A Western Romance (The Carsons of Mustang Creek) - Once a Rancher

By Linda Lael Miller

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jack lynch
Good book with worthwhile content that kept my attention. I like western stories.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ben ellis
Good story line and easy read
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
barbara sandusky
I like all her books even though all are similar.
Montana Series (The Parable Series) - Book 5 of Parable :: An Anthology (The Montana Creeds) - Montana Creeds :: Yankee Wife (Quade Book 1) :: McKettricks of Texas: Austin :: Tate (McKettrick Series Book 11) - McKettricks of Texas
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Good read
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
grace mullen
Very good.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
voodoo shampoo
I like the story and people, made me want to read more.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Quite a good read
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Really enjoyed the book ,
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
dario vargas
Not bad
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jesse strauss
Loved it
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I'm still reading it. Very good so far.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
loved it
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
finley david daniel
Love her srories
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
It was all great!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Great writing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
allison tomson
I have read most of this author's books and this series is just as good as the others that I have read. Reading this storyline is like watching a mini series, this family has me laughing out loud, these brothers take bets on each other... any story that has me laughing and crying deserves five-star.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Not for me. No substance.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
love it
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
sarah rose
As always, an enjoyable read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
janet s books
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Great condition
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
catherine newell
Good as usual
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jessica danz
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mark riddle
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mike j
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tim mcintosh
It was a good book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Reading it know love the book
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
heather way
Love this series!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
addie ungaretti
Great read
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Very good.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
marg dart
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I haven't read any Linda Lael Miller books in a while, so I was looking forward to reading this one! It's a great beginning of a new series featuring the Carsons of Mustang Creek. After reading this one with Slater, I feel certain the next books will have his younger brothers Mason and Drake in them, and will be just as yummy as this one was!

Slater Carson is a documentary film maker and is home after wrapping up his latest one. It's 10:00 at night, he's watching the uncut footage on this computer when his PA knocks on his door and tells him there's someone here to see him..specifically a lady. Slater wasn't happy being disturbed at home but he asked Nate to send her back. In walks Grace, quite possibly the most beautiful woman he's ever seen. She's a redhead....right up his alley! She thrust forward a 14 year old, who is Ryder, her stepson. Apparently, he'd stolen something that belonged to the Carson Ranch. One of Slater's first thoughts, was shoot, she was married!

Grace Emery was divorced and somehow wound up taking care of her stepson, Ryder. Well, she knows why she's taking care of him..the poor kid got shuffled around too much. His dad was active military and didn't have time for the child (or her, hence the divorce). His mom took off when he was born. Ryder is a bit of a troubled kid and she wants to help him.

Slater is exactly what the doctor ordered for Ryder. He begins to work on the ranch and loves it! Grace works at the local resort as a manager and she's an ex-cop. Her path crosses again with Slater for work and boy, are their sparks between them!

I loved all the characters in this book! Slater, Drake and Mace are typical brothers and their mom is the perfect glue that holds the family together! The arguing, betting and teasing between the family members makes this story believable! A great book and I look forward to the rest of this series!

Book received for an honest review.

Reviewed on behalf of Once Upon An Alpha
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
mary brahos
Have not read.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Rushed is the word I'd use to sum up this novel. It felt like the author had a deadline or something and just wanted to get it over with as soon as possible.
+mild spoilers inc+
We are told that the h is gunshy of marriage and love yet she decides to marry a man she's known for like five minutes.
We are told the H is a player -yet him (and his family) decide pretty much immediately that he's going to marry the h.
I'm willing to grant lots of leeway to romance novels in the falling in love time span category, but COME ON. So farfetched.
Not only that, but there's little character development. At the end of the novel we barely know our duo and that's disappointing because there was potential. I wanted to like them but I felt I was given fluff with little substance. There's also very little interaction between the main characters other than some banter and making out. Hell, they probably don't even know each others middle names. We basically see the same pattern repeated throughout the book. They see each other, kiss, ranch stuff, Ryder stuff, food, family stuff, sex, stalker stuff, H to the rescue, h balks at needing help, kiss. Rinse. Repeat. Meh.
No thank you.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
The first of what promises to be a great new series of memorable characters. In this first installment of The Carsons of Mustang Creek, filmmaker Slater Carson, oldest of the brothers, has just returned from his completing his latest project. Grace Emery barges into his office one evening, dragging her stepson, who has stolen a sign belonging to Slater. While the boy apologizes, the two adults look over each other and a spark of... something... occurs. You can guess what that might be.

