I will confess straight away that I am a big Linda Lael Miller fan. Many of my happiest hours have been spent reading historical western romances written by this author. That's not to say that I haven't noticed some of the inaccuracies such as the timing not being absolutely chronological, or that the cover is not reflective of the age in which these stories took place. (Actually this happens with so many books and it is very irritating when the people on the cover of a book look nothing like the characters on the inside of the book... but I digress) It's just that I prefer to focus on the quality of the stories and these other little irritations should not be enough to keep you from reading this book.
The Women of Primrose Creek consists of four novellas I guess you could say, although I think they were initially released individually. The stories are about four women who make their way from Virginia to Nevada to stake out some land left to them by their grandfather after the Civil War. Their once comfortable home and lifestyle are long gone and they have little left except this land and each other. While two have been shunted off to England, the oldest, Bridget and her sister Skye arrive first and try to make a life on the beautiful banks of Primrose Creek in a tiny log cabin that doesn't even have a proper roof. I'll give a brief synopsis of each sister's story told in order... Bridget, Christy, Skye and Megan.
Bridget... is a war widow with a young son named Noah. Her husband Mitch and his best friend Trace, boyhood friends with Bridget and her family, leave for the Civil War, but only Trace returns with the promise he made to Mitch to look after Bridget and now Noah. But Bridget has always had feelings for Trace, and feels she's being disloyal to Mitch, so she tries to run him off. But Trace has other plans and it soon becomes clear to everyone that they all need each other just to survive the harsh conditions in the Nevada territory, not the least of which are Indians.
Christy... Christy has just arrived back from England with her younger sister Megan to find that nothing of her former Virginia home is left but the faithful nursemaid and friend that raised the girls since they were babies. So the three of them, Christy, Megan and Caney set off for Primrose Creek with Christy determined to seek out and marry the richest man she can find so she and Megan will never be poor again. Unfortunately, the man escorting them home, Sheriff Zach Shaw, is too handsome and too brave to be ignored and before she knows it, Christy has to decide between security and love.
Skye... is a lovely young woman who is stubborn, independent and a wonderful horsewoman who is determined to get the man she has loved from afar even though he was once engaged to Skye's cousin Christy. Jake Vigil runs the town lumber mill and is desperate for some of the trees on Skye's land but she refuses to sell so he suggests a horse race. If he wins, Skye has to marry him and he gets his trees and for the first time in her life, Skye wonders if it might be better to lose a horse race rather than win it. But she has her work cut out for her since Jake is determined to protect his heart from ever being broken again.
Megan... is the youngest and is a red haired beauty who longs for a life away from Primrose Creek. So she leaves her sister and cousins behind to become an actress, only to return two years later after having been swindled of the money she got when she asked her sister to sell her part of the land. Discouraged but unbroken, Megan deeply regrets that she sold her portion of their inheritance and when the man who bought it, handsome Web Stratton asks her to be his housekeeper, Megan accepts even though she knows it will be hard to return to the beautiful land that was once hers, as a servant.
These are four lovely romances that are all inner related and every one of the characters, including Caney Blue and her handsome friend Malcolm, are people you can care about. It has all the elements of a fine western romance including love, danger, illness, Indians, betrayal and a long ago secret that changes the very fabric of these women's relationship to one another. A thoroughly enjoyable read for anyone who loves western romance filled with beautiful, intelligent women and handsome, honest and hard working men.