Montana Sky by Nora Roberts

(No Series)

In life, Jack Mercy hadn't been a kind man. In death, he was no different. His daughter Willa expected to inherit his ranch, the place she'd put her heart and soul into. But at the reading of the will, she learns that her home has been given not just to her, but to two sisters she barely knows as well. And in order to inherit, they must all live on the ranch for a period of one year.

None of the three sisters are happy with the arrangement. And apparently, neither is someone else as deadly incidents begin occurring around them. Willa, Tess and Lila find themselves fighting for their lives alongside the men who have become part of the lives and their hearts.

“Men didn't respect beauty...they used it.”

A disliked bastard of a man is a successful ranch owner who owns millions in property. Cursed with the inability to bear son offspring rather than those silly women seeds, he kicks out two ex-wives who curse him with daughters, never having anything to do with his children until Willa, who sticks by his side devotedly until he keels over. Once dead, his frustrating will dictates that his three daughters must live together on the ranch for a year to evenly inherit.

Overly long and by-the-books predictable, the three women are severe stereotypes. Willa is the tomboy who is loyal to the ranch, always griping about having too much to do to relax or have fun. Tess it the cityslicker from LA who turns her nose up at the farming life. Lily is the abused, fragile flower of a woman who is so breakable she's unreal.

I could tell within the first two chapters which men each woman would end up with, that they all would come to bond together, they would end up living happily ever after at the ranch, etc. This isn't spoilers, it's the formula you can guess from this story trope.

The three men blended together into the same personality types.

Can't say I enjoyed the romances since they were simply sweet and nothing much else. No real tension that couldn't easily be brushed aside. I think the author put her sympathy more toward Willa since she had more characters get on to Tess for not having enough sympathy or seeing things from her point of view, but really I was team Tess all the way. Willa started most of the crap and acted snobby and superior from the get-go. Tess definitely didn't fit in right away but at least she wasn't uptight. Willa mentally thinks Tess's career is one of the most worthless ones possible from the start, and the two only start eventually bonding because Tess - as the bigger woman - makes more of an effort. Bess the housekeeper is also disdainful toward Tess. Trust me, put me in that position and I would have been an even bigger bitch to deal with than Tess was.

There was tension of a serial slayer who mauled animals and women and left them for dead on the ranch, but I really didn't care much about that side-mystery. All was alright at the end, of course.

As far as Nora Robert's novels go, this one is rather flimsy, formulaic, and downright dull - especially for a length of almost 500 pages.

   Book Quotes:

“Being dead didn't make Jack Mercy any less of a son of a bitch”

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