However, before either can act on that, um, spark, Grace, a former police officer, has to fire and then with the actions of a disgruntled employee at the resort hotel she manages. When Slater offers to let Ryder learn how to ride after he earns the privilege mucking out stalls, Grace is grateful. Slater sees his offer as a way to get to know Grace. A win-win all around, but there's the issue of her ex-husband, a military man who conveniently forgets he has a son when deployed, knowing Grace has stepped up to take care of the kid.

And that pesky ex-employee. What's a reader to do but to keep turning pages to find out how it all works out in a story that generates plenty of laughs, some tears, and eventually ends happily for certain key characters. Can hardly wait for the second installment in this series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
margaret ziefert
Once a Rancher: The Carsons of Mustang Creek is by Linda Lael Miller. This is the first of a trilogy set in Mustang Creek, Wyoming. It is a good book and the characters are realistic and the plot is definitely something that could easily happen.
Grace Emery had come to Mustang Creek to run Bliss River Resort and Spa. She had given up being a police officer after getting her degree in hotel management. She thought she would do better in that field with her “son” Ryder. She had married Ryder’s father, Hank who was in the military. Ryder’s Mother was completely out of the picture and Hank chose the military over his wife and son. So, Grace was raising Ryder even though now she was divorced from Hank. Ryder who was fourteen was starting to act out. When she caught him stealing a magnetic sign off Slater Carson’s production truck, she immediately took Ryder to Slater’s home and made him confess what he had done and return the sign. Grace was immediately attracted to Slater; but had no intention of doing anything about it. She had enough to worry about than men. Her luck with them wasn’t good. She would just run the Resort and take care of Ryder and not get involved.
Slater Carson was a film producer. He produced documentaries and had just finished one so was back home in Mustang Creek. His family had a large ranch here in Mustang Creek and they were well known in the county. He was immediately attracted to Grace and wanted to talk to her more than Ryder. However, he gave his full attention to Ryder and his stealing. When Ryder started to get an attitude, he let Ryder know that an attitude was not acceptable. Although at the end of their conversation, Grace became cold; Slater knew that in this small community, they would run into each other again.
The romance between Grace and Slater does not run smoothly. She is resistant, Hank comes back into the picture, and a disgruntled employee causes trouble. Can the romance stand the tests it comes up against?
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Linda Lael Miller’s newest series, The Carsons of Mustang Creek, is off to a very strong beginning with the first installment, Once a Rancher. Starring the three Carson brothers, this first release features oldest brother Slater’s unexpected romance with newcomer Grace Emery.

A documentary filmmaker, Slater uses the family’s ranch as his home base in between projects. Having just returned from a grueling filming schedule, the last thing he wants to deal with is an unexpected visitor but his dismay quickly turns to interest once he meets Grace and her stepson, Ryder. Fuming over Ryder’s latest shenanigans, Grace is pleasantly surprised by how quickly Slater defuses the somewhat tense situation. Ryder easily picks up Slater’s interest in Grace, but she has no interest in pursuing a relationship with the charming cowboy. As their paths continue to cross, they eventually give in to their passion, but will Slater be able to convince Grace to consider making their relationship permanent?

Although he has a reputation as a player, Slater’s interest in Grace is anything but casual. He is definitely attracted to the feisty redhead and he is quick to devise a plan to see her again. He is never overbearing or pushy, but he does gently nudge her into seeing him on a more personal basis. Slater also realizes that Ryder needs something to occupy his time so he stays out of trouble and with Grace’s permission, he hires the teen to work at their ranch after school.

Despite her attraction to Slater, Grace sees a few too many similarities between the sexy cowboy and her ex-husband Hank. She rushed into marriage only to realize that Hank’s career was more important than family so she is not in any hurry to begin another relationship. She has her hands full trying to keep Ryder out of trouble but the more time she spends with Slater, the more irresistible he becomes. Grace is independent and more than capable of taking care of herself, but when a series of troubling incidents endangers both her and Ryder, she gratefully accepts Slater’s help.

