An 1900s Western Romance (A Stone Creek Novel) - The Man from Stone Creek

By Linda Lael Miller

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
There's a new schoolmaster in Haven, Arizona, and he's making waves. While the current teacher is the bookish wimp of a man the residents of Haven expect to find doing woman's work, his replacement is something else altogether. Sam O'Ballivan may be a schoolmaster but he's not like any this town has ever seen. In fact, he's big and he's broad and he's armed and he has the women of Haven, from housewives to ladies of the evening, swooning.

One woman who is immune to his sterling qualities, however, is postmistress and merchant Maddie Chancelor. Already overprotective of her younger brother, Terran, Miss Chancelor doesn't take kindly when the new schoolmaster upbraids him for a boyish but potentially harmful prank within minutes of riding into town. Maddie is determined to keep the undercover lawman at arm's length, but that proves harder and harder to do as they are repeatedly thrown together.

While Sam is taking on the local children as well as working undercover to round up a local band of train robbers and rustlers, Maddie Chancelor is a complication he didn't anticipate. He may be engaged to the girl back home, but it's Maddie who fills his mind and heats his loins even as she's railing at him for his shortcomings. He can't help but be enchanted by this woman's beauty and personality even as she hides her inner tenderness under a tough exterior designed to help her provide for herself and her brother in a man's world.

It doesn't take long for Sam to hone in on possible suspects for wrongdoing when he encounters the wild and wanton Donagher family. The patriarch, Mungo, is a stern and scowling man who keeps his four sons in line with fear and physical violence. Too bad he doesn't have the same effect on his hot-to-trot wife, Undine, who has developed a strong attraction to Sam.

It's hard for a man to get any work done, however, when there is a constant stream of the needy dropping in on him in the schoolhouse. From little Violet Perkins who needs to be taught to bathe and could use some new clothes, to Oralee Pringle, the proprietress of the Rattlesnake Saloon and a puppy in need of a home, everyone seems to need a piece of Sam's time. Even fancy woman Bird of Paradise comes bearing food and offers of other sensual delights enough to tempt a man. Somehow though, Sam manages to stick to his business even if his mind tends to wander to more pleasurable pursuits.

THE MAN FROM STONE CREEK by Linda Lael Miller is an absolutely delightful romance with plenty of action that transported me to the Old West and kept me there page after page as I got to know the endearing residents of Haven. It's a definite keeper for my bookshelf and one I'll take time to reread even when I'm tempted by the plethora of new books that constantly vie for my attention. It's one of those books that makes you wonder, long after you've read the last page, what the people you've come to know and love are doing.

--- Reviewed by Amie Taylor
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I'm a first time reader of Miller's work and very much enjoyed reading this story. I never wanted to put it down. The Western flavor made it a fun read and the characters were wonderful. They were distinct and the reader is able to know each well without the author trying to tell too much. The writing was fluid and unexpectedly good. I've read so many lemons lately it's such a nice surprise to pick one up and not want to put it down. Often with series writers, it's easy to feel that the author is simply following a formula and putting in filler to get the story completed. Not so here. Great job and definite recommended read.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
karen hartman
This is the book that started the Stone Creek series. Ranger Sam O'Ballivan, Rowdy Rhodes are among the characters that that are featured in the book. It is a good introduction to the series even though it is not set in Stone Creek In fact it is only at the end of the book that Sam and Mattie arrive at the ranch. It has been awhile since I read any of the Stone Creek Novels so this was a good reminder of Linda Lael Miller's writing style. It is somewhat different in this series. The book moves much slower, all of the characters are new and have to be developed, and the setting the story in 1905 makes for some difference in how things are done.
Big Sky Secrets (The Parable Series) :: A Western Redemption Romance (McKettrick Men) - McKettrick's Heart :: Tate (McKettrick Series Book 11) - McKettricks of Texas :: A Western Romance (The Carsons of Mustang Creek) - Once a Rancher :: Montana Creeds: Tyler (The Montana Creeds)
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The Man From Stone Creek is a historical western romance set in 1903 in the Arizona Territory. The main romance is filled with suspense as the hero seeks to round up cattle rustlers and train robbers. The novel achieves an emotional depth as the heroine's romance heals a past tragedy. Linda Lael Miller's romance, however, is not just a hero-heroine romance --- it is the romance of a whole town where justice is found and the downtrodden find love.

Lawman Sam O'Ballivan has come to town to replace the schoolteacher. The minute he arrives, the local schoolboy fight and the boys learn justice O'Ballivan style. The boy who teased another is himself held by his feet with his head dangling down the well. The disciplined boy's complaints to his mother brings him to the attention of postmistress Maddie Chancelor. The sparks fly. When they collide, circumstances force Maddie into the sight of the most dangerous family in town. With Sam by her side, will she conquer the past or will his secret mission place her in the thick of even more trouble?

Sam may be working undercover to capture the castle rustlers and thieves terrorizing the local area, but his efforts to blend just seem to lead him into more trouble. Just as he realizes Maddie has his heart, his intended bride comes in on the stagecoach. Can it get any worse? Of course! The question is can all this danger change hearts so that romance succeeds?

