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Montana Creeds: Tyler [Mass Market Paperback]

Linda Lael Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

April 1 2009 Montana Creeds
Whether winning championship belt buckles or dealing with Hollywood types for endorsement deals, former rodeo star Tyler Creed can handle anything. Except standing on the same patch of land as his estranged brothers. Yet here they are in Stillwater Springs, barely talking but trying to restore the old Creed ranch—and family.

Lily Kenyon knows all about family estrangements and secrets. The single mom has come home to set things right, to put down roots for her daughter. What she doesn't expect is Tyler Creed, whom she's loved since childhood. Now the handsome, stubborn cowboy who left home to seek his fortune just might find it was always under the Montana sky.…


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About 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 LindaLaelMiller.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Tyler Creed suppressed a grin as the old guy in the Wal-Mart parking lot stared, dumbfounded, at the fancy set of keys resting in his work-roughened palm. Blinked a couple of times, like somebody trying to shake off an illusion, then gave the brim of his well-worn baseball cap an anxious tug. According to the bright yellow stitching on the hat, his name was Walt and he was the world's greatest dad.

Walt looked at his ten-year-old Chevy truck, the sides streaked with dry dirt, the mud flaps coated, and then shifted to stare at Tyler's shiny white Escalade.

"I thought you was kiddin', mister," he said. "You really want to trade that Cadillac, straight across, for my old rig? It's got near a hundred thousand miles on it, this junker, and every once in a while, a part falls off. Last week, it was the muffler—"

Tyler nodded, weary of Walt's prattle but not about to show it. "That's the idea," he replied quietly.

The aging redneck approached the Cadillac, touched the hood with something like reverence. "Is this thing stolen?" Walt asked, understandably suspicious. After all, Tyler reflected, a man didn't run across a deal like that every day, especially in Crap Creek, Montana, or whatever the hell that wide spot in the road was called.

Tyler chuckled. "No, sir," he said. "I own it, fair and square. The title's in the glove compartment. You agree, and I'll sign off on it right now, and be on my way."

"Wait till Myrtle comes out with the groceries and sees this," the old fella marveled, hooking his thumbs in the straps of his greasy bib overalls, shaking his head once and finally cutting loose with a gap-toothed smile. Walt needed dental work.

Tyler waited.

"I still don't understand why any sane man would want to make a swap like this," Walt insisted. "Could be, you're not right in the head." He paused, squinted up into Tyler's impassive face. "You look all right, though."

Involuntarily, Tyler glanced at his watch, an expensive number with a twenty-four-karat-gold rodeo cowboy riding a bronc inlaid in the platinum face. Diamonds glittered at the twelve, three, six and nine spots, and the thing was as incongruous with who he was as the pricey SUV he was virtually giving away, but he'd never considered parting with the watch. His late wife, Shawna, had sold her horse trailer and a jeweled saddle she'd won in a barrel racing event to buy it for him, the day he took his first championship.

"I don't know as I'm eager to trade with a man in a hurry," Walt said astutely, narrowing his weary eyes a little. "You're runnin' from somethin', and it might be the law. I don't need that kind of trouble, I can tell you. Myrtle and me, we got ourselves a nice life—nothin' fancy—I worked at the lumber mill for thirty years—but the double-wide is paid off and we manage to scrape together ten bucks for each of the grandchildren on their birthdays—"

Tyler suppressed a sigh.

"That's some watch," Walt observed, in no particular hurry to finalize the bargain. The wise gaze took in Tyler's jeans and shirt, newly purchased at rollback prices, lingered on his costly boots, handmade in a specialty shop in Texas. Rose again to his black Western hat, pulled low over his eyes. "You win it rodeoin' or somethin'?"

"Or something," Tyler confirmed. His own brothers, Logan and Dylan, didn't know about his marriage to Shawna, or the accident that had killed her; he wasn't about to confide in a stranger he'd met in the parking lot at Wal-Mart.

"You look like a bronc-buster," Walt decided, after another leisurely once-over. "Sorta familiar, too."

You look like a forklift driver, Tyler responded silently. He looped his thumbs in the waistband of his stiff new jeans. "Deal or no deal?" he asked mildly.

"Let me see that title," Walt said, still hedging his bets. "And some identification, if you don't mind."

Knowing it wouldn't matter if he did mind, Tyler fetched the requested document from the SUV, pausing to pat the ugly dog he'd found half-starved in another parking lot, in another town, on the long road home.

"Dog part of the swap?" Walt asked, getting cagier now.