The relationship between Grace and Slater is slow growing but their attraction soon gives way to love. While Slater is eager to take their romance to the next level, Grace is hesitant since she is afraid of getting hurt again. Slater is eager to move forward, but he is surprisingly patient as she tries to work through her reservations. Grace is sometimes a bundle of contradictions as she tries to maintain her independence while at the same time she is frustrated when Slater gives her the space she needs. Even though Grace and Slater are at a stalemate about their future, their relationship is remarkably free from conflict.

Once a Rancher is a heartwarming and touching romance that has just a hint of suspense. The characters are beautifully developed, sympathetic and quite appealing. The story is fast-paced with an engaging and well-developed plot. Slater and Grace’s relationship has a bit of an insta-love feel to it, but their emotions for one another ring true.

Although The Carsons of Mustang Creek is a new series, longtime readers of Linda Lael Miller will enjoy returning to Mustang Creek. However, newcomers to the series need not worry; this first installment easily stands on its own.

I received a complimentary copy for review.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
maggie brooke
Slater Carson is a cowboy at heart and a filmmaker by trade. But under the hot Wyoming sun, he knows the merit of a hard days work. When he sees teenager Ryder going down a path that will just bring pain and heartbreak, Slater offers a way out from that slippery slope: A job on the ranch he shares with his brothers. It probably doesn’t help that his guardian, Grace Emery, is also the Mustang Creek resort’s new manager and is feisty to boot.

Grace Emery doesn’t have time for romance or that sexy cowboy, Slater, right now. She has a new job to learn, caring for her ex-husband’s rebellious son and she has all she can handle at the moment. Love and passion just don’t work for her at the moment. But she can’t deny her attraction to Slater is strong. But when danger emerges from the shadows, Slater will show Grace that he’ll protect her at all costs and that love that is blooming between them is worth the fight.

Linda Lael Miller is usually my go to author for heart felt stories that leave you breathless but the first book into her new series, ONCE A COWBOY, left me slightly disappointed. The story was okay though the suspense portion of it was a bit of a let down since I figured out who did it half way through the book. The characters were really good for the most part but I honestly couldn’t enjoy Grace too much. She was very independent and determined to never fall in love again. Her waffling over her feelings for Slater annoyed me and I felt she either had to admit she has feelings for him or just walk away. It got old really quick especially since she went from zero to all out ‘love you’ with barely any talk between her and Slater. I’m not a fan of instant love stories but if told right then it works. Unfortunately because I couldn’t enjoy Grace, the romance between her and Slater felt more forced than anything.

What I did love was meeting and learning about Slater, his brothers and Ryder, Grace’s ex-husband’s son. They were enjoyable and quite entertaining. I can’t wait to read about Drake and Mace’s adventures in romance. The writing was good and the characters were quite enjoyable. For the most part, ONCE A COWBOY is a good read just not one of this author’s best in my opinion. Ms. Miller still delivers a classic tale of two people who find one another and fall in love. I just wish we could have seen Grace fall in love more realistically and not so fast like she did. If you enjoy a cowboy tale then you might enjoy Ms. Miller’s new book, ONCE A COWBOY, and the residents of Mustang Creek. I look forward to seeing where the next book goes and revisiting this wild portion of the country again in the future.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ana bananabrain
Slater Carson was bone tired but the minute Grace Emery walked in the room, he came alive. It was love at first sight for Slater. Grace was married and was never doing that again. Ryder, her step-son, was collateral damage from that marriage. Grace stepped up to the plate. She was firm when dealing with him. It was the Carson boys who stepped up to the plate. Ryder was finding his place in the world and Grace was falling in love. What a wedding. I can't wait to read the next book in this series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
andrew gustafson
Once a Rancher is the first book in yet another terrific series by the very talented Linda Lael Miller. I can not wait to get my hands on the next book in The Carsons of Mustang Creek series.

SLATER CARSON is one of those guys you just can't help but fall for from the beginning of the book. He's has a successful career in the film industry, he comes home to spend time with his family, his a great brother, a terrific son, a loving father, and he gets along well with the mother of his daughter. What is there not to love?

GRACE EMERY is one of the charters that I bonded with right away. She is an ex-police officer that is in need of a change of pace so she moves to Mustang Creek. She didn't count on moving her step-son, Ryder with her but is more than willing to take on the challenge. Things have been tough for Grace and her ex-husband is everything BUT a hands on father or husband. I admired Grace for not only loving her step son but for being the one parent in his life that is willing to stand by him, show him when he's doing wrong, and love him unconditionally.

