Saddled with the impossible task of finding a feel-good story, journalist Aiden O’Sullivan reluctantly accepts his godmother’s invitation to visit Marietta, Montana, to experience the small town’s Valentine’s Day celebration. Upon his arrival, a minor ankle injury lands him in the ER of the local hospital when his godmother insists a doctor should examine it.
After her parents’ untimely deaths, Dr. Vivian Miller moved from Sacramento to Marietta with her siblings. Apart from the freezing cold and rampant gossiping, life in town is uneventful. Until a music teacher at the local high school brings her godson to the ER. Vivian has a soft spot for children and hurries to help, only to find the “godson” is an opinionated, rude journalist with no visible injury to his foot.
Vivian has no time for journalists, even the drop-dead gorgeous kind. Aiden isn’t in town for long, but he quickly becomes involved in the lovely doctor’s problems, something he’s sworn will never happen again. Will these two strangers end up finding a home together at the foot of Copper Mountain?
Titles in The Millers of Marietta series include — My Montana Valentine —♥— A Match Made in Montana —♥—
This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
Title: My Montana Valentine
Series: The Millers of Marietta #1
Author: Elsa Winckler
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published: January 30, 2023
Publisher: Tule Publishing
My Rating: 4.5 stars
I will always jump at the chance for another visit to one of my favorite fictional small towns, Marietta, Montana – but especially when it’s the beginning of a brand new series. My Montana Valentine begins The Millers of Marietta series, which brings three siblings from the big city life to a more laid-back, if often gossip-filled, way of life in this small town at the foot of Copper Mountain.
Everyone has issues of some sort, and the things that Vivian, her siblings, and Aiden are dealing with are slowly revealed to us. And yes, it’s completely understandable how these two became the closed off to emotions or getting close to anyone beyond the family type of people they are today. As they each discover those past events over time, it’s quite easy to feel their frustrations through the pages of this story. I liked them, yet I also have to admit that Vivian is one of the stubbornest, quick to latch onto the wrong interpretation of events that I’ve met in a very long time. Her attitude is completely understandable, given her background, but it was painful to watch her toss a possible happy future aside again and again because she wouldn’t listen, couldn’t believe in good intentions, or found it impossible to trust, even to trust her family’s instincts about Aiden.
And to be fair, Aiden wasn’t much better as his self-doubt has him turning off the emotions that once made him a far different journalist. Now he’s only seeing a very small world around him, and emotions like trusting in love seem to be beyond him at the moment. But again, knowing why he’s turned into the man he is today is understandable, even if he hasn’t allowed himself the chance to know the full story.
My Montana Valentine is an excellent introduction to The Millers of Marietta series. Watching Aiden and Vivian navigate their pasts and move forward to a future together was an emotional journey, often filled with frustration and pain, but they each had to get beyond what had happened to open themselves up to possibilities in their future. I enjoyed myself immensely in their world and can already see some fascinating turns of events for others we met in this opening story. I had fun here, and that’s the whole point. Their story is well-written, filled with laughter and tears, some familiar faces, and a couple who really do belong together, finding their happiness at last. If that’s your kind of romance, then you’ll want to grab My Montana Valentine right now.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from Tule Publishing. The opinions expressed in this review are my own – good, bad, or indifferent.*
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