"No," Tyler said. "He stays with me."

Walt looked regretful. "That's too bad. Ever since my blue tick hound, Minford, died of old age last winter, I've been hankerin' to get me another dog. They're good company, and with Myrtle waitin' tables every day to bank-roll her bingo habit, I'm alone a lot."

"Plenty of dogs in need of homes," Tyler pointed out. "The shelters are full of them."

"Reckon that's so," Walt agreed. He studied the title Tyler handed over like it was a summons or something. "Looks all right," he said. "Let's see that ID."

Tyler pulled his wallet from his hip pocket and produced a driver's license.

Walt's rheumy eyes widened a little, and he whistled, low and shrill, in exclamation. "Tyler Creed," he said. "I thought I'd heard that name before, when I saw it on the title to this Caddie of yours. Four times world champion bronc-rider. Seen you on ESPN many a time. In some TV commercials, too. Takes guts to stand in front of a camera wearing nothing but boxer-briefs and a shit-eatin' grin the way you done, but you pulled it off, sure as hell. My daughter Margie has a calendar full of pictures of you—two years out of date and she still won't take it down off the wall. Pisses her husband off somethin' fierce."

Inwardly, Tyler sighed. Outwardly, he stayed cool.

"Myrtle and me, we'd be glad to have you come to our place for supper," Walt went on.

"No time," Tyler said, hoping he sounded regretful.

Walt looked him over once more, shook his head again and got his own paperwork out of that rattletrap truck of his. Signed his name on the dotted line. "Just let me fetch my toolbox out of the back," he said.

"I'll get my own gear while you're doing that," Tyler answered, relieved.

The switch was made. Tyler had his duffel bag, his dog and his guitar case in the Chevy before Walt set his red metal toolbox in the back of the Escalade.

"Sure you won't come to supper?" Walt asked, as a woman emerged from Wal-Mart and headed toward them, pushing a cart and looking puzzled.

"Wish I could," Tyler lied, climbing into the Chevy. If he drove hard, he and Kit Carson, the dog, would be in Stillwater Springs by the time the sun went down. They'd lie low at the cabin overnight, and come morning, he'd find his brother Logan and punch him in the face.

Again.

Maybe he'd put Dylan's lights out, too, for good measure.

But mainly, heading home was about facing up to some things, settling them in his mind.

"See you," he told Walt.

And before the old man could answer, Tyler laid rubber.

Five miles outside Crap Creek, the Chevy's muffler dropped to the blacktop and dragged, with an earsplit-ting clatter, throwing blue and orange sparks.

"Shit," Tyler said.

Kit Carson gave a sympathetic whine.

Well, he'd wanted to go back and find out who he'd have been without the rodeo, the money and Shawna. This was country life, for regular folks.

And it wasn't as if Walt hadn't warned him, he thought.

With a grimace, Tyler pulled to the side of the road, shut the truck off and scooted underneath the pickup on his back, with damage control on his mind. Just like the bad old days, he reflected, when he and his dad, Jake, had played shade-tree mechanic in the yard at the ranch, trying to keep some piece-of-shit car running until payday.

Whatever Walt's other talents might be, muffler repair wasn't among them. He'd duct-taped the part in place, and now the tape hung in smoldering shreds and the muffler looked as though somebody had peppered it with buckshot.

Tyler sighed, shimmied out from under the truck again and got to his feet, dusting off his jeans and trying in vain to get a look at the back of his shirt. Kit sat in the driver's seat, nose smudging up the window, panting.

Easing the dog back so he could get his cell phone out of the dirt-crusted cup well in the truck's console, Tyler called 411 and asked to be connected to the nearest towing outfit.

Lily Kenyon wasn't having second thoughts about staying on in Montana to look after her ailing father as she and a nurse muscled him into her rented Taurus in front of Missoula General Hospital. She was having forty-third thoughts, seventy-eighth thoughts; she'd left second ones behind about half an hour after she and her six-year-old daughter, Tess, rushed into the admittance office a week before, fresh from the airport.

Lily had remembered her father as a good-natured if somewhat distracted man, even-tempered and funny. Until her teens, she'd spent summers in Stillwater Springs, sticking to his heels like a wad of chewing gum as he saw four-legged patients in his veterinary clinic, trailing him from barn to barn while he made his rounds, tending sick cows, horses, goats and barn cats. He'd been kind, referring to her as his assistant and calling her "Doc Ryder," and it had made her feel proud, because that was what folks in that small Montana community called him.

