Brody Creed has spent most of his adult life drifting through life in a haze of anger and regret. One of his biggest regrets? Leaving Carolyn Simmons the last time he was home. But now he’s back on the ranch in Lonesome Bend he shares with his twin, Conner, looking to make a home for himself. Brody has a lot to make up for and hidden pain from his past that will haunt him forever. Still, he’s determined to take his place as a Creed of Lonesome Bend.
Carolyn Simmons is a self-proclaimed gypsy, never settling anywhere long enough to put down roots. Something about Lonesome Bend calls to the side of her that wants to belong. She’d be happy to stay there forever, but there’s one hitch – Brody. It’s hard to avoid the tall, brooding cowboy, especially when her best friend is married to his brother. The more time Carolyn spends near Brody, the harder it is to resist the magnetic pull between him. As Brody opens up and shows that he’s changed his colors from the man she knew before, Carolyn finds herself falling in love with him all over again. Hopefully this time her trust won’t be mislaid.
Over the course of the books, Brody has grown into a mysterious and interesting character. He’s got flaws he’s not afraid to hide and wounds that give him an unexpected depth and sympathy. He doesn’t muck about when it comes to what he says or does. Brody epitomizes what I want to see in cowboy heroes. The dynamics of the relationship between Brody and his brother allow for a lot of great interaction and tension. Having your mirror image there to verbalize your fears and hopes is a great way for a character to grow and develop.
Carolyn is a fun heroine. She’s dynamic and interesting, but, like Brody, she has flaws and wounds. My favorite part of her as a character is the “hobby” she has of making artistic clothing. The sexual tension between Carolyn and Brody helps move the story along and forces them to face some of their personal demons.
I enjoy all of Miller’s books. I love a good cowboy story, but most of this Creed trilogy has felt flat to me. I like them, but they weren’t terribly original or full of the tension I like to see in Miller’s stories. This one, however, was the best of the three. There was an added depth to this novel that often comes with the last in a trilogy. The author knew the characters well enough to write an insightful end to a decent series.