Linda Lael Miller's magnificent romance is more than just Sam and Maddie. The reader sees problems that plagued the American West: the terrorists of the day, sickness, brothels which were often the only way for a woman to survive, children left orphaned or in need, and those left behind in the huge expansion of the West. The author does not shrink from the unpleasant realities of the historical setting, but she creates a romance where hearts are healed. Orphans and lost souls (children, adults and animals) find goodness, and justice is served. When her characters dare to opens their hearts and expose their vulnerabilities, love is found, and the lost or neglected who surround them get found.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I've not read anything by this author before; I like to try new authors and genres. This is a tale of Ranger Sam, Maddie and the unraveling of good and evil in a southern Arizona town in 1903.

I found the characters a bit simplistic and the plot a bit twee; however Miller writes description and place with a very sure hand. Even though this is not my kind of read I found myself find if Maddie and Sam in spite of myself.

This book is part if a series but I felt it worked very well as a stand alone book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Linda Lael Miller has written a solid American Western with a wonderful hero. Strangely, much of the novel is told through her hero's eyes. And, what an interesting man he is. I can't remember a Western in which the hero is, on the one hand, a tough and seasoned Ranger, but on the other, a tender hearted teacher who constantly takes the downtrodden under his wings - whether they be poor children, women, or even animals. Miller made an interesting and unique character in Sam O'Ballivan. Her heroine is not as fleshed-out as Sam, but still likeable. One of the best aspects of the book, however, is the well-told and intriguing story in which the reader comes upon some form of crisis in almost every other chapter. It's quite a page-turner.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jolanta jolanciukas
What can I say? Ms. Miller has given us another wonderful cowboy read. Her attention to details and knowledge of the old west take the reader back in time so you feel like you are really there.

The story is a nice blend of romance, adventure and wild-west chase-and-capture-the-bad-guys. The characters are well rounded and I like that there are children in the story. That always does it for me.

Two Thumbs Up!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jacki leach
Sam O'Ballivan, SO'B, Ranger and Schoolmaster on the Arizona/Texas border. Interesting combination, but the book is a good read. The names Terran, Mungo and Undine seem somewhat unusual. Linda Lael Miller is becoming a favourite writer, Dime Novels or no.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nicole rubin
As always, was not disappointed in this Linda Lael Miller book. Fast moving and kept my interest. Would recommend it highly. Can't wait for her next new book to come out.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
renee bowser
If I could I'd give this introduction to the Stone Creek series about 3.5 stars I would. The main characters are smart, likeable and seem to develop a very plausible affection for each other. I think I could give it a higher rating as a romance if the love story had a lttle more page time. However, the suspense plot was so developed that the hero spent a considerable amount of time away from the heroine. If you like this story you'll enjoy the next in the series A Wanted Man even more.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I am not a person who likes to read historical books. Heck I don't like to read. I am dyslexic and really don't like to read. I found myself laughing and actually enjoying this book. Sam is a great character. He is quiet,controlled hero in this book. Maddie is a strong-willed woman that has a big heart. Even though she doesn't want to show anyone she does reach out to the kids and to Sam. Her heart and head are in conflict with each other. Sam is having the same problem too. After she finds out who and what Sam really is she finds she still loves him. Sam has to decide if he is going to listen to his heart though. I am not going to tell you what happens. You will have to read it just like I did. I really liked it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
erin molnar
The characters were well-written and three-dimensional, except for Sam's childhood sweetheart, Abigail. She is written as an afterthought; it is made clear that Sam prefers Maddie, and almost as soon as Abigail makes an appearance, she is pronounced sickly and dies due to a heart problem. What was that?! Aside from the Abigail digression, I enjoyed the overall plot and characters.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
andreanna nafie wynkoop
"The Man from Stone Creek" is another great novel by Linda Lael Miller. It contains very interesting characters and a great love story. I found the western setting of the story to be very appealing. There is much to like about "The Man from Stone Creek" and very little to complain about. It's a great read!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Back of book: There was trouble in Haven, Arizona, and Ranger Sam O'Ballivan was determined to sort it all out. Badge and gun hidden, he arrived posing as the new schoolteacher, and his first order of business was to bring the rough ranchers' children under control. To that end, he called on Maddie Chancelor, the local postmistress, whose young brother was in firm need of discipline.
Sam wasn't sure what to expect, but it was definitely not this graceful woman whose prim, proper stance was so at odds with the fire in her eyes. Working undercover to capture a dangerous band of rustlers and train robbers was a job that had always kept him apart from other people. He was a man with his heart firmly in check, until Maddie. Now she was unwittingly tempting him down a path he'd sworn he'd never travel.
This story has some wonderful twists and turns that are not expected. It has a very sweet and touching love story. The main characters are well developed and interesting. Hard to put down, once you start reading.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Easy to read, couldn't put it down at times. The main female character was very strong and extremely likable. I'm on to "A Wanted Man" next to see what happens next in this story.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
charles cadenhead
Story telling at it's best! Will definitely keep you turning the pages, read the whole thing in 2 days (Even though I work 8 hrs a day)! Characters are well developed and engaging each with their own quirks that make them human. Unexpected twists and turns. Romance scenes pretty fiery. Overall an enjoyable read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
whitney woodward
Another hit for Lael Miller. I have read all of her books and I have to say this is one of my favorites. the blend of humor and passion in this book is unbelievable. A Wanted Man and The Rustler follow this well. She ties her characters in deliciously with lots of humor and hunkiness with strong female characters as well. No one likes a simpering woman who can't stand alone if need be. Praise to Lael Miller. Cant wait for the Bridegroom (Gideon's Story)
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I've read many books by this author. The last two books have been my favorites. The Man From Stone Creek is a western story that's beautifully told. You can picture the Arizona setting. Maddie is strong and vulnerable at the same time. Sam is everything you want in a hero. He's tender and caring, but he's all man. I could not put the book down. Very much worth the hardcover price, excellent read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
peggy martinez
Easy reading historical western romance. Interesting twists to the story line. Believable characters and fun dialogue.

