Linda Lael Miller returns to an unforgettable Montana town for a very special occasion....
Once a frontier stagecoach stop, tiny Springwater has grown and changed and entered the twenty-first century. Cattle rustlers may still be stirring up trouble, but now they're high-tech operators in a modern world. Where stagecoaches once rolled along muddy roads, the Internet is now the newest highway in town. But heartbreak is still heartbreak and love still love, and Springwater still boasts a rich legacy of joy, sorrow, and second chances -- as two childhood sweethearts discover when they rekindle a long-ago passion in the place they will always call home.
Maggie McCaffrey left her fast-paced corporate job to take a chance on a more rewarding -- but riskier -- business venture: turning the dilapidated Springwater Station into a bed-and-breakfast. But Maggie didn't count on running straight into J.T. Wainwright, the hometown boy who stole her heart many years before. A tough former New York City cop, J.T. survived a grave gunshot wound and returned to Springwater to find a better way of life. Now, as deputy town marshal, he's facing off with modern-day cattle thieves who are plaguing local ranchers. Stronger than ever, J.T. seems ready for anything -- except, of course, Maggie.
As Maggie's B&B begins to take root, a delightful new cast of Springwater locals passes through its doors. Maggie's parents, Kathleen and Reece, are finding that their forty-year marriage requires a little renegotiating now and then. Cindy, a teenage newlywed with a baby on the way, is learning about love and sacrifice for the first time. And town marshal Purvis Digg is turning Springwater upside down by dating a woman he met on the Internet.
As always, Linda Lael Miller enchants readers with her portrayal of the complex tangle of life and love in a small town. With her trademark sensuality and her þair for wit, she once again brings Springwater to life -- this time, at the dawn of a new era.
The small ranching town of Springwater, Mont., familiar as ground central in Miller's romantic frontier series (Springwater Christmas, etc.), is the setting of her newest contemporary tale featuring old high school sweethearts Maggie McCaffrey and J.T. Wainwright, descendants of the town's original settlers. After nearly a decade of high-rise living, Maggie has returned to Springwater to recover from her failed marriage and to transform the historic stagecoach station into a bed-and-breakfast. To her chagrin, hot-headed J.T. is in town as well, rebuilding his family ranch and struggling to cope with the horrors he witnessed as a child and as a NYC cop. Once again sparks fly between the two, and although Maggie tries to distance herself from J.T. for fear of being hurt, they are inevitably drawn together. A subplot involving an internet romance between the town marshal and a librarian is a pleasing touch, but another involving rustlers who poison cows, burn barns and commit murder adds little to the tale. Miller's strength is her portrayal of the history and traditions that distinguish Springwater and its residents. Although she pours on the country charm quite liberally at times, this straightforward yet sugary narrative will appeal to fans of the series as well as those who appreciate the works of Debbie Macomber and Jayne Ann Krentz. (Apr. 3) Forecast: This is Miller's first hardcover in four years, and as such, it should capture her fans' attention; the contemporary Springwater setting is a novel attraction too. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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January 01, 2002
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Excerpt from Springwater Wedding by Linda Lael Miller
Maggie stuffed the woody stems of a cloud of white lilacs into a gallon jar, and some of the water spilled over onto the counter in the kitchenette of her parents' guest house. "J.T. Wainwright," she said, with typical McCaffrey conviction and a wealth of personal experience to back up her theory, "is a whole new twelve step program, looking for a place to happen. I'm trying to start a business here. Make a life for myself. I don't need that kind of trouble."
Daphne Hargreaves Evanston, her best friend since Miss Filbert's kindergarten class at the old schoolhouse, now an historical monument, like the Brimstone Saloon across the street from it, watched with a wry and twinkly smile as Maggie took a sponge from the sink to wipe up the overflow. Married for the past two years, Daphne was glowingly happy and wanted to see all her friends find the same rather irksome bliss. "Oh, come on, Mags," she chided cheerfully. "J.T. was a little wild as a kid, but he became a cop, so he must have straightened out."
Maggie was stubbornly silent, and Daphne, who could be just as stubborn, fixed her with a mock glare.
"He was a cop," Maggie allowed in due time, and somewhat grudgingly. She straightened a little. "But since when is joining a big-city police force the equivalent of a religious conversion?"
Daphne shook her head and made a tsk-tsk sound. "Methinks thou protests too much, my friend," she said, folding slender arms. "J.T. was shot in the line of duty. He must have been committed to his job, to put himself in the path of a bullet."
Maggie hated to think of J.T. -- or anyone else, she quickly pointed out to herself -- struck down by gunfire, and she shuddered. Images of that lethal confrontation, far away in a New York City warehouse, had disturbed her sleep many a time over the six months since it had happened, although she'd been out of contact with J.T. for much longer.