Slater and Grace meet under interesting circumstances but the attraction is certainly there for both of them right away. Watching these two get to know each other and fan those flames in the process was quite enjoyable. I loved the interaction with Slater's family and that Slater is happy to step up to the plate and be a positive influence for Ryder.

Then there is the mystery and drama of things that keep going wrong for Grace. The danger and suspense kept me on the edge of my seat wondering how they were going to get to the bottom of the problems and what might happen next. I love how the people of Mustang Creek and the Carson family step up to help with the problem. I don't want to tell you too much because I sure would not want to spoil the story for you.

Overall I really enjoyed Once A Rancher. The characters are well written the story line is intriguing and entertaining, and there are hot cowboys. What more could a girl ask for in a story? I will be anxiously awaiting the next book in this series, Always a Cowboy.

I was given the opportunity to read this wonderful book so that I may share my thoughts with you. As always it has been my great pleasure to share my thoughts with you on Once a Rancher.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mary gilbert
Despite having 25 of her books in my TBR pile, this is the first book I've actually read by Linda Lael Miller. I would see her books constantly, and the covers often drew my attention, so I began grabbing them at library sales, thrift stores, etc. I knew that once I read her I would like her, and I wasn't wrong.

Slater Carson and Grace Emery have a fiery first meeting in the opening pages of the book, and I was immediately hooked. Slater shares a ranch with his two younger brothers and his mother, and is a documentary filmmaker. On the night that his latest project has wrapped, he's just arrived home, and he's exhausted. And then Grace barrels into his home office with her step-son, Ryder in tow, a ball of angry energy. Grace, I mean. Ryder is more the stereotypical sullen teenager. He stole something from one of Slater's trucks, and Grace has dragged him here to return it and apologize. So really it's the first meeting between the three of them, because even though Ryder is Grace's ex-husband's son, she's pretty much his only real parent and he's very much a (welcome) part of the book.

I loved Slater from the get go. He's a handsome cowboy, he's charming, he's got a great sense of humor, he's never been married but he has a daughter, Daisy, who he adores...need I go on? He's attracted to Grace immediately, and while he's never been truly in love or into having a real relationship, he finds himself finally thinking that way.

Grace I also loved, though I'm not generally drawn to heroines with “beautiful girl problems”, i.e., a woman who is so knock out gorgeous that men fall all over themselves about her, and she doesn't know if they're only attracted to her because she's so beautiful or if they actually like her for who she is. But she does also have a beautiful personality and I loved her as much for her relationship with her stepson as for anything else.

The last thing Grace is looking for is a relationship, and her relationship with Slater moved along a little quicker than I normally prefer. And yet they did spend a lot of time just getting to know each other, which kept it from feeling too rushed.

I also loved the relationship between Slater and his two brothers, Drake and Mace. The siblings are close to each other, but the younger brothers often exasperated Slater with their teasing and their betting on how soon Slater would bring up Grace's name for the first time and when he would propose to her. I definitely got a kick out of the bantering back and forth between the three men.

And this may be considered a spoiler, but then again it's a Harlequin romance so you should expect that there's likely to be a wedding in the end. And when the wedding plans did a complete 180 after a request from Daisy, well, Slater and Grace's response just made me love both of them even more.

I very much look forward to the next book, Drake's story, and I sure hope Mace's story will come after that!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
abi bechard
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
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
kate harvie
3.5 stars

Once a Rancher is a feel-good contemporary romance, set in the modern west. However, in spite of the title, the main male character, Slater Carson isn't a rancher; he's a filmmaker who grew up on a ranch and still lives there.

One night between films, he finds himself facing an irate beauty and a sheepish teenage boy. Grace Emery has a full time job, a home to care for and a step son left behind by his father even though she and the father are divorced. Josh is what brings Grace and Slater together when he steals a sign from one of Slater's trucks and his stepmother forces him to return it and apologize.

As upset as she is with Josh, Grace still has time to feel the sizzle when she and Slater connect-she just doesn't have time to follow through on it. Slater, however, can act on that sizzle and starts by helping Grace, not just with Josh, but on her job. Predictably, the two begin a romance, but someone is out to terrify Grace... and her ex-husband returns to visit with his son. Can Slater and Grace make it past all their obstacles and find forever together?