Formatting errors.

I may re-read this book and always look forward to other works by this author.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
cyril mae
Just a so-so story that flitted about in too many directions and only skimmed the surface, never dipping deep enough to make it interesting. The whole thing seemed so forced and I never really warmed up to the characters (the hero started out interesting, but soon fizzled out.) Also, you had a Ranger who was supposed to be so tough yet so caring that he couldn't kill four outlaws who themselves had raped and brutally killed--including children--but let them go when they threatened his horse and then they went on to do more destruction??? There was little romance and little intimacy, all of it rushed in at the ending. Really, a poor take-off of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Kindergarten Cop.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
anthony buccitelli
Its not often I find a romance novel that manages to entertain my mind and make me wonder what is going to happen next. This book is worth more than one read... perhaps two or three. So get your tea or glass of wine get cozy and cuddle up with a good book tonight.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
debi thompson
I was so surprised that no one had previously reviewed this book! The story caught me from the first page, and was very hard to put back down! This book was so well written and all the characters, especially Maddie and Mr. SOB were brought to life. Humor, drama, life and death situations, this story had it all. I have to admit that I would have liked to see it end a bit differently, but for the era that the book was written in, it was appropriate! Highly Recommended!!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
beth sacks
I am concerned I have read too many Miller books for I am now at the point of reading her RE-RUNS. It seems as though this story has been told several times over under different titles. I read it, it passed the time... BUT I'm sorry this book was very similar to some of her past books namely, Two Brothers. I will say there were times in this book where I did get very emotional. The loss that the Hero experiences is very well written and touching.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This is another terrific read from Linda Lael Miller. It's a western theme, heartfelt in its writing that will tug at your heartstrings for sure. Fans of Arizona will love the setting. The characters are true to life. What a great romance.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lisa dlh
I chose this book because I had never read anything by this author and was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed it. I find I am enjoying books that take place in a western setting. I would recommend it to most of my friends.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
very well written, great character development. Good pace to the story. I love how this author can really bring a story to life and make me want more. highly recommend
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jeremy lasda
This western romance really works well. Not only is the plot and action woven together well, but I like the historical touches to the book. Overall, a thrilling read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sara broadhead
This was a good book and it held my interest well. The characters were entertaining and I look forward to reading more of her books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Linda lael Miller has become one of my very favorite authors. I especially like the Creed series, the McKettrick and Springwater series.
I love stories about the era of 1800's and follow up stories of the families.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
These books turned my wife into a raving sex maniac. Unfortunately for me at age 70, I couldn't take advantage of it. Linda Miller where were you 50 years ago :)
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
lisa miller
This book is okay. I did not feel invested in the characters despite their continued misfortunes. I did not feel that the romance was adequately developed. There are very few instances where two main characters are engaged in conversation. However, the few scenes that do exist are engaging. Overall was disappointed in this story and the ratings found on the store which led me to read it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
danielle w
Sam was able to let Maddie release her lies. Her life will be better for it. They will have their happily ever after.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alex dolan
I am not a big fan of anything western or cheesy romance stuff- I only had this to read one day, and I totally loved it!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ally fox
Very well written! I absolutely loved the characters and the storyline. Full of adventure and excitement with a few twists and turns.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
t j day
Thanks you Linda Lael Miller
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I did not want to stop reading, there were enough surprises to keep me interested. There was just enough romance.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
heba shaker
If the name Linda Lael Miller is given as the author, you can be sure you are in for a good read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I'm never dissapointed when Linda Lael Miller's name is on the cover. Excellent book!
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
jill nash
This was not a romance but a western crime novel. I didn't even finish it. I could care less what happened.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
j rgen
There's not much I can add to previous review. I agree with everything said. I enjoyed the book and did not want it to end. This is the first Linda Lael Miller book that I have read, but it definitely won't be the last.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
matt bryer
Service was quick and product arrived as promised. I would use this seller again.
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