Brody: The Montana McKennas

Jan Scarbrough
Brody: The Montana McKennas
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Saddle Horse Press
Release Date
October 2015
Book 2 of Montana Ranchers
Western Romance

Champion bull rider Brody Caldera returns home after his stepfather's accident only to discover things have changed big time.

When rancher James McKenna is critically injured in a riding accident, his wife calls his daughter and stepson home for a family meeting. Ironically, home is just where stepson Brody Caldera wants to be. He's taking stock of his life—past, present, and future. Can the champion bull rider turn his life around and make up for his past mistake?

Single mom Stephanie Chambers hopes to keep her daughter away from the man who deserted them years ago. But the spunky ten-year-old is enamored with the famous cowboy, and Stef's best intentions are sidetracked from day one. She's made a life for herself and her daughter, but Brody's return challenges what Stef knows about herself and that life she's created.

Book Review by Angie Just Read... (reviewer)
Aug 23, 2014   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
228 people found the following review helpful
One moment he felt contentment, but the next moments sent his life reeling towards home--a place he never belonged, a past he'd abandoned in favor of chasing his dreams.'s where you go when your past, present, and future collide.

When Brody Caldera left the McKenna family ranch in Montana, his dreams of becoming a champion bull rider took precedence over everything else, including the girl he'd impregnated and the step-family he'd never felt he fit into. That was pretty much all in the past until he entered his Chicago condo to find the woman he hoped to marry in bed with another man, followed by his half-sister calling him home to Montana due to a family emergency. Suddenly, a man who'd achieved his ultimate dream and who was at the pinnacle of his career had a long trip home in which to mull over the past, the present, the future, and his return to a place where he still didn't belong.

It had been less than two years since Stephanie Chambers had returned to the McKenna family's ranch in Montana, and the McKenna family had been good to her and her ten year-old daughter Olivia since her father had passed away. Steph had been trying to hold things together at the McKenna dude ranch since patriarch James McKenna's accident had left him comatose, but news that Brody Caldera was returning to be at his mother's side reignited the bitter memories of Brody choosing his rodeo dreams over her and their unborn child.

Yet, Steph knew the situation at hand would make it impossible for Brody to keep the promises she'd extracted from him when he'd made his fateful decision to put his dreams first. And now, while there's no way Steph can keep Olivia from meeting Brody, Steph knows she's got every right to extract a few more promises from the man that broke her heart and refused to stick around--Brody can't reveal to Olivia that he's her father, and he'd better not get close enough to Olivia to break her heart when he leaves again.

In BRODY: THE LONG ROAD HOME, the talented Jan Scarbrough is the lead-off hitter in a new contemporary Western romance series, The Montana McKenna's, to which she and author Maddie James will both collaborate and contribute future titles. Brody's story is a novella of approximately seventy-two pages and it makes for a quick, enjoyable read that briefly reveals characters and plot situations that will likely tie in to future releases in this series.

I found the writing crisp and well-edited, and the plot was certainly plausible. However, this story was lacking in a couple of key areas and one of them was back story. There are certainly clues to the reason that Brody doesn't feel he belongs on the McKenna's ranch, but they don't really delve into the details. The same can be said for the teen relationship between Brody and Steph that resulted in her pregnancy. Without details of the chemistry that lead up to the teen relationship, it made the suddenness of Brody's and Steph's adult relationship seem rushed, especially since they'd had no contact in more than a decade and had so many new and unresolved issues between them. Finally, I simply couldn't help but scratch my head at the fact that Brody was thinking marriage with his girlfriend one week and then wanting to rekindle things with Steph less than a week after the two-year relationship with his girlfriend ended.

With a huge cliffhanger about James McKenna's health sure to be a thread linking future installments in this series, I'm hoping the details missing in Brody's story were intentional in order to pique the reader's curiosity in hopes that more of Brody's and Steph's past history will be revealed in the next Montana McKenna's installment. Either way, I'm intrigued enough by the McKenna's to put the next book in the series on my wish list.
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