‘Montana Sky’: A Western Romance and Mystery


Back in the day, the Lifetime network adapted quite the handful of books by Nora Roberts. This, Montana Sky, is the one with all of the western themes, but it’s also got a pretty good plot, too.

Montana Sky (200) Lifetime TV Review

In the aftermath of her father’s death, Willa Mercy (Ashley Williams) receives two visitors; people she wants nothing to do with. The two half-sisters Willa never knew as a kid show up for their father’s funeral, and to hear the reading of the will. Tess (Charlotte Ross) is a LA city girl through and through who’s trying to write a script, while Lily (Laura Mennell) suffers from physical and emotional scars. When the sisters learn of a provision in their father’s will – that they all live together for a year, bickering breaks out between the ambitious Tess and the hard working Willa.

As time passes, the girl’s learn from each other and maybe even find new romance in the arms of the men who come to care about them, including the infuriating Ben McKintock (John Corbett), the man who’s been a thorn in Willa’s side her whole life.

Recently I re-watched most of these films with Roberts name attached, and discovered, surprisingly, Montana Sky is actually one of my favorites. Not sure why I didn’t think it was, but it’s really quite good. Between its impressive cast and the story-line, it’s a solid little TV film with its share of danger and of course, romance, too. In this case, there are three of them.

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Likened to the Australia TV show, McLeod’s Daughters, this film brings together a family who never knew what being a family means. This is perhaps what I like best about the film; the way the sister’s bond over the length of the film. They’re very different, and don’t get on well at the start, but I respect that they work through some of their bitterness. Their differences is what helps to set them all apart, and another thing that’s refreshing to see, is Tess being treated like a lady over the usual flings she expects. Not everything is “alright” by the end, but they’re all in a much better place, and this makes us hopeful they’ll continue to be okay.

While this is not a Hallmark film, you’ll see familiar faces like Diane Ladd (Chesapeake Shores); Ashley Williams; and Heartland’s Nathanial Arcand who plays a “half-brother” of Willa’s. In reality he’s someone she grew up with and loves as a brother. While an adult film, this is probably the cleanest of the Nora Roberts adaptations. The plot isn’t the most ingenious (you can guess the troublemaker), but this one has strong family ties which keeps things moving. Plus, the romances don’t hurt anything, especially true for those of us who enjoy a will-they-or-won’t-they ship now and then.


‘Montana Sky’: A Western Romance and Mystery. A review of the Lifetime TV adaptation with Ashley Williams. Text © Rissi JC / Rissiwrites.com
‘Montana Sky’: A Western Romance and Mystery. A review of the Lifetime TV adaptation with Ashley Williams. #Movies #NoraRoberts #Adaptation #WhattoWatch Click To Tweet

Content: There’s one sex scene, which is not overly graphic, but there is a sexual joke or two. There’s some violence including two men dying from gunshot wounds; other from knife; and animals are cruelly cut apart (we see two scenes of the animals lying on the ground). There’s talk of past abuse. The film is TV-PG, but is more like a TV-14.

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.


  1. I really enjoyed watching Montana Sky! It would of made a great series. It reminded me so much of The McLeod’s Daughters, which is one of my all time favorite shows!

    1. “Montana Sky” is a good read! I still have to go back and read the rest of the series, and “The McLeod’s Daughters” is a series I’d like to try as well. :)

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