In those little-girl days, Lily had wanted to be just like her dad.

Now, though, she was having a hard time squaring the man she recalled with the one her bitter, angry mother described after the divorce. The one who never showed up on the doorstep, sent Christmas or birthday cards, or even called to ask how she was.

Let alone sent a plane ticket so she could visit.

Now, after seven long days of putting up with his crotchety ways, she understood her mom's attitude a little better, even though it still smarted, the way Lucy Ryder Cook could never speak of her ex-husband without pursing her lips afterward. Hal Ryder, aka Doc, seemed fond of Tess, but every time he looked at Lily, she saw angry, baffled pain in his eyes.

Once her father and daughter were buckled in, Hal in the front and Tess in the special booster seat the law required of anyone under a certain age and height, Lily slid behind the wheel and tried to center herself. The day was hot, even for July; the hospital had been blessedly cool, but the vents on the dashboard of the rental were still huffing out blasts of heat.

Sweat dam...


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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Montana Creeds, Tyler July 6 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Linda writes amazing stories, I am just starting this book because you must read the first two first, Logan and Dylan. Once you start reading those two there is no stopping, just like any series she writes like the McKettricks.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.5 out of 5 stars  80 reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This is NOT a typical LLM. Ghostwriter? April 27 2009
By Janet - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Have you ever read an author's every book and, for the most part, liked her work, then pick up one of hers and it is so bad or so 'off' that you think surely someone else wrote it? That is what my thoughts are on "Tyler". Linda Lael Miller is hit or miss for me, but more hits than misses. So, I autobuy her books.

I liked "Logan" ok, liked "Dylan" better, but I can't even finish "Tyler". I was completely turned off by Tyler's affair with a woman 15 years older than him when he was a teen and dating Lily. I was completely turned off by his lackadaisical attitude, in the present, about it and the fact he cheated on Lily every night that he dated her. Ok, so I thought, there still could a developing story with redemption in my mind. Apparently not to be. Surely Lily would hold him at arms length and not forgive him without, at least, a reasonable explanation for his cheating and having sex with the waitress who 'got around.' Nope. Surely, he would feel some remorse for his slutty ways as a teen. Nope.

SPOILERS:
I was so turned off by Lily's complete acquiesce to Tyler in her present life, when she was supposedly so hurt by his cheating and dumping her. The book took the wrong turn immediately when she so quickly accepted a date with him, without barely a "how are you? How have you been?" Then, right away, she runs into him in a Walmart and "gets off" just from him looking at her. And he's so very pleased with himself, pleased that his affair with the older woman taught him how to "get her off" with just a look. It went down hill from there. The date - he picked her up and instead of a "Hi" or a "You look nice" he tells her they should just get right to the sex. This is the 1st time they have seen each other in years, mind you! AND SHE IS OK WITH THAT! And he 'gets her off' with his mouth and hands in his car - they didn't even make it to dinner! No "How have you been?" No discussion whatsoever about his dumping her. She apparently forgot all her hurt feelings and just wanted an orgasm or 3. Keep in mind, they have just met after several years of not seeing each other or talking to each other.

There was absolutely no character development, story development, no emotions. So, I had to just stop reading. I did skim through to see if maybe somehow it changed, but no such deal.

As I said, this was not a typical Linda Lael Miller in my mind. It was not even close to what I've read of hers. Tyler was unlikable and Lily was spineless. I am sorry I spent money on this one.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I hope for so much more April 2 2009
By Country Girl - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was so excited for this to come out. I really thought it would be the best book of the series. It may have been a really good book if I had not of read Dylan. Tyler was the hottest and baddest brother. That hype was lived up to. This book has hotter bedroom scenes than most LLM books. They start out pretty early in the book.

The thing that really threw my for a loop is that this book and Dylan share an almost identical story line. A parent selling a child to the other parent. The book Mckettrick heart also has this story line.

I enjoyed this book but I was really looking for something different. If your a fan of LLM you probably like it.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Montana Crud April 2 2009
By Deborah Verlen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Tyler Creed comes back to Stillwater Springs, Montana to decide about his life and meets up with an old love and a son he never knew he had.

That is the short synoposis.

Most folks reading this will probably have read Dylan and Logan. This book will be a real let down and series disappointment. This series is the only set of books I've read for the author, so I don't really know what her writing skills are beyond Montana Creed. This book though was an insult to the fans of the series and possibly her fans as a whole.