One of the oddest things about this book is the lack of explicit sex scenes. We have the equivalent of curtains waving in the breeze. Given the fact that Linda Lael Miller was one of the first to include very explicit scenes in her books, it is unusual that this book has none. As a result I found this story was okay, but not one that is memorable in any way.

If sweet romances with a bit of mystery thrown in are to your taste, this is a book you will want to read.

Review copy provided for an honest review.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
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.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I was given an ARC in exchange for a honest review.


Slater Carson is a business man that spends most of his time making movies, but his heart will always be Wyoming, and he will always return to his cowboy ways.

Grace Emery is a former police officer that has opted to start a new life and new career in a new place, while raising her ex-husband’s teenage son.

I really enjoyed reading Once a Rancher, the first book in the new Carson’s of Mustang Creek series. I immediately fell in love with this story. When Grace Emery literally shows up on Slater Carson’s doorstep, or rather in his office, with her ex-husband’s teenage son, Ryder, he knows that there is something special about her. She realizes it too, but doesn’t have time to deal with a new relationship while trying to manage a new job in a brand new place. Ryder even senses there is something between the two adults.

I enjoyed getting to know Slater and Grace and seeing how their story progressed. I love that Grace is a strong woman that can take care of herself, and doesn’t throw herself at the first man that she meets. I love that she has taken in her ex-husband’s son, and is willing to raise him, no matter how troubled he is. With Slater, I love that he is a business man that always returns to his cowboy roots. He is protective and not just with Grace. The whole Carson clan will bring a smile to your face, and even give you a few laughs at their shenanigans.

I would definitely recommend this book and I cannot wait to next book in this new series!

(Cross posted with Alphas Do It Better Book Blog)
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
sue grubbs
Once a Rancher starts off a new trilogy in Linda Lael Miller's setting of Biss County in Wyoming. It involves three Carson brothers of Mustang Creek. This one is all about Slater or as he is known to his two brothers - Showbiz. That's because he is involved in the movie industry.

The Carson family is a delightful mix, with related and... unrelated characters. Red for instance, the ranch hand who each of the Carson boys really respect, and Harry the cook. Then there is Blythe their mother, a woman to be reckoned with.

Along comes Grace and Slater certainly is slayed! Grace is a resourceful, independent woman and she sure is not looking for love and a man about the house! She is divorced and has responsibility for Ryder her stepson.

Mix them all up together and you have a recipe for a very enjoyable romantic story. I really delighted in the return to this small community, where before the word is out of your mouth the whole town knows. However that is a small price to pay when they are also totally there with their care and support as well.

I took time to just appreciate the romantic build up, the fun, genuine characters, the spice added by someone who is out to 'pay Grace back' in irresponsible ways, and the warmth of a story well told. It was a well paced, very entertaining story. Actually so looking forward to the other Carson stories. Love their sense of fun and good taste in hats!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The Carsons of Mustang Creek have the kind of wealth that makes you think of Dallas and Dynasty, but they are way nicer people. Am I love their mom. I hope she gets her own story.
Slater, Mace and Drake Carson may be brothers, but that doesn’t mean they are alike. While all three of them are born cowboys, Slater’s interests lie in documentary film-making, Drake's interest in protecting the wild mustang herd that's been raiding their ranch's mares, and Mace runs the family winery. In this first book of the series, you get to meet all three of them, but Once a Rancher follows Slater.
I love all the characters I met in Once a Rancher. Grace is a former cop recently divorced from career military man who never invested any time in his family. Before Grace, his parents took care of his son. Grace took on the responsibility of teenage Ryder and divorce didn't change that. She's determined to make a stable life for them both.
Slater's career is documentary film making and that doesn't leave him much time for a family life. He's attracted against his will to the feisty Spa Manager. He's not ready to get married. And neither is Grace. But there's something drawing them together that won't be ignored.
The give and take between the members of the Carson family and the way they reach out to Grace and her troubled stepson make for great reading.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
john k
Linda Lael Miller builds on her Bliss County series with her newest book Once a Rancher – book 1 of The Carsons of Mustang Creek series. It was fun to see characters from the four previous books as they made brief appearances. That said, you don’t have to have read the previous books to enjoy Once a Rancher.

