Title: Claiming Mariah
Author: Pam Hillman
Mariah Malone is a 23-year-old woman trying to make a go of her ranch after her father’s death two years ago. She is also responsible for taking care of her grandmother and her younger sister Amanda who is blind. She is also foisting off the marriage proposal of the local town dandy. She is barely making ends meet when a stranger appears at her door. Slade Donovan shows her proof that her father stole some gold, shot a man and left him for dead. That man was Slade’s father. Slade has proof that the mine where the gold came from belonged to his father. Slade wants the ranch and the land it sits on as Mariah’s father used the gold to purchase it. In order to save her family’s name, Mariah agrees to sign over the deed to the ranch. Slade agrees to let Mariah and her grandmother stay in the house until his mother and sisters arrive from Galveston.
As Mariah and Slade are forced to interact due to the running of the ranch, they begin to become more comfortable with each other. Mariah has a deep faith in God, but Slade has given up on God. Slade’s father was an alcoholic and an abuser. Slade prayed for his dad to stop, but in Slade’s eyes God didn’t answer his prayer. Slade and his family grew up very poor and he blames Mariah’s dad for this. Mariah and Slade fall in love, but neither think the other capable of forgiveness in order to move forward in their relationship. Can Slade see past his own bitterness to God’s provision and blessings?
This is a lovely romance set in 1882 in the Wyoming Territory. The main theme is one of forgiveness and trusting in the Lord for provision and answering of prayers. This book is easy to read, the chapters short and the plot easy to follow. This is the first novel I’ve read by this author and I’m looking forward to see what she has in store for future novels. Maybe the next one will continue the Donovan story, but it will center on Buck (Slade’s brother) and Amanda (Mariah’s sister).
My rating is 4 stars.