Tyler had such interesting hints for character development in the first two books of the series. Not sure what happened here, but the book doesn't make a lot of sense and seems more focused on Tyler's sexual skill than any type of plot line.

It starts out with Tyler returning to Montana with Kit Carson, an old dog he adopted. The author never adequately explains why he did suddenly did this after living a life in the rodeo. We see Tyler in the parking lot of a mall trading his new SUV/Truck for an old run down truck from some guy he never met. Again, there is not an adequate explanation for this. The author seems to imply that Tyler wants to go back as having no money so he can be accepted for himself. Well, duh, as the author states several times in the book--you can search the Internet on anyone for information--which then would lead the searcher(s) to know Tyler isn't rock bottom poor.

Of course the truck breaks down and who should just happen along? Lily Kenyon, Tyler's first love. When they were teenagers they were a hot and heavy item with no sex since Tyler was getting that from a waitress. This in turn drove them apart. Lily's father Hal (who had the heart attack in book two) divorced her mother and sent Lily away. She married and had a child. Husband died, she returns to Stillwater to nurse her father until he totally recovers from the heart attack.

Tyler's sexual skill is such that he is able to bring Lily to orgasm by just looking at her and touching her hand in the Wal-Mart. From there every time they meet he proves what a stud he is between the sheets.

Somewhere in the story he ends up finding out he has a son with the waitress he had the affair with while courting Lily.

And also thrown into the story is the fact that Tyler had been married and his wife had died in a car crash. By the end of the book I was reading pretty fast to make the mediocrity of the story end, but I don't believe Tyler ever told his family or Lily about the marriage. After his estrangement ends with the brothers he does tell one of them something like he'll tell Dylan later. Seems like a pretty big happening in Tyler's life to not mention to Lily.

Lily's character seemed to suffer most. Whereas Tyler's character had very little depth and development, Lily's seems to change for no reason from independent woman to slave to her desire for Tyler.

In Chicago where she had been living it seemed like she was a strong woman. She was raising her six year old daughter, working in a high level/paced job. Owned her own condo. And basically was strong and independent. She returns to Stillwater Springs and suddenly her dad from whom she has been estranged and her daughter tell her she is unhappy and she believes it. Everytime she sees Tyler she thinks with her hormones. In fact after the second hot-between-the-sheets session, she comes home to tell her six year old that she is marrying Tyler. Now really, if you were the parent of a six year old who had lost her father two years before would you just show up the next morning and say you were getting married? Would you not make sure that there was a basis for the marriage to flourish for the child's sake?

Oh well, this is romantic fiction and romantic fiction at its most mediocre.

This is a romance book, but it was really short on romance. Really short on any type of growth between the characters. Really short on a believable plot. Kind of stretched your credibility with all the complexity of the various subplots that never quite came together.

It seemed more like the author said "gosh, I've got a third book to produce and no clue as to what I want to do so therefore let's throw in lots of sex to make up for the abysmal lack of content and to glue the story together."

My advice? Skip this one or at least save yourself the money and get it out from the library.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The plot stunk! Aug. 25 2010
By Mom in Michigan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've read lots of reviews from other readers here in hopes of finding something I must be missing. I mean 13 people liked this book so maybe I overlooked a section or two. After reading the reviews with the 1 star, I have to admit this book was pretty bad.

BEWARE- SOME SPOILERS BELOW>

First, I want to say I wasn't disturbed by the sex scenes. I just didn't understand how Lily, who dumped Tyler 14 years ago for cheating, can "do it" on the first date. Heck, it wasn't even a date...just sex. The reader doesn't feel any connection between the two of them. LLM should've made Tyler grovel just a little bit. Lily doesn't seem to have apparent self-esteem issues so why did she want this rotten weasel dog back.

The most likeable character in this book was Tyler's dog. Also, did Davie have to turn out to be Tyler's son with Lily accepting that fact without any discord at all?

Just want to know what LLM was thinking when she wrote this horrible storyline.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Love to read July 1 2009
By Theresa - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was so disappointed in this book! I had read Logan & Dylan and was looking forward to the last book. Tyler was a disappointment from the start. I almost stopped reading at the Wal-Mart scene, but because I usually love Linda's books I continued on thinking it would get better. When Lily took off her underwear minutes after getting in the car with Tyler on the way to dinner after not seeing him for years...I put the book down. There should have been some resolution of the past hurts before they became sexually active. I will be careful and read the reviews on Linda's books before I blindly buy the next one. I am sorry I wasted my money on this one!!
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