The new series involves the Carson family of three brothers. This book is about Slater Carson, a documentary film producer and Grace Emery, manager of a high-end hotel and spa in the area.

Slater is between projects and is looking forward to a few days of R&R at the ranch. That plan gets tossed when Grace and her step-son Ryder arrive at his door. Their story takes off from there. It’s what you’d expect from LLM and I enjoyed it all. I liked that there was a bit of a mystery to be solved that grew more and more sinister as the book progressed. I loved the setting – both the hotel and the ranch.

Of course, all’s well that ends well – and this book did. I look forward to the next book in the trilogy. Recommended to fans of the author and contemporary and western romance. *I received a review copy in exchange for my honest opinion.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mom joanne
ONCE A RANCHER is the first book in the new series, The Carsons of Mustang Creek. Slater Carson is a sought-after director of documentaries, which takes him away from home for long periods of time. Grace Emery has moved to Mustang Creek as the new manager of the resort in town. She is also caring for her ex-husband’s son while his father is deployed. She meets Slater when she drags Ryder, her stepson, to his office after he steals a sign from his set. Slater sees Ryder going down a tough road and offers him a job at the ranch he shares with his brothers. Slater’s also interested in getting close to Grace, but she has too much on her plate right now for a relationship. Slater and his family were close-knit and caring, not only for each other but for the new people they meet, Grace and Ryder. Grace was a bit prickly, which made her a little less likable, but you also found out the understandable reasons. ONCE A RANCHER is a classic Miller romance with solid characters and a sweet romance.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I am a fan of Miller's books, so I was excited to read that a new trilogy of brothers was on the horizon I am huge fan of the McKettricks if you haven't read about Tate, Garrett and Austin. We meet Slater Carson a documentary film maker and part owner of the large Carson ranch. Grace Emery the resort hotel manager barges into his world to make her step son apologize for stealing some ranch property. Slater and Grace have an instant attraction, which carries the story along nicely. The characters were well developed although the overall relationship was a little rushed I found the overall story entertaining. I love the rest of the family and the brothers relationship was fun and humorous. This was novel was good and was a great set up for the next it just seemed a little short. I think the suspense and relationship building could have been more developed. I did like it and am looking forward to the next installments.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lisa rice
The Bliss County series has been one of my favorite Linda Lael Miller series. I get so lost in the series that I think I can jump in my car and head on out of town to the ranch. Once a Rancher doesn't disappoint as another member of Bliss County falls in love.

I have to say that I enjoyed the plot and the scenery of Once a Rancher as it takes place on the ranch and at a high-end spa resort with the mountains as a backdrop. As always, Linda Lael Miller writes in such a way to draw the reader into her world by her descriptions and characters. She has a knack of weaving in characters from the past and future books that not only leave you anticipating the next book in the series but having just enjoyed a visit with the characters from previous books.

I am giving Once a Rancher five stars. Visit [...]
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
kate mulley
I won't repeat the plot line here as enough folks have outlined it. Something that goes beyond the pale is all of the "observations"... the butt, the breasts, the shapely shoulders. C'mon. Do all the heroines have drop-dead gorgeous looks that send men into hormonal spasms? Do all the men have to have firm jaws, six pack abs, dark wavy hair, and above average sex drives??? It's not just this author but it seems that most of the lady romance writers are doing the same thing. It draws away from the story, in my opinion, not adding anything of substance.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
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!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
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
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
elah moshtatgh
Business man by trade, cowboy at heart, Slater Carson offers a troubled teen a job on the ranch and figures it won’t hurt to keep a closer eye on the boy’s temporary guardian as well in this captivating romance. Linda Lael Miller has a gift for bring her characters to life and making the readers feel as are meeting and getting to know these characters from the very first page so that by end of the book, readers feel as if they had a very satisfying visit with friends and The Carsons of Mustang Creek are a fascinating group of individuals that I can’t wait to visit with again.

“Copyright Night Owl Reviews”©

See my full review at: Night Owl Reviews .com
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
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.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
peyvand mohseni
Typical western romance, the intendeds are telegraphed from the opening pages but the writer quickly makes the reader care about these people. Set overlooking the Grand Tetons in California three brothers grew up on a successful working ranch with a strong-willed Mother and a father who died too young. None of these people suffer financially.

