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A Creed in Stone Creek    by Linda Lael Miller order for
Creed in Stone Creek
by Linda Lael Miller
Order:  USA  Can
Harlequin, 2011 (2011)

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* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

Miller returns to explore the lives and loves of another set of descendents of the Creeds and O'Ballivans in her latest Stone Creek spin-off series. Steven Creed is a hotshot criminal defence attorney who suddenly finds himself guardian of an orphaned five-year-old boy. Determined to give little Matt a full time father, Steven leaves Denver and his job behind and puts down roots in Stone Creek, Arizona. He's not about to give up law completely, however, setting up shop on main street and offering strictly pro bono service.

Within days, he falls hard for county prosecutor Melissa O'Ballivan, who's certainly not ready for a serious relationship after being dumped by her boyfriend for being unable to commit. Despite her vow to keep her distance, she finds Steven, his serious and needy young son and their newly rescued sheepdog hard to resist. But it doesn't take long for them to lock horns. Steven is ready to go to bat for a teen recently released from jail, while Melissa's job as prosecutor demands she put him back behind bars for allegedly robbing a convenience store. Will this professional conflict ruin their chance at exploring a serious relationship and a possible future together?

The prolific Miller recycles some of her trademark characters and plot devices, but as always, her easy style and authentic western tone moves this hearth, home, family-oriented story right along. The romantic and secondary conflict is a bit on the light and hurried side, but overall A Creed in Stone Creek is an enjoyable beginning to Miller's newest trilogy.

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