graced with enlightened (more or less) bad-boy heroes."
-Library Journal on the Montana Creeds series

"An engrossing, contemporary western romance... Miller's masterful ability to create living, breathing characters never flags, even in the case of Echo's dog, Avalon; combined with a taut story line and vivid prose, Miller's romance won't disappoint."
-Publishers Weekly on McKettrick's Pride (starred review)

"Miller's name is synonymous with the finest in western romance. From the hard realities of life in an untamed land to the passionate people who bring the colorful history to life, she brings the best of the West to readers, never failing to deliver a great read!"
-RT Book Reviews on McKettrick's Choice

Library Journal
From the moment titian-haired Grace Emery walks into his office on his family's sprawling ranch with her rebellious teenage stepson in tow, documentary filmmaker Slater Carson knows he wants to know her better. However, to wary Grace, divorced ex-cop and manager of a local resort and spa, wealthy, good-looking Slater has all the signs of a man to avoid. But Mustang Creek is a small town, and that will be hard, especially when events keep throwing them together—and when the attraction between them begins to sizzle. Difficult characters and tense situations add a touch of danger to the mix. VERDICT Two people with vastly different backgrounds discover a true partnership in a story that burgeons with Western flavor and rural, ranch-life charm. A solid start to a promising series set in Miller's beloved Mustang Creek. Miller (Christmas in Mustang Creek) lives in the country near Spokane.

Product Details

Publication date:
Carsons of Mustang Creek Series , #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.10(w) x 6.50(h) x 1.00(d)

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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Once a Rancher 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
As always another good book by linda lael miller, got hooked right away, im a little disapointed in the love scenes not as graphic as they normally are other than that great read, hopefully love scenes will be better in the next two books
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am an avid reader and am always amazed that when a story is written by one of your favorite authors you get hooked by the first paragraph or sometimes by the first sentence. This book was no exception. For me it explored the fact that your heart chooses the one you love. I can wait for books 2 &3. Hurry please.
kitty36LD 4 months ago
Very slow read but it covers making a movie and running a ranch. Lots of twist and turns in it but it does have an ending.
julieford 5 months ago
Linda Lael Miller knows how to spark interest in cowboys. This is the first in the series, The Carsons of Mustang Creek. This story is filled with humor, love and a little drama. Slater Carson, known to his brothers as Showbiz, is the oldest brother and a documentary film maker. Grace Emery is a former cop, hotel manager and is raising her ex-husband's 14 year old son. Slater meets Grace when her stepson steals a sign belonging to his production company. Slater is instantly taken but Grace is fighting her feelings the entire time. When danger follows Grace, Slater does everything he can to protect her and her stepson.
Anonymous 5 months ago
I enjoyed reading about Slater, Grace, and Ryder. I loved that Slater's whole family would jump right in and help. I look forward to reading the next book when it comes out.
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DebsIN More than 1 year ago
Linda Lael Miller does western romance with some suspense like no other. You cannot help but fall in love with her heroes and Slater is one of those.The Carson boys are all hard working men that protect those they love and have with a strong sense of family values. We are introduced to many new faces and a couple of old ones, with "Once A Rancher" about the oldest Carson son. Slater, protecting and riding to Grace's and Ryder's rescue kept me reading into the wee hours to finish. Slater and Grace have a romance that people dream of, and isn't reading about these men and their women what we are aiming for? I highly recommend this one, you will love it. 4.5 Stars!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
GHott More than 1 year ago
I absolutely adored Once a Rancher!! This group of people was so much fun! They were loving, kind, and so much fun. Plus, to top it off I thoroughly enjoyed every word of the story. The romance, the conflict, and the danger were a great mesh! I can’t wait to read the next book in the Mustang Creek series! More about Once a Rancher… Author: Linda Lael Miller Source: NetGalley Publisher & Date: March 29th 2016 by HQN Books Genre: Contemporary Romance, Suspense ISBN: 0373779682 (ISBN13: 9780373779680) Pages: 320 Grade: A+ Ages: 16+ Steam: Adult | 2 short low description scenes Setting: Mustang Creek, Wyoming Series: The Carsons of Mustang Creek #1
BooksAndSpoons More than 1 year ago
Refreshingly original, entertaining family saga, or at least the first part of it. I honestly love this story, for many reasons, but any story that gets me to smile and laugh out loud, and tear up within the same page, has me so engaged with the tale and characters, that I have a hard time putting the book down, that story will get my vote. I love the Carson family. The extended Carson family. And Mrs A. I have a feeling we would have a lot in common. The brothers are just crazy, adorable, annoying, and lovable, all at the same time. And Harry, I really want to spend a week in the kitchen with her. Slater and Grace have amazing chemistry sizzling between them. And there's no such thing as 'formula', when it comes to this romantic story, no way. They fall head over the heels for each other, even though they try to fight it, at least for a week. Everything happens SO fast, it is insta everything, but it is also genuine, real, and certain. They are just oozing out joy, happiness, protectiveness, love, caring and understanding each other. They talk about things, when they get a minute in their busy lives, they see each other's weaknesses and strengths, but celebrate them, instead of making them a problem. They get each other, and are perfect, for each other, not as a person. The family unit they make, is a unique, but tells more about them as people, than anything else, how they form a bond of acceptance in a heart, and make them family. There are interesting, intriguing details in the story, that paint the picture of the events, in the least fact. The history of the area, the respect of the past, is imbedded into the story in a clever way. Just like the clever parenting advice, and life lessons are. This is one of those stories that I wanted to savor, while relishing it down. I adore the characters, they are all people I would love to get to know and hang out with, so real, positive, and filled with enthusiasm. The tale had some amazing one liners in it, things that I wrote down, and want to think about, words that made an impact, in the midst of all the romance and family disarray. I really hope the next instalment comes out quickly, since I already miss the cast and crew! ~ Five Spoons
alterlisa More than 1 year ago
Miller never fails to leave me satisfied after reading one of her western romances and always has me checking to see when the next book in a series is being released. As always, I'm never disappointed in the characters or the storyline. I love how each book I pick up is always a fresh read and a new take on a cowboy. I never feel that I've read this story before and she is simple amazing at intertwining suspense with romance. Miller's books continue to be on my auto buy list as I've yet to read one that didn't leave me sighing and wishing I'd grown up in the west.
Pure_Jonel More than 1 year ago
She’s back! I’ll admit that Miller’s past few releases haven’t sparked my interest as much as her older work did, but with this one, I’m all on board again. She returns to her roots with a compelling plot and complex characters that I couldn’t get enough of. A sense of the world today is tempered by a timeless quality. This is definitely a novel that will go the distance. Picturesque scenery combined with a heart wrenching, captivating plot that drew me in without a second’s hesitation. I enjoyed how this novel ties into Mustang Creek & Bliss County. This town is really starting to grow on me. At the same time, this novel stands well on its own if you’ve never read any of those novels. Slater was a blast. The mix between tough & caring, rancher and film maker was so dynamic. I also enjoyed how Grace realises she’s trying to be too strong for her own good. Don’t get me wrong, she wasn’t a weak heroine by any means, but knowing that she needed help made her so much more real. And don’t even get me started on the rest of the Carsons. This was far and beyond a fun cast to spend time with. I will say, however, that I hope things get sorted out for Ryder in future novels. He really needs a sense of permanence somewhere. As a whole this was a great small town romance. I enjoyed the mix of concepts along with the well written dynamic of the novel as a whole. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to others. Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's great.