You’ll learn to love the rollicking Carsons and root for Slater’s intended Grace. Throw in her ex’s son and his out-of-wedlock daughter and a disgruntled fired employee and the plot thickens.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
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.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
matthew morgan
A great new series by author Linda Lael Miller. The Carson boys are a force to be reckoned with. They know what they want and go after it. Slater took one look at Grace and new she was what he wanted. They both have baggage. Grace is raising her ex's teenage son and is a busy resort manager. Slater is a documentary film maker but the sparks fly when they are around each other. If you are a fan of Ms. Miller's this is a must read. If not this is a good one to start with.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ARC received for review

Yummy cowboy and documentary maker meets resort manager. Slater doesn't take no for an answer but isn't a jerk about it. I don't know many people as amazing as Grace. She is taking care of her ex-husband's 14 year old son. Slater falls in insta-love with Grace but doesn't realize that's what it is. It takes Grace a little longer to fall. Plus there's a bad guy terrorizing Grace. Overall a great read and bonus there's two more brothers.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
a j jr
Slater is a ranch boy at heart, even with the nickname of Showbiz. I love the family dynamic and devotion. Emery is new to town and has fielded a fair share of come-ons by cowboys. However, when she has to drag her stepson to apologize to Slater Carson, she knows she is going to have a hard time turning him down.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
maria augustina recla
I love Linda Lael miller's books. I thoroughly enjoyed the original 3 books of Mustang Creek series. I know when starting a new series alot of the first book is to also introduce the characters that will be in the books following. But i thought the relationship between Slater Carson and Grace Emery suffered for it. There wasn't any really romantic moments between them. You didn't see the romance bloom, it just was. I not really a believer in love at first sight and that's what this book is. I like to see the relationship develop and the H and h realize that this is love. There was none of that and i missed it.
We did get to know the rest of the family. Slaters 2 brothers Mace and Drake, his mom, the housekeeper named Harry and Red who is the old family cowboy. All characters I'm sure we'll see in the upcoming books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nathan n r gaddis
Reading this series of stories reminds the reader that families all face adversity. It is how problems are faced that make the difference. This one is funny, has a mystery, and reveals the pursuit of happiness can be achieved.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kathy king
this is the first in a new series and what a start. this can be read as a standalone book. this is a lovely romance story you’ll want to keep reading. I loved the characters and the story was well written. the story plays out slowly with the chemistry between the characters builds and builds. cant wait to read more.

highly recommended
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
tori hutchison
Classic LLM contemporary cowboy romance. Usual H/h interactions without being cliché. A grade of B on the romance, but she gets an A on the fun family antics between the siblings and ranch hands. Several sentimental and emotional scenes to make you teary-eyed. Looking forward to the story about brother Drake.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
michelle sinclair
You can't go wrong with a Linda Lael Miller book. Well written, great characters, and lots of romance make this another great book in the Carsons of Mustang Creek series. This is Slater and Grace's story and it's a good one!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ebony farashuu
I would prefer when reading a 'REVIEW' to not be told the whole story...just, if the reader liked the story or disliked it & 'why.' Linda Lael Miller is my all-time favorite author. It was hard for me to put it down. I loved this book & would highly recommend it. It had suspense, romance, a handsome cowboy & a beautiful woman. Can't wait until the 2nd book comes out.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
You will never be disappointed in any of Linda Lael Miller's books!! I just finished reading Once A Rancher which was just as good as all the rest of her books. Love It !!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Nice plot, great family ties and not too much trash of sex and violence with the whole stalker thing Could have more justice for the main character though
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kaj tanaka
Loved to read this book and the continuation of the Mustang Creek characters!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
One of the greatest writers that I love to read
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
After the first chapter I fell in love with this family can't wait to learn more about them and there future.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
brooke everett
This was a feel good book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
This book was purchased by my wife.....she enjoyed the book very much....howevever....the book was delivered past the dew date.....
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
somayeh yarali
This delightful book is well paced, nicely spicy and hard to put down. You will not be disappointed in book
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
chrissy cadman
This was an easy entertaining read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
colleen herman
A great read!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Just a book. Nor thing great
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ramiro rodriguez
Great book
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
LOVE this book and can't wait to read the rest of the series!
Please Rate A Western Romance (The Carsons of Mustang Creek) - Once a Rancher
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